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By Ryan Ponzurick

Your Nonprofit CRM: A Q&A Guide to Improve Data Management

Your nonprofit’s CRM is a goldmine for important information regarding your nonprofit’s constituents. Without this important software solution, it would be incredibly difficult to keep up with fundraising outreach or to establish an effective engagement strategy for supporters. Despite having access to this important tech solution, have you ever looked at your nonprofit annual report and seen holes in your own fundraising strategies? =&0=& The best way to improve your data management for more strategic fundraising efforts is making the best use of your donor database measurements. You’ll need to know what measurements to keep track of, how to best track them, and how to read this important data. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding data management, all of which can be answered by making better use of your CRM.  

How do I streamline data collection?

Too many nonprofits manually transfer data from one software solution to another. Doing this takes time and energy that could be better spent on efforts more related to that nonprofit’s mission. Throughout this process, they have to choose which pieces of data are important to transfer and which are irrelevant for future efforts. =&1=& Look at the functionality of your CRM to see if you also have access to fundraising and data collection software such as donation pages, surveys, and other tools. Don’t forget that even the best CRM software might not offer these functions, but may integrate with other software solutions that do. Some of the important information you can collect from your CRM or integrated software includes:
  • Online giving information. Your CRM should store details about the gift information when someone donates to your nonprofit. Your CRM should automatically pull and store information from your donation page software about each donor’s gift amount. Then, you’ll have access to the average amounts plus a historical timeline of giving for each of your donors.
  • Matching gift eligibility. Ask donors about their employment on donation or survey forms. When this information is added to your CRM, it’s easy to check matching gift eligibility from a matching gift database.
  • Donor communication metrics. When you can connect to your donors through an email service within your CRM, it’s easy to streamline the flow of important metrics such as open and click-through rate. Plus, you can auto-populate the names and contact information of donors into templates with this feature.
For more features and integrations to look for in your donor database, check out Bloomerang’s guide to find the best nonprofit CRM.

How do I track multiple methods of engagement?

There are so many opportunities for engagement offered to your donors through your nonprofit. They can come to events, donate, post to social media, read your newsletters, visit your website, and more. While you could go through and check each of these metrics individually in your CRM, wouldn’t it be easier if there was a single engagement score that measures all of these things? That’s exactly what Dr. Adrian Sargeant asked himself and why he came up with an algorithm to measure overarching donor engagement for individual donors. =&5=&In Bloomerang’s CRM profiles, this engagement level presents itself as a meter measuring an individual’s level of engagement as “cold,” “warm,” “hot,” and “on fire!” When you have access to the engagement metrics for individual donors, you can more easily: =&6=&major giving=&8=& The donors who are heavily engaged (or “on fire!”) and also have good wealth indicators are likely to be good candidates for major giving in the future. =&9=&=&10=&