Welcome to the April 19th edition of Extreme Fundraising!

We’re continuing to look at the mistakes we make in asking people for money. Previous issues of the Extreme Fundraising Ezine are available in the archives at https://fundraisingcoach.com/ezine.htm.

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I. Fundraising Follies: Database Dust
II. Resource Spotlight: eTapestry.com
III. Creating Donor Evangelists Audio Program

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I. Fundraising Follies: Database Dust

Can I share with you one of my pet peeves? Databases that gather dust.

Databases are incredibly important in fundraising. Not only can they track donations, they serve as auxiliary memory for us. Used well, databases can become organizational memory. Anybody that interacts with a donor can put a quick note in the database. Donor’s friends and relatives can be linked to each other. You can add attributes to donors to remind you who might be good board prospects or event volunteers. Best of all, databases allow you to dynamically sort all this information to do analysis and strategizing.

All too often, nonprofits seem to create huge, cumbersome spreadsheets in Excel. There’s really no space to keep action notes. And don’t even think about trying to track relationships!

Or nonprofits invest lots of money into an expensive program like Blackbaud’s RaisersEdge and stop short of actually learning how use it. That’s like buying a Cadillac and then not learning to drive it! It just sits in the driveway and rusts.

Also, what happens when the fundraiser leaves? The dusty database does virtually nothing for the next person. The new fundraiser has no idea who people are or what relationship they have with the organization. Have you every met a former board chair and had no idea of their history with your nonprofit? At best, it’s embarrassing to the development officer. More likely, it’s damaging to the nonprofit. Relationships are our business. When we don’t treat them well, we won’t be able to fund our mission.

So don’t let your database gather dust! If you have one, use it. Schedule yourself for training or mark out time in your schedule to improve the information in your database. If you don’t have one, why not send an email to your colleagues asking them what they’re using?

[I’m convinced we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. I’d love to hear your funniest mistakes! You can send them to me at marc@fundraisingcoach.com.]

II. Resource Spotlight: eTapestry.com
One of the most exciting databases I’ve seen is eTapestry.com. It seems to me that most fundraising databases are based 1980’s technology. Sure, they’re updated and improved, but the core is still a dinosaur of a database.

eTapestry is a tool specifically designed for the web. Wherever you have access to a web browser, you’ll have access to your full database! As a fundraiser that loves to be on the road, this would be an incredible advantage.

So if you don’t have a database, you may want to look at this product!

If you have tools that you’d like to recommend, please email me at marc@fundraisingcoach.com]

III. Creating Donor Evangelists Audio Program
Based on the popular written report, the Creating Donor Evangelists Audio Program is helping nonprofits around the country move their donors from simply being ATMs to acting like radical fans. The techniques are simple and low cost but take incredible discipline to make them work. To download the free report, go to https://fundraisingcoach.com/article.htm.

To purchase your own copy, go to https://fundraisingcoach.com/ or simply click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/3skl6. The CD is $14.99 and, if you order now, you’ll get free shipping.

To your extreme fundraising success!

Marc

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