Recently, I was talking to the executive director of a small nonprofit. She mentioned that her organization didn’t have a donor database – they were keeping donor information in spreadsheets – but she understood why one is important. A good database is your institutional memory; it’s where you, your colleagues, and your successors will be able to see the history, status, and growth of your relationships with donors and volunteers. So her organization was getting its first donor database… by having a volunteer create one in Microsoft Access. Now, it’s perfectly possible to create a good homegrown database. But there…

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