What do I do with data from my point of sale system? | npENGAGE

What do I do with data from my point of sale system?

By on Nov 21, 2013


This is a guest post from Kristen Gastaldo, the Community Manager for Altru. Kristen’s background is in event management, marketing, and ticketing and now shes sharing her experience managing concert venues to our nonprofits.

We willingly provide retail systems with loads of personal information. Phone numbers, zip codes, email addresses … our stores now have the ability to tailor their marketing to appeal directly to our interests. There’s no reason that arts and cultural organizations can’t do the same thing. If you’re using a point of sale system, here are some things you need to know about your constituents, and how you can use them.

You know where they are.

It sounds creepy, but this is info you can (and should) use. With zip codes gathered from credit card transactions or post-sale surveys, you can get an idea of where your supporters are coming from. From here, do some research and think about your marketing. What’s the age range? Median income? Household size? Maybe you should be pushing your family events in one area, while focusing more on galas in another.

You know what they like.

From just one transaction you can make assumptions as to what else your customer might like to purchase. When you add something to your cart on Amazon it suggests other items for you to consider. The same is true for your museum. If a customer attends your curator-led champagne tour, consider mentioning your Christmas Tree Lighting (that includes glühwein) next month. If they dropped their children off at parents-night-out be sure to mention the current promotion on family memberships.

You can reach them directly.

Ask your customers if they’d like to be added to your mailing list upon checkout, or have them opt in from your online store. With this contact information, you can begin targeted, personalized communications. You can request a specific donation amount based off the amount spent prior or let them know they could visit it

You know what they support.

When asking for a donation with the contact information mentioned above you can now ask them to donate towards a fund you know they support. If they visited the butterfly garden, ask them to give to the renovation project. Or instead of asking for a donation, ask them to volunteer.

Maybe this seems invasive at first but it’s really just more efficient way to connect with your constituents. Send them events that you know will interest them. Offer discounts based on past purchases. You know more about them; maybe they’ll want to know more about you as well!


Ryan King is the Senior Channel Marketing Manager for Arts and Cultural Organizations. Ryan has over 5 years experience working with nonprofits to increase their revenues via fundraising, ticketing, and online marketing. Follow Ryan on Twitter for tips on fundraising and marketing: @wryan_ki


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