Choosing the Right Fundraising Database

Your database is like a house: strong, stable, and it needs to be right for you.

When asked what the most important difference is between a successful fundraising organization and an unsuccessful one, most people would probably guess it has something to do with crafting the right message, knowing the right donors or simply having the best staff. But I would argue that there’s something much more fundamental that could make the biggest difference in the long term success of any nonprofit organization. Even if you have a great group of people working for you, wonderful prospects and a popular cause you’re promoting, you and your organization will never meet your full potential unless you have a quality fundraising database (with equally high quality data) to keep your organization strong through the inevitable turnover of staff, leadership and even donors.

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What is Advancement Services

If you’ve ever worked in any nonprofit or fundraising organization of a certain size you’ve probably encountered a department called “Advancement Services” or “Institutional Operations.”  And while you might know what the “Human Resources” or “Information Management” departments do within an organization, there is often a little bit of a mystery around the vague name and nebulous job responsibilities of the Advancement Services department.  So what, exactly, is Advancement Services?

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Welcome To Modern Advancement

I decided to start this blog as an outlet for some of the things I’ve learned and experienced over my 20 year career which has spread across technology, non-profit databases and Advancement Services. While I hope to write about a number of different topics pertaining to fundraising, I’m hoping to focus more on the “internal workings” of a charitable giving organizations and specifically address some of the technical challenges issues that can be found in Advancement Services today. At its core this will be a fundraising blog, but it won’t be a place to chronicle the day-to-day efforts of giving officers to raise more money for their organization. I do hope to share some great fundraising tips with you, but I’m hoping to concentrate more on the back-end process of analyzing and maintaining your data in order to get better results.

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