Keeping Up

nonprofit data Apr 20, 2021

Between to do lists, meetings, and events a nonprofit database pro can start to feel outpaced by ever growing stacks of data to enter, requests to fill, and records to update. Some days it feels easier to say, "I'll get to it tomorrow" when it comes to keeping up with the ever so important task of data maintenance.

On my first day of cross-country practice as a freshman in high school Coach Rinckey pulled me aside from the rest of the team, looked me squarely in the eye and said, "Always remember Eddie, it's easier to keep up than to catch up." Let's just say that was quite some time ago, but I remember that moment like it was yesterday. It took me awhile to understand Coach Rinckey's underlying message. He was talking about keeping pace with the pack and then allowing your momentum to carry you when every fiber of your being is screaming, "STOP."

But what's a world-class donor data management runner to do when they find themselves in constant catch up mode? Try these to get yourself and your team on track and up to speed.

  • Implement or revise a data request form.
  • Establish a report schedule...and stick to it.
  • Use data entry tools like batch or bulk entry.
  • Master the art and science of the data import.
  • Create reports and other outputs for fundraisers and others that are self-service.
  • Explore options for automation or semi-automation with integrations and connectors.
  • Plan ahead with your team to create a data output calendar for the year that includes all necessary lists and exports for large mailings and other bulk communications.

As you are able to tackle your stacks of work and establish a new pace, your momentum will begin to build. There will be no stopping you and the amazing things you will do in your data management marathon.

On your mark, get set, go!

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