After talking with an organisation recently it became very clear that though they had a fundraising database, they didn’t use it collectively as an organisation. A fundraiser would occasionally add a new donor or put notes under a returning donor, but it wasn’t consistent throughout the organisation and their database wasn’t a reliable tool.
Seeing this made me wonder, how many organisations properly use their database as the single source of truth? Or do most organisation find that every fundraiser keeps their own list of supporters stored away somewhere on their desktop, unknown to the rest of the organisation?
If your not for profit doesn’t use one database consistently across your organisation it’s time to start establishing a single source of truth (SSOT).
Why is it important to have a SSOT?
Whether you’re a large or small organisation your data is your greatest asset. However if your data is out of date, hard to find or not structured in an informative way you’re devaluing that asset.
By having a fundraising solution set up so all your data goes into and comes out of one location AND engaging your team to utilise that tool, puts your organisation back in control of your data.
Setting up your SSOT provides your team with consistency within your organisation. As office spaces become more non-traditional and more mobile, it provides your team the ability to access and share correct data anywhere and everywhere.
Your organisation is also constantly bringing in new data from a variety of sources. Whether it’s peer to peer events, sign up forms, face to face fundraising or telemarketing; collecting all your data in one source will help keep your data not only clean, but reliable.
What happens if you don’t have a SSOT?
Without a SSOT your organisation will end up with multiple collection points where duplicates will be created and data will become out of date and incorrect.
Image getting a list of new donors from a recent face to face campaign and calling out to thank them for their recent donation only to find out later your colleague had emailed some of the same donors because they recently supported a friend in an event.
Not being informed across your organisation takes up precious resources, but it can also leave donors with a poor impression of your organisation.
Operating with a SSOT will give each of your team members an organisational wide view of your all your donors and activities.
It’s time to get rid of lists on your desktop and start giving your team control of your data.