Inheriting Confusion in Fundraising: Strategies to Cope with Database Cleanup

Connection Cafe

Here are some of the coping strategies I’ve used during a database cleanup : Don’t purge files too soon , but go through them and put the contents in date order and dispose of any obvious duplicates (if needed). Nonprofit Management database clean-up donor database inherited files

Spring Cleaning Your Database

Connection Cafe

Bad data is bad business, and there’s a cost to it: Inaccurate reporting, … Technology Cleanup data DBA Maintenance Training

Reigning in shadow databases

Robert Weiner

The following story, posted with permission, was sent to the FUNDSVCS list in response to a question about how to reign in schools and departments at a university that keep their own shadow databases of contacts. The response hit the nail on the head: We started working on folding shadow databases into (Raiser''s Edge, our central database) about 8 years ago. I have a story that we have used quite often: A few years ago, we imported a shadow database into Raiser''s Edge.

6 Qualities A Nonprofit Database Management System Should Have


Nonprofits use databases to handle volunteers, donors, staff, and more. For smaller nonprofits, a database may be nothing more than an Excel file. Medium to large nonprofits might have an IT staff and a simple database, designed by the in-house development team.

4 Tips For Maintaining Your Nonprofit’s Databases


Database are extremely useful in simplifying business operations, communication, and workflow for both the for-profit sector and nonprofit sector. Nonprofits and charities use databases to manage donor, volunteer, and B2B profiles and aggregate data. Image courtesy of WiseGeek.

Finding the Usual Suspects in your Database

Connection Cafe

In my last blog I talked about a segment of your audience that could use a bit more love: non-donors, prospects, casual observers—the usual suspects. Call them what you will, but these are the people that expressed interest in your organization and mission and are waiting to hear more.

Foundation Center - Nonprofit Collaboration Database

AFP Blog

Foundation Center - Nonprofit Collaboration Database

Training on your new database

Robert Weiner

A question was posted to a listserve for nonprofit techies looking for tips on training staff on a new database. The trainer needs to understand the database, present technical concepts clearly and without jargon, teach at the students' level, and be incredibly patient. Train end users on a sample database, not production data. The sample database should be configured with your own codes, menus, security settings, and any customizations.

ROI for a donor database

Robert Weiner

Here's how I responded: I’ve yet to see a published report that provided a convincing general argument that [insert any nonprofit name here] will raise more money by using [insert database name here]. The cost of fundraisers refusing to use the current database because it’s not user-friendly, so their pipeline and contact history is in their heads, in spreadsheets or paper files, or has to be entered by an assistant (though you can put a cost on the last one).

Chosing a donor database

Robert Weiner

I get a lot of emails like the following from small nonprofits: We desperately need to get a new donor database and most of them are totally unaffordable!! Looking at the Idealware Low Cost Database report , I find that there are so many considerations that it is quite complicated to make a choice. The only way I know of to answer your question is to go through these steps: Write down what you need in a database, in as much detail as you can.

Major Database Layer Upgrade


We are very pleased to announce that we completed a successful and significant upgrade of our core database systems last night. While not as flashy as some of our feature upgrades for users, this is the kind of infrastructure upgrade that sustains VisionLink and our customers over time.

Maybe It’s Not Your Database, It’s You

Robert Weiner

I'm working on an article with the title, "Maybe It's Not Your Database, It's You." The premise is that complaints about an organization's database may be misdirected: the problem is how the system is being managed (aka management problems disguised as technology problems).

How To Find Effective Database Solutions for Social Services Organizations


Though database technology may not be anyone's first thought related the the human services field, experienced staff of these organizations know just how important these tools are, allowing them to work more efficiently, saving time and money, and maximizing the impact of their work at every level.

Spring Cleaning Your Database, Part 2

Connection Cafe

If you haven’t already, take a look at my Spring Cleaning Your Database article from this time last year. Take the time to check your database backups and review your disaster recovery plans. Other thoughts on optimizing your database?

When does a small nonprofit need a database? | CoolData blog

AFP Blog

When does a small nonprofit need a database? CoolData blog : "When should an organization acquire some kind of database system or CRM? Any organization, no matter how small, has to track activity and record information for operational purposes. This may be especially true for nonprofits that need to report on the impact they’re having in the community. I usually think in terms of tracking donors, but nonprofits may have an additional need to track clients and services." 'via

Thinking about a donor database selection workshop

Robert Weiner

I'm planning a new workshop on selecting donor databases, focusing on the question, "Why is this so friggin' complicated?" It needs to be easy to get reports from the database, but it also needs to support complex selection criteria.

Data on Databases


Databases are the technology that nonprofits love to hate. Some people wish their database had more options, some wish it were simpler, and some just wish they could get the same results from a query twice in a row. If you’re unsure about your current database, you aren’t alone.

Charity Commission to join national fraud database

AFP Blog

Charity Commission to join national fraud database : The Charity Commission is to become a member of Cifas, the national fraud database, so it can develop a risk fraud profile of the charity sector and provide a means of checking trustees for linkage to fraud and rights to remain in the UK.

Finding the Right Donor Database for Your Nonprofit (Updated)

NonProfit Hub

To make it easy for you to navigate this article, we’ve broken our discussion into three helpful sections: Donor Databases for Small Nonprofits. Donor Databases for Medium-Sized Nonprofits. Donor Databases for Large Nonprofits. Donor Databases for Small Nonprofits.

How To Find the Right Database For Social Justice and Advocacy Nonprofits


Here are a few examples of how different departments can save time and increase their impact by using a unified database. For nonprofits doing political advocacy and social justice work, having solid data management practices can sometimes be an afterthought.

On the value of donor database ratings

Robert Weiner

Donor Databases Nonprofit Management Nonprofit Technology SoftwareA colleague forwarded the following email from a vendor and asked how I think a potential buyer should respond. I've redacted the message to anonymize the vendor: Dear _, I thought you might be interested in a recent analysis of low cost fundraising software, conducted jointly by independent organizations Idealware and N-TEN.

Three Crucial Elements of Donor Database Tools

NonProfit Hub

I get asked the question often, “What should we look for in donor database tools?” All good donor database tools worth your time and money will include: 1. I believe there are three crucial elements that you need. A dashboard. This allows you to see how things are going at a glance.

Donor Databases Aren't One-Size-Fits-All; Here's How to Find the Best Fit


Shopping for a donor database is a complicated process, which is made even more difficult when it is hard to find information about a software's compatibility with your organization's unique mission and needs. That's why we've put together a collection of guides to the process of evaluating and selecting database tools, customized for several types of organizations that we commonly work with.

More Defunct Donor Databases

Robert Weiner

The good folks at Aspiration have been working to put my list of donor databases into a wiki. Along the way the identified some that seem to have disappeared and weren't on my earlier list of defunct donor databases. Giving Database from Willow Mountain Consulting. Tags: Donor Databases Here are the new entries: Association Management System from Micro Solutions. Donation Management System from Cumulus 9. DonorAccess from DonorAccess.

What’s a good donor database?

Robert Weiner

I've been enjoying the discussion in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's LinkedIn group in response to the question, " What's a good, affordable donor database program for a small non profit? " (you'll probably need to join the group to read the responses). Advancement Services Donor Databases Fundraising Nonprofit Technology

Who are the people in your database?

Connection Cafe

At the end of last year, I spent a good deal of time analyzing our database (yes, my inner geek is showing) and asking the big questions: where do I need to make an investment? The reason marketers start here is the same reason a nonprofit should – making a connection to the real people in your database. Author: Jennifer Atkins.

3 Reasons Why Your Donor Database Data Went Bad

NonProfit Hub

We see this happen often within donor databases and nonprofit CRMs. A clutter-free and efficient migration of data into your new database is a great start, but all of that hard work will be for naught if that environment is not kept intact going forward.

The One: 5 Benefits of Committing to a Single, Centralized Database - Target Marketing

AFP Blog

The One: 5 Benefits of Committing to a Single, Centralized Database - Target Marketing : 'via Blog this

Defunct Donor Databases

Robert Weiner

The flip side to my list of donor databases would be a list of systems that no longer exist. Tags: Donor Databases Fundraising Advancement Services This does not mean that these systems are no longer in use, just that they’re no longer being sold or supported (I recently met someone who still uses FundMaster, which hasn’t been sold since at least 1999). This probably isn’t as useful a list, but it’s short so here goes: SYSTEM. VENDOR. Alchemy.

The 6 Scariest Monsters Nonprofit Fundraisers Are Facing This Halloween

The Science Behind Engaging your Supporters

One of the easiest ways to retain donors is to automate communications to them, so that your database can do the work of identifying which donors should be reached out to and what messaging they need to hear.

Spam 84

DonorSearch’s Charitable Giving Database

Donor Search

The strongest indicator of future giving is past giving. Curious how we know? We know past giving’s role in predicting future giving because we have back tested our predictive models against $5 billion in known giving. That $5 billion came from 2 million donors to 400 fundraising organizations. Look at these statistics: A donor who… About DonorSearch Data and Statistics DonorSearch Products Education

3 Reasons Why Your Donor Database Should Be Used By Multiple Employees

NonProfit Hub

Unfortunately, the day-to-day work of managing fundraising efforts often falls to one person who is the sole user of the donor database or CRM software. Here are three reasons why everyone in your organization should have their hands in the donor database regularly: 1.

3 Ways to Ruin Your Donor Database Before Entering Any Data

NonProfit Hub

Any fundraiser who has ever used a donor database knows what a nightmare it can be if their nonprofit’s donor data is messy, inconsistent, inaccessible or nonexistent. But a donor database doesn’t just go bad on its own, and no system is immune from neglect or over-indulgence.

Dirty data be gone! Five tips to spring-clean your database - Information, research and resources for fundraisers and their leaders

AFP Blog

Five tips to spring-clean your database - Information, research and resources for fundraisers and their leaders : "What about your database? Dirty data be gone! When was the last time you conducted some spring cleaning on your donor data so that data pulls, analysis and reporting didn’t require extra manual manipulation?

Growth in Giving Database Offers Behavior Analysis

Donor Search

Fundraising is all about donors. That seems obvious. And yet, for the longest time executives at charities and the fundraising profession didn’t have basic information about some of the most obvious and fundamental aspects of fundraising. How well do we retain donors?

Why We Chose Double the Donation’s Matching Gift Database

Donor Search

We knew that we wanted to include a matching gift database in our platform, but we also knew that we had to be absolutely sure that we chose the right provider before creating an integration. At DonorSearch, we take our technical integration partners very seriously. Like every other product decision we’ve made, we wanted to… About DonorSearch Nonprofit Software

Is your Database Costing you Crucial Donations?


This is why the database you use is really vital to enabling you to effectively appeal to your various segments. Your database could be a goldmine of data just waiting to be put to the test. Also consider what historical and transactional information you need to bring over from Common Ground to your new database. Evaluating your current data and determining key criteria for a new database will help you ask the right “data” questions when you are shopping around.

Wes Trochlil’s Top 5 Tips on Effective Database Management

Wild Apricot Blog

Database expert and consultant, Wes Trochlil, gives us a quick run-down of his top 5 database management tips and speaks about his upcoming Wild Apricot Free Expert Webinar. database management

Editable List of Donor Databases

Robert Weiner

The good folks at Asipration have taken my list of donor databases and put it into the Social Source Commons wiki. What's more, they added descriptions, logos, and links to the vendors' sites. Very cool! You can go directly to the list at [link] or preview it below

Data Deduping Tips for a Tidy Database

John Haydon

I’m no database expert, and I’m not going to claim to be one. The post Data Deduping Tips for a Tidy Database appeared first on John Haydon. Big data actually sort of makes my head hurt.

New database will show how charity money is spent | Philanthropy Impact

AFP Blog

New database will show how charity money is spent | Philanthropy Impact : The database will consist of information from the annual returns sent to the Charity Commission from charities in England and Wales. It will give headline income and expenditure and show how charities with an income of over 500,000 allocate their revenue across fundraising and governance, charitable activities and reserves.

One fundraising database breaks down silos and benefits every department : Page 1 of 2 : FundRaising Success

AFP Blog

One fundraising database breaks down silos and benefits every department : Page 1 of 2 : FundRaising Success : The natural conclusion then is that one database for the whole organization — that crucially meets the specific needs of each department — is the best way to go. And in the case of the fundraisers that responded to the recent Lehman surveyOpens in a new window of fundraising databases, that’s where most people are.

How’s that donor database of yours?

Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology

Home About Me Subscribe Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology Thoughtful and sometimes snarky perspectives on nonprofit technology How’s that donor database of yours? December 2, 2008 In general, although I am sometimes asked, I tend to avoid assisting clients with choosing a donor database package. Others I think about: CiviCRM had 4.8%, Organizer’s Database at 3%, Salesforce was at 2.6%, Democracy in Action at 0.6%