Millennial Millionaire Report Gains National Attention

WealthEngine’s new Millennial Millionaire Report, created jointly with Coldwell Banker, has been in the news a lot, including national TV and major publications:

Want to see what all the hype is about? Download A Look at Wealth 2019 and get inside the minds of millennial millionaires.

6 Questions High Net Worth Donors Ask Before Donating

high net worth donors

Want to capture donations from billionaires and other High Net Worth Donors? Be ready with thoughtful answers to these 6 key questions.

High Net Worth Donor Motivations

As a nonprofit, we’re sure High Net Worth Donors are a priority for you. The question is: how do you engage them as effectively as possible? This all starts with familiarizing yourself with the needs of your donors. Today’s High Net Worth Donors focus on giving with purpose. They want to be philanthropic in ways that are impactful, actionable, and informed. But, what are the wealthy looking for when they give before deciding where and how to contribute major gifts?

James Lintott, the co-founder of the Sterling Foundation, consults and speaks with wealthy families, estate planning attorneys, and wealth advisors around the nation.  He works with all of them to manage the philanthropic goals of high net worth families. Let’s explore the 6 key questions he believes High Net Worth Donors will ask before giving you their money:

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1. Do I Have A Chance to Make a Difference?

When deciding whether or not to give to an organization, High Net Worth Donors (HNWD) are less concerned about tex benefits, ego enhancement or short-term immortality. In short: major gift donors aren’t giving for selfish reasons. They aren’t giving to preserve their legacy and enhance their worth through philanthropic contributions. If anything, they are more concerned about the ways in which their donations will transform into action.

They don’t know where the line between ‘good intentions’ and ‘actual results’ lies, and they rely on their nonprofit to ensure that their contributions will be used to make a difference. And, even when a donor doesn’t know exactly what area they want to invest in, they know they have a burning desire to do good.

So, the primary question you have to answer when your donor comes to you is: what won’t happen if you won’t get this money? By posing this question, your donors will consider what they’re pouring their money into and what their motivation behind giving is. In short: is this something they have a vested interest in? And will they regret not giving to this cause?

2. Am I Afforded Expert Help?

High Net Worth Donors seek out experts for almost everything. So, it’s incredibly important that your donors feel that they are making informed decisions with their money. Essentially, your donors want to know that they can trust your expertise. Donors may have questions such as: why should I contribute to your organization? How? And, what’s the best tax vehicle through which I can give?

If they have any questions regarding tax implications or specific questions about your cause, you need to provide them with the necessary resources. This could be done through your organization itself or by connecting them with external resources and people that would be even more beneficial. Show them where you are getting that talent who’s done this before or the ways in which you are educating yourself in this endeavor.

3. Will My Gift Yield Measurable Results?

High Net Worth Donors are more inclined to give once they have a greater understanding of where their money is going. They want their major gifts to transform into actionable change. So, these types of measurable results help generate long term relationships with donors.

If they are given evidence that their contributions will result in positive, lasting change, they will want to contribute in the future. Not only are their intentions valued, but they are acted upon by the causes they want to see flourish. So, not only will your cause be able to secure gifts now, but they will in the future as well by showing clients measurable results.

4. Do I Have Flexibility?

Your High Net Worth Donors aren’t concerned with digging into the intricacies of your organization. Their primary focus is to make a difference. So it’s important to consider what resources your donor may need to realize their goals. This requires you to think outside of your organization. What partners can you include for them to realize their goals? What investments do you need to make?

Instead of getting trapped in standard practices, it’s important to consider what can do to help your donors achieve their goals. Think: what can we do to get the difference? What will solve the problem? The more flexible you are in the planning stage and in your ability to provide resources, the more likely High Net Worth Individuals are to donate.

5. Is There A Way to Involve My Family?

For many High Net Worth Donors, giving is not an individual venture. It involves every member of their immediate family, especially their children. By doing this, HNWDs are collectively encouraging, nurturing, and involving the next generation in giving.

They want them to enhance their skill set to review grants and build their decision-making skills. Especially if their children are to manage the family foundation later on, it’s crucial that they have a space to develop their passion for philanthropy. If your cause is able to afford these opportunities. to younger generations, HNWDs are likely to take an interest because their children can extend their efforts, and invest in their own projects.

6. Is My Gift Tax Deductible?

Many High Net Worth Donors consider their gift tax to be the last good deduction left. Charitable deductions, in a sense, help them see the path towards lasting change. Although High Net Worth Donors are more interested in making a difference with their contributions, it’s still necessary to outline the benefits they will receive.

By letting donors know if their gift entitles them to a charitable contribution deduction against their income, you’re providing them an additional incentive to give. Not only are they acting altruistically, but they’re also able to receive tax relief.

Catch a Recap of Serving Today’s High Net Worth Donor

Interested in learning more about the best ways to engage your benefactors? Watch James Lintott’s talk on how to serve today’s high net worth donors, presented at the WE Prosper Summit 2019.

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Data Strategy Best Practices to Drive Value & Personalization

data strategy best practices

Data is everywhere. We all have to deal with it, irrespective of our industry or sector. Every customer or donor transaction generates a data point. Simply collecting these data points cannot help you achieve personalization or derive value from your data. Data strategy best practices, when tailored to the needs of your organization, can deliver great value.

Data can serve many purposes. It can deliver insights, help you personalize your outreach, increase conversion rates, and deliver greater ROI. Furthermore, people are doing great things with data. Using “Data for Good” is becoming a growing phenomenon. So, the question is how can data help you?

Tom Monahan, Founder and Managing Partner of Norton Street Capital, recently shared insights on leveraging data to drive value and personalization at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Read on to see how you can meet your organization’s goals through applying these data strategy best practices. 

Webinar: AI-Driven Segmentation

Interested in learning how to use AI-Driven customer segmentation to personalize ad campaigns? Register for our webinar this Wednesday at 11 AM!

We’re All in the Business of Persuasion

Think of the last time you changed your mind about something. The process usually involves learning some news or receiving new data. You’ve learned something new that has led you to reconsider what you know. This means data is persuasive.

We’re all in the business of changing people’s minds. This could mean that they need to be convinced to give to your organization or to purchase your brand’s items. Your data strategy can help you accomplish this.

Data is like Oil

Clive Humby, British mathematician said, “Data is the new oil…” This means that data cannot offer value in its raw form. Like oil, it needs to be refined to deliver value. Furthermore, like oil, more value is accrued by the users of data than the owners of it.

So, how do you refine your data to ensure that it delivers value? Applying the core principles of strategy can help you derive valuable and actionable insights.

Core Principles of Strategy

At any organization, the overall strategy needs to be:

  1. Focused- If you find something that works specifically for your organization, pay attention to it and develop it to a point of exclusion of competing elements.
  2. Distinctive- Every player in the market cannot have the same strategy.  So, by understanding where you stand out and taking advantage of your position is ideal.
  3. Authentic- The way you stand out has to be true to your organization’s story. Your position should be organic. Furthermore, aiming for fairness is not always appropriate for your strategy. It’s better to stay out of fair fights and enter markets where you have a singular, unfair advantage over your competitors.
  4. Iterative- A strategy will do you no good if it is static. As much as you want to have a core mission and vision, your organization has to be flexible enough to accommodate what is contextual and relevant.
  5. Sustainable- Competition is forever. Although your strategy needs to be iterative, it also needs to be sustainable in the long run. If your strategy becomes plateaus, your organization could be headed for trouble.
  6. Valuable- Ultimately, it comes down to offering real value to your customer or donor. You need to offer a solution that makes a difference in your customer’s life. Similarly, as a nonprofit, you need to offer a solution so that your donor can make a difference.

These core principles are universal and can be applied to your data management. Thus, here are a few data strategy best practices to help you fulfill your fundraising or marketing goals.

Top 5 Data Strategy Best Practices

1. Sourcing

Don’t simply focus on what you can do, but on areas where you can excel. Many companies can claim that they have unique data. While that may be true, does your data have broad applications?

If the data you collect is accurate and informative but very specific to your industry and even more so to your organization, it offers no value to others. This means that your data cannot be an added source in your revenue stream. Similarly, when you source data from other entities, you have to ensure that it serves the broader purpose of your organization and not just a single department.

2. Staging and Structure

Save, combine, and protect data in interesting ways. Any of these could prove to be advantageous.

For example, WealthEngine goes beyond industry standards when it comes to data protection. Our regularly audited SOC 2 Type II certification sets us apart from other wealth data analytics solutions. This certification ensures all of our users that no one can misuse or hack the data they are compiling.

3. Analytics

Your data strategy could lie in combining your unique data with other data points. By doing so, you may be able to predict something that no one else can. While your data may be proprietary and well-suited to deliver insights to your organization, you can strengthen this even further with third-party data.

For instance, you may want to run a direct mail campaign. Your team already has a list of prospects and their addresses. You can make your campaign much more effective through personalization. Your team can add demographic and lifestyle data on these contacts through a wealth screening. Now, you are working with a broader picture of who these people are and what makes them tick. It is easier for you to deliver more impactful messages to them.

4. Value Creation

Your data strategy must create unique value. It is better to avoid broad, obvious approaches if you want your approach to be sustainable. Similarly, avoiding gimmicks to provide real value to your customers and donors will increase their LTV.

You could stand out by offering convenience, unique/intuitive bundling, economic benefits, or even emotional benefits. For instance, let’s say you are a university. Typically, you will have various departments collect data for their specific purpose. Admissions has data on incoming students, while alumni relations has data on graduates. Similarly, various academic departments have data on current students. These databases can often be silos. By unifying your database and creating a cohesive picture of all students and alumni, you will identify missed opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration.

5. Value Extraction

How do you get a fair return on the value you create? You begin by defining what fair means to you.  Any value return must benefit your customers, employees, and investors. You cannot choose to please only one of these parties as they all have opposing needs. Therefore, balance is key in your data strategy.

Finally, keep customer permissions in mind. There is a thin line between valuable and creepy.

3 Key Data Strategy Takeaways

  1. Your data strategy cannot just be to collect lots of it. Volume does not equal value. Data is like oil- it has to be refined and processed correctly to be valuable.
  2. Your data can be unique, but it has to have broad applications. Moreover, you can add value by offering unique insights or predicting something that no one else can.
  3. Ensure that you get a fair return on your data. Return could mean both the price that a third party pays for your insights as well as how much your data-strategy can support your overall organizational goals.
    For example, Starbucks and McDonalds are both data-driven QSRs, they both use data differently. But it pays off for each one because it serves each of their business strategies. McDonald’s uses data to increase speed while Starbucks uses it to create a curated cafe experience with personalized offerings.

Interested in learning more about Tom’s talk on data strategy? Catch a recap of his session from WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Watch Now–>

Nonprofit Storytelling: 4 Ways to Deepen Engagement

nonprofit storytelling

In most (if not all) nonprofits, there is a greater emphasis on personalization. With the emergence of new technologies, it’s becoming easier for organizations to segment donors and personalize outreach according to their donors’ experiences, interests, and life stages. This is particularly evident in nonprofit storytelling.

Now, not only do donors want to receive messaging that speaks to their values, but they also want to forge connections with the organization they’re contributing to. As exemplified by Jay Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, donors want to hear stories about and from the people they’re helping. They want to understand those individuals, their stories, and give in ways that are impactful.

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So, let’s explore the four necessary things you should do to tell a story with impact:

4 Ways to Forge Deeper Connections with Donors

1. Dig Into Your Organization’s Backstory

A key step in successful nonprofit storytelling is to discuss your history. The first story that should connect with your audience is your organization’s origin story. How and why was your organization created?  And, how are you amplifying your mission today? These intentional tellings of your story can garner a community of loyal followers. So, if they believe in your mission and how you’re attempting to create change, donors and prospects will commit themselves to spread your story.

In Jay Scott’s case, almost all the donors that visit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand site are far more interested in the history of the organization than what is being done with the donations they’ve received. They want to know how they got started and how their organization is inspiring people to do more.

2. Focus on Deep Content in Nonprofit Storytelling, Not Just Personalized Messaging

Deep stories, like Alex’s, do more than encourage people to give for the sake of giving. Jay Scott demonstrates that stories are vessels for empathy. They allow you to create bonds with prospective and existing donors. Stories like Alex’s galvanize people into giving. Not only do they understand what is going on factually, but they also deeply feel the reality of the situation outlined before them.

The most impactful stories exist beyond the written word. They exist beyond the simplistic intention of collecting donations so your foundation can gain traction or attention. A truly salient story is one that digs into and illuminates a greater truth which may ordinarily feel abstract or intangible. That’s what inspires donors to give— not an anecdote illustrating why they should give, but a truth that allows them to connect, empathize, and humanize the individuals in the story.

3. Segment Your Audience

In nonprofit storytelling, not everyone will connect with the same story. So, it’s important to remain true to the stories you collect. Then, you can determine which donors will connect with which truth. Once you’ve segmented your donors, you can send tailored messages that are relevant to their interests and experiences.

Communication, from then on, is primarily donor-centric. You’re highlighting their wants, needs, and motivations, instead of showing donors why they should give to your organization. At Alex’s Lemonade Stand,  they send out personalized messages to hundreds of thousands of donors. Just by subject line alone, donors open these emails 2-5 times more than those on regular distribution lists. But, this isn’t about creating messages that are likely to be opened. It’s about bringing the attention of interested people to stories that speak to them. That’s where all significant change starts.

4. Amplify Your Intention Through Imagery in Nonprofit Storytelling

Imagery is an essential element in impactful nonprofit storytelling. Images can forge connections with readers just as much as written stories. For instance, Jay Scott noticed that when they left out Alex’s picture from their newsletter, his donors had something to say about it. Why? By seeing Alex’s picture, people were able to put a face to the story they were reading.

In that sense, images make nonprofit stories more tangible.

They allow you to humanize the cause and donors are able to see the individuals impacted by the gifts they contribute. So, the retellings no longer seem abstract. They’re real.

Catch a Recap of Using Storytelling to Personalize Your Message and Grow Donors

Watch Jay Scott’s powerful retelling of Alex’s story, presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Start Now–>

Delivering Innovation by Balancing Technology with the Human Touch

delivering innovation

Personalization is at the tip of every fundraiser and marketer’s tongue. Achieving personalization in your organization’s outreach requires innovation. Delivering innovation means thinking beyond convention. This out-of-the-box thinking can be driven by you or even by your donors or customers.

In the case of the latter, you need to listen to your contacts and let them tell you what suits them best.  Innovation trends across various industries are changing client expectations.  

Webinar: AI-Driven Segmentation

Interested in learning how to use AI-Driven customer segmentation to personalize ad campaigns? Register for our webinar this Wednesday at 11 AM!

What Customers & Donors Look For

Chady AlAhmar, SVP of Strategy and Analytics, U.S. Bank Wealth Management has said that there is a  5-step process that has helped them drive innovation.

You begin with your customer or donor. Understand their expectations in order to deliver innovation. Here is what they expect based on their journey:

1. Ease, Simplicity, and Increased Control

The extent of technology in our daily lives has made people expect ease of transactions whether it comes to giving, saving, or spending. They know that they produce data with each transaction and that is okay as long as data is collected in a transparent way that gives them control over it.

The emphasis here is on data- your donors and customers are saying “I expect you to know me.”

2. Personalization and holistic communication

You cannot be everything to everyone. By the same token, not everything you send out will appeal to everyone. For instance, if you reach out with a 401K message to everyone in your database, it may not resonate. To deliver innovation here means to offer support instead of seeking a sale. In the previous instance, if you find out who has just changed jobs or moved and then reach out to them- you can offer advice and guidance on updating their 401K. Doing this would make your message resonate better.

The emphasis here is on prioritization– your donors and customers are saying, “Find me at the right time.”

3. Cost-Efficiency

Your contacts expect that you will find the most cost-effective way to reach them. Invest in innovation that meets their expectations but does not increase your costs dramatically, trickling down to increased costs for them.

What’s important here is the distribution of efficiencies. The expectation is, “Not only do I want you to find me at the right time, but I also want you to find me in the right place.”

4. Social Responsibility

This is becoming an increasingly important expectation, especially among younger generations. Your contacts are saying, “if there is no purpose behind this, I am not interested in it”. If you are a nonprofit, for you, this means that every appeal that you send them has to be something that strikes an emotional chord. Every appeal must also showcase the impact of any gift clearly.

The emphasis here is on activation. You are expected to “Offer me purpose and meaning, not sales pitches.”

5. Comfort with algorithm-based decisions

Users are becoming more and more comfortable with algorithm-based decision-making. This means that they are okay with their GPS predicting their destination in the morning as well as Alexa predicting their mood to create a playlist. Technology is being embraced by your customers and donors, which means that you can deliver innovation by using the latest tech.

Don’t fear technology. But, don’t lose sight of learning. “The more we interact, the better you will know me (and others like me).”

6. Security

The ease with technology and with the ubiquitous nature of data means that security is a growing concern. Your contacts expect you to take precautions to secure the data you have gathered about them.

Delivering innovation here means finding a way to bridge the gap between privacy and personalization.

How You Can Deliver Innovation Based on Expectations

Knowing your contacts’ expectations now empowers you to deliver innovation in a personalized manner. But, how can you meet these expectations?

The answer lies in being able to balance IQ with eQ. In fact, it is all about human capital and human potential. Delivering innovation comes down to using technology to empower humans to do great things.

PEOPLE + INNOVATION = A Winning Combination.

The balance, of course, depends on the nature of service and the complexity of client needs. For example, a museum competes not only against other museums but also for people’s time. As the museum, you need to make visitors feel a certain way when they are there. Therefore, they should be driven to return.

Innovation means realizing that your offer strikes an emotional chord as well as offers ease and convenience. You need to use data to drive customer experience. Listen to them, understand how they feel. Deliver a solution that caters to their needs.

Delivering Innovation: 3 Key Takeaways

  1. Embrace technology to enhance the donor or customer experience. Thus, you can adjust your innovation strategy to include expectations created by emerging client journeys.
  2. Improve your value proposition through data analytics. It’s important to embrace data and machine learning to deliver innovation. But, don’t lose sight of the value that the human perspective can offer. Thus, you should sense check your data-driven strategies with your instinct and experience.
  3. Think about how you make your client feel. Ultimately, the best experiences are driven by appealing to your contacts’  IQ as well as eQ.

Interested in learning more about Chady’s talk on delivering innovation? Catch a recap of his session from WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Watch Now–>

Retail Marketing: Using Technology to Drive Personalization at Scale

retail marketing

We’ve heard that personalization should be at the core of retail marketing strategy. Does this mean that you send discounts on jeans to previous customers who bought jeans? Yes, that’s a part of it, but there is so much more. Every touchpoint needs to make the customer feel like they are having a one-on-one conversation with you. However, from a business standpoint, your strategy needs to be scalable as well. The question then becomes about balancing scalability with that personal touch.

Webinar: AI-Driven Segmentation

Interested in learning how to use AI-Driven customer segmentation to personalize ad campaigns? Register for our webinar this Wednesday at 11 AM!

Bob Ghafouri, Senior Managing Director, Founder, Bloom by Accenture recently addressed this question and others at WE Prosper Summit.

How Can You Scale Personalization?

Platforms are disrupting every industry. Retail marketing is no different. In fact, platforms can enable you to achieve personalization at scale. They are able to do this by focusing on three elements:

  1. Experience Disruption- creating a frictionless customer experience that makes everyone pivot. Eg: AirBnB made it so convenient to find the comfort of home in a new city that people started to prefer them to hotels for certain types of trips.
  2. Business Model Disruption- changing the value chain or existing business models to find an advantage. Eg: Dollar Shave Club cut out other players in the value chain and went direct to consumer. By doing this, they were able to keep costs very low and provide value and convenience to their customers.
  3. Technological Disruption- when technology enables you to take leaps, speed up innovation or benefit from convenience. Eg: Amazon’s Redshift platform- a new business could use this to launch themselves into the market in a matter of days

These disruptions all allow retail marketers to personalize their offerings. For instance, experiences can be curated to meet customer preferences. Similarly, value and/or convenience can be factored in based on what is most important to each customer segment. With the help of technology, these offerings can remain customized but can be scaled as businesses grow.

What do Retail Customers Want?

When it comes to retail, customers know what they want. They want personalization & control. This means that they don’t just want to be offered a multitude of choices. Options generated by retail marketing should cater to their preferences. Furthermore, they want to be in control of their journey and the information you hold about them. The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 45% of consumers left a website due to being overwhelmed by too many options
  • 82% of customers are willing to share data- as long as there is transparency, control, and service
  • 79% of consumers have never felt a brand was too personal or invasive
  • 81% of consumers will shop more if you recognize, remember, and make relevant recommendations
  • 75% of consumers want to control their journey

If you’re in retail marketing, the data above shows you that listening to your customers is a large part of the exercise. Let them educate you on how best to serve them.

How can Retail Marketing Address Customer Wants and Needs?

Think service design: a dynamic service experience is critical to getting 1:1 personalization. Customer experience should be designed in such a way that every touchpoint must feel personal. Focus on three elements to develop this design:


Personalized Shopping: Stalking is Not Personalization

You have several kinds of data at your organization. You don’t have to track your customer’s every move or stalk them in order to get insights. Personalized shopping can be driven by combining different types of data- both your own and that acquired from third parties.

You can use transactional or historical data + shared intent by the customer + insights from machine learning that can provide inferred intent. These three combined can provide actionable insights and be powerful to drive personalization. Further, your communication can be more proactive through these.

For example, your customer may have bought entry-level luxury handbags before. You then notice that they add a high-end luxury bag to their cart and abandon it there for some time. This shows you their intent or preparedness to spend on a big-ticket item. Using data science, you can analyze similar patterns among other customers to predict the value of their next purchase or even predict the likelihood of a big-ticket purchase on their next transaction.

When you have this kind of insight, you can send them tailored offers- maybe a personalized shopping experience in-store or a promotion offered specifically around high-end handbags.

Personalized Merchandising: Profiling is Not Personalization

Data and machine learning are powerful tools in retail marketing, of course. Data-driven segmentation can also help you refine personalization. However, even the best algorithm may not be enough to create something highly personalized. Applying human intuition on a digital platform is what will get you there.

For instance, let’s consider the previous example. Your predictive model indicated that the customer is ready for a luxury purchase in their next transaction. However, as a seasoned retail marketing professional, you may realize that the bag remaining in their cart is a sign. Your instinct can take you from prediction to anticipation. Prediction is about retailers being in control, but anticipation puts the control back in the hands of the customer.  In this case, your experience tells you that the customer is hesitant about making such a big decision.

Knowing how likely they are to make a purchase empowers you to approach them with personalized merchandising. You may send them a video about craftsmanship on the brand of handbags they are interested in. Thus, you showcase the value of the product to them. On the other hand, you may realize that they are ready to make a luxury purchase but maybe the handbag is a bigger commitment than they are ready for. In this instance, personalization could be in the form of promotions on belts, wallets or other smaller items from the same brand.

Personalized Advisor: Chatbots are Not Personalization

Retail consumers seek experts just like anybody else. They are looking for personalization in the form of advice. While chatbots are a nifty solution to interact with customers at scale, they cannot replace real advice.

In the spectrum of virtual to real experts, there are three archetypes that are typically used in retail marketing.

Retail marketers are pivoting towards 1:1 personalized orchestration engines. These are not just about sharing advice but also listening to your consumers.

For instance, when a customer is shopping online your recommendation engine may be showing them similar products. However, customers seek advice more than recommendations. You can drive personalization by showing them how to pair the item they are looking at with others or how to style it for different occasions based on their lifestyle.

You could also offer advice in the form of answering frequently asked questions about the product. This can go beyond product specs to show how the product functions in different settings, how durable it can be, etc.

Thus, you can build personalization into the entire customer journey. By listening as much as recommending, retail marketers can ensure that customers control their own journeys.

Top 4 Retail Marketing Takeaways:

Here are four top takeaways from Bob’s talk on personalization in retail marketing.

  1. Consumers don’t mind that you have data on them. In fact, they preferred to be recognized and offered relevant offers. But, they want transparency and control over the data.
  2. Combine your knowledge of your customers with data science to gain insights.
  3. Become proactive in your communications, open yourself up to listening to your customers. Go from predicting customer behavior to anticipating it.
  4. Retail experiences need to be personalized in every step of the customer journey. In order to achieve this in a meaningful way, you need to combine technology and human instinct.

Catch a Recap of Making it Personal

Watch the full recap of Making it Personal, presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Start Now–>

Donor-Advised Funds: How Your Nonprofit Can Gain Untapped Gifts

Donor Advised Funds

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) may seem out of reach, but reports show that they are growing at a rapid rate. Furthermore, DAFs have been making a significant impact on giving. For instance, a donor recently found out that his DAF had the ability to support early education impacting 80 children. The fund that went out to support this cause was in the ballpark of $170,000. This was possible through appreciated securities and growth of the fund in their portfolio.

If your nonprofit has not been leveraging Donor-Advised Funds to supplement your fundraising strategies, following our recommended best practices can help you get started. Make sure you get a copy of our best practices guide at the end of this article.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is a Donor-Advised Fund?

Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing, Fidelity Charitable says, “A donor advised fund is like having a set-aside investment account just for your charitable giving.”

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DAFs are a way for donors to make a charitable contribution and get their tax deduction immediately. However, funds, securities, and assets are held by a public charity. The donor can then recommend grants to go out to charities from these assets.

Three Key Benefits of Using DAFs

  1. The nature of these funds allows donors to be more thoughtful about how they allocate resources to charities. It takes the time pressure off when they have had a financial windfall. They can establish the DAF right away and receive a tax deduction. But, they still have time to think about how best to use these funds.
    In the words of a current DAF donor, these funds allow you to put 98% of the focus on giving and 2% on the implementation/technicalities of it.
  2. Assets can appreciate over time allowing charities to benefit from a higher value contribution.
  3. DAFs are also growing at an exponential rate when compared to the growth of overall giving. For example, giving overall grew 5% in 2017 vs DAFs that grew by 20% in the same period.

Profile of a Typical Donor

  1. The median age is 65. However, giving can begin as early as 55.
  2. 79% of them also volunteer their time with their money
  3. 68% have said that DAF is right for them because they have the money now but haven’t thought about how/where to give yet
  4. 76% give appreciated assets (privately held assets or publically traded stock)
  5. 76% give because it is an investment growth of charitable assets
  6. 27% give because they had a financial windfall

Before we get to our best practice recommendations, let’s understand some commonly held misconceptions about Donor-Advised Funds.

Donor-Advised Fund Myths- What is actually true?




DAF donors are typically wealthy The average DAF donor has a bank balance of $17,000
DAF contributions are always major gifts Gifts have a wide range, but the average is about $4000
Money doesn’t move when it ends up in a Donor-Advised Fund On average 37% of funds go to charities in year 1, 74% within 5 years and 88% within 10 years
DAFs are limited in number Over 1000 charities have DAF programs


5 Best Practices for Nonprofits to Get These Funds

Learn how best to fish in your own pond. Identify prospects for DAF giving from within your donor base.

Download our best practices guide here–>

How to Personalize Engagement: 10 Key Takeaways From WE Prosper Summit 2019

The power of personalized engagement is undeniable. WealthEngine’s WE Prosper Summit 2019 brought together industry experts. They discussed the importance of personalization across industries. Speakers explored how data, AI/ML, and other technology drive tailored outreach and positive social impact.

Experts at the WE Prosper Summit 2019 spoke from their varied perspectives. From those talks, we found that the following key principles exist across industries:

Personalized Engagement can Deliver Exponential ROI

1.  Personalized Engagement is more than just a trending topic.

The WE Prosper Summit confirmed that personalization is more than just a buzzword. Speakers confirmed that it is at the epicenter of all successful fundraising and marketing.

For fundraisers, personalization could be the difference between receiving $50 from a donor or $50,000. For marketers, it enables them to stay informed on customer life stages. So, this means you can predict purchases and keep customers, thereby increasing LTV.

Missed WE Prosper Summit? Catch the full recap now and learn more about The Power of Personalized Engagement.

2. There is a fine line between personalized and creepy.

When you completely rely on technology to drive personalization, you may end up crossing a fine line. Stalking, profiling, and chatbots aren’t effective methods in learning more about your clients. In short, organizations need to find a way to make communication feel personal without losing sight of scalability.

This leads us to our next set of takeaways…

Technology Needs to be Balanced with the Human Touch

3. Data and AI are making huge strides in both the nonprofit world and in marketing.

AI is always exploring the frontier of what is possible. It is a great tool to test and refine your personalized engagement strategy. So, when data is combined with machine learning, it can predict behavior. This can help you be proactive in your outreach.

4. The value of the human touch cannot be undervalued.

It’s important to not be overly-reliant on technology when you’re personalizing your outreach. There are several cases where technology has been used as a substitute for a personal touch. Your donors and customers want to be engaged in authentic ways. They must sense transparency and relevancy in your communications with them. So, you can achieve this by balancing scalability with the human touch.

5. Your data strategy cannot just be to collect lots of it.

Basically, volume does not equal value.

Mathematician, Clive Humby has said that “Data is like oil…”

So, you have to refine data and process it correctly for it to be valuable. Moreover, data collection and insights must add value to your overall business strategy.

6. Combine your data with data from other sources to personalize engagement.

Your data is unique to you but you can increase it’s value to supplementing it with information from other sources. For instance, WealthEngine customers have access to wealth, demographic, lifestyle, and affinity data. These help them gain a more holistic view of their contacts. Similarly, data and machine learning can generate unique insights.

Combining your data with machine learning technology can generate insights that no one else has. These insights can then help you drive personalized engagement. Furthermore, you can use this technology to refine your analysis over time.

7. AI is not out of reach for nonprofits.

By understanding the technology, you can reduce repetitive tasks. Additionally, you can test your strategy and learn from it so that you are constantly refining your outreach.

Impact is Going to be the Next Industrial Revolution

8. Impact is going to affect all organizations.

All stakeholders have an interest in corporate social responsibility. Thus, usher corporations towards public good.

9. Millennials are going to be major influencers of the economy.

They will buy from brands, work at companies, and give to causes that are closely aligned with their principles. Thus, understanding them will be key to driving personalized engagement.

10. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) can add to fundraising bottom lines.

DAFs have been growing at a rate of 20%, almost 4X the rate of overall giving. With this being the case, all nonprofits have to do is facilitate receiving funds through them.

Learn More about WE Prosper Summit 2019- The Power of Personalized Engagement

Interested in learning more about what our industry experts had to say? Learn more about the latest trends in prospect engagement.


WealthEngine Assembles Industry Leaders at Second Annual WE Prosper Summit to Discuss The Latest Trends In Prospect Engagement

BETHESDA, MD, October 2, 2019— WealthEngine held its second annual WE Prosper Summit at The Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

The WE Prosper Summit is a gathering of thought leaders from global causes and international brands. Participants come together for a day-long conference of rich keynote speeches, how-tos, case studies and presentations from 17 thought leaders among our clients and partners.

“As the recent statement from The Business Roundtable indicates, businesses are redefining their role in society, to include all stakeholders, not just shareholders” said PV Boccasam CEO of WealthEngine. “Our conference brings together thought leaders who are innovating how they engage their current and future prospects in powerful ways that impact the communities that they live and work in everyday.”

The theme of the 2019 WE Prosper Summit was The Power of Personalized Engagement. Thought leaders, experts, partners and clients convened to discuss the latest trends and best practices in data-driven prospecting. This year’s WE Prosper Summit also explored the actionable steps leaders can take to optimize their fundraising and marketing strategy.

The 2019 WE Prosper Summit featured key industry speakers including: Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing at Fidelity Charitable; Rick Dunham, Chair of the Board of the Giving USA Foundation and Board Member of the Giving Institute; Patricia Eisner, former Chief Development Officer of The Malala Fund, now of Two Rivers Public Charter Schools; Tom Monahan, Board Member of Transunion and Managing Partner of Norton Street Capital and former CEO and Chairman of CEB; Bob Ghafouri, Founder of Accenture Bloom; Pat McQueen, Senior VP at; and many others.

WealthEngine also took the opportunity to hold their second annual WealthEngine Prosper Awards ceremony. The WE Prosper Awards honor leading brands and nonprofits that are delivering outstanding business and social impact using WealthEngine’s prospect engagement capabilities to deploy highly effective, personalized, wealth-aware campaigns.

“We are proud to recognize the recipients of our 2019 WE Prosper Awards and humbled by their dedication to their communities and causes they support,” said Matt Melnick, SVP of Sales & Strategic Alliances. “We look forward to learning from their work and sharing best practices to generate positive momentum within our community.”

The 2019 WealthEngine Prosper Award recipients were:

American Lung Association

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Medstar Health

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

The University of Pennsylvania

U.S. Bank

TCS World Travel

About WealthEngine

Using actionable wealth and lifestyle insights, WealthEngine (WE) fuels highly-targeted campaigns that continuously deliver measured outcomes. The WE prospect engagement platform is powered by more than a half-trillion data points and uses proprietary learning science to create unique WE Profiles for more than 250M people in the U.S.

For more than 20 years, we have ensured our clients engage in highly personalized and precise conversations with their audiences to find their next best prospect and drive growth. By elevating campaigns to the power of WE, our clients expand their audiences, decrease acquisition costs and increase revenue, along with the lifetime value of their donor or customers.

WealthEngine works in both the commercial and nonprofit markets with clients in financial services, luxury, retail, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, higher education, arts & culture, and with any organization looking to use wealth and lifestyle data to enhance their efforts.


Sample RFP Evaluation Criteria: Find the Best Wealth Data Analytics Solution

Sample RFP

There are many ways to write an RFP.  In fact, it may seem like every organization would need its own type of Request for Proposal.  So, what evaluation criteria can you use to determine that your RFP will help you find the best vendor? Keep reading to find out. We will reveal the top 3 tips for writing an effective RFP.  Such an RFP will help you find a wealth data and analytics solution that will best suit your needs. What’s more, We’ll even provide a detailed sample RFP for you to use. Before we get to the sample, let’s start with the basics.

What is an RFP?

An RFP or Request For Proposal is a document used by organizations that are seeking a vendor or partner. Generally, an organization issues an RFP document outlining the specifics of what they would like to accomplish through the vendor’s services.

An RFP is different from an RFQ. An RFQ or Request For Quote is focused more on the cost estimation of a particular project. It is better to use an RFQ where project requirements and terms are fairly standard. An RFP however, allows nonprofits to describe their needs and goals in detail. If you are unfamiliar with how to get started, you can download our sample RFP.

Our Sample RFP has everything you need to find the best wealth data analytics solution. Simply download the template and edit it to suit your needs.

Why should I write a Request for Proposal?

The alternative of not using an RFP is having an ambiguous discussion with each vendor that may not yield the results you are looking for.  Moreover, there are three clear benefits from using an RFP to find a wealth data vendor:

  1. Well Documented Requirements: Creating an RFP allows you to document all your requirements. This exercise helps you review your needs internally and ensures that you have a consensus on them.
  2. Clear Expectations & Terms: When requirements are clearly documented, it is easy to set vendor expectations. They will know what they will need to fulfill from the get-go.  Clear terms stated in your RFP also enables you to arrive at a mutually satisfactory deal quickly.
  3. Ease of Comparison: When you create a structured RFP for different vendors to fill out, comparing their offering becomes easier. Everyone enters responses to a set of standard questions enabling you to identify key differentiators between them.

Sample RFP Evaluation Criteria: Top 3 Tips for Writing an Effective RFP

When creating a Request for Proposal to find the right vendor, bearing these three sample RFP evaluation criteria in mind will help you streamline your process.

  1. Standardize Your Format: Creating a standard format for RFP allows you to repurpose it for several projects. Over time you can refine your template to ensure that it captures all the right information from you and the vendors you are evaluating.
  2. Include Your Company Vision: Although this is an unconventional tip, it helps your vendors or partners understand your needs beyond the scope of a particular project. When they understand your larger organizational goals, it helps them think more strategically. Additionally, you can evaluate if their vision is in alignment with yours.
  3. Be Specific: When looking for an analytics solution, your RFP should be as specific as possible. There are providers who are able to fulfill various functions such as deliver screening data, insights, and in some cases, even a CRM solution. But, wealth intelligence needs to provide you both breadth and depth of insights. In this regard, not all providers are created equal.

wealth data analytics

We have done all the research and groundwork for you! Use our detailed sample template to ensure that you find the solution that answers all your questions.

Sample RFP

Follow these three steps to find your perfect wealth data analytics provider:

Step 1

Download our sample RFP template.

Step 2

Fill out the template based on your needs.

Step 3

Use the RFP as a filter to find the perfect solutions provider.

Download the Sample RFP Now–>