You may have seen or heard about ‘Interests’ in Andar. Interests are used to collect data about your constituents and help volunteers to find opportunities. Interests can be as simple as ‘Education,’ ‘Health,’ ‘Income,’ and ‘Basic needs.’ You may add any data point you like in Andar table #41. Customers with MIG and/or e-Community can also take advantage of ‘Interest Ratings.’ A constituent can add an interest to their profile through data entry (like a pledge card), through e-Pledge, or e-Volunteer when published appropriately. These Interests are displayed in a list and can be indicated by simply clicking a checkbox.
Most importantly, Interests and Interest ratings should be considered useful if your organization is actively collecting and using this type of data. If your organization is not going to use it or does not have a strategic plan to use it, don’t bother collecting the data. Put a plan in place first, then start collecting the data.
Interests (found on the Account Profile > Volunteer Tab > Interests Sub Tab) are binary. They are either on or off. You don’t get much information from a checkbox other than the user checked a box. It does not mean they read the label by the box or understand exactly what they have clicked. Adding clear instruction near your interests will help constituents understand what they are submitting to your organization.
Interest ratings (found on the Account Profile > CRM Tab > Interest Ratings Sub Tab) are organic. Interest ratings are grown as the constituent interacts with your organization. The more the constituent interacts with you, the better you know them. This CRM strategy is more accurate because the knowledge gained is based more on what the constituent does rather than what they tell you (Interest checkbox). Actions speak louder than words.
There are several ways to gather interest ratings:
- Manual Data Entry
- Accessing an Article via website or newsletter
- Designations (MIG)
- Volunteer Referrals (MIG)
- Volunteer Assignments (MIG)
- Event Attendance (MIG)
Interest ratings are assigned a weight (or score). It’s best to assign a score based on the impact the action has on the constituent personally. For example:
- Read an article that has an interest rating of ‘Education’
- Assign 5 points to ‘Education’ for clicking the article. They may not have even read the article, but they clicked something
- Articles can have multiple weights (scores) so lets say our article also loosely touches ‘Financial Stability.’ (A better education helps one be more financially stable)
- Assign 2 points for ‘Financial Stability’ for clicking the article.
- A designation to an agency with ‘Education’ interest focus impacts the donor financially, this is a bit more impact than just clicking an article
- Assign 10 points to ‘Education’
- A Volunteer assignment for a reading workshop for kids – The volunteer spent an entire day for a series of weeks reading to kids, traveling (not so much now, but you get the idea) and getting clearances. This hits you personally pretty hard.
- Assign 30 points to ‘Education’
- And so on…
As your organization collects volunteer interests or as your interest ratings data grows, you may need to find advocates for ‘Education,’ Volunteers or even a special appeal for donations to help fund and build a community center. Where do you go?
Data Mining. Build a DMO that will find constituents most interested in ‘Education’ and send an appeal!
You can find out more about Interests here: https://support.andarsoftware.com/Help/Glossary/Interest.html
Contact the helpdesk if you need assistance with getting started.