Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Nonprofits are continuing to compete for resources and trustworthiness in their communities. Using data in the relational fundraising program at a nonprofit organization is one way to build both the resources needed and the trustworthiness with donors that will ultimately also result in more resources. Looking for ways to implement strategic data in relationships with donors can be time consuming and overwhelming for nonprofit professionals. The purpose of this literature review study is to examine the use of fundraising data to strategically drive relational fundraising in nonprofit organizations. The research questions address the ways in which data can be leveraged to best focus relational fundraising resources, how fundraising data can be leveraged to strengthen donor relationships with an organization, and the obstacles that are common to nonprofits preventing them from using their data effectively in relational fundraising. While no single option will fit all nonprofits, every organization can start somewhere by first removing the obstacles to using data and then beginning to use the data they have in some way. One of the most important factors is for each nonprofit to create a culture of data so that staff in every area of the organization allow data to drive their decision making. Within relational fundraising programs, the culture of data usage should be considered paramount to make the most of fundraising resources and to build trust with donors.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

First Advisor

Julianne Gassman

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (45 pages)



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