EMPOWER SIS is Attending the AACRAO Annual Meeting March 26-28th. Come see us at booth #608.

5 Best Practices for Effective Donor Database for Colleges

donor database

Donations help keep colleges and universities financially healthy and allow them to expand their programs, buildings, and scholarships. Without donor support, a school cannot develop and grow to meet the needs of students. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear donor database plan. How you engage, interact with, and show appreciation for donors will impact whether they continue to support your college. Here are some best practices for effective donor management. 

What is donor management?

Donor management is the steps your school takes to acquire new donors, collect donor information, and cultivate strong relationships. Creating a positive experience increases the chances that your donors will continue supporting their alma mater for the long term.

5 Tips to Improve Your Donor Management Strategy

1. Invest in donor management software

A donor management system is a software tool that allows colleges to store, organize, and report on donor data. Some of the features of a donor management system include:

  • A donor database: This is the tool you’ll use to build, view, and update donor profiles.
  • Online giving platform: This provides a more seamless experience for donors.
  • Reporting features: You’ll be able to run reports on fundraising campaigns, donor engagement metrics, and other insights.
  • Personalized donor outreach: When you keep track of donor information, you can personalize donor outreach messages by addressing them by name and thanking them for their specific donation amount.
  • Identify potential major donors: Donor management systems provide insight into who your most engaged donors are, so you can focus your outreach efforts.

2. Track Metrics

Once you have a donor management software, you’ll be able to use quantifiable metrics to assess your donor management progress. You can use your donor database to analyze retention rate, acquisition cost, lifetime value, and other metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

3. Segment Donors

Using the information in your donor database, you can segment supporters based on their shared interests or behaviors, creating smaller donor groups. Then, you can create tailored content for each group rather than sending generic, one-size-fits-all messages to your entire donor base.

4. Regularly Update Donor Information

Your donor information is only valuable if it’s accurate and complete. With an accurate and updated donor database, you can be sure that your marketing and outreach efforts aren’t being wasted. Regularly audit your database to identify inaccurate or outdated information. Donor management software may be able to complete this process automatically, saving your team time.

5. Communicate With Donors Regularly

It’s important to keep the channels of communication open without bombarding your donor’s inboxes. Find the right balance by touching base regularly, with messages spread over a few months. Highlight additional ways to engage that don’t involve donating, such as volunteering or attending events. Provide updates on how donations have helped you achieve a goal, complete a project, fund a program, or work toward another objective. This will help foster stronger supporter relationships and encourage long-term giving.

Build A Strong Donor Database With EMPOWER SIS

Investing in donor management software is important for the financial security and growth of your school. A school can’t build and nurture relationships with donors if it doesn’t have accurate and segmented data at its fingertips. EMPOWER makes managing donor data easier and more efficient with an organized, central donor database. Our SIS provides a seamless experience for both staff and donors, building stronger relationships for the long-term. Contact us for a demo.