insights Opptys SofTrek
April 2014
fall leaves

Has spring really arrived?

That’s good, because this is the spring issue of Insights & Opportunities, and we don’t want any snow on it.



Tactics to Improve Constituent Data Quality

data-management-databaseLike most nonprofits, your organization likely realizes the importance of a high-quality constituent list. Keeping yours up to date and clean is a never-ending process, but you can start immediately with steps that focus on using data correctly. Paying attention to how your data is working for you can actually provide better results when you make use of your list. But don’t fear—we’re not talking about “big data” here. This data is already in your system, and it’s willing, ready and able to do its job.

Data management is the key

Everyone knows dirty data when they see it—or try to use it. Data management is the process that keeps data clean. It takes into consideration everything from acquiring and validating data, to storing, protecting and processing data. When you have effective data management, you can more easily access the information you need. Further, everyone who uses it can feel assured the data is accurate, consistent and current.

The following steps will do a great deal of good, especially if people in your organization feel what’s coming out of your database is suspect.

  1. Combine every database in your organization--constituent, donor, event, volunteer, etc. Even include the databases that people think no one knows they have. If you have an online database, integrate that, too. You’ll reap a multitude of benefits. For instance, if a constituent changes his or her address, that information changes for everyone who accesses the database. The problems caused by double entries decrease. Any data your organization captures online immediately shows up in the main database.  The pluses are endless.
  2. Make sure everyone collects data in the same way. You first need to think about which constituent information you want to require for a record entering your system by both manual entry and online capture.  Applying the standard U.S. Postal Service address formats also helps keep data consistent. One more step is collect more information, adding data that you don’t currently keep—things like records of communications about and responses to appeals or channels whereby gifts came in.
  3. Have consistent workflows. Most fundraising systems allow you to build coding into them that ensures consistency. You might make certain information mandatory for any records—say, a code that shows the main interest of a constituent.  Once you take that step, communicate with users what you’ve done and let them know what a “good” record looks like.
  4. Make sure current addresses are always available. Services like the National Change of Address (NCOA) and “new move” lists from firms like SofTrek partner Melissa Data ensure that the addresses associated with even inactive donors are up to date. The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that about 15% of people change addresses every year. Thus, applying these services will easily improve your results when you mail to your constituents.



Millennials vs. Boomers: Whom do you approach?


Quick—you have 5 seconds to choose which huge generational cohort, Millennials or Boomers, on which to focus your fundraising efforts. Luckily, most fundraisers don’t have to make the choice. Clicking on the infographic comparison (right) of these two groups, including giving statistics, could provide some guidance in how you design an approach.



Automate your outreach

We all know about "moves management." Did you also know that this complex and unpredictable process can, indeed, be automated? ClearView CRM’s Opportunity Management feature supports your personal outreach efforts and even makes the highly individualized process of major gift fundraising more predictable.

In ClearView CRM, an “opportunity” is anything of value that your organization wants from a prospective donor or constituent—board membership, bequest, etc. Opportunity Management lets you take advantage of these opportunities by automating the entire process.


The Opportunity Management process

Imagine yourself a major gift officer for a hospital:

Opportunity-Dashboard Opportunity-SearchOpportunity-Major-Gift-ClearView-CRM

  • You know a donor couple is nearing their 50th wedding anniversary and decide to approach them for a major gift marketing the milestone. 
  • Within the donors’ record in ClearView CRM, you simply click a tool that lets you create an “opportunity,” complete with all the information you feel will be useful as you pursue this gift. The information might include how you identified the opportunity, what you feel the probability of achieving it is, contact details and much more.
  • You also create an action track so that ClearView CRM gives you, on a set schedule, automatic reminders of the next steps you need to take with this opportunity.
  • You can continue to make notes on any activities right in your opportunity record and track your progress over time.  You can also quickly view all your opportunities and associated actions in a panel on the ClearView CRM dashboard.


You can see that Opportunity Management supports your efforts to attain an opportunity by streamlining your workflow and ensuring you take every step necessary toward achieving any opportunity.