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The end of year is upon us and Giving Tuesday is weeks away, appeals are getting sent, and special events are wrapping up. With all of these pushes, reporting becomes critical in measuring the success of your fundraising efforts.

I also know from personal experience that reporting is not usually top of mind when you are in the EOY fundraising flurry. There are letters to write, lists to pull, Giving Tuesday graphics to design… Reports are for later, right?! (Spoiler: they are not.)

For EOY reporting most people are looking for two things—measuring results and monitoring progress.

You want to know the final results like response rate, revenue, number of new donors, but you also need to know things like if people are finishing filling out donation forms or clicking on emails and if you might need to pivot if something is not working like intended.

This year, set yourself up for success and add reporting to that to-do list NOW and not later by asking yourself these two questions before you even get that end of year ask in inboxes.

  1. How do I know if what we are doing is successful or not?
  2. Are we set up to measure that thing?

Knowing your goals is important, but knowing if you met those goals is even more critical. Make sure you are keeping record of data that is tracking your progress. For example, if you sent out a test version of your EOY appeal, is the gifts processing team making note which version when they are entering the donation information into your database? Same for A/B testing for an email?

If you don’t make this plan ahead of time, this data will get lost. So take a few minutes today and think through these two questions and save yourself some reporting headaches later.

One last bit of advice, these two questions should be on your EOY planning each year. This is not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Every year your reporting should be more comprehensive than the year before. Your goals can change too. Make it an annual process to review your reporting and what information you would like to know going forward.

And if after you ask yourself these two questions you find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed with all that duplicate data or feeling a little lost navigating your CRM, I recommend checking out our EOY Reporting Tune-up package. Right now we are offering this service for only $2,499 (regularly $2,999) so it’s a perfect time to let Tackle take the reins and get your EOY reporting in top shape so you start the new year off right!

With end-of-year planning in full swing, don’t forget to add data cleaning to your checklist.

You want your technology systems to be in their best shape before your “busy” season begins, so making sure you start putting some processes into play now by practicing good data hygiene so you can guarantee your campaign will run as smoothly as possible.

Jeff Miller, our in-house data management guru, gives three recommendations for maintaining good data hygiene that you can start doing today.

1) Keep addresses up-to-date and in a consistent format.

Make use of address standardization and validation services offered as part of your CRM or online fundraising system, including CASS certification and NCOA address updates.

Consider adding a front-end address validator, like SmartyStreets, to donation forms and other web forms where addresses are collected.

2) Stop ALL bad data at the source.

It’s not just bad/incomplete addresses that can be stopped at the source. Consider all the sources of incoming data—web forms, data entry forms, system integrations, import/exports—and make sure that they’re consistent with each other and capturing the information that’s really needed.

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