December 30, 2015

Selecting and Managing a Donor Database

The start of a new year often brings resolutions to change one’s behavior — in the budgeting of calories, time, or money, for example.

Many people set professional goals as well. For nonprofit fundraisers, an imperfect donor database often rises to the top of the list of items needing improvement.

Having good, well-run donor databases is critical for strong fundraising, but they can be difficult to select and expensive to purchase. Plus, it’s not always easy to persuade staff members to use them or donors to pay for them.

If your New Year’s resolutions include overhauling your database to better cultivate passionate supporters, here is a list of Chronicle resources to help you. 

Background Paper
July 18, 2017

How to Work With Pro Bono Tech Support

Questions to ask, skills to look for, and other things to consider before you enlist volunteer technical help.

June 29, 2016

6 Pitfalls of Donor Databases and How to Avoid Them

An expert on nonprofit database management offers tips for anticipating and preparing for common challenges.

March 06, 2015

7 Steps for Picking a New Donor Database

From determining your nonprofit’s needs to training staff, what you need to know about selecting new software — or staying with the database you already have.

March 04, 2015

A Questionnaire for Database Companies

Greenpeace USA used this questionnaire — which asks about methodology, staffing, rates, and timelines — during its search for a new donor database.

May 19, 2015

7 Ways to Get Staff Support for Technology Projects

New tools work only if employees actually use them. This checklist provides steps to get staff members on board with new technology.

October 20, 2013

Cleaning Up a Messy Donor Database Can Lift Giving

Advice on how to deal with haphazard records that hobble fundraising efforts.

June 22, 2015

'But It's Free!' and 9 Other Lines About Technology You Don't Want to Hear

Sometimes the technology itself is not the issue. Here’s how to deal with challenges like money, employer and employee attitudes, and organizational and staffing decisions.

August 18, 2015

Case Study: How a Small Nonprofit Set Up a New Donor Database

The group had been using four systems and needed to consolidate its information to start a major-gifts program and to operate more efficiently.

August 25, 2015

Case Study: Lessons From a Midsize Charity's Donor-Database Upgrade

How a summer education program in San Francisco worked through a complicated and challenging change with a consultant.