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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 6 Donor Databases and CRM

“Information is the new oil.”

—Cheryl Contee

Introduction

Fundraising is the lifeblood of your nonprofit, so it’s critical that you invest in a constituent relationship management (CRM) tool to serve as your donor database. As donor profiles change, you need 21st century tools to help you understand your supporters and reach them in personal ways. You need to know what their interests are, how they give, and how to best engage and solicit them. Segmenting your supporters and communicating with them in customized ways will help you maximize response rates. This powerful technological tool can also provide a dynamic way to give donors real-time feedback on the impact their donations make possible, and enable you to analyze your efforts and make more informed, strategic decisions. For example, how is your direct mail program performing compared to your email campaigns or events, and how are you tracking against your key performance indicators?

A CRM database allows you to store crucial donor information, including contact info and gift history, and can also send communications, integrate with social media, track organizational data like finances, volunteer activity, and much, much more. This helps you better manage relationships with constituents and supporters. For example, a CRM database can track information, like the number of clients you serve, and help you collate that data in one simple view, like a dashboard that can be accessed via the ...

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