The Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofits and the Outlook for 2021

Impact of COVID on nonprofits

During a year of unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits and other businesses have dealt with waves of constant change and uncertainty. Throughout forced closures, months of remote work, and inconsistent reopening plans, nonprofits have constantly adjusted by implementing strategies like virtual nonprofit fundraising to stay afloat.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofit Fundraising

Impact of COVID on nonprofits through statistics


All nonprofit organizations rely heavily on fundraising, especially through charity events, for operation. As the pandemic began to spread, many organizations had to adjust to remote work and face the harsh reality of event cancellations.

The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic showed a bleak March and April. Most countries faced strict shutdowns and limited in-person interactions for essential business only. With heavy limitations on numbers for in-person gatherings, nonprofits began to shift their plans for scheduled fundraising events.

Forced closures of event venues called for previous fundraising plans to be revisited. Limited reopenings and event capacities also impacted plans while nonprofits were constantly adapting to the new guidelines.

Virtual Nonprofit Fundraising During a Pandemic

One of the major impacts seen by all industries during the COVID-19 pandemic was the sharp switch to remote working conditions and the cancellation of most in-person events. Adapting to these new conditions, nonprofits continue to strategize ways to make virtual communication effective.

Nonprofits that have successfully navigated through the pandemic relied heavily on digital marketing and fundraising tactics. Organizations switched their efforts to social media and email campaigns. Many planned in-person events became virtual fundraisers. Check out the previous link to download WealthEngine’s free step-by-step guide for successfully hosting these online events.

While organizations are still adjusting as new phases are implemented throughout different states, the emphasis on virtual fundraising allowed nonprofits to function during the pandemic. These continued efforts include virtual fundraisers, ongoing email marketing campaigns, and strategic social media content to keep donors engaged with the mission.

Effects of Remote Work on Nonprofits

As businesses shut down and employees began to telecommute, remote work became the new normal for most during the pandemic. This caused a heavy reliance on Zoom meetings, Slack, and email communications. 

The switch to remote work impacted the way employees performed their jobs. This change also caused adaptations in most aspects of daily life.

Working Remotely: Pros and Cons

The new normal that emerged in 2020 saw many employees navigating their new work-from-home environments with little preparation. The shift to remote work was abrupt, and organizations have begun seeing the pros and cons of having employees work from home.

Flexibility is a huge plus for remote work. Previously, many employees found themselves trying to balance their work and home lives, including things like child care and screen time hours. The lack of commute time and the ability to use their computer almost anywhere, means employees working remotely function on their schedules as needed.

Virtual communication can be a downside when working from home. Zoom calls and Slack messages make it hard for employees to connect. 

This can make collaborative efforts challenging. Without the usual office banter, workers can feel isolated and may struggle to effectively communicate with coworkers and complete projects.

Remote work presents another con due to the lack of work/personal life boundaries. Constant access to computers and no real separation between the office and home can make it difficult for employees to set clear working hours. 

Remote work has caused a shift in employee habits. Flexibility will remain a high priority for those working remotely long term.

Interacting With Donors

The COVID-19 pandemic halted most in-person meetings during 2020. For nonprofits that rely on donor interactions, this shift has impacted the way organizations communicate. 

While meaningful interactions with donors remain crucial to success, these conversations have moved online for the time being. Many nonprofit donors are seeing a shift to email and social media communications.

Content like newsletters and Instagram posts have played a huge role in keeping donors up-to-date. Virtual fundraisers have offered ways to connect and encourage continued contributions to the organization’s mission.

Due to the reliance on virtual communication, nonprofits have had to find new ways to engage with donors to maintain their relationships.

2020 Nonprofit Fundraising Statistics

infographic discussing the current state of charitable giving plans


Nonprofit fundraising statistics play a significant role in predicting trends for the next year. With the unusual circumstances surrounding 2020, much of this data can be used to show exactly how the pandemic affected the nonprofit sector.

The impact of COVID-19 on nonprofit operations resulted in 75% of organizations making cuts to their budgets. This sounds concerning, but the ability to work virtually allowed for budget cuts that helped nonprofits stay afloat while adjusting to new pandemic guidelines.

During the second quarter, nonprofits saw a 7.2% increase in total donors. As the pandemic began to affect daily life, organizations were lucky to see more donors contributing to their respective causes. 

Overall, donations less than $250 saw a 19.2% increase. This means many organizations benefited from small donations made by new or existing donors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GivingTuesday saw a 29% increase of donors on December 2nd with 34.8 million people participating in charitable giving. This led to a 25% increase in total numbers compared to money raised in 2019.

Despite a year of change and uncertainty, many of the statistics show a positive year for nonprofits.

Moving Forward: Long term Outlook and 2021 Predictions

As the pandemic continues to shape 2021’s economy, nonprofits will see the need for flexibility remain a key consideration in planning. With vaccine accessibility and downwards trending case numbers, it is possible for in-person work and fundraising to resume in 2021.

Nonprofits can expect an opportunity to build public trust in the coming year. There seems to be a continued trend with social justice movements and philanthropic giving. Virtual fundraisers and networking events may integrate into the new normal.

As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to wind down, nonprofits will continue to see lasting effects on their structures. Remote work may be the new normal, and digital engagement will remain important for donor retention.

Strategies for Nonprofit Membership Renewals

Membership is vital for the survival and continued functioning of any nonprofit organization. High membership numbers and their retention through membership renewals improve your organization’s effectiveness and ensure growth. 

There are many channels for increasing nonprofit membership renewals ranging from volunteering during fundraising campaigns to using professional agencies to track your potential customers and increase your organization’s brand awareness

Just 31% of offline-only first-time donors and 25% of online-only first-time donors are retained for more than one year. What is it that makes nonprofit membership renewals so difficult to retain? Are there ways to alleviate these issues?

Why Nonprofit Membership Renewal is Important

Nonprofit membership renewal is a constant, crucial process necessary to sustain your organization financially. Yet, nonprofits big and small alike typically experience a large percentage of membership turnover.


Around 45% of all donors across the world are enrolled in a monthly giving program. Members of a nonprofit organization are generally more philanthropic than non-members. Thus, membership renewal is a vital contributor to an organization’s financial security.

Highlighting the Benefits of Nonprofit Membership

To appreciate the exchange that occurs between a nonprofit organization and a member, it is important for both parties to understand exactly what nonprofit membership entails. This will help the member understand all they are gaining through membership and the ways they can contribute to the success of the organization. 

By clearly defining the perks of membership and the important role committed supporters play in advancing the mission of your nonprofit organization, you incentivize strong renewal rates.


  • Privileges

Make it clear what facilities, benefits, and other privileges members will enjoy as part of your organization. Will they be educating themselves by joining? Are there any new experiences they should look forward to? 

Whether members will be receiving a vote during the annual general meeting, a seat on the board, or simply a newsletter, remind prospects what nonprofit membership entails. 

Since many donors check histories and public records of organizations before opting for membership, it is very important to maintain transparency regarding what the organization has provided for its members in previous years. 

Provide specific examples of the benefits of membership via social media and include online testimonials as a means of building trust with your future members. Research shows that 72% of people trust organizations on the basis of online reviews and testimonials.

  • Duties

Nonprofit membership should be mutually beneficial to the member and the organization. Tell potential renewals and new members what they can do to aid your organization in its endeavors and how they can take full advantage of all membership has to offer.

Do you have donation programs in place? If so, make them transparent. Help members help you—they need clear guidance as to how they can promote your mission and vision.

Be it through membership drives, awareness-raising initiatives, or just gathering support, all members should have a detailed understanding of how they can further the goals of your organization. This will bring meaning to their membership and simultaneously boost the profile and activities of your organization. 

Membership contributions highlighted through social media reach a large number of your potential members. Therefore, it is important to look at your social media profiles, email campaigns, and newsletters regularly to analyze their impact on your membership renewal process. 

For example, if you notice that data-driven posts from your organization’s Facebook page get you more followers as compared to regular posts, then this shows your members are more inclined toward your organization’s progress numbers than its routine programs.

Strategies to Boost Nonprofit Membership Renewals

The chances for membership renewal increase when members are given complete clarity on the benefits they will receive from continuing their membership. They should also have an understanding of the benefits they would deliver to the organization. Thus, a two-way relationship is established 

You may use several effective strategies to boost nonprofit membership renewals:


  1. Nurturing Members

Look after your members. Make sure a mentorship program is in place wherein senior members encourage new members to take an active part in events and organizational initiatives. This will help with the transfer of responsibility as junior members learn and grow into senior membership roles over time.

Nurturing members will help streamline the process of membership and ensure that your members respond positively to your requests for renewals. It will also act to create a bond between members and your organization. Renewals are more likely to occur when members feel that sense of connection with the organization and the people involved in it. 

  1. Looking to the Past

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is why it’s crucial to analyze data trends from preceding years and understand the shifts your organization has experienced in membership renewals. Factors you may want to consider include the average number of annual membership renewals, the average duration of membership, and activity (participation/donations) during membership.

You should also look at the demographics of your members—where and what age groups most of your donations are coming from. Analyze the reasons for this and consider how you can broaden membership appeal to a wider audience. 

Use donor segmentation to tailor membership renewal campaigns to groups with mutual backgrounds and interests to boost renewal rates among those demographics.

  1. Communication and Concerns

Make sure to promptly address any issues that arise with your members. Ensure that all lines of communication between your organization and its members are open and easily accessible. Proper and consistent communication goes a long way in avoiding misunderstandings. 

Making this extra effort demonstrates to your members that your organization appreciates them and prioritizes their concerns.

Be sure to request members renew via multiple platforms to ensure it remains top of mind. Nonprofit organizations have an email open rate of 25.50%, which means on average, three out of four emails you send will generally remain unopened. 

Using multiple communication channels increases the number of opportunities for you to remind members it’s time to renew. Tracking how existing members are responding to membership renewals can help you understand where miscommunication may be occurring and offer insight into where improvements can be made. 

Communication also allows you to understand if the renewal process is needlessly complicated. Streamlining the renewal process allows members to be comfortable and makes them more amiable. 

  1. Providing a 24/7 Online Membership Renewal Gateway

Sending your members email and text reminders with an attached 24/7 functional membership renewal link increases the likelihood of membership retention. 

Remember, membership renewal should be as simple and user-friendly as possible. Membership renewal that involves simple signup at a time convenient to your members is much more likely to be successful compared to a burdensome renewal process where members must navigate to your website and find a link themselves.

  1. Surveys

Surveys help you understand what your members want. They are a vital method of communication and validation. Surveys can also serve as a means to acknowledge donors’ expectations from your organization.

 A survey can collect important information that you can use to better understand what membership means for your organization. Careful consideration of this data allows you to see which members are more likely to be retained, enabling you to concentrate your efforts on these individuals.

Surveys may also assist you in identifying why some members choose not to renew. This kind of information is valuable for improving future member retention initiatives.

The fundamental keys to achieving positive nonprofit membership renewal rates are communication, remaining consistent and true to your organization’s mission and values, and making the renewal process as user-friendly as possible. 

To see how the WealthEngine W9 platform can assist your nonprofit membership renewal and acquisition efforts, sign up for a free trial today!


How to Track Down High Potential Donors in a Mountain of Data

data mining for customer segmentation

Understanding how to efficiently use data to identify top-performing prospects is important to all aspects of nonprofit fundraising. Michelle Tilton, VP of Marketing at Infutor, discusses constantly evolving data collection methods and the importance of data accuracy for finding prospects who will be receptive to a donation request.

Infutor, a partner of WealthEngine, is a company at the forefront of consumer identity data management and identity resolution. Their mission is to help clients instantly know what they need to understand about consumers.

Increase and Advancement in Data Collection Methods

Each day, data is collected from millions of consumers across multiple channels. This information ranges from donor profiles to website engagement. While data collection has steadily increased as data collection methods have advanced over the years, 2020 has seen a huge influx of new activity.

The pandemic has driven almost all demographics and businesses online. Because of this, new people, like the boomer generation, are beginning to navigate the digital world. Shopping, business meetings, and social events have begun to take place in virtual settings.

Nonprofits are directly impacted because of these shifts. There has been a permanent change in the way people engage with digital content. Now, organizations are competing with more commercial companies for consumer attention. 

Data Breakage

This term defines what occurs when your donor profile doesn’t line up with the true information about a person. Michelle explains, “We’re seeing about 30% of data breakage within a donor database over a 12-month period.”

Many factors contribute to data breakage. Michelle observes that it’s common for data to be entered incorrectly during the first capture of donor information. 

Michelle notes another contributing factor is that consumers often try to be purposefully elusive. To support this contention, Michelle points out that surveys demonstrate that up to “60% of consumers intentionally provide wrong information.”

Data is always evolving. Personal information like addresses, phone numbers, and emails, are dynamic. To illustrate this fact, Michelle notes: “One in three consumers change

email addresses, 50 million phone numbers change annually.” When these components change, your database becomes full of obsolete profiles. 

The main problem with data breakage is its impact on your return-on-investment (ROI). Impressions and engagement rates fall when data leads your marketing to the wrong destination.

Data Cleansing Ensures Data Accuracy

Infograph of the process of data cleansing


Letting data go unrefreshed for a long period of time can cost your organization in the short-term by causing you to lose out on donations. In the long-term, the time staff must take away from vital fundraising efforts to manually cleanse and restore your donor profile data is detrimental to overall campaign success. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) maintenance is a major factor involved in data cleansing. Regularly working with a system that provides data enrichment will keep your information up-to-date. 

Referential data plays a key role in ensuring data accuracy. It provides context for time-sensitive data and helps to provide key identifiers for each profile in your system.

Activation Improvements

After gathering and refreshing data, organizations need to activate the information against an audience. This plays out as successful targeted messaging across multiple channels of communication. 

For example, Infutor works with a highly recognizable nonprofit healthcare organization that is primarily funded through public donations. 

They receive information across multiple platforms including inbound forms, call centers, direct mail, and social media. Infutor identified the organization’s need to bring together all of the data their channels collect into one database.

As a solution, Infutor implemented a single-point entry master database. They took all of the donor information, added intelligence from Infutor’s data, cleansed at all points in the process, and made this database accessible to key members.

Through this process, Infutor was able to identify 42,000 donors who were incorrectly marked as deceased in the organization’s records. Taking the time to have quality data allowed this group to add 42,000 new names to their list of prospects.

Building First Party Data

Bar graph showing the ROI on first, second, and third party data


The importance of first party data emerges in three overarching patterns: cookies, walled gardens, and privacy.

Third party cookies are becoming obsolete. They expire quickly, are easy for consumers to opt-out of, and cannot be used cross-device. 

Walled gardens refer to sites working with a company that has a closed data ecosystem, like Google and Facebook. You can use the technology on these sites, as well as access the audience, but you cannot export this data to other channels.

Privacy is one of the most influential factors when building first party data. Understanding privacy implications is more than knowing laws and regulations. Michelle stresses it is crucial to have a deep empathy toward a consumer’s right to opt-out of marketing communications.

Utilizing Your Data Collection

The first step in producing high potential donors is to find the key indicators of your top customer base. WealthEngine’s WE Screen feature is a great way to discover insight into a person’s lifestyle. 

This information allows you to build out profiles on each of your highest performing donors. Using these indicators will make it easy to analyze the information.

WealthEngine’s WE Analyze feature automates this process for you. With a couple of clicks, WealthEngine provides specific segmented lists, like major donor profiles or annual gift donors. With this access, it’s possible to personalize marketing efforts for higher engagement rates. 

Look-alike Modeling

After figuring out who your top donors and prospects are, the goal is to multiply your contact list by finding other people with similar profiles. Look-alike clients share the same attributes, such as similar lifestyles and wealth scores, as your highest performing donors.

With WealthEngine’s prospect tool, there are 300 million Americans that WealthEngine can search through to generate your look-alike list. 

Understanding Channels and Deep Data Analytics

Looking at channels helps organizations understand how and where consumers spend their time. This information guides marketing dollars to personalize messaging, which allows for targeted engagement during fundraising campaigns.

Although this insight into consumer activity is important, it’s just as crucial to remember that it is always changing. Constantly analyzing data for data accuracy and new trends can help maximize your ROI. 

For example, Infutor was able to help a client conduct an in-depth segmentation analysis to identify five clusters out of their 130 that were producing 3-4 times the results of the median. Conducting deep analysis helps to make sure you are optimizing all of your data. 

Want to know more about how the WealthEngine comprehensive platform can assist your organization in making the most of its data? Request a free WealthEngine demo today!

WealthEngine 2020: A Year In Review and a Look Ahead

WealthEngine 2020 year end letter

As we prepare for the new year, I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved over the course of 2020 to help our clients reach their goals. Through our thought leadership series and innovative product enhancements, WealthEngine is honored to play a role in enabling organizations to find their next best prospect faster and easier.

The year culminated with a big announcement: WealthEngine was acquired by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, the parent company of Wealth-X. We are looking forward to charting the path ahead with enhancements to our platform, data, services and support with our expanded team.

Thought Leadership

Executive Briefing Series

At the start of the pandemic, WealthEngine created a series of online executive briefings to help clients navigate the waters of our new environment. Some highlights of our most popular sessions, all of which are available for on-demand replay, are:

Market Potential Reports

WealthEngine’s Market Potential Reports provide a deeper understanding of opportunities to reach population segments based on estimated net worth, cash on hand, investable assets, business ownership, giving capacity and history, interests and passions, and propensity to invest, spend, and donate, and much more.

These insights incorporate 250 million scored profiles of the U.S. population and are available for the top 15 US metros. Use these reports to determine market size, segments to target, and go-to-market strategies.

Request a Market Potential Report →

A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting a Virtual Fundraiser

Virtual galas and fundraisers are becoming increasingly important in the age of the pandemic. Even though your champions and prospects can’t meet in person, they would love to support you through an online event.

Get this step-by-step guide to setting up and running a successful virtual gala.

Download the Guide →

Using Wealth Models to Build a Data-Driven Planned Giving Strategy

For any nonprofit, big or small, one of the biggest areas of growth for fundraising is planned giving.

Use this all-inclusive guide to: 

  • Pinpoint the best methods to identify planned giving donors
  • Identify the best way to approach donors to cultivate strong relationships
  • Create your planned giving marketing strategy

Get a copy of this guide for all the necessary tips and tricks you should implement to execute your planned giving campaign today!

Download the Guide →

Affluent Trailblazers

In coordination with Coldwell Banker, we released a new report about luxury lifestyle spending in 2020. The report revealed trends on shifting priorities for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals. 

Get the Report →

Giving Tuesday Toolkit

Our updated Giving Tuesday Toolkit continues to be a popular guide, packed with copy/paste campaigns, social media posts and more to help organizations raise more. This year, we provided an additional toolkit for Giving Tuesday Now back in May.

Although Giving Tuesday is behind us this year, the toolkit provides material that can be used this spring as many organizations hold Giving Days to coalesce their communities around their cause.

Download the Toolkit →

WE Prosper Summit

In October, we held our WE Prosper Summit, a gathering of thought leaders from global causes and international brands. Over 500 participants from around the country came together for a two-day conference of rich keynote speeches, how-tos, roundtable discussions and presentations from 10 thought leaders among our clients and partners.

The theme of this year’s WE Prosper Summit was Growing the Pyramid. Thought leaders, experts, partners and clients discussed the latest trends they’re seeing and best practices in raising more, while spending less considering the current climate. 

Listen to the Replays →

Product Enhancements

Our product and engineering teams continue to push towards building new features and data updates. WealthEngine 9 had many enhancements this year that empower our users to get the insights they need.

Donor Pyramid Modeler

Many executives responsible for fundraising often spend long weeks of painstaking spreadsheet analysis to create a donor pyramid, also known as a fundraising pyramid or gift table.

WealthEngine‘s donor pyramid modeler is the industry’s first machine-learning based platform that automates this arduous process to create accurate donor segments and formulate strategic fundraising plans.

Watch a quick 15-minute training video on how to use this WealthEngine feature, which provides several use cases to help segment donors quickly, populate major gift portfolios, and create a data-driven plan for 2021.

Watch the Training Video →

Data Updates

WealthEngine’s database, which now boasts over 171 million philanthropic and charitable donation records with half a million records being added monthly, also updated more than 324K Executive and CEO job titles and added more than 20K Insider Stock Transaction records.

Collectively, we have added more than 13 million new organizations, updated over 17 million existing organizations, and a total of roughly 7 million existing organizations whose total employees or sales/revenue has changed.

New WealthScore

Our new WealthScore is effectively predictive analytics distilled into one number between 1-100. Save time and effort by using one score that takes into account a prospect’s wealth, propensity, capacity, affinity, intent and more. Apply it to make informed decisions that identify your most promising opportunities.

Increased Security

As part of WealthEngine’s ongoing activities in platform security, we also rolled out multi-factor authentication (MFA). Using freely available authenticator apps, clients can now have an extra layer of security to login to their account, in addition to their username and password.

The additional protection layer is a unique code that a user enters after typing in their password. This code changes every 60-seconds and is available via numerous authenticator apps that can be installed on their mobile device. Using MFA significantly reduces the risk of an unauthorized party accessing a client’s account.

Improved User Experience, Performance and Scalability

Finding accurate information quickly is now easier with improvements to WealthEngine’s user experience. The newly designed tagging, filtering and sorting features provide an easy way to segment donors or clients.

Users can see a visual view of connections to help them know the warmest path to reach a prospect. Back end improvements are making the platform run faster with increased scalability.

API Access

We recognize that many of our clients prefer to access inside their existing workflow. We have added new features to our API that now allow clients to access our WealthScore and custom model scores, in addition to other insights. Our partnerships with Salesforce, ROI, EveryAction, Omatic, SalsaLabs, and many others offer unparalleled access to our timely information that help clients make informed business decisions.

Looking Ahead to 2021

To expand our ability to serve our clients, we sought out investment to support our growth. In December 2020, we announced that Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, the parent company of Wealth-X, acquired WealthEngine

We are very excited about the opportunity to join forces with like-minded teams to bring a suite of solutions to our clients that will increase effectiveness and save them time and money. I look forward to sharing our roadmap and meeting with you, our clients and partners, throughout the year.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday and new year,

Richard Green, CEO of Wealth-X and WealthEngine

Smart Engagement: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Work Smarter Not Harder

This article summarizes a podcast hosted by Raj Khera, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer of WealthEngine, and Blake Groves, VP of Products and partnerships at Salsa Labs. Blake offers several timely fundraising tips for nonprofits struggling to fundraise in the face of resource constraints.  

Fundraising Tips Despite Resource Constraints

Nonprofits encounter numerous challenges caused by limits on staff and other resources. These resource constraints contribute to the following issues:

  • Pressure to balance the necessity of continuing to meet organizational needs despite budgetary and other resource shortfalls 
  • Limited budgets going toward supporting the mission rather than advancing marketing initiatives
  • Funding cuts resulting in remaining staff having to adapt to wearing “many hats” 
  • A conflict of priorities between gaining new supporters and retaining current ones
  • “Not enough time in the day” for effective fundraising

Smart engagement emphasizes devoting more time to those supporters who are most willing and able to give. Rather than spreading a wide net, target specific supporters with customized messaging. Focusing on who will best achieve your marketing goals results in effective fundraising campaigns. 

The implementation of smart engagement enables nonprofits to work efficiently, not harder. Blake asserts that for fundraising success, nonprofits must “cut through the clutter and noise.” Organizations must understand their donors and know where they are on their fundraising journey. 

Blake emphasizes that smart engagement begins with data. Combine this data with the appropriate technology to identify and interact with your prospects. The right strategy comes from knowing your audience, their interests, and donation capacity, and includes “day to day techniques.”


Targeting the Right Prospects and Supporters

Technology makes it easier to target and familiarize yourself with prospects and donors. Gathering and using data to create specific messaging will vary. Blake proclaims, “Smart engagement technology is not a single piece of technology.” 

Blake asserts Salsa Labs partners with WealthEngine to develop automated, targeted data and messaging. The propensity to give (P2G) score and additional wealth indicators on WealthEngine’s WE9 platform are proprietary data analytics tools. These features identify supporters and prospects’ ability to give and their giving histories. 

The Wealth Score assigns a number from 1 to 10 to each supporter. The score reflects a person’s wealth, giving capacity, and inclination, intent, and affinities.

The two scores help nonprofits focus on the most qualified prospects and donors. You can set and adjust scores for specific donor types including major gift donors and annual donors. Your fundraising efforts are made more efficient by focusing on high-potential donor groups. 


While data technology has changed, the traditional cycle of targeting donors hasn’t. Every nonprofit organization utilizes some form of the following cycle:

  1. Target potential donors
  2. Connect with donors
  3. Convert donors
  4. Understand the data
  5. Rinse and repeat

Blake remarks that machine learning improves this cycle to better meet fundraising goals. He further states that leveraging technology enhances “the ability to do the targeting” when “prescriptive and automated” methods are used.

Organizations can’t achieve all of their goals, initiatives, and campaigns, even with all of the necessary data and fundraising tips. The prescriptive method looks at compiling donor data to direct the next actionable step of a fundraising strategy. Instead of getting overwhelmed pursuing a range of donors, focus on those who can make the biggest difference. 

A key component of the prescriptive method is the use of automation. Blake gives an example of how important automated reminders are in reaching and engaging donors:

“The system lets you know, ‘Hey, Raj did something with us.’ We know Raj is a good supporter; you should call him rather than wait for that monthly report. Having a system alert you, do automated messaging, and automatically score supporters, lets me know these are my best prospects and I know what I want to do with them.”

Even with the data, your ideal supporters may not be who you expect. They may be overlooked. Machine learning helps expand your search for these supporters. 

Blake gives an example of targeting the wrong donors: 

“Imagine your best supporters happened to be in their mid-50s. They have kids in college, and they have an interest in social reform. I want to look at finding look-alike audiences for prospecting.” 

Blake suggests asking, ”How do I find other people that look like them in terms of profile, interests, and wealth scoring? How do I find those people so that I can say, ‘Well, these are my best supporters?’”

Blake goes on to ask whether his system can identify and alert him of his ideal prospects. Additionally, he wants to know their engagement levels and how he can move them toward a higher ask. Blake suggests people in their 30s with no kids in college could prove to be a key demographic that should be looked at to identify and target top supporters.

Choosing The Best Campaign Strategy

Blake relies on what he calls the “five minutes from concept to completion” idea. He explains, “I should be able to create a new donation form specifically targeted to that campaign within five minutes.” He can pick a template, find the data, and push out the content using automation tools. 

Blake suggests easily putting together a donation form featuring smart asks. This technique allows the donor to easily click the form to generate a specific ask. 


 Having a “Day-to-Day” Strategy

The amount of technology and data can be overwhelming. When you analyze the data and present it in an actionable way, it becomes powerful and manageable. Blake states data is valuable but numbers aren’t as useful if they can’t be immediately acted upon. 

Some successful, actionable strategies are virtual galas and mini-galas. COVID has made these events necessary; ingenuity and adaptability have made them an effective fundraising tool. These smart engagement strategies allow virtual community-building around shared interests.

Only invite specific supporters. The small number of targeted invitees makes virtual mini-galas successful and cost-efficient. These online events focus on the invitees’ common interests, familiarity with the organization, and giving capacity.

Peer-to-peer initiatives are another actionable smart engagement strategy and fundraising tip. It embodies the “word of mouth” concept. Identify and target loyal supporters who will share your organization with their networks.

Data identifies ambassadors and machine learning streamlines donor communication and engagement processes. WealthEngine can gather, analyze, and incorporate data into your nonprofit marketing initiatives. For more information about how WealthEngine can help your organization optimize its fundraising potential, contact us for a free demo today.


Making the Most of Year-End Giving Trends

nonprofit fundraising ideas

While many businesses are closing out the final quarter and tying up loose ends, nonprofits tend to hit their stride at the end of the year. The last three months of each year are crucial for fundraising and year-end giving.

This period, known as giving season, typically drives millions of dollars to organizations. Understanding what motivates donors during this time will play a huge role in maximizing contributions during annual giving campaigns.

Creating an Actionable Plan for Year-End Campaigns

Chart explaining the percentage of nonprofits that begin year-end planning early in the season


About one third (31%) of annual giving occurs during December. On top of that, about 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year. With these statistics in mind, successful implementation of your donor strategy will help maximize year-end fundraising.

While December tends to see the most action in terms of donations, organizations must plan early and implement marketing strategy months in advance. Over half of all nonprofits begin planning in October.

Focus on building awareness and motivating donors during October and November. Use this momentum to convert donations in December. 

Successfully Target Potential and Current Donors

Key components of donor strategy include data about current and potential donors, donor segmentation, and targeted messaging for each group. WealthEngine’s next-generation prospect engagement platform, WE9,  includes We Clean technology to correct data inaccuracies, providing you with the most up-to-date information on your donors and potential donors.

The WE9 WE Screen feature offers valuable insights into donors, allowing you to understand each donor’s propensity to give (P2G). WE’s quality data analysis allows you to segment donors into groups based on income, ability to give, and shared personal interests. Armed with this detailed information, you can easily tailor your messaging to each group.

While planning is important, be prepared to adjust as necessary as the months go by. Don’t be afraid to switch up your segmented groups or rewrite your messaging to keep things relevant. 

Planning the Ask

Statistics show that most donors are active during December, but your ”ask” should come before then. 7.7% of organizations start asking in September, followed by 46.2% in November, and 30.8% in December. 

These numbers help organizations find the right time to reach out. Make appeals early to beat the rush of emails during the later months. If you are aware others will start asking in November, begin communicating with potential donors earlier to secure their contributions. 

Over one-fourth (28%) of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of annual funds from their year-end ask. The timing of these conversations is crucial for fundraising as much as possible. 

Maximizing Donor Potential

Understanding the P2G of each donor is important to make sure they are contributing as much as possible. WealthEngine provides information to help you understand the ability each of your prospects has to give. 

Tailor ask amounts based on different factors including the ability to give, interest level, and potential to become a recurring donor. Double down on mid-level donors during this time. If someone donated earlier in the year, make sure to reach out again and see if they are able to make another contribution. 

Find new ways to entice current donors while cultivating prospects. Participate in gift-matching during year-end giving and the annual giving campaign. Add to your offer, such as including exclusive perks, to increase donor interest. 

Let WealthEngine expand your insight with donor matching. WealthEngine’s platform has a 90% match rate when it comes to donor lists. Utilize this data to accurately target and segment potential donors during your year-end giving campaigns.

Communicating With Donors During Year-End Campaigns

Two-thirds of donors do little to no research before giving to an organization. This means your marketing strategy may be the only thing a donor hears before making the decision to give. Find ways to use this to your advantage, and target donors by helping them connect to your mission.

Using the Right Platform to Reach Your Audience

Email marketing and social media allow for constant communication with prospects and donors. Make sure your digital presence is accurately portraying the mission your organization is working toward. 

Targeted email messaging helps create organic connections between donors and nonprofits. By using donor segmentation with groups created by the insights WealthEngine provides, tailor each campaign to meet the donor’s interests.

Email generates $42 for every $1 spent. Your message is important in getting prospects to interact with your mission. Make sure your content is relevant, socially aware, and shares concrete examples of what your organization does. 

While digital campaigns are great, word-of-mouth plays a huge role for donors as well. Since many donors do not research organizations before giving, they rely on recommendations from friends and family.

Don’t neglect your direct mail campaigns. While technology has allowed for quick contact, 59.9% of nonprofits make 1-3 touches before receiving a year-end contribution. This means your campaign should integrate direct mail and email to maximize your reach. 

Target Active Donors


Make sure your current donors feel appreciated, and find ways to help them get more involved with your organization. Volunteers are twice as likely to donate compared to non-volunteers, and their opinions may help sway prospects. 

Provide visuals to break down how a donor’s contribution is being used. The California Symphony created an infographic to demonstrate exactly where donations were being spent. 

Donors like to see the difference they are making. It will motivate them to continue giving to your organization during the busy holiday season.

Remember Donor Stewardship During Annual Giving Campaigns

Avoid neglecting the basics of donor retention during year-end campaigns. The goal is to encourage donations during this time and create lasting relationships between the donor and your organization.

Donor stewardship remains a high priority year-round. In an increasingly digital world, personalization and human connection will help your organization stand out. Make sure to thank your donors as they make contributions.

Continue the communication by expressing gratitude once more after the year ends. Reach out via phone call or email to share how their donation has been used. While immediate contributions are exciting, donor retention is important for starting the new year off right. 


How to Use WealthEngine’s Donor Pyramid Modeler

Many executives responsible for fundraising often spend long weeks of painstaking spreadsheet analysis to create a donor pyramid, also known as a fundraising pyramid or gift table.

WealthEngine‘s donor pyramid modeler is the industry’s first machine-learning based platform that automates this arduous process to create accurate donor segments and formulate strategic fundraising plans.

Watch a quick 15-minute training video on how to use this WealthEngine feature, which provides several use cases to help segment donors quickly, populate major gift portfolios, and create a data-driven plan for 2021.

WealthEngine Product Update December 2020

December Product Update

In one of our most impactful releases of the year, the WealthEngine 9.5 release today lays the groundwork for a new and improved technology infrastructure resulting in better performance and a quick customization of new data sources.

New Security Requirement for Admins

We at WealthEngine take the security of your data seriously and constantly strive to improve the protections we offer. As noted in our September press release, MFA has been developed to enhance the security of our platform. With our latest 9.5 release this feature is turned on for our customer administrator accounts to comply with SOC2 security requirements and industry best practices.

Key Data Refreshes and Updates

We have updated more than 324K Executive and CEO job titles and added more than 20K Insider Stock Transaction records and 300K+ Charitable Donation records.

Collectively, we have added a total of 13,373,342 new organizations, updated a total of 17,683,714 existing organizations, and a total of roughly 6,961,698 existing organizations who’s total employees or sales/revenue has changed.

Locate Nonprofits, Foundations and Corporations

Search for foundations along with nonprofits and businesses and filter the results with location, NAICS codes, NTEE codes, number of employees, amount of assets, contributions or grants or search by key people.

Experience our newly redesigned results and profile features and easily segment creation of profiles and obtain additional details about each organization.

Cascading Search Flows and Expanded Input Fields

Introducing “advanced search” with additional fields for quality of match. Our open API now implements cascading search flow which uses name, address, email & phone to find the best match. Send up to three addresses, emails, and phones for matching. Search fields also include spouse name and gift giving details which allows the ability to define and include these additional input parameters for improved matching.

Improved Performance and Backend Technology

Experience improved performance with massive internal infrastructure improvements. Get additional data improvements and refinement over time.

Thanks for reading our monthly update. To get started with our newest features and access continuously refreshed data and latest insights about your donors and prospects, login to the platform today.

Euromoney Acquires WealthEngine

For the past several months, the WealthEngine leadership team has been working to secure the support required to help grow our business and provide our clients with an ever-improving platform and data.

As a result of these efforts, we are pleased to announce that WealthEngine has been acquired by the parent company of Wealth-X – Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, a global B2B information business, which provides essential discovery, market intelligence and events to global and specialist markets.

For years, Wealth-X and WealthEngine have operated in the same space, providing unique data-driven insights that empower organizations to effectively engage and do business with the world’s wealthiest individuals.

We have identified synergies in our respective datasets and product offerings that present a tremendous opportunity for our clients. WealthEngine and Wealth-X clients will not experience any disruptions or changes to their existing accounts – all existing subscriptions and account support teams will remain in place at this time.

As we join the Euromoney family, we will share regular updates on key initiatives that will provide our clients with an enhanced experience.

We are truly excited about the potential of this acquisition and look forward to unveiling superior wealth intelligence solutions that support and advance your organization’s goals.

Respectfully yours,
PV Boccasam

What We Learned From $100 Million in Software Sales to Nonprofits

Software Sales

Adam Tiberian, Senior Vice President of Sales at WealthEngine, recently spoke at the third annual WE Prosper Summit. Covering the topic of software sales to nonprofits, Adam was able to provide insightful takeaways gleaned from his six years of experience at WealthEngine.

Changes in Software Use Among Nonprofits

As the industry continues to evolve, fundraising for nonprofits has advanced. Phrases like artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis dominate the conversation, yet they were infrequently mentioned just five years ago. 

Analytics has become the driving force behind fundraising efforts. These changes call for a push in automation. Organizations must do more with fewer resources, which opens the door for software to shoulder some of these responsibilities.

The Evolution of Data Analysis

Line graph showing the evolution of data analysis



Tiberian describes the effect of automated analytics on companies like WealthEngine: “As you’re looking at analytics, the analytics has really changed the way organizations are looking at us and they’re using wealth data and wealth intelligence system across so much more than just the fundraising space, but throughout the whole fundraising organization, not just in major gifts. Those are probably the two biggest changes I’ve seen.”

WealthEngine’s technology has become more sophisticated over the years, including improved wealth screening and data analysis. With these features, WealthEngine gives its partners and fundraising organizations the ability to use software to perform data analytics. This information encourages targeted messaging based on propensity to give (P2G), mutual personal interests, and potential donor shares.

Using Personalized Data for Targeted Marketing

These innovations provide insight into who you should engage with, along with how to best engage. This information provides crucial pathways for successful targeted marketing campaigns. 

Nonprofits are able to start meaningful conversations with prospects to create connections over common interests.

Understanding Donors’ Propensity to Give

Personalized data, such as a wealth score, P2G, and donor segmentation, drives engagement to create lasting relationships with donors. Rather than simply knowing a prospect’s P2G, organizations can nurture these relationships through targeted marketing based on data analysis.

Understanding the P2G relies on a wealth score as well as having a clear idea of the donor or potential donor’s motivations for charitable giving. This information allows organizations to segment donor contact lists based on income, interests, and engagement patterns. 

WealthEngine’s Partnership with Salesforce

As stated previously, technology has undergone significant changes in the past five years. To keep up with an evolving industry, WealthEngine has stayed on top of software integrations.

For example, the partnership between WealthEngine and Salesforce means organizations don’t have to change platforms to access information. In keeping with the ‘less is more’ approach, this integration streamlines the process of receiving and using data.

  • Fundraising Initiatives During Unprecedented Times

Traditionally, fundraising plans were developed on an annual basis and implemented throughout the year. In the wake of continued uncertainty, organizations are now adjusting their strategies.

  • Planning in the Era of a 24/7 News Cycle

With constant access to content, things seem to be happening in a matter of seconds rather than over a period of days. This means quick access to updated data is crucial. Flexibility and timely reactions have become fundamentals in fundraising strategy.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Nonprofit Fundraising 

Infographic explaining uncertainty among nonprofits during COVID-19



Many organizations are seeing a decrease in donations during the pandemic. With economic uncertainty, donor fatigue is a huge challenge many nonprofits are being forced to confront. 

By using tactful, targeted messaging, and properly utilizing data, organizations like the CDC Foundation and Fidelity Charitable have reported high donation numbers despite the pandemic. While COVID-19 continues to disrupt business as usual, adapting marketing tactics and reaching the right prospects will play a crucial role in combating donor fatigue.

WealthEngine’s Latest Security Feature

WealthEngine recently rolled out a new security featuremulti-factor authentication. As Tiberian observes, “there’s a new data world out there…security is a major driver of how they move forward.”

The multi-factor authentication tool helps protect data on your phone by requiring an access code. This feature greatly reduces the risk of an unauthorized party gaining unlawful access to clients’ accounts.

Protecting Your Organization’s Data

Security is an ongoing conversation. With constant technological advancement, protecting data is necessary for any organization. 

Damage happens when data leaks. So, it’s always important for an organization to be prepared and for the software company to ensure information protection.

The Evolution of Fundraising Software

Several years ago, the WealthEngine platform was just a screen and search. This static piece of information contributed to fundraising planning every 2-3 years when organizations chose to run a screening.

Now, the technology has developed. Screening is simply the foundation of WE9

With a constant stream of content, information needs to be available instantaneously. Rather than capturing and reporting donors’ actions after they happen, WealthEngine can provide the data in a matter of moments.

For example, when a new user visits an organization’s website, WealthEngine’s software can screen and provide an immediate wealth rating. By running this captured information through analytics, WealthEngine is able to provide a full profile of the visitor.

The Importance of Match Rates

A match rate means the software has actually found the individual. From there, it is able to provide ratings, scores, and information about the person. WealthEngine has a 90% match rate compared to an average 60% match rate from its competitors. 

This is attributed to the 45 data points the software utilizes to identify online visitors. In a database of 1 million records, WealthEngine can identify 900,000 individuals, whereas a competitor may identify 600,000.

By providing an extra 30% of profiles, WealthEngine’s match rate helps organizations reach out more effectively to potential donors. Nonprofits can see profiles on all of these prospects, which helps formulate a plan to reach out and cultivate new relationships.

These numbers come into play when evaluating a donor’s potential as well. Rather than just alerting you that someone has shown interest in your organization, WealthEngine can help optimize donation amounts. Using data helps you know how much to ask for, and how frequently to reach out.