Get More from Your Donor Database

Getting Attention

Your database tools have the potential to dramatically increase marketing and fundraising results if you use them right. Good data in generates value out, no matter what database solution you use. If possible, it’s best to have this conversation before implementing the database.

Which Donor Database is Right for YOU?

Wild Woman Fundraising

Recently I helped a small, all volunteer run nonprofit orchestra choose their first database. It was done with some delays, but we got our data from various spreadsheets put into the online database, and we started using it. What do you need your database to do?

Trending Sources

Dig Into Your Donor Database

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

We’re excited to partner with Barbara so she can share her extensive knowledge of strategic development planning and donor-focused fundraising with the Network for Good community! Donors of all kinds—individuals, foundations, and corporations—are back, baby!

3 Ways to Stay Safe from Cyber Attack

Getting Attention

Even worse, it will require an enormous investment of time and budget to repair and get back up and going; even with that, critical donor data, program stats , and email lists may be lost or corrupted. Yes, this has to matter to you.

That ole donor database

A Small Change

It is the <drum roll please> Donor Database ! Raiser’s Edge, Salesfore, E-tapestry, Neon, Donor Perfect, and Kindful are all popular and helpful options, though some non-profits are still rolling Excel style. Capital & Major Donors

[Question Marc] What are the best donor management systems?

Fundraising Coach

I get lots of questions similar to this all the time: Quick question: Do you have a few favorite donor database software recommendations. Especially for collecting donor giving habits. Donor databases are vital for nonprofit fundraising.

8 Tips to Strengthen Your Database to Help Build a Strong Donor Base

Fundraising 123

A Stronger Database = A Stronger Donor Base Whether you refer to your Access database of donor information as simply your ‘mailing list' or you have specialized development software for ‘constituent relationship management', the records you keep provide the lifeline between you and your donors. Investing the proper time and effort in maintaining whatever system you use for donor records management will result in happier, more generous donors and volunteers.

How Can You Get More Money in the Mail?

Wild Woman Fundraising

Did you know that putting a picture and the donor’s name on each page helps the reader’s eye stop and continue with your letter, even if they’re tempted to skip over whole paragraphs? Have you ever heard of the Who’s Mailing What Database ?

Deeper Dive into the Knight Foundation's Connected Citizens Report: Building Connections and Engaging Your Community

Fundraising 123

Donor Databases Case Studies & White PapersThe intent of our report Connected Citizens: The Power, Peril and Potential of Networks , was to explore the role of networks in community life and how loose networks of individuals are affecting social change. . Recent rapid advances in digital media and technology have changed how people connect to information and how they connect to each other. People are moving from passive consumers to active users.

How to stay competitive in your fundraising career

Wild Woman Fundraising

Well, when it comes to finding new donors for your cause, you might want to look at people who have these skills, as they will be the ones who are employed, and who might have disposable income to give to your cause. What about cloud based databases as a skill?


Are you using that all wrong?

Fundraising Coach

Donor Database. If this is all you''re using your donor database for, you''re using it wrong. Used well, donor database system can be use to honor donors. Rather than showing them by talking about your nonprofit, you need to make donors the hero.

5 Steps to Consistent Communications (+ Instant Connection)

Getting Attention

Once you get consistent, your supporters (donors, program participants, volunteers, and more) and prospects immediately know your organization is the source of various communications they digest. It’s far more likely to engage donors and may motivate them to give more.

Data! Data! Data! Where to Start?

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Not sure where to start when digging into your fundraising database? But measuring new donors who mail in checks throughout the year can get a little tricky if you do not have a donor database. The goal is to consistently grow your number of new donors.

4 Jobs for Introverted Fundraisers

Wild Woman Fundraising

We might assume that nonprofits are full of happy extroverted fundraisers, going out and gladhanding donors like crazy. A lot of fundraisers actually are secret (or not so secret) introverts who would rather sit at their computer than go out and risk humiliation in front of a donor.

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Are you taking notes?

A Small Change

It’s imperative that we briefly jot down important takeaways that will serve as anchors for ongoing conversations, and bolster the personal data being entered into our donor databases.

Still-Time Summer Marketing Sizzlers

Getting Attention

Here’s where you rely on your robust, reliable donor management software. The more you know and log about your prospects and donors, the better you’ll connect with them. Connect with Your Patrons, Donors, and other Supporters via THEIR Summer Habits and Passions. Part 1.

7 Techniques to Boost Donor Engagement

Fundraising Coach

Does it meaning getting involved in other roles like volunteering or getting more donors to read your communications? Once you have an idea of what that engagement looks like, use the following seven techniques to amp up donor engagement. Be genuine when asking donors to engage.

5 Things You Need to Know about Nonprofits + Big Data


Email + donors get the most data love. When they are taking advantage of their data, nonprofits seem to rely on it most when it comes to their email and donor databases.

3 Ideas for Getting the Word Out to Your Donors About Online Fundraising Campaigns

J Campbell Social Marketing

How can you expect donors to find your organization and contribute if you don’t make them aware of your campaigns? Below, you’ll find three ideas for promoting online fundraising campaigns to donors. That’s where donor segmentation comes in. Automate mailings to selected donors.

How to keep your donors in 2016


In the nonprofit world, it’s widely recognized that retaining donors can be quite challenging. I believe this has led many nonprofits to focus instead on continuously acquiring more donors. Key donors hop away. Now you can crack the code to donor retention too!

Plan 43

Nonprofit Spring Cleaning Part One – Tackling Your Donor Data

Ann Green

Update and improve your donor database. Your donor database is an important tool and it needs to be up-to-date and filled with accurate information about your donors. Your database isn’t just a place to keep addresses and gift amounts.

Plan 17

5 Inventive Ways Donor Data Can Boost Your EOY Fundraising


The giving spirit is high, and donors want to know how they can contribute to the causes that they care about. Your organization needs to do more than simply ask your donors for contributions. Retain more donors. Your data, after all, provides insight into your donors.

Connecting with Donors through Your Database

Fundraising 123

Are you busy chasing the next donor and not developing the one you just signed up? A marketing database connects you with your donors on a daily basis and how their requests, enquiries and generosity are flagged in the database will affect the length and strength of the relationship to your organisation. These are four critical elements for connecting with your donors, but now let’s look at segmentation. Because donors will feel connected.

Write for Fundraising123!

Fundraising 123

Tags: Email 101 Donor Databases Nonprofit Marketing Web Site 101 Fundraising 101: Getting Started Social Networking

The Ultimate Planned Gift Marketing Strategy (4 simple steps)


That includes non-donors and people that are not on your organization’s radar at all. In fact, many of my clients tell me that anywhere from 30% to more than 80% of their planned gifts come from people not currently in their database.

14 problems only fundraisers understand

Wild Woman Fundraising

No system in place when you got there: Lack of systems (no database) from the previous person means it’s 3x as hard for you to figure out what’s been done, and to get stuff done. More on how to choose a database here. Help my donors are abandoning me!

The great donor exodus – and what to do about it

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

The headline of the results is this: Repeat donors matter most. The good news is we could double the fundraising results of most nonprofits by doing a better job keeping our donors. Every organization should establish a goal for what their donor retention should be.

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Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Michelle Scharlock

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

It could be updating our donor database with information from our last mailing, putting together some graphics that I’ve already thought about earlier in the day, or doing an interview with a family staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Michelle Scharlock.

Improve Donor Stewardship with These 5 Proven Strategies

Fundraising Coach

To successfully retain donors , nonprofits need to invest time into cultivating and maintaining long-lasting relationships, from the first donation onward. With a concrete donor stewardship plan in place, donors will feel more valued and invested in your nonprofit.

Part 1: What is an Appeal Letter?

Wild Woman Fundraising

An appeal letter is a letter you send to donors to ask for money. You’ll need: Sense of timing, Successful letter samples, Two pairs of fresh eyes on your letter, Up-to-date donor database, and Solid systems of cultivation and stewardship. Different kinds of donors.

Email Marketing Stats and Trends for Nonprofits

Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog

Top email marketing objectives were: keeping supporters informed (80%), attracting and retaining donors (64%), and driving online donations (61%). Integrating email with donor database, online fundraising, and other systems. On Wednesday, I shared how nonprofits are using social media according to reports released over the last few weeks.

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Let Go and Freshen Up: Spring Cleaning for Your Nonprofit

Ann Green

Clean up your mailing lists and database. Don’t wait until right before your next mailing to clean up your donor data. Even though it’s tedious, have someone who’s familiar with your donors (your development director?) 4 Tips: When to Remove a Lapsed Donor from Your Database.

Why Chuck Longfield Is Worried

The Agitator

In a nutshell here are the disturbing trends Chuck highlighted: For the past 10 years — before and after the Great Recession — donor acquisition has grown increasingly expensive. During the same period, first-year retention rates have significantly declined to the point where, on average, nearly 3 out of 4 newly-acquired donors leave by the end of the first year. Yet year after year that’s exactly what’s happening in donor acquisition and retention.

Why Are You Sending Donors This Email?!? A Lesson in Segmentation

Nonprofit Marketing Blog

I’m a monthly donor to a nonprofit I love a lot. As I was in the process of sharing them with the nonprofit’s donor relations associate, I noticed one line of text that I had previously missed. One to lapsed donors asking them to renew.

Don’t waste time trying to copy the #icebucketchallenge

Fundraising Coach

These Kicks are designed to remind them to get out from behind their desk to interact with 5-10 major donors and prospects. million raised from existing donors plus 1.2 million new donors. Invest in a great donor database & learning how to use it.

Out of the Shadows: The danger of shadow databases and the 3 keys to eliminating them

JCA Insights

Imagine this scenario: An important donor calls your organization asking why she did not receive her invitation to the annual VIP luncheon. Shadow systems can be a serious problem in any organization, because manually updating and synchronizing information between your CRM system or donor database (the primary system of record) and these extra lists is time-consuming and often overlooked. Your donor database is the key to institutional knowledge.


Reader Questions: How to get businesses to give you donations in 3 steps?

Wild Woman Fundraising

Needless to say, they have no large donors, no database, no corporate sponsors, etc. I have 20 years of fundraising experience, but with that said, ALL of the nonprofits I’ve worked for previously had donor databases, major donors, fundraising history, and a fundraising committee to hold special events. Get a database to help you keep track of everything and everyone you reach out to. Get a database.

6 ways you can be an effective nonprofit leader

Wild Woman Fundraising

Or if someone else says, ‘Can we get a donor database now? Flickr image by GinasPics. First off, if you like how I write, you are going to LOVE how I teach. Because then it’s like I’m writing, but you can hear me talk, and then we can have a conversation, too!

The $100,000,000 Gift – Fairytale Versus Reality

JCA Insights

Clearly, a $100,000,000 gift is an exceptional event in the lifecycle of any institution, but the model for finding your next donor, be it for one hundred, one thousand or one million dollars is to leverage the value of the long-term relationship. It is also finding that model for how to cultivate new donors and using it to mine your databases for prospects. There are many Luskins hiding in donor databases.

[Guest Post] Why Donors Stop Giving

Fundraising Coach

He gets both databases and effective fundraising. So I asked him if he’d write a post on donor retention. Jay is a serial entrepreneur, the creator of eTapestry and now the creator of Bloomerang a web-based donor database focused on helping your nonprofit retain donors.