A successful non-profit organization doesn't only depend on fundraising strategies and stewardship. While it's a noble intention to initiate fundraising campaigns in order to provide financial support to their cause, non-profits are always facing the challenge of handling areas like marketing, internal communication, and supporter satisfaction. As a non-profit, you need to think beyond mere fundraising events and enticing potential donors. Creating a non-profit strategy isn't a stroll in the park, decisions should be based from feasible evaluation. To come up with such feasible strategies means to acquire consumer-generated data that can be used as a means of addressing every demand for a certain aspect in operating as a non-profit.

So how can a non-profit acquire data that can be used to create a strategy? Data can be filtered through social media engagement, survey incentive programs, and other methods that can reach a current donor/supporter or a potential supporter. Aside from data that can be collated from external sources, there's a glut of data which can be found inside your organisation that can be used as well. Campaigns, current donors, and charity events these are interconnected areas that you pull data from. Once you've ascertained where you can acquire data, then it's time to determine how you'll use it.

Here are 4 ways on how to use data for decision-making:

1.) Target Measurable Results

It's a no-brainer that for every strategy you create, there are goals and targets that accompany it. The key in acquiring measurable results is how you make a custom-tailored donorship and membership strategy to every segment. A non-profit organisation needs funds to fuel their cause but they can turn every person into a donor. So it's a must to ascertain a relevant audience in order to determine your target segments as well. A target segment provides demographic data that can be mined to create a custom-tailored strategy that is measurable in terms of impact and efficiency. You can mine data through the use of survey forms, direct email marketing, and even Facebook polls. An email campaign is the old reliable, keep in mind though that most email campaigns win customers by applying a personal approach to every email. It can be tedious method yet it shows that your non-profit cares about its donors and supporters.

2.) Determine User Access Points

The Internet is becoming more social everyday and has become a destination-location for organisations and target prospects. Non-profits should be up-to-date in terms of digital marketing trends. Determining where your donors, volunteers, and potential supporters access the Web to view your website or check your Facebook update is crucial in data acquisition. Should you invest in creating a mobile website? No need to rush, you need to assess first what type of demographics these heavy mobile supporters belong to so you can customize the mobile experience. Remember that website development isn't a one-size-fits-all approach.

3.) Create a Great Website Experience

While engagement happens on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a non-profit's website is its face on the Internet. Users will flock on your website and arrive at your landing page then they'll start to navigate. Expect that some users will stick around and check your other pages, but some will leave after 30 seconds. Finding out what made other potential supporters leave your landing page is essential in determining what works and what doesn't in terms of projecting your non-profit's image. Potential donors and volunteers need to be enticed to stay on your website in order to learn more about your cause. Measuring traffic on your website is data that can be used what type of users are visiting your website. This helps you on how you approach your landing page, content plan, and what calls-to-action to use.

4.) Do a Status Check

Is your non-profit moving forward? Does a certain area need a strategy to show progress? It's important to monitor development in all areas and collect data to assess the overall status of your non-profit. Generating spreadsheets and histograms is a big help in collecting data to be used in creating a strategy. You can measure variables such as number of active donors, donor satisfaction rates, and number of Facebook supporters. You can use these data to create an appropriate strategy to an area that needs to be attended to.

Bonus Tip:

Gathering valuable data can be time-consuming. An old reliable in acquiring data from customers is to use a form builder. It's a convenient way to create feedback forms and surveys. It's a standard that is used by large research firms and small businesses. Forms act as calls-to-action as well since some businesses and non-profits offer a freebie when a user answers the survey or sends a feedback with his personal information. With this in mind, you can determine demographics and cover your non-profit's target audience.