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012115 big data

Big data has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation across the nonprofit landscape. Almost every nonprofit organization monitors recency, frequency, and monetary value (RFM) data. More and more organizations are leveraging external wealth screening data. But how long will it take for nonprofit organizations of all sizes to follow their corporate counterparts into the world of big data?

Is Your Nonprofit Ready for the Big Data Boom?

We no longer live in a world where the collection and analysis of non-financial, behavioral data and robust, publicly-available donor data points is prohibitively expensive. Some large organizations have already started down the path of leveraging big data. Over time, third-party data will become the norm, not the outlier, in every nonprofit program and fundraising discussion.

Analytics and visualizations are catching up, negating the need for expensive data scientists and software. Prices are coming down. It’s time to evolve static views of finite data into flexible, organic, limitless information.

What Can Your Organization do Now to Prepare?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Make data capture an organizational imperative. Every interaction—financial or otherwise, should be captured. Get familiar with the phenomenal data stores now available.
  • Survey constituents by asking callers, volunteers, constituents, members, etc., a question-of-the-month. What can we learn simply by asking?
  • Research how other organizations are combining giving and marketplace data with valuable observation data to optimize their fundraising strategies.
  • Ask Yourself… How should segmentation strategies change given our expanded understanding of donor interests, demographics, and financial capacities?

Big data is available—now—to all organizations, not just the big ones. With it comes an untapped treasure trove for the taking.

If you want to learn more about how data will impact the future of fundraising, you won’t want to miss our recent resource, The Future of Fundraising.

Has your organization started to leverage big data as a way to improve your fundraising efforts? If so, how?