I just came out of watching the latest (and maybe, just maybe the best?) Bond movie – Spectre.  Now I have to admit, I am British, I love cars, I love watches and I love Bond, so I am somewhat of a sitting duck for both the movie producers and gratuitous product placements that seem to be everywhere in Bond movies.   Walking out of the theatre, I was on a high; I felt like James Bond’s less fashionable sibling who wanted everything his brother had!  If someone had presented me with the opportunity right then and there, I would have purchased that new Aston Martin DB10, that new Omega watch, or that oh-so-well-fitting Tom Ford suit!  

Unfortunately, I won’t be buying any of those thing right now (Bond accessories are a little out of my league) but you get the gist. Marketers dream of people like me who are caught up in the moment and will do just about anything to get what they see in front of them.  By next week, the euphoria will have worn off….I’ll be Mike Lees again (not the Bond Brother)…and I’ll have seen other cars, other suits and other tempting targets for my hard-earned cash. The moment will have passed.

So what’s the lesson here?  In sales, marketing and fundraising, timing is everything; it’s sales and marketing 101. This basic principle works in grateful patron programs as well. There are three basic pillars for qualifying a good sales or fundraising opportunity:

  1. do they have the budget?
  2. do they have the affinity or the need? And,
  3. is now a good time to ask?

Let’s look in a little more detail at these three in reverse order:

  • Timing – Place a message when your audience is most susceptible.  It’s not only product placement marketers that have been doing this successfully; healthcare fundraisers have been using this tactic with great success through Grateful Patient Programs (GPPs).  They know that frequent screening of patient records and frequent outreach to ‘grateful patients’ can yield great fundraising results.  For many years now, hospitals have been able to do more research, make necessary capital purchases and fund significant initiatives through these programs.  The same holds true for Grateful Patron Programs. You need to ask yourself…
    • How often are you screening your patrons?  Do you reach out to them when they are most ‘grateful’ (i.e. after a performance) or do you wait until later, maybe even until the end of the season?
  • Affinity – This one is easy.  Your patrons clearly have affinity to your cause….after all, they just came to watch your show, or visit your establishment; and many of them do so frequently.   But have you looked beyond this?  
    • Do you have the data and insight into their lifestyle and interests to determine what else interests them, what else may better align them with your cause?  Are there partnerships you could exploit to attract them?  For example, if you have a significant number of fashion lovers in your patron base, could you partner with a luxury brand to deliver a special event?  Consumer analytics vendors like WealthEngine can help here.
  • Resources – This one is a little harder.  You may know your most prominent patrons well.  But do you know the rest?  Do you truly know their capacity to give?  Do you have the insight to be able to make the right ask?
    • Wealth intelligence when done right can score your entire patron base and prioritize each and every one so that you focus your resources in the right place and optimize your fundraising with the right ask.  This is where tools like WealthEngine can truly make a difference.

All of this can seem a little daunting, but it really isn’t.  With some simple changes to your fundraising practices and the introduction of the right data, you can develop processes to consistently make the right ask of the right people at the right time.  

Many of your peers are already doing this (take a look here) and can attest that while you don’t need the resources and cunning of an international special agent, you do need special intelligence.   That’s where we can help.   The name’s Engine…WealthEngine.

To learn more about WealthEngine and our Grateful Patron Program offerings for Arts & Culture organizations take a look here.



From accountant and financial analyst to entrepreneur and get-to-market strategist (it’s never as easy as just going-to-market), Mike’s professional journey has armed him with a unique set of skills and perspective – starting with a product that meets unmet needs, through delivering simple and differentiated messages that generate demand, Mike has done it all.

 

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