How To Use Your Donor Database To Strengthen Relationships
The following is a guest post from Dan Kimball, a Product Specialist at Aplos.
For nonprofit executives, fundraisers, and staff, updating and maintaining your nonprofit donor database can be a challenge, especially when trying to balance all the other responsibilities of running a nonprofit. Regardless of the system your organization is using, you can use a donor database as a donor management tool to effectively improve your fundraising efforts.
What Is A Donor Database?
The basic functions of a donor database include adding and tracking donations and managing donor information. Your database is the central hub for all of your information on donors and potential donors. This includes everything from their contact information and giving history to their interests and involvement with the organization.
By getting more information and learning as much as you can about your donors, you can build a more complete picture and giving pattern. Essentially, building a donor DNA is the idea of learning as much as you can about how and why your donors and potential donors are involved in your organization.
What’s The Benefit Of A Donor Database?
A donor database helps you can track of key information about your contacts. Ultimately, this information helps you build relationships with your donors. Few nonprofits spend enough time or effort developing relationships with their prospects and donors. Successful fundraising requires fostering strong, meaningful ties with those who believe in your mission. The act of giving is a natural outcome of relationship building; meaningful gifts rarely come from strangers. People are more inclined to give and continue giving when they feel closer to your organization.
That’s why the more information you have about your donors and their giving patterns, the more opportunity there is to build stronger and more meaningful relationships. Additional information might include birthdays or anniversaries, name(s) of spouse or children, communication preferences, work information, passion projects within the organization, why or how they give, and even their donation giving patterns. This kind of information will help you know and understand your donors better.
Using Data To Connect With Your Donors
Gathering genuine knowledge of your prospects and donors provides insight into how to interact with them more authentically and effectively. Most donors are either tied to a nonprofit or have logical reasons to give. It’s your job to discover what these links or reasons are and appeal to them. Look at their interests, their giving potential, and their history with your organization. Find out what they are able to offer and why they are – or might be – interested in your cause. Since a wider variety of people are participating in philanthropy than ever before, organizations must take them and their interests into account and adjust their fundraising strategies accordingly.
By taking the time to build up your donor DNA by inputting as much information as you can about your donors in your database, you are going to help strengthen your relationships, raise more money, and better balance and manage your time as a busy nonprofit professional.
Though some nonprofits simply use spreadsheets for their donor database, consider the benefits of a donor management platform to help you save time, build better relationships with your donors, and ultimately raise more funds.