Oct 28, 2022

Data Navigation Tips for Better Fundraising

data navigation tips for better

Fundraising is a goldmine for donor and campaign data. As a nonprofit, you can use this data to improve your fundraising campaigns, grow your organization and enhance how you manage donors. Collecting data also helps you track your goals and successes, which shows you and your staff that all your hard work is paying off. Using fundraising data gives you valuable information and insights that you can use to take action. Acting on what you learn from your data is what helps you improve your campaigns.

Continue reading to learn how to use fundraising data to improve your donor engagement, fundraising, and reach.

How Can Data Improve Fundraising?

Fundraising data can be used to improve your future campaigns. You can analyze the data you collect to find campaign trends, which helps you plan future campaigns more effectively. You’ll be able to identify fundraising strategies that are working and ones that haven’t been as successful. Data allows you to make necessary improvements and helps with decision-making to find success and grow your organization.

How to Use Data in Fundraising

Measuring fundraising success with data is one of the most effective ways to improve your fundraising campaigns. To make data collection beneficial, you need to know how to use the data you’re collecting and what to look for. Here are several fundraising data tips to get you on the right track.

Collect the Right Data

Nearly every aspect of your fundraiser can be used as data. One of the biggest things to remember when collecting data is that some data will be irrelevant to your organization and goals. When irrelevant data is mixed in with useful data, it’s hard to dissect actionable information. Focus on collecting the right data for your goals to narrow down your efforts and ensure you can use the information in your database.

The “right” data will vary from nonprofit to nonprofit, though some common examples of relevant donor data include:

  • Personal information, like their name, contact information, occupation, address, preferences, interests, and hobbies.
  • Previous engagements with nonprofits, including volunteer efforts, participation in advocacy, donations, and event attendance.
  • Political support, such as any causes or candidates the donor publicly supported.
  • Business ownership, employment information, or other investments.

Pay Attention to Key Metrics

Fundraising metrics, also called key performance indicators (KPIs), are measurable values that indicate whether you’re reaching objectives. Tracking KPIs is important for setting and meeting goals for your organization. Here are four key metrics nonprofits typically pay attention to:

  • Donor retention rate: The donor retention rate is the percentage of donors you retain after an initial donation, which you want to be high. In other words, this is the percentage of your donors that make repeat donations with a maximum of one year between donations. This KPI can reveal insights like how successful certain communication channels are, how your donors prefer to donate, and if you sufficiently recognize your donors. 
  • Lifetime value: A donor’s lifetime value is the net amount you anticipate receiving from the donor over the lifetime of their involvement with your organization. This KPI can help you determine where to dedicate strategic campaigns and fundraising efforts.
  • The number of donations: Count the total number of donations you receive over the course of a campaign. This is a great metric for determining how well donors and supporters responded to the event and your appeal.
  • Average gift by source: Tracking your average gift by source allows you to determine what donation channels your donors prefer and use more often. This KPI will give you insight as to which channels are worth maintaining and which channels you’d be better off without. You can use this information to reduce costs and increase activation.


creating segments

Segment Your Donors

Donor segmentation involves grouping together donors that share similar characteristics. With segmented donors, your data will be separated into more understandable chunks and can help you determine how to interact with each segment. For example, you may create segments based on age, event participation, gift size, gift frequency, and preferred contact method. Creating segments allows you to cater your marketing and communication to the different donor groups to increase the effectiveness of getting through to them.

For example, segmenting your donors based on donation frequency allows you to tailor your communication strategies. When communicating with first-time donors, you need to form a connection so they feel special and will donate again or get more involved with your organization. On the other hand, monthly donors already have a relationship with your organization, so they want to feel special through recognition, like unique thank you notes and updates on how their donations are being used.

Maintain Your Donor Database

Your donor database houses all your donor data, which means there’s a lot of information here at any given time. With such high levels of data, your donor database can quickly become cluttered and incomprehensible. To ensure you can find information and use it effectively, keep your database clean and organized. Sort your data and keep formatting standard so it’s easy to find and understand. 

Choose the Right CRM

Nonprofit constituent relationship management (CRM) systems store information on all your donors and every interaction you have with them. CRMs are essentially the ultimate donor database. There are numerous CRMs for nonprofits to choose from, though you’ll want to look for a system with ideal features and qualities that meet your organization’s needs. 

For example, GiveSmart’s Donor CRM offers the following features and more:

  • Reporting: Stay updated, track retention rates, get notified of lapsed donors, and more with this solution. Sharing donor reports is even as easy as a single click.
  • Customizable features: You can also customize tags, fields, segments, and filters without programming experience. Custom tools allow you to make the CRM work for your organization’s needs. Once you customize your fields, the system can help you discover personalized insights, like wealth capacity and donor potential.
  • Security technology: Equipped with the latest security technology, our Donor CRM allows for secure data storage, sharing, and tracking. 


GiveSmart donor ctm

See What GiveSmart’s Donor CRM Can Do for You

There’s no one CRM for every nonprofit, which means you need to determine what’s necessary for your organization. At GiveSmart, we understand each nonprofit has different needs so we help you use our Donor CRM in a way that will benefit your organization. 

Our fundraising management tools help you provide an engaging donor experience while using data to expand your reach. The GiveSmart platform is equipped with numerous features and capabilities to help you improve your fundraising and grow your organization.

If you want to see what GiveSmart’s Donor CRM can do for your organization, request a demo to see it in action.


ring toss
September 19, 2023

Hosting a Ring Toss Fundraiser

Fundraisers with games offer a dynamic way to garner support for a cause. Games infuse…

Read More
how to hold a 50 50
September 7, 2023

How to Hold a 50/50 Raffle

As far as fundraising ventures go, the 50/50 raffle stands as a time-tested and efficient…

Read More
GiveSmart Gives Back
August 23, 2023

GiveSmart and The Nonprofit Makeover Collaborate for GiveSmart Gives Back

GiveSmart is thrilled to be partnering with The Nonprofit Makeover, a minority-owned consulting firm dedicated…

Read More

What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County