As the cost-of-living crisis continues to rumble on, 32% of charities have said their income has decreased – which means that supporter engagement is more important than ever before.
Data-driven charities are likely to be more effective than those that aren’t, so if you want to boost supporter engagement, it’s time to utilise the power of your data.
But for many, adopting a data-driven approach can seem pretty overwhelming.
Not only can data analytics seem complicated (hello, intense Excel spreadsheets!), but often, charities can be swamped by too much data, resulting in data overload and analysis paralysis.
So, how can you avoid becoming overloaded by data whilst at the same time boosting supporter engagement?
From charity data analysis tools to the benefits of working with an expert data agency, we explain everything you need to know in this blog.
6 ways to simplify your data and boost supporter engagement
1. Establish clear goals and targets
Firstly, you need to identify what it is you want to achieve with your data and why.
If you dive head-first into data analytics with no plan or purpose in place, you’ll feel overwhelmed quickly, so it’s important to establish a clear goal and take it from there.
Sure, you want to boost supporter engagement, but what does that look like for you? Do you want to enhance the lifetime value of your supporters? Reduce churn? Increase your social media reach?
What do you need to be able to achieve these goals? And what data do you currently have that might be able to help? What about the metrics needed to measure success?
By taking a step back and identifying a clear purpose, you can prepare, plan, and be specific, enabling you to give chaos order and make sense of your data without becoming overwhelmed.
2. Make sure your data is clean
Once you know what you want to achieve with your data, you then need to make sure your data is clean and usable so that you can trust it.
Basically, if you’re going to simplify your data and use it to boost supporter engagement, you need to make sure it’s error-free.
From duplicate records, incomplete or outdated data, disparate systems and improper naming conventions, there are many causes of dirty data, all of which will impact your ability to understand your supporters and use your data effectively.
You can cut through the noise and ensure you are using accurate, high-quality data you can trust by removing outdated and incorrect data. Charity data analysis tools put data processing frameworks and data governance in place for the future, enabling you to get the most out your data and use it make informed, data-driven decisions.
3. Store and manage your data properly
Once your data is cleansed and audited, you need to ensure it is stored and managed properly so it is in the right shape to uncover those insights needed to boost supporter engagement.
The world today is inherently data-driven, so much so that many charities are drowning in data – and data volumes are only going to increase over the coming months and years.
As such, having a data management strategy in place is essential if your data is going to remain in a useful and usable condition, especially as the world shifts away from third-party data.
Also, by ensuring you have the right systems and tools in place to manage and validate your donor data ethically and efficiently, you will also earn the trust of your supporters and ensure you have the most accurate information available at your fingertips, giving you all the insights you need to boost supporter engagement.
4. Get rid of data silos
This leads us to our next point. In an ideal world, you want to have a single view of your data so you can add value through transparency rather than storing your data in multiple, disparate systems.
Many charities today are still dealing with siloed data, which means essential insights are often swept under the rug and forgotten about.
By implementing a CRM system, however, you can wave goodbye to the days of data silos and remove data processing bottlenecks, ensuring your data is easily accessible across your charity so your teams have instant access to the information they need.
Trust us, it’s worth the effort: research has shown that the use of CRM systems can help increase donor contributions by a huge 20%!
5. Use it to get to know your audience
So, what do you do with all your clean, up-to-date, well-managed data? You use it to get to know your audience and understand your supporters.
By segmenting your data and creating in-depth donor profiles, you can begin to truly understand your supporter demographics and fundraising activity, track your supporter base, and even measure income trends and performance.
This enables you to go beyond basic understanding and access key information and data points so you can get a crystal-clear picture of your supporters, uncover trends, and pinpoint what drives them, so you can understand who your supporters are and how they support you.
The result? You get the intel you need to determine the best approaches so you can effectively communicate with your supporters, optimise their journeys, and enhance supporter engagement.
6. Work with an expert
Finally, one of the best ways to simplify your data and boost supporter engagement is to enlist the help of an expert data agency.
Here at Wood for Trees, we know a thing or two about data. Our team of awesome analysts are skilled at modelling and presenting your data in enlightening ways to drive insight and actions, so you can cut through the noise and access the info you need.
You see, we don’t just provide numbers. Instead, we go one step further and help you make sense of your data so you can optimise your communications, provide structure and strategy to your programmes, and target your supporters in the right way to increase engagement.
Ready to get the most out of your data and enhance supporter engagement?
As charity data experts, we understand the challenges fundraisers face and know how to use data to give them the answers they need.