At your nonprofit, you ask for donations all the time. You have a regular schedule of donation requests, and you also have several special campaigns when you raise money for a major purchase. Before you send out your next batch of requests, though, check that these five donor data points are accurate.
Make Sure the Email Records Are Up to Date
People change their emails fairly often, particularly if they’re in school or if they have switched careers. Also, if one character of the email you have on file is wrong, your intended donor won’t get the message. Use your Raiser’s Edge import guide to double-check that you’re accessing the most current email information across all your databases. Consider sending out yearly requests for your regular donors to verify that their email addresses have stayed the same and that you’ve written them correctly.
Ensure You Have Clean, Current Data
If you don’t have a classy Salesforce integration program, it’s easy for your donor data to get messy when you import or export it. Make sure that all your names, addresses, and emails are properly formatted and grammatically correct before sending out your requests. For example, if someone’s name is written in all capitals, he or she may be put off by your request.
You also need to check that your databases have the most current data. Your donors move, requiring new addresses, and they get new phones, requiring updated numbers. Use your most recent contact with them to ensure that your contact information is still accurate.
Double-Check Donors’ Names
There’s nothing more embarrassing than calling people the wrong names during funding requests. Not only is this disrespectful, but it also makes your donors feel like you don’t care about them. Look through your constituent management database to see if any of your donors have changed their names because of marriages, divorces, or gender transitions. When in doubt, send them short messages asking them to clarify their official names for your records.
Verify Past Donation Records
If some of your donors have given to your nonprofit in the past, you should acknowledge their other donations in your request. Use your databases to look up when your donors’ last gifts were, and explain how you used the money they gave. This practice shows your donors that you pay attention to their gifts and that their generosity has a real impact.
Check Preferred Communication Methods
Once you’ve created your donation request messages, use your constituent databases to check how your donors want to receive their requests. Many people still like to receive traditional mail, but others like the ease and speed of email. Your youngest donors may prefer texts, while your long-time givers often enjoy individual phone calls. By double-checking this information before initiating contact, you show respect for your donors’ preferences and make them more likely to respond.
Once you’ve verified these five donor points, send out your requests for donations and start planning how you’re going to use the funds.