A good database is the most important tool in a fundraiser’s toolbox. A donor database will set your fundraising program up for success by:
- Organizing all your data into easily manageable files that is shareable with other staff and volunteers
- Eliminating time-consuming manual processing by automating some of the work
- Helping you target, solicit and follow up with donors
- Identifying prospective donors for your leadership giving programs
- Becoming the “memory” of your organization – ensuring donor relationships continue even if there’s turnover at your organization
Choosing a database can feel like a daunting task. How do you even decide which one to use?
This toolkit is designed for staff at small- to mid-sized non-profits who are looking for a fundraising database. You might already have one in place that you’ve outgrown or aren’t happy with, or you’re thinking about switching from your gargantuan Excel document to something more sophisticated.
- Introduction – what can a database do for you
- Why you shouldn’t create a database in Excel
- Before you start looking…
- What do you need?
- How to choose your database
- What does it cost?
- What’s next?
- Helpful terms
- Sample Donation Processing Business Rules & Data Entry Style Guide
- Needs Assessment & Database Comparison Template