Grow Your Organization by Incorporating Disruption and Personalization

Data Driven Personalization

Disruption and personalization aren’t limited to retail industries. Nonprofits, higher education, and other organizations can reach more people with their mission by incorporating disruption and personalization into their fundraising models, too.

The key to making these traditionally consumer-based business techniques work for other organizations is to use them in conjunction with the right software. This guide discusses the types of business disruptions, how to build experiences using data driven personalization, the three essential elements of one-to-one personalization, and the software that makes it all work at scale. 

This guide is based on a presentation given by Bob Ghafouri, the Founder and Senior Managing Director at Accenture Bloom, a group that helps companies turn their existing assets into new revenue streams.

How Personalization Has Caused Disruption Across All Industries

Before the era of online shopping, an individual’s interaction with a brand was limited to the time they spent in a brick and mortar store or perusing a printed catalog. Advertisements on TV, radio, or in magazines were intended to appeal to a wide audience. Potential customers were exposed to few if any personalized experiences that could have increased the likelihood of a sale.

Online shopping and advertising have completely revolutionized this process. Now, companies can infer what products are the best fit for potential customers and present relevant advertisements to those prospects on any platform. Marketing is tailormade to the individual using curated merchandise choices based on their preferences and behaviors. 

On top of this, companies have revolutionized the ways they do business. These disruptive elements combined with personalization techniques allow relative newcomers to overtake entire industries and leave long-established businesses in the dust. 

3 Elements of Disruptive Businesses

There are three primary ways to disrupt an industry: through experience disruption, business model disruption, or technology innovation. Companies that have successfully disrupted their industry have mastered at least one of these elements.

    • Experience Disruption

Experience disruption occurs when you create a unique customer experience that causes consumers to pivot because the platform is so frictionless. 

AirBnB is a prime example of this type of disruption. With AirBnB’s website or app, you can instantly find a one-of-a-kind place to stay anywhere in the world. 

Source

Not only that, but AirBnB can help customers find curated experiences or monthly stays, all in a simple and pain-free platform. Customers have no need to supplement their travel experience with any other company. 

    • Business Model Disruption

New pricing models, product delivery methods, and different ways of allocating capital are all types of business model disruption.

Dollar Shave Club is well known for having a disruptive business model. Part of what made the company so disruptive was the simplicity of their idea. 

Dollar Shave Club's Disruptive Business Model

Source

They sidestepped traditional retailers and rethought pricing. Instead, customers pay a monthly subscription to have Dollar Shave Club razors and cream delivered to their door. 

    • Technology Innovation

Data and technology have reached new levels of democratization. That means you no longer need massive amounts of capital to get a product off the ground, rather, you can make use of technology ecosystems that are already there. 

“It makes it a lot easier for disruptors to get into an existing business or industry and quickly consume the most profitable elements of the profit pool,” Ghafouri noted during his presentation.

For instance, you could start a kombucha company today that could compete with Nestlé by building a business on top of Amazon’s Redshift platform. You could market through Instagram and Facebook, then source and create the product through on-demand manufacturers. 

Incorporating Disruptive Business Elements Into Fundraising

What do these disruptive business elements mean for nonprofits or organizations who are trying to raise funds? It basically boils down to how fast and easy it is for donors to give amounts and gift types that make sense for them. 

If your organization has an outdated website, is using buggy software, or doesn’t offer personalized giving options, then expect to miss out on a few new donors. That effect is compounded if a similar organization touts a more streamlined experience. 

“There is a set of experiences that consumers are expecting from you,” observes Ghafouri. “Whether you’re in nonprofit, banking, retail, or luxury, there are expectations around those experiences that come from other places.” For example, customers are, “expecting an Amazon, AirBnB, or Netflix experience on Nordstrom.com.”

Technology innovation is perhaps the most accessible disruptive business element available to organizations like universities or financial services who aren’t looking to reinvent the wheel in their industry. A prospect screening tool like WealthEngine not only makes it possible to comb through prospects at scale but also automatically updates their profiles with new data about their wealth and lifestyle. 

Prospecting Screening Tool Assists with Data Driven Personalization

WealthEngine then uses predictive lead scoring to hone in on prospects that are most likely to give to your organization. With this level of intelligence at your fingertips, you can simplify and automate the process of converting prospects into donors. 

How to Effectively Use Data to Drive Personalization

Companies gather a lot of data about customers. It’s a hot topic of conversation, and while that data collection gets a bad rap, it shouldn’t put you off from making use of it. 

In fact, Ghafouri asserts that 82% of customers are willing to share their data. The secret to that sort of buy-in is in how you collect and use their data.

    • Be Transparent 

Customers want to know what data you’re collecting and why. They also want to know that you value their data and will do whatever it takes to protect it from being compromised. Finally, it’s important for them to know that you won’t sell it to third parties. 

Aside from being the smart thing to do, it’s also the legal thing to do. If there’s even a chance that your customers or donors reside in the European Union, you’ll want to make sure you’re following all the guidelines in this GDPR checklist

    • Give Customers Control

Instead of predicting what customers want and sharing a potentially irrelevant offer or promotion with them, give customers the opportunity to share their intent data. Intent data basically states what things customers are interested in.

“I think the important thing here is that a lot of the customers or consumers out there want to control that journey that we create for them,” notes Ghafouri. “They want to provide input as they create that journey.” 

Dollar Shave Club puts this into action by immediately giving potential customers the opportunity to share their intent data. This invitation to take a quiz about what products a customer might like is displayed prominently on Dollar Shave Club’s homepage: 

Data Driven Personalization Displayed by the Dollar Shave Club

Source

The quiz asks questions like what body parts you shave, how often you shave, and if you have any problems, like skin sensitivities. With this information, Dollar Shave Club’s software can infer which products are best for you and create a personalized customer service experience.

    • Create Unique Experiences

Customers are looking for personalized customer service experiences that go across physical and digital spaces. If sharing their data gives them the ease and functionality they’re looking for, then they’ll be more willing to share it.

Nike+ is a connected fitness ecosystem that includes products and services like the Nike+ Training Club App, the Nike+ Running App, and Nike+ SportWatch GPS. Working together, these apps and products collect massive amounts of data about customers, but it’s all in service to their fitness.

Source 

This integrated ecosystem also helps customers seamlessly log and analyze workouts in realtime, which is essential for anyone who wants to improve as an athlete. 

    • Focus on the Four Rs 

The four Rs are to recognize who the customer is, remember them, and make relevant recommendations. If recommendations aren’t relevant, then the customer is going to feel wary about sharing their data. 

Ghafouri offers this anecdote on how jarring irrelevant recommendations can be: 

“If you go to MyFitnessPal, you get offers or promotions that have nothing to do with fitness. I got a travel offer for a Cancun vacation on the app. What they did is they sold my intent to a third party, then that third party advertised to me because I was searching on vacations to Cancun.”

This sort of personalized advertising can feel particularly invasive because it signals to customers that their behavior and activity around the web are being monitored, then the data sold to the highest bidder. 

3 Elements of One-to-One Personalization

Once you’ve gotten permission from customers or prospects to collect their data, you’re ready to put that data to work. These three elements of one-to-one personalization will help you create the unique and relevant experiences that your customers are looking for. 

    • Personalized Shopping

Personalized shopping is the products or services you recommend based on data you’ve gathered about an individual and the intent data they’ve shared with you indicating their preferences. 

A donor pyramid is an example of how personalized shopping might work for a nonprofit or organization. It breaks up donors into different types, with the majority likely being one-time donors and the fewest falling into the planned giving category. Using the right tool, you can target certain prospects with a request for the level of giving that’s best for them. 

WealthEngine’s Donor Pyramid Modeler can automatically determine the number of prospects you need for each level based on the amount you need to raise during a campaign. You can adjust the modeler with conversion rates and What-If analysis. The modeler then shows how much you can raise with current contacts, who you need to contact at each level, and how many new prospects you need to reach your fundraising goal. 

    • Personalized Merchandise

On its own, personalized shopping is limited, as it relies on significant customer profiling in order to make any inferences. Personalized merchandise takes it to the next level by looking at the small details and unique preferences that make up an individual. 

“Profiling isn’t personalization,” says Ghafouri. “Personalization is about that intimate human conversation you have, whether it’s digital or physical and with a consumer or donor.”

Automation can only take you so far. Many exchanges require a human touch and connection so that customers or donors can get exactly the experience they’re looking for. By communicating directly with a donor, you can learn about what issues or services are important to them and what giving options they may be open to that the screening software couldn’t determine on its own. 

    • Personalized Advisor

A personalized advisor is a moment of upselling or cross-selling to a customer or donor.

For example, if you were to order a latte through the Starbucks mobile app for pick-up, the app might also recommend a muffin to go with it.  

“I may want a bottle of water to take with me,” says Ghafouri, “and who knows, maybe I want lunch, packed, so I can buy lunch at breakfast. That’s a curated experience, a pure recommendation which is what you’re finding in a lot of the sites today.”

What should be avoided, notes Ghafouri, is recommending a product that would replace or compete with the original purchase. For example, you wouldn’t want to offer a chai tea after the customer indicates they’re interested in a latte. 

In Summary: Combine Elements of Disruption and Personalization to Create an Unstoppable Organization

Technology like WealthEngine’s prospecting software can help nonprofits and organizations create personalized experiences and disrupt their industry. However, technology alone isn’t enough. 

Don’t let real conversations with your donors or patrons fall to the wayside. These can be critical moments to unearth details about people that software alone can’t hone in on. 

Aside from that, your organization is likely in the business of helping people. What better way to do that than by directly asking donors how you can best be of service? 

The way to make more of those conversations happen is to use software that scales up your prospecting efforts. Get in touch for a free demo to see how WealthEngine makes it possible. 

Fundraising for Higher Education Institutions During COVID-19

Higher education

This guide covers the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the ability of fundraising for higher education institutions and offers donor strategies, tips, and tools to assist schools in fundraising in the current economic climate.

By mid-March, more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the United States canceled in-person classes in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The choice to close was made with student-safety in mind, although it risked the financial safety of the institutions who made it. 

Free Workbook

Data-Driven Major Gift Campaigns

The empty campuses, online classes, and canceled events that resulted have left colleges with huge financial deficits and no apparent way to significantly increase much-needed funds. Now is the time to fundraise, the question is: how? 

Financial Effect of COVID-19’s on Higher Education Institutions

The first hit higher education institutions took was having to return prorated refunds to students for expenses like dining and housing costs, which previously had been dependable income. That income will continue to be lost for institutions that decide to stay closed during the coming semester. 

Institutions who decide to open will continue to suffer from financial difficulties in regard to additional student expenseshaving to find and fund alternative housing options. Some universities are contracting with area hotels to spread out students, while others are forcing students to move from dorms to off-campus homes. Both of these strategies will result in housing expense shortfalls, with the former resulting in institutions paying more to house students, and the latter resulting in fewer students paying housing fees for higher education institutions. 

Further exacerbating the problem, due to the pandemic and subsequent recession, fewer students are interested in traditional four-year institutions at this time. A survey conducted by Arts & Science concluded that 1 in 6 high school seniors who were planning on attending a four-year college or institutions full-time this fall believe they will now take a different path. This decline in interest will inevitably lead to more lost expense-induced and tuition income. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, higher education institutions are also having to deal with finding a way to effectively fundraise in this unprecedented situation. A survey conducted by Washburn & McGoldrick estimated that 43% of higher-education fundraisers would be unable to meet their goals this year, denoting that a tried-and-true method has yet to be found. Between losing expenses, tuition, and fundraising money, higher education institutions are in an undeniably precarious financial position. 

Fundraising for Higher Education Institutions

There has not been an event like the COVID-19 pandemic in any of our lifetimes. 

Everything has changed, so fundraising strategies must adapt. Below are some tips and tools you can use to help your college or university make it through this crisis: 

    • Personalize Outreach to Donors

Prior to COVID-19, personalized outreach to donors was of utter importance. Now, it is a necessity. 

With an overwhelming number of worthy causes competing for donations, it is crucial that you communicate why your cause is equally important. The best way to make a compelling case is by being informed about what appeals to each individual donor, how much they can contribute, and other background information. 

That information is at your fingertips with WealthEngines’ comprehensive platform. With WealthEngine’s real-time intelligence you can automatically personalize a prospect’s online experience. 

WE Screen analyses donor profiles for you, segmenting them and providing wealth scores and ratings so you can easily find the right prospect to approach. This helps you identify who you should be targeting for fundraising campaigns, and how you should be targeting them. 

Specifically, WE Screen helps you create a donor pyramid with wealth modeling so that you can precisely and effectively segment and target donors. A donor pyramid categorizes prospects based on their engagement levels, mapping out paths for nonprofits to move them from lower levels of commitment to higher ones. 

Source

    • Alumni Fundraising Strategies: Appeal with Relatable and Immediate Projects 

An effective strategy for increasing donations now is emphasizing to donors how their contributions can help solve relatable and immediate problems within your institution and student body. Hot button projects at this moment are strengthening mental health programs on campuses, creating new programs for increasing student safety, and of course, financial aid. 

One of the biggest problems higher education institutions will face in the coming school year is providing financial aid to students. Higher education institutions have to juggle their financial needs with the financial needs of students who are personally suffering from the recession or whose families are struggling due to the recession. 

State aid to higher education institutions nose-dived during the Great Recession, and to this day, “except for a handful of states, spending per student in public colleges and universities, adjusted for inflation, remains far below pre-recession levels.” Adding to this burden is the likelihood that during and after coronavirus, the increase in financial aid costs will either rival or surpass the increases seen during and following the Great Recession.

In fundraising to provide financial support to students, schools should make a conscientious effort to demonstrate the impact of donors’ dollars, providing them with information about the students who have or will benefit from their financial support. In doing so, institutions will make donors feel more connected to the positive change they are making in student’s lives, increasing the likelihood they will continue to donate.

    • Appeal to Middle-Tier Donors 

Donations from mid-level donors are often overlooked in favor of trying to win over top-level donors. This is a mistake.  As a collective force, mid-level donors can be powerful. 

Experts believe that the trend of mega-gifts from top-level donors will decline because of the pandemic. This prediction is informed by past trends of big-time philanthropists contributing a lesser amount of large cash gifts to institutions during crises. 

However, experts predict that a surge of grassroots financial support from middle-tier donors is likely. Therefore, higher education institutions should direct their energy toward appealing to alumni for small gifts. 

An example of this occurred recently when Eastern Michigan raised 2 million from small donations, often totaling between $25-100 each, which it then turned around and handed out to graduates and freshmen. The institution gave  $600 to each graduate and $400 to each freshman in hopes of easing the financial burdens they were facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. By going for middle-tier donors, and setting a goal that would create measurable, relatable change, Eastern Michigan succeeded. 

To determine which middle-tier donors you should approach, use the WE Analyze tool. This predictive lead scoring and analysis platform uses one of the largest consumer data sets ever created to quickly give you deep insights into your donors. You can use that information to find middle-tier donors most likely to donate to your institution.

    • Stay Organized in the Chaos 

Every workplace has been shaken up by the chaos caused by COVID-19. The key is to prioritize organization so that you are fully capable of taking advantage of all tasks and opportunities that arise, especially fundraising options. 

A clean and accurate database will save your institution time and resources. You will never need to track down lost alumni or update records with an accurate email address, phone number, and other contact information. 

WealthEngine can provide you with that database, organizing your systems with real-time integration through its easy-to-use technology and strong partnerships with leading software providers. Spend less time organizing, let WealthEngine do it for you.

    • Create Online Fundraising Events 

The inability to hold on-campus events will definitely hurt higher education institutions. After all, a pillar of U.S. universities is the events that campuses hold for prospective students, current students, alumni, and community members. Higher education fundraising events are incredibly important to institutions. 

Higher education institutions receive the majority of their donations from two sources: online donations and in-person fundraising events. Losing one of those sources will inevitably lead to higher education institutions receiving less donation money. You can mitigate that loss with online events. 

Get creative, many organizations have been using platforms like Zoom to hold musical events, social events, and ceremonies in the absence of in-person gatherings. You can easily construct an invite list by using WealthEngine’s database. It contains over 90% of the US population, and you can choose from over 1,500+ attributes to construct the perfect, customizable list. 

    • Stay Updated on Donors 

Some of your donors may be thriving financially right now while others may have suffered considerable losses. It’s important to keep track of changes in the financial outlook of your donors. 

Using WealthEngine’s WealthScore feature, you can quickly identify prospective donors and predict their giving levels. WealthEngine’s extensive wealth screening analytics tools give you a solid understanding of who has the capacity and propensity to give. 

WealthEngine’s data is comprehensive and up-to-date, providing you with the necessary tools to keep your donor list up-to-date. 

Fundraising in the Future

Our present has been completely altered by the pandemic, so naturally, the future will be, too. What the future of fundraising will look like is still not completely clear, but below are some informed predictions from experts: 

    • Large Capital Gifts Will Be a Thing of the Past

Large capital gifts to fund campus building projects will likely be a thing of the past. Previously, some of the largest fundraising growth was in the capital project arena; however, it’s a hard-sell to collect donations for campus buildings on empty campuses. 

    • Funds Will Be Reallocated to Benefit Students 

The immediate growth in student financial need has led some higher education institutions to create initiatives that provide aid to students. Davidson College, UCLA, and Penn State are just a few of the higher-learning institutions that have recently rolled out initiatives to help students who are facing coronavirus-related hardships. 

This push to use donations to help students may be met with some reluctance from donors. A CASE study found that alumni donors prefer to donate to athletics rather than donating to financial aid. 

    • More Donations Toward STEM Programs 

Another fundraising priority schools should consider is raising money for technology upgrades so that they can improve their online learning capabilities. Most economic experts agree that trends toward donating to medical and scientific research and STEM initiatives will develop. 

Donor Responses

Due to the recession brought on by COVID-19, donors are limiting and freezing their donations and gifts. This is unsurprising when you take into account donor responses during the last recession

Paul N. Friga, a clinical associate professor at UNC found that general philanthropic donations in America in 2008 dropped 11.7% from 2007, a drop that was mirrored by a double-digit drop in donations to higher learning institutions. In 2009, UNC experienced a drop of $30 million in philanthropy, along with a significant drop in state support and endowment returns. This totaled out to equal 25% of the previous year’s operating revenue. 

This decrease in philanthropy, when higher education institutions have already taken a huge financial hit due to shutting down campuses, will be detrimental, forcing the closure of even more schools. In 2009, UNC dealt with the loss of income by raising tuition, but that doesn’t seem like an option in the current financial climate. The recession has led to families tightening their belts, an effect that puts expensive institutions at a disadvantage. 

Since 1988, colleges and universities have increased tuition by 213% and student debt is at an all-time high, equaling $1.53 trillion across the US. Because of the recession, and the already dramatic increase in tuition over the years, schools that raise tuition more to make up for losses due to COVID-19 will likely see a dramatic decrease in applications. One of the best options available to schools is to adjust fundraising strategies to try to mitigate losses. 

Looking for Assistance?

Try a free demo of WealthEngine today! WealthEngine’s experts will guide you through using the platform’s comprehensive software, showing you all the benefits it has to offer. WealthEngine consultants take a personalized approach to your fundraising endeavors, making sure you understand how to best apply WealthEngine’s full range of tools including Wealth Search, Wealth Screening, Trend Analysis, and numerous others to optimize your college or university’s fundraising campaign. 

 

 

8 High-Conversion Fundraising Tactics in the Wake of Coronavirus

Donor Pyramid

While everyone is contending with some level of financial uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this does not mean your fundraising efforts need to stop or even decrease. In fact, continued fundraising activities during this time are essential for ensuring you maintain a strong relationship with your donors.

However, one important element of fundraising has changed as a consequence of COVID-19the manner in which organizations need to go about identifying and reaching out to their donors. This guide details ways fundraising organizations are pivoting to continue their capital campaigns, explains the types of messages that are proving most effective at this time and outlines specific actions you can take to continue raising money. 

Read on or “jump” ahead to each section:

This guide is based on an interview between Rick Dunham, Chair of the Board at the Giving USA Foundation and the CEO of Dunham + Company, and Raj Khera, WealthEngine’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Listen to the webinar here

The Importance of Fundraising in the Time of Coronavirus

Given the global impact of the sudden economic downturn, it’s imperative that nonprofits continue fundraising in this difficult time. It is important to bear in mind that many nonprofits are founded based on mission statements declaring a commitment to increasing equity in fair treatment and opportunities for advancement among underserved sections of society.

The societal challenges members of these groups face are only exacerbated when a catastrophe like COVID-19 shakes the foundations of social and financial norms. As Dunham noted, “If your mission was relevant before all this hit, then it’s still relevant today.” 

In fact, the number of individuals in need of assistance can increase significantly. This has certainly proven true in the wake of COVID-19. As Khera observed, “We saw [recently] there were over six million people that had filed for unemployment. Our country is hurting…there’s a lot of need out there.” 

Donors also depend on consistent communication for assurances that the organizations they support are still functional and fulfilling their mission in times of crisis. If you go silent during a critical period for fear of being perceived as insensitive, it may end up damaging your relationship with your donors rather than helping it.

Dunham urges people to remember, “It’s not about the organization, it’s about what the organization is actually able to accomplish in the lives of people.”

8 High-Conversion Fundraising Tactics in the Time of Coronavirus 

The pandemic hasn’t put an end to fundraising. It’s only changed how fundraising is done. These tactics ensure that you’re appealing to and communicating with donors effectively.

1. Find Alternative Touch Points With Donors

Social distancing protocols and specifically, bans on public meetings in groups have disproportionately impacted religious-based nonprofits that now find themselves searching for alternative fundraising strategies. 

Dunham, whose company is a global leader in providing fully integrated marketing and fundraising strategies for nonprofits, offers the following suggestion: “Part of what I want to encourage churches to do is to consider a midweek eAppeal, that is more like an offering, if you would, that encourages people [and] reminds people of the ongoing work of the church.”

The same is true for museums and community organizations that primarily interact with people through face-to-face interactions. Just because your doors are closed to the public doesn’t mean that communications with them need to cease. You simply need to find a more appropriate method of interacting with them. 

2. Segment Donor Lists

Before sending a single email, segment your donor list using a donor pyramid. A donor pyramid can accurately identify which donors nonprofits should pursue at specific target amounts. 

Donor Pyramid

A behavioral trend has emerged where high-level donors are continuing to give but in smaller amounts, while mid-tier donors are increasing their gifts. Take advantage of this trend by targeting donors in these tiers with relevant messages and requests for donations.

WealthEngine recently unveiled the first artificial intelligence-based donor pyramid modeler in the industry. This advanced tool allows nonprofits to easily and quickly visualize how major fundraising endeavors should be broken down among giving tiers. 

With this tool, you can automatically segment your existing donors so you know who to target for planned giving, major gifts, mid-level gifts, and more. You can also easily see how many prospects you need to meet your goals. WealthEngine then works to find those prospects for you. 

Khera detailed how the donor pyramid modeler works by giving a hypothetical fundraising goal and explaining how you can use this new tool to create an accurate visualization of how close you are to meeting your fundraising objective: “Let’s say you want to raise a million dollars. All you do is type that in and our pyramid will actually help figure out how many gifts you need for each tier. You can change the thresholds for each tier…and it’ll recalculate everything for you, including your conversion ratios of how many people you need to meet, and how many you would close.”

3. Identify Donors Most Capable of Giving

It doesn’t make sense to reach out to a particular donor if their financial situation has drastically changed and they’re no longer capable of making their usual gift. Instead, use data analytics to focus your fundraising efforts on those who have experienced less of an impact.

WealthEngine’s WE Data tool enables organizations to quickly identify those individuals most capable of giving.

WealthEngine Profile

The We Data feature analyzes information from 60 sources, 300 million profiles, and 122 million households, and then offers insight into a prospect’s net worth, income, assets, history of giving, and more. With that kind of detailed data at your fingertips, you can easily find donors capable of supporting your mission, even at times of challenging circumstances on a global scale.

4. Be Authentic With Email Marketing

The subject line of your email campaign is the first thing donors see, so make it count. Aim to strike a balance between being sensitive to donors’ current situations and leaving the door open for them to continue participating in your mission.

Dunham shared the experience of one of his clients who supplemented its fundraising efforts with an email campaign that began with a simple yet impactful subject line: “How are you doing?”

Dunham explains this subject line was so effective “because . . . it immediately let the donor know how much and how important that donor was to that particular organization.” 

The body of your email should be equally engaging. In the case of Dunham’s client, the body of the email began with, “How are you doing in light of all that’s going on right now? We’re concerned about how you’re doing.” The message also addressed the health of the organization, its plans for moving forward, and expressed gratitude for the ongoing support it had received. 

This lone email blast generated $50,000 in donations. While certainly an impressive return, Dunham was quick to point out that this example of successful email marketing is not an isolated outcome: “For the month of March itself, that would be the last three to four weeks, we’ve seen a 26% increase year-over-year in revenue, but it’s because they’re actively engaging.”

5. Be Honest About Your Need

This is no time for organizations to hold information back from donors: If your nonprofit is genuinely struggling, do not attempt to downplay the stark reality. Efforts to downplay financial distress could negatively impact the carefully cultivated relationship between a nonprofit and its donors. Dunham emphasizes the importance of maintaining a relationship built on trust by asserting, “Nothing could be more distressing to a supporter, somebody who has invested in you, [than] to find out that you were in trouble and you never said anything about it.”  

Dunham advises struggling organizations to issue “a very clear request for funding” detailing why money is urgently needed. 

One of Dunham’s clients was an organization that could only sustain itself for approximately 18 days before operations would be forced to close. The solution was a quickly assembled multi-channel campaign that honestly addressed the situation, clearly stating the urgent need for funding. The ensuing donations allowed the organization to survive.

Dunham asserts, “Without being vulnerable and communicating the severity of their situation, this company could have potentially ended up closing their doors.” 

Smile FM, a Christian radio network based in Michigan, is another organization that saw similar success using the same tactic. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the station averaged a loss of three ongoing givers per month. When the pandemic hit, they began losing roughly three ongoing givers per day.

In response, the organization crafted an honest, compassionate email and sent it to 2,557 people, generating 25 donations within the first hour. Less than 24 hours later, the station had received 68 gift pledges, totaling nearly $20,000. Aside from on-air pledge drives, no fundraising initiative in the station’s history had ever generated such a generous response in such a short amount of time.  

6. Match Messaging to Donor Demographics

In addition to being authentic and honest, the messages you craft and their delivery system should be relevant to the demographics of your donors.

WE Analyze, a tool by WealthEngine, gives organizations an in-depth look at donor demographics so they can create messaging that matches the personas of their supporters.

Demographic Dashboards

For example, if your donors tend to be older, a fundraiser driven by direct mail is likely going to be more effective than one through an Instagram campaign or Facebook ads. 

Of course, there’s some messaging that you can land on without needing a demographics analysis tool. A faith-based organization such as a church, for instance, should tailor the content of their emails to reflect how they would engage with their congregants in person.

Dunham noted, “We’ve seen a tremendous response to a message around ‘How can we pray for you?’ For the faith-based organizations, there’s been tremendous engagement around that.”

This message works because it’s the same approach a person would take if they were comforting one of their faith-based peers in a face-to-face encounter.

7. Offer Gift Matching

Gift matching, a process in which a high-value donor or sponsor matches lower-value donations, is another powerful fundraising strategy. This approach may include a traditional gift-matching program or be implemented as a challenge, in which a larger donation will be made if a certain threshold is met through the combined efforts of several small and mid-level donations. 

Dunham maintains that the “true match” approach is the stronger of the two gift matching fundraising initiatives. Explaining his preference for a true match gift challenge, Dunham argues that true match has more of an impact, “especially if there’s some sort of a time frame on it, that if you run the potential of losing a portion of the match, and the donor’s intent is to get people to really be engaged” this approach can be very effective in getting people to commit to giving. 

The doubling effect of a person’s gift is also a powerful tool. If a donor realizes meeting a certain gift threshold will result in their donation being doubled—increasing the impact for the organization—their incentive to give is increased. 

For these types of programs to be efficient, it is vital that fundraisers have a firm grasp on the capacity for giving among their potential donors. This information allows nonprofits to set realistic fundraising goals. 

We Analyze assists organizations by monitoring and tracking donor giving history. This gives organizations a more accurate prediction of how gift-matching initiatives will perform.

8. Host Virtual VIP Events

Virtual tours and online performances help organizations remind supporters that they’re still offering value to the community and that their societal impact, as well as their financial needs, continue even as the nation works to emerge from “stay in place” restrictions.

However, interest in virtual tours has tapered off as the pandemic has progressed, so organizations need to get creative about differentiating themselves. Virtual events like webinars, live music, speaking engagements, or other distinctive experiences are still seeing success.

Virtual events have proven to be effective tools for cross-promotion and working cross-functionally with other organizations with whom you have established relationships, enabling you to expand your reach to a wider audience. Virtual events also offer ample lead time in promotion and can be used in conjunction with email messaging.

Before scheduling an event, organizations should consider how their donor audience will react to the offering. Ask yourself whether featuring the content online makes sense or if it feels forced; proceed with the event only if you feel that what you’re offering will truly appeal to your core audience.

Key Takeaway: Intentional Messaging Fuels Fundraising in the Time of Coronavirus

Although the pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, nonprofit organizations remain committed to their founding mission statements. Now more than ever, certain sectors of society depend on the assistance offered by nonprofits, making fundraising and garnering continued financial support for these organizations increasingly essential.

Organizations must pivot their messaging and delivery systems to show donors the importance of continuing to support them. Being honest about your needs, staying true to your mission, and being careful about how you construct messaging and virtual offerings are all essential for fundraising in uncertain times.

To learn more about the full assortment of tools included in the WealthEngine platform that elevates fundraising initiatives in uncertain times, sign up for a WealthEngine demo today.

Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Retail banking image

Market Potential Reports

Retail banking, also known as consumer banking, offers financial services to the general public. Typical services offered by retail banks include checking and savings accounts, personal loans, credit card access, and mortgage loans. 

This guide covers definitions of retail banking and customer segmentation and a discussion exploring common types of retail banking customer segmentation, how data analytics are used in customer segmentation and the benefits of segmentation.

Additionally, WealthEngine has created Market Potential Reports to provide a deeper understanding of opportunities to reach population segments based on estimated net worth, cash on hand, investible assets, business ownership, giving capacity and history, interests and passions, and propensity to invest, spend, and donate, and much more to determine market size, segments to target, and go-to-market strategies. Download the report by selecting the “Download Report” button below.

What Does Customer Segmentation Look Like in Retail Banking?

Retail banking services are commonly provided by financial institutions at physical locations, or branches, where customers can manage their money and speak in-person with a banking agent regarding other financial services or products offered. 

Most services can be provided at ATMs or through mobile banking platforms, which in recent years have gained substantial traction. Since these institutions have a broad customer base, banks often group their customers into categories based on similar traits, a process known as customer segmentation

Customers that make up a retail bank’s user base can vary widely by numerous factors including age, gender, income, lifestyle, etc. Banks can segment their customers into lists dividing their consumers into groups based on certain key characteristics and take actions that better align with each segment. 

Obtaining and acting on customer data through the lens of segmentation can have a massive impact on marketing and sales, retention efforts, customer service, and more. 

Carefully analyzing such a high volume of customer data can be daunting. By using tools and software like WE Analyze, retail banks can easily capture data such as spending habits, frequency, and capacity, and then use this information to identify the most appropriate time to make a loan offer. In turn, this targeted action improves the likelihood of retail banks earning increased revenue through customer loans.

A bank’s customer segmentation approach can vary widely and must be based upon the organization’s business model and priorities. Segments can be quantitative, such as by age and gender, or they can be qualitative, such as separation by values and interests.

Maximum value is obtained when banks merge both types of data to better understand the wants and needs of their customer segments, allowing them to offer the right product or service at the right time.

 

Source 

Common Types of Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

There are numerous ways to segment customers. Traditionally, segments are demographic, geographic, or product based. With basic demographic and geographic information, a retail bank can tailor its marketing efforts so they are personalized to meet consumer demand. 

Here are some of the more traditional segmentation categories retail banks may consider:

  1. Location: Marketing efforts geared toward specific geographic areas.
  2. Gender: Beneficial when promoting male and female-specific products online.
  3. Age: Improve age-based predictions about customers. For instance, millennials are more responsive to digital marketing strategies, with most having an email account dedicated to promotional content and over 95% of them subscribing to email lists after “liking” a company’s Facebook page, whereas baby boomers tend to be more financially stable and have higher brand loyalty.
  4. Wealth models are helpful because they convert certain qualitative attributes into qualitative scores. Wealth modeling enables banks to know where to focus their acquisition and marketing efforts to target customers who yield the highest return on investment.

Once this information is gathered, banks refine these segments by analyzing the spending habits and capacity of their customers to increase revenue by knowing which product or service should be offered and when. In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on segments that incorporate customer spending behavior or interests, often getting quite granular with the variables, as there are many factors that impact a customer’s willingness to spend. 

Source

Sample Retail Banking Segments

Once a bank is able to categorize and understand the customer they are working with, they can use software to learn how to best assist them. These are three examples of retail banking segments and how they might be approached for relevant services and marketing:

    • A family living in the suburbs with two children under age six in a house less than 1200 sq ft, who have a net worth over $500k. This segment could be attractive to candidates looking for home loans to move into a bigger house.
    • An existing customer who has only a car loan for $30,000 with your bank, but is also a business owner. This segment can be approached for business banking, line of credit, or equipment loan/leasing.
    • An existing customer who has less than $50k in your accounts but who has also been flagged as an accredited investor. This segment could be open to your private banking or wealth management services.
    • An existing customer who has a net worth of over $500k and a child, aged 17, who has a debit card with your bank. This segment can be tapped for showing how to help their child build credit using a secured credit card. This works the same way as a debit card, (that their parents might be willing to fund), but their usage and payoff history is reported to the credit agencies to help start building a credit history.

For banks looking to get the most out of their segmentation, knowing how to use wealth and lifestyle information to target the right audience with the correct services is key to retaining customers, and predicting their needs.

How Data Analytics is Used in Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Once retail banks begin collecting and screening key data from their user base, analytics can be used to turn customer data into actionable insights for each of their consumer segments. As previously stated, data analytics are most commonly used in retail banking customer segmentation to identify common traits or characteristics among customers to personalize service or product offers. 

Marketing software helps companies fill in the gaps in their customer database by using data enrichment, data cleansing, secure delivery and real-time updates to maintain high-quality data. Automation offers increased efficiency in comparison to resources lost when spent manually maintaining and updating databases, allowing more time to be allocated toward building stronger relationships with each customer segment.

 

Wealth screening through WE Screen uses proprietary wealth scores and ratings and merges them with current customer data, enabling companies to know more about consumers’ interests, political affiliations, net worth, and capacity to spend. These insights can be applied to segments to create a variety of initiatives such as reducing churn rates, improving satisfaction, and more. 

With WE Screen, banks can gather analytics on customers from their lifestyle segment using affinity scores applied to their data. 

Using a Look-alike Model

Using segmentation and affinity scores, banks can rank consumers by variables such as net worth or cash on hand to identify their most (and least) valuable customer segments, allowing them to concentrate special marketing efforts directly to their top consumers. 

Creating a look-alike model for these customers takes this application of data analytics further, allowing banks to target prospect segments they know will yield a higher profit. Look-alike modeling allows banks to gather and identify common traits from a certain customer segment and find new prospects who match those same criteria. 

Banks can use this information to create personalized messaging for potential customers who resonate with them from the very first interaction based on the segment(s) they fall into. This often increases conversions and builds stronger relationships with consumers.

Retail banks can use other basic consumer information to more quickly identify trends among customer segments and use it to further personalize interactions. Some of these data points include:

    • Acquisition source: Noting where a new consumer was acquired. This helps track where new customers are coming from, enabling banks to capitalize on those channels.
    • Initial spending: Banks can identify the first purchase a new consumer makes, helping them to make better predictions about customers’ future needs and purchases. 
    • Device usage: This enables banks to understand which devices customers use for various services, clarifying what actions can optimize those interactions and engagements.

Because there are so many pieces of customer data that can be analyzed, data mining is becoming increasingly popular for larger financial institutions. Banks use data mining to apply extensive analytics to current data and to spot trends that may not otherwise stand out. 

For instance, a bank can use data mining analytics to discover the top 5 attributes shared by customers with the highest lifetime value (LTV). Knowing those key characteristics, banks can concentrate their marketing efforts by creating personalized campaigns targeting high-value customers. 

Data analytics performed on customer segments can also be used to create more efficient predictive models for retail banks. When machine learning is integrated, it can use these models to create a smoother customer experience by better forecasting what customers need and when. 

Source

Machine Learning

Machine learning is gaining traction and is predicted to have a positive impact on nearly all aspects of larger technology-driven organizations, with 57% of technology professionals expecting machine learning to contribute toward improved customer experience.

Benefits of Retail Banking Customer Segmentation

Through a solid understanding of their customer segments, retail banks can personalize consumer experiences and quickly form genuine relationships with new and existing customers. Improving these efforts leads to reduced costs and increased revenue. A list of common benefits derived from customer segmentation follows: 

    • Lower Acquisition Costs

Through customer segmentation, banks can deploy more personalized initiatives that increase the likelihood of prospects becoming customers. Banks can also generate specialized efforts toward segments that yield the highest profitability. One way this can be achieved is by using a look-alike model

    • Increased Sales

By knowing customer interests, habits, and desires, banks can offer customers exactly what they are looking for when they need it the most, leading to increased revenue. 

    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) prediction 

CLV helps banks identify their most valuable customer segments so they can focus on acquiring customers who generate the most revenue over time.

    • Decreased Churn

Creating a personalized experience for retail customer segments increases customer satisfaction, often leading to increased customer retention and brand loyalty, decreasing churn rate.

    • Improved Marketing Campaigns

Using customer segments, retail banks can determine the best way to attract new customers, build brand loyalty, and promote specific products. Having a better understanding of the target segments will lead to increased conversion rates

Customer segmentation makes marketing, product development, and even customer service more effective by helping retail banks gain further insight into specific groupings within their customer base. 

To begin segmenting your customer list, visit WealthEngine today to see all of the powerful tools our platform offers to help organizations turn data into action. 

How to Create a Donor Pyramid to Raise More for Your Capital Campaign

donor pyramid

Are you starting a capital campaign? Then, missing this step could send your campaign down a rocky road. This important step is building a donor pyramid.  These structures also referred to as fundraising pyramids, are an accurate way to prioritize development efforts.

Yet, not all pyramids are created equal. Read on to see how to build one that will boost your campaign and help you exceed your goals.

What is a donor pyramid?

A fundraising pyramid is a visual that categorizes prospects by their engagement level. Further, it provides nonprofits a path to move donors from lower levels of giving to greater commitment.

fundraising pyramid

While some donors will move from one -time donations to planned giving, not everyone has the same journey.  For instance, mid-level donors are generally a reliable segment. They need a strategy that is tailored to them and they shouldn’t always be pushed up the giving ladder. However, there are still hidden gems in your donor base who can be nurtured all the way to the top of the pyramid.

Donor Pyramid Modeler

A donor pyramid, also known as a gift pyramid and as a gift table when presented in table format, gives you a clear understanding of how much you can raise. When created manually, producing a donor pyramid can be time-consuming since you have to take into account numerous data points. These include an individual’s capacity, propensity and intent to give.

WealthEngine has created the industry’s first AI-based donor pyramid modeler to empower all nonprofits, small and large, to generate a donor pyramid in minutes. This 2-minute video shows how it works:

Simply enter the amount you want to raise and you will automatically see how many prospects you need for each fundraising tier. Use built-in thresholds and conversion rates, or make adjustments using our What-If analysis. Then, instantly see how much you can raise with your current contacts, identify who to talk to in each tier, and know how many new prospects you need.

WealthEngine does all of the segmentation math and analysis for you in minutes to identify wealth strata and propensity.

Try the Donor Pyramid Modeler → 

 

When you are ready to find new prospects, use WealthEngine’s powerful prospecting tool to identify ideal opportunities and import them directly into your CRM/DMS like Salesforce.

Why Donor Pyramids can Make or Break Your Capital Campaign

A fundraising pyramid helps you focus your campaign dollars to the right set of prospects. When you build a data-driven pyramid, your data will automatically reveal patterns that you can use to build your campaign.

Starting a campaign that is aimed at a random sampling (or the entirety) of your database will dilute your ROI. When your entire base receives a generic message from your nonprofit, the number of people who will engage will naturally be low.

Even if you’re in the middle of a capital campaign and you realize that you’re not seeing results, a donor pyramid can help revive it. All you have to do is segment your base and prioritize those prospects who have the propensity, capacity, and intent to give.

How to Create a Data-Driven Fundraising Pyramid

Wealth screening is the first step. Screening data gives you a holistic picture of who your prospects are. In other words, you can understand your prospects’ wealth, lifestyle, interests, and affinities.  This means you now know their potential not only in terms of capacity to give but also interest and intent.

By learning more about who they are, you can really speak their language. For example, United Way of Greater Saint Louis says,

“We really like the level of granularity we can get in the data, understanding details, such as propensity to give and giving capacities helps to fill in gaps in the profiles….Finally, learning about a prospect’s interests can help us better shape the conversation to customize our asks. We are a lot more cautious about the ask now that we have more intelligence…”

Therefore, screening helps you segment your prospects into different rungs of your donor pyramid. Those with the highest capacity and engagement (for instance, those with high P2G scores) are candidates for major gifts or planned giving. Similarly, those with lower capacities but high engagement are well suited for mid-level or recurring donations.

Interested in learning more about creating data-driven campaigns? Download our Data-Driven Major Gifts Campaign Workbook!

Using Modeling to Enhance Your Donor Pyramid

Wealth Screening is the first step, which means that a wealth model can drive your capital campaigns much further.

Screening can give you a broader view of your donor base. Modeling can actually help you predict the outcome of your campaign. For example, WealthEngine’s Gift Pyramid Model can automatically build a pyramid and predict campaign success.

In that sense, modeling is predictive based on custom insights that are deep and actionable. The model builds a specific formula for your organization’s donor base. The model generates a score against which you can compare your prospects. By doing this, the model automatically splits your list into 10 equal deciles. The top decile will represent the top 10% of prospects for your campaign. The top two represent the top 20% and so on.

Going from Fundraising Pyramid to Campaign: Practical Implementation

Predictability allows you to improve your goal-setting. With your targeted campaign, you can not only set ambitious goals but also exceed them. Follow these steps after creating your data-driven donor pyramid:

1. Segment and target those donors who are apt for your campaign. Annual fund campaigns, for instance, can focus on prospects who have the highest inclination and capacity for this type of gift.

2. Evaluate your deciles to see which ones will be most effective for your campaign.

3. Set your budget based on the number of deciles you would like to include, or include deciles based on your campaign budget.

4. You can go down the list of deciles until you meet and exceed your campaign goals.

Breathe New Life into Your Capital Campaign

WealthEngine’s modeling removes the guesswork and puts you in control of your campaign, budget, and ROI. Book a demo today to learn more!

Request Demo

Related Reading

Capital Campaigns: Fundraising Strategy for Nonprofits

What to Do When You Inherit a Fundraising Campaign

What Organizations Can Do Amidst COVID-19 and an Economic Downturn

This is an unprecedented time in modern history. With markets falling dramatically and lock downs and social distancing affecting the country, the full economic impact of COVID-19 remains uncertain. It is no longer business as usual. In the 2008 recession, organizations that focused on their return on invested capital came out ahead. Those who retreated faltered.

What can you do right now to minimize the risk of your 2020 goals slipping?

The answer starts with getting back to the basics: know your donor, know your customer.

Follow this proven 3-point strategy to keep your momentum in the midst of economic instability and uncertainty due to the coronavirus, COVID-19.

Managing in Uncertainty?

Read our guide to learn key strategies to protect and grow your organization amidst economic instability.

1. Engage with Your Community, Focus on Impact

Historically, during economic downturns, organizations that use this time to create stronger relationships come out ahead.

Being there for donors and customers gets you closer to them. The more you do for your community, the more goodwill you generate. This builds your brand and tightens your relationship with your audience.

To connect with your audience, share stories about the impact you are making on others during this difficult time. You will get attention by touching people’s hearts.

Luxury Brands

LVMH, home to brands such as Louis Vuitton and Fendi, is manufacturing hand sanitizers in their factories that normally produce perfume.  The goal is to help address the dramatic shortage of hand sanitizer, especially in hospitals that so desperately need it. By showing their commitment to a larger cause, they are reinforcing their brand. They have already received a sizable amount of free publicity for their efforts.

Financial Institutions

Banks are offering very low or no interest loans and short-term lines of credit to small businesses. WaFd in Seattle, an area hit very hard, is offering a $200,000 business line of credit for 90 days and is fast-tracking loans up to $30,000 for small firms that saw a 10% or more drop in cash flow due to the coronavirus. They are standing by their community and have prepared $100 million for these loans.

Charities

Just about every type of organization can have an impact. Celebrity chef José Andrés closed his restaurants and set up community kitchens to offer packaged lunches to those who aren’t able to get meals. As the founder of World Central Kitchen, his organization provides relief during natural disasters. While he loses money providing free meals, his attitude and approach is to pay it forward.

Travel and Hospitality

Several colleges have shutdown, leaving students with little time to move out and return home. One student got to curb side check-in at the airport only to find that her bag was overweight. She had packed her text books and other heavy items. Rather than charge $75 overweight baggage fee, the Southwest  Airlines rep asked if she was a college student returning home due to COVID-19. Exasperated, she said “yes!” The airline’s rep immediately waived the extra charge so the student could get home without added stress.

The student’s mother shared this heartwarming story on social media. While Southwest isn’t a luxury brand, the student and her mom (and many of her social media friends) now have a stronger relationship with the company. The airline rep’s gesture generated far more goodwill than $75 of advertising could buy.

Knowing what your customer needs right now will score points that will create a stronger relationship going forward. It will also help you increase your return in invested capital.

2. Stay Top of Mind, Don’t Retreat

With the Dow Jones losing so much of its value in a week, even wealthy consumers will feel (and likely be) less rich than they were a month ago. They may postpone previously scheduled meetings that you set up. Some might say that they are not in a position to do any business with you due to significant losses in the stock market. Others could hold back on financial commitments till they see a rainbow after the storm passes.

Staying top of mind is a critical element in maintaining momentum during an economic downturn. Those who retreat will lose market share.

While your first instinct may be to reduce your investments, retreating from activity can make your situation worse.  John Quelch’s Harvard Business Review article on How to Market During a Recession stresses that organizations should maintain their marketing efforts during a downturn. Again, it’s not business as usual. How you approach your prospects to build bonds will influence their lifetime value with your organization.

This blueprint works regardless of your type of organization. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recommends a very similar strategy for charities to connect with donors in a looming recession.

Now is the time to reach out with a personalized message.

Your outreach will be different for everyone so knowing what makes your prospects, donors and clients tick is critical. You can use your WealthEngine account to find insights to personalize your approach to donors, customers and prospects. Learn what types of causes they donate to, who their connections are, and other intelligence to prepare your conversation.

3. Strategize for a High Return on Invested Capital (ROIC)

In a tighter market for dollars, your competitors include everyone pursuing the wealthy client’s cherished bank account. This includes nonprofits vying for their cause, banks claiming they can manage wealth better, and luxury brands who offer unique lifestyles and experiences.

The stocks deemed as winners in the 2008-2009 recession had one thing in common. All of them had a high return on invested capital (ROIC) that outperformed their peers. The Financial Times reports that organizations who prioritized ROIC generated 15-20% growth whereas those who retreated lost 15% or more.

History will repeat itself. Inaction now will hurt your organization in 2020. Optimizing your invested capital can make or break your year.

The key to success is to make your outreach as efficient as possible. That’s why getting back to the basics, knowing your donor or customer, is so important. Wealth and lifestyle insights about your audience empowers you to craft your message in ways that your competitors won’t.

Small Gestures Build Big Bridges

The country’s lock down is preventing in-person meetings. Many organizations are scrambling to move online to conduct business. Their staff is simultaneously dealing with children who are now at home due to school closures. If you know a top prospect has children under age 18, something you can find instantly using WealthEngine, you know they are likely struggling with schools being shut down temporarily. Send them a link to kids activities. It can help them stay occupied while the whole family is self-quarantined.

Use wealth and lifestyle data to increase your return on invested capital. It can help you come out of our current economic downturn better positioned for growth than others who are competing for the same dollar. You want to show that you care now, not later when things are rosy.

Markets abruptly tanked, leaving many people nervous. Some people will be reluctant to commit immediately. This is precisely why you need to know who your best targets are.  They can withstand market fluctuations better than others.

We will eventually get out of this economic situation and you want to be as well-positioned as possible.

In every downturn, those who invest in getting closer to clients come out ahead.

New to WealthEngine? Maybe we can help →

Storytelling for Fundraising: Engaging Donors to Boost Year-End Fundraising

storytelling for fundraising

Over a quarter of nonprofits studied by NonProfit Hub reported that 26-50% of their fundraising success can be attributed to year-end giving. Before you start planning your year-end fundraising campaign in early fall and begin executing year-end asks in November, now is the time to begin mapping out how to approach your year-end activities. Several organizations struggle with understanding the right way to communicate their year-end ask. Once you have identified your donor or prospect list with the highest potential, it is important to communicate with them effectively. By leveraging storytelling for fundraising, you can find effective ways to galvanize your donors into giving.

Most nonprofits send two touches at the most during this season in order to avoid overwhelming their prospects. While this frequency may be enough to get their attention, you have to ensure that your message does not get lost in the clutter. So, by employing storytelling for fundraising tactics, you can more effectively get your message across and cut through the clutter. Let’s explore why and how nonprofit storytelling can boost your efforts.

Why Storytelling for Fundraising is Effective for Year-End Communication

1. Ethos

It all comes down to logic vs. emotion. An emotional appeal is more likely to be memorable. Prospects are surrounded by logic and it is easy for them to rationalize their way out of making a year-end contribution. Evoking an emotion makes them feel more compelled to make a difference to the community or animals being affected.

A story also has the power to humanize your cause. Stories about animal rescue, preservation, or community upliftment have the ability to generate empathy in your prospects. They can find themselves relating to your story, making your year-end ask much stronger.

3. Narrative Form

A story has dips and curves, a before and an after making it gripping for its readers or listeners. If you have a strong opening, you are more likely to keep your prospect engaged during your communication.

4. Imagery

Words can create strong mental images, better yet they can be supported by actual images of the cause. Images make for a more visual appeal and visuals make messages more memorable, therefore creating a lasting impact.

Now that we understand the ‘whys’ of storytelling for fundraising, we need to understand the ways in which we can ensure that your communication makes the lasting impact that can resonate with a donor even after he or she has engaged with your message.

How to Optimize Storytelling to Boost your Year-End Fundraising

People tend to be more emotional around the holidays. This means that they are also more likely to feel generous during this season. The following ways will help ensure that your communication appeals to their spirit of generosity in the right manner.

1. Showcase Communities Being Influenced By Your Work

First and foremost, focus on the communities impacted. If your sustainability efforts have impacted the health of a particular community, if your organization has provided a platform or voice for a marginalized group of people, or if your impact has changed the lives of animals for the better; tell the story from their perspective.

2. Unearth Testimonials from Community Members

Take narratives from impacted communities to the next level by including actual testimonials from community members. Tell their stories in a way that showcases their lives before and after the impact of donations. Testimonials can add to the authenticity of your message. Using video can be especially powerful here as it can increase the level of engagement with the storyteller.

3. Bring Attention to Ongoing Projects

Even if you have projects that are still in process, share this with your prospects. Show them how far you have come, how much of a difference you have made. Include them in your plans, this is a great way to make an appeal. This provides a platform for you to show your prospects how their donations can help you get closer to your goal. Work in progress can create a sense of urgency in your prospects, especially when you tie your goals to end-of-year deadlines.

4. Highlight the Real Heroes of Your Stories—Your Donors

Telling the story from the perspective of impacted communities can be very strong. However, another technique for year-end asks is making your prospect the hero of the story. This can be used to show past donors the impact of their contributions and the potential difference that a future donation could make. So, showcasing them as a central figure can prove to be inspirational. Donors gain great satisfaction from acknowledgment, this can be heightened during the holiday season, making them a hero and acknowledging their impact can help crystallize your message in an extremely effective way.

Galvanizing Donors through Personalized Outreach

Uncover more about the power of personalized storytelling from Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Jay Scott—a featured keynote speaker at the 2019 WE Prosper Summit.

 

We hope these reasons for leveraging storytelling for fundraising help boost your efforts as the year progresses.

 

3 Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands

luxury hospitality brand

The competitive landscape for the luxury hospitality industry is changing rapidly.  Companies are merging, startups are disrupting the market, and consumer preferences are evolving. It is important now more than ever for luxury hospitality brands to drive loyalty with unique & informed offerings for wealthy guests. Let’s explore the top 3 strategies your luxury hospitality brand can implement to compete for your consumer’s share of wallet.

Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands

1. Personalize Your Offerings to Drive Brand Loyalty

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

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

2. Create Targeted Messaging to Keep Wealthy Guests Engaged

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

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

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

3. Identify Customers With Shared Values to Cultivate Deeper Connections

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

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

How to Leverage WealthEngine to Deepen Customer Engagement

In order to effectively create a personalized experience for your wealthy guests, you must gain a deep understanding of their interests. What would items would they be excited to receive from your luxury hospitality brand? Once you understand their preferences, and what they would need to have a novel experience, you can begin refining your efforts to meet their needs. This all starts with a wealth screening.

With a wealth screening, you can find, segment, and prioritize your customers, and segment them based on different attributes. So, not only can you group your customers and prospects based on demographic traits such as age and income, but you can also append your database with wealth and lifestyle attributes. By doing this, you can easily understand an individual’s interests and what they like to spend on. So, gathering these data points gives you a more holistic view of your customers. You can easily use their demographic data and wealth attributes to take a data-driven approach to your outreach strategy. This makes it easier for you to engage them on an individual level.

Now, you have the ability to create an enriching experience for them. Additionally,  by creating an experience that caters to individual customer needs specifically, you could potentially transform these individuals into loyal supporters and advocates for your luxury hospitality brand.

Uncover the Best Ways to Appeal to Millennial Millionaires

Looking to target high net worth customers for your brand? Download A Look at Millennial Wealth to discover the best ways to engage wealthy millennials.

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

Capital Campaign Best Practices: Top 3 Tips to Manage Your Team

capital campaign best practices

Once you’ve created your timeline and priorities for your capital campaign, it’s time to assemble an energetic group of people to oversee your efforts. Your volunteers and staff handle the bulk of your campaign efforts, so it’s important to continue encouraging them throughout the process. But how best can you manage them during this process? How can you help meet their needs? Let’s explore the necessary capital campaign best practices you should implement to help you effectively manage your staff during your campaign.

Clarifying Your Campaign Goal

Before you integrate people into your campaign, it’s necessary to clarify your goal. So, once you’ve moved out of the planning phase (after you’ve set your initial goal), you want to conduct a feasibility study to ensure that your goal can be reached. During this time, it’s important to answer pertinent questions like: what does our organization need? What does our community need?

Clarifying your goal will give you a better idea of what resources you need to achieve it. This is especially important when assembling a staff. If anything, this will help you get a better sense of the roles you’ll need each member of your team to fulfill. What skills should your ideal volunteer member have? What are the macro-goals and micro-goals they need to meet? And, how should those goals be divided among them? Let’s explore how to go about bringing on the right consultant.

Choosing the Right Consultant for Your Campaign

Before you can carry out a successful campaign, you need to assemble a top-notch team to help you achieve your goal. But, how do you go about gathering the right consultants?

The first step in gathering the right consultants is to assess whether or not you have the resources to hire new people. It’s important to ask yourself:

  • Do we have enough allocated in our budget to hire new consultants?
  • What are the hidden expenses that come with hiring new people?
  • Are they going to need their travel expenses covered?
  • Do we want to go with someone local or someone else?
  • Do we want someone easy-going or someone polished?

Depending on your budgetary restrictions, you may want to look into hiring from external sources.  Solo practitioners or small boutique firms that specialize in helping with capital campaigns are great assets in your efforts. However, when gathering people for a campaign, it’s important to recognize that in order to collect a substantial number of gifts, you need the right people and resources to procure them. In that sense, it can be effective to spend a bit more getting the help you need, if you want to see a greater return in the form of campaign gifts.

Capital Campaign Best Practices for Managing your Team

Now that you’ve assembled your team, it’s important to find effective ways to communicate and connect with them during the campaign process. It’s important to make your team feel valued and heard during this time. Since most of your volunteers and staff have other commitments, it’s important to acknowledge their efforts and make sure they’re not feeling burnt out. Neglecting to check in with them can result in campaign stalls, which can prevent you from achieving your goal efficiently and effectively. When managing your team, it’s important to:

1. Set clear and Achievable Micro-Goals to Start

During the initial stages of your campaign, refrain from asking your staff to take on long, and demanding roles. Most staff and volunteers have other commitments besides what they’re contributing to the campaign, so it’s important not to overwhelm them with tasks. You want them to feel energized while working on the campaign, not burnt out. Although you may have a deadline for your campaign, it’s more important to complete the micro-goals of the campaign effectively.

Just like your campaign, each meeting you have with your staff and volunteers should be comprised of clear and achievable goals. It’s important to set a purpose, confirm it, summarize your key points, and then determine your next steps. Setting clear and achievable goals clarifies questions or concerns that may arise during the campaign. If each step is approached systematically, you are helping your staff remain focused, without overwhelming them with the scope of your goal. By doing things in chunks, it’s easier to achieve your macro-goal.

2. Shuffle Staff and Volunteers Periodically

By shuffling around your staff and volunteers, you are presenting them with opportunities to refocus their efforts and attention. If they’re given new tasks or new groups to work with, they’re given an opportunity to regain energy by having to get acquainted with new material. By allowing them to flex their skills in different areas, your team will feel less burnt out and more engaged.

3. Acknowledge the Milestones of Individuals and Groups

Another capital campaign’s best practice is to celebrate milestones that your team has met over the course of the campaign. During the campaign process, it’s important to give words of affirmation to individual staff members and volunteers. By doing so, you’re indicating to each of them that their work is valued, seen, and contributing substantially to the overall goal you’re working towards. These displays of recognition also provide them with a sense of accountability. Not only are their actions valued, but they also have influence. Openly realizing their efforts indicates the standard of work that you want to continue to strive toward.

What Staff Members Can Do to Refresh Their Efforts

Aside from finding new ways to inspire your team, it’s also important to help them find new ways to revamp their efforts. Once they’ve received clarification about the goal and feel supported, they’ll want to revisit potential hurdles.  As your campaign goes on, encourage your staff and volunteers to:

1. See Which Existing Donors Can Be Upgraded

As your staff solicits gifts from existing donors, it’s important to make sure that they’re creating appropriate ask amounts for each donor. Instead of adopting universal gift amounts, it’s necessary to evaluate your existing donor’s giving history. Additionally, how much they’ve donated they’ve donated in the past, and if this matches what they could give based on their income and giving history. To avoid missing opportunities to engage potential major gift donors, use a wealth screening. This will help you understand which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give.

With a wealth screening, you can see which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. So, not only can you segment your audience based on demographic traits such as age, but you can also append your database with wealth attributes. By doing this, you can easily understand an individual’s how much they’ve donated in the past (giving history) and how much they’re likely to give in the future (estimated giving capacity). Gathering these data points gives you a holistic view of your donors. You can easily use their demographic data and wealth attributes to take a data-driven approach to your outreach strategy. This makes it far easier for you to identify donors who would be just as likely as your donors to give.

2. Find New Donors to Engage

If your staff has exhausted all of their efforts in engaging existing donors, and raising all the funds they can, they can use a wealth model to find new donors to engage. But, these won’t be just any donors. These will be donors who will be just as likely as your best to give to your organization.

A model is a unique, custom algorithm that can help you predict who’s most likely to contribute a gift to your organization specifically. This type of model is known as a predictive model. To create this custom algorithm, WealthEngine data scientists will employ proprietary data, along with yours, to determine who within your database (and beyond) are likely to contribute gifts to your campaign. This model can also help you identify prospects with similar attributes to your best donors. You can then rank your list of prospects in order of similarity to your best donors to prioritize your donor outreach.

3. Push Your Recurring Giving Program

As your donors contribute gifts, it’s important to create opportunities to redirect your donors to your recurring gifts program. This encourages them to give continuously throughout the year and in years to come.

Uncover More Capital Campaign Best Practices

Unearth more insights on how to successfully boost your fundraising efforts with our Capital Campaign Guide.

How to Leverage Giving Days for Nonprofit Fundraising

Hosting a Giving Day fundraiser is a major undertaking for any organization. Such an event typically requires a good deal of planning and coordination to ensure success. What if you could get people besides your staff to help you with your mission? Gain even more publicity and increase donations? And maximize your results far beyond your Giving Day?  Well, you can by optimizing your strategy for hosting a giving day for nonprofit fundraising.

You’ve probably heard the saying “work smarter, not harder”? That’s what optimization is all about, whether you’re moving a heavy object or organizing Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising.  Recruiting other people to help you get the word out is just a start. There are optimization strategies that can pay off far beyond your Giving Day event.

3 Ways to Optimize Your Giving Days for Nonprofit Fundraising

Optimizing your Giving Day fundraising strategies will allow you to reach more people and increase your donations. Long-term, such strategies can also help you build your donor list.  Optimized Giving Day activities generally can be divided into the following three categories.

Increase visibility

Gain as much exposure as possible for your nonprofit. These actions will inform your current supporters about your Giving Day. By increasing your visibility will also help you get the attention of more new donors.

Target ideal donors

Who are your ideal donors? Data analysis and modeling can help you segment and reach out to those who best match your demographic criteria. Increase your results with less effort.

Grow your supporter list

Use Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising as future leverage. Your Giving Day can be the start of campaigns that nurture your current supporters and grow your list.

The First Steps for Executing a Successful Giving Day

There are numerous ways you can gain more traction on your fundraising efforts by “working smarter.” The first part of optimizing your fundraising efforts revolve around your big event — holding a Giving Day for your organization. Here are some strategies you can implement to maximize your results on Giving Day.

Plan your event

All successful fundraising efforts begin with planning, and Giving Day is no different. How can you optimize your planning? For one, set Giving Day goals. How much money does your group want to raise? Is $10,000 realistic, $50,000, or more? How many donors would you like to have contribute? How many new donors would you like to add to your list? Having a target will drive your supporting actions. It can also help generate excitement when you reach milestones along the way.

You can also strategically control the time allowed for making donations. Some organizations extend their Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising beyond 24 hours. They continue “Giving Day” activities for a week or more to allow everyone the opportunity to donate.

Partner with others

How can your staff multiply their efforts to raise more funds? The answer is to get as many people as possible involved. Community and civic foundations typically support their member nonprofits, in addition to their surrounding communities. Sign on with a partner, if you can.

According to GiveGab, peer-to-peer fundraising can be a powerful way to raise funds. They found organizations using this strategy raised 300% more on Giving Day than those that did not.  Does your organization have chapters, affiliates or departments? That’s one example of peer-to-peer fundraising ideas. Create some friendly competition. You can also offer some small prizes. And in this case, your organization is the biggest winner.

Recruit ambassadors to help promote your Giving Day event. They can be people both in and outside your organization. It’s even better if they’re connected with a significant social media community. Make sure you’ve armed them with training and fundraising tools.

Here’s an interesting way to partner with your current contributors. Ask your donors for a small contribution, with one caveat: request they recruit their friends to contribute. For instance, ask for just a $10 donation. But also ask that they contact five people they know to also contribute $10. This way, you’ll pick up five new donors.

Provide incentives

A donor incentive is another way you can optimize your fundraising. Approach corporations and major donors to put up matching funds. Who wouldn’t be more willing to donate if their contributions are doubled? How about rewarding donors of a certain dollar amount with merchandise? Even a coffee mug or tote bag with your logo can be a nice thank you. It will also keep your group in sight and mind.

Promote through multiple channels

Create a comprehensive communications plan. Get your promotional message out across as many channels as possible. Send texts, emails and videos that inspire action. Social media posts will ensure donors of all ages are aware of your event. Encourage sharing of your content. And whenever posting online, always include a link to your giving forms.

Include fun activities

There are all kinds of activities you can organize as part of your Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising campaigns. They can be as simple as dumping a bucket of water on an administrator in your organization when you reach your goal. Or as complex as hosting an on-site carnival or scavenger hunt in the community. Whatever activities you choose, appeal to the widest audience for more attention.

Make it easy to give

How are you accepting donations? Are donors able to contribute through your website? Can they access donation forms via cell phone? Consider the preferences of your most frequent donors. Give them options that make donating easy.

Giving Tuesday Toolkit

WealthEngine’s Giving Tuesday Toolkit can provide you with more information on how to prepare for your Giving Day Event.

Implementing a Giving Day Donor Strategy

The second way to optimize your fundraising comes from knowing your donors. These are the people currently supporting your organization. Then you can use the information you discover to better target your prospects.

Segment your current donors

Donor screening allows you to pick up on key donor attributes. Those attributes can include wealth, income, lifestyle and affinity. Wealth models can help you optimize your time and effort by focusing on the best prospects for your organization. A wealth model is a statistical model used to identify common traits among your donors. Utilizing these data points will help you group your donors according to key characteristics important to your organization. Segment your donors and create personalized communications more likely to get attention.

Identify upgrade donors (to sustainers, mid-level, major and planned givers)

Who in your database has the potential to give more to your cause? Which donors could become sustainers, increase their dollar amount, or make major contributions? Data analysis can identify your current best donors. Wealth screening and modeling can also show you who has the most upgrade potential as a donor. Then you can target those donors and determine how to best appeal to them for increased support.

“At its core, building donor relationships, and major donor relationships especially, is about getting to know supporters.” That concept will become increasingly important as more millennials gain wealth. Millennials, in particular, are generous when it comes to causes they value. But they also like to get more directly involved. Speak to their interests and what they find valuable.

Acquire new donors

Use the information you gain through your data analysis and wealth model to target new donors. See how their traits compare with your best donors. These are the people most likely to support your organization. Concentrating your effort on this group should yield better results, reducing your cost and time for acquisition.

Create giving levels

Use an individual’s wealth data and giving history to ask for a specific, suggested donation amount during your fundraising. That includes presenting suggested donation amounts on any written forms you may send. Most of the top 100 nonprofits suggest four to five donation amounts, along with an option to enter a custom amount.

A technique called “anchoring” can also be used to leverage donation amounts. In one experiment, participants were asked if they could contribute a specific dollar amount. The cause was to save offshore sea birds from an oil spill. When asked for a $5 donation, the average contribution was $20. However, when the ask was raised to $400, the average donation increased to $143. When there was no suggestion, the average donation was $64.

You can take this optimization strategy a step further. Help donors visualize the impact their donations will make. For example, how many days of groceries will a specific donation buy? How many children will get a hot lunch? Or how many bags of dog food can be purchased? Donors who can see the actual value of their donations may give more.

According to GivingTuesday.org, donors who contribute on Giving Day are more likely to donate again before your next Giving Day. Nurture your relationships with current donors. And work on turning new Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising donors into ongoing contributors.

3 Things to Remember Post-Giving Day

Fundraising is not just about Giving Day, it’s so much more.  You may host a Giving Day event only once a year, but the benefits can continue all year long. Develop a strategy to leverage contact with all of your donors and increase your fundraising success.

Thank your contributors

Be sure to acknowledge  all of your supporters promptly. Whether they donated time or money , let them know their contribution is appreciated. This is your first step in staying in touch. Also consider sending out a thank-you message through all of your communication channels to the community. Be sure to share the results of your Giving Day.

Continue your follow-up

To turn your first-time contributors into long-term donors, you need to look beyond wealth indicators. This is where you need to gain insight into who they are and the reason they donated in the first place).  Figuring out their “why” will help you create more personalized communications that encourage them to become regular supporters.

Too often staff members don’t continue to engage with their new contributors. That’s a mistake. You lose a valuable opportunity by waiting too long until your next contact. Whether you’re connecting with regular contributors or your new donors, stay in touch.

Enhance your donor data

You’ll likely gain new insights about your donors though your Giving Day activities. Use those insights to better target donors in future fundraising efforts. Utilize this new information to grow your list of recurring donors. Leverage the right data in your communications to fully engage prospects and develop stronger donor relationships.

Don’t think of Giving Day as merely a one-time event. Instead, view your Giving Days for nonprofit fundraising as an integrated part of your fundraising efforts. Data analysis and modeling is essential for optimizing your time and dollars. It’s also what WealthEngine does best. Contact WealthEngine today to optimize your donor data.

Our Giving Day Series

This is the third article in our Giving Day series. You can read more about Giving Days for non-profit fundraising best practices in our first two articles on 8 Reasons to Hold a Nonprofit Giving Day and Giving Tuesday vs. Giving Day: Which Fundraising Day Best Suits Your Needs? Stay tuned for our last article on Giving Day Ideas for Your Fundraising Event.