Improving Your Fundraising IQ with Integration
by Sharon Spitale-Corner, Product Marketing Manager
Citing statistics from an RSCG Global study and Morningstar, Craver concluded that people feel isolated and crave connections:
- 69 percent of people worry that society is too shallow, focusing on things that don't really matter.
- Today there are 130+ socially responsible investment funds, up from 39 a decade ago.
- More than half a million people have loaned money to "working poor" entrepreneurs around the world via microfinance site Kiva.
It's up to fundraisers to provide those connections that donors desire, and technology is "the great connector, great enabler and great equalizer," according to Craver.
-Joe Boland, FundRaising Success
December 28, 2010
Craver goes on to talk about “fundraising intelligence” – that is the ability to transform your data into information that drives informed decision-making and helps you make those connections people are craving. Each organization has ideas about how to do this, consider the process for deciding on mailing segmentation, but the decisions are only as good as the data that backs the solution. Craver shares this process:
- Target: Identify a group of people taking the action you want to replicate, i.e., donors who have made a planned gift.
- Model: Understand their common characteristics, and build a formula around those attributes.
- Score: Use the formula to identify those likely to engage in the same behavior on your housefile based on similarities to target.
I’d like to take the idea of fundraising intelligence a step further and say that your fundraising intelligence quotient (Fundraising IQ) is a combination of the strategy you use and the ‘smartness’ of the data you keep. Pooling your organization’s information into a centralized decision support system enhances your fundraising IQ.
Consider that many successful nonprofit organizations use a variety of systems and tools for their constituent information. An organization may have a website that does not integrate with its donor management software, departments with important information that never makes it into its core database, and staff members that still manage information on Excel spreadsheets. If these information systems don’t communicate with one another, your fundraising IQ suffers.
Take advantage of the New Year by conducting an inventory of the data you have in your organization that may not be easily accessible or shared. SofTrek's Professional Services team can work with you to develop a plan to enable communication between your donor database and other software applications and take advantage of the information and intelligence you have available across your entire organization. Improve your fundraising IQ!
National Change of Address (NCOA) Services
Did You Know?
The United States Postal Service requires mailers, including nonprofits, who claim presort or automation rates for First-Class Mail® service to comply with Move Update standards. Using an authorized method such as NCOALink processing, mailers must update the addresses in their mailing lists within 95 days prior to the mailing date and must demonstrate compliance by submitting a Certificate of Move Update Compliance. Failure to comply with these postal requirements may jeopardize the organization’s USPS bulk-mailing privileges and result in assessment of penalty charges.
For any organization that conducts direct mail campaigns, data integrity can mean the difference between successfully raising funds and wasting dollars mailing to constituents that have relocated. Even worse, it could mean losing your connection with valuable supporters.
In addition to USPS compliance regulations, consider this...
- An estimated 43 million Americans inarticleiduals, families and businesses move annually.
- Your list deteriorates at a rate of approximately 20% a year as a result of bad, outdated address information.
- Undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) mail costs the United States Postal Service (USPS) more than $1.8 billion each year.
Now consider that about 75% of all undeliverable mail could be fixed simply by running the National Change of Address (NCOA) regularly.
NCOA processing can substantially reduce undeliverable and duplicate mail pieces by identifying and correcting addressing errors before they enter the mail stream. SofTrek’s NCOA service enables you to maintain current addresses for all of the constituents in your database, including Canadian addresses. And, improving constituent address accuracy can result in a significant combination of cost savings and revenue improvements
For more information please contact us.back to top
Technology Trends for 2011
Technology is changing all the time. In an effort to keep up with current technological advances, you are likely wondering which trends may impact your organization in the coming year. To help you figure that out, here’s a glimpse into what experts forecast will be the top technology trends in 2011.
A couple of companies (Apple and Samsung) debuted tablets in 2010; expect to see an explosion this year as several other companies (Motorola, Microsoft, and Research in Motion) introduce their own tablets into the mix. Tablets and other consumer technologies may begin to be actively used in the business arena.
The next generation of smartphones can run on a 4G network, which some providers say can be up to 10 times faster than 3G networks. Superphones will also be dual-core phones with two processors, which could take multi-tasking to a new level - think no screen lag or delay if you are playing a game and listening to music simultaneously.
Several companies (Samsung, LG, and Sony) have already introduced products that let users stream content from the Internet to their TV. Competition among smart TV devices is expected to heat up as set-top boxes (from Boxee Box, Roku, Apple TV, and Google TV) also make it easy to get web-based content on a TV screen.
Experts expect 2011 to be a defining year for cloud computing, both for the wider tech industry and for Microsoft specifically. There is already excitement over existing products in this space (Office 365, Windows InTune, etc.); now expect to see traditional server products being ported to the cloud as well as new types of software services being created.
Cars are beginning to look like more expensive consumer electronics toys. Touch screens, brighter colors, better media, and better wireless integration are all among the features companies are likely to compete on this year.
Last year, the first 3-D TVs hit the market; now experts predict the focus will be on content. Look for new 3-D TV shows, the migration of movies to 3-D, products that convert 2-D programming to 3-D, and a price reduction in 3-D glasses in 2011.
Managing Duplicate Records
The value of a donor database is determined by a single factor: the quality of the data in it. The most successful nonprofits are those that have the most accurate donor information. However, bad data can be a challenge for all organizations – and it has become even more challenging as organizations open their database of record up to external sources of data like web sites, caging services and other list imports.
One major cause of bad or conflicting data is duplicate records. Duplicate records in your database come from many sources and can quickly become a costly expense for your organization. Duplicate records diminish the integrity of your database and prevent your organization from gaining a clear and holistic view of your donor information. Resolving duplicates can reduce printing costs, increase response rates, improve donor satisfaction and help you maintain a generally more efficient database.
SofTrek’s database includes duplicate checking criteria sets that can be defined by the source of the names to be added to the database. A record added to your database manually by staff, who can be diligent about searching for a name before they add it, might need a different set of duplicate checking criteria than records added to your database by a nightly import from your website. The database also includes a utility that can help you clean up duplicates already existing duplicates.
AFP International in Chicago
If you are attending the 2011 AFP International Conference on Fundraising in Chicago from March 20th-22nd, please look for SofTrek! Our team will be there to discuss our portfolio of products, services, and solutions and demonstrate our latest product enhancements. We will also have some great giveaways during the show so be sure to check out SofTrek in booth #332.
SofTrek Welcomes New Client
BBYO uses SofTrek’s solutions to support its mission: integration with their general ledger and online donations; moves management; and reporting. BBYO is also able to provide their field agents with easy and effortless access to important donor data.
Another Satisfied Client
- Stuart Harper, Executive Director, Buffalo City Mission
OpenSercrets (formerly The Center for Responsive Politics) is a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based research group that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The website offers a searchable database of political donors, campaign contributions, news and analysis, donations to political action committees, and a lobbyist database.
Alliance for Community Technology (www.communitytechnology.org/)
The Alliance for Community Technology (ACT) is dedicated to advancing the use of computing and communication technology internationally, acting as a resource for people through community serving organizations. ACT works to build relationships among community organizations, social investors, and academia through its website, which features a virtual conference tool that lets members interact with others around the world, record live sessions and deliver online training.
Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (www.ecfa.org/)
Comprised of charitable, religious, missionary, social, and educational organizations, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability serves as a "Christian Better Business Bureau" by making appropriate public disclosure of its more than 1,000 members' financial practices and accomplishments, and by developing and maintaining standards of accountability. The website has a directory of council members and a section for news about governance, finance and stewardship related to nonprofits.
Brookings Institution (www.brookings.edu)
The Brookings Institution holds conferences and conducts and publishes independent research, analysis, and criticism related to public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, and governance, bringing new knowledge to the attention of decision makers and enhancing scholarly insight into public policy issues. Its economic studies, foreign policy studies, and governmental studies departments form the core of its program. The Web site includes a list of current scholars, publications, research projects, news, and events.
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