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Dos and don'ts of integrating a new database into existing fundraising systems

Choosing a new fundraising database can be time consuming and overwhelming.

Of course, the knowledge that long-term productivity will increase with more efficient systems in place can’t be overlooked. But as anyone working in a busy fundraising office can attest, the potential downtime from learning a new system can fill anyone who has ever worked in a busy fundraising office with dread!

As donations roll in, programs continue to operate and donors continue to need stewarding. In an environment that never stops, the last thing you may want to do is take time out to learn a new system.

If this sounds familiar, our handy guide gives the dos and don’ts of implementing a new database to reduce downtime and make the switchover seamless.

DO...

…sign up for a free trial first
With so much choice, it can be overwhelming to choose a new database. It’s often easier just to pick one within budget and run with it. In these scenarios, however, it’s only once you start to work confidently in the new system that issues can occur.

Always choose a system that offers a thorough free trial so you can test all the features, including those that won’t be used every day. The trial will give you a better understanding of how easy the system is to use and how existing systems can be integrated.

…make sure you have a dedicated account manager
During any sales process, you may notice that service is exemplary before sign up, but once you start using the product it can be harder to get the attention you deserve. Choose a provider which offers a dedicated account manager to deal with any training, implementation and account issues.

…make sure the team is on board
Installing new systems is a positive process for a charity. The increase in functionality often means you can achieve far more for less output and further your mission in society. For a seamless implementation, the team using the database must be positive about the change. This positivity will make it easier to begin using the system in real-time and start seeing results.

DON’T…

…put it off
Failing to adopt new systems when existing processes are inefficient is to the detriment of the team and therefore your wider mission. If you’re double handling processes, making errors with data or systems aren’t streamlined, it’s time to upgrade today.

…only stick to the features you know
The features you require are likely only the tip of the iceberg for the features of the new system. Once you’re familiar with the essential features, take the time to explore the capacity of the system and work out how you can adopt new processes into the future.

…continue to use separate systems
When implementing a new system, it can be easy to feel you need to continue with the systems you’re already using, ‘just in case’. When you transfer data to a new database, there’s no need to double your workload in this way.

SupporterHub is an integrated Software as a Service database with CRM, reporting and analysis, email communication and website builder facilities.

To find out about our FREE trial, contact us today.