This is the Blackbaud Community Best Practices blog.

How Much Is Bad Data Costing Your Organization?

In the 1996 classic movie, Jerry Maguire, the movie’s protagonist Jerry, must convince star receiver Rod Tidwell to remain his client by screaming at the top of his lungs, “SHOW ME THE MONEEEEY!!!!”

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It’s been over two decades since the release of Jerry Maguire, and the same conversation is occurring at most nonprofit organizations. The Director of Development (Rod Tidwell) wants the Development Officer (Jerry) to show them the money.  

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It’s the industry’s worst kept secret, but many nonprofit fundraising professionals are under an intense amount of pressure to meet year-end fundraising goals with a limited number of resources available at their disposal.  To mitigate this lack of resources, many nonprofit organizations are investing their capital in a critical component of fundraising success: data health.

Quite simply, your database is your organization’s most valuable asset, and with increasing regularity, many fundraisers are taking a hands-on approach in protecting the integrity of their data. By staying up to date on best practices, and leveraging data services like Blackbaud’s Credit Card Updater, the successful nonprofit fundraiser understands prioritizing data health, and making better use of data, significantly increases the ability to develop more meaningful relationships with their donors. Sadly, not everyone is on board, which begs the question…how much money are you leaving on the table because of bad data? What is the untapped potential in your nonprofit’s database?

Untapped Potential: The Case for Data Health is a 2018 report commissioned by the Blackbaud Institute and reveals the true dollar value of good data practices. 

Key findings include:
  • Online giving is growing, but on average, 53% of records in a nonprofit’s database are missing email addresses*
  • The average nonprofit could be wasting thousands of dollars on each mailing thanks to bad addresses
  • Using an automated credit card updater service can help nonprofits retain thousands of dollars that might otherwise be lost on declined transactions for sustained gifts
There’s more great insight available in the report. Download your copy here and get to reading! If you want to learn more about Blackbaud’s Data Enrichment Services, click here to find out more.

What about your organization? Are you showing them the money? Share your tips and insight into data health below.
 
Posted by Kenny Browder on Nov 14, 2018 3:00 PM America/New_York

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I agree!  Be sure to appreciate us data nerds who are scrubbing and scrubbing your data  : )
  • Posted Thu 15 Nov 2018 02:20 PM EST
Such an important topic -thank you for posting!
  • Posted Tue 04 Dec 2018 11:09 AM EST
Sara Crowe‍, we love our data nerds!!!! You folks are the real MVPs!  
  • Posted Tue 04 Dec 2018 04:08 PM EST
A very important topic indeed, Shelly Gammieri‍!  How does your organization approach this discussion?
  • Posted Tue 04 Dec 2018 04:10 PM EST
Kenny Browder‍ We're already using some of blackbaud's data enrichment services like address finder, etc..., but we're always looking to stretch our budget for more services. They're worth it.
  • Posted Tue 04 Dec 2018 05:06 PM EST
This is so true. This is an ongoing conversation in my office when we need to pull massive list. 
  • Posted Thu 24 Jan 2019 09:32 AM EST
Thanks for posting this!
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 11:37 AM EDT
We've made a concerted effort over the past year to clean up our data for these very reasons. We're also trying to get development & finance on the same page with dates & timing as much as possible so that info gathered from both sources is similar. It's a challenge but so worth it in the end!
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 01:53 PM EDT
I feel like the glue that keeps my Development Team and Finance Department on the same page! I love that I have some data to present and it's  not just me talking about keeping our data clean!!
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 02:24 PM EDT
Thank you for the resources!  Something that we will be looking into as we attempt to keep our data clean.  
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 03:52 PM EDT
This is so critical these days, thanks for sharing your insights!
  • Posted Tue 26 Mar 2019 09:43 AM EDT
I took this course. Very useful information. 
  • Posted Fri 29 Mar 2019 05:02 PM EDT
This is very important.  We discuss this topic on a regular basis.  Our development folks are working on cleaning up data frequently.  We are always looking for ways to communicate more effectively with our constituents, and by having good email addresses in our database we can do that with ease.  
  • Posted Mon 01 Apr 2019 01:54 PM EDT
Certainly interesting figures. We've worked a lot the past couple years to try to improve our data hygiene.
  • Posted Wed 03 Apr 2019 11:34 AM EDT