Using Data To Empower Your Nonprofit


Technology continues to change and evolve. In turn, it’s changing how businesses of all sizes and industries — especially nonprofits — interact with the world. Whether it’s through social media or virtual volunteering, nonprofits are uniquely positioned to utilize technology to increase their mission impact. While technology may be more challenging to implement for nonprofits due to budget constraints and traditional operational procedures, now is the time to think differently and utilize technology to your nonprofit’s advantage. Varsity can help assess if you’re maximizing on using data to empower your nonprofit.

Interestingly, a report from First Republic Bank found that 90% of nonprofits collect data, but 50% aren’t sure how it can support their work. We’re here to change that. With a strong technology strategy in place and a trusted IT partner like Varsity by your side, you can use data to empower your nonprofit and drive important decisions. Continue reading to see our recommendations for using data to your advantage.

Why Is Data Important?

Before we share how your nonprofit can use data, let’s first discuss why data analytics is important. According to Biz Tech Magazine, “organizations must leverage existing donor information to understand individual giving habits, maximize market messaging and encourage consistent patron contributions… [Additionally], understanding why analysis matters, how it benefits your bottom line and what a successful data strategy looks like could help your nonprofit survive.” As nonprofits continue to adopt a more hybrid business approach, data management and analytics becomes critical to make donations easier, manage current donor information, and expand donor outreach, among other processes.

Keep Your Data Mission-Centric

To get to the point of using data to empower your nonprofit, it’s important to start with a review of your goals, outcomes, and critical activities as they relate to your overall mission. Then, you can review a variety of key performance metrics in the following areas: Administration and Operations, Finances, Fundraising and Marketing, and Programs. An overall view of your organization’s metrics can provide clearer insights as you dig into the data. This strategy centers data around your mission and keeps everyone on the same page.

Customize The Donor Experience

It’s a misconception that nonprofits don’t have enough time to focus on data. In reality, nonprofits can save time by tracking data. By keeping track of every interaction, you will have more insight into your donors and fundraising process. You can use that data to tweak your fundraising process to fit your audience’s likes and needs. This allows you to integrate more personalization into the donor experience.

Increase Efficiency

Data allows you to track successes and failures within your organization. You can see where things are going well and where improvements can be made — whether that’s through automating administrative tasks or altering a fundraising event. By increasing efficiency amongst your team and your organization, you’ll build greater morale among your team members, which translates to greater trust and confidence among the public, stakeholders, and donors.

Improve Services and Connect

The analytics that come with your social media channels, website, and email are all helpful tools to improve your services and connect with your community. This data allows you to see how to best engage with your audience, how to improve your programs and services, and how to increase mission awareness. By utilizing multiple communication channels, you will be able to “make more informed decisions on the best ways to spend your money and identify the most worthwhile donors to target,” as noted in this Chicago Tribune article on nonprofits and technology.

Support Your Data With Varsity’s IT Services

If you’re looking for a hand when it comes to using data to empower your nonprofit, look to Varsity for support. Not only are we IT experts, we are also the go-to IT team for nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond. Our goal is to energize nonprofits and free them from the constraints, costs, and inconsistencies of an in-house IT department. Above all, we want to keep nonprofits focused on their mission, rather than their IT issues.

We have a range of services that can support a variety of needs and budgets. Contact us today to see how we can customize an IT strategy to support your organization. We look forward to working with you!