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Articles > Managing Data > Diving into data: Diverse database solutions for schools and professional networks

Diving into data: Diverse database solutions for schools and professional networks

Your database is what you make of it: how can you use the software you have to store and report on the right information

A good database is worth its weight in gold, enabling admins to save time and gain valuable insights. But what makes a ‘good’ database? Aside from security and reliability, a good database should be the single source of truth for every person in your community; with one glance at their record, you should be able to see when they last opened your emails, if they have joined your online community, any recent payments or donations. Having all of this information in one place makes it easy for admins to create strategies for their community, or a tailored outreach plan for individuals. 

The most important thing a database can offer you is flexibility; whether you want to track fundraising progress, membership sales or alumni engagement, a database that enables you to add custom fields, filter and report on different metrics including engagement and consent options, and automatically update itself with new information, is key to creating efficiencies. 

The Wheeler School, based in Rhode Island, is in the process of launching their new alumni community ‘The Wheel’, and is using their database to store their alumni data and send out mass communications to invite them to join. In the future, they plan to use their database to monitor their fundraising efforts and track online and offline donations made by their alumni. 

Queenwood School, an independent girls’ school in Sydney, Australia, began their first fundraising journey last year, and needed a database that would enable them to track donor and prospect data efficiently. As their fundraising strategy is centered largely around major giving, it’s important for them to be able to track offline activities, such as phone calls and external emails, against a record. This means that every person in the development team can view the progress of a conversation, both through the donor pipeline and individual records, and use the insights recorded to handle the sensitive nature of major giving asks. 

Tonbridge School, an independent boys’ school in the UK, has a substantial network, with over 3000 online members who regularly log into the community portal. Their online community is built not only for alumni, but also for staff, donors, parents and friends of the school, and so the Tonbridge Connect team regularly utilise different user groups and filters to segment their communications and provide a tailored experience for each member of the community. 

Loreto Normanhurst, a Catholic school based in Sydney, Australia, wanted the ability to host their entire school community on one underlying database, from prospective students and parents to alumni. They are running three different websites - their main school site, a parent portal and an alumni community - all with one database with nearly 40,000 records. The ability to link records using the friends and family vine is great for providing extra insight on referrals, and building a better picture of network connections over time.  

Higher Ed Social is a US-founded network of social media and marketing professionals working in education, located all around the world. Starting as a group on social media, it soon became clear that it wasn’t practical to continue hosting a steadily growing network on a platform that wasn’t owned, and no data could be stored. Instead, they made the switch to their own platform, powered by ToucanTech, and are making the most of the database features to gain insights about community engagement, process payments and manage their memberships. 

At ToucanTech, we understand that databases are deeply personal to the organizations that use them, and that each one is unique. A truly customisable system to store, manage and nurture your community contacts is vital in future-proofing any community, and enabling reliable relationship building that unlocks engagement. 

ToucanTech provides a flexible and easy-to-use database for community managers and school admins, with a range of access levels and consent options to keep data safe and secure. Power integrated websites and community portals, and give people a reason to engage with in-built email and events management solutions. The all-in-one system logs interactions automatically on records, saving you time and ensuring that your database is accurate and up-to-date. 

To find out more about how ToucanTech can help to streamline your data and build a database that works for you, speak to a member of the team today

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