Year-end giving amounts to an estimated 40-70 percent of many nonprofits’ annual budgets. The most charitable season of the year is a prime opportunity to secure new supporters and to lift the giving levels of current donors. In this blog series, we will review the steps to devising a strong campaign—including how to use data analytics to target your messaging, the importance of a compelling story, how to distribute your story through multiple channels, and when to follow up with donors. Click here to read the entire series of posts.
2. EVALUATE YOUR DATA
The strongest fundraising campaigns are based on extensive donor analytics. Knowing who your donors are, their propensity and capacity to give, and their specific interests will inform the strategic decisions of your campaign.
Segment Your Donor Groups
The more specific you can be in your asks, the better your results will be. To do that, you’ll need to segment your donor groups. Start by looking at data from the past year. Who is new to the house file? Who’s giving at which levels? Who gave multiple times last year? Did those donors give to a specific program or area of service?
Ideally, you have a solid database that tracks this kind of donor behavior and staff members who know how to read those behavioral indicators. You can then take that data and craft targeted messaging based on donor personas. Make use of communications technology to create conditional content that sends specially crafted messaging according to past behavior and donor interests.
- Before sending out year-end communications, clean up your contact list of any duplicates or bad addresses.
- Segment the donor file based on past giving, wealth overlays, and behavioral indicators.
- Identify each group’s targeted messaging.
- Compile metrics to test campaign results so that you can improve on your efforts each year.
This is an excerpt from The Top 10 Things You Should Know, a whitepaper by Rebecca Gregory, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, and Jarred Schremmer, Account Executive. Click here to download the complete whitepaper. For other Pursuant whitepapers and on-demand webinars, visit our Resources page.
It’s not too late to start building your year-end campaign with Pursuant, but you must respond now. Let us help you raise more by sending the right messages to the right audiences at the right time.
On June 8, Curt Swindoll hosted a webinar on the five pillars of fundraising strategy. He talked about a new perspective on strategy that can help you learn more about your donors, drive them up the pyramid, and engage them across all channels. Click here to view part one of the webinar synopsis, or click here to view part two.
Donor behavior is driven through catalytic interactions
Are we even aware of what motivates people to take action? Do we know what causes someone to change their behavior? How can we influence people’s behavior? There are two questions they must answer: is it worth it to change my behavior, and if not, why should I try?
To overcome this kind of resistance, we often use verbal persuasion. Another approach involves using personal experiences give people an opportunity to see what your organization is doing first-hand. This helps people connect with the mission and vision of the organization and helps overcome resistance to giving.
You can also persuade behavior through vicarious experiences that come when we tell stories about what is happening through an organization. This is why storytelling is so important to nonprofits.
Many times persuasion stops here. If motivation AND ability are attended to on three levels (personal, social and structural), behavior can be successfully influenced. If we don’t attend to these two questions at a personal level, people are not motivated to give or don’t know how to give. On a social level, peer pressure and team support can help address the motivation and ability to give. At the structural level, we need to consider incentives and the environment as way to motivate behavior. We want to motivate giving behavior. By bringing additional levels of motivation–over and above persuasion–donors will naturally be driven deeper in their relationship with us.
|Level||Motivation(Is it worth it?)||Ability(Can it be done?)|
• Impact communicated in terms people care about
• Pictures and people impacted are used to tell the story – “humanize” the data
• Donors know what is expected and how they can support the effort successfully
• Complex challenges are broken into smaller, achievable, understandable tasks
• Formal leadership has communicated support and are involved
• Opinion leaders are identified; trust is built, and they are engaged in the project
• Leadership, experts, communication and fundraising – Team-based strategies
• Information is complete (collateral, results, etc.)
• Giving is recognized and appreciated in advance outcomes
• Officers are incented to do the right things
• Create proximity between the donor, the organization/leadership, and constituents
• Environment reflects project priorities – you “see it” and “feel it” when you walk around
A catalytic interaction is what is really important to move relationships forward. One person who attended the webinar wanted to know more about what a catalytic interaction looked like. A catalyst, strictly seeking, is a substance that changes the rate of a chemical reaction and is not consumed in that reaction itself. A catalytic interaction is one that speeds and deepens your relationship with a donor. In addition, it serves and sustains the long-term nature of the reaction, instead of getting consumed in the process of getting just a one-time gift.
The interaction itself is often a well-timed phone call or meeting, but it could also be an engaging video or compelling blog post. What usually makes it catalytic is that the timing is perfect, the communication is tailored, and the request for support is personalized. That is why integrated strategies are so important. A phone call following up on an important appeal letter, with messaging that built on last week’s email newsletter, is just the type of catalytic interaction that leads a donor up the pyramid.
Ongoing, two-way communication that supports the donor relationship is important, but catalytic contacts and interactions are tools that drive relationships forward far more quickly than more passive forms of interaction.