Securing Your Donor Data in the Digital Age

Back in 2014, I blogged about the importance of security in remittance processing. Since then, the data nonprofits manage on a daily basis has been rising in both volume and value. Meanwhile, your donors have seen all the headlines about data breaches at various organizations in recent years, with over 169 million personal records exposed in 2015*. That’s why data security is more critical than ever to gaining your donors’ trust and continued support.

A data breach at your nonprofit would be devastating to your donor relationships and ability to fundraise. When donors see that their gifts are handled responsibly — with speed, accuracy and security — it builds their confidence in your organization. To successfully retain them, you must be able to assure and demonstrate to donors, first and foremost, that their data is safe.

In my recent article in Nonprofit Technology News, I honor Cybersecurity Awareness Month by sharing several best practices for building a secure environment at your nonprofit in today’s digital age. It covers the following topics:

  • Knowing What to Protect: Understand the kind of data you have, where it resides, how it’s stored, and the level of protection it needs.
  • Credit Card Data: Aim to achieve the highest level of compliance with industry standards for processing credit card transactions securely.
  • Physical Security: Leverage tracking technology, background checks and access controls to ensure highest possible levels of security among staff and throughout the facility.
  • Outsourcing: Alleviate the burden and risks of managing data security yourself. Partner with industry experts who have the technology, best practices and experience to put the right measures in place.

    Read the full article and take our nonprofit security assessment here. I welcome your feedback and thoughts on other measures nonprofits can take to address this issue.

* Source: Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) Data Breach Reports, December 29, 2015