Many organizations focus major giving efforts on donors who are above the $50,000 mark. And for those who fall below that threshold, nonprofits tend to apply a general annual fund communications strategy. If you could identify the low-level donors and non-donors in your file who have the propensity and capability to contribute at a higher level, would you continue to lump them into your annual fund communications strategy? Identifying these prospects is the first step in a cost-effective mid-level giving strategy. Which prospects display a high affinity and interest toward your organization? Who is most capable to make these gifts? What kind of information do you collect about your constituents?
Some of our clients that have been most successful with this program have been Greek organizations. This is because Greek fraternities and foundations are member-based, and therefore tend to be very diligent and disciplined in keeping records. They also engage with their members on a consistent basis. Nonprofits of all shapes and sizes can learn a valuable lesson from Greek organizations—intentionally engaging your constituency generates wealthy piles of behavioral interest data with every point of communication. When that data is collected and analyzed properly, it can be used to inform the prospecting process. Profiling prospects based on affinity (behavioral data) capacity (wealth data), and past giving behavior (RFM) is what we call donor prioritization.