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The Nonprofit Fundraising Data Professional's Survival Kit

nonprofit data

Hello, fellow data warriors! If you're reading this, you're either navigating the intricate web of nonprofit fundraising data resources or you're just lost on the internet. Either way, welcome! 

On tap for today, some must-haves for any nonprofit fundraising data professional. These are the bread-and-butter tools, the Swiss army knives, the superhero capes, get the picture. So, buckle up, grab a coffee, and let's dive into the survival kit.

  1. The Mighty CRM
    Your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) system is your home base. It's your Batcave, your Fortress of Solitude, your... okay, you got it. The CRM is where all your donor data lives, breathes, and occasionally throws a party you weren't invited to. There are several CRMs available, like Salesforce, Raiser's Edge, Virtuous, and Bloomerang, each with its own strengths and quirks. What CRM does your organization use?
  2. Data Hygiene Tools
    Data hygiene is as essential as brushing your teeth. For this, we're turning to a Microsoft star - Power Query. This Excel tool lets you connect, combine, and refine data across a wide variety of sources. Use it to remove duplicates, fill missing data, merge queries, filter rows, and replace values. It's your all-in-one tool for keeping data from your system clean, accurate, and ready for further analysis or processing. So, roll up your sleeves and let Power Query do the heavy lifting!
  3. Reporting Software
    Reporting software is like your very own data whisperer. It takes the raw, often confusing jumble of numbers and transforms it into something meaningful and digestible. Tableau, Power BI, and Looker are popular choices. Choose wisely, because the clarity of your reports could be the difference between a successful fundraising campaign and explaining to your boss why you only raised enough money to buy half a stapler.
  4. A Healthy Dose of Patience
    Dealing with CRMs and donor data can test your patience like a toddler with a drum set. You'll encounter stubborn duplicates, mysteriously missing data, and software that decides to take a vacation right when you need it the most. Take deep breaths. Practice mindfulness. Consider yoga. Or just remember that even on the toughest days, your work is vital to helping your organization make a difference in the world.
  5. A Sense of Humor
    Finally, never underestimate the power of a good laugh. Whether it's laughing at a particularly ridiculous data entry error or sharing a light-hearted moment with your team, humor can be a fantastic stress reliever.

That's it, folks. Your very own nonprofit fundraising data professional's survival kit...phew, that's a mouthful. Remember, every data superhero needs their toolkit, so gear up, keep learning, and remember to laugh every once in a while.

Happy data wrangling!

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