Mission-driven insights: How data can drive NFP success
Working for a not-for-profit (NFP) and being part of a team that’s dedicated to making a real difference in the world can be simultaneously fulfilling and depleting.
In the current climate, the joy of being around colleagues who share your drive for tangible impact can be quickly outshone by what feels like an uncomfortably fierce competition for the support from donors, whose demands are shifting with a world that is growing more technological, complex and divided.
As the ever imposing trio of a pandemic, global instability and economic downturn continues to re-define normalcy in real-time, NFPs of all sizes are challenged to engage and reconnect with their supporters in new ways.
As funding sources narrow, volunteer numbers shrink, and grass-root causes become more hidden from plain view, NFPs are forced to be agile in their fundraising approach, while also being responsive to the urgency for volunteers.
Back to the drawing board with data
For many NFP’s, the drawing board that they’re compelled to come back to is the supporter database or, for larger organisations, the CRM system: that monolithic trove of data records that many once hoped would bring clarity to donation patterns, and drive fundraising and outreach strategies, but perhaps is now more like the door to the dusty attic of things you’re too afraid to rediscover.
Ok, not quite – but there could be several difficulties that have led to your NFP not knowing what to do with the customer data it has collected over the years and how to re-engage those key segments of supporters.
It could be the heavy reliance on phone calls, meetings, and paperwork that have meant key insights have been lost in the record keeping; or that your organisation doesn’t have clear processes for collecting customer data, with records so inconsistent the thought of even looking at it gives the donor relations team a collective seizure.
Data is closer to Mission Critical
NFP work often requires a significant amount of effort spent on administrative tasks, which can take away from time spent on the more hands-on, outward facing work that engages our hearts to the actual mission. But if the current times have taught us anything, it’s that data is more mission critical than ever.
Four steps to utilise your data
To maximise the potential of your supporter data or secure the necessary funding for your charity, there are a few initial steps to take.
1. Segment your supporters
The first step is to segment each of your supporters based on common traits. This can be demographics, giving history, interests, and how/where they engage with your content. This will help you understand your supporters better and tailor your fundraising efforts to their preferences. By segmenting your supporters, you can also identify the high-value donors who have the potential to give more, as well as which touchpoints resonate most with which generation. But who has the time or -let’s be honest- willpower to do this? With AI and machine learning, this process can be done more efficiently and with high accuracy.
2. Prioritise high-value donors
Once you’ve identified your high-value donors, prioritise them in your fundraising efforts. These donors are more likely to give larger gifts, so it’s essential to invest time and resources into cultivating these relationships.
3. Share your impact in a personalised way
Personalisation is key to sharing your social impact, as well as successful fundraising. Use the insights gained from your segmentation data to tailor your messaging and approach to each donor.Engage your Gen-Z supporters with short video summaries and visuals, your more senior supporters with written reports.
4. Set fundraising and volunteering goals
Set clear fundraising goals for your organisation and share them with your donors. This can help create a sense of urgency and motivate donors to give more.