Practical Advice for Modern Fundraisers

THOUGHT·FUL

adjective\ˈtht-fəl\

: serious and quiet because you are thinking: done or made after careful thinking   : done or made after careful thinking: showing concern for the needs or : showing concern for the needs of feelings of other people

What do you think of "Giving Tuesday?" 

Segmentation is all the rage!  

Segmentation. That should be your new mantra.  Many of us have long done simple segmentation things like First Time Donor, Lapsed Donor, Recent Donors.  But shouldn't we look deeper?  Recently, I used a service to model and segment our data.  The modeling is something I have always been a little circumspect about, but I knew it works for Acquisition. So we gave it a try. Segmentation. That should be your new mantra.  Many of us have long done simple segmentation things like First Time Donor, Lapsed Donor, Recent Donors.  But shouldn't we look deeper?  Recently, I used a service to model and segment our data.  The modeling is something I have always been a little circumspect about, but I knew it works for Acquisition. So we gave it a try. 


Our database had nearly 200,000 gifts (not counting event gifts) that had come in over the last ten years.  So we took that data and looked for patterns. We compared our gift data with that of tons of other non-profits. I wasn't sure what we would get but I thought it was worth the investment. It did actually cost that much considering the number of gifts involved.


We provided the data analysis company with a record id and the complete giving history for that id. What we got was very interesting.  I was about to do our next Major Donor mailing so I tried the segmentation/modeling for that mailing.  Usually, I would mail about 100 renewals in this mailing.  The modeling identified another 200 people who were good targets for major gifts.  By the way, a major gift for this mailing is $1,000.  

 

After culling out a some of the donors we mailed to about 150 donors asking them to make what they consider a "substantial gift." The reply envelope for the mailing started with $500 so that will give the donor and idea of what we are asking.

 

The piece we mailed was a traditional three sheet piece. Two-page letter and an info sheet about the programs mentioned in the letter.


So what happened?  Well, next month we will look at the results of the mailing.  Stay tuned.

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