tamarmeir's blog

Data Hygiene: How to Keep Data Clean and Healthy!

Your CiviCRM database is the central hub of your nonprofit's fundraising efforts, membership and contact management, event organization and other important ongoing initiatives. Because of its integral role in your organization, your database requires ongoing maintenance to ensure optimum performance. With nonprofit constituent mobility and employee turnover at an all-time high, data can quickly become messy and stale when data entry procedures for the organization are not properly regulated. 

2020 CiviCRM community: update from CiviCRM Core Team

2019 is long over, however the CiviCRM Core Team wanted to do a brief recap of what they have accomplished throughout the year as well as present their priorities for 2020.
Since 2016, the Core Team has largely scaled down its operation in order to balance its budget and continue to transition to a community driven and funded project. Now that we've reached some financial balance, our focus going forward is on doing what we're best suited to do while continuing to grow community support and direction of the project.

Get the most of your price sets

The regular fees layout form provides a list of price levels from which a donor or a registrant must select a single option, for example:

  • Select the platinum donor option for $1,000 or the gold donor option for $500
  • Select the member fee for $50 or the non-member fee for $100

 If your contribution or event page requires a more complex pricing structure, you would need to use a price set instead as they allow you much more flexibility.

Data Hygiene: Centrally Manage and Periodically Review Custom Data and Profiles

Your organization creates a number of custom data sets and profiles.1 If multiple users have permissions to create custom data fields in an uncoordinated manner without clear guidelines, redundancies and waste will most likely occur. Redundancies because similar custom fields could be created for identical or closely related information, potentially with different data types, semantics or input formats. Waste because unnecessary custom fields might be created that will burden the organization (and their constituents) with entering and maintaining this information. Finally, the organization's needs will surely evolve over time, and so will the needs to collect or maintain specific information, the reports that need to be produced, or the forms used for fundraising, event registration and membership maintenance. 

Data Hygiene: Minimize the Risk of Spam Contact and Contribution Creation

Any public facing fill-out form can fall victim to nefarious robots looking for a way to gain access to admin-only areas of your system or payment forms that can be used to test stolen credit card numbers. If they take hold of a given form, this can result in the creation of thousands of contact and contribution records. Since these robots are relentless and continuously adapt to new security measures, there is no 100% fool-proof method of stopping them.

Data Hygiene: Keep your Membership Data Up to Date

Membership-based organizations rely on membership revenue for a steady cash flow, so keeping accurate membership records and ensuring a smooth renewal process is vital. The key to maintaining accurate membership data (or any data for that matter), is to limit the amount of data that needs to be manually keyed into the system. When a new membership is created, CiviCRM automatically does the following:

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