[GUEST POST] Driving Impact: The Crucial Role of Nonprofit Data Integration in Your Strategy
Nonprofits face an everchanging landscape where data is essential to making an impact in the communities they serve. As a result, organizations must reevaluate their strategies and embrace innovative approaches and technology to stay ahead. By harnessing the power of data integration, nonprofits can unlock a wealth of insights and opportunities to engage with supporters, streamline operations, report more effectively, and ultimately fulfill their missions with less time and resources.
In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of data integration for nonprofits, exploring how it empowers organizations to navigate the evolving landscape so that they can start doing more with less.
Amplifying Impact: What Does it Take?
To achieve a state of accurate, clean data, nonprofits must move away from native, siloed data to a fully integrated solution.
Here are a few immediate benefits:
- Accurate insights. Native integrations may not ensure consistent data quality, resulting in inaccurate insights, while data integration can offer critical constituent information leading teams to more effective decision-making.
- Removing data duplication. Poor data management can lead to duplicate records. This redundancy hampers data integrity, complicates reporting, and wastes valuable time and resources on manual cleanup efforts. By removing this risk, organizations can have greater confidence and reduce the hundreds of hours teams spend manually deleting duplicates.
- All data in one place. Nonprofits often use multiple systems and tools to manage different aspects of their operations. Data integration, on the other hand, can allow nonprofits to do more with less when all of their data lives in one place under one technological ecosystem.
- A greater constituent experience. Data integration enables nonprofits to create a seamless experience across various communication channels, such as email, social media, and direct mail. With data integration, nonprofits can customize giving opportunities, suggest appropriate donation amounts, and present targeted campaigns aligned with constituents’ philanthropic interests. This level of personalization fosters a sense of connection and encourages increased giving.
Integrate Your Data for a 360-Degree View of Your Supporters
According to a 2021 survey conducted by Omatic Software, most nonprofit organizations (over 80%) rely on four or more systems, in addition to their primary constituent relationship management (CRM) system, for data collection, management, and storage.
To effectively support fundraising, membership management, volunteerism, and activism activities, nonprofits must put the appropriate technological infrastructure in place. This requires a range of software solutions designed to these functions, including:
- Alumni/membership management
- Email marketing
- Event management
- Financial posting
- Matching gifts
- Online donations
- Payment processing
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Volunteer management
As organizations incorporate new technologies into their operations, they quickly realize the necessity of integrating data from these disparate systems with their CRM. This integration is vital to comprehensively understand supporter engagement and ensure a complete picture of their constituents’ interactions and contributions.
A Long-Term Solution for the Entire Nonprofit Lifecycle
Organizations often resort to using native import tools. These tools may initially appear cost-effective, but over the long-term, may prove costly and inefficient.
For instance, importing data may require extensive manual data manipulation in tools like Excel before it can be successfully imported. In some cases, the destination systems may not readily accept the source data format, necessitating additional manual work. These tools may not support data mapping to desired locations, leading to data inconsistencies and duplicated records or erroneous data in both systems.
Even if a skilled database administrator can overcome these challenges, the time-consuming nature of the process means that the integrated data may not be up to date. Incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated data is more costly to the organization than the time and resources invested in integration efforts. The long-term consequences can be detrimental and include:
- Missed opportunities for mission impact. Inefficient data integration processes divert resources and time from initiatives that drive mission impact. This can lead to missed opportunities for growth and sub-optimal deployment of resources.
- Flawed decision-making. Incomplete or unreliable data from poor integration practices can lead to faulty decision-making processes. Organizations risk making critical decisions on incomplete information – without a comprehensive and accurate view of constituent data in place.
- Membership erosion and donor attrition. Inaccurate or inconsistent data can harm constituent relationships. Members may experience dissatisfaction with their experience, leading to membership erosion, while donors may become disengaged and ultimately attrite due to a lack of personalized and relevant communication.
To mitigate these risks and maximize the benefits of data integration, organizations should explore more robust and reliable integration solutions that prioritize data accuracy, automation, and seamless connectivity across systems for the lifetime of the nonprofit.
For example, Omatic brings all of your nonprofit data to a single source of truth, allowing you to save hundreds of hours of manual imports, improve overall productivity, and revolutionize how you drive mission impact.
You can learn more about Omatic at www.omaticsoftware.com.
By Heather Jackson – Content Marketing Manager, Omatic
Heather Jackson is the content marketing manager at Omatic, who brings 12 years of expertise in the field. With a strong background in nonprofit marketing, Heather is deeply passionate about forging connections between mission-driven organizations and more effective marketing strategies – one word at a time.