Tracking Constituents in Your Fundraising Database (Part 4 of 4)

Our fourth and final blog in this series is about constituent tracking and management. This is where the rubber hits the road. If you can’t track your constituents, how to communicate with them, the relationships they have, and historical information with your organization, you can’t cultivate, solicit, or steward in a sophisticated way. Here are what we recommend you track and track well!


Bad addresses are costly. Spend the $1,000 annually to run an NCOA update to keep your address information healthy. It is money well spent when you consider wasted postage and your database administrator’s time and sanity going in and manually updating addresses when mail is returned.

Phone & Email.

These communication outlets allow you to have two-way dialogue with your constituents. It is imperative that you keep up with phone numbers and email addresses.


Databases are built to be relational. When a constituent is connected to a corporation, family foundation, or other individuals, those records should be linked in your database. It helps you identify matching gift opportunities and gives you a well-rounded picture of their connections.

Communication Preferences.

If a donor tells you that they prefer email and calls over snail mail, for heaven’s sake note that in your database! Not only does this show that you are listening to your donors, but it communicates that you run a sophisticated shop capable of handling those requests.

Engagement with Organization.

All volunteers, board members, event committee members, staffers and any other ways constituents interact with your organization should be coded in our database (former and current). Not only does this information help you when you are speaking with a constituent, it is helpful for the staff who will work at the organization after you. Go forth to track your constituents! Get our updates by subscribing to our email newsletter.

About Mary Hackett

Mary is a fundraiser & operations strategist who specialized in helping development offices create deep, meaningful experiences for their donors.

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