Charities are created to provide hope and help to many. After facing a couple of challenging pandemic years, retaining and optimising supporters has become more vital than ever.
When lockdowns were at their peak, charity shops were forced to close and in person events that charities relied on such as sponsored marathons, skydives and concerts were cancelled indefinitely. The importance of supporter data was promoted from peripheral marketing to their only source of fundraising.
Another impact of Covid on membership databases is data decay. With an increase of 0.5% per month, meaning data now decays at an annual rate of 37.5%. This makes caring about data quality more important than ever for charities.
The dependant but fragile relationship
Charities rely on their generous supporters to fund the amazing work they do to achieve their charitable objectives. Without them they would be nothing. This makes for a fragile relationship where a supporter’s trust in a charity is essential to creating the lasting relationships they need.
Whilst in the commercial world, a key driver for resolving data quality issues is commonly, boosting sales and receiving a higher ROI, it’s far more complex for non-profit organisations.
Supporters witnessing misspent marketing efforts can have incredibly damaging effects on their perception of the charity and impact the donations they make, which pay for the charities marketing work. For instance, if a donor sees multiple printed communications arrive to their house, not only is it annoying but it also indicates their money is being wasted. A negative perception of the charity doesn’t just mean lost profits though, it means the charity will lose supporters and could cease to be able to carry out their charitable work.
Customer relationships are always incredibly important, however, when your company livelihood relies on them in order to exist, the stakes are undeniably raised.
The GDPR dilemma
Trust in charities has also suffered due to GDPR legislation changes, after many charities were fined for data breaches in 2017. It resulted in the government reporting the lowest trust and confidence in charities in ten years at just 5.5/10.
GDPR has become a hot topic when discussing data quality. A fine due to breach of GDPR is bad news for any business. For a non-profit organisation it’s a nightmare.
Despite the known risk of fines many non-profits have failed to comply. In March 2021 the government reported 26% of charities had faced data breaches that year and in 2017, 11 charities were fined for misusing the information of past donors for fundraising purposes. This included large charities such as Cancer Research UK and Oxfam.
In 2021, charities accounted to 172 data breaches, 114 of these were “self-inflicted” meaning they were caused by preventable errors such as sending emails to those who had opted out of communications.
Charities receive their data from numerous sources; from one-off donations pledged over the phone, to signing up as a monthly donor. Ensuring communication with supports is relevant and targeted not only boosts brand perception, but it also makes people more likely to donate again.
With poor quality data simple errors can occur which create critical consequences. Duplicate contacts can result in a donor receiving duplicate mail, wasting your marketing budget, and creating the negative connotation of your company spamming. Supporters can also end up receiving emails not related to them or breaching GDPR, resulting in your charity potentially joining the list of those fined.
Whilst poor quality customer data can have detrimental effects it is easily rectified. With 25 years of experience in CRM data quality we have created an award-winning range of products and solutions that are easy to install and configure. Providing you with duplicate free and correctly formatted customer data, to prevent the risk of fines and increase supporter optimisation and retention.
If you’re only just being alerted to potential data quality challenges in your CRM, and don’t know where to begin in resolving the issues, our DQ Diagnostic is a great place to start.
Designed to surface data quality issues within your CRM, this FREE, non-obligation service will give you a clear roadmap on how to begin your journey to higher quality Customer Data.