NFP data does not take care of itself

Washing Plates As Part Of The Daily ChoresIs there careful oversight of the data in your CRM? A majority of the staff in today’s non-profit organisation believe the data somehow magically gets cleansed, de-duplicated, and managed day in and day out. The view is the data is on “auto pilot”. Staffs of non-profit organisations worry more about what is about to go off in the refrigerator than they worry about the data in the organisation’s CRM. It is sort of like the dishes in your kitchen. They do not magically get hand washed or placed in the dishwasher.

The facts are:

Every staff member of the organisation (from the receptionist to the CEO) has a responsibility to ensure the data is managed. Whenever a staff person has possession of a record in your CRM through communications with a constituent, that staff person must confirm, edit and enhance:

  • Confirm the details in the record are correct, clean and accurate – name, address, telephone number(s).
  • Edit anything erroneous in the record – change of address, misspelling of a name, etc.
  • Enhance anything missing – mobile telephone number, email address, etc.

When you end the communications with the constituent, it is too late to confirm, edit or enhance.

In addition to this day to day activity, NFPs must cleanse their data at least one time per year to obtain changes of address, deceased and opt out flags. The data hygiene process is often referred to, by some data managers, as more painful than a root canal. It does not have to be. Hire a professional to manage the process for your NFP the first time. Document the process and then you or someone on your team will manage the process moving forward.

Data management is managed by one, but best handled by an army. Everyone owns the data in your organisation.

NFPs invest heavily to acquire donors. This is an expensive process. It will cost you to manage your data. But, it is even more expensive to lose a donor.