Friday, October 2, 2009

Utilizing Your Database -- October 2, 2009

Utilizing Your Database -- October 2, 2009

Non-profit organizations have many options regarding databases they can utilize to manage their constituents. Raisers Edge, Donor Perfect, ETapestry are all great options -- as well as Microsoft Access if your organization is truly budget conscious. However, no matter what size non-profit organization, it is critical to carefully manage the data that is being put into the database. Treat your database carefully, keep it healthy and up to date – it can be one of your greatest resources.

Here are a few helpful tips that will help non-profit maximize their database and make certain they are utilizing the database efficiently.

1 – Consistency. There should be one person that is responsible for data entry. This will ensure that all constituents are entered properly. Standardize the entry process, this will give you access to the information you need and it will give you that access quickly!

2 – Birthdays. Make sure you capture the birthday of all donors. Make sure your database records the birthdays of all constituents and remember to send a birthday card to your donors to acknowledge their special day!

3 – Back up your files. We have all seen viruses on the internet and we have all realized that technology can let us down. Keep your database backed up on a different server; the information in the database is way too valuable to lose.

4 – Invest in the proper training. All of the major database software companies offer top notch training. Invest in a one or two day workshop or at least an hour long webinar. Adequate training will prove to be cost effective and essential for accuracy.

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