Databases are essential for modern non-profit organizations. When the database encounters problems, this hinders the organization’s work and impacts its beneficiaries. This article will discuss databases, how non-profits use them, their everyday problems, and what non-profits can do to address these.
What are Databases and How Do Non-Profits Use Them?
A database is a collection of data that can be accessed by computers. This data is organized in a specific way so that it can be easily retrieved and updated. The most common databases are SQL databases, which store data in tables.
Databases are used by non-profits for many purposes. They may be used to track donations and manage fundraising campaigns. They also store information about beneficiaries, donors, employees, and volunteers. Furthermore, they are used to track the organization’s finances and operations. This data is critical for managing and continuing the organization’s work efficiently.
What are the Common Problems with Databases?
Despite their usefulness, databases can cause problems for non-profits. These problems can range from minor annoyances to complete system failures. These can hurt the non-profit’s ability to function.
Database problems can prevent the non-profit from accessing donor or beneficiary information or issuing charitable receipts. Even worse, these problems can stop the timely flow of much-needed help to its beneficiaries.
One common problem is data corruption. This can happen when the database is not maintained correctly, there are power outages or other hardware failures, or when the database is not backed up regularly. Data corruption can render the database unusable and cause critical data loss.
Data loss can also occur when data is accidentally or maliciously deleted from the database. Data loss can be devastating for a non-profit, as it can lose important information about its beneficiaries, donors, and other stakeholders.
Another common problem is security breaches. Databases can be hacked. This can happen if the database is not secured correctly, weak passwords are used, or employees do not follow best practices for data security.
A security breach can result in the theft of sensitive confidential data, such as donor information or financial records. It can also lead to identity theft and fraud. Furthermore, it can damage the reputation of the non-profit and make it more difficult to raise money for beneficiaries.
A database that is too large or slow to load can be a significant problem for a non-profit. This can prevent staff from accessing the information they need in a timely manner.
If a database is not accessible from remote locations, this can also be a major problem for a non-profit. This can make it difficult for staff to work from home or on the go.
What Can Non-Profits Do to Address These Problems?
There are several things that non-profits can do to address these problems. First, they should ensure that their databases are properly maintained and backed up. If possible, use continuous data protection (CDP) or backups that are done in real-time so that if the database goes down, there is no data loss or minimal data loss.
Backups must be stored on the cloud so that data is protected even if the physical premises of the organization is compromised by fire, flooding, or any other untoward event.
Second, they should shore up their cybersecurity protocols. Non-profits are among the top targets of cybercriminals since these organizations gather funds. A portion of those funds must, therefore, be used for cybersecurity to protect the funds for beneficiaries and the continued operation of the organization.
Access to the database must be limited according to need. All employees and volunteers must undergo cybersecurity training and follow strict cybersecurity protocols. Everyone must use strong passwords and follow best practices for data security. These become even more important when employees and volunteers are working remotely.
Database Monitoring and Maintenance
Third, they should consider using a database monitoring service. A database monitoring service can help non-profits to resolve many of the problems that they face.
For instance, an MS SQL Server Performance tuning service can watch over the health of the database and help optimize it to run faster and more efficiently. It can provide real-time alerts when problems occur, help diagnose the cause of the problem, and provide support for resolving the issue before it becomes a bigger problem. Additionally, it can help prevent future problems by providing regular maintenance and updates.
Non-Profits Must Ensure Continuous Database Performance
It is essential for non-profits to have a well-functioning database in order to carry out their work effectively. However, databases can often be problematic. This article has discussed some of the most common problems with databases and what non-profits can do to address them.
One solution that non-profits can consider is using a database monitoring service. A database monitoring service can help to prevent and resolve many of the common problems that non-profits face with their databases. With this, non-profits can ensure that their databases are always running smoothly and efficiently. This, in turn, will allow them to better serve their beneficiaries, donors, and the community at large.