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Nonprofit University

Data-Driven Fundraising

In this era of big data, nonprofits are struggling to understand how to use an abundance of information from multiple sources to improve fundraising results. Focusing on key metrics, this course will cover data segmentation, setting key performance indicators, and how to use data to maximize the giving potential of donors and prospects. With 20 years of experience in the field, course facilitator Brenda Johnson (past Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU of Georgia) will guide you through the intersections between data and fundraising through practical insights and interactive exercises.


  • Fundraising Data – top 5 fundraising metrics
  • Data Segmentation – why segmentation is critical and how to select and manage donor segments
  • Beyond RFV (recency, frequency, value) – adding demographics that matter
  • Key Performance Indicators – what are they and how to create them
  • Using data to move donor segments through the fundraising life cycle
  • Using data to motivate fundraising staff performance
  • Fundraising Pitfalls – using data to create false assumptions


By the end of this course, you will be able to…

  • Use data to identify optimal donor prospects and build stronger donor relationships
  • Design solicitations to increase responses and create higher contribution levels
  • Measure and report fundraising return on investment


This is an intermediate-level course. Participants should have at least 1 year of experience with one or more of donor prospecting, campaign design/management, making asks, or donor-management systems.



Brenda Johnson is a nonprofit development professional with a passion for connecting donors at every level to the causes they are passionate about.  Her areas of expertise include capital campaigns, data-driven fundraising strategies and donor database systems. Brenda held senior development positions at several national organizations addressing human rights, civil liberties and women and girls’ empowerment.  In her most recent role as Director of Philanthropy for the ACLU of Georgia, Brenda worked closely with national leadership to reinvigorate the affiliate by cultivating the support of lapsed donors statewide after a period of inactivity and executive transition.

Throughout her nonprofit career, Brenda saw nonprofits struggle to achieve the resource development capacity necessary to sustain and grow - and the resulting pressure experienced by fundraising staff. After working in the nonprofit sector for 9 years, Brenda began offering consulting services and trainings to help organizations improve their development efficiency using existing resources.

Brenda received a BS in Engineering from Purdue University, where she minored in Sociology and Political Science.  She has served as Director of Philanthropy for Rainbow Village, Manager for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Director of Development for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.






  • Coming soon


9:30 am - 12:30 pm


Georgia Center for Nonprofits
Training Room
100 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta GA 30303
Get directions

Registration Details

Member: $150
Nonmember: $175

Questions? Contact the Nonprofit University team at at [email protected] or 678-916-3081.


Thanks to the generous support of The Wells Fargo Foundation, GCN offers a limited number of partial scholarships for staff and board members of eligible organizations to attend Nonprofit University. Learn more