you first start out, your donor database may be nothing more than donor
information listed in alphabetical order on index cards. As you grow a
more formal database system should be implemented.
database will be your lifeline to your donors. If you have 1,000 donors
that have donated $100 or more then it's time for a more complete donor
are many software programs that are written exclusively for non-profit
organizations. While some are very expensive - and very thorough so they
are worth every penny - there are some other databases that you can create
to save money until your organization grows further.
are some things to look for in a donor database software or at the very
least to be sure you include in yours:
and Donor Information including background, address, salutation,
affiliations, solicitation history, relations, interests, and giving
Management for cash, stocks, in-kind gifts, pledges, matching gifts,
memorial gifts, and split gifts. Be sure it records the date, fund it was
given to, amount, $ amount paid on pledges and balance due.
Information such as when contacts were made and by whom and when the next
contact should be made.
merge system for the creation of letters, envelopes, labels. This is
especially important during large annual appeals, for newsletter mailings,
and to target for special events.
and Foundation information similar to prospect and donor information.
and remote access for those in the field.
so that you have the ability to design custom reports as well as produce
the most standard such as comparing this year's annual appeal to last
access for security. Be sure it can be password protected and set for
individual users to secure donor information.