Why is good quality data fundamental for charities?

At their core, charities are storytellers. They need high-quality data to foster trust, not just in donors but in the people whose stories they want to tell.

In these post-Covid times, charities should be using data to help drive their marketing, build trust and give themselves a credible platform. They need to get their message out effectively to people who will read it, engage with it and consider donating.

Charities need trust like humans need oxygen. However, if they are constantly struggling with missing or incorrect information, disparate data sources and no clear single source of truth – they’ll find it harder to build financial relationships that will help them stay afloat.

So how can charities benefit from good data quality? We’ve rounded up four reasons below.

1. Better donor relationships

Ultimately, people aren’t willing to part with their cash for a cause unless they know that cause is just. Charities must use data to initiate and maintain donor relationships so they can ensure those people remain donors for the long haul.

Personalisation and audience segmentation have become major themes for charities trying to foster great donor relationships in recent times. See the British Heart Foundation, which once segmented its audience by creating three different personalised landing pages to offer audiences the message they need.

Whether it's in the form of email marketing, leafleting campaigns or newsletters, personalised content makes it much more likely to come back to that charity and donate, as they feel much more intimately connected with it. However, this is only possible with data that is clean, consistent and reliable.

Bubble Hex
People Park Hex

2. Confidence in protecting your reputation

As part of their work, charities collect a lot of data, some of which can be highly sensitive. All it takes is a single email to a wrong donor address, and charities could see themselves facing a data breach that could lead to fines, reputational damage or even a spell in court.

In 2017, eleven charities were fined by the UK’s data watchdog for misusing info about millions of past donors to seek further funds. From 28 January to 27 January 2021, there were on average 331 breach notifications per day, marking a 19% increase on the previous year.

Data breaches are on the rise, and charities can’t afford the potential hit to their reputation. By improving their data quality across the board, they can protect their donor information, prevent breaches and mitigate potential setbacks.

3. Protecting the trust of vulnerable case studies

Charities do more than just act as an interim between vulnerable people and those who donate money. They tell stories about who people are, how they came to be in their situation, and why they need your help. It’s no surprise that so much of what charities communicate centres on real people and their stories – their battle with diseases, natural disasters, starvation and so on – or how else are any of us meant to relate?

When your data is compiled into a single source of truth, you can manage, protect and enrich your case study more easily. Are you certain that you have the correct permissions on copy and images to accompany stories? Have you ensured that names and ages are being conveyed correctly? Getting these things wrong could seriously damage your credibility as a charity and betray the trust of those you claim to be helping.

Hands Light Hex

4. Nurturing individuals on their donor journey

Charities can use high-quality data to create a picture of what their donors look like, which can be particularly valuable when nurturing individuals to increase their donations. This could be individuals or organisations looking to put some of their profits towards boosting their charitable image.

When it comes to asking donors to consider increasing their donations, charities can’t just go in blind holding their hand out. They need to have done the right research and analysis using data to understand why that person might be willing to offer their support, particularly if they have a high net worth and could potentially contribute more to the charity.

Comma ensures charities have the best data for telling stories and building trust

Charities want to spend their time and money actually helping people, not cleaning up dodgy data for hours on end. They want a single source of truth for their data, the ability to manage and protect identities and then market their organisation to those people who will actually engage with it.

At Comma, we work with charities to identify what their objective should be, establish the data they need to get there and then put processes in place to ensure they maintain quality and consistency across their operation.

With our 3-week and 10-week Data Quality Assessment, we’ll highlight where your organisation is having issues and then advise you on the best possible operating model to provide you with clean, accessible and reliable data every time.

If you’re a charity looking to create a better experience for your donors, get in touch with our data experts today by calling +44 1926 911820 or head to our contact page.