Survey Results Are In! (The Real Skinny on Nonprofit Data)
Based on the above information, I feel good that I have a good cross-section of the nonprofit world. Since many charitable organizations are regional and not national, it was not a surprise to see that 65 percent of the organizations responding were in that category. There are a larger percentage of organizations in the human services category, yet there is a solid representation of the other types of organizations except for foundations and international affairs.
All this to say I think the information gleaned from this quick study of organizations is good enough to give us an idea of what is really happening in the world of nonprofit data. I asked only 10 questions, and of course three of those were to help define who was completing the survey. So in the remaining seven questions here's what I found:
The great news
Of 528 organizations, 92 percent indicated that they have databases (internally or hosted by a third party) that hold their constituent data. This is great news, and my guess is that five years ago that number was very, very different. This tells me that organizations of all sizes and types have really learned the value of capturing information on nonprofit constituents.
I also asked how many had business rules or processes in place that made it mandatory to capture specific constituent information. This is something we have seen across the industry become more and more common. Organizations have learned that what gets measured or tracked … gets done. By implying something is mandatory further emphasizes the organization's priority.
Across this survey group, 74 percent of the organizations have identified specific data elements that are mandatory to be captured on constituents. This is a great start. I know many of you reading this will have the same thought I do — it's probably contact information or the donation information that is mandatory. True, but a mandate can easily become expanded into other data elements that get identified as being critical for marketing and fundraising.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.