Two steps to leveraging your data and improving donor relationships

Nothing is more important to a non-profit than its principal mission.

It’s also no secret that non-profit organisations rely on donor relationships to help contribute to the success of their organisation. However, in today’s fast-paced digital age, non-profits need to find new ways of managing these relationships to sustain their funding and support their missions.

According to the 2023 Charity Skills report, two-thirds of charities are not confident in their understanding of data management – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, advancements in data analytics within the cloud can help non-profits enhance donor relationships and bring you closer towards achieving your mission, with just a couple of simple steps.

Step one: Moving your data to the cloud

Harnessing the power of data is a hot topic in the non-profit sector. From conducting research and assessing communication efforts to informing your decisions and positively benefitting the service you provide, your data is a powerful resource to tap into. Where it can have its biggest impact, however, is in improving donor relationships.

Moving to a cloud environment means storing all donor data securely in a central location. Having your data in one place transforms the way you can analyse it, making it accessible anytime, anywhere.

Microsoft Azure is the ideal platform for non-profit to unlock the functionality of their data. Its scalability is steps ahead compared to other cloud providers, allowing your non-profit to start small in its data journey and easily expand when required. This means you maximise your budget by only  committing the resources you currently need in Azure, before taking that next step forward.

Cost-effectiveness is another key benefit. Azure offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, meaning you will only pay for the storage that you need and use. For non-profits, this can really help when your IT budgets are constrained and when you need to manage your resource spend.

The advanced analytics tools in Azure are unrivalled, too. With tools like Power BI, your non-profit can leverage machine learning, predictive analytics and data visualisation in compelling reports. Start harnessing this power for your non-profit and gain insights on your donor behaviour and make data-driven decisions to improve those relationships.

If the above doesn’t get your brain racing with excitement at the possibilities, then the funding support might get you there. Did you know that, as a non-profit, you can get exclusive access to discounted solutions from Microsoft? In its dedicated non-profit hub, you can take advantage of customised offerings to ensure that you have the right data tools to start improving your donor relationships.

Now you’re in Azure, let’s see what insights you can get from your data.

Step two: Start leveraging data insights to personalise and improve donor relationships

Within cloud databases, non-profit organisations will find it easier to access and manage all types of donor information, such as donation history, communication preferences and engagement patterns. You can then focus on gaining insights from this data to help streamline donor relationship processes and develop more personal interactions to help increase donations.

Outreach campaigns

In an ideal world, non-profits would know each of their donors on an inherently personal level – but in the real world, that just isn’t possible – but accessible datasets can help you personalise these interactions. Using giving history and preferred engagement methods, you can develop outreach campaigns targeting individual donor needs and donor segments. By doing this, you can expect to see appreciation from donors and longer-lasting relationships.

Feedback analysis

Feedback is important and the insights gained can keep your non-profit on course in reaching its goals. Input from your donors is just as important as internal feedback, and analysing the information you receive can help you understand donor satisfaction, identify areas for improvement and demonstrate back to donors that their opinions are valued. You can also start using the feedback to refine your donor approach, identify new opportunities and adapt to changing donor preferences.


Having an effective donor stewardship strategy is crucial to maintaining these relationships. Cloud-based CRM systems work hand-in-hand with data analytics tools, where automated workflows can be set up for donor acknowledgement, recognition, and follow-up. Taking it one step further, these systems can trigger personalised thank you messages and provide updates on projects that the donor has helped towards. You’ll make your donors feel valued and inspire loyalty with this proactive approach to donor stewardship.

Donor reporting and journey mapping

Start mapping out your donor journey using data insights. Here, you can understand the touchpoints at which donors interact with your organisation and you can use the information to optimise the way in which they experience your organisation. Building on this, donors like to see how they are making a difference, and advanced reporting tools can help visualise this. You can then share this information to develop your donor’s trust and demonstrate accountability.

Staying GDPR compliant

As we’ve previously highlighted, non-profits rely on donors to support their mission – but donors need trust in you to keep their information safe and secure. Non-profits can rely on trusted cloud platforms that offer encryption and regular data backups to safeguard their donor’s sensitive information, ensuring they stay within the remit of privacy regulations that they need to follow, such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). Enforce your reputation as a trustworthy organisation by reassuring donors that their information is being monitored and looked after in the cloud.

The list of ways in which donors relationships are improved with an innovation data strategy could keep going on and on and on. The Charity Digital Skills Report 2023 shows that 59 per cent of charities want to use data and insights to improve their services and operations, and if your non-profit is one of these, then we can help.

Ready to transform your data?

At Cloud Direct, we understand that data can be crucial to the success of non-profits. Whether your Azure journey is already underway or you’re looking to get started, our experts can help you elevate your project and unlock the power of your data. Let’s get you started.