Geek looking at data

Unlock the potential of your existing donor base

Published Sep 15, 2019, 08:16 PM by Allen Davidov
The desire for immediate results is putting a lot of pressure on the not-for-profit sector and at the expense of retaining and stewarding an organization's existing donor base. A new and innovative solution breaks this cycle.

An icons showing an icon of a person's capacity to give donationsWe live in a competitive world where convenience and immediate results are the expectation. Businesses are tracking the effectiveness of their sales and marketing campaigns in real-time, while consumers have their smartphones stuck in their hands to get directions, order food, and keep up with friends and colleagues. Getting information where and when you want it has become a core part of our lives.

Fundraising is no different. Not only is there increasing pressure to attract donations faster, but many organizations are also working to fulfill the increasing calls for their support. Whether you are a major gift officer or an annual giving lead, your goals continue to increase, but your planning cycle has narrowed. Being in the charitable sector for nearly 15 years, I have experienced the pressure to deliver up to the moment gifts. Now, having worked alongside hundreds of not-for-profit clients in my role here at Environics Analytics, I can see just how entrenched that mindset truly is.

The push for immediate results puts pressure on everyone and comes at the expense of retaining and stewarding the organization's existing donor base. Not only is this acquisition mindset taxing on charities, but it also drives up costs.

Focus on your best prospects

Large charities have dedicated teams to help them make smart decisions to keep their donors engaged, whereas smaller organizations with fewer resources have had to rely on their wits and tenacity to connect with supporters. But to reach the next level, wits and determination alone will only get these smaller organizations so far. Imagine what can be accomplished if they were able to channel all of their energy on the right existing donors, considering their capacity to give, cause engagement and donation history.

Organizations, specifically smaller and mid-sized charities, need data-driven solutions that will fit their budget and provide actionable insights to address the needs of fundraisers. DonorRank fills that need.

A new and innovative proprietary scoring system, DonorRank puts the advanced data and analytical tools used by many larger organizations into the hands of small- to mid-sized organizations. The customizable scoring system, which utilizes third-party privacy-friendly data, offers charities a cost-effective way to mine their existing supporters and can help organizations with as little as a few hundred donors.

Powerful and easy to use

While data and analytics can often be complex and intimidating, DonorRank is simple to understand and easy to use. DonorRank provides a view into your pipeline and makes it easy to see whom your best prospects are using wealth and psychographic data to rank your existing database.

By refocusing efforts on the highest potential prospects within your existing donor base, you can maximize opportunities before starting an extensive and expensive acquisition program. We all know that the best prospects for mid-size and large gifts are found from within existing donors. A donor who makes an annual $100 donation may have the capacity to give significantly more—you may just need to reach that person with the right message to unlock that potential.

With the outlook for the Canadian economy projected to tighten over the next year, this is a great time to pause and evolve the decision-making process to ensure shorter-term goals are met and longer-term priorities do not get lost.


Allen Davidov leads Environics Analytics' Not-For-Profit Practice. He has more than 15 years of experience helping charities of all sizes use #DataForGood to achieve their fundraising goals.


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