How to Use Your Database to Power Your Fundraising - FINZ 2014 Presentation
Section heading hereHow to Use Your Database to
Power Your Fundraising
Senior Marketing & Partnerships Manager
A brief introduction
Blackbaud is leading provider of software and
services to the global not for profit community
29,000 not for profit Customers
Serving 60 Countries
Implement fundraising databases for a variety of NFPs in NZ (eTapestry, The
Raiser’s Edge, Blackbaud CRM)
How database savvy are you?
Remain standing if:
Your organisation uses a fundraising database solution (not Excel, Access etc)
You have a dedicated database manager
You have clear database procedures in place
You have an active data hygiene program
You have an active database training program in place for staff
Your CEO knows where to find and read system reports, and finds these useful
You know your current donor acquisition rates per channel
You know your current donor retention rates per channel (for 12, 24, 36 & 48
You know who your most passionate donors are!
The plan (agenda)
Today we’re going to discuss:
Why your database is so important
How you can setup your database to provide a strong foundation for your
Current trends in fundraising
How you can enable your database to help you measure success
Why focus on your database?
Because it’s one of your biggest fundraising assets!
Your database is your key to building a relationship with your donors
Successful not for profits are data-driven
You can use your data to create actionable insights
Your data will tell you what’s working and what’s not
You can use your database to track ROI
Enables sophisticated segmentation (RFM)
You can create workflows, simplify administration and automate some tasks
What are the consequences of a
badly maintained database?
You will lose donors & dollars!
• incomplete addressDirect Mail
• no email addressElectronic Direct Mail
• lack of contact detailsMajor Gifts
• no birthdateBequests
• incorrect deadlinesTrusts & Foundations
• no contact nameCorporate Partnerships
3 pinnacles of a powerful
• No duplicate records
• No missing
• Similar information
• Good code tables
• Schedule of
• Error-free output
• Easily generates
• Essential data
• Needs little
• Helps everyone do
8 tips to creating a truly powerful
1. Choose the right system for your needs
2. Designate ownership
3. Confirm security & disaster recovery procedures
4. Keep your data clean
5. Engage & train your whole team
6. Confirm data entry policies & procedures
7. Ensure your reports are relevant & accurate
8. Consider the data you really need
1. Select the right database
• Compile list of expectations
• Be as specific as possible
• Prioritise requirements
• Consider any existing systems you have in place
• Set a realistic time frame
• Consider implementation time
• Understand the project complexity
• Have a clear project deadline
• Establish a clear budget
• Consider hardware, conversion, training, maintenance and support
2. Own It
You need a Database Manager to:
Assist your organisation’s database users with support questions
Conduct regular user group meetings with key users
Produce weekly, monthly, quarterly, and any other necessary reports for
Maintain the structure of attributes, business rules and all other structural
Maintain data integrity by establishing regular system checks
Handle global changes, importing, and other global database functions
Maintain and update the policy and procedures guide
3. Confirm security & disaster
Ensure that your database is secure and that you
have a disaster recovery plan:
Should every staff member/volunteer/board member be able to access
Backup, backup, backup!
Ensure your processes are agreed and documented
Protect your data and ensure your organisation’s future
4. Keep your data clean
Garbage in, garbage out!
Ensure top down support
Deal with areas/issues identified
Begin data cleansing
Ask for help
5. Your whole team needs to be
engaged & trained
6. Create clear processes and
Continually check your procedures and ensure:
Data accuracy from all sources
Efficient input of data
Effective input of data
CEE (confirm, edit and enhance!)
That you have a documented, detailed
policies and procedures manual that is up-to-date!
7. Effective and accurate
Have relevant been dashboards enabled per user?
Is all data captured and kept relevant for data analysis?
Is all of the relevant data being looked at? Reported on?
Do you need different reports?
Do you need different data?
8. How ‘big’ is your data?
Ensure that you effectively capture the data you
need to drive your fundraising activities:
Insight vs. information
How much ‘rich’ data do you need?
Be aware of privacy laws governing data collection
Don’t get overwhelmed – take it one step at a time!
Time to network!
Take 5 minutes and discuss with the person next to
What your current database setup is
What do you well with your database currently?
How could improve your database usage?
Current fundraising trends
What’s happening in fundraising right now?
Increasing global focus on donor value through upgrading and acquisition of
donors with a higher long-term value (donor conversion)
Integrated channel approach (source diversification)
Search for new channels
Growing awareness of retention challenges
Source: DonorCentrics Benchmarking
Focus on donor long-term value
Key aims to:
Upgrade existing donors
Acquire donors with high term value
Spend less time on donors that are low value
Monitor donor value with your
How is your organisation performing?
How many donors do you have?
What is the average value per donor?
What’s your (new) donor conversion rate?
What is your conversion rate across subsequent years?
Which ‘groups’ of donors convert better?
Which channels convert better?
Which donors are low value for your organisation?
Which groups of low value donors can you drop in favour of investing more value in high
value conversions? What’s your capacity?
Vital to successful fundraising as provides:
Flexibility (changes in market circumstances)
Stability (ability to shift investments quickly, easily with predictable outcome)
Increased performance (able to adjust channels to alter growth & return)
Enhanced exposure to existing and potential donors
Source diversification & your
Have you enabled a variety of ways for donors to give?
Do you have a clear idea of which donors are coming through which sources?
How frequently do you report on source success?
Use source success to drive investment decisions
Search for new fundraising
There is no silver bullet, but channels of interest
Responsive TV (future)
Helping the search
Need to ensure that continue to invest in legacy
programs while exploring new options:
Ensure that you track the source & channel of all donations
Continue to look for trends in your data
Keep some funds for innovation
Collaborate, network & share ideas!
Finding new donors is hard, but retaining
them is even harder!
Cost to acquire a new donor is 6-7 times that to retain an existing donors
Top 18 charities had a massive 1% change in the number of donors on file
2011 - 2012. They lost 28% and gained 29%!
We estimate they spent over $60m to basically stand still.
A 10% increase in donor retention can increase the lifetime value of the donor
database by up to 200% .
Adrian Sargeant, Ph.D. from Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy
Charity CCharity A
Donor retention & your database
What’s a not for profit to do?
Establish a fanatical relationship management culture
Become donor-centric versus campaign-centric
Treat your donors as your most valuable asset
Monitor your first-year donor retention, multi-year donor retention, retention per
channel, donor reactivation, total donor file size, total revenue and revenue per
Thank, thank and thank again!
Stop the leaky bucket
Monetise your data
What happens when someone tells you they love
Monetise daily interactions by scoring 1 – 5 (love variable)
Incentivise the staff recording this data
Align those that love you with those that have the resources to give (or are
giving) and concentrate on these
Create ‘hurdles’ and track the results
Let your data save you time and money by
Thank you emails
Donor nurturing processes
Regular gift processing
Touch points with lapsed donors
Any recurring processes!
Fundraising & your database
Use your database to:
Record your supporters actions in an easily usable format
Ensure that you have a multi-channel fundraising approach
Focus on key retention metrics and execute best practice retention approaches
Ensure you treat your donors as your most valuable asset
Enable your data to assist you in making investment decision and track results
Contrast your results against industry benchmarks
Break into pairs and answer the following
Did you learn anything new today? What was it?
Which 3 changes will you make to your database when you get back to the
How will you continue to educate your colleagues on the importance of your
data & database on an ongoing basis?
• Fundraising Database Management Training:
• Blackbaud Database Health Check
• Blackbaud Database Review
• Blackbaud Data Hygiene Services