WealthEngine conducts a range of surveys throughout the year to gather insights from our clients and then share them with the broader community through presentations, blog posts and our Best Practice Reports. During January and February, we conducted a quick survey of fundraising professionals about their fundraising plans for 2012. The majority of respondents (87%) plan to raise under $5 million in 2012 with slightly over half planning to raise less than $1 million.
Most observers would think that only large organizations or those looking to raise significant sums would look to predictive modeling as a fundraising strategy. However, our survey shows that even smaller organizations are interested – with nearly 30% of respondents considering predictive modeling as part of their fundraising strategy in 2012, more than 3 times as many used it in 2011. Wealth screening is also more popular than last year – with 34% of respondents considering screening in 2012, a 36% increase over last year.
We also asked respondents which fundraising strategies raise the most money for their organization. The results clearly bear out the notion that people give where their friends give. Nearly forty percent of respondents highlighted relationship-based strategies – those focused on personal connections, one-on-one asks or meetings and relationship building – as raising the most money. The most popular response – provided by 27% of respondents – involved leveraging the connections of board members, volunteers or other with a strong connection to their organization. An additional 10% of respondents cited face-to-face or peer-to-peer asks.
Respondents also use adjustments in giving levels as an important strategy to raise more money. As one respondent commented, “predictive modeling will enable us to increase our income and reduce our expenses; however, the greatest return on investment will be in moving donors up the giving pyramid to major donors.” Asking annual or occasional donors to increase their giving level or become major donors was cited by 15% of respondents, with an additional 7% citing major giving in general.
Overall, the results of this survey show that organizations of all sizes and types are eager to try new approaches to fundraising, while still relying on the personal touch of cultivating and building relationships with their donors and prospects.
How much money do you plan to raise from
individual donations to your organization in 2012?
Type of Organization: