You can’t escape the digital revolution. And the third sector is no exception. Having the right digital skills and a considered strategy is going to be crucial in this decade. But only 1 in 10 charities consider themselves to be equipped to deal with their digital future. And 88% aren’t where they want to be.
So let’s try to untangle this difficulty by looking at one aspect of your digital identity: your data. It can be hard to parse what it all means or how it works, but we want to help you get to grips with it. Here’s our guide to your data and what it means for you.
A large part of your data is going to revolve around donations. This is both monetary and in the form of items – clothes, books, furniture, you get the idea. But what do you do with that information?
This data is going to guide you on what you need and what you don’t need, at least when it comes to items and goods. You can see which categories you’re well-stocked on – such as clothes – and where you might need more – such as homeware. This can then be used to vet certain donations. You can also go one step further and let people know on your social channels what you’re looking for.
You can also use it for monetary donations. Say you have two donation drives, but don’t know which was better. Data is going to show you which was more effective and brought the most money in. This is the most basic example, but it can go as deep as you like. Is there a time of day that’s best? Do you get more returns on posted letters or emails? Combine the two factors: what time of day is best to send an email and get people engaged?
Donation data is going to be rich and rife for exploring, so make sure you have a way of keeping it all organised.
What else will help with this is having access to real-time data. It’s no good making decisions when the time has passed. Instead, being able to see developments in real-time allows you to adjust your approach.
This works in the case of donations. You might notice a sudden influx of certain items and need to respond quickly. Otherwise, you might end up with mountains of immovable stock. Or you might be running a donation drive on the streets, but you notice giving is low where your team is at that moment. You can use that data to get them to move somewhere more profitable.
The sky’s the limit with real-time data. It can even help with operational issues. You can react quickly if you see that an EPoS system has gone down in one of your shops, for example.
You know what else would make that even better? Data you can access remotely. You’re not always going to be at your desk. So to make those quick decisions based on real-time insight, you need access wherever you are.
This is less a benefit of data and more of what you want from it. It should be convenient to look at and allow you to oversee operations on the move. And you want it to be accessible on a range of devices – not just PCs or laptops. That’s without getting into the discussion of customisation, which can help you create a dashboard that gives you the data relevant to your role.
We know how intimidating data can be. Depending on the size of your charity, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of insight. But making sure that it is organised, always accessible, and up to date makes the whole process that much easier. So when you think about your digital strategy going forward, make sure you have the right tools to manage your data.
With CHARiotWeb, data is made easy. You have mobile accessibility, real-time reporting, and a host of other features. All for one simple monthly cost. If you want to find out more, reach out to us on 01204 706000.