Depending on the type and number of systems your nonprofit uses, your data may be scattered across a wide variety of disparate sources. You might find yourself hopping around different systems and databases to collect basic information you need for a function, task, or profile on a contact.
What do you do when this happens?
Consider a nonprofit data integration! It can come to your rescue, eliminating the time, effort, and hassles it takes to access, analyze and utilize your vast supply of nonprofit data. Your organization will also reap several benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about a nonprofit integration project.
First, What is Nonprofit Data Integration?
Nonprofit data integration refers to consolidating all your data or bringing it all together in a single platform. Rather than being forced to access multiple databases to gather the info you need, you can access it all from a centralized location. Typically this involves connecting the information from your CRM or fundraising software to your marketing platform, like HubSpot.
Why would you do this?
Having all your nonprofit data integrated helps your organization expand operations as you grow, with additional information added, updated and synced as needed. You’re also able to connect your data to various sources, with all your software, platforms, or systems pulling the data from its central location (in most cases, this will be your CRM or fundraising software).
Integrating data can be especially beneficial for nonprofits that use or are thinking about onboarding Classy’s fundraising solutions, since Classy seamlessly integrates with HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing platform. Combining the two systems gives you the best of both worlds, with all the fundraising capabilities of Classy and the marketing features of HubSpot available for use with your contact database.
Benefits of Integrating Data
Nonprofit data integration can be beneficial for your contacts, your teams, and your organization as a whole. In addition to being easily accessible to any member of your organization, the data’s complexity is also reduced. You now have a simple method to deliver your data to any system you may be using.
Additionally, you can enhance the use of marketing and fundraising software by segmenting your contacts or website visitors into specific categories, then quickly tapping into their contact data to personalize the content. HubSpot’s Smart Content feature allows you to change images dynamically, videos, messaging and other content based on the segmented list designated for each contact -- which can be helpful when you’re working with donors, potential donors, and volunteers.
Similarly, when all your nonprofit data is consolidated in a single location, you’re also able to make more informed decisions. It becomes much easier to gather insights you can use to predict your nonprofit needs, as well as the actions of your contacts and donors.
Because you’ll be able to view a donor’s entire history, attributes, and past behaviors, you may be able to use that information to set appropriate ask amounts or techniques to secure donations from other contacts or continued contributions in the future. Lead nurturing becomes much more meaningful and effective, which can increase donors and donor retention.
Three more benefits of a nonprofit data integration project are the ability to streamline your operations, launching fundraising campaigns from HubSpot, and increasing productivity across the board.
Steps to Take To Integrate Your Nonprofit Systems
The benefits of nonprofit data integration are great, but experiencing them can only come if your data is integrated successfully. You can help ensure your data integration proceeds smoothly with a few valuable tips:
Determine if you’ll go it alone or use a partner: If you have a development team, they can work on combining systems and syncing your data between them. However, not all companies have the ability to do that. If that’s the case, you can work with a partner like SyncSmart by downloading a packaged integration or brainstorming a more custom project.
Make a list of your systems: After you’ve decided how to go about your project, write down every system your nonprofit uses, such as HubSpot for marketing, Classy for fundraising, a CRM to manage customer relationships, and all others that store existing data and will require access to your centralized location.
Clean up your database: Before you even test an integration, clean up your database. This involves combining or deleting duplicate records, removing invalid email addresses, and making other edits to ensure all records are updated and valid.
Establish objectives: Outlining your key objectives can help your organization stay on track with the integration. You want to be clear on information such as:
- Why you’re undertaking a data integration project
- What you aim to achieve with the integration
- Your expectations for the project
- Your project timeline
Notify and prep your team: Keeping your team in the loop is essential when implementing a new data system. Make sure everyone who uses the system is informed on what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how to use the new system once it’s up and running. Training may be required. A partner, like SyncSmart, can help with this.
Launch your integration: Moving forward with your nonprofit integration strategy may initially feel a bit daunting, but you’ll know you’re on stable ground with proper preparation. Take a series of small steps over time, expanding functionalities as you and your team become more accustomed to the new system. With SyncSmart’s managed services, you can optimize as needed with an expert partner.
Stay up to date with nonprofit technology trends: Keeping current with nonprofit data integration trends provides opportunities to take advantage of the most advanced and effective technology. Current trends include cloud technology, big data, and the Internet of Things, or IoT.
With the proper planning and preparation, your nonprofit data integration can proceed smoothly and function brilliantly. If you’re a Classy user and ready to get started, you can download SyncSmart’s packaged integration here. For any customization, you can reach out to the team to discuss your specific needs.
By: Corie Stark
After spending many years as a sports journalist, Corie switched to marketing in 2013. Her love of writing, talking to people, and keeping up with the industry enables her to use her skills for anything from social media to long-form blogging. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking with her dogs and making her cats chase the ever elusive red dot.
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