WealthEngine 2019: A Year In Review

As the year comes to a close, we want to extend a big thanks to our WealthEngine community, and especially our customers, for allowing us to reach new heights.

At the beginning of 2019, we, as a community, made a commitment to level up. Not only did we strive to provide more for our users, but we were also driven to enhance their experience in every way. This steadfast commitment has enabled us to uplift humanity, within WealthEngine and beyond. Now, as we look back on our year, our accomplishments serve as powerful reminders of what can be achieved when we come together and dedicate ourselves to pushing our own boundaries.

Here are some year-end highlights:

We launched our most innovative platform to date, welcoming users to the new world of Engagement Science™!

This year we launched our most updated platform to date, WE9. Using breakthrough technology, the WE9 platform consumes trillions of data points to create more than 250M pre-scored profiles. These profiles are all complete with scoring and insight into propensity, capacity, and intent– or, what we know as Engagement Science. And with the launch of WE9.1, we have enhanced our existing platform and have introduced many new capabilities for our integration.

Speaking of new capabilities within our integration, welcome WealthSignal™. WealthSignal is our newest graphic, giving users a holistic view of the most important scores of their donors, customers, and prospects. These scores include attributes including propensity to give or spend (P2G and P2S), giving history, and net worth. In addition to these scores, WealthSignal further enables fundraising professionals, marketers, and wealth managers to segment and personalize their best prospects more efficiently.

Now, WE9 is every client’s one window pane to reach prospects in all channels thanks to our 250M+ emails refreshed and 140M+ new personal phone numbers added. Aside from the development of this robust omnichannel communications strategy, WE9 offers a confidence score on each donation record to indicate the quality of match to that specific profile helping clients make informed decisions. We can now help clients act with confidence in driving their mission forward, as they continue to uplift humanity.

We expanded our team in one of the world’s budding tech hubs!

In an effort to double down and invest in innovative products, support, services, and engineering capabilities, we expanded our in house team across the pond in Bangalore, India and welcomed over 40 new members to our growing team. As the central hub of where our core products and innovations are being developed, our Bangalore team plays a pivotal role in the company’s growth story. Situated in what’s now considered to be the Silicon Valley of India, our new Bangalore office will enable us to strengthen, enhance, and expand our platform capabilities in innovative ways. We’re excited to see how quickly our team members have transformed our platform and contributed to the advancement of our mission.

We built on the momentum and success of last year’s WE Prosper Summit!

In 2019, we held our second annual WE Prosper Summit at The Newseum in Washington D.C. This year, we assembled a group of thought leaders, experts, partners, and clients from global causes and international brands for a day-long conference to discuss the power of personalized engagement.

Over 250 guests gained fresh insights from industry speakers such as Bob Ghafouri, Founder of Accenture Bloom; Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing at Fidelity Charitable, and Patricia Eisner, former Chief Development Officer of The Malala Fund. Additionally, participants networked and engaged in rich conversations exploring the latest trends and best practices in data-driven prospecting. Not only are we witnessing the impact that personalization is having across industries, but we’re also unearthing the ways data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can drive positive social impact.

We leveraged our data to unearth major insights into Millennials, and other segments, on their wealth!

In partnership with the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program, we created  “A Look At Millennial Wealth 2019” analyzing the key aspects of the millennial millionaire lifestyle. The population of young wealthy people is growing. By 2030, millennials will hold 5 times as much wealth as they have today. They are expected to inherit $68 trillion from their predecessors in the Great Wealth Transfer. So, in order to effectively reach millennials, it’s critical to understand how they approach wealth.

We’ve been completely blown away by the response we’ve received. It’s been featured on broadcast media and top-tier media, such as Forbes, US News & World Report, and Business Insider (among others), with about 240M media impressions.

We bolstered our existing partnerships and forged new ones!

In 2019, we continued to strengthen and cultivate an ecosystem of trusted partners such as:

We shared the power of wealth and lifestyle insights at conferences such as Dreamforce; the Salesforce Higher Education Summit; Salesforce World Tour; Salesforce Connections, and Ellucian Live. We also launched Wealth Insights on US Business Owners and Wealth Insights on US Consumers on the AWS Marketplace. Thanks to our partners, and our participation in their events, we’ve been able to provide our users with holistic, integrated solutions and resources that enable them to boost their marketing, sales, and fundraising efforts. Progress made with our partners in 2019 was a cross-functional team effort with Product, Customer Service, Marketing, and Engineering all supporting business partner activities.

We pledged to uplift communities around the globe!

This year, we’ve continued to uplift humanity through our commitment to philanthropic leadership with the Pledge 1% movement. Spearheaded by Atlassian, Rally, and Salesforce, the Pledge 1% movement is a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. This year, we are proud to support the following causes and their efforts in their communities:

Along with a network of entrepreneurs and companies, we’ve leveraged 1% of our product to better communities around the globe so we can continue empowering communities and individuals everywhere.

We expanded our social media reach across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Our team is always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with our network and broader community. This year we invested in growing our social media presence and building our social networks into an environment that fostered new ideas, shared valuable best practices, and facilitated discussion and engagement. As a result, we experienced a major spike in our social media following and engagement across 2019.

At the beginning of the year, we had a total audience of nearly 11,000 across all of our social media platforms, with an average growth of 80 new followers per month.

However, as the year has progressed (and through the creation of our new Instagram account), we’ve gained significantly more traction. As we invested in developing and sharing more thought leadership content, our social media following has grown to more than 47,000 followers, with an average growth of over 3,000 followers per month. Thank you to all of those who keep up with us on social media, and for those who haven’t yet, be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Looking Ahead

As we look toward 2020, WealthEngine will be advancing investments in three major areas that we believe will change fundraising and marketing for nonprofits and for-profits alike:

  • Analytics: We’re building new data-driven insights from our vast array of 500 billion data points and applying machine-learning techniques for accurate scores and models. Our investments in Engagement Science, data science to untap actionable intelligence, enables our clients to know exactly how to personalize a message that resonates with their audience.
  • API: Our engineering team will keep adding more capabilities to our API so clients who require integrated connectivity to WealthEngine’s growing insights can see and use results directly inside their tools of choice. This includes instant access to highly segmented audiences and scores from models that tie in seamlessly with their digital outreach tools, CRM/DMS and other software.
  • Activation: Launch campaigns using new smart segments, smart donation buttons and pages, digitally activated profiles across media channels or just plain effective direct mail. WealthEngine’s activation capabilities are a great way to drive higher yields with better accuracy using insights that have been specially curated for you.
  • WealthEngine Partner Innovation Network (WIN): We will integrate over 30 different systems and make it easy for you to reach your next best donor, patron, and prospect to maximize your yield on campaigns while reducing your cost of donor retention and growth.

Thank you to all our customers, partners, and associates across the globe for helping us further our customer’s mission. We are committed to advancing the ways we use data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to augment how we understand data to generate new insights for our clients. When pairing those insights with the gift of human touch, we can reach our collective goals more efficiently.

And this is just the beginning. Here’s to taking even greater strides to uplift humanity in 2020. Until next year!

Planned Giving Marketing Plan: Best Ways to Approach Donors

planned giving marketing plan

The core of planned giving is donor relationships. If a donor has given to your organization over time, and you’ve cultivated a relationship with them, they will be more inclined to create a future gift. But, before you can discuss planned giving with donors, it’s important to understand how to approach them. Let’s explore the necessary steps you should implement in your planned giving marketing plan. With the help of Steve Maughan⁠—VP of Planned Giving and Estates at the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society International⁠—we’ll also explore some tips on how to navigate challenges you may face.

Planned Giving Marketing Plan: 4 Key Steps

Step 1: Creating Your Planned Giving Donor Profile

The first step in your planned giving marketing plan is to identify which donors and prospects to reach out to. As discussed in our previous article in our Planned Giving series, there are two primary planned giving tools you can use: wealth screenings and modeling. Both tools allow you to gain insights into the unique qualities of your planned giving donors. At what age have most of your donors contributed planned gifts? And, what are the commonalities among these donors in terms of interests and behaviors? By screening and modeling your donors, you can also identify which have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. So, you can get a clear impression of how to segment your donor base and who you should target.

For the Humane Society, they have been highly data-driven in their approach. They have primarily looked at the wealth affinity and ages of their donors to determine who to target. For example, the average individual who contributes a planned gift to the Humane Society is either a single or married woman or man with no kids. And, they typically have a liquid net worth between $500k and $5M. Individuals within these segments have the highest likelihood of making a bequest. Additionally, out of these segments, they identify which individuals have the highest likelihood of making a decision in their lifetime. In short, the more decisive the donor, the more likely they are to reach out. So, not only is it important to reach donors based on their potential interest, but it’s also important to reach donors based on the likelihood that they’ll take action.

Step 2: Pinpointing the Best Channels to Communicate With Donors Through

The next step in your planned giving marketing plan is to determine how best to communicate with your donors. This is best done through a highly coordinated, cross channel marketing system. So, instead of just doing a direct mail campaign, you would do email and social media campaigns as well.

A marketing channel that should be leveraged, which is gaining more traction, is social media. Most baby boomers (who are now being targeted for planned gifts) flock to social media to stay connected with their networks. In a 2016 study done by the Pew Research Center, experts found that 81% of adults over the age of 65, with an income over $75K, owned a smartphone. Additionally, the average Facebook user is a 63-year-old woman. So, it’s important to focus your marketing efforts on the areas where your target demographic is communicating. Once you’ve done that, you can create tailored messages that allow donors to begin thinking about planned giving, without you having to persuade them to contribute a planned gift.

Step 3: Meeting Interested Donors in Person

Once you’ve focused your marketing efforts, the next step in your planned giving marketing plan is to set up time to meet with interested donors. Through your cross channel marketing approach, interested donors may begin approaching you, expressing that they are considering contributing a planned gift. So, when you meet with donors in person, it’s important to invite them to learn more about your organization, your mission, and the results you’ve seen.  If donors feel that their personal values align with the mission of your organization, they’ll feel more inspired to give. This is especially important as most baby boomers typically give to two or three charities. So, it’s incredibly important to cultivate and nurture your donor relationships. Show your donors how their interests can be realized in actionable and impactful ways.

Also, if a donor is ready to give, it’s important to follow the donor’s lead when it comes to determining gift size. Since a planned gift is made for future use, the amount can be pretty nebulous. So, it’s important to discuss gifts in terms of the percentage of an estate, or other tax vehicle, rather than a specific amount. That’s for the donor to decide.

Step 4: Collecting Planned Giving Donor Testimonials

The last step in your planned giving marketing plan is to ask donors to share their testimonials. By collecting stories highlighting why donors decided to contribute a planned gift, you have authentic anecdotes that have the ability to connect with prospects. Most donors can look at the testimonials of people who have given and empathize or identify with them. For the Humane Society, they noticed that most of the testimonials didn’t come from wealthy donors. They came from average middle-class donors. They had the opportunity to explain their passion for the cause; why they wanted to give; and how they hoped their story would inspire someone else to do the same.

Connections like these (in-person conversations, donor testimonials, and social media engagement) can also have a major impact on how much donors give. For example, at the Humane Society, they noticed that when donors hadn’t been reached out to, they contributed about $40k. But, when a dialogue had been initiated with them, most would gift $130k or more. That’s a 225% increase. So, by prioritizing connecting with your donors, in different forms through different channels, they’ll feel more inspired to give all they can to support your efforts.

Potential Challenges in Your Planned Giving Fundraising Strategy

Although these steps should help you navigate your planned giving campaign, there are always challenges that may present themselves along the way.

One of the biggest challenges organizations face is receiving gifts from individuals who may not know enough about the cause. Some have very specific ideas of how they would like their gifts to be used. This can be restrictive if their goal doesn’t align with the projects or strategic plan of your organization.

In situations like these, if you can’t fulfill the obligations associated with the proposed gift, it’s better to decline it. No matter how large the contribution may be. It’s important to remain true to the intentions of your donor and how they seek to create change, while also continuing to serve your organization’s mission. Be sure to refer these donors to other resources they can use so their intentions and goal intersect, and can be seen to fruition. Additionally, be mindful when you’re communicating with prospective planned giving donors. Make sure that they have a clear impression of your objectives and initiatives going forward, so your future projects can be supported.

Planned Giving Campaign: Tips for CDOs and Gift Officers

Now that we’ve gone over the necessary steps to implement in your planned giving marketing plan and how to navigate potential challenges, here are some additional things to keep in mind as you communicate with your donors and prospects:

  • Focus on donors who have contributed consistently over time.

If you’re building a program, don’t just focus on individuals who’ve contributed large sums. Talk to the donors who have contributed $5, $10, or even $15 every year for the past five to ten years. These donors consistently support your efforts and display loyalty and passion for your work. If approached for a planned gift, they’ll likely feel inclined to give.

  • Have a board member who’s an advocate and will keep your program going.

When you upsell to your board, it’s important to keep an eye on your progress. Be sure to track the number of new donors and bequests you’re working with annually. It’s also important to track the dollar value of people who’ve committed to contributing a planned gift and shared the confirmed value of their bequests. This reinforces to your board that you’re gaining traction in your program and that it can continue on. Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. If you start and stop your program, it can impact your momentum and potential success.

  • Remain donor-centric in your approach.

It’s important to remain cognizant of your supporter’s time. If you’re having a meeting with them, they know exactly why you’re there. So, be very clear and focused on your objectives in your conversation. Remember: it’s the donor’s timeline and decision, not yours. If you establish a system around needing goals, donors may feel that their connection to the cause isn’t valued. This may inhibit them from supporting your efforts beyond their lifetime.

  • Don’t disregard the use of social media.

As most baby boomers flock to social media to stay connected, it’s important to communicate with them in those spaces. You can generate tailored and relevant messages to connect with them. And, because they are active on these platforms, there’s more likely to see and respond to the messages you’re generating about planned giving. Additionally, this also gives potential donors an opportunity to familiarize themselves with your organization’s mission and initiatives. So, they can see how they fit into your efforts, and find ways to make a significant impact.

Driving the Donor Journey: Guide to Descriptive Modeling

Boost your fundraising using WealthEngine’s modeling tool. Discover your next best donors you have yet to connect with.

5 Nonprofit Trends Influenced by Technology

nonprofit trends

This past year, we’ve seen the power personalized engagement had on donors. The question is: what other things will influence the nonprofit sector? And how are nonprofits changing based on their integration of predictive analytics, AI/ML, and other technologies? Let’s explore the top 5 nonprofit trends (influenced by tech) that will impact the industry as we move into 2020.

Nonprofit Trends Influenced by Tech & Analytics

1. Fundraising is becoming more accessible because of social media reach.

The first nonprofit trend influencing the industry is social media’s influence on fundraising. As competition rises, technology is helping nonprofits reach out to donors in ways that are focused. Donors can now be reached on a local, national, and global level. Social platforms allow people to connect and share information from anywhere at any time. And, most platforms allow people to donate to causes.

For example, Facebook birthday fundraisers have gained more attention over time.  Users can now make posts redirecting to a cause they support. They can then encourage their network to donate on their behalf.  Within the first year of creating birthday fundraisers, Facebook users raised more than $300M for causes. As of now, Facebook allows you to choose a cause to donate from a list of 750,000 nonprofits. So, donors can now give to any cause at any time from anywhere.

2. Constituent Relationship Management systems & analytics will allow nonprofits to identify, segment, and engage donors more effectively.

The second nonprofit trend that is influencing the industry is the increased use of CRM systems and predictive analytics. As these tools advance, nonprofits are relying on them to find and engage donors. Fundraising teams, large and small alike, now have the tools to clearly organize donor data according to their preferences. This lets them strategically manage their fundraising.

Using predictive analytics, gift officers can gain insights on their donors and prospects. For example, they have the ability to learn about their donors’ propensity and capacity to give; their behavior; their personality; and their giving history. And, as they update the information they have on them, they can tweak their outreach. This will help organizations adapt to donors’ evolving interests. So, they will always remain relevant to them and be able to engage them purposefully.

Take the University of Maryland for example. Mary Beth Nibley, Director of Prospect Engagement, needed an easier way to manage her prospects. At the time, her team was managing prospects from Maryland’s Med school and school of social work. As a small group, they found it difficult to determine which prospects were worth pursuing. But, using predictive analytics, they found it easier to sort through their donor pool. So, they were able to segment their donors effectively and efficiently. With a CRM and predictive analytics, organizations can gain relevant donor information instantly. They also have the tools to appeal to donors in personalized ways.

3. Technology will enable nonprofits to stay personally connected with their donors, remotely.

Another nonprofit trend influencing organizations is the use of technology to connect with key donors. It’s becoming more and more important to engage donors in ways that are novel. Each donor wants to create change with significant impact and influence. So, they want to give not only to benefit communities, but also to reach the people with the most influence. In short, the CEO, or the face of the organization. Technology, in that sense, has allowed donors to connect with those channels more easily.

Take the Malala Fund for example. Patricia G. Eisner, former CDO of the Malala Fund, was able to connect with donors by doing more than sending out a personalized email or note. Using technology, the Fund was able to have Malala connect with her audience remotely. They were able to create and send personalized videos where Malala was able to address each donor individually. So, the messages weren’t just personal. They provided donors, especially major gift donors, an added incentive to take greater action, give more,  and inspire others to as well.

4. Apps and Tech Intermediaries will Re-Invigorate Donors to Give

The use of apps, and other tech intermediaries, to boost fundraising is also a rising nonprofit trend. As stated in the Giving USA 2019 report, the state of charitable giving in the United States is shifting. The number of non-donor households is continuing to increase. So, we’re experiencing a decline in mid-level donors. This is greatly impacting the revenue streams of nonprofits across the country.

So, in order to seamlessly engage donors, nonprofits are partnering with brands and services. In short, they’re creating new and easy ways for donors to give. For example, customers can now donate through apps like Lyft, Uber, and Venmo (among others). These options make it easier for nonprofits to interact with their donors and prospects. It’s also a more approachable and affordable way for donors to remain involved. So, as donors make purchases, they have the opportunity to round up the cost of their purchase so they can give. They also have a chance to give more specific amounts to organizations of their choice through these apps. The use of intermediaries will make it easier for nonprofits to gain a steady stream of gifts. They also have the potential to push donors towards everyday giving.

5. More Nonprofits are Moving Towards Crowdfunding

The last nonprofit trend that’s gaining traction is crowdfunding. Crowdfunding was, and is, primarily used for contributors to fund an initiative, online. Usually through a collection of small investments. However, crowdfunding is now projected to become an over  $90 billion industry by 2025, so it can be a valuable tool for fundraising.

Crowdfunding is beginning to help nonprofits raise money for specific projects or causes. It can also help nonprofits reach diverse audiences. This further enables them to meaningfully engage donors and spread messages that increase their impact. Additionally, projects funded on this platform can be shared via social media & can be linked to live giving portals. This encourages recurring giving and allows donors to engage directly with your organization.

Best Practices to Strengthen Your Fundraising

Discover the best ways to build and maintain strong donor relationships from our panel of experts at the WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Top 4 Major Donor Fundraising Strategies

major donor fundraising

In order to create an impact, you need the support and action of your donors. Major gift donors, in that sense, play an integral part in helping your organization create change. In a 2017 study conducted by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, it was reported that 88% of gifts were contributed by 12% of donors. Now, fundraising fits well within the 80/20 rule. So, since it’s confirmed that the majority of gifts given come from a small percentage of donors, it’s clear that each donor must contribute substantial gifts. The question is: what are the best ways to find and cultivate relationships with major gift donors?

When it comes to major donor fundraising, you want to be able to pinpoint which donors are worth pursuing; forge and nurture relationships with them; and create the “ask”. Let’s explore the necessary steps you should take to create the best major donor fundraising strategy.

Major Donor Fundraising Strategies: Top 5 Ways to Enhance Your Efforts

1. Determine What Qualifies as a Major Gift for Your Organization

Before you identify, cultivate, and solicit gifts from major gift donors, it’s necessary for you to determine what qualifies as a major gift for your nonprofit. Major gifts (which are the largest monetary gifts your organization receives), as a donation type, are varied. In short, every organization determines the size of their major gifts differently.

This can be dependent on the size of your organization, the length of time it’s been around, and what you’re fundraising for. For example, a gift over $5k may be large for some organizations, such as a local theatre company. Meanwhile, other organizations may consider gifts over $100k to be major gifts, like a state university. To establish a major gift starting point, it’s important to evaluate and understand the largest gifts your organization has received in the past. It can also be helpful to identify your top individual donors and determine what their propensity and capacity to give is. This should be determined in relation to their giving history with your organization and organizations similar to yours. Additionally, you should make sure that your major gift range aligns with organizations within your industry. Adopting a similar major gift range ensures that your organization isn’t being unintentionally undervalued.

2. Identify Optimal Donors and Prospects

Before you can cultivate deep relationships with major gift donors, it’s important to understand who in your database, has major gift potential. That’s the next step in major donor fundraising: conducting a wealth screening and modeling your best donors.

Ask yourself: which of our donors has given the most in the past few years? Which of our donors give on a recurring basis? And, which of our donors displays a passion for our mission and our initiatives? Screenings help you pick up on key attributes like an individual’s wealth, income, lifestyle, and affinity. This allows you to find, segment, and prioritize your prospects and donors accordingly. So, you can identify what each individual’s propensity and capacity to spend is.

The next best practice in major donor fundraising is a major gift model. Once you know what your major donors look like, and once you’ve identified common traits among them, you gain a clearer impression of who to target. Using WealthEngine data in combination with information from your organization’s database, we can create a custom algorithm to determine who would be most likely to contribute major gifts to your organization. These can be people among your list of donors who haven’t been reached yet or prospective donors who exist beyond your database. Additionally, you can score prospects to see how they compare in relation to your best donors. Screening and modeling allow you to hone in on your most relevant donors. So, you can focus all your energy on developing long-standing relationships with them.

3. Personalize Your Outreach Strategy

Now that you’ve identified which donors have an ability and willingness to donate major gifts, it’s time for the next step: reaching out. One way to develop a relationship with major gift donors is to personalize your outreach. You can personalize your outreach through tailored messaging, creative touchpoints, and donor involvement in other areas of your organization.

When donors decide to contribute major gifts, they aren’t giving to your organization at random. They’re giving because they feel connected to the work you’re doing and want to make an impact by funding your services. So, by sending your donors messages that highlight their individual interests, you have an opportunity to bridge the gap between what they value, personally, and how your organization works in alignment with those values.

So, your organization can communicate with donors through standard channels like direct mail, email, or invitations to public events. You can also take your efforts a step further and generate personal ‘thank you’ videos; send major gift donors or prospects ‘insider’ updates; invite them to observe your projects as they come together; or even invite them to intimate events where they can meet with the CEO and senior staff. This gives them an opportunity to discuss upcoming initiatives they may have a vested interest in. Involving donors in other areas of your organization is an integral part of your major donor fundraising strategy. By inviting them to see your programs in action, they have a greater opportunity to deepen their passion and interest in the work you do.

4. Implement a Stewardship Program

The final step in your major donor fundraising strategy is to express gratitude for your donors. Once you’ve begun cultivating and nurturing relationships with major gift donors and prospects, it’s important to engage in stewardship. Donors are the catalysts for all your major goals. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to enhance the programs and services you have in place. So, if major gift donors aren’t treated as key players, they may not feel that the impact they’re making is valued.

Essentially, you want to continue communicating with your donors so you can effectively meet the gift intentions and expectations they’ve set out. Show your donors how their gift will be used and what kind of effect it will make on your cause. It’s also important to express thanks in multiple ways. You can do this in-person, publicly (in your newsletter or on your website), in a handwritten note, or on a phone call. Recognition like this will inspire major gift donors to give again and again. Not only are they doing something of value, but their contributions are also being put towards something actionable.

Download WealthEngine's Capital Campaign Guide

Uncover the best ways to leverage the momentum of your capital campaign to fuel your fundraising efforts.

Above all, make sure to follow up with your donors so they know how their gifts have been used. By showing them that you created something impactful because of their contributions, they’ll see themselves as agents for change. Now, and for the future.

 

WealthEngine Strengthens the Experience of its Integration and Grateful Patient Program (GPP) Clients with New Capabilities

In the last major update made to WealthEngine9 (WE9) two weeks ago (9.1 release), we introduced new tools on our platform such as WealthSignal™, designed to enable prospect researchers and wealth managers to speed up their decisions on their best prospects. In this update, we have further strengthened our existing platform for improved external performance and introduced new capabilities for our integration and Grateful Patient Program (GPP) clients. 

Updates to WE Insights for Salesforce App

As part of this new release, updates have been made to the WE Insights for Salesforce App. Users can now append model scores to their contacts or leads directly within Salesforce CRM. 

Models created by your organization using the WealthEngine platform can be enabled using a few simple configuration steps. And, with more than 100 attributes on wealth, contact, giving, and demographic data, the WE Insights for Salesforce App, along with our platform, enables you to create precise target segments with higher response rates.

Grateful Patient Program (GPP) Clients

Automated screening files are now more accessible than ever, only in the new WE9 platform. Now, with the updates made to WE9, Grateful Patient Program (GPP) clients who regularly screen their influx of new patients will have screening files right at their fingertips. 

Whether your organization has done screenings previously or recently, both can be found under the new “My Profiles” section (previously known as “My Results”). This change requires no updates or efforts from users. The files delivered via sFTP will remain the same and will continue to work as it does now with WealthEngine 8.2. 

CRM/DMS Integrations

Users will now be directed to the new WE9 platform when they navigate from their CRM/DMS system (such as Salesforce) to WealthEngine to browse detailed profiles or for prospecting. 

All user data will be migrated to the new platform, so the change requires no updates or effort from our clients.  

Enhancements to WealthEngine APIs

New updates made to the WE9 platform have also made it easier for developers to integrate wealth insights into their workflows by further rationalizing WealthEngine APIs. Check out the updated developer documentation available here.

Updates made to the platform will have no impact on current workflows since the improvements are 100% backward compatible. 

With the updates and enhancements made to WE9, we’ve created a more seamless user experience that is sure to take your prospecting to new heights. 

Who’s Invited? What to Know About Auction Event Attendees

As your organization begins to plan its next auction event, there are a lot of moving pieces you’ll need to keep track of. From determining your venue and dining options to finding the right auction items, your focus needs to span several departments within your nonprofit.

But one thing that needs extra careful attention is your guest list. Who’s invited? Who on your list will make the largest impact by bidding on your items?

Planning your auction event means learning more about your attendees. Without them, your event won’t raise the funds needed to keep working toward your mission. That’s why we’ve compiled strategies you can use to learn about your attendees. These tips include:

  1. Conduct prospect research to learn about your attendees.
  2. Leverage registration software to gather attendee information.
  3. Procure items that appeal to attendees.
  4. Tailor your outreach and event based on attendee types.

The success of your auction event depends on learning key traits about your attendees and making them most of them. Let’s get started!

1. Conduct prospect research to learn about your attendees.

Part of learning about your auction guests means understanding the capacity with which they can contribute to your organization and what areas they like to support. Major donor prospects are excellent individuals to include on your guest list; just take the time to research them first.

Prospect research entails finding, understanding, and cultivating prospects with the greatest capacity and who have the highest chance of giving to your organization. All of this is based on wealth and affinity, meaning they don’t only have the capacity to donate, but they have a willingness to give.

To determine an individual’s affinity to give, you should look at:

  • Previous giving to nonprofits
  • Past interactions with your organization
  • Past nonprofit involvement
  • Lifestyle and interests

From there, you can leverage wealth indicators that speak to an individual’s capacity to give, which can include:

  • Real estate ownership
  • Profession
  • Size of gifts
  • And more!

These indicators combined should give you a good idea of major gift prospects to invite to your auction. Be sure to coordinate with your Major Gift Officer or development colleague in charge of major donors, to ensure you have a strategy and plan for engaging them at the actual event.

Once the event is up and running, work with your major gift officer to ensure there is personalized face-to-face outreach throughout the evening to build connections with them.

Executing on Major Gifts strategy for your auction attendees can substantially increase donations during the bidding and live appeal process. It also ensures you are working with your Major Gifts team to support without jeopardizing or conflicting with their longer term asks.

Be sure to incorporate prospect research into your learning process to get the most from your larger donor strategies.

2. Leverage registration software to gather attendee information.

Apart from identifying major gift prospects, your staff should also be focused on tailoring the event to be conscientious of individual attendees.

By leveraging robust mobile bidding and auction software, you can dramatically streamline the registration process to ensure you create a personalized and tailored guest experience. These include:

  • Food preferences
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Seating preferences
  • Surnames, preferred names, titles, and company affiliations
  • And more

If you simplify the process of accommodating each attendee’s preferences, you’ll leave your guests with a great impression of your organization and your event. 

Part of your event also revolves around building strong relationships with your guests so that they’ll not only enjoy your event, but build a connection for future engagement. This means making sure each interaction with your event is simple and easy.

Your registration software should allow you to:

  • Seamlessly capture guest information
  • Process credit cards and registration onsite
  • Help guests log into mobile bidding for the auction
  • Provide automated receipting

Creating a positive guest experience builds affinity and encourages them to continue participating in your fundraising. Using auction software will make the entire registration (and later the checkout) process simpler for everyone. Since all your attendee information will be tracked in the platform, registering guests and taking tickets will be easy. 

Cultivate long-lasting relationships with your attendees by leveraging robust auction software with registration features that simplify the process for everyone involved!

3. Procure items that appeal to attendees.

Once you’ve leveraged prospect research and gathered more information about your attendees, you’ll want to use this data to inform your item procurement process. Your organization should already have an item procurement team that finds ideal items that will encourage high bids.

Be sure your team studies the donor data you have available to gain a better understanding of which auction items will appeal to your guest list:

Interests

According to the OneCause guide to auction item procurement, you should understand what your supporters are interested in. People bid on items that are meaningful or useful to them. Consider the hobbies and interests of your supporter base, what’s hot in your area and at other auctions; this provides the big picture on which items they might find appealing.

Income Levels

You also need to choose items that fit into your attendees’ budget. Determine the various income levels of your supporters and ensure you have the right mix of items to meet your bidder capacity.

In order to procure items that appeal to your attendees (based on the data you’ve already gathered), your procurement team should:

  • Leverage personal connections to obtain donated items.
  • Look to businesses and retailers who may be willing to partner with your organization and donate their products or services.
  • Tell your nonprofit’s story and explain your organization and cause to increase the chances of receiving donations.

Your auction software should also allow you to track the status of your donations and keep all of your data in one centralized place. When you stay on top of your data and learn about what items your attendees would be most interested in, you’ll set your event up for success!

4. Tailor your outreach and event based on attendee types.

As a nonprofit organization, you’re probably already familiar with the idea of segmenting your donors. The same idea applies to your auction event attendees. According to the OneCause silent auction planning guide, you should take a multichannel marketing approach, using direct mail, email, social media, and other outlets for contacting and inviting attendees.

But beyond these channels, you should also tailor your outreach and event based on the registration data you’ve been gathering. In order to start forming individualized outreach strategies, look for information like:

  • First-time versus returning guests. Learn which guests are first-time attendees and differentiate them from guests who have previously attended your events. You’ll want to incorporate different outreach strategies for each grouping of individuals. For example, extend a welcome to first-time attendees and provide more information about your organization and its mission.
  • Connections between individuals. Be on the lookout for connections attendees might have with one another. For example, a small business owner who’s attending your auction might have sponsored an event for another group of attendees. Or, they might have attended a university together. Learn where people have connections with each other so you can make them more comfortable at your event.
  • Seating charts. Plan your seating chart so that each staff member involved with the event is seated at a table with at least one important prospect you’d like to cultivate a relationship with. This will ensure these attendees have a personalized and unique experience interacting with your organization and are more inclined to support it.

Running an auction takes a lot of planning and coordinating, especially for your staff. If you focus on forming deeper and more personal relationships with each of your prospects, they will feel valued and become more likely to support your organization.

Tailor your outreach and keep in mind the connections your attendees have with you and with one another. From there, you’ll be on your way to hosting a successful event and raising the funds you need.

Auctions are one of the most impactful nonprofit fundraising ideas you can leverage. When you procure the right items and understand your audience, you can raise a lot of funds in a short period of time. But it’s important to plan in advance and think about how you can make your attendees comfortable, which will lend itself to a positive guest experience and more support.

About the Author

Joshua Meyer brings over 14 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the Director of Marketing for OneCause. Currently, as a member of the OneCause sales and marketing team, Josh manages all of the firm’s marketing efforts. He has a passion for helping to create positive change and loves that his current role allows him to help nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals.

Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands to Compete for the Wealthy Wallet

The competitive landscape for the luxury hospitality industry is changing rapidly.  Companies are merging, startups are disrupting the market and consumer preferences are evolving. It is important now more than ever for luxury hospitality brands to drive loyalty with unique & informed offerings for wealthy guests.

Personalization Drives Brand Loyalty

What you know about your wealthy guests and more importantly, how you leverage that information, will set your brand apart from the competition. Wealthy consumers are looking for personalization during every touchpoint of their hospitality experience. From booking to arrival to post check-out, brands should be engaging with consumers throughout the whole journey with an arsenal of knowledge.

For example, is your wealthy guest a wine connosseur? Reach out to your guest right after booking to offer a personalized session with the on-site restaurant sommelier for an exclusive tasting experience. Offer to arrange a nearby vineyard tour or have your guest host a business meeting in the tasting room. These small gestures keep your brand top-of-mind and engaged especially during the often overlooked lag time post-booking and pre-arrival. It also signals that you care about your wealthy guest’s interests and you can highlight your brand’s amenities and partnerships to cater to your guests even more.

Targeted Messaging Keeps Wealthy Guests Engaged

The way you communicate with your wealthy guests can make or break brand loyalty. Wealthy guests have different needs and preferences than non-wealthy guests. Even among the wealthy guest category – information that is relevant to retirees will vary from information that is relevant to a high-powered CEO. Successful luxury brands tailor their messaging to meet the needs of their consumer and hospitality brands should follow suit.

The best way to tailor your messaging is to leverage data to promote relevant information, thereby increasing engagement and excitement. Your CEO guest would love to know about new properties opening in emerging business markets such as China or Brazil. You can also maximize marketing dollars by targeting vacation package promotions to retirees and empty nesters with disposable income and fewer time constraints to get away and relax.

Marketers know they only have a short time to deliver a relevant message before their future consumer moves on to a different activity or even a competitor. Share-of-mind is getting more and more competitive and the more brands can arm themselves with pertinent data about future wealthy guests, the more they can secure the wealthy wallet.

Shared Values Guarantee Deeper Connections

All brands, luxury brands in particular, represent a promise to deliver an experience that is different from what the competition offers. That includes a promise to uphold values that your brand represents. Luxury guests are more inclined to feel a deeper connection to brands that care about the same things they do. Most hospitality brands are aligned with charitable causes that resonate with wealthy consumers who have the propensity to give. If you know your guest supports animal causes or giving to the needy, be sure to invite your wealthy guests to your pet adoption event or holiday giving promotion. Communicate local initiatives to support military with your veteran guests. Applying useful information that your guests truly care about will activate lifelong brand loyalists.

The more you know about your guests, the more you can tap into what’s more important to them. Celebrate distinguished guest’s birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones with a bottle of champagne or offer to make restaurant reservations to redeem loyalty reward points. Suggest kid-friendly excursions for wealthy guests traveling with families. Offer marathon runners a power breakfast to maintain a healthy diet while traveling. Leverage partnerships to give aviation aficionados access to private jet experiences.

For luxury guests, life doesn’t stop while traveling – this is the perfect opportunity for luxury hospitality brands to contribute to their lives in an impactful way and gain share in this competitive and ever-changing market.

For more information on how to leverage wealth data, please see

 

 

WealthEngine Creates Advisory Board and Appoints Mike Sullivan

January 24, 2018 – Bethesda, MD WealthEngine, under the new leadership of Dennis Ainge, has created an executive advisory board. The purpose of the advisory board is to provide strategic guidance to the business as it continues to lead the nonprofit market and accelerate its expansion into commercial markets, bringing world-class wealth intelligence to fundraising, sales, and marketing professionals. The board will bring in data industry experts with diverse backgrounds to offer objective, creative, and strategic points of view to the WealthEngine leadership team.

WealthEngine has selected Mike Sullivan as the first member of the advisory board. Sullivan is a seasoned financial and operating executive with nearly 30 years of experience in the data and software industries.

Dennis Ainge, interim CEO, stated, “We are thrilled to have Mike join us as a strategic advisor to the company. His expertise will be crucial to our continued push into the financial services, luxury, real estate, travel, and other industry market segments.”

Sullivan has served as a CFO for various technology companies since 1999 including E-centives, Inc., Viaken Systems, NexTone Communications Corp., TARGUS Information Corporation, and Lotame Solutions, Inc. His financial expertise in the data industry will provide WealthEngine with invaluable insight into growth strategies and will help accelerate WealthEngine’s presence, expansion and execution in the commercial market.

Sullivan stated, “It’s great to be teamed up with Dennis again. Together, and with other members of TARGUSinfo, we built one of the most successful marketing and analytics companies in the U.S. I see similar potential in WealthEngine – unique data assets and niche data solutions to those companies looking to target individuals with the capacity to give or spend more. I’m confident we’ll be able to help WealthEngine grow in both the nonprofit and commercial markets and I’m eager to jump in.”

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine is a leading provider of predictive marketing analytics, audience development, and wealth intelligence services. Named a Cool Vendor in Data-Driven Marketing by Gartner, sales, marketing and fundraising professionals use WealthEngine’s comprehensive insights to find, understand, and engage with their clients and prospects. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, WealthEngine provides clients in the United States with solutions that provide a more complete picture of the people they already know and tools to find new people they need to know. WealthEngine provides solutions and services to financial services firms, luxury organizations, nonprofits, hospitals, institutions of higher education, political campaigns, advocacy groups of all sizes, and any other organization looking to use wealth data to enhance their efforts. For more information, please visit wealthengine.com.

Contact

Rebecca Remy, Marketing Coordinator – 240.722.4370 or rremy@wealthengine.com

Predictive Modeling and Analytics

blog-modeling-analytics.png

Among the top philanthropy buzzwords are “data” and “data scientist”. Certainly the phrases “predictive modeling” and “data analytics” have made their way into the fundraising lexicon. Predictive modeling can have a significant impact as part of a data-driven annual fund in helping to take some of the unknown variables out of the equation. To help explain modeling and analytics further, we spoke with WealthEngine’s Vice President of Analytics, Cong Qian.

Q. How would you describe Predictive Modeling or Predictive Analytics?

Cong: Essentially, predictive modeling is trying to summarize what you have accumulated from the past and apply that knowledge to predict future events. In other words, assuming future events will be relatively similar to the past, then let’s see what the future could be, so if this happened then these things are also likely to happen.

Q. What is the process for creating or building a predictive model?

Cong: Usually, a model is trying to answer a specific question, such as “Which of my donors are most likely to give more than $250?” or “Which of my non-donors are most likely to make an annual fund gift?” Statisticians then try to identify the most predictive data elements that can be grouped into a formula to answer the question. At WealthEngine we leverage not only our client’s important data such as giving history, demographic information, etc., but also data from over 60 sources that we are able to find through our wealth screening process, including Propensity To GiveTM codes (P2G), Estimated Giving Capacity, lifestyle and business information and other additional demographic information. All of these data points are evaluated to determine their relationship to each other and their impact upon the desired behavior.

We then build the model using the appropriate statistical methodology with the data set known as the “training sample”; we also validate the model, to ensure its accuracy and consistency against a subset of the data tested.

Q: How, then, is a model helpful in the context of an annual fund?

Cong: Once the model has been built, the data pool is divided into segments based upon their statistical likelihood to perform the desired behavior. These segments, or “deciles”, are ranked from highest to lowest in terms of likelihood. So, for example, the people in an Annual Fund Model Decile 1 would be most likely to make an annual fund gift at the established gift threshold. The higher the model score, the more likely they are to perform the way we hope they will – make a gift to the annual fund. Figures 1 and 2 represent the percentages of model likelihood in each decile.

Figure 1: Percent of major donors in each model decile compared to average or random sampling (represented by gray line)

Figure 2: Cumulative gains of major donors captured by decile compared to random distribution (represented by green line)

Q. How can this type of information help an organization’s annual fund?

Cong: Modeling is designed to take some of the guess work out of fundraising and therefore target resources more efficiently. By focusing the annual fund on the prospects with a higher likelihood, the response to the solicitation should improve and the return on investment (ROI) should be stronger as well.

Q. Are there other types of modeling?

Cong: There are. The typical models we’ve discussed ask the data a specific question and then predict outcomes based upon the contributing variables. Other types of models are more of an overall analysis of data behavior or a more customized segmentation methodology. At WealthEngine we utilize what we call a Donor 360° model to analyze donor behavior with cluster analysis and group similar types of donors into clusters. We also create what’s called a Look-Alike Model, which we can use to gain insight about the best donors. We measure and evaluate an array of variables from giving history, wealth and capacity ratings, demographic and life styles data, etc., and then cross-reference significant variables onto other donors or prospects to identify potentials that are likely to behave as the best donors for fundraising outreach or acquisition. Modeling can be very flexible and extremely useful in the process of data mining.

Organizations Investing in Business Intelligence Will Out-Compete Others for Funding from Public and Private Investors

blog-2014-trends-3.png

Over the past several years, Big Data, Data Analytics and Data Visualization have become some of the noisiest buzzwords in the nonprofit lexicon.   Data, analytics, and reporting together form the basis of business intelligence, and while many nonprofits are developing core competencies in one or the other of these key functions, it takes a true organization-wide commitment and approach to achieve the benefits of BI and data-driven decision making.

This year promises to be the year that many of the Business Intelligence puzzle pieces come together for nonprofits, as

  • new kinds of data including demographic, lifestyle, political, and behavioral become available to supplement existing information, including ever more accurate estimates of wealth and assets;
  • technology providers are seeing the potential in creating cost-effective and user-friendly tools for conducting and utilizing business intelligence in all areas of nonprofit management;
  • pressures from trustees, funders, and donors converge  to demand greater transparency and demonstrable outcomes; and,
  • sophisticated data analytics practitioners from higher education, health care, and national nonprofits are forming business intelligence teams and modeling the potential and value of true BI.

Recent research by WealthEngine shows that there are five distinct stages of nonprofit data maturity, from oblivious, through aware, emerging, and investing to optimizing.  Based on a study of these different levels of maturity, we identified the following five key areas that differentiate those who are practicing data-informed decision making from those who are less data-informed:

  1. Data:  Data informed organizations are more likely to enrich their data with appended data from a variety of sources, including screening data, subscription data, internet sources, analytics, surveys, and others.  78% of optimizing organizations append data regularly, while less than 50% of oblivious organizations enhance their data on a regular basis.
  2. Technical Support:  Optimizing organizations are by far more satisfied with the technical support they receive than are oblivious organizations, with 50% of optimizing being very satisfied, while 50% of oblivious reported being very dissatisfied.
  3. Technical Planning:  62% of Optimizing organizations have a well-crafted technology strategic plan, while 68% of oblivious organizations have no technology strategic plan and have not included technology in any strategic planning.
  4. Reporting:  Mature organizations are more likely to have real-time dashboard reporting, while over 20% of those lowest on the maturity scale indicated they are “too busy to pull reports.”
  5. Analytics: High maturity organizations are much more likely to have an individual or department dedicated to analytics than lower maturity organizations.  In addition, over 60% of optimizing organizations are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with analytic outputs, while only about 20% of oblivious and emerging organizations feel that way.

With competition for funding heightening, and the demand for efficiency, effectiveness and evidence-based investments in social change ever-increasing, it is incumbent on nonprofits of all types and sizes to develop the infrastructure and skills necessary to develop and leverage business intelligence.  Organizations that are combining their data with analytics and meaningful, impactful reporting to provide decision-support organization-wide will be three steps ahead of the competition.