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Welcome to the e-learning tutorial on Data Management. This tutorial will review three tools that are available for managing you current and future donors and their donations. They are easy to use and provide ways to effectively manage your data. The three tools reviewed today are: SalesForce, QuickBase and eTapestry. Each has slightly different features, but all can help you leverage the power of electronic data management to increase donations through successful donor relationships.

Online data management tools for tracking donations and donors.

The three tools reviewed in this lesson are SalesForce, QuickBase, and eTapestry. The basic functions of these tools are to maintain client records and track and manage interactions with donors. These systems are very similar in many ways. All three tools are web-based so they can be accessed anywhere there is an Internet connection.

QuickBase has a few more robust features when it comes to project management, but SalesForce and eTapestry are free for nonprofits with a 501(c)(3) license, with a few limitations. The caveat is that although some of these tools are free, you should take the time to evaluate if they require advanced skills to set up and customize them to meet your needs. With all the tools, there is no software to install or hardware to maintain.

The benefits of data management tools for donor organization.

For many organizations, donation tracking and donor contact information is managed using hardcopy papers or electronic Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. These methods can be fraught with issues such as storage space limitations, security breaches, disorganization, inconsistency of file structure, and information loss during turnover. Therefore, many organizations have moved to web-based systems. The online tools allow you to keep track of all of your contacts and interactions with your donors in one easy-to-find location that provides automated reminders for anniversaries, birthdays, or other notable donor events.

As mentioned, a key benefit is the remote access, because the tools are Internet-based. If a staff member needs to work from home or is traveling, he/she will still have access to the system. The information is secure and behind firewalls, regardless of where you access the information. Additionally the information can be extracted if you need to continue working while without access to the Internet.

The report generation features are also an added benefit that saves substantial time while preparing reports for your board of directors or newsletters. Reports can include who has donated, as well as summaries of who you have asked. These systems are also known to be very useful when evaluating task completions or duration time to fulfill requests.

To find the right tool, it helps to do a side-by-side comparison.

The report card and the comparison table will help you compare and evaluate online tools for data management. The report card uses multiple factors to compare the various tools, including cost, security, level of skill required to setup and maintain, and key benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table breaks down all of the core features by product.

Click to open interactivity The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.

The report card and comparison table will help you identify the right tool.

Download the Report Card and Comparison Table to reference as you complete this lesson.

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