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Managing Your Donor Data: 9 Helpful Resources

Jeff Gordy

For this iteration of the Fundraising Strategies & Nonprofit Tech Carnival, the call for submissions was all about managing your donor data.

We were lucky to receive a huge influx of submissions for this carnival, which told us two things:

  1. This is clearly an area of fundraising that the nonprofit community is interested in and invested in talking about.
  2. There were far too many high-quality submissions for us to fit them all in one carnival.

With that said, we ended up narrowing the submissions down to eight articles (plus the original Neon resource that inspired this topic). Each article touches on a different aspect of donor data management, and we hope you come away with some new perspectives on this crucial topic.

The Donor Data Management Carnival

1. Nonprofit Donor Databases: The Effective Buyer’s Guide

This resource helped lead us to the topic of database management in the first place, so it’s only fitting that we kick of the carnival with it.

The guide includes a detailed section designed to teach readers about the ins and outs of nonprofit donor database software, and it follows that section with coverage and tips for choosing fundraising software that fits your nonprofits needs.

2. Small Nonprofits Kicking Butt at Individual Fundraising
by Julia Campbell of J Campbell Social Marketing

Donor data can go beyond understanding the unique actions of supporters on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your donor data to determine how your organization is performing, as well as how your numbers compare to the community on the whole.

This article explores both data recently released on individual donor behavior and what studying this data can tell us about the larger fundraising picture.

3. 3 Extra Steps You Can Take to Protect Donor Data
via the iATS Payments blog

Before you can gather actionable donor data, your supporters need to trust you with their data in the first place. To build that trust, it’s crucial that you not only put systems in place to protect your donor data but also make sure your supporters know you have those systems in place.

This article explores three strategies to safeguard your donor data.

4. Donor Stewardship and Cultivation: Create Lifelong Donors in 10 Steps
via the Qgiv resource library

The minute someone contributes a gift, your organization should be starting to collect to data on that donor and thinking about how to use that data to inform your future cultivation and stewardship.

This resource dives into donor stewardship and cultivation, covering areas of the process where solid data management proves critical.

5. Shifting Towards a Culture of Data-Driven Fundraising
by Matt Gullatta, director of advancement services at Ashland University via the EverTrue blog.

As the nonprofit world moves in a data-driven direction, it is more important than ever for database managers and advancement services teams to encourage the rest of the organization— from the leadership team, to gift officers, to annual giving staff— to buy into the power of data and technology to improve fundraising efforts.

This post explores how to create a culture of data at your organization and how to increase fundraising efficiency through donor data maintenance and analysis.

6. Perfecting Your Prospect Profile Templates
via the DonorSearch blog

How are you tracking the data you collect on prospects? Getting your tracking started as early in the process as possible will help guide your acquisition efforts.

This article offers a prospect profile template you can use as you collect data during the prospecting phase.

7. Two Easy Ways to Make your Donor Data “Actionable”
by Zach Shefska who oversees the Fundraising Report Card division of MarketSmart.

In-depth data analysis, though compelling, often feels out of reach or daunting to small teams that are tight on time and resources.

This post offers two simple and quick solutions that nonprofits can employ to leverage the data in their CRM or database for improved fundraising.

8. How to Turn Your Auction Attendees into Loyal Donors
via the BidPal blog

With supporters acquired through auctions, or really any fundraising events, the first step in keeping them actively engaged is tracking their data from the start.

This article begins by detailing the how and why of gathering and tracking data from your fundraising event participants.

9. 13 Top Mistakes That Nonprofits Make When Choosing a Donor Database
via the Double the Donation blog

Your ability to manage your donor data properly will rely heavily on the capacity of your fundraising software.

This blog post runs through 13 mistakes nonprofits make when selecting their database and explains how to circumvent such problems.


That wraps up this iteration of the Fundraising Strategies & Nonprofit Tech Carnival. You can always learn more by subscribing to the newsletter or reaching out directly to the coordinator, Taylor Gibbs

Showing 4 comments
  • Emma Clark
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    Thank you so much for sharing useful information. Keep sharing your knowledge.

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