Does your Donor Database Support Your Work?

by Kevin Martone, JCamp 180 Technology Program Manager

If you wanted to send a year-end letter to all of your LYBUNTS (donors who gave to your organization last year, but haven't given this year yet), could you do it? (FYI…you should!) What percentage of your living alumni would receive an email devoted to reconnecting with alumni? 100%? 50%? 25%? Can you easily find out the latest contact your organization had with your top 25 major gift prospects?

Your fundraising efforts should be supported - not hindered - by your donor database. But many organizations struggle with incomplete, aged, or simply incorrect data. How can camps ensure their database is ready to help their development work?

This article from Veritus Group shares five things that every organization should strive for when it comes to their donor database:

  1. In-house knowledge of your database
  2. Clean data
  3. The ability to track all moves with donors
  4. Up-to-date information
  5. Easy-to-produce reports that are meaningful to you.

Are these five goals currently attainable at your camp? If not, read the article and get started. Prioritize your database - work on your database now will pay off with future fundraising success.

Not sure where to start? The book from our former professional development program called Data2Donors provides very detailed steps for making your data more complete (adding in long-lost alumni and ensuring all donors and prospects are in the database); cleaning your data to make it as useful as possible; and updating the data so that contact information is current and you can continue to cultivate and steward your prospects and donors.

Your donor database needs attention now and forever. Make it a priority to review what your database can do for your organization…and what you can do to make it as effective as possible.