Preparing Data for Effective Output

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In our March presentation, Output is Everything! we discussed the various types of output nonprofits typically require and the levels of detail required to get the right output to the right people at …

In our March presentation, Output is Everything! we discussed the various types of output nonprofits typically require and the levels of detail required to get the right output to the right people at the right time.

This follow-up session will focus on entering the data effectively to generate the output.
Takeaways:

A list of dos and don’ts for data entry staff
Tips for getting the most from your fundraising software
Data maintenance to keep things clean

More in: Technology , Business
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  • 1. Preparing Data for Effective Output Cheri Weissman April 16, 2013A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 2. Protecting and Preserving the www.cjwconsulting.com Institutional Memories of Nonprofits Since 1993 (866) 598-0430 info@cjwconsulting.comA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 3. Affordable collaborative data management in the cloud.A Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 4. Today’s Speaker & Host Cheri Weissman President CJW Consulting & Services, Inc.Assisting with chat questions:Jamie Maloney, Nonprofit WebinarsA Service Of: Sponsored by:
  • 5. Presented by Cheri WeissmanCJW Consulting & Services, Inc. 8331 Central Ave. Morton Grove, IL 60053 866/598-0430 cheri@cjwconsulting.com
  • 6.  When it comes right down to it, the only thing that really matters when working with fundraising software is OUTPUT.  Reports have to be reliable and understood  Solicitations and invitations have to be sent to the right people  Giving has to reflect what people are giving to and what prompted them to give  Volunteers have to be appropriately recognized and acknowledged
  • 7.  BREAK IT DOWN!  ALWAYS consider output before you input data!  Don’t enter data unless you know it is RELIABLE  Don’t try to make one area of data do more than it can do  Visualize information and focus on splitting information into natural categories  Document standards and maintain them
  • 8.  Consistency is key!  Avoid using one field for multiple purposes  Avoid redundancies  Avoid user-defined fields if possible  Create internal policies for key data points  Clearly define terms/expectations  Document data entry standard  Keep tables clean and lean
  • 9.  Name Example  My full name is Cheryl J. Weissman  If you want to be able to use my first name when writing to me, the first name field must contain Cheryl and nothing else  If you want to address me as Ms. Weissman, a Prefix or Title field must be populated accurately  If you record my first name as Cheryl J., that’s what is going to go on the letter  But wait! Do I have a nickname? Yes, I go by Cheri  Do I have a spouse? Yes, his name is Larry D. Muffett.  The same issues apply to Larry as they do to me.  How do you address both of us?
  • 10.  Name fields available?  First Name  Middle Name  Last Name  Suffix  Prefix (or Title)  Nickname  Maiden Name  Addressee  Salutation
  • 11.  Addresses  Standards are needed here  All addresses should be entered using the same standards  One address line or multiple?  Are you using directional abbreviations (N., S., etc.) or spelling them out?  Are you using abbreviations for various street types? (St., Ave., Blvd., etc.) Phone Numbers  All phone numbers should have a consistent format Email Addresses  Double check to ensure that you have not mistyped or used the wrong extension (.com instead of .org, for example) To Whom Do You Mail  Just me?  Just Larry?  Both of us?
  • 12.  Where has the donor designated that the money should go? (fund or account)  General operating or Annual can be used if the donor does not specify a designation What prompted the donor to make this gift (appeal)  What did you send out that moved them to give? If you want to group your gifts by designation or appeal, you will need an additional code Beyond this, what about:  Which thank you letter will you send?  How did they pay (check, credit card, etc.)  Other gift info (payroll deduction, United Way, CFC, etc.)  How much detail will you need to effectively steward your donors?
  • 13.  Contact records/Actions/Activity  If your software has a capability like this, you’re likely ahead of the game  If not, you may need external documents Relationships  If you want to track the ways that people are connected to one another, you need enough detail so that the relationships can be used.  If you see the name Ellen Weissman as a relationship on my record, with no other information, the name itself is useless to you
  • 14.  Board Members  Most organizations create a Board Roster, showing their home and business contact information, dates of service, perhaps the name of an assistant, etc. Staff  If you want staff to give, you will need lists of current and former staff and update your records on a regular basis. Volunteers  If you want to ask volunteers to give, you will need to know which volunteers are current, which came for a day and were never seen again, etc.
  • 15.  Board Members  Name info  Business Address/phone/email/assistant  Home Address/phone/email  Board term Staff  Name info  Position/Department  Office email  Start and/or end dates Volunteers  If you want to ask volunteers to give, you will need to know which volunteers are current, which came for a day and were never seen again, etc.
  • 16.  Business Information  Do you have people in your database who own or are positioned highly in their business?  Linking the business information to the person can help you reach out to either or both Education History  If you are working at an educational institution, education history is going to matter, particularly as it relates to your institution  Grad year  Major  Activities/interests while attending
  • 17.  Special Events  Who’s coming?  Who’s sitting with whom?  What’s everybody eating?  Who’s sponsoring whom?  Who’s bringing guests?  Who’s speaking at the event?  Who’s paid?  Who still owes?
  • 18.  Depends on the capabilities of your software  Work with the software’s features  Store data in ways that will allow you to get the output you need  This requires a knowledge of WHERE and HOW data is stored in your application  Store data outside of your application only when absolutely necessary  If data is maintained outside of application, be sure that there is some kind of link between data sets  A common ID number used to link data from different sources is mandatory
  • 19.  Consistency is key!  Avoid using one field for multiple purposes  Avoid redundancies  Avoid user-defined fields if possible  Create internal policies for key data points  Clearly define terms/expectations  Document data entry standard  Keep tables clean and lean
  • 20.  Create manual/external tracking mechanisms that lend themselves to effective data entry  Call reports  Research forms Create a clear method for turning information into data  Staff responsibilities  Oversight  Documentation
  • 21.  Regular Data Entry Reviews by staff person Ongoing Data Entry Training Documentation Review Of System Tables Regular Reporting Schedules
  • 22.  Contact me!  Cheri Weissman  866/598-0430  cheri@cjwconsulting.com
  • 23. Find listings for our current season of webinars and register at: NonprofitWebinars.comA Service Of: Sponsored by: