Donor Insight. Fundraising Action.

Strings Attached.

Posted by Caity Craver on 08/2018

Fundraisers: once you get a donor inside the envelope, how would you rank the importance of these package components:

___ Remit Envelope

___ Reply / Ask

___ Letter

8 out of 10 will rank Letter as #1.

If you ranked the Ask as most important, count me with you. Science has proven that fundraisers cannot afford to ignore behavioral economic principles and their impact on donor decision-making process. [learn more: 5 BE principles]

Do you really know the best “ask amount” for each donor? Traditionally, organizations have built their ask strings [arrays / ladders / suggested gift] based on one of the following formulas:

Highest Previous Contribution [largest gift on file]

☐ HPC ☐ HPC x 1.5 ☐ HPC x 2 ☐ $_______ as much as you can give

Most Recent Contribution

☐ MRC ☐ MRC x 1.5 ☐ MRC x 2 ☐ $_______ as much as you can give

 Exact Ask Reply Form Get Started

In addition to HPC and MRC, I've worked with organizations who use:

Fortunately, we no longer have to rely on traditional techniques and tribal wisdom.  Thanks to behavioral science research and predictive analytics no more guessing!

I'm excited to announce the release of OptimizedAsk - a system of predictive analytics for creating ask strings for each individual donor. DonorTrends has been using this science since 2015 to produce increases in revenue from 17% - 300+% while protecting response [read case studies on upgrading donor value].

I am asked daily, "Can you tell us how much to ask our donors for?" I'm thrilled to say, "Yes! I come with strings attached!"

There is an optimal ask amount for each donor to maximize retention / response, upgrades, and lapsed reactivation. As we approach year end, now is the time to focus on upgrading donors. I encourage you to append OptimizedAsk™ to target 'upgradable donors' to increase average gift and feed the mid-level / major donor pipeline.

The science behind pricing / ask amount if fascinating. Here are links to my two favorite resources:

The Art and Science of Ask Strings

Opening a donor's wallet: The influence of appeal scales on likelihood and magnitude of donation

Additional research and testing results are always welcome. Post a comment or reach me directly

Topics: mid-level upgrade, Moves Management, Upgrade Strategies, Mail Strategies, Ask Strings, Ask Strategies, Behavioral Science

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