We know we talk about it a lot, but it’s true: if your charity wants to make more informed decisions and improve fundraising ROI, data analysis is absolutely essential.
Data is absolutely everywhere, and by using charity data analysis to get to grips with your data, you can access valuable insights that enable you to improve efficiencies, save money, inform your strategies, and make better decisions.
However, despite the importance of data for charities, less than half of charitable organisations find it easy to analyse and act on their data. We get it; data has a bad rep and can leave many charities feeling overwhelmed at all the information available and what to do with it.
But the great news is that it’s never been easier to make more informed decisions with data analysis. Want to find out how? Let’s dive in!
How to use charity data analysis to make more informed decisions
1. Audit your data
If you’re going to use your data to make more informed decisions, the first thing you need to do is conduct a data foundation audit to make sense of your data and unlock its potential.
It’s no secret that the information that charity databases typically contain can provide plenty of valuable insights that can be used to inform many decisions. However, if you’re going to get the most out of your data and reveal important patterns to inform decisions, you first need to review it so you can understand the state of your insights.
From behaviour patterns and retention and acquisition trends to profiling and demographic segmentation, by checking the quality and quantity of your data, you can start to reveal the types of insights that can be gained from it and begin to build a roadmap for developing further insights.
2. Make sure your data is clean
Once you know where your data is currently at, you then need to make sure it’s usable.
Data quality is crucial if you’re using data to make informed decisions, which is why you need to cleanse and consolidate your data to make sure it’s error-free.
Dirty data can be caused by factors including duplicate records, incomplete or outdated data, or the improper parsing of record fields from disparate systems. Unfortunately, data errors can be introduced at any stage of the data entry, storage, and management process.
With squeaky clean data, you can prevent data decay and amend or remove any incorrect, incomplete, or duplicated data to ensure you are only working with accurate, high-quality, and up-to-date data, so you can make sure the information you are working with will help you make more informed decisions.
3. Inform your fundraising
Now you know you can trust your data, you can begin to use it to inform your decisions. One of the most important ways charities can utilise their data is by using it to understand and segment their supporters so they can maximise their fundraising efforts.
Once you know who your supporters are and what drives them, you can use that information to empower your marketing decisions and hone your communications for maximum supporter engagement.
By using your data to make sure you are targeting the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and sharing valuable content that your supporters want to engage with, you can ensure your campaigns resonate with your audience, build trust with your donors, strengthen supporter retention, and increase donations.
4. Plan for the future
Finally, as well as helping you inform your fundraising campaigns, reviewing your campaign metrics can also help you improve your campaigns and plan for the future.
By using specialised charity sector data analysis tools to review metrics such as donor retention and donor acquisition rates, for example, you can see what has resonated with your audience and why, enabling you to learn from your mistakes and improve your fundraising efficiency in the future.
Plus, broader analysis can also help you reveal patterns and scope out larger trends to inform future fundraising decisions.
Ready to get the most out of your data?
Big planning decisions become easier when you can rely on what your data is telling you – and if you need help to cut through the noise, understand your insights, and improve your fundraising effectiveness, Wood for Trees is here to help.
How do we do it? By using a range of charity sector data analysis tools and techniques such as post-campaign analysis, segmentation, machine learning, and forecasting, combined with storytelling and data visualisations, to help you unlock the power of your data and make better, more informed decisions.
Get in touch with our team today to discover more and take your fundraising to the next level.