Data management is a key component of any business. With 94% of enterprises believing data is essential for business growth, strategic management is the most important way to ensure you’re making the most of your data. This rings true for nonprofit organizations as data can help drive success and mission impact. Plus, with the rise in digitization, nonprofits must take advantage of data optimization to remain flexible, agile, and efficient. Is your nonprofit utilizing data to drive results? If not, or if you think your data processes could use a review, continue reading to learn our top tips for strategic data management.
- Review your data.
We recommend taking stock of your data and optimizing what information you’d like to store. Basic information such as biographical data, donation history, and volunteer information are good places to start. Once you have audited your current data and decided what’s best to keep, you can continue a step further by determining how your data ties into your organization’s mission and goals. This may include reviewing the success of any programs or events, deciding how to reach out to potential donors, developing a communication outreach plan to your community, and staying updated on nonprofit industry trends.
- Determine clear data management practices.
Successful data management involves clear best practices for proper data entry and maintenance. Work with your team to determine who will manage the data, what data storage platform you will use, and what field names you will use. It’s also important to establish a regular data clean-up and maintenance schedule to avoid cluttered or outdated information. The good news is that this process doesn’t need to be entirely manual — the right technology can help automate these processes and save your team valuable time.
- Use the best data management system for your needs.
Once you have established your data management needs, the next best step is to research and find the best CRM to manage your data. Due to the rise in cybercrimes, ensuring your CRM has a strong defense strategy in place is crucial to prevent any data from being compromised. Besides a robust security defense, here are a few other aspects to consider when you are searching for the right CRM:
- Clear donor profiles to allow you to keep track of the information you need most
- Marketing tools to give you the option to customize targeted outreach and engagement
- Reporting tools to track key metrics based on your organization’s goals
- Generosity scores to provide an overview of top donors
- Prospecting tools to see where your opportunities are
- Consider CRM integrations.
When you are searching for the right CRM for your organization, we recommend ensuring your CRM will integrate with other applications, systems, and/or platforms your organization uses regularly. For example, you may be using an email manager to communicate with your donors, volunteers, and community members. If your CRM can integrate with your email manager, you will be able to segment audiences and provide targeted messaging based on certain data criteria. In fact, Omatic notes that integrations “are essential pieces of the data management equation, especially for growing organization that need to scale up their toolboxes. CRM integrations are particularly important for ensuring your data habits stay healthy in the long run.”
- Utilize strategic data reporting to help drive decisions.
With all the time and money you spend on maintaining your data, it’s equally important to use data to your advantage by developing mission-driven goals. Strategic data use can bring many benefits to your organization such as increasing fundraising initiatives, creating stronger communities, and having more of a wide-spread mission impact.
If you’d like to go a step further and partner with a trusted managed IT service provider to assist with your data management, Varsity is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit industry, so we understand exactly what technology you need to help you succeed. Overall, we believe that technology should help drive your success — not hinder it. Data optimization is a continuous adaptation process — we will work together to find the best solution for your organization’s needs. Explore our IT management services or contact us today. We look forward to partnering with you!