If this is not the first time you have been to our website, you have seen that we have a prejudice toward keeping donor data private. We believe that we are stewards of our donor’s information. If you are agree, or are just curious, you may like to know where your personal data is stored.
First, let’s look at email. If you have ever received an email from your nonprofit, the sending address may have looked something like this. ExecutiveDirector@yournonprofit.org. If so then some data identifying you has been shared with an email provider. That data originated with your nonprofit, and at some time you should have been asked to agree that they have your permission to include you on their email list. If your nonprofit is attempting to maximize the use of email, then your provider has more than just your email address. For example, if your Board has separate mailings about upcoming meetings, agendas, etc., then your email provider has you on a list for Board Members. If you make a donation of cash or time during the year, then you are listed as a donor, along with the amount you donated. This is in order to send you an email as evidence of a charitable contribution at the end of the year. Your email provider most likely has your physical home address and phone number as well. If you volunteer to help out with providing your organization’s services, you should be on a volunteer list. Attended a special event? Your data is on that list as well.
Donor Data Protection
Subjects for your Board to Discuss
- What do we tell ourselves and the public?
- Is our description complete and accurate?
- Do we explore data policy with our partners in emailing and fundraising before selection?
- When your SaaS provider was selected, how does their security of donor data compare with others?
- What can I tell a friend when I approach them for a donation?
- What if they do not wish to share their data?
- Do we understand and use our protection of data as a competitive advantage?
Now that you know some facts, you can see that protection of data can tell others that you want to do the right things.
Do we risk a loss of control by having separate lists for email, donors, volunteers, and recipients of our services?
If your special events managers, or your development team, or your administrative office are not all working off of the same master data list, then you can be confident that there are errors. Take a look here for an example why …
So What Do We Do?
In our next blog post, we will describe what you can do now to protect your personal data, and the data of your volunteers, donors, and staff. This will include discussing the use of SaaS vendors for donor management, the possibilities of keeping data within and not sharing at all. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of the use of foundations and charitable trusts.
Let us know if this blog has been of interest to you and provide any criticisms you may wish……even if you are a SaaS provider
This post is part of a series. Here is a list of the other posts:
- Part 1: Nonprofit Board Members and Technology
- Part 2: Donor Data for Board Members
- Part 3: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Board Members
- Part 4: Actionable Data for Nonprofit Boards
- Part 5: Board Members: Where is Your Personal Data?