Freeman Blog

SPOT the Difference - Avoid Data Disaster!

Posted by Mark Freeman
Mark Freeman
Mark Freeman & Associates was established by Mark Freeman to bring together a number of trusted associates who...
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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 in Freeman Blog

In the third of our blogs on the subject of fundraising, we look at how important accurate information is in the fundraising process.

In this year's report from the Fundraising Standards Board "one sixth of all complaints (5,441) were prompted by charities' use of data".

The minefield of data use is not just about ensuring that you spell the recipient's name correctly! Managing donor data correctly within an effective application can yield enormous benefits, enabling charities to understand their donors better, identify relationships between individuals and organisations, and ensure that campaigns are targeted at the appropriate audience.

Managing your supporters' data should be a key part of a charity's governance policy. Keeping data within one application effectively becomes your Single Point of Truth or "SPOT" to which all other systems need to integrate, allowing the organisation to protect and validate the information held. Unprotected and incorrect data can lead to poor decision making, unsuccessful campaigns and (worse case scenario) fraud being committed in the name of the charity.

Many charities spend considerable sums of money on Customer Relationship Management tools, when there are organisations out there whose commercial CRM applications are available via the organisation's foundation system, and which donate a number of their licenses to charities for free.

These not for profit versions of their commercial offering allow charities to manage their donors, build campaigns, generate greater loyalty and understand the results of fundraising - as well as reporting effectively on Key Performance Indicators. All these benefits then allow the charity to deliver a better service, which in turn generates more return..thus creating a virtuous circle.

When researching CRM applications, don't forget three golden rules - make sure that your chosen application links in with social media, has good reporting tools and preferably is a "cloud based" solution so that it can be accessed from anywhere, so vital when on the move. Not to mention the added benefit that "cloud based" solutions mitigate risks in the event of a serious incident at the office and eliminate the need to buy hardware to house the application.

Let us know about your data dreams and disasters!

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Mark Freeman & Associates was established by Mark Freeman to bring together a number of trusted associates who could offer charities sound professional and practical advice for trustees and senior management.

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