4 Ways to Prospect That Will Enhance Your Outreach

ways to prospect

Using wealth and lifestyle insights along with predictive analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your current and prospective donors and customers. Our rich data can help you personalize your outreach and improve your sales, marketing, and fundraising efficiency. Here are 4 ways to prospect that will benefit your everyday processes:

1. Use Look-Alike Models to Help Your Staff Understand Your Existing Customers or Donors Better.

Wouldn’t it be nice to better to gain a holistic understanding of your audience with a 360-degree view of their wealth, lifestyle, demographics, and contact information? That’s where wealth models come in.

A model is a custom algorithm designed to uncover what makes your top donors or customers unique. Using a wealth model, you can pick up on the commonalities and characteristics that make your donors unique. There are two ways to prospect with custom algorithms: through descriptive models or predictive models. In the case of wanting to gain a clearer impression of the characteristics of your top donors or customers, descriptive models allow us to take data you already possess and show you commonalities and unique qualities of your donors or customers.

But let’s take this a step further. Using a look-alike model (which would be considered descriptive), you can pinpoint individuals who display similar characteristics to your best donors or customers. This could be based on factors like giving capacity and demographic and lifestyle data. This can help you identify prospects, both within and outside your existing base, who resemble the donors from your chosen segment of ideal existing donors.

2. Screen Your Database to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Outreach Efforts

Our solutions help you segment our those who have the greatest capacity and propensity to spend or give at your company or organization. This leads us to our second effective way to prospect: wealth screenings.

A wealth screening is the process of attributing wealth-related information to a list of your contacts. In doing so, you gain a greater understanding of their propensity and capacity to give or spend. So, when you append your list of customers or donors with traits related to wealth, you’ll be able to gain a greater sense of who to reach out to.

You can also do this by leveraging WE Analyze. Using Analyze, you can evaluate screening data on your existing customers and donors. This gives you a clearer picture of their distinct characteristics and traits. This will help you easily visualize who your loyal constituents are; help you learn more about them; and create a buyer or donor persona. This will help you identify prospects who would be likely to give to your organization.

In short: wealth screenings provide you with additional information about an individual’s wealth. So, besides gaining a greater understanding of a person’s income, you can also gain insights into their interests, real estate holdings, estimated giving capacity, and giving history. All of these traits give you a better impression of which prospects to pursue. This will further enable you to target the right people with the right ask at the right time.

3. Leverage Predictive Models to Gain Deeper Insights into what makes your audience tick.

Another incredibly beneficial way to prospect is by leveraging predictive models. These models can help you uncover top donors or customers just like your best. This will allow you to personalize your messaging ensuring your communications are resonating with your audience and increasing the effectiveness of your outreach.

Unlike descriptive models (models created using your existing data), predictive models are custom algorithms created by the WealthEngine data science team. With these unique, tailored algorithms, we can predict who is most likely to give or spend to your organization specifically.

So, let’s say (once you’ve used a descriptive model) that you find that your top donors or customers are men over the age of 50 who own two pets. That’s what your best constituents look like. After gaining these insights, you can use a predictive model to find constituents who best match this persona. This can come from within your database or within our prospecting database. So, you can gain greater insights about the interests of your audience and determine which net new prospects would be most likely to give or spend with you.

4. Segment Your Database to Improve your Sales and Marketing Efforts.

Our rich data provides what you need to confidently and effectively segment prospects and personalize outreach. So, once you’ve conducted a screening, you can divide your audience based on different attributes. This can be based on demographic traits or their propensity or capacity to give or spend.  So, by bucketing your donors based on their commonalities, you can figure out effective ways to engage them. In short, this will increase the efficiency of the department and streamline your processes. Additionally, it will help you build pipeline and close deals or gifts quicker.

The Best Way to Boost Your Prospecting Efforts?

Test drive WealthEngine to find your next best prospect! Discover their Propensity to Give (P2G), Estimated Giving Capacity, Connections, and more.

Take advantage of these simple solutions to drive sales or donations. Why continue doing the same things over and over expecting a different result? Instead, take this opportunity for a fresh start and a renewed approach to fundraising, sales, and marketing success.

Nonprofit Events: 5 Ways To Transform Event Participants into Donors

nonprofit events

Hosting fundraising events can be a great way to build support for your cause, identify new prospects, build a relationship with new donors, and build your base of support. Whether you work for a charity, hospital, university, theater or advocacy organization, now is the time for you to create a plan for how to transform your nonprofit event participants into donors.

Here are 5 steps to consider when planning your nonprofit event to find new event participants; identify fresh prospects; and maximize your relationship with existing event participants:

1. Promote your nonprofit event via social media to find new participants.

Don’t put on the same event for the same participants who are donating year after year. It’s important to find new constituents to invite to your events. So, by casting a wide net you will find prospects who are interested in your cause or activity and, with the proper follow through, they can be turned into donors.

Publicize your nonprofit event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Be sure to include a call to action with every post, either a way to request more information or to register directly on your website.

Have your loyal supporters and advocates publicize your event for you to ensure it is being viewed by as many eyes as possible. By asking existing event supporters and past participants to share the event via their own social networks, they are giving your nonprofit’s event a credible voice by publicly showing their support and also finding you new participants (and new potential donors!).

2. Build out your invitation list and find new high potential prospects to participate.

As you build out your event invitation list, consider ways to expand your universe to include more high potential prospects. Be sure to leverage board relationships, and consider tools that will inform you of who in your board’s circle of friends might participate, as you work to strategically develop this list.  Consider new avenues to pursue as you market the nonprofit event broadly, such as local interest groups and clubs.

Questions to ask yourself might include:

  • How do I find new constituents with high giving potential that might be interested in my event?
  • Which are the most capable prospects to invite to our nonprofit event?
  • Who do our board and other VIPs know that may respond to a personal invitation to our event and who should ask for their participation?

3. Screen event participants before and after your nonprofit event.

It is important to review your event participant list both before and after your event. This ensures that you know the financial capacity of participants and that no wealthy prospects slip through the cracks.

As you get to know your list inside and out and identify the participants with the highest giving potential, develop a plan for your high potential prospects. Consider inviting them to pre- or post- event VIP activities, such as breakfasts or post-event celebrations. If the idea of planning an event around your event is too much for you, consider sending invitations for meetings or “grabbing coffee” a week or two after the event itself. Personal follow through with each high–potential prospect is a must to create ongoing engagement and to understand the individuals’ motivations and interests.

4. Use metrics as you wrap up your nonprofit event for the year.

Applying analytics to your event list for both segmentation and tracking is crucial as you wrap up the event and before you move on to your next big challenge – the ask. Metrics to consider include:

  • Event Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Cost to Raise a Dollar (CRD)
  • Cost per person for event
  • # of gifts received from event
  • % of giving from event
  • Dollars contributed from event
  • Average event gift size
  • Event cost

Be sure to segment your nonprofit event list to determine who needs immediate follow-up, based on their wealth profile. The more active you are in your efforts to stay in touch, the easier it becomes to begin building a relationship with your donor.

5. Once you know enough, make the ask!

Before asking your prospect for a substantial gift, there are a few questions you want to be sure are already answered:

    • What is this donor’s interest or passion and where does it align with our mission?
    • Which project will they be most interested in funding?
    • What is the correct ask amount for this donor? This should be in harmony with the project or need you are seeking funding for. This should also be aligned with your donor’s capacity to give.
    • Who should be involved in the solicitation? The president or CEO? A board member? A friend or colleague?
    • Is this the right time to ask?
    • Who else may be involved in their decision to give? A spouse? Other family members? Financial or tax advisors?
    • How does s/he want to be recognized for a gift? Knowing their stewardship desires before asking for the gift ensures you handle any gift negotiations appropriately, and also that you accomplish post-giving appreciation and recognition in the most meaningful way for the donor(s).

Transform Your Development Program By Growing Individual Gifts

Uncover the most effective tools you can use to expand, strengthen, and track your organization’s individual giving program.

When you know the answers to these questions in advance, you will be making a solicitation that is hard to say no to.

Luxury Consumer Demographics: Mining Your Database to Lower Customer Acquisition Cost

luxury consumer demographics

Everyone is looking for new customers for luxury marketing. What you may not realize is that a great source of new business is your existing customer database. By understanding the demographics of your luxury consumers, you can identify effective ways to strengthen your existing customer base. Here’s how you can mine it to lower your customer acquisition cost.

Reduce Your Customer Acquisition Cost

The key to reducing your customer acquisition cost lies in how closely your past customers match your current target luxury marketing customer profile. The better the match, the more likely you’ll attract wealthy clients and have repeat customers. By evaluating luxury consumer demographics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your existing customers. Correctly mining your current customer list can provide an abundance of prospects for your latest products or services.

Certainly, it’s important to grow your business and increasing your number of net new customers. Yet, the first step in proper luxury marketing is to go back to your existing database, to cultivate and nurture your customer relationships.

Getting Past Customers to Buy

Not only is it less expensive for a business to retain past customers, it’s also more profitable. A Bain & Company study found that just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 7%. Also, the average amount spent by a repeat customer was two-thirds more than a new customer.

According to a MarketingProfs.com article, getting your past customers to buy from you again can also result in more ongoing revenue. If you can convince your customer to make a second purchase, that customer is more than twice as likely to buy a third time. And that customer is more likely to buy even a fourth time! If you’re able to make even a small increase in your conversion rate for second-time purchases, you’ll see serious revenue growth.

So honing in with the right targeted marketing for your one-time buyers will increase the amount of second-time purchases. And once you’ve gotten them to make that second buy, it’s often only a matter of time before they make their next purchase. You’ll also reduce the customer acquisition cost.

Mining Your Luxury Marketing Database

Customers who happily made a purchase from you are more likely to buy again. The question is: what do these consumers look like? Do they have common traits that lead them to make a purchase? Of course, you can start with purchase data to help determine what else they may buy from you. But purchase history alone may not be a good indicator of future luxury purchases.

Say you bought something at a fashion retail store. You’ll be in that retailer’s customer database. They may have your email address. They may have your name. But they have no idea what your potential is to buy more in the future. These are just some examples of luxury consumer demographic information you can leverage to understand how best to reach your customers.

Previous spending is also a key component of luxury marketing, but it should not be the only data point you’re using. Not all existing high net worth customers will have the abilty or capacity to spend more with you. So, identifying those who do is essential to enhancing your revenue and driving a higher customer lifetime value.

Finding Repeat Luxury Marketing Customers

Luxury consumer demographic data beyond income or net worth will be valuable in determining your luxury marketing focus. Besides wealth, there are plenty of other data points to consider.

“We advise our customers to take their database and append it with our Wealth Engine information,” explains Bischoff. ”Appending means we match their records with ours. We have a database of 240 million individuals in the U.S., covering about 85% to 95% of the adult population. We match these individuals with our data and our system. Then we can add to the information that our clients have.”

One person may have a net worth of $5 million. Another person’s net worth is over $500 million. Plus there are up to 1,200 different data points on likes, affinities, donations, causes they support, etc. All this WealthEngine information is reported back to our clients. That allows them to start pinpointing their luxury marketing efforts toward people they already know. They already know to contact these people because a lot of them gave contact information in a prior buying session. That is the starting point.

Locate Your Best Luxury Marketing Prospects

Once you understand all of these things about your existing database, you can then start to make use of other resources. Those include AI, machine learning, and any kind of predictive modeling to score that database. By scoring, you can determine the best of the best luxury marketing prospects.

Should your database be segmented or categorized? Should you not market to the entire database, only two segments of it for certain products or services? The real trick is that score, which is a very unique feature of WealthEngine.

Getting specific about who you’ll be marketing to can make your work much more efficient. It is imperative for brands, both luxury and non-luxury, to prioritize and segment their customer base. Then they can identify who they should focus their time and budget on in their marketing campaigns.

Going Beyond Your Current Luxury Customer List

In addition to pulling your best repeat prospects from your own list, you can apply that modeling score to new prospects. The WealthEngine database is full of individuals with whom you have not had any previous interaction. Combining your data with WealthEngine data will model those potential luxury market buyers so that you can reduce your customer acquisition cost. Luxury marketing is not just about previous buying habits, but identifying others who are most like you past buyers. They are prospects who have the tendency to make purchases and have wealth to do so.

In that case, WealthEngine will give you the most “lookalikes” to your best customers. Those are people you know as your best customers based on how well they fit your target profile. Then, you will actually be marketing to the people who look most like those who already have some relationship with you. That will definitely reduce your customer acquisition cost.

Uncover the Best Ways to Appeal to Millennial Millionaires

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Comprehensive and informative data is a prerequisite to everything marketing today. It’s the foundation. You need to know demographic information on luxury consumers before you can customize your engagement strategies.

Software Industry Leader Edward Hughes Joins WealthEngine as President

The company prepares for rapid growth in 2020 and releases the next version of its flagship machine learning-based prospect intelligence platform – WE9.2.  

January 21, 2020 – Bethesda, MD – WealthEngine, the leading machine learning-based prospect intelligence platform, has appointed Edward Hughes as the company’s new President and member of its board of directors. Hughes will work with WealthEngine’s leadership team to expand deeper into existing markets and enter new ones. 

“We are excited to have an instrumental leader like Edward take on the role of our President as we enter our next phase of growth,” said PV Boccasam, CEO of WealthEngine. “Edward brings an amazing track record of successfully scaling multiple Software as a Service (SaaS) companies from the early stages of evolution to going public. His thoughtful and disciplined approach will play a critical role in growing WealthEngine while executing on our customer’s mission.” 

Prior to joining WealthEngine, Hughes spent 9 years as the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Operations at Appian Corp. In this leadership capacity, he integrated strategic processes which enabled the company to boast well over $250M in sales and a $3B+ valuation. In his new role as President, Hughes intends to build and support WealthEngine in similar ways. 

“WealthEngine provides organizations with deep insights into their customers and donors, allowing them to know clients in highly-personalized, actionable ways”, said Hughes, WealthEngine’s newly appointed President.  “I am excited to work with the WealthEngine team and to drive growth as we deliver exceptional wealth intelligence to the for-profit and non-profit market.”   

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine empowers more than 3000 higher education, healthcare, advocacy, financial services, and high-end luxury brands to capture tens of billions of dollars of money-in-motion™. Fueled by our proprietary WealthSignal™, derived from a trillion data points, our customers measurably improve their campaign lift across fundraising, marketing, and digital engagement with their target audience.

Rooted in machine learning, our WealthEngine 9 cloud-based platform boasts an entirely new user experience to provide wealth, demographic and lifestyle indicators that come together to formulate powerful scores available via API in real-time. The company’s Engagement Science™ platform embeds predictive models, identifies and prioritizes segments, and activates digital audiences so customers know what motivates individuals to save, invest, spend, donate, or bequeath.

WealthEngine is an active participant in Pledge 1%, regularly giving back to the community it serves through time, product and donations. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the company has offices throughout the US. Learn more at www.wealthengine.com.


7 Tips for Building Stronger Major Donor Relationships

7 Tips for Building Stronger Major Donor Relationships

A major gift means something different for every organization. Whether it’s $500, $5,000, or $50,000, there’s one factor that stays the same across any major giving context: organizations need to engage their most critical donors to build long-lasting relationships with them.

Many nonprofits think that major gift fundraising is tricky to master, and they aren’t wrong. There’s a simple rule that your organization should always keep in mind, thoughit’s all about the quality of prospects, not the quantity. In other words, don’t disqualify a lead just because you don’t think they can’t donate as much as others can. 

After all, that individual may be substantially more committed to your cause (affinity) than someone who has a higher wealth capacity but less of a connection. We’ve all heard the stories of individuals who leave their entire estate to an organization (totaling millions of dollars), and they would have never shown up on a capacity screen.

Looking for those who genuinely care for your nonprofit is the way to go. For the strongest long-term results and the health of your nonprofit, your major donors should be in it for the long haul. Chances are you won’t encounter someone who makes a major gift out of the blue and then disappears. They gave to your cause because they care and want to see the impact they can make with your organization. Capturing donors’ attention to build a meaningful relationship with them is a series of complicated steps, several of which we will go over.

Even before a donor makes a gift, though, you need to be proactive in retaining that generous donor’s attention. Otherwise, you’ll lose it (along with your shot at turning their attention into an emotional connection). To develop stronger relationships with major donors, follow these best practices:

  1. Ask for supporters’ feedback.
  2. Learn what motivates donors to give.
  3. Track and review behavioral data.
  4. Maintain an open line of communication.
  5. Show donors the impact they’re making.
  6. Look at wealth indicators.
  7. Focus on donor stewardship.

Major donations aren’t something your nonprofit should ever overlook. While they make up less than 1% of all individual donations, major donors are responsible for over 70% of all donation revenue. Remember, they care about your cause, so you should care about them, too. Ready to improve your relationships with major donors? Let’s get started!

1. Ask for supporters’ feedback.

There’s no better way to develop relationships with supporters than by asking for their input. Why do we gather donors’ feedback in the first place? Well, for one, it makes them feel valued, engaged, and like they have a say in your organization’s efforts. Surveying donors is all about relationship building. When you understand donors’ expectations, you can act on their feedback, strengthening their emotional connection with your cause as an important part of their lives.

If you’re worried that supporters won’t respond to your questions, don’t be. Supporters like surveys; they really do. It gives them a chance to enter a two-way conversation, tell their stories, express the changes they’d like to see, and myriad other things. 

Think of it this way: if someone is already emotionally (and financially) invested in your work, it’ll mean a lot to them that you reach out and genuinely want to know their opinions. 

Gathering feedback (including self-reported data like donors’ communication preferences) is an important part of engagement fundraising, the most effective way to build major donor relationships. As a brief overview, engagement fundraising revolves around making donors feel like the “hero” of their own life story. By looking at the right data and leveraging it in your communications, you can fully engage prospects and develop stronger relationships. To dive deeper, visit MarketSmart’s engagement fundraising guide.

How to collect feedback

Now that you know why we gather donor feedback, you need to learn how to collect feedback. There are three main methods for doing this:

  1. Surveys. As previously touched on, this is the most powerful and direct way to gather feedback. Encourage donors to give guided feedback on specific ideas, programs, and so on. We recently wrote a comprehensive guide to conducting donor surveys that you can read here
  2. Reviews. Donors can give unstructured feedback on specific ideas, programs, and so on.
  3. Polls. These provide quick insight into one question. Think general questions on ways to improve a program by asking how much they care about it.

While polls and reviews can give you quick answers, surveys are the best way to capture feedback. The whole premise behind donor surveying is to gather input and make changes based on individual donor perspectives. This is a great retention strategy, because you can leverage the information you gather to better communicate with donors in the ways that they’ve outright told you they prefer.

2. Learn what motivates donors to give.

It’s not enough to look at wealth indicators and call it a day. Sure, wealth data gives you an estimate as to how much donors can potentially give, but this doesn’t give you any insight into who they are and why they give in the first place (affinity). It’s all about figuring out each supporter’s “why.” There are a few common reasons donors give (to start, it makes them feel good), but motivations vary from prospect to prospect.

While there are several ways to collect this information, there’s one tried and true method for getting these answers. Just ask.

Surveys are great for more than collecting feedback; they help you learn about your prospects, too! Make sure to ask the right questions and don’t overload them with too many though. Better yet, don’t overload them with bad questions. No matter how many good questions your survey asks, it can be ruined by just one bad one.

To find out a donor’s “why,” ask questions centered around the following:

  • What their involvement and personal stories are;
  • What they’re passionate about;
  • What other organizations they support;
  • Which programs they care about;
  • How they might consider giving to your organization; and
  • What they do in their free time (e.g. hobbies, interests, etc.).

We understand that it can be difficult crafting the “right” questions. As a general rule of thumb, get to the point and gather the essential information (like we indicated above). While you do want demographic data, that doesn’t capture a prospect’s motivations or personality. Save those questions for the end and instead engage users more deeply from the start by asking them about why they support your organization. Once you’ve reviewed the survey results, use this information in communications to further engage prospects. 

3. Track and review behavioral data.

Staying ahead of evolving major donor relationships is all about using your resources to learn more about your prospects. Sure, surveys are great for getting a better understanding of who your donors are, but what about getting one step ahead and finding out what interests them without a survey response?

Well, it turns out you can learn a lot by taking a thorough look at prospects’ interactions on your website. This is what we call their “digital body language,” and it can be really useful in developing relationships with major donors. For instance, are they interested in a specific program within your organization? Chances are, they’ve visited the specific page about it on your website several times and maybe even downloaded a brochure on it.

It’s of the utmost importance that you track the following:

  • What pages your prospects visit;
  • Which videos they watch;
  • What resources they’ve downloaded;
  • Which emails they’ve opened;
  • How frequently they visit; and
  • How long they stay on the site.

The recency of their engagement is important, too. Just because someone visits your website often doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a better major donor prospect than someone else. On the other hand, if someone visits your website for the first time in a few months and specifically heads towards the “how to support the future of this college” page, that’s a big indicator for your major gift officer that the individual is showing interest. 

In addition to capacity and affinity, raising major gifts requires the right timing, and looking at behavioral data can help you get a better sense of when the “right” time is.

What they click on can also make a difference. If you can see they recently downloaded a program brochure and you have their past survey response to see what their interests are, then there you go! You have a good prospect to pick up the phone and call. Plus, you can use the self-reported data you gathered with the survey to take personalized outreach one step further.

4. Maintain an open line of communication.

Growing your major donor relationships means consistent, respectful, and authentic communication. From here, one of the (if not the) most important part of an open line of communication is making sure interactions are wanted. You have to maintain contact with major donors in a respectful, authentic, and mutual way. Otherwise, you’ll lose their attention and support. Remember, when it comes to donor-nonprofit relationships, the saying “trust is hard to gain and easy to lose” proves true.

Forcing interaction doesn’t get your nonprofit anywhere, especially when it comes to major donors. It will completely throw your efforts off course, pushing major donors away. 

When conducting outreach, always make sure that it’s two-way communication, not just “look at us and how great we’re doing” type of messaging. Invite donors to interact and give their feedback, encouraging them to express their opinions, ask questions, tell their story, and voice any concerns.

To encourage positive reactions, always take their communication preferences into account. If you don’t, donors will think you’re just doing what’s easiest for you, not caring about them or working harder than you have to. Then, they won’t feel compelled to put in any more effort than they think you did.

Once you have the art of outreach under your belt, experiment with automation. Automated communication takes a lot of grunt work out of major donor retention and allows gift officers to focus their precious time on those that want to meet with them right now. After all, there’s nothing quite like a face-to-face meeting with a major donor that wants to meet with you to build stronger relationships.

5. Show donors the impact they’re making.

Human beings are visual creatures. We like to see the difference we’re making, no matter how small. Your donors—your major donors, in particular—are no exception. If you don’t consistently provide them with value, in this case the emotional payoff from their generous gifts, they won’t feel like a priority for your organization.

Remember, donors want to feel like the “hero” in their own life story. At the end of the day, all you can do is give them an outlet to express themselves and let them know the impact they’re making. While this may seem like a heavy task, it’s actually not all that hard.

First, you’ll need to identify which aspect of your organization they’re most aligned with. Leverage this when crafting your approach for each supporter. From here, focus on targeting communications and marketing toward the specific interests and areas they find valuable. Then, deepen engagement using storytelling methods that speak to their values. Consider which programs they care about (maybe they designated this in their survey), and direct their donations to support something they’ll be most likely to appreciate. 

After showing supporters the impact they’ve made, consider the overall differences that major donors have made on your organization’s work. For instance, dedicate a portion of your website to your major donors (or even consider creating a separate VIP microsite for major and legacy donors), express your appreciation, and share images with them. Create targeted newsletters with pictures of the work your organization is doing thanks to major gifts. The list goes on. 

The only limit is your imagination! It’s all about creating a welcoming environment where prospects feel wanted and impactful.

6. Look at wealth indicators.

While wealth indicators don’t tell a donor’s whole story, they are important to consider. For a quick look into your prospects’ abilities to give, check into the following wealth indicators:

  • Previous donations to your nonprofit
  • Previous donations to other nonprofits
  • Profession and education history
  • Real estate ownership
  • SEC transactions

Remember, though, that just because someone doesn’t have the financial capacity to donate doesn’t mean they’re not a valuable prospect. Wealth indicators are only one small part of the equation (capacity, affinity, timing). For instance, if a supporter has the passion to give but can’t donate financially, they may make a great volunteer or lower-tier donor, or legacy prospect. 

Just keep in mind that not everything is always as it seems and that people are more than just their numbers and demographics. We all have heard stories of individuals like Sylvia Bloom, where someone may not seem wealthy on paper but have nonetheless quietly amassed a fortune.

Also, standard donations aren’t the only ways donors can give. For instance, a legacy gift (i.e. a donation through a will) is just one way a donor makes a major gift that they couldn’t have otherwise made during their lifetime. 

On the other hand, someone who is financially stable may not be willing to donate. You can’t turn someone into a major donor. They have to make the decision to make that kind of  philanthropic impact on their own. The sooner you realize this, the quicker you’ll start locating and engaging promising prospects instead of those who have no interest in supporting you.

Leveraging wealth indicators can be a “first defense” for prioritizing your time. However, the other indicators we mentioned above should carry more weight (even if they may be more challenging to collect and analyze).

7. Focus on donor stewardship.

All of this talk of data may have you wondering, “How do I actually use this information?” Well, in short, it depends. Specifically, it depends on the donor, their preferences, and a whole host of other things. The point is, you need to get to know your major donors and cultivate relationships with them.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all option for donor stewardship, there are some common methods that regularly produce results for nonprofits. To start, processing gifts quickly and saying thank you should be the first step any nonprofit takes. For your convenience, here’s a brief summary of how the stewardship process works when boiled down to the essentials:

  1. The donor gives to your organization. 
  2. You thank the donor for their gift.
  3. Confirm the donor’s expectations and intentions.
  4. Recognize the donor accordingly.
  5. Let them know the impact the gift made.

Use giving tendencies to determine your stewardship strategy. For example, a frequent or recurring donor requires different strategies than a volunteer who’s never given financially to your organization before. Just make sure to keep the donor’s perspective in mind.

Remember to always survey, survey, survey! Capturing this valuable supporter information gives you insight into how you can grow donor relationships. For instance, ask: “Why are you connected to our mission?” “Which influential person brought you to us?” Etc. The sooner you learn this stuff, the sooner you’re able to engage these individuals on a more personal and authentic level.

While surveys and face-to-face interaction are the top ways to get to know your donors, there are other ways to ensure mutually-beneficial, long-term relationships. To learn more about engaging major donors, check out Qgiv’s donor retention guide.

At its core, building donor relationships, and major donor relationships, especially, is about getting to know supporters and providing them with an outlet for expressing themselves. Otherwise, they won’t stick around or truly feel compelled to do what they can to help you succeed.

Although this list is by no means comprehensive, we hope that you learned something about building stronger major donor relationships. To recap, use surveys to ask for donor feedback, learn what motivates them, review digital body language, look at wealth indicators, and put special care into stewardship. Also, ensure that you maintain an open line of communication where you show donors the impact they’re making. Best of all, put “value” first and instill that culture throughout your organization.

Now that you know the best strategies for building stronger major donor relationships, get to work and make your organization the best it can possibly be!

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About the Author

Over the past 6 years, in his role as Senior Solutions Advisor at MarketSmart, Jeff Giannotto has advised organizations of all sizes on Engagement Fundraising. Leveraging integrated technology and marketing, MarketSmart helps nonprofits generate, qualify, cultivate and prioritize potential donors. Over the years, Jeff has consulted with Salvation Army, City of Hope, Food For The Poor, ASPCA, Girl Scouts of the USA, Special Olympics, and more.

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.

Webinar: Build & Grow Your Mid-Level Donor Program

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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:


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.

WealthEngine Announces a Major Upgrade to Industry’s Leading Prospect Engagement Platform For Nonprofits and Financial Institutions

With this new release, WealthEngine strengthens its industry leadership position by introducing WealthSignal™ among other new capabilities, and fresh data driving prospecting effectiveness, and conversion rates for 3000+ clients.

BETHESDA, MD – November 25, 2019 – Today, WealthEngine released its highly anticipated upgrade to the industry’s leading prospect engagement platform, WealthEngine9 (WE9). Launched at the Salesforce Dreamforce conference in San Francisco last week, in this release, WealthEngine introduces industry’s first and only WealthSignal™ helping clients get a single window into their prospect’s wealth profile, fresh data on emails and phones, major update to charitable donations history, and more. This release demonstrates WealthEngine’s continuing commitment to empower its clients with a thorough understanding of their prospect’s  propensity, capacity, affinity, and intent.

“At WealthEngine, we continue to drive innovation so that our clients can not only find their next-best prospect, but also determine their next-best action, all powered by our growing investment and expertise in Data Science,” said PV Boccasam, CEO of WealthEngine. “This release demonstrates that we continue to deliver industry leading solutions that are based on listening closely to our clients  needs, particularly around fresh and most accurate data and actionable insights that helps them drive down acquisition costs, and while activating clients in multiple channels to improve their campaign ROI.”

In this upgrade, the WealthEngine9 platform provides several key benefits for its clients, which include:

Know Your Donor or Customer Instantly

On every profile, a new graphic showing that prospect’s WealthSignalTM is now front and center, giving a holistic view of the most important scores including propensity to give (P2G), giving capacity, and net worth. In addition to the scores, the WealthSignalTM also helps clients quickly determine the relative strength of the score across its entire range, providing significant efficiencies in prospecting efforts.

Increase Campaign Lift by Reaching Prospects Where They Are

With 240M+ emails refreshed, 140M+ new personal phone numbers, in WE9 clients have a one-stop shop to reach prospects in all channels – by snail mail, email, phone or in digital channels, enabling users to drive up response rates by deploying a robust omnichannel communications strategy.

Reliable Charitable Donations Data

With this release clients get 165M+ charitable donation records with over 0.5M donations added every month. In addition, unlike other vendors WE9 offers a confidence score on each donation record to indicate the quality of match to that specific profile helping clients make informed decisions. 

Drive Prospecting Productivity with Actionable Intelligence

With this release, WealthEngine is introducing a brand new dashboard that delivers fresh insights such as recently visited profiles, tips, best practices, and latest product announcements. This helps clients to act with confidence in driving their mission forward.

Customer Testimonials

“As someone who has spent years in nonprofit management and fundraising, I found WealthEngine a must-have technology for fundraising professionals. It provides a magnifying glass on prospects arming you with critical insights that help you deal with them so much better when you are building those important relationships. With WealthEngine, it’s all right there, in-depth, and exactly what you are looking for to get a complete picture of the person you want to target.”

 – Patricia G. Eisner, Director of Development, Two Rivers Charter School, and Former Chief Development Officer, Malala Fund.


“WE9 is a game changer. It has been my distinct honor to have played a minor supporting role in the evolution of WealthEngine over the past eighteen years. WE9 introduces powerful new features for screening, prospecting, segmenting, and analyzing data to provide immediately actionable results. The platform is cleaner, faster and much more powerful than it was – even a week ago. Bravo to the dedicated team of professionals who listened to what was needed and brought the dream to reality!” 

Dave Chase, Chase Solutions Inc., a WealthEngine Partner

As part of this new release, WealthEngine is also updating WealthEngine Insights for Salesforce, a Salesforce certified app that allows clients to gain a 360 view of its contacts right in their Salesforce environment with over 100+ attributes on wealth, giving, contact, and demographic data. With this update, clients will be able to append custom model scores to their contacts or leads enabling them to model even more precise target audiences driving conversion rates. In addition, the App supports Salesforce Shield™ encryption ensuring end-to-end security for Financial, Healthcare, and other security conscious environments.

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine, for more than two decades, has been supporting more than 3000 industry-leading higher education, healthcare systems, advocacy, financial services, and high-end luxury brands and hospitality organizations in capturing tens of billions of dollars. Fueled by our wealth and lifestyle signals, our customers measurably improve their personalization and effectiveness across fundraising, capital campaigns, marketing, and overall engagement with their target audience.

Rooted in machine learning, with a cloud-native architecture, WealthEngine 9 platform boasts an entirely new user experience to provide wealth, demographic and lifestyle signals that come together to formulate powerful scores, available API in real-time. Underpinned by the company’s Engagement Science™, WE9 models, segments and activates, and targets prospects continually so customers will know what motivates their audience to save, invest, buy or donate.

WealthEngine recently hosted its sold-out second annual WE Prosper Summit, October 1, 2019, at the famed interactive Newseum in Washington, DC. Please visit our website www.weprospersummit.com  for access to industry keynotes. The company is an active participant in Pledge 1%, regularly giving back to the community it serves through time, product and donations. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the company has offices throughout the US. Learn more at www.wealthengine.com.


PatronManager Enhances Fundraising Capabilities with Renewed WealthEngine Partnership

New York, New York — November 19, 2019 — Leading ticketing, fundraising, and marketing solution for the arts, PatronManager, a Patron Technology product, announced today their renewed partnership with WealthEngine, an industry leader in prospect intelligence solutions. This integration helps PatronManager clients use U.S. donor data and wealth analytics to better identify and solicit potential donors.

Bringing the power of wealth intelligence research and screening directly into PatronManager, WealthEngine offers direct access to data elements and proprietary wealth profiles on a non-profit’s donors and prospects. With this robust information syncing directly into PatronManager, users are able to access critical, real-time wealth indicators by cross-referencing the past philanthropic giving and lifestyle attributes of 250 million U.S.-based individuals and 180 million households. This renewed partnership will continue to give PatronManager users the tools they need to increase their fundraising efforts, strengthening their contributing revenue.

“Since 2014, PatronManager has worked with WealthEngine, and we’re thrilled to be strengthening this partnership as we move into the next decade,” says Michelle Paul, Managing Director for PatronManager. “We’re excited to continue to bring WealthEngine’s vast library of invaluable insights directly to our clients, seamlessly integrated into our one-of-a-kind system.”

“WealthEngine’s unique insights, such as estimated giving capacity, propensity, net worth, interests, and other wealth and lifestyle attributes, are empowering PatronManager users with a game-changing competitive edge in pursuing opportunities. We are thrilled to continue our partnership to provide value to PatronManager’s clients,” said WealthEngine’s CEO, PV Boccasam.

About WealthEngine

For more than 20 years, WealthEngine has ensured clients engage in highly personalized and precise conversations with their audiences to find prospective donors and drive growth. Using actionable wealth and lifestyle insights, WealthEngine fuels highly-targeted campaigns to deliver measured outcomes that expand their clients audience, decreases acquisition costs and increases revenue, along with the lifetime value of their donors.

About PatronManager

PatronManager’s mission is to revolutionize the ticketing industry by providing arts, culture, and live entertainment organizations with integrated world-class customer relationship management, box office ticketing, fundraising, and marketing solutions, built entirely on the world’s most advanced cloud-based CRM platform – Salesforce. PatronManager has been the fastest growing platform for arts and culture organizations in the U.S. Over 675 organizations use PatronManager, primarily symphony orchestras, theatres, opera companies, dance companies, university performing arts centers, and museums.

About Patron Technology

Patron Technology helps live event organizers create better experiences for attendees and deeper relationships with sponsors through a complete, data-driven event technology solution. Event organizers of different sizes and across different segments use Patron Technology for ticketing, marketing, fan engagement, CRM, logistics, data management, and more.


PatronManager Media Contact

Aaron Schwartzbord

Director of Marketing



WealthEngine Media Contact

Raj Khera

Chief Marketing Officer


Analytics Company, WealthEngine, Launches First Predictive Prospecting Platform

Entirely new, cloud-native architecture fueled by Engagement Science™ will change how organizations personalize campaigns and nurture prospects.

BETHESDA, MD – June 4, 2019 – Today WealthEngine announced the launch of the industry’s first predictive prospecting platform, WealthEngine 9 (WE9). With this launch, the company leaps beyond the business of providing wealth data to its more than 3,500 customers and becomes the only analytics company to provide wealth affinity scoring based on propensity, capacity, and intent.

“Segmenting who you precisely want to go after is a difficult problem today,” says WealthEngine CEO, PV Boccasam. “You can’t personalize or prioritize your message if you don’t intimately know your audience. Everyone else is focusing on what a person has while we have created a platform based on signals that reveal the why which we call Engagement ScienceTM.”

Coming to market with an entirely new cloud-native architecture, the WE9 platform consumes trillions of points of data to create more than 250 million pre-scored profiles giving you the ability to model, analyze, engage and take action with your next best prospect. Easily accessible through an API, WE9 enables real-time, compliant wealth screening within any customer relationship or donor management systems of record.

“I switched our business to WealthEngine because I realized they were ahead of the game in knowing how to make the data meaningful to their customers,” says Greg Workman, Director of Finance and Operations at Spectrum Health Foundation & Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation. “WE9 is going to make us even more efficient and effective while helping us connect with the right people at the right time.”

With this release, the company is also revising pricing to a flexible, credit-based model to optimize clients’ ability to use any of the available WE9 applications and services needed to drive their business objectives. Annual subscription clients will have access to the entire platform, with continuously refreshed data sets, and all the applications that were previously sold separately such as Analyze, Modeling, Prospect, APIs, and Connectors.

“Our models now enable us to identify a person’s propensity to donate or spend,” says Boccasam. “Interlinked with our customers’ data, WE9 has richer knowledge about their target audiences, so we can reveal their motivations. As a result of personalized engagement, our customers have seen increased lifetime value, improved campaign effectiveness and lowered
cost of acquisition.”

WealthEngine Engagement ScienceTM

As a predictive prospecting platform, WE9 enables its customers to do four critical things:

Discover insights faster than ever: Search, tag, filter, and favorite people as a way of keeping track of and prioritizing ideal donors and buyers. Through seamless access to more than 180 million US-based households and 250 million adults each with thousands of enriched attributes, discover the potential of ideal donors and buyers.

Segment with precision: Get granular with target audiences by digging deep into relevant wealth, and crucial lifestyle signals that provide insight into what motivates prospects to engage. By proactively nurturing prospects and existing donors and customers, insights are activated through personalized campaigns.

Prioritize top targets: Once ideal targets are identified, WE9 can uncover the next best donors and buyers, with automated models to find new prospects who share similar wealth and lifestyle signals. Take control of multi-channel campaigns, predict who is most likely to engage next and prioritize resources accordingly.

Activate your audience: WE9 insights go beyond wealth with more than 1800 wealth and lifestyle signals to reveal what motivates ideal prospects to take action, or existing donors to give more. By knowing what moves them, campaigns can be personalized in order to drive lasting, measurable engagement.

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine has been supporting more than 3500 industry-leading financial services, higher education, healthcare systems, advocacy, and high-end retail and hospitality organizations in capturing hundreds of millions of dollars for more than 20 years. Fueled by our wealth and lifestyle signals, our customers measurably improve their personalization and effectiveness across fundraising, capital campaigns, marketing, and overall engagement with their audience.

Rooted in machine learning, with a cloud-native architecture, WealthEngine 9 platform boasts an entirely new user experience to provide wealth, demographic and lifestyle signals that come together to formulate powerful scores, available in real-time. Underpinned by the company’s Engagement ScienceTM, WE9 targets, segments, and models prospects continually so customers will know what motivates their audience to save, buy or donate.

WealthEngine is hosting it’s second annual WE Prosper Summit, October 1, 2019, at the famed interactive Newseum in Washington, DC. The company is an active participant in Pledge 1%, regularly giving back to the community it serves through time, product and donations. Based in Bethesda, the company has offices throughout the US. Learn more at wealthengine.com.