Survey Results Are In! (The Real Skinny on Nonprofit Data)
The detail matters
Now the real questions come in to play: What is being captured, and what are they doing with it?
I eased in to a simple YES or NO question about whether they capture specific types of information. As you can imagine, fundraising transactions (96.5 percent capture) and basic contact Information (99.7 percent capture) popped to the top as being captured across the board. This did not come as a surprise.
On the other end of the spectrum, I was surprised to see that only 30 percent of the organizations capture website interactions. For the purposes of this study, please note an answer of NO implies the transactions are present in the organization yet are not captured in the database. For example, if an organization does not have a website, it would answer N/A relative to the capture of website interactions. Only 8 percent of the survey respondents fell into the N/A category. In other words, it's not that they don't have websites; it's that 62 percent of the organizations are simply not capturing any of their website engagement with their constituents.
This was a tough number to see as we think of the rising influence of digital marketing and engagement opportunities. In fact, in one of my earlier blogs I shared information from a recent study that many constituents do their information-gathering online yet use another channel (direct mail commonly) to make a donation or take action. That is proof enough that website and other digital engagement is a critical part of marketing and fundraising.
There were other examples of organizations that do not have specific types of transactions.
- 46 percent of the organizations do not have any product sales — therefore, no interactions to capture
- 20 percent do not have any type of call center or donor services function — therefore, no interactions
- 29 percent do not have any type of advocacy program — therefore, no interactions to capture
As you continue to read, I believe you will agree there is an enormous opportunity to capture more interactions. Why? Because every interaction a constituent has with your brand is an expression of his or her interest in your brand. By viewing these interactions, you can better understand the depth of a relationship. To only capture or prioritize fundraising information is to only understand part of what makes someone drawn to your mission and your organization.
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.