Picture two nonprofits. The first has a donor database that is full of bad information. Donors are getting the wrong receipts or no receipts at all. The organization cannot use the database to plan their fundraising strategies or track their effectiveness. The few reports they can get are useless. Staff members complain that no one trained them, and they get no technical support. For obvious reasons, they hate the system.
The second organization loves its database. The data is clean. Donors get timely, accurate mailings. The organization has a good handle on its fundraising activities, and staff members get the reports they want. New personnel are trained on the database before they ever log in. And, someone on staff helps them resolve any problems and questions that come up.
Both nonprofits are using the same software package.
How can this be? Perhaps the first organization has outgrown its old system. But it is quite likely that the organization never had the right software to begin with used it incorrectly. They made a series of bad decisions and have been struggling with them ever since.
Selecting and managing a donor database is never easy, but if you avoid the mistakes on this list, you can start out on the right foot.
Read about the 10 Mistakes here.
This article is from NPT Instant Fundraising, a publication of The NonProfit Times.