Every organization I’ve worked for has always had a hard time using their database to capture donor information and keeping it up-to-date. Many will say this is because they don’t have the staffing to properly update the database. But I think that most often staff just don’t understand how it works. Every organization should make sure that they are training their new employees as to where donor information lives in their system. Most databases have multiple ways you can record and keep information and I’ve found that organizations hardly ever do everything the same way.
Take 30 minutes with your staff and help them understand how to update a donor record and where to input key information. You don’t have to be experts at managing databases, or using the prospect tab in Raiser’s Edge to create a valuable database. The biggest obstacle to using your database proficiently is understanding how to use it. If you have a database staff person, ask them to give you a quarterly or annual training on how to use your database.
Every organization has inconsistencies in how they input data. Your database person has a specific style they feel fits with your organization. It can be a huge struggle for that individual to keep track of donor information if each staff member is inputting differently into the system.
Do you have any tricks to keep information consistent in your organization? Is this an area you have felt immobilized by for a long time?