“Time is money” is true. The hours in the day that your team can devote to doing the work of delivering your mission should be valued as your most precious commodity. Everything you do during the workday comes at the expense of doing something else, and successful organizations align the time and the effort they spend on the things that generate the greatest return on their time.

As a nonprofit, you can maximize your efficiency by using tech tools that produce actionable data to guide decisions about where you should be spending your time.

3 Ways Data Can Help Your Nonprofit Make Better Decisions

By analyzing your actions and results, your organization can see where the best bang-for-the-buck comes in and know which campaigns, constituents, and operational tasks deserve the bulk of your time and effort at any given moment. Here are 3 benefits of applying data to your organizational decisions today:

1. Optimize Internal Processes

Automated workflows and integrated systems make just about everything easier. When you have fewer steps needed to transfer data between systems, and you spend less time on repetitive tasks, you have more time to focus on your mission and your operations. For example, if you have a connection between your online donation forms and your donor management CRM system, your online gifts can be processed and imported directly into your donor database.

With automated software solutions, you take things a step further by sending personalized, dynamic thank you emails, or alerts to your team when a larger-than-normal donation comes through. By allowing data to flow between your systems, you effortlessly empower yourself and your team to work more efficiently. Top priorities can be defined by the data that supports them, not guesses or whims. Best of all, your time can be reserved for those priorities because smaller tasks will be handled for you.

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2. Better Engage with Constituents

Technology can offer you a comprehensive picture of your constituents based on all of your interactions with them, both individually and collectively. This “360-degree view” of your constituents is what can help you play just the right card at just the right time.

Start by aggregating all of the data you have about your supporters, members, volunteers, donors, and prospects into a single system. Then add even more data from third party sources, like data research services, social platforms, direct mail providers, and more. This type of data makes your job easier because you will be able to learn what attributes your supporters have in common, who they are as people, and what types of messaging motivates them to support your mission.

Use a template-based website builder, an email marketing platform like Constant Contact, and social media platforms to share your stories, your work, your impact, and your team working to make a difference.

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3. Simplify Financial Operations

Software products like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or QuickBooks offer financial statement and budgeting templates that are built to help you visualize and report your cash flow projections to your board and donors. These polished spreadsheets can make a big difference when:

  • Comparing budgeted numbers to the actual results so you can forecast accurately for the future
  • Forecasting a 24 to 36 month estimate for operating expenses and revenue
  • Projecting growth of new initiatives and new revenue sources

Managing merchant account statements and fees from multiple providers can be confusing and difficult. To gain maximum efficiency, you want to work with a single provider that can accommodate all of the ways you receive payments: checks in the mail, online donations on your website, tickets to events, merchandise in your shop, or services delivered by your organization.

Your merchant services provider and technology integrations can help you simplify how your funds are being processed. The more automation you can build into your donation processing workflow with solutions like check scanning, automatic monthly giving, and mobile card scanning, the easier and faster it will be to record, manage, and allocate your funds to the aspects of your program that need them the most.

Let your data guide you

By using tech tools and data to help optimize your processes, you will be able to spend your time where it is needed most. We live in a time where information and technology are at our fingertips. Take advantage of the technology and data available to your nonprofit, and build out your plan for success today.

Still not using email to market your business? Give Constant Contact a try for FREE!