Nonprofit Reporting Best Practices from Qgiv’s Data Team

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Nobody gets a thrill of excitement when they hear the term “donor data.” But, when we released our brand-new pricing structure, the Qgiv team was really happy about our new Data package. It’ll save a lot of our nonprofit clients a ton of money, and using our integrations can save fundraisers a lot of time. One of the staff members who is most excited about the new Data package is Dan Bough, our lead data engineer.

In this article, Dan shares some insights into Qgiv’s integrations and how you can use them to make your life easier. Read on to learn how to use your Qgiv donor data to make your fundraising more effective!

Dan from Qgiv standing in front of a Qgiv logo at Qgiv headquarters
This is Dan. He’s the master of data, reporting, and dad jokes.

Meet Dan. He the master of data, reporting, and dad jokes.

Q: Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do at Qgiv?

A: I’m the lead engineer on the data team. We’re responsible for making sure clients have easy and meaningful access to their data through our reports, database integrations, and API.

Did you know that Qgiv has an entire team dedicated to our reporting, integrations, and data? We do! They spend their time at Qgiv building and perfecting reporting and integrations, and they make sure the data you count on is accurate and easy to understand.

Q: What are some steps nonprofits can take to ensure they get good, usable data from their donors?

A: Make important information required on your donation forms!

Do It with Qgiv: The really important information you need to bill your donors (billing address, etc) is already required on your form. Other information — like phone number and email address — can be made optional. Dan recommends making a field required, but only if you really need that information! If you’re proactively contacting your donors through email but don’t really make phone calls, for example, you can leave the phone number field optional.

There’s a fine line to walk here! You want to be sure to collect the information you really need, but adding too many required fields really hurts donor conversion. If you’re running an event and need to know someone’s shirt size, go ahead and make that field required. But if you also want to know how a donor heard about you (which is neat information to have but isn’t totally necessary), leave that off your form. You can always ask your donors for that information in follow-up emails and donor surveys!

Q: Do you see any common mistakes nonprofits can look out for?

 A: Asking for the “right amount of information” on donation forms. There is a sweet spot between too much and not enough.  Too much makes it less likely for a donor to complete their gift. Not enough makes it harder for meaningful reporting and follow-ups with your constituents.

Do it with Qgiv: How do you find that sweet spot? Earlier, we referenced sending a donor survey to learn more about your supporters and ask them for information that, while useful, doesn’t belong on a donation form. Here are some tips for doing that!

First, find a survey platform. At Qgiv, we’ve used both SurveyMonkey and TypeForm, and both are great options! They also have free options, which is great if you’re trying to determine how you’ll use surveys.

After you’ve built a survey, take steps to get it in front of your donors shortly after they make a donation. Sending them the survey right after they give accomplishes a few things: one, it makes them more likely to respond. They’re still riding the high of the warm-fuzzies we feel after making a gift, and they’re already engaged with you. Two, it’s a valuable donor retention strategy! Asking donors to do something for you after their first gift makes them feel more positively toward you and makes them more likely to stay engaged… all thanks to a little thing called the Ben Franklin effect.

Your Qgiv account offers two different places to show your new donors a survey. One, you can include a link to your survey on your form’s donation confirmation page. Simply add it to your page using your form builder! You can also include a link to the survey in your receipts. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could create specific surveys for different types of donations, then use our custom content tools to send surveys to donors based on the specifics of their gift. So, if a donor set up a recurring donation, you could send them a survey that delves into why they’ve chosen to make a recurring gift instead of a one-time gift.

Q: What advice would you give to people who are looking for a CRM?

A: You’ll most likely want to get data from other systems into your CRM at some point. At a minimum, make sure you’re able to upload that data easily. If you ever plan on automating data imports (and you DO plan to, don’t you?!), make sure the CRM has a fully supported API that other systems can hook in to.

Do It with Qgiv: Did you know that we integrate with a ton of the industry’s most popular CRMs? We do! And most of them can be set to run automatically. We also support custom field mapping for our integrations, which is helpful if you’re using a CRM that isn’t set up ideally for your specific fundraising style. Learn more about mappings in this article!

Q: Do you have any advice for Qgiv users in particular?

A: A lot of systems, including CRMs, identify individual constituents by a set of unique attributes like name, email, and zip code. Make these fields “required” on your forms through personal information settings.  This will help you more easily differentiate Mike Smith the Giants fan in San Francisco from Mike Smith the Giants fan in New York in any place your data ends up living.

Do It with Qgiv: Are you seeing a trend here? Focusing on making the most important fields on your form required is important!

Another tip to remember: be deliberate with custom wording on your form. The field descriptions (“Name,” “Address,” etc.) can be customized to suit your brand. If you choose to customize any of that wording, make sure your updated text is very clear. Unclear wording can result in inaccurate data! For example, if you changed “Phone Number” to read “Where can we reach you?,” donors may be confused about the information you want.

Q: One more question: What’s a tip or trick you’d share with clients?

A: When it comes to integrations, set it and forget it.  After they’re configured, save time by setting them to continuous.

Do It with Qgiv: Setting an automated integration sync with your CRM, email service provider, or other platforms is easy! You can manage your exports in the “Service Integrations” area of your dashboard — it’s in the “Reporting” area.

Want to learn more about Qgiv’s data tools?

We’d love to talk to you! Take a look at our pricing page to learn about our Data package and what it includes. If you’re currently using Qgiv, you can contact us at or call 888-855-9595 to learn more. If you’re not using Qgiv and are looking for a fundraising tool that gives you access to powerful reporting and integrations, contact us! Give us a call at the same number or schedule a one-on-one demo with a member of our sales team.

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