The Uncomfortable Ask – Ethically, Morally, and Timely

coronavirus-sentiment-wordcloud

The Uncomfortable Ask – Ethically, Morally, and Timely

March 27, 2020
PV Bóccasam

“Just ask?” Yes, even during a time like this, just ask.

These are times of extremes when everyone and everywhere will face a dilemma like these uncomfortable questions pose. There is “no appropriate time” to “just ask” comfortably and we don’t know how long this pandemic is going to last and whether it is going to be a ‘U’, “V” or “Checkmark” recovery curve. We all just know it will take time.

This blog will explore how we all should get better on what we call ‘art of the ask’ – however trivial or traumatic the situation we find ourselves in. From asking your teenager to socially distance herself and improve their personal hygiene, to enforcing a “no handshake” rule, to asking your colleagues to stay at home whilst suspecting an allergy attack or even symptoms of a flu, or asking for a moratorium on payments from the vendors you do business with, or requesting your top customer to pay their renewal so you can you your employees, or even giving your college nephew or niece money to survive (unsolicited or unasked!), or even that odd-nod with your spouse so you can retreat to the guest bedroom for the night.

Why is this important? Because we all have to move forward, we all have bills to pay, payrolls to meet, obligations to satisfy, and plan for an indefinite future whatever they may hold. This means asking for shared sacrifice with people who have shared values and are committed with your teams to achieve shared success.

Timing is crucial in the art of ask. In fact, time is everything. (Adapted from a Miles Davis quote)

First, let’s start with retrenchment discussions we have just had to do at WealthEngine. We believe our purpose is to provide unwavering support of our customer’s mission – both nonprofit and financial institutions- who are doing everything they can to survive, so they may protect our health and wealth of their constituents during these turbulent times.

So we “asked” all our WE’rs, as they are affectionately called, for a shared sacrifice to protect their fellow associates and to prevent mass layoffs in a time of global uncertainty. Key C-suite executives are going on a $1 paycheck indefinitely.  The trust, gratitude and ability to grow together out of this situation – has NO bigger test than the one we are all facing right now. I also don’t believe we are unique in this process and seek to learn about how others are working creatively to support each other in the new form, meaning and age of the “shared-economy”i.e., “shared-pain”! I asked our staff for one word that described how they’re feeling right now. Here’s a word cloud on what they said:

Second, for nonprofits who have to keep their museums, theaters, kitchens, exhibitions, educational and health care institutions funded, so they keep supporting their artists, researchers, teachers, janitors, nurses, security, technologists, scientists working creatively through this crisis is a gigantic challenge. While Smithsonian and other great institutions are putting their natural treasures online – its only natural for them to ‘ask’ that all of their patrons continue with their monthly subscriptions and in fact pay up their dues in advance.

While lobbyists continue to elbow-grease and try to be their client’s best advocates in Washington and seek to maximize government bail for their respective industries they represent, who will lobby for the nonprofits? Who will lobby for the local pre-school chain? Who will lobby for the local theatre, museum, or the favorite restaurants?

Lobbyists have mastered the art of the ask – and they am sure feel very comfortable doing this for their clients. This is not a value judgement – its what they do for a living and as they go to bat for their client client – because that it what funds their paycheck.

So what can each of us learn from this?

What can nonprofits do to get comfortable in the ‘art of the ask’? Be bold. Be fearless. Be shameless about the cause that you believe in and get closer to your donors and benefactors and solicit help. Jose Andres is an extreme example of closing down his own restaurants to support a make-shift kitchen to support those in need of a hot meal.

So what can wealth managers do to get comfortable in the art of the ask’? Be the calm, cool and collected advisor and help them stay with the plan they have setup – exactly the very reason they chose you to help them in these situations. I.e., long-term thinking through ups-and-downs. If there is anything to do right now – it is perhaps to take NO ACTION – and thereby reducing the volatility in their own lives and in the market.

So what can health managers do to get comfortable in the ‘art of the ask’? Be the community organizer and ask without shame or regret for people to be distant, practice hygiene, and think about donating their time and dollar to their community hospital. Donate the ‘assistance check’ that is coming from the government back into supporting the building of masks, ventilators, hazmat suits, and sanitary material that is so badly required. #EverydayGiving.

So what can educators do to get comfortable in the ‘art of the ask’? Be the confident head-master that demands their students (and parents) to enforce the discipline to carve out “downtime as uptime” and learn new skills across the myriad of free resources that are available. Learn everything this to know about cell-biology, how virus or disinformation spreads, how to collaborate and work remotely with your classmates, and how anti-bullying looks like in the age of an invisible bully who attacks regardless of race, color, creed, or economic might.

As an individual in the pursuit of personal and professional growth, I have always intentionally put myself in uncomfortable positions. From leaving Mother India to be in cold-as-hell graduate school, and then dropping out as a Ph.D candidate to join a small company in Redmond; to asking to be in front a client, as a lowly geeky-developer, with a very thick Indian accent, at Microsoft in the early 1990s, and being mocked-out of a large customer meeting; to proposing and being happily married to an Italian-American and boldly introducing her to as a deeply-conservative-south-indian-vegetarian-brahmin family as you can find in Bangalore; to telling my boss that am quitting Redmond for a couch destination in my friends home who co-opted as my business partner to start our first VC-backed business (@entevo) in 1997; we had not a clue or know-how of what running a company actually means; to the day after 9/11, deciding that its right time to be starting a brand-new software startup (@approva) and asking a band of very loyal former associates to join me in hunkering-down to build next-generation enterprise software; to jumping at the opportunity to be in the magical world of venture-capital (@novakbiddle) and private equity over the last decade – where you are investing in the unknown risks with unpredictable outcomes. I truly feel like uncertainty, chaos, and volatility has been my best friend for years. I tend to be really calm when there is a tornado to face – but tend to be a tornado when there is too much calm around me. Sorry!

We all need to get comfortable being uncomfortable whether we control the situation or not. Whether it is an uncomfortable conversation with boards, colleagues, co-workers, extended family or our neighbors and friends. Whether its an uncomfortable ideology we hold dear to our hearts that we have to unshackle from. However trivial or traumatic, once we get past the ask, how we react to one’s response is fully under our control.

It’s an opportunity to be one more step closer to reality. That is what is great about an uncomfortable ask. A step closer to reality.

4 Ways to Prospect That Will Enhance Your Outreach

ways to prospect

4 Ways to Prospect That Will Enhance Your Outreach

March 26, 2020
WealthEngine

Using wealth and lifestyle insights along with predictive analytics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your current and prospective donors and customers. Our rich data can help you personalize your outreach and improve your sales, marketing, and fundraising efficiency. Here are 4 ways to prospect that will benefit your everyday processes:

1. Use Look-Alike Models to Help Your Staff Understand Your Existing Customers or Donors Better.

Wouldn’t it be nice to better to gain a holistic understanding of your audience with a 360-degree view of their wealth, lifestyle, demographics, and contact information? That’s where wealth models come in.

A model is a custom algorithm designed to uncover what makes your top donors or customers unique. Using a wealth model, you can pick up on the commonalities and characteristics that make your donors unique. There are two ways to prospect with custom algorithms: through descriptive models or predictive models. In the case of wanting to gain a clearer impression of the characteristics of your top donors or customers, descriptive models allow us to take data you already possess and show you commonalities and unique qualities of your donors or customers.

But let’s take this a step further. Using a look-alike model (which would be considered descriptive), you can pinpoint individuals who display similar characteristics to your best donors or customers. This could be based on factors like giving capacity and demographic and lifestyle data. This can help you identify prospects, both within and outside your existing base, who resemble the donors from your chosen segment of ideal existing donors.

2. Screen Your Database to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Outreach Efforts

Our solutions help you segment our those who have the greatest capacity and propensity to spend or give at your company or organization. This leads us to our second effective way to prospect: wealth screenings.

A wealth screening is the process of attributing wealth-related information to a list of your contacts. In doing so, you gain a greater understanding of their propensity and capacity to give or spend. So, when you append your list of customers or donors with traits related to wealth, you’ll be able to gain a greater sense of who to reach out to.

You can also do this by leveraging WE Analyze. Using Analyze, you can evaluate screening data on your existing customers and donors. This gives you a clearer picture of their distinct characteristics and traits. This will help you easily visualize who your loyal constituents are; help you learn more about them; and create a buyer or donor persona. This will help you identify prospects who would be likely to give to your organization.

In short: wealth screenings provide you with additional information about an individual’s wealth. So, besides gaining a greater understanding of a person’s income, you can also gain insights into their interests, real estate holdings, estimated giving capacity, and giving history. All of these traits give you a better impression of which prospects to pursue. This will further enable you to target the right people with the right ask at the right time.

3. Leverage Predictive Models to Gain Deeper Insights into what makes your audience tick.

Another incredibly beneficial way to prospect is by leveraging predictive models. These models can help you uncover top donors or customers just like your best. This will allow you to personalize your messaging ensuring your communications are resonating with your audience and increasing the effectiveness of your outreach.

Unlike descriptive models (models created using your existing data), predictive models are custom algorithms created by the WealthEngine data science team. With these unique, tailored algorithms, we can predict who is most likely to give or spend to your organization specifically.

So, let’s say (once you’ve used a descriptive model) that you find that your top donors or customers are men over the age of 50 who own two pets. That’s what your best constituents look like. After gaining these insights, you can use a predictive model to find constituents who best match this persona. This can come from within your database or within our prospecting database. So, you can gain greater insights about the interests of your audience and determine which net new prospects would be most likely to give or spend with you.

4. Segment Your Database to Improve your Sales and Marketing Efforts.

Our rich data provides what you need to confidently and effectively segment prospects and personalize outreach. So, once you’ve conducted a screening, you can divide your audience based on different attributes. This can be based on demographic traits or their propensity or capacity to give or spend.  So, by bucketing your donors based on their commonalities, you can figure out effective ways to engage them. In short, this will increase the efficiency of the department and streamline your processes. Additionally, it will help you build pipeline and close deals or gifts quicker.

The Best Way to Boost Your Prospecting Efforts?

Test drive WealthEngine to find your next best prospect! Discover their Propensity to Give (P2G), Estimated Giving Capacity, Connections, and more.

Take advantage of these simple solutions to drive sales or donations. Why continue doing the same things over and over expecting a different result? Instead, take this opportunity for a fresh start and a renewed approach to fundraising, sales, and marketing success.

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

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

March 17, 2020
Raj Khera

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

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

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

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

Managing in Uncertainty?

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

1. Engage with Your Community, Focus on Impact

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

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

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

Luxury Brands

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

Financial Institutions

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

Charities

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

Travel and Hospitality

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

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

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

2. Stay Top of Mind, Don’t Retreat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small Gestures Build Big Bridges

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

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

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

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

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

New to WealthEngine? Maybe we can help →

Giving Day Ideas for Your Fundraising Event

Giving-Day-Ideas

Giving Day Ideas for Your Fundraising Event

March 16, 2020
Maddie Bergoon

Part of your group’s Giving Day planning should include some activities that create enthusiasm for your fundraiser. Different Giving Day ideas can help put your organization in the spotlight with donors and the media. All that attention can lead to having even more people excited about your cause — and contributing!

What kinds of Giving Day ideas can you implement to increase your chances of success? There are many ideas that could possibly fit in with your fundraiser. It’s a matter of determining which unique activities would most appeal to your target donors. Giving Day ideas are limited only by your imagination, along with your time and budget.

Giving Tuesday Toolkit

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

Giving Day Campaigns to Build Support

There are plenty of Giving Day ideas that can be part of your fundraiser. Some are more tried and true. Others are a little, well, off the wall, and may not work as well for your group. Then again, you may be surprised. Keep in mind that millennials tend to be generous donors when drawn to your cause. They also like to be part of the activities. So if you can, give them a way to get directly involved. In any case, whatever you can do to build excitement can only help energize your fundraising efforts.

To get you started, here are some Giving Day ideas for campaigns.

Peer-to-peer campaign

A peer-to-peer campaign relies on tapping into personal networks for higher total donations. A $500 personal donation? Maybe not. But how about asking five friends for $100 apiece? Classy, a creator of fundraising software for nonprofits, found the median, nonrecurring donation is $50. Peer-to-peer one-time donations are higher, with the median at $105. And your message will also become known by more people.

Game of Tag

This Giving Day idea is intended to grow your donor list even more than gain donations. Here’s where you typically ask for a smaller donation, such as $10 or even $5. The key here is the second “ask.” Have each donor tag a specific number of people to donate the same amount. Say the amount is $10, and you’re asking them to tag four or five of their friends, family or coworkers via personal social media. Everyone who gets tagged must match the first gift to your campaign. (Who would turn down a $10 request from a friend?) Then those people tag four or five more people, and so on. You get the idea.

Giving Day competition

If your group has chapters, departments or teams, you can benefit from a friendly Giving Day competition. For those who bring in the most contributions, award them more than just bragging rights. How about a small prize? Lunch for everyone in the department? A pair of movie tickets for each person? You’ll find something appropriate.

Performance challenge

Get your donors excited about your Giving Day fundraiser when you reach certain milestones. How about having someone perform an unusual activity. What kind of performance might your audience pay to see? Would your donors like to watch as the head of your organization splashes into a dunk tank? Or maybe a local celebrity could perform some kind of activity? Then record those moments and share them online.

Donor incentives

A variety of incentives can help motivate donors to give more. Matching funds are a great way to build excitement and encourage donations. You can either match funds according to a dollar amount (the first $100,000) or a time period (from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.). Ideally, you’ll be able to get multiple sponsors to provide matching funds. And who wouldn’t want to contribute if their dollars are doubled?

You can also “award” merchandise. Here again, the type of prizes you offer is unlimited. But make it something your donors will actually want or use. This way, they’ll keep the item and be reminded of your group. Even a logo coffee mug could fit the bill.

 Silent auction

Silent auctions can work well for many types of fundraisers. If you can secure unique items and even experiences (as in a travel package), better yet. You’ll be offering donors an opportunity to support your cause and receive some cool merchandise. Here it’s all about creating a bidding war.

Live event

Plan a live event or two to coordinate with your Giving Day. Make it entertaining. Special events can range from a carnival to a Vegas night. And get sponsors to help pay for associated costs.

Put Some Fun in Your Fundraising

Here are some Giving Day ideas more specific to different types of groups. See if there’s one (or more) that will work for you.

Higher Education Giving Days

Branded merchandise

Stir up alumni spirit. Graduates of colleges and universities typically feel a great sense of pride in their alma mater.  Offer T-shirts, coffee mugs and tote bags as an incentive for donors at a certain donation level.

Free tickets

Does your institution have a theatre company or host sporting events? Encourage higher donations in exchange for complimentary tickets.

Buy a brick

Is your institution planning any new construction? Give donors a chance to “buy a brick” for a building, walkway, or whatever structure is in the works. You can also sell the bricks from a historic, razed building.

Campus Giving Day events

Coordinate campus Giving Day events for those who are local. Event ideas should be fun stuff, such as a scavenger hunt or concert. Or how about a more formal, black-tie dinner?

How successful are higher education Giving Days? A Giving Day shared by Cornell, North Carolina State, Purdue, and Notre Dame raised over $60 million in spring 2019. In 2018, Cornell’s Giving Day activities set records by bringing in nearly $8 million in 24 hours.

Healthcare Giving Days

Health-related performance challenge

If you’re in the healthcare business, why not set up some type of a health-related challenge. It could be based on the amount of funds donated. Would a recognized person in your organization be willing to do pushups? Jump rope? Or how about a local celebrity?

Pledge event

A walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon or fun run would be an appropriate event for a healthcare organization. This is where donors “sponsor” participants in the main event, which would take place on Giving Day.

Donation fever

Take the “temperature” of your fundraiser. Show your donation progress visually with some type of thermometer. It’s healthcare, right? Encourage donors to turn up the heat.

Share progress reports by video and on social media so donors can catch your enthusiasm.

Advocacy Giving Days

Sales for the day

Partner with local businesses for a portion of their sales on your Giving Day. A restaurant could share 25 percent of the day’s receipts. Or it could be 10 percent of fuel purchases at a local gas station from noon to 5 p.m. Whatever it is, get the local business community involved and share their offer online. In return, they may get new customers as well.

Themed party

A themed fundraising event can be especially fun. The theme can even relate directly to your cause, such as an animal-themed event if you’re an animal rights group. Or an international cuisine sampling to call attention to hunger.

Success stories

Prepare special videos to run online that highlight those who have benefited from your organization. Have animals been rescued? Have teens assisted seniors? Has a new program helped homeless people get back on their feet? Tell those stories.

Whether you’re advocating for literacy, the elderly, policy changes, or some other issue, incorporate special Giving Day ideas. Tug on the heartstrings and wallets of your donors.

Get Creative for a Bigger Payoff

Giving Day fundraising primarily takes place online. Yet implementing creative Giving Day ideas can get supporters even more involved with your fundraiser and increase donations. And even local activities can be shared visually with those online.

It’s important to engage your donors on an emotional level whenever you can. Make them feel like they’re a part of your fundraiser and inspire them to take action. Beyond monetary donations, Giving Day ideas are designed to raise awareness of your mission.

WealthEngine can help you prepare for your Giving Day activities. Analyzing data related to the interests of your donors can assist you in determining which Giving Day ideas would have the widest appeal.

Our Giving Day Series

This is the fourth article in our Giving Day series. You can read more about Giving Day best practices in our first three articles on 8 Reasons to Hold a Nonprofit Giving DayGiving Tuesday vs. Giving Day: Which Fundraising Day Best Suits Your Needs? and How to Leverage Giving Days for Your Nonprofit Fundraising.

WealthEngine CEO Message – Business Continuity Amidst COVID-19

wealthengine covid-19 coronavirus

WealthEngine CEO Message – Business Continuity Amidst COVID-19

March 12, 2020
PV Bóccasam

As organizations brace for the effects of COVID-19, I wanted to share what we are doing at WealthEngine to continue to provide you with our team’s full support and services.

We are monitoring the news carefully and following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to minimize interactions in group settings.

WealthEngine’s platform runs on the cloud and our staff at all of our locations, including our support team, has remote access to be able to work from home. We do not anticipate any downtime or delays in responding to your support or sales questions.

This is a trying time for our nation and the world. Like many organizations, I have requested our staff to avoid air and train travel for the time being and to schedule meetings online. Our team is also adding more articles, guides, podcasts and webinars in our Resources section to help you with ideas and strategies to achieve your 2020 plans, which may also be impacted.

We will keep you updated through our social channels and email regarding any issues should they arise. Please contact us using the Contact Us button below if you have any questions.

Stay safe!

PV Boccasam
CEO

Questions? Please Ask.

Nonprofit Events: 5 Ways To Transform Event Participants into Donors

nonprofit events

Nonprofit Events: 5 Ways To Transform Event Participants into Donors

March 24, 2020
WealthEngine

Hosting fundraising events can be a great way to build support for your cause, identify new prospects, build a relationship with new donors, and build your base of support. Whether you work for a charity, hospital, university, theater or advocacy organization, now is the time for you to create a plan for how to transform your nonprofit event participants into donors.

Here are 5 steps to consider when planning your nonprofit event to find new event participants; identify fresh prospects; and maximize your relationship with existing event participants:

1. Promote your nonprofit event via social media to find new participants.

Don’t put on the same event for the same participants who are donating year after year. It’s important to find new constituents to invite to your events. So, by casting a wide net you will find prospects who are interested in your cause or activity and, with the proper follow through, they can be turned into donors.

Publicize your nonprofit event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Be sure to include a call to action with every post, either a way to request more information or to register directly on your website.

Have your loyal supporters and advocates publicize your event for you to ensure it is being viewed by as many eyes as possible. By asking existing event supporters and past participants to share the event via their own social networks, they are giving your nonprofit’s event a credible voice by publicly showing their support and also finding you new participants (and new potential donors!).

2. Build out your invitation list and find new high potential prospects to participate.

As you build out your event invitation list, consider ways to expand your universe to include more high potential prospects. Be sure to leverage board relationships, and consider tools that will inform you of who in your board’s circle of friends might participate, as you work to strategically develop this list.  Consider new avenues to pursue as you market the nonprofit event broadly, such as local interest groups and clubs.

Questions to ask yourself might include:

  • How do I find new constituents with high giving potential that might be interested in my event?
  • Which are the most capable prospects to invite to our nonprofit event?
  • Who do our board and other VIPs know that may respond to a personal invitation to our event and who should ask for their participation?

3. Screen event participants before and after your nonprofit event.

It is important to review your event participant list both before and after your event. This ensures that you know the financial capacity of participants and that no wealthy prospects slip through the cracks.

As you get to know your list inside and out and identify the participants with the highest giving potential, develop a plan for your high potential prospects. Consider inviting them to pre- or post- event VIP activities, such as breakfasts or post-event celebrations. If the idea of planning an event around your event is too much for you, consider sending invitations for meetings or “grabbing coffee” a week or two after the event itself. Personal follow through with each high–potential prospect is a must to create ongoing engagement and to understand the individuals’ motivations and interests.

4. Use metrics as you wrap up your nonprofit event for the year.

Applying analytics to your event list for both segmentation and tracking is crucial as you wrap up the event and before you move on to your next big challenge – the ask. Metrics to consider include:

  • Event Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Cost to Raise a Dollar (CRD)
  • Cost per person for event
  • # of gifts received from event
  • % of giving from event
  • Dollars contributed from event
  • Average event gift size
  • Event cost

Be sure to segment your nonprofit event list to determine who needs immediate follow-up, based on their wealth profile. The more active you are in your efforts to stay in touch, the easier it becomes to begin building a relationship with your donor.

5. Once you know enough, make the ask!

Before asking your prospect for a substantial gift, there are a few questions you want to be sure are already answered:

    • What is this donor’s interest or passion and where does it align with our mission?
    • Which project will they be most interested in funding?
    • What is the correct ask amount for this donor? This should be in harmony with the project or need you are seeking funding for. This should also be aligned with your donor’s capacity to give.
    • Who should be involved in the solicitation? The president or CEO? A board member? A friend or colleague?
    • Is this the right time to ask?
    • Who else may be involved in their decision to give? A spouse? Other family members? Financial or tax advisors?
    • How does s/he want to be recognized for a gift? Knowing their stewardship desires before asking for the gift ensures you handle any gift negotiations appropriately, and also that you accomplish post-giving appreciation and recognition in the most meaningful way for the donor(s).

Transform Your Development Program By Growing Individual Gifts

Uncover the most effective tools you can use to expand, strengthen, and track your organization’s individual giving program.

When you know the answers to these questions in advance, you will be making a solicitation that is hard to say no to.

Luxury Consumer Demographics: Mining Your Database to Lower Customer Acquisition Cost

luxury consumer demographics

Luxury Consumer Demographics: Mining Your Database to Lower Customer Acquisition Cost

March 19, 2020
WealthEngine

Everyone is looking for new customers for luxury marketing. What you may not realize is that a great source of new business is your existing customer database. By understanding the demographics of your luxury consumers, you can identify effective ways to strengthen your existing customer base. Here’s how you can mine it to lower your customer acquisition cost.

Reduce Your Customer Acquisition Cost

The key to reducing your customer acquisition cost lies in how closely your past customers match your current target luxury marketing customer profile. The better the match, the more likely you’ll attract wealthy clients and have repeat customers. By evaluating luxury consumer demographics, you can gain a deeper understanding of your existing customers. Correctly mining your current customer list can provide an abundance of prospects for your latest products or services.

Certainly, it’s important to grow your business and increasing your number of net new customers. Yet, the first step in proper luxury marketing is to go back to your existing database, to cultivate and nurture your customer relationships.

Getting Past Customers to Buy

Not only is it less expensive for a business to retain past customers, it’s also more profitable. A Bain & Company study found that just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 7%. Also, the average amount spent by a repeat customer was two-thirds more than a new customer.

According to a MarketingProfs.com article, getting your past customers to buy from you again can also result in more ongoing revenue. If you can convince your customer to make a second purchase, that customer is more than twice as likely to buy a third time. And that customer is more likely to buy even a fourth time! If you’re able to make even a small increase in your conversion rate for second-time purchases, you’ll see serious revenue growth.

So honing in with the right targeted marketing for your one-time buyers will increase the amount of second-time purchases. And once you’ve gotten them to make that second buy, it’s often only a matter of time before they make their next purchase. You’ll also reduce the customer acquisition cost.

Mining Your Luxury Marketing Database

Customers who happily made a purchase from you are more likely to buy again. The question is: what do these consumers look like? Do they have common traits that lead them to make a purchase? Of course, you can start with purchase data to help determine what else they may buy from you. But purchase history alone may not be a good indicator of future luxury purchases.

Say you bought something at a fashion retail store. You’ll be in that retailer’s customer database. They may have your email address. They may have your name. But they have no idea what your potential is to buy more in the future. These are just some examples of luxury consumer demographic information you can leverage to understand how best to reach your customers.

Previous spending is also a key component of luxury marketing, but it should not be the only data point you’re using. Not all existing high net worth customers will have the abilty or capacity to spend more with you. So, identifying those who do is essential to enhancing your revenue and driving a higher customer lifetime value.

Finding Repeat Luxury Marketing Customers

Luxury consumer demographic data beyond income or net worth will be valuable in determining your luxury marketing focus. Besides wealth, there are plenty of other data points to consider.

“We advise our customers to take their database and append it with our Wealth Engine information,” explains Bischoff. ”Appending means we match their records with ours. We have a database of 240 million individuals in the U.S., covering about 85% to 95% of the adult population. We match these individuals with our data and our system. Then we can add to the information that our clients have.”

One person may have a net worth of $5 million. Another person’s net worth is over $500 million. Plus there are up to 1,200 different data points on likes, affinities, donations, causes they support, etc. All this WealthEngine information is reported back to our clients. That allows them to start pinpointing their luxury marketing efforts toward people they already know. They already know to contact these people because a lot of them gave contact information in a prior buying session. That is the starting point.

Locate Your Best Luxury Marketing Prospects

Once you understand all of these things about your existing database, you can then start to make use of other resources. Those include AI, machine learning, and any kind of predictive modeling to score that database. By scoring, you can determine the best of the best luxury marketing prospects.

Should your database be segmented or categorized? Should you not market to the entire database, only two segments of it for certain products or services? The real trick is that score, which is a very unique feature of WealthEngine.

Getting specific about who you’ll be marketing to can make your work much more efficient. It is imperative for brands, both luxury and non-luxury, to prioritize and segment their customer base. Then they can identify who they should focus their time and budget on in their marketing campaigns.

Going Beyond Your Current Luxury Customer List

In addition to pulling your best repeat prospects from your own list, you can apply that modeling score to new prospects. The WealthEngine database is full of individuals with whom you have not had any previous interaction. Combining your data with WealthEngine data will model those potential luxury market buyers so that you can reduce your customer acquisition cost. Luxury marketing is not just about previous buying habits, but identifying others who are most like you past buyers. They are prospects who have the tendency to make purchases and have wealth to do so.

In that case, WealthEngine will give you the most “lookalikes” to your best customers. Those are people you know as your best customers based on how well they fit your target profile. Then, you will actually be marketing to the people who look most like those who already have some relationship with you. That will definitely reduce your customer acquisition cost.

Uncover the Best Ways to Appeal to Millennial Millionaires

Looking to target high net worth customers for your brand? Download our report partnered with Coldwell Banker, A Look at Millennial Wealth, to discover the best ways to engage wealthy millennials.

Comprehensive and informative data is a prerequisite to everything marketing today. It’s the foundation. You need to know demographic information on luxury consumers before you can customize your engagement strategies.

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

storytelling for fundraising

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

March 17, 2020
Sharanya Venkatesh

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

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

Why Storytelling for Fundraising is Effective for Year-End Communication

1. Ethos

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

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

3. Narrative Form

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

4. Imagery

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

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

How to Optimize Storytelling to Boost your Year-End Fundraising

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

1. Showcase Communities Being Influenced By Your Work

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

2. Unearth Testimonials from Community Members

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

3. Bring Attention to Ongoing Projects

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

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

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

Galvanizing Donors through Personalized Outreach

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

 

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

 

3 Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands

luxury hospitality brand

3 Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands

March 12, 2020
Nandini Singh

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

Key Strategies for Luxury Hospitality Brands

1. Personalize Your Offerings to Drive Brand Loyalty

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

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

2. Create Targeted Messaging to Keep Wealthy Guests Engaged

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

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

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

3. Identify Customers With Shared Values to Cultivate Deeper Connections

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

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

How to Leverage WealthEngine to Deepen Customer Engagement

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

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

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

Uncover the Best Ways to Appeal to Millennial Millionaires

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

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

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

capital campaign best practices

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

March 10, 2020
Nandini Singh

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

Clarifying Your Campaign Goal

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

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

Choosing the Right Consultant for Your Campaign

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

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

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

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

Capital Campaign Best Practices for Managing your Team

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

1. Set clear and Achievable Micro-Goals to Start

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

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

2. Shuffle Staff and Volunteers Periodically

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

3. Acknowledge the Milestones of Individuals and Groups

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

What Staff Members Can Do to Refresh Their Efforts

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

1. See Which Existing Donors Can Be Upgraded

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

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

2. Find New Donors to Engage

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

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

3. Push Your Recurring Giving Program

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

Uncover More Capital Campaign Best Practices

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