Why trust is a charity’s most valuable asset, and how good data management can protect it?

We believe that good data management is absolutely key to inspiring trust in three main areas...

At Comma, we’re in awe of some of the incredible work being done by charities worldwide. However, this work comes at a price and donors won’t foot the bill if they feel like they can’t trust charities to protect their data.

People need to trust that when they make a donation to a charity, they aren’t signing away their personal information to third parties. Likewise, the vulnerable people whose stories are being told need to be able to trust that their privacy won’t be breached. And marketing teams need to trust that the data they have is accurate so that they can use it to target future donors and maintain donor relationships effectively.

We believe that good data management is absolutely key to inspiring trust in three main areas:

Trust from the people whose stories you are telling

Imagine that you were walking down the street one day, and saw a billboard advertising a charity with one of your elderly relatives on it. Would you be happy for that advert to be up there if your family hadn’t been asked for their consent? Or would it feel like the charity had betrayed your trust, creating something that feels exploitative rather than positive?

Charities tell stories about the people they help to inspire sympathy in potential donors and inspire trust that their donations will go to a good cause. In researching and telling these stories, they are likely to collect highly sensitive information, not all of which the person may want to share.

That’s why they need to achieve the right permissions, consent and access controls when using sensitive content. Without a clear data strategy, it’s far too easy for these cases to slip the net.

Trust Hex
Bubble Hex

Trust from specific donors, including vulnerable people

Collecting all this data is one thing, but charities also must ensure that if they are going to pass this data onto third parties that they have all the right permissions required, and are taking steps to comply with data protection regulations.

This is even more important when it comes to vulnerable people. Still looming large over the fundraising sector is the case of Olive Cooke, a 92-year-woman who took her own life after being bombarded with 260 letters a month asking for donations, which has since resulted in the creation of a new law forcing charities to stop harassing vulnerable individuals with donation requests.

Charities need to ensure they are managing their data responsibly so that this kind of case never sees the light of day.

Trust from the wider public who you are spreading your message to

Before the implementation of GDPR, the ICO reportedly issued £138,000 worth of fines to eleven charities after they misused donor’s personal data. Failing to manage and protect data effectively clearly affects a charity’s finances, but what about their reputation?

Trust is one of the key factors in how comfortable people feel when donating to a charity, so anything affecting that trust has a major impact on a charity’s reputation, donations and their bottom line. Charities that manage that data poorly can squander that trust, whether that’s keeping incorrect contact details for donors on file, leaking data accidentally or unjustly targeting vulnerable members of society.

So many of these mistakes can be avoided by ensuring that charities have a solid data management strategy: one that provides a single governed source of reliable, accurate data.

Trust is built on a solid data foundation

Comma is able to provide your charity with master data management services that helps you create accurate, actionable insights from a single, centralised source of information.

With our services, your charity can benefit from improved efficiency and reliable donor information so that you can create targeted marketing without breaching data compliance laws or putting anyone’s personal data at risk.

Get in touch with Comma today by calling +44 1926 911820 or head to our contact page, and we’ll help you foster trust with your donors and partners with a comprehensive data solution.