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Welcome to the Third Sector Labs blog. We cover a variety of data-related and fundraising issues for nonprofits, hoping to provide unique insights and share best practices. Data is overwhelming every industry … you aren’t alone … we can help! Subscribe to the Third Sector Labs blog by email today!

Does your charity have too much data?

Does your charity have too much data?

How do you know when your organization is storing too much data? We were asked this question recently – and it’s a great question. In fact, being in the nonprofit data services business, we get asked lots of questions about how to obtain more donor data, better data, the right data. Few customers ask us “When is there too much data?” There isn’t a simple answer. Let’s use donor data for our discussion. Did you know that too much donor data can lead to bad decisions and fundraising mistakes just […]

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It’s that time of year: your 8-step fundraising data checklist

It’s that time of year: your 8-step fundraising data checklist

September has arrived. Kids are headed back to school. Fall will be here before you know it … and so will your big year-end fundraising appeal. Are you ready? Have you completed your fundraising data checklist? What are we talking about – a fundraising DATA checklist? This is the time of year when fundraising teams are pouring their available time, energy and talents into perhaps the most important task of the year. But as we have pointed out before via a cataloguing of more than 150 recommendations for improving fundraising appeals, […]

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10 Donor Data Migration Decisions: Q&A with Gary Carr

Third Sector Labs recently presented a data migration webinar with host Bloomerang. The topic – “10 Decisions You Will Face with Any Donor Data Migration” – focused on preparing for your next CRM or data migration while addressing 10 tough decisions nonprofits encounter along the way.   You may download a copy of the presentation from the Resources section of our website. Gary Carr, co-founder of Third Sector Labs, presented. We asked several interesting poll questions to open the event, and the wrapped with a Q&A session. Unfortunately, we could not answer all questions before the […]

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Data drives better digital marketing for nonprofits

Data drives better digital marketing for nonprofits

Using data to drive your digital marketing campaigns is essential. Without the discipline of data, your digital marketing success is based more on hope than strategy and execution. Our corporate marketers understand the criticality of data all too well, especially retailers. While we use terms like “donor” and “constituent”, they are “consumers” too. We can learn a lot about reaching donors more effectively by keeping an eye on what our corporate retailing counter parts are doing to reach consumers. For example, Epsilon, a consumer brand loyalty expert, published a short report on […]

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Top 10 Tough Donor Data Migration Decisions

Top 10 Tough Donor Data Migration Decisions

If you’ve migrated donor data from one CRM to another, no doubt you have dealt with a lot of difficult decisions. In fact, our donor data migration clients often express surprise at the number of decisions they have to make. In this post, we discuss our list of Top 10 Tough Donor Data Migration Decisions. By way of qualification, our intent with this article is to be CRM agnostic. We aren’t advocating one software platform over another. Keep in mind, however, that all CRMs and donor databases are different – […]

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CRM data migration: it’s all about the future

CRM data migration: it’s all about the future

CRM data migrations are about the future, not the past. Period. End of story. So we are going to talk about several important tips to help you stay focused on your donor data future. Why am I being so emphatic as I talk about CRM data and your organization’s future? Because the number one challenge that we deal with at Third Sector Labs in a CRM or donor data migration project is customers who won’t let go of the past. Really. At Third Sector Labs, our data specialists can work through […]

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More fundraising software = more data headaches

More fundraising software = more data headaches

Technology both simplifies and complicates our lives. Nowhere is this more true than in the nonprofit sector. Let’s face it … there is a direct relationship between the number of fundraising software systems we are using and the data problems we are creating for ourselves. More fundraising software = more data headaches. The solution = taking control of your data. What sort of fundraising software are we talking about? There’s a lot. Start with contact databases, donor management systems, and CRMs. Add to that volunteer management and event management. Next, email marketing […]

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Data quality vs. data quantity: let’s end the debate!

Data quality vs. data quantity: let’s end the debate!

When it comes to nonprofit data, especially donor data, there’s a running debate. Which is more important, data quality or quantity? It’s a matter of preference, right? Like the old Miller Lite commercials, ‘Tastes Great vs. Less Filling‘. Your nonprofit organization needs to acquire new donors (data quantity), but you also need the ‘right’ data in order to foster better, longer term relationships (data quality). So both are equally important, right? Wrong. It is time to end the debate. Put quality first, especially donor data quality. Why quality first? We have […]

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Attention nonprofits: We don’t know our donor data!

Attention nonprofits: We don’t know our donor data!

Understanding data is critically important to success in any business. Unfortunately, data can be boring, even confusing. Many nonprofits don’t know their donor data. While that’s understandable, it is also a big problem. If we don’t know our donor data, how can we effectively plan a fundraising appeal? Build a fundraising strategy? Combat the challenges of donor retention? The answers to those questions are simple: we can’t. So, how do we know that nonprofits don’t know their donor data? Data degrades, goes missing For starters, ALL data degrades over time. What’s […]

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“Donor retention by the numbers”: Q&A with Caity Craver and Gary Carr

“Donor retention by the numbers”: Q&A with Caity Craver and Gary Carr

Third Sector Labs recently co-hosted a donor retention webinar with Caity Craver, CEO of DonorTrends. The topic – “Donor Retention by the Numbers: Demystifying the Leaky Bucket” – focused on how to properly measure donor retention and then use that data to drive improved fundraising results. Caity and Gary Carr, co-founder of Third Sector Labs, co-presented. We had a very active Q&A session after the event, and could not get to all questions before the event closed. The purpose of this post is to share the results of the Q&A, including answers to […]

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