Put Your Data to Work: The Power of Data Integration

KindfulApril 18, 2016

Put Your Data to Work: The Power of Data Integration header image

If you’re following along from our previous post, you’ll know we’re talking about how nonprofits can make the most of their data. We’re also interested in new sources of data, many of which your organization will already have at its disposal. A nonprofit’s data is its map to future success, but without knowing how to read that map, it will be of little use to you. Let’s jump right back into it with a few more common problems (and solutions) when it comes to putting your data to work.

Problem: Your Data is Decentralized.

This is a problem Kindful hears about a lot from our customers. Back in the days of yore, before software companies made products specifically for data collection, nonprofit bookkeepers and treasurers had to do their best with an amalgam of paper records and primitive digital tools. Fortunately, as time marches on, advancing technologies and new platforms have made it increasingly easy for nonprofits to collect the data they need from all the tools they use. Now, the problem is that all that data is siloed, living in a dozen different places and not making it any easier to see the full picture of your donors. With no true “all in one” data management solution all your information is spread out: a spreadsheet here, a filing cabinet there, an old piece of software running on Windows 2000.

When data is decentralized like this, things fall through the cracks. Opportunities are overlooked and important information is lost and forgotten. Even in the best case, you still spend way too much time bouncing between a bunch of different platforms – an email subscriber list here, an event attendee list there, and a donor engagement report someplace else. That’s where data integration comes in. Comprehensive nonprofit CRM solutions like Kindful create a single hub for all your online fundraising efforts, email marketing campaigns, and donation history. Then, you can see everything you need to know in one place and pull reports from the full picture of your data. If you’re wondering how to get your data all in one place, start with our handy data audit and figure out where it is in the first place!

Problem: You Don’t Have the Knowledge and Experience (Yet).

One of the main reasons nonprofits don’t get the most out of their data is simply because they don’t quite know how. At Kindful, we work hard to make your data easier to understand, but the truth remains: data will always be complex! It takes dedicated time to figure this stuff out and we know that busy organizations don’t always have that luxury when you’re trying to do a million things at once!

As counterintuitive as it may sound, spending time and money to make sense of your data and get it all in one place will actually make your organization more effective and productive. Whether you hire one person to stay dedicated to your CRM system or train everyone on your staff in the basics, we promise that an investment in data management and best practices will pay off! Just think about how much time you’ll save pulling reports for Board Members or researching historical giving trends for a future fundraising campaign. In short, learning about data is a task that pays for itself.

More Problems and Solutions to Come!

Still looking for answers to all your data questions? We’ve got one more post coming and are always looking for ways to help you understand the best practices when it comes to data integration, donor management, and online fundraising. Subscribe to our blog so you never miss a post… and leave us a comment below with your additional questions!

Schedule a live demo with our partner Bloomerang, and we’ll show you how easy it is to create and automate reports, utilize online and offline fundraising tools, quickly integrate and access all your data, and ultimately create more time to engage your donors.

Filed Under:   Donor Management