How to Spot Major Gift Opportunities In Your Day of Giving Donor List

How to Spot Major Gift Opportunities In Your Day of Giving Donor List

May 17, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

Giving Day or Day of Giving is being adopted by more universities across the US every year. Day of Giving collections are also increasing. Cornell, for example, saw double the number of donors in one year. They’ve also raised over $7M in a single year, surpassing all their previous Giving Day records.

With each university starting their own version of this day, the importance of this day cannot be ignored. Let’s start with the basics and finish by analyzing how you can find Major Gift opportunities in your Day of Giving donor list.

What is Day of Giving?

Day of Giving is a specific 24-hour window in which a university accepts gifts from anyone, anywhere in the world. Gifts are given online, which means that alumni and other members of the institution’s community can lend support from anywhere.

Giving Days are becoming increasingly popular due to their viral and convenient nature.  Some universities leverage #GivingTuesday to run their Day of Giving campaigns. Yet, others have their own designated Giving Days.

These events also have an element of gamification. Each higher education institution sets up several giving challenges or goals that donors can reach. Accomplishing these goals gains them acknowledgment and recognition among the community.

For instance, the University of Chicago has various viral opportunities. They recognize their first donor, their first international donor, etc. They even have a Nobel Prize Challenge—asking donors to donate $91 to represent the number of Nobel Laureates who are part of their alumni diaspora.

Giving Day Success

Many WealthEngine clients have seen incredible success during their respective events. For instance, Boston University raised  $3.5M from 11,800 donors. Donors included alumni and other members of the BU community who donated from 50 different countries.

The time-sensitivity of these events creates a sense of urgency among donors. The viral/social conversations around them build a sense of community. Moreover, the ability to make donations online, especially to specific causes, makes it more convenient to donate.

Vanderbilt University recently raised $9.4M from less than 8500 donors. This shows that Day of Giving events are gaining traction and giving amounts are also increasing each year.

Lifetime Value of Giving Day Donors

Donor Lifetime Value is an estimate of how much you can expect a particular donor to contribute to your organization over their lifetime.

There are many factors that go into calculating what this number should be. Not only should you take into account a donor’s wealth indicators but you should also look at their propensity to give to your cause.

Giving Day donors are a unique set. They may differ from your other donors by being more spontaneous with their gifts. They may also donate sporadically over time. Furthermore, these events attract donors who may not come in through the typical fundraising pipeline.

The inconsistency or diversity of donors should not stop you from assessing their lifetime value. With the right engagement techniques, Giving Day donors can be put on the path to long-term membership. Click to learn more about calculating Donor Lifetime Value.

Hidden Major Gift Opportunity

When new donors come in through your Giving Day channel, use the opportunity to learn more about them. Wealth Screening can help you learn more about their wealth, lifestyle, interests, and affinities. Thus, screening can provide a 360-degree view of your Day of Giving donor list.

More importantly, screening your list can uncover gems you didn’t know you had. For instance, a major university that is a WealthEngine client found out that one of their low-level donors was capable of giving a Major Gift. Through screening, the university was able to determine the right ask. As a result, they have now received $5M from this donor.

In fact, Washinton & Lee University’s advancement team has said, “Our first six months of peer screening resulted in the identification of 284 completely new prospects with validated gift capacity ratings of over 100,000. We were also able to confirm and/or upgrade known prospects at equally high levels.”

Further, WealthEngine clients receive WE Insights, a free service that showcases what makes their donors unique.

average donor profile

 

Take Screening Data to the Next Level Through Modeling

Screening Data and WE Insights give you a more holistic picture of your Giving Day donors. However, you could take these insights to the next level through modeling.

A model is a specific formula created for your institution. This formula helps answer a particular question. Click to learn more about creating a model.

Modeling can identify Major Gift opportunities in your Giving Day list in three simple steps:

Step 1: Model your Past Major Gift Donors

Create a model to understand your existing Major Gift donors. The model will scan your database and divide it into 10 equal segments ranked by likelihood of Major Gift giving. You can use the top 10% or 20% of your donor base as the ideal sample.

This ideal group will have a set of common traits among them.

Step 2: Run Your Giving Day Donor List against the Major Gift model

Doing this will score each Day of Giving donor against your Major Gift formula. This will help you identify donors who resemble your Major Gift donors. Similar traits are a predictor of similar behavior.

Step 3: Prioritize Major Gift Donors from your Giving Day List

Those Giving Day donors with high match scores to your existing major gift donors should become a top priority. This means that these Giving Day donors have both the capacity and the propensity to give Major Gifts. You can then rank them based on their score and hand them off to your Major Gifts Officers for cultivation.

Get a Free “Test File” analysis of a segment of your Giving Day donors

Interested in learning more about the Major Gift potential in your Giving Day donor list? WealthEngine can provide a free test file analysis to show you what your results could look like.

WE Screen can add 50+ data points to your sample list of donors so you can understand their gift capacity range and propensity to give. Furthermore, WE Screen can add actionable information on lifestyle, demographics, interests, and affinities.  Screening data will be accompanied by a sample WE Insights report that will show you what makes your Giving Day donors respond to asks.

Simply fill out the form on the right and a WealthEngine rep will contact you about your free test file and WE Insights report.

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