Recently I found myself in the local emergency room at about 3:00 am. Talk about a bad dream. Little did I know, it was about to get worse. The emergency room wasn’t crowded and there was a prominent sign that stated, “Average wait time 30 minutes.” I ended up waiting almost three hours before being brought back to see a doctor despite repeated reminders to the intake person that I felt like I was about to die. The reason for the wait was there wasn’t an “open bed”. With the pain I felt I wouldn’t have cared if the doctor treated me on the floor; I just wanted the pain to go away. And by the way, what happened to the 30-minute wait?
Finally, they figured out the issue and much to my relief I was given a pain killer. Once I was moved to an actual hospital room and saw how many empty beds there were it struck me the emergency room doesn’t run very efficiently and their communication certainly wasn’t very effective. With all those open beds why is there a three-hour backup in the ER? Then I had a couple of days in the hospital with highly professional, highly proficient and highly capable people and was soon as good as new. What does this have to do with non-profits and fundraising? In the non-profit field we also have highly professional and capable people, but we have scarce resources and sometimes don’t work as efficiently and as effectively as we could.
Fundraising is as much a science as it is an art. The job of every fundraiser is to reach their fundraising goals while controlling costs. An effective fundraiser builds relationships and develops strategies to cultivate individual donors, engaging the Board of Directors in the process. An effective fundraiser is passionate about their organization and communicates this enthusiasm to their staff, board, donors, volunteers, and community. They set clear goals and develop strategies to reach those goals. They provide their donors with excellent stewardship. Donors know how their gift is being used and what impact it is making. An effective fundraiser keeps donors informed and involved because this will keep donors invested. Relationship building, and creative strategizing is the art of fundraising.
The science part of being an efficient fundraiser is how do you reach those goals while controlling costs? Are you working efficiently to keep your costs down? All non-profits spend a great deal of time carefully crafting communications with donors. Are you putting in the same effort to ensure you have accurate information on your donors? Getting the right message across is vitally important but what if that message never reaches your donor because you have the wrong email or street address? Regular data cleansing will help you get more for your fundraising efforts.
HEPdata offers a full suite of data enrichments services to enable non-profits to operate more efficiently. Check-out some of our most popular services below:
- National Change of Address (NCOA): Direct mail studies have found that screening your mailing list against this database twice a year can update between 7% and 15% of your addresses — meaning more charitable gifts and fewer wasted solicitations.
- Phone Append: We offer home phone appends and a new wireless flag. Our wireless flag will label your constituent numbers as either a mobile number or landline, allowing you to confidently connect with them.
- Delete Duplicate Records: Regularly check for and remove duplicate donor records.
- Get Accurate Email Addresses for Your Donors – eFind™: Grow your pool of donor email addresses using our advanced email append service.
- Improve the accuracy of your donor employment information: If you are like most nonprofits, your donor employer information is non-existent or has become outdated. HEPdata EmployerFind™ can fill those gaps in information by providing a current employer name, job title and Social Media URL (when available). We can also verify the validity of your existing employer names.
- Identify Donors that are Matching Gift Eligible through AutoMatchXpress: AutoMatchXpress is a comprehensive screening service that will identify which records in your donor database are match eligible.
- Birth Dates and Death Records: Find birth dates and death records with our prospect data append service.
Take away: By keeping accurate data, nonprofits benefit by lowering marketing costs, increasing response rates, and increasing return on your outreach efforts. Top fundraisers understand the importance of regularly evaluating the accuracy of their data and running append services. We would be happy to help evaluate your data cleansing needs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-681-4438 for your free consultation.
Also, check out our Learning Center where you can view over 50 free, on-demand educational webinars by leaders in philanthropy, covering best practice on various fundraising topics. You can also find a weekly blog that provides useful fundraising tips.