Data mistakes that can kill your fundraising results

Errors and inaccuracies in your donor data are probably the most harmful mistakes you can suffer, doing massive, sometimes irreparable damage.

If you want to concentrate on one thing to get right, make it your data.

Here are some of the errors to avoid from Markets For Good, at The 7 Biggest Mistakes in Handling Donor Data:


  1. Assuming Data Entry/Gift Entry Needs No Guidelines
  2. Never or Seldom Running an NCOA Update (do it at least once a year)
  3. No Recording of Personal Donor Interactions (be sure to record phone, email, or face-to-face conversations with donors)
  4. Not Backing Up Your Data and TESTING Your Back-up
  5. Never Cleaning Up Your Data
  6. Not Taking Advantage of Data Append Services (there’s useful information available out there; use it)
  7. Not Integrating Key Systems in Your Organization


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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