Nothing seems more mundane than discussing a donor database. It is, however, a discussion that more clients are having as they realize the value of quality data in their search for funding.
Really, what is the purpose of a donor database? It keeps track of your donors and what they have donated. It provides a spot for notes and relationships; and it records receipts and gifts designated to specific areas. Okay, this all sounds good but is just being good, good enough or is good really complete. These are the questions we helped answered for a client who wanted to take their donor database to the next level.
The client is a progressive charity that supports a vulnerable sector within our city. They have recently expanded their services. Their funding comes from private individuals, companies, service clubs, associations and foundations. Government does not fund them.
The renewed interest in the management of their donor data was two fold. First was the issue of acquiring more dollars to support their programs; the second issue dealt with better use of staff time as some tasks seemed to take far more time than one would deem reasonable. This takes time away from more productive activities and can impact on morale and some other periphery issues that they wanted to alleviate.
A key factor that motivated this renewal was their management team. They had the perfect storm in a positive way. They had a group of managers who were all on the same page, keen to make improvements and willing to put in the effort to make change happen.
This situation was a consultant’s dream. No deadwood, speed bumps or road blocks to deal with, just a group of individuals open, interested and ready to commit to working smarter not harder in the pursuit of their common goals.
More and more, we see clients who come forward to make a strategic change in how they view and manage the use of their donor database. They need to take data from a keyboarding input task to a fund development level. At a fund development level there are many more things that can be done at the point of entry of any piece of information that makes it useful now and valuable in the future. Data is no longer one dimensional but multi-dimensional relative to its use as an entrepreneurial resource and a source of intelligence.
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