Five Common Mistakes in Selecting Donor Databases (And How to Avoid Them)

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Session Description: 

The choice of which tools you will use for keeping track of donors is a big decision with lasting impact on your organization. Tune in to two of North America’s leading experts on the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them 

Intended Audience: 

  • Do you need to choose your first donor management database?
  • Are you planning to switch to a new system?
  • Any organization considering a donor database purchase in the future

Learning Outcomes:

  • How to determine your needs?
  • How to talk to vendors.
  • Avoid spending too much or too little


Robert Weiner, President, Robert L. Weiner Consulting

Robert Weiner is an independent consultant specializing in helping fundraisers make    informed, strategic decisions about information technology such as donor databases  and association management software, email marketing software, content management systems, online giving tools, back office business processes and staffing, and strategic planning for technology.  He has consulted with a wide variety of organizations, ranging from volunteer and grassroots organizations to UC Berkeley, Earthjustice, The Nature Conservancy, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Komen for the Cure.  He is the co-host of TechSoup’s Databases and Software forum, a founding member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals, and a frequent speaker on donor management systems and best practices in Development Operations.  His web site is


Jeff Gignac, CFRE President and Founder of JMG Solutions

Jeff Gignac’s, extensive background comes from working with a variety of local, national and international nonprofits. His unique experience was first gained as a consultant with Ernst & Young and is unequalled in Canada as it includes over 500 different projects. Jeff has assisted nonprofits with their fundraising management systems including project management, cost benefits analysis, software selection, training, database implementation, data conversions, donor development (moves management and relationship fundraising), database cleanups, procedure documentation, donation processing recommendations and process improvement. In addition, Jeff also provides solutions and advice on the potential use of the Internet and web sites to support e-philanthropy.

His overall knowledge of Information and Technology, the Internet, fundraising management systems, such as the Raiser’s Edge and other databases, together with this unique fundraising insight adds even greater value to his projects. Jeff advises on best practices for both fundraising and capturing information as well as ways of achieving the optimum use of a database system.

Since Jeff has worked with a wide range of clients, he has experienced almost every kind of issue as well as learned many tips and tricks that only his unique perspective can bring.

Jeff is a renowned speaker, presenter, teacher and author on topics based on best practices in using databases as an enabler for building better relationships with donors and prospects. He also covers the importance of accountability, ethics, privacy and the role prospect research has in fundraising and databases.

As a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Jeff is committed to the professionalism and accountability of fundraising and services that provide support to meet the ever increasing needs of the voluntary sector.

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