In the following excerpt from The Data-driven Nonprofit, Gregory explains that while there are many upsides to effective data management, there are also significant risks for those who govern and manage their data poorly. 

Failure to protect 

“There is a lot to consider in the cyber security space”, Gregory says. “Not only do you need to consider best practices across infrastructure, access control and organisational culture, there are many regulations and legislation to be aware of and comply with. For example: 

Privacy legislation across multiple jurisdictions 

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCIDSS) 

Industry body expectations, guidance and standards 

“Your organisation needs to be clear about its approach to data governance and cyber security. If you don’t have the fundamentals of sound data governance in place, you will
likely experience a breach of compliance and subsequently lose the confidence of your supporters.”

Loss of trust

“By not listening to your supporters, you risk losing their trust. For example, if you ignore supporter’s communication preferences, you embed a negative experience, and they may just stop giving.”

Loss of income

“Research shows that incorrect data leads to real financial losses for nonprofits. For example, misspelling a donor’s name in your communication to them not only costs 10% in terms of retention, but those who still choose to give will generally give 12% less.”

Being left behind

“In the current economic climate, supporters may be reconsidering their financial commitments. Whilst those who can afford it may choose to give more, those who are struggling may decide that their regular donation is no longer affordable. By understanding your donor base and the evidence provided by the data, you can implement strategies to help engage with at-risk donors to minimise the risk of losing their support.”  

Increased donor churn

“We all know how much it costs to acquire new donors, and that it’s far cheaper and smarter to focus on growing the support of our existing donor base. An ineffective or non-existent data strategy will lead to increased donor churn, which in turn leads to additional acquisition costs.”

Download The Data-driven Nonprofit today

Inside your free copy of The Data-driven-Nonprofit whitepaper by Gregory Dellas, you’ll discover more about what your organisation can do to collect, protect, and maximise data for your nonprofit organisation. Download your copy here.

Gregory Dellas is the Head of Professional and Managed Services at Blackbaud Pacific and is a key contributor to this paper. With over 30 years’ experience across corporate and the nonprofit world, he has contributed to and led technological change and the organisational evolution that comes with this. Over the last six years Gregory has become one of the leading INGO subject matter experts on Blackbaud CRM, and contributes to best practice knowledge and organisational change success around large scale CRM implementations.