Copywriting Best Practices During COVID-19

Copywriting World Cloud

Copywriting Best Practices During COVID-19

November 25, 2020
Raj Khera

Copywriting has become an increasingly effective tool for reaching and engaging a target audience. However, many organizations struggle to create and publish content that truly resonates with readers. 

Research shows online readers heavily scan material, with only an estimated 20% of page content being consumed. With this in mind, organizations must focus on how to get their key messages across clearly and concisely.  Luckily, there are many experts experienced in how to craft compelling copy that leads to action.

In October 2020, the third annual WE Prosper Summit was held virtually due to the pandemic. The event featured in-depth discussions on timely topics including copywriting, marketing, fundraising, and more. 

Designed for clients and partners, the summit is designed to provide knowledgeable insights for identifying and cultivating high-potential donors in any economy. Obviously, this year’s event featured a strong focus on how to adapt and plan fundraising initiatives in light of the repercussions COVID-19 has had on the world financial climate.

The 2020 WE Prosper Summit features keynote addresses with expert analysis and tips from authorities and peers from across the fundraising industry. One of those professionals is Tom Ahern, President of Ahern Communications, Inc. Tom sat down with Raj Khera, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer of WealthEngine, to discuss some copywriting best practices for COVID-19.

‘When You Like Your Donors, They Like You Back’

Tom describes his copywriting best practices as #Principles of Donor Communications. As principle number one, he believes: “When you like your donors, they like you back.” This finding is based on research conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy.

Easy, Consistent, Cohesive Messaging

When crafting content, it’s vital to make your messaging clear. “That’s, of course, what you always want to do, is to make communications easy for the target audience,” Tom advises.

 

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The Power of Word Clouds

Demonstrating the power of word clouds, Tom points to a survey conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, in which donors were asked just two questions:

  • How would you describe yourself using five or fewer adjectives?
  • When you think about your support of a cause, what five or fewer adjectives come to mind?

In this example, there may be some repeat answers from donors. “You get two word clouds, and where those two word clouds overlap is where your sweet spot is, where the best language is for you to use,” Tom adds.

  • What Are Word Clouds?

Word clouds are groups of words that are placed together. The more frequently a word appears, the bigger and bolder the word looks in the cloud.

The word cloud depicted above illustrates the power of this visual tool. Using the example of the survey mentioned earlier, each adjective given in response to the questions asked were placed in a word cloud. Each time a word was repeated, its appearance became larger and bolder.

Once all answers are compiled, you’re left with a word cloud that looks similar to the graphic shown. These visuals can help you succinctly communicate with your target audience.

Reaching Your Target Audience

For your sales copywriting efforts to be persuasive, you must have a firm understanding of your target audience and engage with them. In this context, a target audience is a demographic of people, or donors, who are most likely to be interested in your cause.

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As the graphic above illustrates, a target audience consists of individuals who share similar traits. These groups of people are assessed using information such as:

  • Behaviors
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Age group
  • And much more

By accurately deciphering who your target audience is, you can gain valuable insights into how this group operates and what it prioritizes most.

Dave from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Dave is a volunteer for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. As COVID-19 hit his organization hard, Dave shares how he created the effective messaging seen on the institute’s website. 

A message featured on the site’s homepage reads: “You’re a part of our crew and crew members look out for each other. Watch a special message for you.” Following this text is a video that incorporates inclusive language to ensure donors that everyone is part of the crew and all contributions make a lasting impact. 

The organization found these words based on the same two-question survey originally developed by the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy.

Jen Shang’s Philosophy of Giving Behavior

Jen Shang is a psychologist specializing in the behavior of giving. “She’s saying, right now, your donors, because of COVID, feel paralyzed, confined, victimized, disarmed, powerless,” Tom notes.

Depending on the focus of your communications, Jen asserts your audience could feel “connected to a bigger world, cared for, listened to, part of something.” She also mentions they could feel capable, which is important for human well-being. “We need to feel like we’re doing something, and doing good for others is a wonderful thing you can do right now,” Jen adds.

Feelings Lead to Action

When Raj and Tom spoke for the first time, Raj asked a few very important questions: “Are major donors different? Do they speak a different language?” Tom’s simple answer was, “Not so much.”

“We are a social species. That urge to cooperate, all of that, is actually chemical. It’s in your brain and it’s there,” he observes.

Tom also discusses what inspires action for donors. He talks about an important discovery made by Dr. Donald Calne, a Canadian neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease research. In his findings, the doctor concluded that feelings lead to action. 

Tom summarizes, “Not reason leads to action, feelings lead to action. Reason leads to more thinking. Feelings lead to action.” 

Another important piece of information comes from neurologist and psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Frankl. After conducting psychological research, he concluded that humans need purpose. According to Dr. Frankl, “That’s what a charity can bring to me, through its communications, a sense of purpose over and over and over.”

WealthEngine’s WE9 comprehensive platform offers a variety of proprietary tools including Wealth Search, WE Analyze, and its Donor Pyramid Modeler for unmatched donor list segmentation solutions. To experience how WealthEngine can assist your organization, request a free demo.

Donor Retention: What to do to Finish 2020 Strong

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Donor Retention: What to do to Finish 2020 Strong

November 18, 2020
Raj Khera

At WE Prosper Summit: 2020, nonprofit leaders discussed the latest trends and best practices including donor retention for finding donors during COVID-19. Two of these experts were Baily Benzle and Stu Manewith of Omatic Software. Their company has been around for 20 years and has more than 3,000 nonprofit clients worldwide.

Omatic uses data to strengthen relationships between nonprofits and their donors through correct messaging. Delivering the right message to the right donor at the right time is possible with data integration.

What is Data Integration?

Data integration is the consolidation of information from many sources. With centralized data, nonprofit organizations can better analyze information and make decisions. This data can help your organization target and engage donors.  

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The 90-Day Window

Baily and Stu mentioned the 90-day donor window: Donors who make a second gift within 90 days of their first, are more likely to repeat their giving. To keep supporters, nonprofits need to communicate with them shortly after their initial gifts.

A new donor who doesn’t make a second gift in 90 days is unlikely to renew their support. If they do donate again, their support will likely continue. This is why donor retention is so important.

The retention rate for new donors is 20% and 61.3% for existing supporters. It’s harder to turn a new donor into a repeat supporter. To avoid donor fatigue, it’s crucial to begin relationship building with donors immediately and keep it up.

New donors who aren’t engaged, thanked and informed of where their gifts go are less likely to give. By integrating data to learn about your donors and how to best engage them, you’ll likely stay at top of mind. When donors feel appreciated and are engaged, it’s easier to compel them to give repeatedly.

 

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When you retain donors, your organization saves money through lower attrition (the loss of donors) and raises more money. It costs more time, effort, and resources to attract new donors than it does to retain current ones. 

For a nonprofit organization to finish the year strong, you need to improve your retention rate. One very effective way of engaging donors is through storytelling for fundraising, sharing individual narratives showcasing the good that’s been accomplished thanks to your donors’ generosity. This approach appeals to donors’ sense of empathy and emotion while providing demonstrable proof of how their support is making an impact.

Why Donor Retention Rate is So Important

The key to building donor retention is actively cultivating relationships with supporters. A major component of successful donor retention is donor stewardship, which is based on frequent communication with your supporters to nurture their interest in your organization and its initiatives.

Your retention rate demonstrates how well your fundraising endeavors performed over the previous year. It also acts as a quantifiable metric of how your donors and supporters are re-engaged. If your donors are continually interacting with and engaging with your organization, they are considerably more likely to renew their support.

Donor retention rate is measured with a basic calculation: Divide the number of donors who gave during the current year by the number of donors who gave the previous year. The current year’s donors are the numerator and the previous year’s donors are the denominator. 

Calculate your denominator first and use it as the baseline by which everything is measured. The denominator is the number of donors who gave in the past year. The goal is to achieve a high retention rate.

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) created the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (EFP) in 2006. The Fundraising Effectiveness Project helps nonprofits be more successful in their fundraising. The organization conducts research and publishes industry-recognized reports each year.

In 2019, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project mentioned that the donor retention rate for U.S. nonprofits was 45%. The retention rate for repeat donors in 2018 was 61%. For first-time givers, the retention rate was 20% or roughly one out of five new supporters.

The statistics of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project reveal how difficult it is to capture new donors. They show how important it is to stay on top of donors’ minds so they will give multiple times. It is possible to improve upon the low 20% average retention rate, thereby boosting the probability of donors giving.

Engaging your donors with a relevant message at the right time can improve retention rates. Instilling an urgent “the time to act is now” call-to-action is a successful strategy. For example, if you want to capitalize on Giving Tuesday and December year-end giving, you need to start in October.

Baily and Stu provide a great example of this successful retention strategy with a Wisconsin dance organization. The development director mentioned, “We are strong with donor retention at 75% for returning donors and 30% for new donors.” Compared to the 2019 fundraising average, that’s a 25% higher rate for returning donors and 50% higher for new ones.

For illustration, there were two grids: Grid A and Grid B. Grid A shows a donor retention rate of 41% and Grid B documents a donor retention rate of 51%. Grid A’s donors raised $675,000 and Grid B’s donors raised over $1 million.

Grid B’s retention rate of 51% resulted in donors giving for an extra five years before dissipating. With a better retention rate, these donors gave more than those in Grid A whose retention rate was 41%. Even the slightest improvement of donor retention can boost giving amounts.

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The grid example illustrates the findings of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s research. These results show that the dollar amounts from retained donors increase by 3% a year. With a strong retention rate, an organization can raise significantly more funds. 

How to Boost Donor Retention Rate

How do you retain donors in the crucial 90-day window? It has to do with correct messaging. Here are three tips to try:

  • Provide timely acknowledgment and appreciation. 
  • Show the impact of the gift and how that aligns with the donor’s intent.
  • Repeat the solicitation method that resulted in the first donation. 

2020 has been a challenging year, but you can finish strong with a high donor retention rate. When you communicate with donors within 90 days of their first gift, you increase the probability of receiving a second one. Reaching ideal donors with a relevant message at the appropriate time will likely compel donors to renew their support. 

 

Demystifying Predictive Analytics and Modeling for Fundraising

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Demystifying Predictive Analytics and Modeling for Fundraising

November 6, 2020
PV Bóccasam

When it comes to fundraising, your most valuable asset is your time. Predictive analytics and modeling help determine which prospective donors to focus on so you can secure more gifts faster. However, the initial complexity of the process can seem overwhelming for those unfamiliar with it. 

This guide describes what predictive modeling is, why it’s important, and how to get started. It’s based on a workshop led by Eric White, a Senior Principal Consultant with WealthEngine, during the recent WE Prosper Summit. 

Click here for a replay of WE Prosper Summit, a virtual conference exploring trends and best practices for finding high-potential donors in the COVID economy. 

What is Predictive Modeling?

“Predictive modeling is [the] analysis that allows organizations to evolve from a subjective approach to fundraising to a data-driven approach,” explains White. Instead of ringing up every prospective donor and seeing who bites, modeling offers fundraisers a clearer picture of who has the highest probability of making a major gift.

“Modeling gives a numeric value to categorical data,” White notes. “The formula delivers a score for your constituents based on the desired behavior, such as making a major gift….A raw score is a number between 100 and 1000 with those near 1000 having the highest probability of, in this example, making a major gift.”

The 3 Things Needed for Predictive Modeling

  • Refine Your Question

“The first thing you need to recognize is a model can only answer one question,” observes White. “Are you interested in who’s most likely to give you a gift of $25,000 or more? Are you interested in someone making a monthly gift of at least $25 or more? Are you interested in finding individuals that will include you in their estate plan? You want to refine the question.”

  • Clean Your Data

Improperly selected or entered data can derail your entire model. Just ask the crew of Emirates Flight 407. In 2009, during a flight from Melbourne to Dubai, they accidentally entered the weight of the plane and 270 passengers as 262 metric tons. 

“Its actual calculated weight was 362 metric tons,” notes White. “This is the equivalent of not calculating the weight of 20 African elephants stored in the belly of the plane.”

While the plane eventually got off the ground, it was almost the worst civil air disaster in Australia’s history. The moral of the story: you have to be meticulous with your data to get the desired results.

  • Choose the Right Variables

Predictive modeling involves plugging data into a formula. Each part of the formula is known as an independent variable, or the unique traits of the individuals being screened.

“For predictive models in the fundraising space, you need eight donation variables,” advises White. Those include:

  • First gift date
  • First gift amount
  • Largest gift date
  • Largest gift amount
  • Last gift date
  • Last gift amount
  • Total number of gifts
  • Total amount given

Depending on the type of giving you’re focusing on, you may need to include additional variables. For example, the age of donors is important to know when modeling planned giving over several years. You also need the data of at least 200 individuals in order to have a stable model. 

The 5 Steps of the Modeling Process

  • Model Design

White and his team spend time discussing what the client wants to achieve with predictive modeling. Knowing the end goal allows them to design a more accurate model.

  • Data Preparation

This is the process of gathering, cleaning, and inputting all the data into the model. “Paying the price on the front end and cleaning the data positions us on the kinds of returns on investment we’re all looking for,” advises White.

  • Model Building

“That’s when the data scientists come in and they start reviewing and working with the data,” explains White. During this step, they determine which of the included variables are most important for the model.

  • Performance Analysis

White’s team carefully checks that the model is accurate and effective. “We want to make sure that it’s a good fit, that it’s a robust and viable model,” notes White.

  • Modeling Scores

At the end of the process, White explains, “You get two things, a raw score and a major gift decile, along with best practices and continuing consulting issues around the best way to implement the scores and ratings.” A raw score is a number between 100 and 1000, while a decile places prospects into groups. 

“Let’s say you give us 100,000 records,” explains White. “We’ll score everyone from the first person to person 100,000 with a raw score and then we’ll rank order them and divide them up into 10 equal deciles. The individuals in decile one are the ones that scored in the 90th percentile or the highest level of the model.” 

Predictive Modeling Drives Results

To cap off the talk, White shared a case study of a university his team worked with.

“They gave us over 100,000 records for us to screen,” he recalls, “and we built them [a model] that predicted individuals most likely to give at least $100,000.” 

The result was a list of 220 individuals that were likely to give at least $100,000 to the organization. The major gift officers selected 10 random people from the list who had never given to the university and called them. 

“All 10 took the call,” notes White. “Out of those 10, three said, “Let’s talk.” Out of those three when they met with them, one of them said, “What took you so long to call?” They ended up working with this individual who had never given to the university.”

The story doesn’t end there. The organization put together a proposal asking for $150,000. The donor ended up giving even more than that. The university’s partnership with WealthEngine paid for itself several times over. 

Want to learn more about how WealthEngine can help you achieve similar results with predictive modeling? Get in touch at info@wealthengine.com or click here to schedule a free demo. 

CDC Foundation’s New Technology Strategy Raises Millions

CDC Foundation’s New Technology Strategy Raises Millions

October 30, 2020
Raj Khera

As organizations continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, foundations like the CDC Foundation are creating new technology strategies to raise millions.

Cloud for Good, a WealthEngine partner, is the largest Salesforce.org consulting partner dedicated to nonprofits and higher education institutions. 

Cloud for Good’s Marketing Director, Jenn Tate, spoke for a webinar to explain how the CDC Foundation continues fundraising during the pandemic via its new technology strategy.

As partners, WealthEngine and Cloud for Good share the common goal of helping nonprofits create transformational value in their platforms. 

Tate says it best, “The WealthEngine platform is powered by half-trillion, yes, you heard that right, half-trillion data points, and uses proprietary learning science to create unique profiles for more than 180 million households and 250 million people in the US.”

This webinar also features Raj Khera, Executive VP and CMO of WealthEngine, Monique Patrick, C.O.O. of the CDC Foundation, Laura Croft, VP of Advancement with the CDC Foundation, and Laura Maker, Director of Professional Services with Cloud of Good. 

The CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit established by Congress 25 years ago. 

By using private funds, the CDC Foundation has reached lives across the world and mobilized millions of dollars in COVID-19 donations.

As the COVID-19 threat emerged in January, the CDC Foundation activated its Emergency Response Fund to mobilize private sector support to
address needs where government support was not available or available rapidly enough to meet the need. Donors facilitated
the rapid deployment of emergency resources to fill in the gaps to support CDC and State and local health departments on the ground.

  • Helping Under-Resourced Communities

The CDC Foundation focuses on supporting these groups throughout the pandemic crisis. As communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the virus, the foundation is working with partners to better understand and address health inequity issues brought forward by COVID-19, as well as provide on-the-ground support to meet crucial needs such as housing, clean water, handwashing stations, food and medical necessities.

The CDC Foundation’s Technology Strategy

Modernizing the CDC Foundation’s technology strategy has been an important undertaking, particularly as the organization transitioned from paper-based work to Salesforce.

Switching platforms allowed for communication between the team members and safe data storage. This proved to be a tremendous help when COVID-19 hit and the foundation shifted to virtual work.

Utilizing New Technology and Data

Salesforce allows the CDC Foundation to improve its workflow. New technology facilitates data analytics, data feeding through Netsuite, and even simple tasks like signing documents using DocuSign.

As for donor outreach and streamlining contributions, WealthEngine contributes to positive growth through targeted wealth screening. Within a couple of months, the CDC Foundation’s CRM grew from 42,000 to over 150,000. 

Data analytics have been instrumental in providing the CDC Foundation with background information on first-time donors, which leads to a targeted communication plan.

  • Cloud for Good’s Aid in Transition

Laura Maker discusses Raiser’s Edge Migration Accelerator and how the feature facilitates a smooth transition to Salesforce. This is implemented to work with the standard fields of Salesforce and Raiser’s Edge for common usage. It provides a starting point while acknowledging how data is mapped by both systems to ensure the information is used properly. 

Positive Impact on the Organization

Chart of how nonprofits have been affected by COVID

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As Monique Patrick describes, “You can see in the middle, we’ve grown the organization…We’ve saved time with our reconciliations and our financial systems…It’s real-time, it’s quick, it’s at our fingertips, and we see that on a daily basis.”

With increased remote work, having this technology is pertinent. The CDC Foundation watched in real-time as this unfolded. These tools have successfully given us access to real-time information to inform strategy and increased our speed and flexibility to deploy emergency response funding to the area of greatest need.

Before COVID-19, the group on average raised approximately $70 million per year. To date, the foundation has raised over $260 million, with $160 million of this raised specifically to fight COVID-19.

The data found by WealthEngine’s Wealth Screening feature helps the CDC Foundation adapt during this time. With groundbreaking donation numbers, it’s clear to see how effective these advancements have been.

  • Giving Back to the CDC Foundation

As the group embarks on a second phase to tackle COVID-19, Laura Croft gives the reminder, “The next seven months are going to be more challenging than the last seven months.” 

Communities are suffering due to the pandemic, and the CDC Foundation continues to help. Its “Crush COVID-19” campaign aims to directly support immediate public health needs during this time. 

Innovative Event Fundraising

While the CDC Foundation is seeing a wave of interest during this crisis, Croft points out, “Again, going back to how we operated pre-COVID and then COVID hit…we needed to meet our donors where they were and talk to them in the way they wanted to be communicated with.” 

The foundation’s focus is on connecting with donors while providing support during the pandemic. Innovation in its strategy continues to lead to higher donations.

  • What is Cross-marketing?

Traditionally speaking, cross-marketing is the process of using partnerships to market philanthropic causes across different channels. With this strategy, the CDC Foundation raised more than $7 million dollars. 

The group also embarked on employee giving. This plan includes setting up micro-sites through the platform and online events for promotion. Cloud for Good also participated by partnering with the foundation through their own employee microsite to encourage employee donations.

  • Navigating Donor Fatigue

What is donor fatigue? Simply put, it is the slowing down of donations from past donors. With so much happening, donor fatigue is a serious problem that must be addressed.

Speaking for the CDC Foundation, Croft notes, “We have experienced a drop-off in donations…However, it’s understandable. As you were talking about earlier, people are tired of this pandemic. It’s been very difficult.” 

The foundation continues to strive to listen to and understand donors’ priorities. Effectively identifying the correct target audience and tuning its messaging accordingly is crucial for combating donor fatigue.

Cloud-based Organizations

The benefits and reality of virtual work

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The CDC Foundation’s technology switch came when a need for cloud-based operations was essential. The implementation of user-friendly technology and an efficient workflow were driving forces for the transition. 

The CDC Foundation’s new technology strategy with Salesforce allows for an integration of all systems. This encourages the dissemination of transparent information for all staff to see, promoting better communication.

Analyzing New Data

A realistic understanding of high donations levels experienced by the CDC Foundation is crucial to sustaining these numbers. To wade through this data, the foundation relies on WealthEngine for wealth screening and additional donor information. 

Additionally, the foundation has focused on a massive data clean-up to keep information up-to-date. This is important for dealing with duplicate records because it helps maintain high-quality data.

  • Importance of Data Analytics

Prior to the foundation’s technology upgrade, data would remain stagnant for periods of time. Now, with software integration, this data is analyzed and put to use quickly. 

As Patrick states, “We wanted to be able to see where they are, are we reaching the health disparate populations without funding? Now we’re starting to see all that to make really crisp-clear decisions going forward. We’ve had to do this overnight, but it’s been amazing work.”

Data analysis breaks down the best strategy for targeted communication. This information helps you decide when to reach out and which messages to convey. 

Role of Wealth Screening and Donor Matching

With a surge of new donors, hitting the correct next steps is crucial to cultivating relationships. WealthEngine’s WE9 platform facilitates this process, enabling organizations to make informed decisions in cultivating fundraising strategies.

Using the donor matching tool during wealth screening, WealthEngine gives you a 90% match rate to your list of clients. What does this mean exactly? If you have 10,000 contacts, WealthEngine is able to find a 90% match, or 9,000 names, from your list.

Up-to-date Analytics and Accessible Dashboards

Clean data helps your contact list stay fresh. Knowing the most recent financial activity of your donors makes it easy to maintain personalized relationships. 

Combining WealthEngine with Salesforce creates constant data refreshment. These platforms understand that money is always in motion. They utilize predictive models and analytics to give you the best donor outreach strategy.

Customization of these platforms is great for companies to help with personalization. WealthEngine tailors these predictive models to your donor base. Salesforce has adaptable dashboards that can be customized for any occasion, which increases efficiency.

  • Continue Moving Forward

The surge in new donors requires personalized messages to nurture relationships. This strategy helps overcome donor fatigue and motivates donors to give at their capacity. 

With WealthEngine’s platform, you can identify a donor of $25, while helping them reach their wealth potential of $2,000. It is all about cultivating these relations to increase potential.

Automating Processes and Staying Flexible

With the sudden shift to remote work and the increased reliance on technology, automation of daily processes has been imperative.

Salesforce allows the timeline of daily work, like signing folders, to shorten. Moving these tasks to a virtual-based platform frees up time and allows for distanced work.

  • Embrace Flexible Solutions

When asked about lessons learned from the pandemic, Patrick shares her thoughts, “Stay nimble and flexible and be creative of how you can be even more efficient.”

Tough experiences from COVID-19 can be used to benefit your organization. Learn from these times and embrace virtual adaptations to excel in your brand’s mission. 

Budgeting for a Technology Overhaul

While switching completely to new technology can be beneficial, it does require budgeting to get things done.

Start with a plan, like the CDC Foundation did, and work your way through each department. The foundation started with its Human Resources platform and continued through its financial and fundraising teams.

Raising funds to support the core mission can be helpful as well. If your core mission requires advanced technology, allocating and fundraising for these overhauls can be to your organization’s advantage.

Data Migration Strategy 

The flow of data migration

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Having a clear strategy is key to a seamless transition. Start with the discovery phase. Assess how each aspect of your organization works to understand the best steps to take and continue from there.

Before going live, try a mock data conversion. Migrate the data exactly as planned but into a test environment. Once in this setting, final tweaks can be made for the true switch.

Adaptability and Leveraging Relationships

Leveraging your client, vendor, donor, and influencer relationships can help spread your mission and increase visibility during this time.

For example, the CDC Foundation was approached by an online gamer, Jack, after the death of his grandma due to COVID-19. He reached out to donate his annual birthday fundraiser earnings and was able to raise $500,000 for the cause.

Messaging in the Time of Virtual Meetings

Industries are facing unprecedented times and most organizations have quickly shifted to virtual workspaces. Effective communication between employees, as well as other organizations, puts an emphasis on appropriate messaging.

Newsletters are spreading awareness about the nonprofit’s impact. Brief virtual meetings cover these efforts as well. 

Virtual meetings allow the CDC Foundation to listen to donor’s needs. This allows the foundation to hear donor concerns and share ideas for improvement.

Trying out virtual events and continuing a strong online presence helps ease the transition to remote fundraising. Follow the lead of successful brands, as your organization finds the best way to navigate virtual galas.

Embrace new resources, and continue learning through this time. WealthEngine is here to help you. Events like the WE Prosper 2020 Summit can help you navigate the new normal.

Cloud for Good’s Success Stories

Like the CDC Foundation’s technology strategy, other organizations have seen positive impacts from the implementation of these technologies. 

The National Aquarium has used technology to recreate the experience of its facility, even when visitors were restricted from touring. This includes live feeds of exhibit loops on their website, Facebook live sessions of aquarium tours, and Q&A sessions with staff.

The LGBTQ+ Community Center saw a 40% increase in demand for services during the pandemic. This required rapid response and technology has allowed for new avenues to open for quick connection and support. 

 

Being Practical About AI for Fundraisers and Marketers

Being Practical About AI for Fundraisers and Marketers

October 22, 2020
PV Bóccasam

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, many companies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to stay relevant as fundraising and marketing continue to evolve. 

Jim Manzi, a partner at Foundry.ai, speaks about how companies can utilize AI in a practical way. AI can be a huge asset to boost fundraising and create successful marketing strategies, so Manzi breaks down the basics.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

 

Brain map of what AI actually is

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AI sounds like a complex concept, and many businesses throw around the term without fully understanding what it is. Manzi explains that AI is “whatever is at the current frontier,” which means AI is simply the newest technology available.

Although this often invokes images of robots and cutting edge science, it’s much simpler than that. The AI basics for business are, as Manzi states, “data plus math . . . used to create statistical improvement.”

  • What is the Function of Artificial Intelligence?

The functionality of any technology is important when deciding how it can benefit your business. If you don’t know what the function of AI is, then you will be unable to implement it properly into your plans. 

In keeping with Manzi’s definition, the purpose of AI is simple, as it takes on a repeated decision process to help you receive accurate results. By outsourcing research tasks to AI, your company will have better data to work with.

  • Why Did Artificial Intelligence Become a Trend?

As industries continue to grow and evolve, finding ways to engage and cultivate your audience has proven crucial to a business’s success. As Manzi explained, “AI is simply technology that helps improve statistics.”

Why is this important? Before AI became the trend, collecting data had to be done on a daily basis by hand. This included reading articles, constant research, and deciphering news reports to strategize based on current events. 

Now, this information can be discovered quickly and more accurately. AI eliminates the amount of energy spent on research and reduces the error margin to create a precise strategy for audience reach.

Implementing AI in Fundraising and Donations

 

Graph of practical implementations of AI

 

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AI is a powerful tool when used in a practical way to expand your resources. The role of artificial intelligence in business intelligence creates a pairing that can accurately target audiences, as well as help you pinpoint your next move.

Setting realistic expectations will help your business realize the maximum amount of benefits. For example, Manzi uses automatic outreach trigger detection as a great place to start.

Being able to detect when something happens in the business world that will cause a positive reaction from your audience can have a huge impact. Instead of having a group of consultants searching the news to watch events unfold, AI can step in to determine these trigger points.

With this knowledge, it is easier to use your staff’s energy to plan and execute your next move correctly. AI can take things a step further by eliminating your need to manually search for the right potential prospects. AI is also helpful in identifying the correct messaging for your target audience.

While these applications may not be as flashy, this practical implementation of AI can make a huge difference in your fundraising tactics. 

Using this technology takes the guessing game away from reaching out to donors. It allows you to target your messaging to areas where you will see the most return on investment (ROI).

  • Donor Strategy and Artificial Intelligence

When working in fundraising, high levels of energy are constantly being spent on putting together the best donor strategy to raise money. This typically includes researching, cultivating prospects, and maintaining strong relationships with your current donors to avoid fatigue.

The key to a successful plan is analyzing data and using it correctly to benefit your company. Data, in terms of this industry, is more conceptual than a spreadsheet of numbers. Information needed for accurate donor strategy includes current events, lifestyle models, and wealth factors.

It’s no longer necessary to read the news and spend time on social media to identify what is happening in the lives of your prospects and current donors. AI can step in to make this process easier, quicker, and more accurate.

AI takes on these redundant searches and constantly collects data to help create accurate models. By implementing this technology, you can have a daily strategy that shows who to reach out to and what call to action to make.

  • Email Marketing and Fundraising

As a go-to method for fundraising, email marketing is one of the most used platforms for donor engagement. Manzi discusses the important components of email and demonstrates how practical implementation of AI can help.

To make the most of any email campaign, constant testing is needed. By changing variables and analyzing the results, it is possible to see what combinations of content result in the best response rate.

Rather than trying to do an entire overhaul with AI, try testing several factors to see what results in positive change. Manzi suggests testing the time of day emails are sent, as well as the length of the subject line. 

With AI, you can see exactly how these factors are affecting your campaigns. In return, you will be able to strategize and plan your emails efficiently. The job never stops, though. Using AI to constantly test your approach will contribute to successful fundraising.

Key Takeaways

AI is not an ominous thing from the future, but rather helpful technology that gets the job done faster. Embracing AI in a practical way can further your organization’s goals as you continue to target your audience more accurately.

Analyzing data and receiving quick results has never been easier. Instead of allotting employee energy to donor research, utilizing AI can free up time and deliver precise results.

Don’t stop testing. AI works best when you are constantly feeding it information, and examining the results. Once you find a strategy that works for you, move your AI focus to the next project. This encourages constant progress and maximizes the results you see with this technology.

 

WealthEngine Held Its Third Annual WE Prosper Summit To Discuss The Latest Trends And Best Practices In Finding High-Potential Donors In Today’s COVID Economy

WealthEngine Held Its Third Annual WE Prosper Summit To Discuss The Latest Trends And Best Practices In Finding High-Potential Donors In Today’s COVID Economy

October 20, 2020
Courtnee Davis

BETHESDA, MD, October 20, 2020 — WealthEngine held its third annual WE Prosper Summit, a two-day event held virtually on Wednesday, October 14 and Thursday, October 15, 2020. 

The WE Prosper Summit is a gathering of thought leaders from global causes and international brands. Participants come together for a two-day conference of rich keynote speeches, how-tos, roundtable discussions and presentations from 10 thought leaders among our clients and partners.

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

The 2020 WE Prosper Summit featured key industry speakers including: Rohit Bhargava, Founder & Chief Trend Curator of Non-Obvious Company, Amir Pasic, Dean of the IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, David Raab, Founder of CDP Institute, Eliza Mountcastle Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Lifter Leadership, Jill L Barrett, CEO, Evolve and Executive Director, The Lever Fund, Michelle Tilton, VP of Marketing, Infutor, Tom Ahern, President of Ahern Communications, Ink, Rob Gleave, Senior Manager, Solution Architecture for Nonprofits, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Jarrett OBrien, Non Profit Cloud Product Marketing Director at Salesforce, and many others.

WealthEngine also took the opportunity to hold their third annual WealthEngine Prosper Awards ceremony. The WE Prosper Awards honor leading brands and nonprofits that are delivering outstanding business and social impact using WealthEngine’s prospect engagement capabilities to deploy highly effective, personalized, wealth-aware campaigns.

“We are proud to recognize the recipients of our 2020 WE Prosper Awards and appreciate their support and their commitment to the communities they serve,” said Holt Truitt, Strategic Account Executive. “We look forward to continuing our partnerships, learning from their work to generate positive momentum, and helping them increase the impact they are able to have.”

The 2020 WealthEngine Prosper Award recipients were:

The University of Kentucky Healthcare

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Amnesty International

About WealthEngine

WealthEngine is the industry’s premier wealth intelligence software-as-a-service provider.  The company has been supporting more than 3,000 marquee customers for over two decades. The company enables industry-leading higher education, healthcare systems, advocacy, financial services, and high-end luxury brands and hospitality organizations in capturing and retaining tens of billions of dollars. Fueled by its proprietary wealth and lifestyle signals, WealthEngine customers measurably improve their personalization and effectiveness across fundraising, capital campaigns, marketing, segmentation and overall engagement with their audience.

Rooted in machine learning, with a cloud-native architecture, the WealthEngine 9.x platform boasts an entirely new user experience to provide wealth, demographic and lifestyle signals that come together to formulate powerful scores, WealthScores™ available in real-time. Underpinned by the company’s SmartAction™ technology, it pinpoints, predicts and helps personalize engagement with potential  prospects. WealthEngine’s platform is the most convenient way to continually sense and respond to changing motivations for their audience to connect, invest, buy or donate.

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

 

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Why Match Rate is Critical When Selecting a Wealth Screening Platform

Match Rate

Why Match Rate is Critical When Selecting a Wealth Screening Platform

October 8, 2020
Raj Khera

Don’t purchase a wealth screening tool without first considering the match rate. Often, organizations opt for platforms with lower match rates in an effort to save money. While at first glance this may seem like a financially savvy decision, this error could cost you tens of thousands or even millions of dollars. 

If you’re shopping for prospect research software and this is the first you’ve heard of match rates, don’t worry. This guide covers what a match rate is, how it works, and why it’s crucial to consider when selecting a platform. In just a few minutes, you’ll learn how to avoid an expensive mistake and guarantee thousands in new capital for your organization. 

What Is a Match Rate? 

From wealth and income to lifestyle and affinity, you need to understand everything you can about the people in your donor database. This kind of data tells you who is ready to make a donation and what amount they’re likely to give. In short, in-depth information helps your fundraising team bring in more money, more easily.

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Of course, you can’t research each person individually. You also can’t analyze the data yourself to determine which prospects you should prioritize cultivating. This would simply take too long. You either need a massive team—which usually isn’t realistic—or you need wealth screening software to automate the process.

Prospect research tools work by supplementing your contact list with information collected from the software company’s database, which is gathered from the internet. The percentage of records in your list that can be found in the tool’s database is known as the match rate.

The biggest difference between software options boils down to their match rates. This can vary significantly between wealth screening companies. 

Typically, tools with a lower match rate are less expensive. However, opting to go with a cheaper product can end up costing you exponentially in the long run.

Why is Match Rate Important?

Imagine that your list of current or potential donors includes 10,000 contacts. That’s a lot of people who could support your mission. 

Perhaps you opt to use a cheaper donor research software, one with a 60% match rate. With this rate, you can expect to find insights on 6,000 people within your list. That means you still don’t know anything about the wealth, income, or other details of the remaining 4,000 contacts. 

In any given population, expect about 10% to be major donors. So, if your wealth screening platform fails to find information on 4,000 contacts, you’re missing 400 qualified, major gift donors. If your average major gift is $5,000, then you’re overlooking an extra $2 million because the budget-friendly software can’t match more names.

At a close rate of one person for every five asks, that’s $400,000 in new gifts left on the table from a list of just 10,000. This sum is far less than what you’d invest in a wealth screening service with a higher average match rate.

A tool with a 90% match rate might be more expensive than the first option, but it delivers information on 9,000 people. Again, assuming an average major gift of $5000 and a close rate of 1:5, that’s an additional $300,000 your organization can raise. 

Even with smaller lists, like one with 2,000 contacts, a higher match rate can raise an additional $60,000 more than a lower-quality tool. For bigger lists, such as one with 100,000 contacts, software with a 60% match rate could cost you $3 million. However you look at it, lower quality software ends up being more expensive than a tool with a 90% rate.

Consider the case of the Houston Grand Opera. The organization’s fundraising team used WealthEngine—which has around a 90% match rate—to conduct their prospect research. Over a three year period, their return on investment (ROI) from WealthEngine was a staggering 2,766%.

The University of Pennsylvania also used WealthEngine for its Making History campaign. The program added over 14,000 new prospects to the university’s list, 9,000 of which became campaign donors. Those 9,000 contacts made commitments totaling $600 million. 

How to Increase Match Rate

A high match rate relies on something called identity resolution, which is the process of matching information from multiple sources with one contact.

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For example, perhaps there’s a Steven Brown on your donor list. One source in your screening platform indicates Steven Brown has a net worth of $10 million. If there’s more than one person named Steven Brown in your contact list, identity resolution seeks to determine which of them has the $10 million net worth. 

One way of resolving the data is to standardize the format of names and addresses. You can do this by making sure contacts are listed under formal names instead of nicknames. 

Removing punctuation from names, such as the suffix Jr., is also recommended. Finally, addresses should always match deliverable USPS addresses.

Another way to facilitate identity resolution is to account for misspellings. For example, if a data source omits one letter from a contact’s name, screening software like WealthEngine could recognize the mistake and correct it. 

While the math that makes identity resolution possible is difficult, WealthEngine has spent 20 years fine-tuning its algorithms. As a result, WealthEngine has one of the highest match rates in the industry at 90%.

Don’t Miss Out on Big Opportunities

If you’re considering an inexpensive wealth screening solution that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Software with a lower match rate ends up costing you more money because you miss a significant amount of qualified prospects. The gifts those donors will bring in more than justifies investing in a higher quality tool. 

WealthEngine has an average match rate of 90%. This can mean an extra $25,000, $100,000, $1 million, or more in capital raised for your organization. Schedule a demo today and see how well WealthEngine matches your list. 

 

The Digital Wave and Values-based Business

The Digital Wave and Values-based Business

October 2, 2020
PV Bóccasam

The digital wave has caused an evolution in business norms. Organizations are now more focused on values-based business and services geared toward maximizing the client experience. In this new era of cloud-based technology, the impact of the digital wave has intensified.

The world has changed as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which proved to be a major factor in spurring the digital wave. Organizations are constantly evolving based on how their services and products personally impact their clients. 

What is Salesforce.org? 

Pat McQueen is the Senior Vice President of Partner Enablement at Salesforce.org. Pat is the person responsible for driving Salesforce.org to focus more on clients while bringing about social impact through digital technology. The organization provides services to nonprofit and educational initiatives to affect positive change in the world.

Salesforce has partnered with WealthEngine, a global marketing leader specializing in technology that assists businesses and nonprofits in targeted, comprehensive data analysis. The WealthEngine9 (WE9) platform aids marketers and fundraisers within Salesforce.org in their search for investors most capable and interested in helping the organization achieve its goals.

This partnership is an essential component of Salesforce.org’s long-term strategy for providing cloud-based and customer relationship management (CRM) services. Salesforce.org also works to empower students across the globe by increasing access to online learning and driving graduation rates.

The Core Objectives of Salesforce

Salesforce.com and Salesforce.org differ in terms of their target service areas. The former provides cloud-based services to businesses and caters to their marketing and sales-related needs. 

In contrast, Salesforce.org provides free technology to organizations and community initiatives dedicated to educational endeavors and philanthropy. Salesforce.org offers a platform that enables these entities to identify and prioritize investors and donors who can provide the resources necessary to fulfill their respective missions.

Salesforce.org is active in the following segments:

Through these channels, Salesforce.org facilitates positive societal transformation. It also plays a significant role in the effort to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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SDGs encompass the 17 global goals determined by the United Nations (UN) as necessary for the elevation of the standard of living across the world. These initiatives center on implementing efficient solutions to problems such as poverty, hunger, social injustice, and climate change.

For higher education, Salesforce.org’s Education Cloud integrates recruitment, student experience, alumni engagement, and marketing in one place. The Education Cloud also simplifies the processes of student admission and enrollment and facilitates communication with student families. 

For five years in a row, Salesforce has been noted as the world’s number one CRM service provider. The organization continues to focus on digital changes most likely to drive global endeavors. 

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The World Economic Forum has discussed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which encompasses all of the biological, physical, and digital systems functioning around us. Technologies used in devices like Apple and Fitbit smartwatches are not just utilities, they are digital integrations able to sync with human movements.

These digital advancements provide us biological data regarding heart rate, blood pressure, and even footstep count in daily life. This is a part of The Fourth Industrial Revolutiona change in everyday life. The Fifth Industrial Revolution envisions not just change but also the capacity to reveal possibilities for influencing and controlling the change surrounding us. 

Data Creation and Statistics  

As the digital wave continues to progress, an abundance of data is being generated. This information is analyzed, processed, modified, and stored each day. 

In May 2019, WealthEngine launched the Salesforce Connector app to facilitate the effective use of the large data pool available. Through this app, WealthEngine and Salesforce are able to effectively streamline prospecting and update approximately 100,000 donor records at once using WE Direct Access API

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Collaborative efforts exemplified by the Salesforce Connector app can play a significant role in utilizing data at its best. Below are some interesting facts demonstrating the power of data in the modern world:

  1. On average, more than 490 million tweets are sent daily.
  2. 290 billion emails are sent each day.
  3. 65 billion messages are exchanged on Whatsapp every 24 hours.

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Data traffic generated from wearable devices such as Apple Watch, Google Glass, and Fitbit devices are on track to increase to an estimated 335PB per month in 2020. This is a marked increase from 2015 when approximate monthly usage was 15PB per month.  

The Impact of Salesforce’s Digital Revolution

The Fifth Industrial Revolution is an impact revolution. The challenge for Salesforce.org and other organizations is to correctly understand and respond to this fundamental transformation. 

A lasting impact can’t be centered on the needs of a single person. It must revolve around what is best for the collective good. That’s why Sustainable Development Goals are demonstrated as different segments of the same wheel, designed to affect a substantial impact on society. 

Corporate philanthropy is about helping and cooperating with others to encourage further growth and development within society. Cultural change, understanding of social responsibility, and alignment of work with technology are all important elements of a values-based business. 

Employees’ Expectations and UN SDGs 

Employees’ expectations are also changing. Millennials are looking for more than just consistent promotions, they also seek to understand the purpose of their work. Knowledge of values-based services is essential to making a positive impact on the next industrial revolution. 

Pat also emphasizes that a sense of purpose among Millennials is important for the emergence of values-based business. It can help in facilitating quality services and delivering impact in the next industrial revolution.

The aim of the UN’s SDGs is the creation of a better society and future for all. The world faces multiple challenges including poverty, inequality, climate change, health-related issues, etc.  Values-based businesses have a key role to play in developing effective strategies and technologies that will make these reforms possible.

Salesforce.org makes it possible for students from under-developed areas to access better learning through the internet. The Salesforce.org cloud-based education platform encourages increased student engagement and provides access to future career opportunities. 

Contribution of Worldwide Firms

According to Pat, organizations across the US are coming to the realization that an impact revolution is indeed coming and they must adapt to prepare for the inevitable digital wave. As proof of this widespread awareness, Pat points out, “38% of the largest companies in the US, two-thirds of the FTSE 100 all have a public statement of how they’re committed to the SDGs.” 

Together, Salesforce and WealthEngine have demonstrated that a commitment to making a social impact can align with a balanced business strategy. 

 

How to Ensure Customer Excellence with Big Data and a Human Touch

BigData-Blog-Image.png

How to Ensure Customer Excellence with Big Data and a Human Touch

September 21, 2020
Raj Khera

The lifeblood of any business or nonprofit is happy clients or donors. The challenge is in knowing how to create experiences they’ll enjoy, remember, and keep coming back for. Luckily, innovative analytics has made it easier than ever to ensure customer excellence. This guide covers why you should use big data to guide client interactions and the best strategies to use. It’ll also touch on some tools that automate the process and save you money.

This article is based on a presentation by Chady AlAhmar, Head of Strategy and Finance for U.S. Bank. 

Why You Should Leverage Big Data and Analytics

Customer excellence is when someone will choose your business or organization over anyone else in your industry. However, it hinges on the individual. What delights one person isn’t necessarily going to work on another.

That’s where client data comes in. With the right info, you can take a prospect on a unique journey that has a high probability of converting them. As AlAhmar found out, there are also customer trends that encourage data usage, including desires for experiences that are:

  • Simple – People want it to be easy to do business with you, e.g. no complicated forms
  • Personalized – Clients want to feel like you understand exactly who they are
  • Cheap – People need to know that you’re efficient with their money
  • Responsible – It’s important to customers that the product or organization has a higher social good or purpose

People are also becoming more comfortable with algorithm-based technologies. It doesn’t bother them when Alexa predicts their thoughts or grocery lists. They value this convenience. 

For the same reason, they anticipate you have and will use data about them to improve their interactions with your organization. However, as AlAhmar points out, customers are still thinking, “If I’m doing business with you, I still expect you to really, really take care of my data.” As such, make sure you’re following General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines

Five Top Tips for Customer Experience Strategy

AlAhmar’s team at U.S. Bank uses and recommends this strategy for cultivating customer excellence:

1. Know Your Client

AlAhmar notes, “The client is saying, “I’m a client of the bank. You have my social security, you have all the information on me. So, I expect you to know me.”

And know them you should. It’s easy to gather data about customers. Use that info to create a seamless, VIP experience that makes their life easier. 

2. Reach Out at the Right Time

This doesn’t mean don’t call a prospect at dinner time—although you shouldn’t do that either. Rather, get a big picture view of what’s going on in a client’s life before getting in touch.

“Do not reach out with every single product every day,” advises AlAhmar. “Try to figure out how to use all that data and prioritize it, so that you can figure out [when the client is most likely] going to engage with you.”

This practice, also known as prospect research, can tell you if someone just had a major life change. For example, if a potential donor recently moved or changed jobs, you likely don’t want to approach them for major gift fundraising. On the other hand, someone who has sold their business might be a great candidate. 

3. Use the Right Channel

Some people don’t want to be contacted by phone or would prefer to talk via email. Always learn your clients’ communication boundaries and stick to them.

“Every person has a different way to engage,” instructs AlAhmar. “If you have a client or a donor, you’d better know how to connect with them. [What are] their preferences? That’s going to be key.”

4. Offer Advice, Not a Sale

The best way to engage with your clients? Try to provide advice or a solution before offering a product or making a donation request.

Of course, you can connect this advice or service to your eventual ask. For example, AlAhmar wouldn’t prod a client to roll over her 401(k). Instead, he would start by giving her advice about the new tax bill and what kind of implications it has for her.

5. Incorporate Machine Learning

It’s vital to know which of the previous four strategies are converting your prospects and what needs tweaking. All your client interactions should be connected to a program that can record and analyze them to optimize the process.

AlAhmar describes how his team uses this kind of feedback loop when engaging with their customers: “We have WealthEngine in front of our advisors using Salesforce where any client, any prospect, you have the score right away.”

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This Propensity to Give (P2G) score indicates how likely a prospect is to buy or donate. WealthEngine calculates the score by analyzing factors like assets, a person’s history of giving, and more.

“I know that client before I even connect with them,” notes AlAhmar, “and based on whether they agree to meet with me or not, the machine is going to learn. It’s going to tell me this specific trigger is working better than the other trigger.”

Final Thoughts: Leveraging Big Data Helps Care for Clients

AlAhmar was once friends with an elderly man in his congregation named John. Although he was initially hesitant about leaving $7 million to the church, he trusted AlAhmar to allocate the money wisely based on their existing relationship. 

The foundation for his trust was simple. “Whenever [my wife and her mom] cook [John’s favorite meal], they send some to John, because he’s in his 80s and he loves that food,” recalls AlAhmar. This humble act between friends imbued John with the confidence that his gift was in good hands. 

The exchange summarizes AlAhmar’s approach to data-driven customer experiences. The right info at the right time backed up by a positive, pre-existing relationship helps clients feel valued and secure in your partnership. A tool like WealthEngine makes it automatic. Get in touch today for a demo. 

 

Building Distinctive and Authentic Strategies in the Era of Data Abundance

Data Strategy

Building Distinctive and Authentic Strategies in the Era of Data Abundance

In this era of data abundance, it can be tough to formulate a distinctive and successful business strategy that actually leverages data and gives you the growth you are seeking. Tom Monahan, founder and managing partner of Norton Street Capital and a board member of TransUnion,  shed some light on how to accomplish this successfully at the 2019 WealthEngine Prosper Summit.

How Data Changes Organizations

The way organizations use data to engage with clients and prospects in positive and helpful ways is constantly evolving. Companies shouldn’t look at data as a way to make money but instead, see it as an opportunity to genuinely help their clients. 

For example, if you’re an investment manager trying to help wealthy people better manage their money, you can use wealth screening. This is a powerful tool that enables you to pinpoint areas where your clients can be more efficient in their investing. Of course, you would make money off that data, but so would your clients, making it mutually beneficial.

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Not only are corporations using data to prospect or get new clients, but companies are also able to leverage data to develop better products and improve internal processes. 

How to Formulate a Strategy That Leverages Data

As a leader in an organization formulating a data strategy, it’s imperative to ask the right questions. Here are some questions you should ask to help build a successful business strategy:

  • How can we use the data we already have to help our clients?
  • What’s the last important thing you changed your mind about?
    • How did data affect your decision?
  • Where do we want to be in the data industry?
  • What are we good at?
  • What’s our ultimate mission?
  • How much risk are we willing to take?
  • How do we keep this data secure?

The point of asking these questions is for everyone to learn something new. It also provides an opportunity to think about how you can create a distinctive strategy for growth. Considering these things also helps to ensure you’re using the data you have available in an ethical manner.

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WealthEngine enables building a powerful data strategy with its WealthScoring data analysis. With WealthEngine’s Propensity to Give (P2G) Score, your organization will be able to correctly identify and prioritize those most likely to give. A P2G Score of 1/0 is optimal. 

The Principles of a Successful Business Strategy

As a strategist, it’s important to think about the compounding benefits of good strategic decisions, for long-term growth. How are you going to engage the customer so that you not only gain them as a client but are able to retain them as well? 

It’s not enough to simply have unique data either. You must have a plan for that data.

For example, the Union Pacific Railroad needs data that’s extremely valuable to them. However, for most people, this information would serve no purpose. The data in their positive train control system helps prevent derailments by taking in the track temperature, speed, and other important measurements throughout their system. This data makes it possible to predict situations before they happen. 

While it’s important for a train engineer to know what the temperature of the track will be four hours down the line. The average person does not need or know how to apply this information.

To successfully distinguish your organization within your industry, you should have data that’s unique for you, and have a way to apply it that generates genuine value. A recent webinar with Infutor, one of WealthEngine’s partners, examines the the hidden predictors that signal your top prospects. This information allows you to personalize your messaging to effectively target these donors

  • Proper Data Staging and Structuring

How you structure your data should help you understand this information in a way no one else can. You most likely have an abundance of data at your disposal, but how you stage and structure it is going to affect your strategy. 

The best thing you can do with data is to use it to predict something no one else can. Just as the Union Pacific Railroad has, find a way to use your data that makes it valuable to some and like magic to others. 

  • Value Creation

What can you do with data to help you truly excel? How is what you’re doing valuable to others? Figure out what specific value your data can create and see how that fits into your company’s strategy.

  • Extracting Value From Data

Of course, as an organization you want to make money, so how can you extract monetary value from this data? In a successful business strategy, you’re extracting data that helps people and brings you more income.

The Facts Behind “Data Is the New Oil” and How It Affects Your Business Strategy

The term “data is the new oil”, has been thrown around a lot lately. It was originally said by modern data use pioneer Clive Humby, and it has sparked quite the online debate. 

The prevailing online argument about this quote revolves around the question of whether data is indeed the new oil in terms of its value. Some take the position that data is not the new oil because data is renewable while oil is not.

Take a look at this Google trends map and you see blog posts on both sides arguing the simple statement “data is the new oil.” 

Blue= Data is the new oil

Red = Data is not the new oil

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What this really shows is how the internet can take information and then make large leaps,  instigating a heated argument. There are great points on both sides of this particular debate. However, it is important to note that what is being so vigorously argued is a shortened, clipped version of what Humby stated.

We believe accurate data is extremely valuable, and find what Humby actually said much more profound than the distorted quote that is often attributed to him:

“Data is the new oil, it’s valuable, but if unrefined, it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, et cetera. Create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity. Data must be broken down and analyzed for [it to] have value.” 

Essentially, like oil, data is nothing unless it is refined. If oil isn’t turned into gas, it can’t be used in your car. If data isn’t turned into something with valuable practical applications, it’s worth as little as salt. 

Ultimately, you as a business leader need to leverage your data and turn it into something valuable. The most important piece of a successful business strategy is the ability to take something that’s worth nothing to others and recognize its value for the right people.