Aug 12, 2020

What Baby Yoda Can Teach You About Your Data

This blog post is not just an excuse to look at Baby Yoda GIFs during work hours. Well, mostly. But we, like Baby Yoda, want to make sure that you’re making the most of your fundraising program – and that you know how Frakture can help.

For decades, direct mail has been the bread and butter of fundraisers everywhere. The magical well that never went dry. And its true that DM revenue still powers most organizations! But times are changing. DM is now most effective when paired with a multichannel approach, rather than existing on its own. And in a time when mail production houses are struggling and the U.S.P.S.’s future seems uncertain, direct mail is costing more at a time when nonprofits need to stretch budgets thinner and thinner. Think about it like this: direct mail is basic cable TV. It got you through decades of entertainment, and it’s still essential for a lot of people – you get your news from cable, there’s still quality new programming being released, and your life just wouldn’t be the same without Seinfeld and Friends re-runs.

But if all you’re watching is cable, you’re missing out on everything that new technology has to offer – and it’s the same when it comes to fundraising.

Any digital program starts with email – think of it as the Netflix of fundraising, reliably churning out binge-worthy shows like The Crown or Stranger Things for years now. Everyone has a Netflix account (or access to a relative’s password), just like every organization has an email program. But then you’ve got Emmy-nominated goodness like Chernobyl and Watchmen on HBO Max, The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, and cultural phenomenon Baby Yoda on Disney+’s The Mandalorian. Think of those services as the newer, growing digital channels – Facebook ads, targeted display ads, and search engine marketing. It feels overwhelming to know what to spend your precious hours watching – just like knowing which digital channels to invest in can be exhausting.

Nothing to see here...

It’s time to wake up and see the different channels that are out there.

And it’s not just the channels – it’s how you receive your money. New tools means new payment processors, as well, which means that you need to be thinking about the “how” of fundraising, not just the “where.” Is your program set up to receive gifts via PayPal and Apple Pay? Google and Amazon? It’s like watching TV on a Roku, AppleTV, or a gaming console, or just streaming to your laptop – the tools are absolutely crucial for how you raise funds, and they rarely play nicely with one another. That can make it nearly impossible to look at your program holistically and make educated decisions about where to allocate your budget.

The good news is that once you get set up everywhere you can, that’s where Frakture can come in to organize the chaos so you don’t have to.

Simply by using source codes to attribute where all your gifts are coming from, we can take your big, messy, pile of data from all your different channels, clean it, and report it out into Google Data Studio, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, or whatever reporting tool you want to use (we’re completely agnostic – we just want you, and Baby Yoda, to be happy). Adding source codes is like having a channel guide showing you your options – your report goes from an unending list of transactions and users into a clear, easy to understand, graphical lesson in what’s working and what isn’t. We’re here waiting to build that guide for you to show you the way.

The fact is, you can’t know what you’re missing until you know what’s out there. Just like how the next show you watch could be your new favorite, you can’t understand how your audience is responding to your efforts until you look at your choices and see what’s working. As organizations look toward their 2021 fundraising budgets and projections, the smartest among us are analyzing the data and leaving no stone unturned in searching for the next big thing for their program. And there’s no better tool for looking all your different channels – and picking what’s best for you – than a Data Warehouse, populated by our army of Bots.

It’s 2020. Channel-surfing isn’t a luxury anymore – it’s a necessity, when it comes to pop culture knowledge and mapping out the future of your fundraising program. It’s up to us to make sense of the chaos, help you understand your options, and create the best program that you can.

Baby Yoda is disappointed in programs that don’t diversify their fundraising channels. Don’t disappoint Baby Yoda!

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