With more and more nonprofits adopting data based approaches to fundraising and prospect development, it’s no surprise that more effective methods of identifying and segmenting donors and prospects are emerging. 

With the use of analytics, and the appropriate sourcing of relevant and accurate data, nonprofits can know more than ever before about their donors and other constituents, and can more accurately target passionate supporters for acquisition. 

Here are five ways your organization can use analytics to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your fundraising programs:

  1. Cluster analysis: combined with data appends or screening services, cluster analysis or statistical profiling allow nonprofits to develop accurate profiles of their best donors, and determine what characteristics they share.  Are they mass affluent, with real estate in the range of $500K to $750K, and typically in the 54-65 year age group?  Knowing these essential characteristics of your current best donors allows nonprofits to message them in a more personal and targeted way, developing deeper and more meaningful relationships, and enhancing donor loyalty among this most important group. 
  2. Look Alike Models: Knowing the profile of your best donors does not end with enhancing your relationship with them.  It can also help you to identify additional supporters, who look very much like your best supporters, but aren’t yet donating to your cause.  These may be mined directly out of the depths of your data base.  If you best supporters have a net worth of $500 to $750K, are 54-65 years of age, and live in large metropolitan areas, who else in your database matches that profile?  By identifying this group of under-givers and/or never-givers, you can share specific messages that have resonated solidly with your best donors, and have the confidence that they will respond likewise.
  3. Lifestyle Appends: Lifestyle attributes can further enhance your understanding of your constituency.  If you haven’t yet discovered the power of appending interests in such categories as politics, the environment, pets, the arts or healthcare, you may be missing an excellent opportunity.  Data providers are now able to append donor and prospect files with literally thousands of lifestyle attributes to enable you to segment your prospects by their interests, and message them in unique ways to stir their emotions.
  4. Custom Prospect Lists: If your nonprofit, like so many, needs to find new prospects, your data profile and lifestyle attributes can help.  It is now possible to develop very targeted and specific prospect lists that match the characteristics of your current donors.  Do you need to find prospects in the Los Angeles area who are environmentally aware, have pets and are avid cyclists?  Perhaps you need to find those who are politically conservative, live in the Midwest and own multiple properties?  Whatever your needs, consider the many and varied sources of data that can help you build a unique prospecting list that will match your requirements exactly.
  5. Develop Custom Ask Amounts: Now that you have the data you need to understand the passions and interests of your donors, make sure you are targeting them for an appropriate “ask.”  The days of asking each prospect for the same “average” gift amount are over.  Analytics allows you to quickly analyze the average gift size for those in each net worth or giving capacity strata, and target your new prospects to give at the rate at which their peers or look-a-likes are contributing.  You will see your average gift amount soar.

With the prevalence and availability of data of all kinds, and the accessibility of analytics, whether done in-house or outsourced, there are no more excuses for a one-size fits all fundraising strategy.  Data can help you become more relevant, more authentic, more personal, and more successful.

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