5 Biggest Benefits of Bulldozing Your Data Silos

Nobody likes silos—well, except maybe farmers.

Many nonprofit organizations continue to put information into silos. We call these disconnected applications "point solutions": one product for marketing, another for volunteer and event management, and something else for donor profiles.

These silos have a direct and negative impact on the performance of people and processes, as well as the return on your technology investment.

We understand that change can be hard. However, moving to a comprehensive platform with native integration provides benefits that far outweigh the effort to switch, especially for enterprise-class nonprofits.

Here are just a few ways your nonprofit can benefit from tearing down silos:

Empowering your people

Nonprofits care about their constituents, but they also care about their employees and volunteers. Eliminating silos is a great way to make life easier for your staff.

By eliminating double and triple data entry, your people benefit from greatly increased efficiency. And because activities only need to be done once, your nonprofit will also see a boost in increased accuracy. (Nothing scraps perfection quicker than multiple copies floating around.)

Your people will then be freed up to perform higher-level tasks than repetitive data entry.

Improved internal communications

One of the benefits we hear about most often from clients who have made the switch to StratusLIVE is that teamwork has improved now that everyone has real time access to the same information.

They no longer need to email an update about a change to a record, as that record now appears identical across every department. No more wondering if the folks over in finance posted the donation yet; or whether an event manager updated a prospect's attendance at a fundraising function.

With a natively integrated system, everything from contact matching to communication preferences to payment processing happens in real time.

It's like the difference between a live video conference and that old schoolyard game "Telephone," where you would whisper in your friend's ear and they would pass it up along the line until at the end "Let's have cookies" turns into "Purple monkey dishwasher."

Faster, better decision-making

As a result of continually updated information, you and your team are now able to make on-the-spot decisions to improve your campaigns.

Let's say you're conducting a fundraising campaign across social media and you start to notice that more donations are coming in from, say, Twitter than from other platforms.

You can then direct more of your marketing efforts toward Twitter and leverage the increased exposure before it's gone. (Who knows, maybe Oprah saw your campaign and re-tweeted it to her followers. Anything can happen!)

The ability to pivot your campaigns to optimize your fundraising is huge. Imagine never missing another opportunity again. Now you're starting to get the picture.

More actionable data

Can't tell if an entry is a duplicate? Not sure if they've made the conversion from prospect to donor and you just missed it? Not anymore.

Fully integrated software allows you to have confidence in the data you already collect and open the door to even bigger possibilities.

The opportunities are endless. Instead of trying 10 different approaches and hoping 5 of them stick, why not start A/B testing? Or how about in lieu of spending more to collect more, you examine the individual ROI of each tactic in your fundraising toolbox?

A single system means more actionable data, which leads to better decision-making.

New uses for existing assets

Now that your nonprofit is no longer constrained by disconnected data silos, you can find new and interesting ways to use data you're already collecting and compiling.

For example, have you ever wanted to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns by determining which zip codes tend to respond at higher rates?

Well, now you can!

Could eliminating silos help your nonprofit? Contact us to discover more. 

*To be clear, the setup I'm referring to here is NOT one where your data silos are linked together with a complicated array of digital plumbing, but a single, truly unified system. That other stuff is Frankensoftware. Don't fall for it.

Posted by StratusLIVE