4 Steps to Non-Profit Data Management

You probably don’t even realize the amount of data you have on your donors and contributors let alone how useful it can be to your non-profit organization.  Having a clear process to collect and put the data to use can not only help your organization to operate more efficiently, but can also lead to increased donations and donor retention.

Ready to get started? In 4 easy steps you will be well on your way!WIB_Blog_datamgmt

1. Collection

Chances are you already have a lot of great information on your donors including names, addresses as well as donation amounts and dates received. Determine what other information you would find helpful. Consider things like birthday, anniversary, relationship to the organization or maybe even why they chose your organization to contribute to.

Once you know what you want, you need to devise a plan to get it. You may want to send a subsequent survey to your donors as part of your thank you process or set up an online form to have them complete the next time they donate. Personal calls are another way to collect this information if you have the staff or volunteer base.

As you collect the data, it is good practice to manage the quality of the information you are receiving to ensure that your staff/volunteers are following protocol and that your processes are effective.

2. Analysis

Now that you have the data, what are you going to do with it? This is the hard part and will require you to put on your thinking cap and maybe even put your HS math skills to use.

You should be able to see the trends and patterns in your donations. Maybe there is a spike in the winter or you find most of your donors are women. Create reports and run them on a regular basis to see if the trends discovered continue.

3. Implementation

It’s time to put the information you have collected and analyzed to work for you.  With a basic understanding of your donors’ habits, you can use that data to help plan your next appeal…and watch the success of it rise!

You can also use the data collected as part of your content. Donors want real information – give it to them!

4. Reassess

Understand that the likelihood of the trends first noticed will shift as time passes so it is critical that you continue to run and analyze reports.  If they fluctuate, it is your cue to adjust your asks.


The process of managing data may be time consuming to get going at your organization but the reward of growth is worth the time investment. Want to give it a try but don’t have the staff to? Outsourcing could be the answer!



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