Want a CoP? Hug Your DBA.

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We’ve been stressing the importance of organizations creating a Culture of Philanthropy (CoP). (We’ve also talked about it here, here, and here. 😊)

But one area we haven’t focused on so much? The importance of your data, database, and DBA (database administrator) in supporting your organization’s Culture of Philanthropy.

Is your database helping with this goal? Here are just a few ways your database can support you:
  • Do you track donor’s interests and passions?
  • Have you established (and tracked!) an individual plan especially for your larger donors (and all major donors)?
  • Are your salutations/nicknames correct in your database? Don’t make any “own goals” in your communications with donors and prospects by not adhering to their requests for how they want to be listed or by using an incorrect nickname.
  • Do you use your database to track communications and ‘touches’ throughout the year? Everyone who is part of the development effort should be recording what happened at each contact and what was discovered about the donor during that time.
  • Can program staff enter complaints (and congratulations?) into your donor database so development teams aren’t blindsided during a thank you call or camp visit with a donor?
  • Can your receptionist look up a caller’s giving history while on the phone so they can thank them if they are a donor?
  • Are you able to pull useful reports from your database on retention, recent touchpoints, and other data to guide your activities?
Are you working to develop a Culture of Philanthropy at your camp? Great! Just don’t forget about your database (and anyone who helps care for it). Invest the time needed to keep the data up to date and in processes that will ensure everyone on your team helps you to “know your donors.”

Bottom Line: Your database and other structures can help your whole team “know your donors” and engage them as investors. To build a culture of philanthropy, you need all three working together: structures, attitudes, and behaviors.

Written by Kevin Martone. Kevin is the Technology Program Manager with JCamp 180. His focus area is in applying technology (database management, communications) to support fundraising and outreach efforts. Kevin leads JTEC (JCamp 180 Training in Effective Communications) and co-leads Data2Donors, a program to help camps prioritize their database for improved Alumni outreach and fundraising.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at