Are you asking “why” enough?
We’d all love to think that there will always be enough fundraising income to go around. But we know the number of donors is finite and they only have so many dollars to spend and so many gifts they can make.
And as Pareto Benchmarking 2018 shows, your donors aren’t just yours anymore – they’re giving to multiple charities:
Cash donors give to, on average, four charities
Regular givers give to, on average, two charities.
Your biggest asset is your database. But because your donors give to other organisations, your database insight is shared by other charities.
If you want to take your fundraising to the next level and gain an advantage over other charities who are also chasing your donor’s dollar, it’s good to ask your donors ‘why?’:
Why do your donors support you and what do they need from you?
By knowing who your donor is and why they are connected to your organisation, you’ll have the unique data insight you need to offer more personalised, relevant and useful communications – giving your donors greater value and a stronger connection to your charity.
Real fundraising gold is in donor-revealed content
Research is an essential part of thoughtful fundraising and good asking. And today it’s no longer just about the traditional RFM modelling (recency, frequency, monetary).
That’s not to say that transactional data is out-of-date. It’s predictive and it’s valuable. There’s no doubt that a donor who has given before is most likely to give again.
But what RFM alone doesn’t tell you is why that donor gave and the different reasons why two other donors gave.
That’s why, in today’s competitive environment, every aspect of your donor identity should also be considered:
What are your donors’ likes, dislikes, preferences, expectations, passions, motivations, characteristics, demographics and history?
Effective fundraising is about exploring segmentation based on both predictive modelling and donor identity /preference data. It’s a balance between quantitative and qualitative data points.
And just as RFM modelling is an ongoing program, good donor identity research isn’t limited to what you find out in the beginning of the donor relationship.
In life every moment passes … a medical crisis is forgotten, children leave school, retirement happens … and every day newer, more exciting charitable causes come to the fore.
So, as donors and their circumstances change … so research can continue throughout your donor stewardship process.
It’s a research investment
Setting up a donor identity/preference data capture program requires a modest amount of database preparation and an infrastructure to securely capture and transmit the data provided.
While research can be undertaken in many ways, the programs you use and the information you gather will depend on the size and budget of your charity. And your ability to use that information in your donor communications.
The set-up and ongoing maintenance is an investment. But it’s worth it. Knowing who you donors are and why they give to you helps to bind them to their favourite charity – yours – and your investment should pay off time and time again.
Find out how you can use your donor preference data to make your fundraising programs fly. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org