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Is Dirty CRM Data Hurting Your Nonprofit?

Oct 19, 2022
Garbage Dumpster

So you’ve invested in a CRM (constituent relationship manager) solution - make sure to keep it clean! A nonprofit’s marketing and fundraising strategy is built on its data. Quality data is essential for nonprofits because it improves supporter engagement and drives fundraising revenue.

What is dirty data?

  • Duplicate data (e.g. contact records with the same name)

  • Incomplete data (e.g. partial addresses)

  • Inaccurate data (e.g. contact is deceased)

How does dirty data hurt your nonprofit?

  • Misinformed decision-making (e.g. reports you pull will be inaccurate)

  • Unnecessary costs (e.g. CRMs charge by the number of records and you are likely paying for more data storage than needed)

  • Deliverability issues (e.g. sending emails to inactive subscribers will hurt your sender reputation)

  • Loss of trust/missed opportunity to build personal relationships with supporters (e.g. addressing a donor with the wrong salutation)

  • Wasted time (e.g. mail merges you pull will need manual edits)

How to fix the dirty data?

  • Complete an audit/assessment of your existing data

  • Clean the bad data and review the data that remains

  • Evaluate your internal data policies and procedures (e.g. who has permission to enter data, establish a routine maintenance schedule)

Once it’s fixed, how do you keep your data clean?

  • Set new data entry policies and procedures

  • Limit database permissions and access to trained staff only

  • Help your organization to embrace a data-driven culture through training and educational resources