With the new school year just around the corner, it’s important to begin preparing for your fall donation drive. But, you may be wondering where to start. Let’s explore where you can look for donors in your database and how you can use wealth screenings to find your next best prospect.
5 Tasks to Prepare for a Fall Donation Drive
1. Screen Your Giving Day Donors
As designated Giving Days have risen in popularity, many universities have been able to raise millions of dollars. They’ve also seen their number of donors double. Giving Days have other benefits- alumni and other members of your institution’s community are able to lend support from anywhere. Furthermore, they’re also given recognition among their community of gift givers.
So, to gear up for your fall donation drive, it’s important to screen your Giving Day donors. By conducting a wealth screening, you can see which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. Donors who give during events like Giving Days may donate sporadically to your institution over time. But, they are still inclined to give. By reaching out early, and implementing effective engagement techniques, they’ll be more likely to donate during your fall donation drive. This is an even greater opportunity for your institution to cultivate donors who give again and again.
2. Screen Your Alumni
Alumni who had positive experiences at their alma mater are keen on giving back. They want to see incoming and returning students have an experience that was just as positive as theirs was.
So, when reaching out to alumni for your fall donation drive, it’s important to understand more about them. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with their interests and giving history, you can engage them in relevant ways. It’s important to ask yourself: who’s an active member of our institution’s alumni association/ Which alumni have given in the past? What do they do now? And do they have the propensity and capacity to give more? By conducting a wealth screening, you can get those answers and more. You can learn more about the wealth, lifestyle, affinities, and interests of alumni and uncover donors, hidden in your database. This can also help you personalize your outreach, and communicate with alumni about fundraisers that they’ll feel individually connected to.
For example, in 2014, the University of Maryland received a historic gift of $31M from former Computer Science Major and Oculus CEO, Brendan Iribe. Brendan attributed his love of virtual reality to the University of Maryland’s computer science department, which is what inspired him to give back.
3. Screen the Parents of Your Incoming Students
With incoming students arriving in just a few months, it’s important to screen your new students’ parents. Which families, of your incoming class, may have the greatest ability and willingness to give during your fall donation drive?
For most parents, if they have the ability to give, they’ll contribute as much as they can. They want to ensure that their son or daughter has all the resources necessary to be successful. Especially if members of your university’s incoming class are legacy students, their parents may be even more keen to give. They’ll want their child to have the best experience at an institution they feel personally connected to and invested in.
By the time your fall donation drive comes around, you can hold an event for parents. This is an opportunity to walk them through the campaigns you have in progress, and how these will transform their child’s college experience.
4. Screen Your Gala Attendees
During galas for your institution, attendees are keen on seeing what their gifts are being put towards. They want to know how their commitment to your campaign(s) is being transformed into tangible accomplishments. It is important to know which gala attendees have contributed substantially in the past. However, it’s even more important to find former attendees who have the ability to give more.
So, it’s important to understand (through screenings) where their values lie, and which projects they’re likely to invest in further. Then, during your fall donation drive, you can tailor your outreach in ways that keep your attendees motivated to keep giving.
5. Model Your Screening Files to Find More Potential Donors
You’ve screened all the donors hidden in your database who have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. Now what? How do you find new donors to give during your fall donation drive?
Using WealthEngine’s modeling solution, you can create a core donor persona. From there, you can find overlaps in demographic data, preferences, and giving history among your existing donors. This will help you understand potential donors you should be reaching out to. Essentially, you’re creating an impression of your ideal donor and then using those traits to find more people like them.
For example, one of WealthEngine’s clients, a large, private, research university in the midwest had a plan in place for fundraising at all levels. However, their biggest challenge was securing Major Gifts. By using WealthEngine’s modeling solution, the team generated a model that automatically identified the top 10% of their donors. The gift capacities of these donors were in the $100,000 range, and over 200 members were identified as top prospects. This reduced their major gift donor lead time by 88%.
Learn How to Model and Screen Your Data to Secure Donations
Learn more about how modeling and screening could help you increase conversions.