Being Practical About AI for Fundraisers and Marketers

Being Practical About AI for Fundraisers and Marketers

October 22, 2020
PV Bóccasam

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

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

What is Artificial Intelligence?

 

Brain map of what AI actually is

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

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

  • What is the Function of Artificial Intelligence?

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

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

  • Why Did Artificial Intelligence Become a Trend?

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

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

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

Implementing AI in Fundraising and Donations

 

Graph of practical implementations of AI

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Donor Strategy and Artificial Intelligence

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

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

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

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

  • Email Marketing and Fundraising

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

 

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

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

October 20, 2020
Courtnee Davis

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2020 WealthEngine Prosper Award recipients were:

The University of Kentucky Healthcare

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Amnesty International

About WealthEngine

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

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

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

 

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Why Match Rate is Critical When Selecting a Wealth Screening Platform

Match Rate

Why Match Rate is Critical When Selecting a Wealth Screening Platform

October 8, 2020
Raj Khera

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

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

What Is a Match Rate? 

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

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

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

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

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

Why is Match Rate Important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Increase Match Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Miss Out on Big Opportunities

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

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

 

The Digital Wave and Values-based Business

The Digital Wave and Values-based Business

October 2, 2020
PV Bóccasam

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

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

What is Salesforce.org? 

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

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

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

The Core Objectives of Salesforce

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

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

Salesforce.org is active in the following segments:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data Creation and Statistics  

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

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

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

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

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

The Impact of Salesforce’s Digital Revolution

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

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

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

Employees’ Expectations and UN SDGs 

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

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

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

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

Contribution of Worldwide Firms

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

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

 

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

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

September 21, 2020
Raj Khera

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

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

Why You Should Leverage Big Data and Analytics

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

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

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

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

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

Five Top Tips for Customer Experience Strategy

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

1. Know Your Client

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

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

2. Reach Out at the Right Time

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

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

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

3. Use the Right Channel

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

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

4. Offer Advice, Not a Sale

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

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

5. Incorporate Machine Learning

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts: Leveraging Big Data Helps Care for Clients

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

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

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

 

Building Distinctive and Authentic Strategies in the Era of Data Abundance

Data Strategy

Building Distinctive and Authentic Strategies in the Era of Data Abundance

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

How Data Changes Organizations

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

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

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

How to Formulate a Strategy That Leverages Data

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

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

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

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

The Principles of a Successful Business Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

  • Proper Data Staging and Structuring

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

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

  • Value Creation

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

  • Extracting Value From Data

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

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

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

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

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

Blue= Data is the new oil

Red = Data is not the new oil

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

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

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

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

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

Planning and Successfully Executing Virtual Events and Galas

Planning and Successfully Executing Virtual Events and Galas

September 8, 2020
Raj Khera

This article discusses why and how adopting virtual technology is fundamental for carrying on day-to-day nonprofit operations. Hosting virtual events is key to maintaining your brand awareness during the pandemic. 

Your donor community must be reminded that your organization continues to function. Your messaging should center on emphasizing the fact that those your nonprofit serves still have needs that must be met. Therefore, learning to host well planned and implemented virtual events is a top priority for meeting your organization’s fundraising goals.

Embrace the Virtual World and Its Advantages

Going virtual, in terms of business operations, requires adaptability and flexibility within your team. Doing so can actually have many long-term rewards provided the transition to virtual technology is properly implemented. Focus on the ways technology can assist your team and further your organization’s goals, and use it to your advantage. 

    • Switch Your Donor Outreach to Virtual Connections

Establishing a personal connection can be challenging in a time that requires social distancing. 

Use virtual meetings to connect with donors. Replace face-to-face visits with a Zoom call or online interaction using a similar platform. 

Virtual meetings are a good substitute for in-person meetings. However, you must allow for flexibility, which is crucial because technological difficulties are bound to occur from time to time.  Flexibility is also a necessity for numerous nonprofit organizations because many, if not most, are currently working with a smaller staff. 

Shift your focus to donors who are willing to do virtual meetings and events. Your time should be going to those who can engage and remain involved virtually. To facilitate this, segment your donors into those who are comfortable with the virtual game. 

Go Virtual With Fundraising Events 

Make the transition to virtual events. In-person galas, fundraisers, and events like golf tournaments are not possible at the moment. That doesn’t mean your organization needs to or can afford to completely shut down fundraising operations. 

With proper planning and implementation, virtual events will keep your donors and clients engaged with your mission. Virtual events offer the advantage of requiring less logistical planning, which reduces the increased pressure and responsibilities that are facing your reduced staff. Rather than viewing virtual events as a mere substitution for in-person functions, embrace the virtual experience as a fresh approach to add to your fundraising strategy.

Strategize and Understand Your Target Audience

Be creative, and be willing to try new things. Make a plan with your team, and have honest conversations about what you believe is possible to accomplish. Be willing to think outside the box and innovate. Strategize by familiarizing yourself and your staff with what will be required to ensure the event is a success.

Tailor your guest list to donors and prospects who are comfortable with the virtual experience. It’s important to target your content to those who are in a position to continue giving despite the current economic climate. Donor Segmentation allows you to correctly pinpoint your target audience that should be extended an invitation to your virtual events. Using this WealthEngine feature leaves you and your remaining staff free to focus your energies on hitting your fundraising goals. 

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WealthEngine assists you in accurately identifying your target audience with its propensity to give (P2G) rating. This score is given to an individual based on their financial standing and history of charitable contributions. 

Use virtual technology to do things on a tighter budget to help with your financial planning. Virtual events do not need funds allocated for things like space, food, or drinks. You can capitalize on this to save money. 

Virtual events alleviate the need to plan at the capacity of a typical in-person function. This is important because it saves you time.

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Engaging Content: The Key to Giving Your Donors an Enjoyable Experience

The reduction in event costs is a big advantage during this time of increased budget cuts. Understanding how these things will affect your guests’ experience is imperative to the event’s success. 

Providing engaging content these select participants find to be valuable is key to ensuring your donors have a good virtual experience. Hosting an event donors find enjoyable will lead the way in generating the fundraising dollars your organization needs. 

Renew your focus and encourage your staff to plan as much as possible for these virtual nonprofit events. One of the downfalls of doing things virtually is the heavy reliance on technology. 

Technology offers numerous benefits, but one of its drawbacks is increased vulnerability to issues beyond your control. Be as prepared as possible to address these problems as they occur and make adjustments as needed.

Plan, revise, and continue moving forward as you take part in these virtual experiences. Your guests and staff can provide valuable feedback about what they think works well and what improvements they would like to see. Listening to this information is crucial to making these fundraisers successful. The virtual experience offers something fresh to excite and invigorate your donors and prospects. It can provide a way to avoid the stagnation that occurs when traditional events have become formulaic. 

Get creative with your initiatives, and find ways your organization will be able to adapt your original plans to the parameters of virtual technology. As previously stated, your primary goal is to continue your fundraising initiatives. Embrace the ability to conduct these events virtually with a smaller staff. Be prepared to use these virtual strategies in our collective “new normal” that is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Use Technology to Make the Most of Your Data

WealthEngine’s platform does the work for you, and can make a huge difference in results when your resources are limited. By understanding your donors and prospects, your fundraising strategy can be implemented in the most productive way possible. Doing so facilitates a higher return on investment (ROI) with donors. 

See how WealthEngine’s cutting edge technology can be used to supplement your team during this challenging time. Check out a free WealthEngine demo today. 

 

Billionaire Donors Will Ask These 7 Questions Before They Donate

Billionaire Donors Will Ask These 7 Questions Before They Donate

September 4, 2020
PV Bóccasam

When serving today’s high-end net worth billionaire donor, you can expect them to have some questions before they decide to donate. Jim Lintott, chairman, and co-founder of Sterling Foundation Management spoke at WealthEngine’s Prosper Summit in 2019 to provide us with insight into what questions these billionaires might ask before deciding to donate to your nonprofit. 

1. How Can I Make a Difference?

One of the main reasons someone will consider donating is to make a difference. It’s not for their ego enhancement, or tax benefits, though those incentives do exist. Most wealthy donors want to make a difference in the world and genuinely help people.

The donor may or may not know how they want to make a difference. They’re coming to your organization to see how their donation can affect the world. 

It’s your job to support potential donors by helping them see how they can make a difference, and help them realize where their passion lies. People usually have a burning desire to do something good. 

At Jim’s firm, they came up with a great way to help people find their passion. Often, the families that come in aren’t sure what they want to do. The family is taken into a room where 50 headlines are on display heralding good things that could happen. 

These headlines are created after consultation with each family to get to know them and their priorities. Families are asked to take 20-30 minutes and walk around the room to read the headlines. Then, choose three of them they’d like to see come true.

2. What Won’t Happen if You Don’t Get the Money?

This question may seem simple on a surface level, but it’s important to be prepared to answer this question honestly and truthfully. This is necessary for your billionaire donor to understand the importance of their donation. 

Put together case studies of projects your charity has worked on that gave positive results and prepare to present them to your potential billionaire donors. The objective is to clearly demonstrate how their money can help and why they should donate to you. 

Jim Lintott shared an inspiring story at the WealthEngine Summit, about a family who’s 12-year-old daughter was suffering from epilepsy. The family wanted to make a difference in awareness and research into epilepsy. 

The Sterling Foundation Management came up with three projects for the family to consider. The family ended up choosing to participate in all three. 

Epilepsy.com

This resource was created to help guide families in their epilepsy journey. It’s a great first step for people who just found out their child has epilepsy. In only three short years, epilepsy.com became the largest epilepsy-related website that distributed information and helped build a community. 

 

Epilepsy Website Image

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Epilepsy Therapy Project

With thorough research, Jim’s firm found that potential new cures for epilepsy weren’t making it to phase two trials. The epilepsy therapy project worked with the pharmaceutical industry to identify ways to move drugs through the testing process and move forward. Six years later, 8 out of the 12 drugs in the epilepsy pipeline were driven by the epilepsy therapy project.

 

The Epilepsy Study Consortium Mission Statement

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Epilepsy Study Consortium

One of the major issues identified through research was the lack of people available for trials. The Epilepsy Study Consortium project helped find patients to sign up for new drug trials. Before this consortium, it took years to get a trial going. 

Through the family’s donation, they created a consortium of research hospitals in New York that kept potential candidates for trial in a usable database. When a new trial was proposed, they were able to shorten the recruiting process from 24 months to 60 days. Now, large companies are willing to focus on epilepsy treatments because the path is easier.

Imagine what the world would look like today if this family hadn’t decided to donate so these organizations could be created. How many more people would have suffered without this family’s generosity? This is the type of picture you need to paint for your potential billionaire donors to emphasize the gravity of their donation.

3. Who Can Give Me Expert Help?

Wealthy people and billionaire donors seek out experts for almost everything, including getting information about donating. If you’re putting together a proposal, be sure to show how you’ve successfully done this before.

It’s okay if you haven’t done this type of project. Be sure to show how you’re going to recruit new talent or how you’re going to educate yourself to provide the best results.

Prepare answers to these three questions so you’re ready when billionaire donors ask if you haven’t worked on a similar project before:

    • How are you going to find the expert talent needed to execute this project?
    • What are your requirements to make sure the new talent has experience?
    • What steps are you going to take to ensure the project will be completed on time?

Jim tells a comical, yet noteworthy story about how his firm was able to help their client redo a university library:

“Recently, we had a client come to us interested in redoing a university library. They had been pitched by the school. We sought out the nation’s three leading experts on technology in libraries, learning in libraries, and the future of libraries.”

Jim explains that finding and contacting these experts was done by a 22-year-old in his firm. Research costs were minimal“two salads and one sandwich.” The information gathered helped the client recognize the potential and completely reshaped the project.

4. How Do We Measure Results?

Talk is great, but eventually, your potential billionaire donor is going to ask how you measure and track project results. First, create a proxy measurement. If you can’t determine a number to go off of, you’re most likely not trying hard enough. 

Use tools like surveys audited results, or attendance records and search for third-party verifiable measurements. This is key to creating long-term relationships.

Jim’s company developed a program in the three rivers area of Nigeria to fight illiteracy. They had the extra benefit of being able to add Basic Aids Education as one of the subjects used to teach people how to read. A review of other studies showed if you can teach adults to read, you can eliminate illiteracy in an area forever. 

This makes perfect sense because no parent who knows how to read would allow their child to be illiterate. By measuring before, during, and after, literacy rates in the three rivers area moved from 23% to 85%. This is the type of information your donors are looking for. 

5. What Type of Flexibility Can I Expect?

Typically, your potential billionaire donor isn’t going to care about the nuances of your organization, such as whether you’re a nonprofit or for profit. They simply want to make a difference. Potential billionaire donors will want to make sure you’re going to be flexible.

As Jim puts it, “Your [donor] wants to make a difference. We need to think outside of our own organizations. Are there partners we should include? Are there investments we should make?”

Jim tells another story to relate how many charities work on the issue of using charcoal for cooking in third world countries. Charcoal is a concern because it’s bad for your health.

However, it’s not as simple as just providing people with better cooking materials, such as liquefied natural gas. It is necessary to change the market completely. 

If you’re in the third world and are impoverished, purchasing 30 cents worth of charcoal is your easiest option for finding cooking fuel. However, you can’t simply purchase 30 cents of liquefied natural gas. 

The smallest container available is five gallons. At least, that’s how it used to be.

Now, there’s a company that will provide the tank for free and sells gas as it’s used. This is a for-profit solution to a bottleneck the nonprofit world could not fix.

Don’t get trapped into repeating what you’ve done before. Think outside the box to solve the problem.

Flexibility Planning

The other part of being flexible with donations involves planning. For example, some depression-era givers have the fear that their personal funds will be depleted. They want to help, but they’re afraid of going broke.

Being flexible with how you handle their money can help your organization get money in the future without pressuring people now. Jim’s firm often works with clients to create a

large charitable remainder trust (CRT). 

Doing so ensures all donations are earmarked for charitable giving. However, donors can draw from the CRT if circumstances demand it. Using a CRT enables your donor to give with confidence.

6. How Can I Involve My Family?

Most wealthy families and billionaire donors want to keep the money in the family for generations, but they don’t want to simply give their children money. Instead, they want to give those inheritances responsibly to ensure the money is managed effectively. 

With an estimated 30 trillion dollars about to be passed from the baby boomer generation to gen-Xers, who will then leave inheritances for millennials, families are considering how they’re going to get the next generation ready to handle their wealth.

A lot of Jim’s clients have parents tell their children, “Why don’t you run the foundation before you run the company?” This practice makes a lot of sense because making decisions is difficult. Reviewing grants and choosing the ones that most align with the foundation’s mission is excellent training for business decision making. 

With a grant, you get to actually make a decision. And with most grants, you get to see if your decision was the right one based on the results. This gives children the confidence they need to make the right decisions in the future when they are in charge of the company.

Passion Finding

Jim explained he has been fascinated by a trend he has witnessed repeatedly in many wealthy families. The second generation has a propensity to find it difficult to identify their life’s passion.

These children most likely don’t want to compete with the fact that mom and dad were so wildly successful economically. Many succeeding generations have found they can find their own life’s passion through philanthropy.

 

Source

Jim tells yet another story, this one is about a passionate child of one of their wealthy clients. The child was very concerned about the siblings of cancer patients. 

The organization dubbed Sibs for Kids was created. This idea was taken to a children’s hospital, where the concept was explained and an agreement was made to get the funding necessary for set up from the family foundation. Being able to witness younger generations find a passion is one of the more rewarding benefits that come with working with your donors to help them realize the extent of the good their donations can do.

7. What Tax Deductions Can I Expect?

As Jim mentioned earlier, tax deductions aren’t the main reason why a wealthy donor decides to give. However, it’s still an important question you should be prepared to answer at your first meeting. Be sure to explain to them what benefits they can get based on how much they donate.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the wealthy want to help you. 

As Jim suggests, “Get to know them, and I mean really know them. Know their backgrounds, know their likes and dislikes, and what really motivates them. Get to know what and why they want to make a difference and help them see that path toward change. Be prepared to change the world together. You will both be glad you did.”

Using Storytelling to Personalize Your Message and Grow Donors

Using Storytelling to Personalize Your Message and Grow Donors

August 14, 2020
Raj Khera

Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool that personalizes your messaging and encourages readers to make a connection with your organization. Successfully blending storytelling into marketing involves relaying real experiences to create compelling narratives that elicit a genuine reaction from your donor base. 

Alex’s Story

The original narrative created through the Alex's Lemonade Stand foundation

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Jay Scott, the executive director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand shares the impactful history behind the company’s mission, an example of a genuine story that can be used to inspire donors. Alex’s Lemonade Stand started as the dream of a young girl battling cancer and has since grown into a nationwide research foundation for childhood cancer. Alex lives on through the legacy of the foundation, where her story continues to impact the lives of thousands of people. 

The lemonade stand began as a small business outside of Alex’s home in Philadelphia. Advertising fliers were sent out and eventually, a passerby called the local newspaper. The resulting media coverage spread her story throughout the Philadelphia area. 

In one day, Alex was able to raise $12,000, which she then donated to the hospital where she was being treated. Through her lemonade stand, Alex’s mission to raise money for childhood cancer began to inspire people across the country, allowing her to eventually raise more than one million dollars for her cause. 

Alex’s story resonated with a wide range of people who were all inspired to give so they could help make a difference, showing the power of a story. Now, Alex’s Lemonade Stand continues to use her story in their messaging by including a picture of Alex in all their newsletters, as well as sharing her story during their yearly telethon.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand also regularly shares stories of kids who are currently receiving aid through the foundation. Highlighting individual cases where the organization is continuing to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer just as Alex did, is a testimony to the foundation’s commitment to its original mission based on Alex’s dream. 

By sharing Alex’s moving story and relating first-hand experiences of children who are now being assisted by the foundation, donors hear and respond to a message that is simple and relatable. Alex’s Lemonade Stand also encourages donors to give by providing demonstrations of the tangible results the foundation’s work has shown, which are only made possible by donations to this worthy cause.

Storytelling: The Key to Setting Yourself Apart

Every organization has a mission, which is the expression of its purpose and an explanation of the value it offers to the community. For donors to have a clear understanding of why they should give to your cause, they must comprehend the specific unmet needs you fill and why their support is so vital. 

The first step in creating a story that clearly communicates your organization’s purpose, while making its goals relatable to your donors is to set yourself apart from the many other worthy charitable endeavors that are competing for donations from that same pool of givers. How do you distinguish yourself in the eyes of your target audience?

Developing a mission statement that describes the values and objectives your nonprofit was created to accomplish provides the basis for a compelling narrative that will evoke a positive response from donors. Formulating a solid mission statement involves developing your backstory to illustrate the driving force behind the decision to found the nonprofit. A persuasive mission statement also includes a discussion of your future goals and how they were inspired by your original story and fit within the stated values of your organization.

The Power of Storytelling in Personalizing Your Message

 
The 3 C's of Transmedia Storytelling

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Once you have a narrative to share with your audience, you can begin crafting a plan for transmedia storytelling. This is the process of dispersing various elements systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified entertainment experience. 

Why is creating a continuous narrative important? By sending out a cohesive message across your channels, your story becomes easier to personalize, increasing the likelihood it will resonate with donors as they consume content that aligns with their interests. Through your outreach, you can track the types of messaging that evoke engagement. This information allows you to segment donors into groups based on their personal preferences. 

When your story is unified, analyzing your engagement rates and donor reaction to your messaging becomes easier. Collecting and analyzing this information is vital in helping your organization to craft personalized messaging and send it to the correct target audience.

Take Alex’s Lemonade Stand for example. This foundation has utilized the art of transmedia storytelling to continue reaching a wide audience to find and inspire new donors.

Personalizing Emails Equal Marketing Success

Incorporating storytelling into your email marketing strategy will improve your engagement rate, driving more traffic to your online presence. 

Email segmentation plays a key role at Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The foundation makes sure to categorize their donors and share relevant stories based on the interests of each group. Jay Scott shares how this process works, explaining that these groups are broken down into lists of 1,000, 2,000, or 5,000 donors. According to Jay, these segmented email lists tend to have 2-5 times more engagement than their mass distribution list. 

While you continue to use an overarching narrative in your messaging, it is important to take it a step further by breaking your content down into smaller, more targeted subsets. Doing so will maximize your ability to attract attention from specific donors. 

It may seem like extra work to split up your email list into these groups. However, the effort is well worth it. Using personalized emails can substantially grow your return-on-investment (ROI).  WealthEngine’s platform can improve the efficiency of your email segmentation process by easing the manual workload. WealthEngine also offers a pool of 250 million pre-scored profiles the platform analyzes for you to identify which narratives are most likely to resonate with each group. 

Storytelling: The Basics of Custom Content

Custom content develops as you analyze metrics and segment your lists. Just as personalizing your email messages is important for donor engagement so is sharing custom content with your audience.

Avoid sharing stock photos, and find media from your organization to post instead. Your donors will appreciate seeing how their donations are being put to use, so share your organization’s mission through success stories and examples of their money at work.

Avoid “fluff” and filler content. Custom content works best when it is a genuine message that can resonate with your audience. Don’t overwhelm inboxes with constant newsletters and updates that aren’t providing valuable insights. Focus your efforts on sharing meaningful stories relating to all the ways your organization is making a difference. 

 

WealthEngine Product Update August 2020

WealthEngine Product Update August 2020

August 13, 2020
WealthEngine

WealthEngine Product Update – August 2020 from WealthEngine on Vimeo.

 

With a new month comes a number of key features, improvements and continued enhancements. Check out the details of our latest product updates, or skip ahead to the 5:00 minute mark to catch a live demo.

Increased Charitable Donations Limit

Every profile directly updated with giving data and history. Now access over 170 million donation records, adding 500k per month, plus insider stock trades and more.

Value: $318,000,000

5-Star Rated Salesforce Connector

Seamless access to all of your refresh data directly within your CRM. Click here to get it from the AppExchange.

Interactive Screening Insights

Leverage an all new interactive report featuring detailed screening insights with just one click. Measure Propensity to Give vs. Estimated Giving Capacity and discover the steps for obtaining your next best prospect.

The New Donor Pyramid Modeler

Customers can now analyze and prioritize their best prospects and not just on giving capacity, but by other attributes to maximize their ‘ask,’ driving higher lifetime value and retention.

WealthScore

All of our models have programmatic endpoints that can create a value added benefit to every DONATE NOW button webpage. Automatically call our ‘NEXT-ASK MODEL’ to create the ‘right ask’ driving up your LYV for every donor you connect with online.

Enhanced Connections

Our customers find 30% of their new prospects from their current donors and members connections. They tend to give more consistently and at a 18% higher donation amount than non-referrals. This can improve fundraising results by 22% per campaign.

WEAdmin Report Tracking

Maximize your usage across your environment and know who your power user is within your environment. Reward them!

Interested in learning more and accessing refreshed data to get the latest insights about your donors and prospects? Click here.