But chances are good, especially if you are at a smaller nonprofit, you aren’t doing as good a job at tracking donor responses. You can ask for money all day long, but if you don’t collect response data, you are doing your organization a big disservice. Data can tell you much about who, what, when, where why and how to approach your donors.
Excel is a free and useful tool for tracking data, but if you want to better analyze and interpret data, invest in a retention-focused fundraising database software.
More sophisticated tools can help you segment donors and tailor your messages to better fit them. The more personalized the message, the more likely the donor will give support. It will also show you where to invest your time an effort — a donor who made a gift in January and now makes a gift each month deserves different communication than the donor who gave two years ago and has not been heard from since.
When you track donations, you should track for the long-term, not just for the latest capital campaign. You can identify giving patterns and note whether a donor is gradually increasing their gift so that your ask can correlate to their willingness to give.
Using donor management software allows you to compare the effectiveness of various fundraising methods. It allows you to look at all the variables involved in giving.
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