Nonprofit Storytelling: 4 Ways to Deepen Engagement

nonprofit storytelling

Nonprofit Storytelling: 4 Ways to Deepen Engagement

October 18, 2019
Nandini Singh

In most (if not all) nonprofits, there is a greater emphasis on personalization. With the emergence of new technologies, it’s becoming easier for organizations to segment donors and personalize outreach according to their donors’ experiences, interests, and life stages. This is particularly evident in nonprofit storytelling.

Now, not only do donors want to receive messaging that speaks to their values, but they also want to forge connections with the organization they’re contributing to. As exemplified by Jay Scott, Co-Executive Director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, donors want to hear stories about and from the people they’re helping. They want to understand those individuals, their stories, and give in ways that are impactful.

So, let’s explore the four necessary things you should do to tell a story with impact:

4 Ways to Forge Deeper Connections with Donors

1. Dig Into Your Organization’s Backstory

A key step in successful nonprofit storytelling is to discuss your history. The first story that should connect with your audience is your organization’s origin story. How and why was your organization created?  And, how are you amplifying your mission today? These intentional tellings of your story can garner a community of loyal followers. If they believe in your mission and how you’re attempting to create change, donors and prospects will commit themselves to spread your story.

In Jay Scott’s case, almost all the donors that visit the Alex’s Lemonade Stand site are far more interested in the history of the organization than what is being done with the donations they’ve received. They want to know how they got started and how their organization is galvanizing people into doing more.

2. Focus on Deep Content in Nonprofit Storytelling, Not Just Personalized Messaging

Deep stories, like Alex’s, do more than encourage people to give for the sake of giving. Jay Scott demonstrates that stories are vessels for empathy. They enable you to create bonds with prospective and existing donors. Stories like Alex’s galvanize people into giving. Not only do they understand, what is going on factually, but they also deeply feel the reality of the situation outlined before them.

The most impactful stories exist beyond the written word. They exist beyond the simplistic intention of collecting donations so your foundation can gain traction or attention. A truly salient story is one that digs into and illuminates a greater truth which may ordinarily feel abstract or intangible. That’s what inspires donors to give— not an anecdote illustrating why they should give, but a truth that allows them to connect, empathize, and humanize the individuals in the story.

3. Segment Your Audience

In nonprofit storytelling, not everyone will connect with the same story. So, it’s important to remain true to the stories you collect and then determine which donors will connect with which truth. Once you’ve segmented your donors, you can send tailored messages that are relevant to their interests and experiences.

Communication, from then on, is primarily donor-centric. You’re highlighting their wants, needs, and motivations, instead of showing donors why they should give to your organization. At Alex’s Lemonade Stand,  they send out personalized messages to hundreds of thousands of donors. Just by subject line alone, donors open these emails 2-5 times more than those on regular distribution lists. But, this isn’t about creating messages that are likely to be opened. It’s about bringing the attention of interested people to stories that speak to them. That’s where all significant change starts.

4. Amplify Your Intention Through Imagery in Nonprofit Storytelling

Imagery is an essential element in impactful nonprofit storytelling. Not only do written stories forge connections with your donors, but images can also elicit a similar connection. For instance, Jay Scott noticed that when they left out Alex’s picture from their newsletter, his donors had something to say about it. Why? By seeing Alex’s picture, people were able to put a face to the story they were reading.

In that sense, images make nonprofit stories more tangible.

They allow you to humanize the cause and donors are able to see the individuals impacted by the gifts they contribute. So, the retellings no longer seem abstract. They’re real.

Catch a Recap of Using Storytelling to Personalize Your Message and Grow Donors

Watch Jay Scott’s powerful retelling of Alex’s story, presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Start Now–>

The Impact of Social Values on Business: 3 Key Changes

impact of social values on business

The Impact of Social Values on Business: 3 Key Changes

October 18, 2019
Nandini Singh

We are constantly moving, changing, and progressing. Today, we are in the midst of a 4th industrial revolution. One of data and connection. So, we are in a position where everything in our lives can be quantified. Organizations are collecting and sifting through tons of data to understand us and meet our needs. Now, we can see significant change coming. We’re beginning to transition into a 5th industrial revolution. One based on social impact. So, that begs a few questions: what is the impact of social values on business? How should businesses equip themselves for this shift? And what areas of the business are changing already?

Let’s explore the 3 areas that Salesforce.org‘s SVP Pat McQueen says are changing as a result of the adoption of social impact in big business.

3 Areas of Business Impacted by Social Values

Now that we’re transitioning into values-based business spaces, we can see a wave of change in corporate philanthropy. There are 3 major areas, for example, that are changing based on the need for social impact in business models:

1. Workplace Culture

Now that Millennials and members of Gen Z are entering the workforce, workplace expectations are evolving. Many young employees are looking for much more than opportunities to move up the corporate ladder. They’re looking for a sense of purpose in the workplace. Not only do they want to work in businesses that are committed to doing good, but they also want to invest time in projects that allow them to realize their values in actionable ways.

2. Emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility

Since more employees are choosing to work in spaces that value social impact, businesses are changing as a result. There’s a growing expectation that organizations are meant to engage socially with their customers AND employees. Not simply for the benefit of their employees, but on a macro-level as well. Businesses are being more intentional in their decision making to reflect the values of everyone they reach and are engaging in ethical marketing as a result.

3. Technology and Trust

About 90% of today’s data was created in the past two years. Although this influx of information is seemingly beneficial, we still don’t know what to do with a majority of the data we possess. So, as we continue to generate and collect data, especially in an effort to understand the wants and needs of others, businesses are experiencing a dramatic erosion of trust. At this moment in time, there’s a greater need to restore trust between customers and the organizations they’re engaging with.

Salesforce’s Interpretation of the Impact of Social Values on Business

As the impact of social values on business grows, it’s necessary for organizations to hone in on the values of their employees, customers, and business. And this need for value-based business models doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The results are tangible. If anything, now, impact-forward organizations produce almost 4% higher return than an organization that doesn’t talk about impact.

Catch a Recap of The Digital Wave and Values-Based Business

Watch Pat McQueen’s talk on the importance of values-based business presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

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Delivering Innovation by Balancing Technology with the Human Touch

delivering innovation

Delivering Innovation by Balancing Technology with the Human Touch

October 17, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

Personalization is at the tip of every fundraiser and marketer’s tongue. Achieving personalization in your organization’s outreach requires innovation. Delivering innovation means thinking beyond convention. This out-of-the-box thinking can be driven by you or even by your donors or customers.

In the case of the latter, you need to listen to your contacts and let them tell you what suits them best.  Innovation trends across various industries are changing client expectations.  

What Customers & Donors Look For

Chady AlAhmar, SVP of Strategy and Analytics, U.S. Bank Wealth Management has said that there is a  5-step process that has helped them drive innovation.

delivering innovation

You begin with your customer or donor. Understand their expectations in order to deliver innovation. Here is what they expect based on their journey:

1. Ease, Simplicity, and Increased Control

The extent of technology in our daily lives has made people expect ease of transactions whether it comes to giving, saving, or spending. They know that they produce data with each transaction and that is okay as long as data is collected in a transparent way that gives them control over it.

The emphasis here is on data- your donors and customers are saying “I expect you to know me.”

2. Personalization and holistic communication

You cannot be everything to everyone. By the same token, not everything you send out will appeal to everyone. For instance, if you reach out with a 401K message to everyone in your database, it may not resonate. To deliver innovation here means to offer support instead of seeking a sale. In the previous instance, if you find out who has just changed jobs or moved and then reach out to them- you can offer advice and guidance on updating their 401K. Doing this would make your message resonate better.

The emphasis here is on prioritization– your donors and customers are saying, “Find me at the right time.”

3. Cost-Efficiency

Your contacts expect that you will find the most cost-effective way to reach them. Invest in innovation that meets their expectations but does not increase your costs dramatically, trickling down to increased costs for them.

What’s important here is the distribution of efficiencies. The expectation is, “Not only do I want you to find me at the right time, but I also want you to find me in the right place.”

4. Social Responsibility

This is becoming an increasingly important expectation, especially among younger generations. Your contacts are saying, “if there is no purpose behind this, I am not interested in it”. If you are a nonprofit, for you, this means that every appeal that you send them has to be something that strikes an emotional chord. Every appeal must also showcase the impact of any gift clearly.

The emphasis here is on activation. You are expected to “Offer me purpose and meaning, not sales pitches.”

5. Comfort with algorithm-based decisions

Users are becoming more and more comfortable with algorithm-based decision-making. This means that they are okay with their GPS predicting their destination in the morning as well as Alexa predicting their mood to create a playlist. Technology is being embraced by your customers and donors, which means that you can deliver innovation by using the latest tech.

Don’t fear technology. But, don’t lose sight of learning. “The more we interact, the better you will know me (and others like me).”

6. Security

The ease with technology and with the ubiquitous nature of data means that security is a growing concern. Your contacts expect you to take precautions to secure the data you have gathered about them.

Delivering innovation here means finding a way to bridge the gap between privacy and personalization.

How You Can Deliver Innovation Based on Expectations

Knowing your contacts’ expectations now empowers you to deliver innovation in a personalized manner. But, how can you meet these expectations?

The answer lies in being able to balance IQ with eQ. In fact, it is all about human capital and human potential. Delivering innovation comes down to using technology to empower humans to do great things.

PEOPLE + INNOVATION = A Winning Combination.

The balance, of course, depends on the nature of service and the complexity of client needs. For example, a museum competes not only against other museums but also for people’s time. As the museum, you need to make visitors feel a certain way when they are there. Therefore, they should be driven to return.

Innovation means realizing that your offer strikes an emotional chord as well as offers ease and convenience. You need to use data to drive customer experience. Listen to them, understand how they feel. Deliver a solution that caters to their needs.

Delivering Innovation: 3 Key Takeaways

  1. Embrace technology to enhance the donor or customer experience. Thus, you can adjust your innovation strategy to include expectations created by emerging client journeys.
  2. Improve your value proposition through data analytics. It’s important to embrace data and machine learning to deliver innovation. But, don’t lose sight of the value that the human perspective can offer. Thus, you should sense check your data-driven strategies with your instinct and experience.
  3. Think about how you make your client feel. Ultimately, the best experiences are driven by appealing to your contacts’  IQ as well as eQ.

Interested in learning more about Chady’s talk on delivering innovation? Catch a recap of his session from WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Watch Now–> 

Retail Marketing: Using Technology to Drive Personalization at Scale

retail marketing

Retail Marketing: Using Technology to Drive Personalization at Scale

October 14, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

We’ve heard that personalization should be at the core of retail marketing strategy. Does this mean that you send discounts on jeans to previous customers who bought jeans? Yes, that’s a part of it, but there is so much more. Every touchpoint needs to make the customer feel like they are having a one-on-one conversation with you. However, from a business standpoint, your strategy needs to be scalable as well. The question then becomes about balancing scalability with that personal touch.

Bob Ghafouri, Senior Managing Director, Founder, Bloom by Accenture recently addressed this question and others at WE Prosper Summit.

How Can You Scale Personalization?

Platforms are disrupting every industry. Retail marketing is no different. In fact, platforms can enable you to achieve personalization at scale. They are able to do this by focusing on three elements:

  1. Experience Disruption- creating a frictionless customer experience that makes everyone pivot. Eg: AirBnB made it so convenient to find the comfort of home in a new city that people started to prefer them to hotels for certain types of trips.
  2. Business Model Disruption- changing the value chain or existing business models to find an advantage. Eg: Dollar Shave Club cut out other players in the value chain and went direct to consumer. By doing this, they were able to keep costs very low and provide value and convenience to their customers.
  3. Technological Disruption- when technology enables you to take leaps, speed up innovation or benefit from convenience. Eg: Amazon’s Redshift platform- a new business could use this to launch themselves into the market in a matter of days

These disruptions all allow retail marketers to personalize their offerings. For instance, experiences can be curated to meet customer preferences. Similarly, value and/or convenience can be factored in based on what is most important to each customer segment. With the help of technology, these offerings can remain customized but can be scaled as businesses grow.

What do Retail Customers Want?

When it comes to retail, customers know what they want. They want personalization & control. This means that they don’t just want to be offered a multitude of choices. Options generated by retail marketing should cater to their preferences. Furthermore, they want to be in control of their journey and the information you hold about them. The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 45% of consumers left a website due to being overwhelmed by too many options
  • 82% of customers are willing to share data- as long as there is transparency, control, and service
  • 79% of consumers have never felt a brand was too personal or invasive
  • 81% of consumers will shop more if you recognize, remember, and make relevant recommendations
  • 75% of consumers want to control their journey

If you’re in retail marketing, the data above shows you that listening to your customers is a large part of the exercise. Let them educate you on how best to serve them.

How can Retail Marketing Address Customer Wants and Needs?

Think service design: a dynamic service experience is critical to getting 1:1 personalization. Customer experience should be designed in such a way that every touchpoint must feel personal. Focus on three elements to develop this design:

personalization

Personalized Shopping: Stalking is Not Personalization

You have several kinds of data at your organization. You don’t have to track your customer’s every move or stalk them in order to get insights. Personalized shopping can be driven by combining different types of data- both your own and that acquired from third parties.

You can use transactional or historical data + shared intent by the customer + insights from machine learning that can provide inferred intent. These three combined can provide actionable insights and be powerful to drive personalization. Further, your communication can be more proactive through these.

For example, your customer may have bought entry-level luxury handbags before. You then notice that they add a high-end luxury bag to their cart and abandon it there for some time. This shows you their intent or preparedness to spend on a big-ticket item. Using data science, you can analyze similar patterns among other customers to predict the value of their next purchase or even predict the likelihood of a big-ticket purchase on their next transaction.

When you have this kind of insight, you can send them tailored offers- maybe a personalized shopping experience in-store or a promotion offered specifically around high-end handbags.

Personalized Merchandising: Profiling is Not Personalization

Data and machine learning are powerful tools in retail marketing, of course. Data-driven segmentation can also help you refine personalization. However, even the best algorithm may not be enough to create something highly personalized. Applying human intuition on a digital platform is what will get you there.

For instance, let’s consider the previous example. Your predictive model indicated that the customer is ready for a luxury purchase in their next transaction. However, as a seasoned retail marketing professional, you may realize that the bag remaining in their cart is a sign. Your instinct can take you from prediction to anticipation. Prediction is about retailers being in control, but anticipation puts the control back in the hands of the customer.  In this case, your experience tells you that the customer is hesitant about making such a big decision.

Knowing how likely they are to make a purchase empowers you to approach them with personalized merchandising. You may send them a video about craftsmanship on the brand of handbags they are interested in. Thus, you showcase the value of the product to them. On the other hand, you may realize that they are ready to make a luxury purchase but maybe the handbag is a bigger commitment than they are ready for. In this instance, personalization could be in the form of promotions on belts, wallets or other smaller items from the same brand.

Personalized Advisor: Chatbots are Not Personalization

Retail consumers seek experts just like anybody else. They are looking for personalization in the form of advice. While chatbots are a nifty solution to interact with customers at scale, they cannot replace real advice.

In the spectrum of virtual to real experts, there are three archetypes that are typically used in retail marketing.

Retail marketers are pivoting towards 1:1 personalized orchestration engines. These are not just about sharing advice but also listening to your consumers.

For instance, when a customer is shopping online your recommendation engine may be showing them similar products. However, customers seek advice more than recommendations. You can drive personalization by showing them how to pair the item they are looking at with others or how to style it for different occasions based on their lifestyle.

You could also offer advice in the form of answering frequently asked questions about the product. This can go beyond product specs to show how the product functions in different settings, how durable it can be, etc.

Thus, you can build personalization into the entire customer journey. By listening as much as recommending, retail marketers can ensure that customers control their own journeys.

Top 4 Retail Marketing Takeaways:

Here are four top takeaways from Bob’s talk on personalization in retail marketing.

  1. Consumers don’t mind that you have data on them. In fact, they preferred to be recognized and offered relevant offers. But, they want transparency and control over the data.
  2. Combine your knowledge of your customers with data science to gain insights.
  3. Become proactive in your communications, open yourself up to listening to your customers. Go from predicting customer behavior to anticipating it.
  4. Retail experiences need to be personalized in every step of the customer journey. In order to achieve this in a meaningful way, you need to combine technology and human instinct.

Catch a Recap of Making it Personal

Watch the full recap of Making it Personal, presented at WE Prosper Summit 2019.

Start Now–>

Donor-Advised Funds: How Your Nonprofit Can Gain Untapped Gifts

Donor Advised Funds

Donor-Advised Funds: How Your Nonprofit Can Gain Untapped Gifts

October 7, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) may seem out of reach, but reports show that they are growing at a rapid rate. Furthermore, DAFs have been making a significant impact on giving. For instance, a donor recently found out that his DAF had the ability to support early education impacting 80 children. The fund that went out to support this cause was in the ballpark of $170,000. This was possible through appreciated securities and growth of the fund in their portfolio.

If your nonprofit has not been leveraging Donor-Advised Funds to supplement your fundraising strategies, following our recommended best practices can help you get started. Make sure you get a copy of our best practices guide at the end of this article.

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What is a Donor-Advised Fund?

Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing, Fidelity Charitable says, “A donor advised fund is like having a set-aside investment account just for your charitable giving.”

DAFs are a way for donors to make a charitable contribution and get their tax deduction immediately. However, funds, securities, and assets are held by a public charity. The donor can then recommend grants to go out to charities from these assets.

Three Key Benefits of Using DAFs

  1. The nature of these funds allows donors to be more thoughtful about how they allocate resources to charities. It takes the time pressure off when they have had a financial windfall. They can establish the DAF right away and receive a tax deduction. But, they still have time to think about how best to use these funds.
    In the words of a current DAF donor, these funds allow you to put 98% of the focus on giving and 2% on the implementation/technicalities of it.
  2. Assets can appreciate over time allowing charities to benefit from a higher value contribution.
  3. DAFs are also growing at an exponential rate when compared to the growth of overall giving. For example, giving overall grew 5% in 2017 vs DAFs that grew by 20% in the same period.

Profile of a Typical Donor

  1. The median age is 65. However, giving can begin as early as 55.
  2. 79% of them also volunteer their time with their money
  3. 68% have said that DAF is right for them because they have the money now but haven’t thought about how/where to give yet
  4. 76% give appreciated assets (privately held assets or publically traded stock)
  5. 76% give because it is an investment growth of charitable assets
  6. 27% give because they had a financial windfall

Before we get to our best practice recommendations, let’s understand some commonly held misconceptions about Donor-Advised Funds.

Donor-Advised Fund Myths- What is actually true?

 

Myth

Fact

DAF donors are typically wealthy The average DAF donor has a bank balance of $17,000
DAF contributions are always major gifts Gifts have a wide range, but the average is about $4000
Money doesn’t move when it ends up in a Donor-Advised Fund On average 37% of funds go to charities in year 1, 74% within 5 years and 88% within 10 years
DAFs are limited in number Over 1000 charities have DAF programs

 

5 Best Practices for Nonprofits to Get These Funds

Learn how best to fish in your own pond. Identify prospects for DAF giving from within your donor base.

Download our best practices guide here–>

How to Personalize Engagement: 10 Key Takeaways From WE Prosper Summit 2019

How to Personalize Engagement: 10 Key Takeaways From WE Prosper Summit 2019

October 4, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

The power of personalized engagement is undeniable. WealthEngine’s WE Prosper Summit 2019 brought together industry experts. They discussed the importance of personalization across industries. Speakers explored how data, AI/ML, and other technology drive tailored outreach and positive social impact.

Experts at the WE Prosper Summit 2019 spoke from their varied perspectives. From those talks, we found that the following key principles exist across industries:

Personalized Engagement can Deliver Exponential ROI

1.  Personalized Engagement is more than just a trending topic.

The WE Prosper Summit confirmed that personalization is more than just a buzzword. Speakers confirmed that it is at the epicenter of all successful fundraising and marketing.

For fundraisers, personalization could be the difference between receiving $50 from a donor or $50,000. For marketers, it enables them to stay informed on customer life stages. So, this means you can predict purchases and keep customers, thereby increasing LTV.

2. There is a fine line between personalized and creepy.

When you completely rely on technology to drive personalization, you may end up crossing a fine line. Stalking, profiling, and chatbots aren’t effective methods in learning more about your clients. In short, organizations need to find a way to make communication feel personal without losing sight of scalability.

This leads us to our next set of takeaways…

Technology Needs to be Balanced with the Human Touch

3. Data and AI are making huge strides in both the nonprofit world and in marketing.

AI is always exploring the frontier of what is possible. It is a great tool to test and refine your personalized engagement strategy. So, when data is combined with machine learning, it can predict behavior. This can help you be proactive in your outreach.

4. The value of the human touch cannot be undervalued.

It’s important to not be overly-reliant on technology when you’re personalizing your outreach. There are several cases where technology has been used as a substitute for a personal touch. Your donors and customers want to be engaged in authentic ways. They must sense transparency and relevancy in your communications with them. So, you can achieve this by balancing scalability with the human touch.

5. Your data strategy cannot just be to collect lots of it.

Basically, volume does not equal value.

Mathematician, Clive Humby has said that “Data is like oil…”

So, you have to refine data and process it correctly for it to be valuable. Moreover, data collection and insights must add value to your overall business strategy.

6. Combine your data with data from other sources to personalize engagement.

Your data is unique to you but you can increase it’s value to supplementing it with information from other sources. For instance, WealthEngine customers have access to wealth, demographic, lifestyle, and affinity data. These help them gain a more holistic view of their contacts. Similarly, data and machine learning can generate unique insights.

Combining your data with machine learning technology can generate insights that no one else has. These insights can then help you drive personalized engagement. Furthermore, you can use this technology to refine your analysis over time.

7. AI is not out of reach for nonprofits.

By understanding the technology, you can reduce repetitive tasks. Additionally, you can test your strategy and learn from it so that you are constantly refining your outreach.

Impact is Going to be the Next Industrial Revolution

8. Impact is going to affect all organizations.

All stakeholders have an interest in corporate social responsibility. Thus, usher corporations towards public good.

9. Millennials are going to be major influencers of the economy.

They will buy from brands, work at companies, and give to causes that are closely aligned with their principles. Thus, understanding them will be key to driving personalized engagement.

10. Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) can add to fundraising bottom lines.

DAFs have been growing at a rate of 20%, almost 4X the rate of overall giving. With this being the case, all nonprofits have to do is facilitate receiving funds through them.

Learn More about WE Prosper Summit 2019- The Power of Personalized Engagement

Interested in learning more about what our industry experts had to say? Learn more about the latest trends in prospect engagement.

 

WealthEngine Assembles Industry Leaders at Second Annual WE Prosper Summit to Discuss The Latest Trends In Prospect Engagement

WealthEngine Assembles Industry Leaders at Second Annual WE Prosper Summit to Discuss The Latest Trends In Prospect Engagement

October 2, 2019
Nandini Singh

BETHESDA, MD, October 2, 2019— WealthEngine held its second annual WE Prosper Summit at The Newseum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, October 1, 2019.

The WE Prosper Summit is a gathering of thought leaders from global causes and international brands. Participants come together for a day-long conference of rich keynote speeches, how-tos, case studies and presentations from 17 thought leaders among our clients and partners.

“As the recent statement from The Business Roundtable indicates, businesses are redefining their role in society, to include all stakeholders, not just shareholders” said PV Boccasam CEO of WealthEngine. “Our conference brings together thought leaders who are innovating how they engage their current and future prospects in powerful ways that impact the communities that they live and work in everyday.”

The theme of the 2019 WE Prosper Summit was The Power of Personalized Engagement. Thought leaders, experts, partners and clients convened to discuss the latest trends and best practices in data-driven prospecting. This year’s WE Prosper Summit also explored the actionable steps leaders can take to optimize their fundraising and marketing strategy.

The 2019 WE Prosper Summit featured key industry speakers including: Amy Pirozzolo, Head of Marketing at Fidelity Charitable; Rick Dunham, Chair of the Board of the Giving USA Foundation and Board Member of the Giving Institute; Patricia Eisner, former Chief Development Officer of The Malala Fund, now of Two Rivers Public Charter Schools; Tom Monahan, Board Member of Transunion and Managing Partner of Norton Street Capital and former CEO and Chairman of CEB; Bob Ghafouri, Founder of Accenture Bloom; Pat McQueen, Senior VP at Salesforce.org; and many others.

WealthEngine also took the opportunity to hold their second 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 2019 WE Prosper Awards and humbled by their dedication to their communities and causes they support,” said Matt Melnick, SVP of Sales & Strategic Alliances. “We look forward to learning from their work and sharing best practices to generate positive momentum within our community.”

The 2019 WealthEngine Prosper Award recipients were:

American Lung Association

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Medstar Health

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

The University of Pennsylvania

U.S. Bank

TCS World Travel

About WealthEngine

Using actionable wealth and lifestyle insights, WealthEngine (WE) fuels highly-targeted campaigns that continuously deliver measured outcomes. The WE prospect engagement platform is powered by more than a half-trillion data points and uses proprietary learning science to create unique WE Profiles for more than 250M people in the U.S.

For more than 20 years, we have ensured our clients engage in highly personalized and precise conversations with their audiences to find their next best prospect and drive growth. By elevating campaigns to the power of WE, our clients expand their audiences, decrease acquisition costs and increase revenue, along with the lifetime value of their donor or customers.

WealthEngine works in both the commercial and nonprofit markets with clients in financial services, luxury, retail, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, higher education, arts & culture, and with any organization looking to use wealth and lifestyle data to enhance their efforts.

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Top 5 Giving Tuesday Ideas to Boost Your Fundraising Efforts

giving tuesday ideas

Top 5 Giving Tuesday Ideas to Boost Your Fundraising Efforts

September 23, 2019
Nandini Singh

As Giving Tuesday approaches, it’s important to have a game plan. This will help you procure as many major gifts as possible and connect with donors on a deeper level. So, by identifying what to do on Giving Tuesday, you’ll be able to fundraise with ease. Let’s explore the top 5  Giving Tuesday ideas to make your fundraiser a success. And, be sure to get the ultimate Giving Tuesday checklist at the end of the article to ensure that you’re on track to meet your fundraising goals now, and at the end of the year.

1. Establish a Specific Giving Tuesday Fundraising Need

One Giving Tuesday idea is to focus your fundraising efforts on a specific need. A common mistake that organizations fall into is using Giving Tuesday to fundraise in general, instead of focusing their efforts on a specific goal.

By not articulating what your fundraiser will help create, specifically, donors aren’t able to gauge where and how they’ll be able to create change. Creating a specific project to funnel contributions into, allows donors to visualize the end result and feel more involved in the process.

2. Create an Attainable Fundraising Goal for Giving Tuesday

Of all Giving Tuesday ideas, it is important to create a monetary goal that is feasible and attainable.  Organizations can fall into the trap of setting fundraising goals that are beyond their reach. During Giving Tuesday, it’s important that your organization set up one that is reasonable. If the set goal is too high, donors are unable to contextualize their gift and decide if their actions will actually help create change. This could dissuade potential donors from contributing all they can to your goal.

By creating a goal that you’re bound to reach, or even surpass, that will attract new donors to your cause. They’ll feel like they’re making a difference with their contributions knowing that you’ve been able to achieve a goal collectively. The donor needs to be the hero of your giving story, and the best way to do that is to provide them with gratification– they took steps in the right direction and now their actions have resulted in a win that exists beyond the goal.

3. Make Sure Your Website is Compatible with Mobile Devices

One Giving Tuesday idea that most organizations neglect is creating webpages that are compatible on other devices, especially mobile. The donation space is becoming increasingly digitized as time goes on. In order to accommodate your donors, it’s imperative that your website is compatible with various screens.

Mobile giving is becoming more and more popular. About 25% of donors complete their donations on mobile devices. And about 17% of Giving Tuesday donations in 2018 came through smartphones. Mobile giving enables your existing and prospective donors to give from anywhere at any time. By making sure your website is responsive or compatible, you can procure more and more donations.

4. Screen and Model Your Existing Donor Base

More often than not, organizations request donations from everyone and then determine which donors have the ability to give more. But, what if you were to cut out the guesswork on who would be most likely to give, and you could speak to them directly? This all starts with screening and modeling.

So, it’s a good idea to screen and model your donors for Giving Tuesday. By conducting a wealth screening, you can see which donors have the greatest propensity and capacity to give. Once you’ve compiled this information, you can implement focused and effective engagement techniques. Not only are you reaching donors who are likely to give during Giving Tuesday, but now you’re also communicating with people who are willing to give again and again.

Once you’ve screened all the donors in your database, you can use WealthEngine’s modeling solution to find donors just like your best. By modeling your best donors, you are able to generate a core donor persona. You can identify overlaps in demographic data, preferences, and giving history among donors who are already in your database. This will give you an impression of what your ideal donors look like. That is to say, you’ll get a sense of what their traits are and how they communicate. This impression will help you find people like those.

5. Create and Send Personalized Messages

When it comes to receipts, emails or thank-yous, a good Giving Tuesday idea is to personalize and tailor your outreach. Generating hyper-personalized Giving Tuesday emails and thank you letters allow you to personally name and acknowledge your donors. This shows them, not only are you invested in your goal, but you are also invested in them and the change they’re committed to making. This is the first step in actively cultivating and nurturing relationships with your existing and prospective donors.

Focusing on an individual’s contributions allows you to highlight how their personal interests, values, or actions help incite great change. Each of them, individually, is at the core of the positive impact you want to make. Not only will this help you during Giving Tuesday, but it’ll also help you create a loyal donor base that’s likely to give to your organization in the future.

Download Your Ultimate Giving Tuesday Checklist

These Giving Tuesday ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are many other items to mark off your checklist. Wondering where to start? Download our ultimate Giving Tuesday checklist here. See what to do and how best to strengthen your fundraising ventures as your year comes to a close.

Identity Resolution For Best Match Rates & Unique Pre-Built Profiles

identity resolution

Identity Resolution For Best Match Rates & Unique Pre-Built Profiles

September 11, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

As the proliferation of data continues, identity resolution or entity resolution becomes a topic of greater importance. You may be wondering how such a specific technicality may affect your business. Our in-house expert, Glen Ireland actually answers that question and more on our podcast. Let’s begin with the basics.

Listen to the full podcast here:

What is Identity Resolution?

Identity resolution is the process of matching data from multiple sources with one entity. It can also be referred to more generally as entity
resolution. Basically, when several data points are matched with a person and the association is confirmed, it is identity resolution.

For example, let’s say there’s a contact named Eric Smith in your database. You may find out from another data source that Eric Smith has a net worth of $10M. The problem is that there could be ten different people with the name Eric Smith among your contacts. Identity resolution comes in when you need to find the right one to associate the net worth with.

Businesses Can Also Face Identity Loss

Not only does entity resolution affect people, but it also affects organizations. Even if your organization deals with other businesses, identity resolution could become important for you.

For example, your system may have stored IBM as IBM, International Business Machine, and as IBM Corp. When you add new data, you may add each data point to a different entity. In this case, your data will not be able to paint a holistic picture of the entity for you.

In these instances, computers cannot make judgment calls. Human intervention may be needed. Of course, when you try to achieve entity resolution at scale, you can do this through algorithms.

Entity Resolution & Wealth Data Analytics

When it comes to your wealth data analytics, identity resolution becomes paramount. Let’s consider the case of WealthEngine. Identity resolution enables us to pre-form profiles about every adult in the US. These pre-
formed profiles allow WealthEngine to offer solutions like WE Prospect, and WE Analyze.

Furthermore, with entity resolution, you can perform a nationwide quick search. This means you can look up any individual adult in the US or create segments in the WealthEngine database.

Identity resolution lets WealthEngine procure data from several different data sources. So, each data source has its own unique identifier for each person. WealthEngine can then match all these data sources through entity resolution. This helps us build pre-formed profiles and to update and enrich them over time.

WealthEngine invests millions in acquiring high-quality data from different sources. This means you can learn more and more about Eric Smith on your contacts list with WealthEngine. This includes demographics, lifestyle, behavior, interests, and affinities. Our algorithms and data science help make sure that you have up to date and extensive information to work with.

Identity Resolution to Match Vendor & Customer Data

So, how do you match data from different sources and vendors? Although this is a complex process, two basic techniques can be used. For instance, the main attributes we use to match entities are their name and primary address.

A best practice for identity resolution is standardizing the format for names. To illustrate, turn nicknames into formal names, remove any punctuation from names, etc. You may also want to standardize addresses by reformatting them. The format should match deliverable USPS addresses. Those are two basic things that can be done to enable entity resolution.

There are also other sophisticated techniques to accommodate misspellings. We use some of these advanced practices at WealthEngine. For example, a vendor might send a record with a name that’s missing one character. Similarly, there could be a street name that’s missing two characters. In these instances, we use something called edit distance algorithms. We may also use this and similar techniques to accommodate misspellings in first names, last names, or street names when ingesting vendor data.

Advanced Technology for Higher Match Rates

The above were general best practices, but the process becomes complex at scale. Furthermore, as you ingest data from more sources, you need more sophisticated data science to ensure accuracy. WealthEngine’s industry-leading technology means that our clients can enjoy up to 90% match rates.

In fact, clients have confirmed that other analytics solutions offer about 30-60% while WealthEngine can get them to 90%. This is because WealthEngine has spent 20 years coming up with sophisticated techniques beyond the basics.  For example, we can also use attributes like spouse name or business name to increase that metric.

This is important because both husband and wife can make a decision on something. If you’re targeting a specific individual, you may want to bear in mind that the spouse might actually be the decision-maker. These could be decisions about a donation, about buying a particular product, or using a certain financial services firm. With this being the case, it’s very important to have identity resolution be as accurate as possible.

What Happens When There Is No Match

If a record from a vendor cannot be matched to a profile, WealthEngine has to decide whether or not to create a new profile. If the record coming in from the vendor is complete enough, and it seems like a person that is not already in the database, we create a new profile. For instance, there are something like 10,000 17-year-olds turning 18 every day. They would all be eligible for being loaded into the WealthEngine database.

In other situations, a customer record may match multiple profiles. In this instance of entity resolution, let’s say you add some extra pieces of information to WealthEngine. This may cause one customer record to match multiple WealthEngine profiles. Then, WealthEngine appends information from all matching profiles to the customer record to enrich it as much as possible.

Does this work?

Yes, because  WealthEngine sometimes has more than one profile per person. The reason behind this is that we want to shy away from over-merging. This means, you never want to use identity resolution to combine two different people.  WealthEngine tends to err on the side of what’s called under-merging, where one person is represented by multiple profiles in the WealthEngine database. In fact, competing solutions may have greater inaccuracy because of this.

How You Can Benefit From Identity Resolution

Identity resolution ultimately increases the accuracy of information for customers. This means you can simply search for a person and see all their information compiled into a profile. These profiles are built using data from several different sources. Thus, this presents itself as a convenience for you.

Secondly, having reliable entity resolution in place means you get higher match rates. For instance, WealthEngine match rates are very high, at about 90%. So, when you find out that Eric Smith’s net worth is $10M, you can be sure that it is the right person.

Furthermore, you can keep on enriching your contacts’ profiles with more information. With WealthEngine, the enrichment is automated in most cases. There is a small percentage of data that WealthEngine cannot match. However, with a feature called Find More in WealthEngine9, even this has a solution.

If your customer record does not match a WealthEngine profile, we will still store that record in your My Profiles tab. You can then click into the profile and do a manual identity resolution. First, use Quick Search to find what you believe is a match. Then use Find More to merge it into the uploaded record. Doing this, you can increase the match rate up to 100%. No other wealth intelligence solution can help you do this.

Increase Your Match Rate to 100% Starting Today

Take WealthEngine9 for a spin–>

Black Friday Marketing Campaigns for Luxury Retail

black friday marketing campaign

Black Friday Marketing Campaigns for Luxury Retail

September 5, 2019
Sharanya Venkatesh

The holiday season is fast approaching. Now is the optimal time for luxury retailers to gear up for the busiest season of the year. Your Black Friday marketing campaigns need to be data-driven in order to ensure success. Before we analyze the holiday season and provide recommendations, let’s address a question that might be on your mind:

Do luxury brands do Black Friday?

The holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday, can be the biggest time of the year for retail. With this being the case, luxury retail stands to benefit from the general willingness to spend.

Of course, there is the question of whether offering luxury goods on sale dilutes your brand. But, when it comes to your Black Friday marketing campaigns, there are ways for you to participate without affecting your overall brand image. Many high-fashion labels such as Prada and Fendi participate in Black Friday, as Bloomberg reports. 

Now, let’s explore the ways brands approach Black Friday internet marketing or digital marketing strategy.

Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

There are several ways for luxury retailers to get involved during the holiday shopping season. In general, all retail categories see an uptick during this time of year, including luxury.

Even luxury buyers enjoy scoring a great deal or an exclusive find. Thus, as a luxury retailer, you can create excitement around Black Friday without tarnishing your brand.

Your digital campaigns can be focused on value-adds that are specific to the season. These don’t necessarily mean offering unreasonable discounts on large volumes of products. A well-timed marketing campaign can promote your holiday idea in a way that is reflective of your brand. The promotion can generate both buzz around the season and the exclusivity of a certain deal.

How best can you do this? Let’s consider a few examples from past holiday seasons.

Black Friday Marketing Examples for Luxury Retail

Many luxury retailers have taken advantage of Black Friday in the past. For instance, although Louis Vuitton’s flagship store did not feature any discounts, according to Business of Fashion, they did open their store earlier to encourage Black Friday shoppers to come in.

Another example is Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday marketing strategy. They offered Saint Laurent handbags at 40% off. Even though this is a significant discount, they limited it by offering it on a specific item. Other labels and products were sold at regular prices.

Masstige brands such as Michael Kors or Ralph Lauren have offered deep discounts of up to 75% off during this season. They can bounce back to regular prices after Black Friday without altering the value of their products or their overall brand.

Black Friday Marketing Ideas: In-Store and Online

Let’s consider some Black Friday marketing campaign ideas that you can implement and promote:

1. Deep discounts on limited pieces:

Whether in-store or online, you can manage the number or types of discounts you have. For instance, you can offer 75% off on fur coats, but limit the number of coats. Let’s say you offer 10 pieces per retail store and 50 online. Similarly, you can offer a discount on very specific items and maintain regular prices for all other products.

2. Longer store hours:

Black Friday excitement can also be created by opening your store early or keeping it open for longer hours. By doing this, you can attract shoppers who are out early or late without needing to offer major discounts.

3. Limited edition Black Friday collectibles:

Your Black Friday offer could be on a new collection or limited edition line of luxury products at full price. You can offer an early and exclusive preview of next season’s goods to Black Friday shoppers. This offers you another alternative to make the most of the season.

4. Discounted shopping during a short window: 

When you do offer a traditional Black Friday sale, you can do so in a short window of time. For instance, if your sale prices are only available 6 am to 9 am, early birds will get in to enjoy the deals.  This also motivates and gives other shoppers incentive to shop earlier. The buzz from your campaign will last the rest of the day even when you roll back to full price.

5. Curate and exclusive experience:

Other alternatives revolve around creating a memorable customer experience for in-store shoppers. For instance, you can offer free personal shopper service on this day. Similarly, you could serve champagne in-store, offer double reward points, or free personalization on products.

This could also be held as an exclusive, invite-only experience for your most loyal customers.

6. Discounts in partner retail stores: 

As a luxury brand, you may not want to reduce prices in your flagship store or your own retail store. However, you can choose to offer discounts through your partner retailers or similar channels. For instance, luxury department stores or even off-retail stores can offer selective discounts on your products.

How to Use Data to Implement Your Marketing Campaigns

As we noted earlier, data-driven Black Friday campaigns tend to see more success. Learn more about wealth data implementation for Black Friday success by reading our article.

Essentially, when you conduct wealth screening on your contacts, you learn more about them. Analyzing your screening data can tell you what makes your audience unique. You can then use these insights to deliver personalized and effective campaigns.

Personalize Your Black Friday Marketing Campaigns

Use wealth screening and analytics to personalize your campaigns.

Learn More About Millionaire Buyers

Download a free copy of our 2019 U.S Millionaire Report today.