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Non-member Database

Publication date: 
January, 2011

DVG is interested in learning about database software or applications that RAs use to track non-member constituents. For those of you who maintain a non-member contact list separate from your main AMS, we’d appreciate your answers to the following questions:

  1. What product/tool do you use?
  2. Purchase cost and/or annual fee:
  3. What type of constituents do you track (e.g. legislators, nonprofits, prospects, etc.)
  4. Approximately how many records do you maintain?
  5. How do you use your non-member list (e.g. e-newsletters, event invitations, etc.)?
  6. Best/worst features?
  7. Would you recommend this product?

 

~Amy Seasholtz, Delaware Valley Grantmakers

 

Colorado Association of Funders

What product/tool do you use?

Constant Contact

Purchase cost and/or annual fee:

~$15/mo. (based on the number of contacts you maintain)

What type of constituents do you track (e.g. legislators, nonprofits, prospects, etc.)

Elected officials, nonprofits, prospective members, other stakeholders

Approximately how many records do you maintain?

1,200-1,300

How do you use your non-member list (e.g. e-newsletters, event invitations, etc.)?

E-newsletters, non-member event invitations, other philanthropic news

Best/worst features?

Simple to use and cost-effective, ability to setup various lists for different purposes; Not integrated to our online member directory database; design features are not all that user-friendly unless you’re working directly in HTML to design e-blasts, etc.

Would you recommend this product?

Yes (there is a nonprofit rate available and also a referral fee – if go with this product, we’d love to be your referral as well as several other RA’s who use this product, I’m sure)

North Carolina Network of Grantmakers

We generally manage lists via excel spreadsheets, but now we are also using our website as a means of tracking and maintaining contacts (yourmembership.com platform).

We’ve actually created a new member type for nonprofits, so the online community search can exclude those individuals. Their membership type does not give them access to the member only pages, but gives them a space to interact with us, our members, and other nonprofits. So far no problems encountered.

Connecticut Council for Philanthropy

The council uses its regular database for all our constituents (we are part of the group of regionals using the Forum’s shared web/back platform [IMPak]). We are able to designate an individual or organization as a member, non-member, legislator, media contact, etc. We tend to use Constant Contact for broadcast email to these groups, so can track the responses there. If non-members or others attend events, they are noted in this same system.

If we are keep lists from one year to another, we export information from the database and use Excel due to its sorting capacity, but ultimately information is still stored in our AMS. We are unable to provide you with direction or comments regarding other systems or applications.

Philanthropy Northwest

I’m not sure if you’ve already made the decision to use a separate database to keep track of prospects, nonmembers, etc., but we have found AMS is also useful to help us track our prospects and nonmembers as well as members.

We have created a separate “Dues Category” for nonmembers and prospects that allow us to keep all of our information in one place rather than having to also keep track of a separate database. Even though they are in our database, they are not able to log-in as a member because they have not been specifically assigned a member dues category.

I know this doesn’t really answer your questions below, but I wanted to share with you that we have found AMS to be effective in tracking nonmembers and prospects as well as members. Hopefully this would relieve the stress/cost of having to purchase new software!

Southern California Grantmakers

What product/tool do you use?

We currently have some of them in our “AMS” system which isn’t sophisticated enough for our membership nor our non-members and prospects. I additionally track prospects in an excel spreadsheet but hope to move to Salesforce Contact manager in the next couple of months for those because of its cost/ease of use and sophistication.

Purchase cost and/or annual fee:

Salesforce contact manager is $60/year [Excel and our “AMS” system are costs we would incur anyway so I am not including estimates)

What type of constituents do you track (e.g. legislators, nonprofits, prospects, etc.)

Prospects. We also have other RAGs, important nonprofits, etc. Ideally we would have some kind of tracking for our legislators and a larger listing of nonprofits.

Approximately how many records do you maintain?

Hard to answer this because items are kept all over the place. I assume that between lapsed members and prospects we would likely mainting about 200-300 main “parent” records (and their individual contacts). If we do add legislators and more nonprofits the number would rise significantly.

How do you use your non-member list (e.g. e-newsletters, event invitations, etc.)?

Some e-new, some event invites, some prospect outreach.

Best/worst features?

N/A

Would you recommend this product?

I like Salesforce contact manager which we will be moving into in the next few months for nonmember records. I have set up systems in other nonprofit positions and it is very easy to use and yet very sophisticated. Excited to see your research, however, before I move forward.