Uncover Trends in Your Donor Data to Improve Your Fundraising

Most nonprofits are continually thinking about new ways to improve fundraising results. But one often overlooked resource for boosting fundraising that every nonprofit has is donor data.

Your donor data can tell you a lot about your donors. It can give you insights that tell you things like:

  • Who’s giving – What are the various audience segments of donors, such as age groups?
  • When are they giving – What time of day do they tend to give, and at what point during a fundraising campaign do they typically make donations?
  • Why are they giving – What are their motivations for giving?

These types of insights can inform your fundraising strategies, helping you target your fundraising campaigns and keep donors engaged more effectively.

How can you get started with donor data analysis?
Many nonprofits struggle with where to start when it comes to using their data. It can seem like a giant task to take on – especially if you don’t have anyone on staff to focus on it.

But as with any big effort, it helps to simply get started – even if it’s a small start. Here are some tips to help you kick things off:

  • Start cleaning your data regularly.
    Keeping your nonprofit’s donor data clean and read to use is the first step. Otherwise, you can’t trust the data you’re analyzing. Create a plan to clean your data regularly, and create standards for how your entire organization will enter data so that it’s consistent.

    Document your standards and make sure each department in your organization understands the standards. Also, make the standards part of your new hire onboarding process so that you can keep data consistent for years to come
  • Set up fundraising reports.
    Use reporting functionality in your fundraising software or a separate reporting tool to track key metrics – such as average gift sizes and one-time versus recurring gifts. Look at these reports on a monthly basis to start understanding donor patterns.

    Keep in mind that things change over time. Your organization’s goals change. Donor behavior evolves. And you learn more about what metrics your organization should be tracking. So, it’s okay to refine your reports and what you measure as you learn more about the data insights you need.
  • Consider benchmark data.
    Each nonprofit is unique in its mission, goals, and donor base. However, it can be helpful to know a few nonprofit sector benchmarks to get a sense of how your organization’s numbers compare with others. Keep up with industry reports, such as the annual M+R Benchmarks Study and the recent individual giving trends report from Neon One, to understand trends in the sector.
  • Get inspired.
    There are multiple free resources available that offer pointers and inspiration when it comes to using your donor data to improve fundraising. Here are three:

Putting donor data to work for your nonprofit is well worth the effort. Just remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Cathexis Partners can help you manage and analyze your data to uncover trends and find new opportunities to improve your fundraising campaigns and events. Contact us today to get started.

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