Ideas for Arts & Culture Fundraising Success: How to Increase Donors, Giving, and Conversions

Ideas for Arts & Culture Fundraising Success: How to Increase Donors, Giving, and Conversions

December 18, 2018 Sharanya Venkatesh

As a development professional, you recognize that fundraising is both an art and a science. While data drives decision making, there is also a subtle art involved in framing the ask, and timing it appropriately.

How can you nurture your current donors while also focusing on new prospects? Our data-driven ideas and solutions will help you:

  1. Increase the giving amount from each donor
  2. Convert more ticket buyers into donors or members
  3. Find more high-level donors

How to increase current giving amounts


Personalization is a mantra that you will hear more and more about in the near future. This is one of the key tenets for fundraising success. As you know, most organizations generally have automated emails thanking someone for a low/mid-level gift. 

The trick here is to increase engagement through personalization. Increased engagement with your organization will encourage donors to support you in a sustained manner. The messaging needs to be personalized regardless of the medium. A handwritten letter or call from the Executive Director when an individual donates at a higher level can ensure a deeper connection.

But you can go a step further. You can make the effort to personalize your communication with a donor not only based on their actual donation, but also based on their giving capacity and other wealth factors.

WealthEngine can help you identify the right set of major gift donor prospects. We can help you decide if someone should be in an annual fund portfolio or major gift portfolio.

Our wealth intelligence goes beyond net worth to generate a holistic propensity score. Learn more about how screening can help you increase donation amounts across all giving brackets by optimizing your ask.  

How to convert ticket buyers or visitors into donors


You may be familiar with the common struggle at Arts and Culture organizations – the difficulty of prioritizing between ticket sales and fundraising. Both are equally important to sustain the organization, however, with lean teams, sometimes you end up prioritizing one at the cost of the other. Most organizations that we speak with tend to do a great job filling the seats in a theater or getting a high volume of visitors. Ideally, all those ticket buyers/visitors would be donors or members.

We recognize that this may not be the case right now. It may seem like a monumental task to research every ticket buyer or visitor. But these visitors are your greatest prospects! We can help you increase conversion from visitors to life-long donor or member. WealthEngine has the capability to instantly screen a ticket buyer at the point of sale and notify you so you can begin nurturing. Our API will capture potential major donor prospects in real time while you’re relaxing at home.  

You would then have the ability to roll out the red carpet and give the prospect the platinum experience before and after any event. This level of personalization would enable the visitor to become better engaged with your organization, creating a compelling case to become a donor.


How to increase the number of high-level donors


We have found in our experience that a lot of organizations have a solid set of low and mid-level donors. We have also found that a lot of these donors have not only greater gift capacities, but also the interest and motivation to give. A lot of times it comes down to not being asked for a bigger donation.

There are two ways to increase high-level donors:

  • The first is to optimize your ask for your current donors to ensure that their gifts are reflective of their capacity and propensity. Screening, as a tool, allows you to determine potential (and existing) donor’s capacity and propensity to give.

Once the ask has been optimized and donations increase, our demographic, lifestyle, interests and affinity data can help gift officers maintain an ongoing dialog with these donors as part of the nurturing process.

  • The second is to find new high-level donors. You could do a deep dive into your donor base and identify patterns of traits among your high-level donors in order to find more prospects like them. WealthEngine’s analytical solution with AI and machine learning capabilities can build models based on your top donors.

Insights from these models can then be used to find more high-level prospects using our revolutionary prospecting solution. This way your best donors can help you find your next best prospects!


We hope these insights and tools set you up for a great holiday season and enable you to kick 2019 planning into high gear!

Contact us to learn more about how you can leverage these fundraising ideas and solutions.

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