3 ways data can boost your fundraising

16 July 2019

Gathering data can be a chore, but it’s one of the keys to creating a successful fundraising strategy.

Data allows you to make more informed decisions on how to inspire your donors. Knowing what works and what doesn't in your communications, campaigns, and events is the best way to avoid making random decisions and wasting resources on ineffective methods.

When gathering data, it's important to first reflect on what goal needs to be achieved, and what information will let you measure if you're doing right. These tips should help you align your data-gathering efforts with your goals.

Raising more money

When your goal is to raise more money, you might want to gather data on:

  • Your donors’ giving history, including whether they have given once or multiple times, will allow you to personalise your communications during campaigns
  • Your target donor demographics, such as age, location and interests
  • What drives people to engage with your organisation
  • The cost per amount raised for a fundraising campaign, and how it changes across multiple campaigns
  • Gathering data at a regular schedule (e.g. monthly) will reveal patterns that can help inform your future fundraising schedule.

Most importantly, make sure you collect your data both before and after a campaign so you can learn more about the campaign's impact.

Build stronger relationships with donors

When your goal is to strengthen your relationship with donors, you want to start gathering data (with permission) on:

  • Donor status: Whether they’re lapsed or current
  • Donor source: Where do the donors come from? Where should you focus your efforts when trying to reach new donors?
  • Communications preferences: What channels of communications do your donors prefer? How can you adapt to them?

All this information can be collected through donor surveys, sent after an event or newsletter subscription. Gathering this information will help you understand what drives donors to engage with your organisation and will communicate your value as a fundraiser.

Tell better stories with data

If your goal is to tell better stories to your donors and volunteers, you want to look at data which relates to their engagement:

  • Click rates and open rates for your emails
  • Monitoring the subscribe and unsubscribe rates (weekly or monthly)
  • Results from donor surveys or feedback forms
  • Polls on Facebook and Twitter, which will show you what parts of your work resonate on social media.

You can also gather highly detailed qualitative data about the donor experience in your in-person conversations with your donors.

Getting fundraising right can be tricky, but by incorporating these tips into your strategy you’ll have a better idea of what works for your organisation.

GlobalGiving invites charities and community groups to join GlobalGiving’s platform via the September Accelerator programme, a digital fundraising training programme that provides digital fundraising training and entry into a crowdfunding campaign to raise £4,000 for a chosen project. Graduates of the programme become permanent partners on the GlobalGiving platform and will gain access to additional corporate funding and training opportunities.

To apply, click here. The deadline to apply is 26th July.

About the author

Charlotte Kerting

Charlotte is the Program Coordinator at GlobalGiving, a charity that partners with charities to help them grow and thrive: providing access to fundraising tools, funding, support and training.