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After an information-packed three days, the 2023 Bridge conference has come to a close. One of our biggest takeaways from the conference was that nonprofits across the country, in virtually every segment, are all facing similar challenges. 

Revenues are down 10 percent and are predicted to fall even further. Faced with uneasiness, nonprofits have to get creative with their fundraising and tap into their base more than ever before. 

Organizations reported that they’re facing falling revenue from direct response marketing, which is difficult to make up for in other areas. To compound growing economic uncertainty, many nonprofits are also grappling with failed technology investments. Organizations have sunk significant time and money into technology that wasn’t built with nonprofits in mind and cannot function in the way they need, making them hard to use and even harder to leave.

The compounding challenges seem dire, but there are solutions out there! Here are five of the most common challenges we heard and how nonprofits can solve them:


Problem 1: Fundraising Data Is Siloed

A problem we constantly hear from nonprofits is “data silos.” You have tons and tons of data, but it’s all isolated and unconnected, making it difficult to parse and nearly impossible to utilize. How can you improve donor loyalty if you cannot track donors across multiple channels?

Solution: Eliminating data silos is the first step in turning your data into a powerful fundraising tool. Data unification starts with gathering your disparate data, putting it together in one place, matching it, and cleaning it up. What you end up with is a clean stream of data you can use to answer questions, improve donor experience, and boost donor loyalty through more tailored campaigns.

Read about how How Civis Platform helped LCV go from two internal data teams to zero data sync issues


Problem 2: Wasted Time on Manual Processes

Data teams are wasting crucial time downloading and uploading files from different sources over and over again. This arduous process wastes time and constantly supplies teams with stale, inaccurate reporting. You can’t get the most recent numbers if the process takes days or weeks to complete.

Solution: What you need is a place or tool where you can write complex scripts and workflows to import, clean, standardize, augment, and transform your data on your set schedule so you can set it and forget it. What this means is you need automation – you need your technology to do the work for you. Create customized reporting once and let automation populate results on whatever interval you like so you save time and always have the latest data available to your organization.

See Our Approach to Analytics Transformation


Problem 3: Static Reporting Doesn’t Inform Real-time Fundraising Decisions

Because so many nonprofits manually pull data to compile reports, numbers are often weeks old and outdated. What if your Executive Director or board wants to see a live performance of your mid-level donor list? The numbers will never be truly accurate because the report is static and doesn’t show live data.

The data shows us that digital donors tend to be less loyal, which means your digital marketing tactics must be tracked and adjusted constantly to maintain effectiveness. At a minimum, your systems need to be able to identify matches across channels, and you need to know what tactics are working with reporting that gives you insights within 24 hours.

Solution: Civis is proud to power live reporting – empowering every team within an organization with up-to-date and accurate data. This game-changer will allow teams throughout an organization to make critical decisions based on the most accurate reporting possible. On Civis Platform, native integrations with commonly used CRMs enable data teams to eliminate the need for manual reporting.

Watch our Automation Demo


Problem 4: AI Won’t Solve Chaotic Data

AI is on the brain, and nonprofits are excited to explore what it can do for their fundraising efforts. But AI is useless if your data isn’t clean; for many nonprofits, this remains a big issue.

Solution: If you don’t want to sit on the sidelines, take action to clean up your data now. With clean data, AI can be a powerful way to automate and scale data and fundraising operations. Civis’ own machine learning-powered matching tool, Identity Resolution (IDR), helps nonprofit teams clean up data by creating singular identities for each of your donors across datasets so you can finally make sense of all of your data.

Learn how IDR can clean up your data


Problem 5: Data Insecurity

Security is a massive challenge for nonprofits — and an important one. Data needs to be secure when working with donors and serving at-risk populations. How can you ensure that your data is protected from hackers and bad actors?

Solution: The solution to data insecurity is finding a technology company prioritizing security. Civis takes security seriously. We deploy technical, physical, and administrative security measures to protect sensitive data assets. These include network, application, and database-level risk and compliance tools. Additionally, Civis Platform has completed SOC2 Type II examination and is aligned with applicable HIPAA security controls.

Visit our Security Center

Civis Platform, Your All-in-one Data Solution

Data is one of the most critical assets an organization has. Nonprofit marketers see the value in data warehouses, discovering how they can power segmentation and fuel fundraising. The use of data is truly endless.

Civis Platform is built for nonprofits and offers numerous benefits that organizations need right now, like optimizing direct mail, mapping between memberships and donations, determining the exact number of donors within an organization, and evaluating each donor’s most recent manner of giving.

young person at a desk staring intently into a laptop screen

Nonprofit organizations need a tool built for you to help put your data to use when it’s needed most.

Chat with one of our nonprofit fundraising strategists to learn more about how Civis Platform can help your organization.