How to put data to work for your fundraising

Do you pay attention to your fundraising data?

If you do, you are unusual.

It’s not hard to collect or have a lot of data. It’s considerably harder to use it to improve things.

Here’s a great post at Know Your Own Bone about the nerdy roles you need to have in your organization to get the most from all that data: The Few, The Proud, The Nerdy – Why Your Organization Needs Data Advocates:

  1. Data needs an insider. Someone familiar with your program and what the data means.
  2. Data needs a storyteller. Even knowledgeable people often misinterpret data because it’s hard to understand until someone turns it into a story.
  3. Data needs a translator. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people read data and get exactly the wrong understanding. We need people who can make it clear.
  4. Data needs a champion. Because it will get ignored if you don’t have someone who pushes it.


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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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