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backupdiskWith the holidays fast approaching, it's time for non-profit organizations to gear up for the season of giving. Now is the time for the major annual mailers and email campaigns, and for many, fundraising events.
What is important to consider is that as fundraising efforts increase, so does the amount of crucial business data that non-profits need to manage. Fundraising activities and efforts are only beneficial if the information used for and gained from them is safe and accessible now and  in the future.

Carbonite, Inc. recently conducted a survey that indicates many non-profits are placing their mission-critical data at risk by not implementing a comprehensive data backup plan. Despite the importance of protecting valuable data like donor lists and fundraising records, nearly one-third of non-profits stated they did not know how much data their organizations needed to backup. Additionally, 36% acknowledged that they had not backed up their data in the last week.

Knowing how to maintain clear records and how to protect this data is vital, but can also seem daunting when budgets and employee time are already stretched thin. Plus, with all there is to do preparing for this major fundraising season, backing up may not be a non profit's first priority. But consider the risks. Every day business owners somewhere are faced with some form of disaster - be it a computer crash or virus, theft, natural disaster, or simply having an employee who has been with the organization for years and knows the information inside-and-out sick for a week. Data disaster can happen in a number of ways, destroying all of an organization's records and files.


Backing up valuable fundraising data and records is key to successfully managing a non-profit, not to mention backing up day-to-day operational information.  In order to ensure that critical donor list, fundraising records and other operational data are optimally protected, it is recommended that non-profit organizations incorporate three best-practice approaches:

1. Perform continual backups, not periodic. Data mishaps rarely occur with a warning, so it is important to make sure the organization's backup is always current. According to Carbonite's study, non-profits are more likely to have backed up their data 8-29 days ago-suggesting significant exposure to data loss.

2. Ensure that all data is backed up. Many non-profits, , are not sure how much data they need to back up (nearly one third according to Carbonite's study), it is critical that they use a backup solution that has the capacity and capability to keep all-and not just a portion-of their data protected.

3. Choose a solution that is easy to set up and maintain. Given that many non-profits manage their software and technology solutions themselves, it is important their data backup solution is easy to set up and-perhaps more importantly-easy to maintain.  While simple solutions such as flash drives or external hide drives may be relatively easy to set up, they require ongoing supervision and can also distract from other priorities.  Automated solutions, such as an online backup system,  maintain a complete and continual backup of all a non-profit's data.  Wiith online backup, an organization's focus, time and energy can remain on its cause.

As non-profits dive into the giving season, it is especially important to take the steps necessary to protect donor information and records critical to their success. This will ensure fundraising outreach is impactful, irreplaceable donor lists are safe, and all records are all current, with no worry of data loss.. Thankfully, simple to use and affordable online backup solutions such as Carbonite Business are available with discounted pricing for non-profits, meaning safe and secure data backup is now attainable for all non-profit businesses.


Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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