Donor Insight. Fundraising Action.

You have two choices

Posted by Corky Miller on 03/2019

Are you going to change or stay the same?Whatever challenge you face – managing your task list, exercising 4x / week, or retaining donors – you always have two choices.

Door 1:  Stay the same

Door 2:  Try to improve

Door # 1 has a window – you can see through and know what to expect.  You’ve been there before, you know the results, and may understand the trade offs.  If you go through this door you cannot expect different results.  And that may be ok.  If you expect a different outcome then, by Einstein’s definition, you are insane. 

If you’re looking for improvement or change then you have to through door #2.   Yes, it may seem scary or risky.  [I propose that staying the same is far more risky but that’s for another blog post].

Too many fundraisers hesitate to change because they don’t know what’s behind door #2.  They’re content with suffering response rates and lack luster growth because sticking with the status quo is a good excuse if the program fails to meet projections. It’s an all-too- familiar refrain,  “Sure, we want to move the needle, but we don’t want to change the way we do things.”

Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways.  If we want to make improvements we can’t rely on the same thinking, the same tools, and the same processes. 

Humans don’t like change. And for many fundraising humans change involves risk and investment in time and money, with possible unknown outcomes.  Why would we change?   

What if we reframed our mindset?  What if we replaced “change” with the word “improve”?

The Key to Improvement

Whether you choose to call the shift in mindset  “change” or “improvement” there’s one area of focus that will immediately improve results – the process of selecting donors.

The two key ingredients for all successful fundraising are “Audience” and “Message”.  For years experts have recognized that the proper audience selection accounts for 70% of a campaign’s success.  The creative/message execution part ( carrier envelope, teaser, photo of the sick kid or abused dog) contributes the remaining 30%.

Yet, despite the overwhelming importance of “Audience” most organizations continue to place their major focus and spend on creative and message execution while failing to improve on audience selection. The result: they are missing a huge opportunity for improvement.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  And, it sure shouldn’t be this way.  Not in 2019 when cars are driving themselves and your cell phones have more computing power than NASA used to go to the moon. Yet, most folks are still using methodologies like RFM developed 40 years ago to select and segment donors. 

The fact is there have been incredible advances in predictive intelligence that quickly and inexpensively allow fundraisers to accurately predict if a donor is likely to respond, how much s/he is likely to give, and how many times to contact them to avoid diminishing returns.  This is amazing stuff. Even better it’s been proven and is now in use by hundreds of successful organization.

Step Through Door #2.

Isn’t it about time you join your fundraising colleagues who are using the science of predictive intelligence to raise more money – at less cost, and far less time?

DonorTrends has created, tested, and for the past 7 years has deployed a proven system of predictive intelligence called “DonorScores™” that is far more powerful than the human brain…far more accurate than the antiquated practice of RFM segmentation…and is faster and far less expensive than jockeying an Excel spreadsheet.

Here’s what DonorScores™ can do — in a matter of days — to improve your fundraising.

Create Your Annual Plan.   Set the parameters you want for your annual plan.  Whether it’s growth in acquisition … higher retention … upgrading to mid-level giving…addition of sustainers … better reinstatement. You name your objectives and we create your fundraising budget and communication plan.

Identify Best Segments for Each Campaign.  Guided by the objectives of your Annual Plan, DonorScores™ picks the ideal segments for each campaign so that you meet your annual goals. Each segment is chosen based on predictive analytics to assure you’re contacting the most productive donor segments and eliminating the least productive.

Self-Learning.  Each month the algorithms that go into the DonorScore™ models for your organization are updated based on returns from the most recent campaigns.  This self-learning process creates ever-improving results and efficiencies.

No Guess Work.  Wonder how many times to solicit a particular donor?  DonorScores™ tells you.  How much to ask for?  DonorScores™ tells you.  Whether that donor should be invited to become a Sustainer?  DonorScores™ tells you.  Who among your donors are most likely to upgrade to mid-level giving status?  DonorScores™ tells you.

In short, DonorScores™ takes the guess work and myth out of fundraising on a range of initiatives from second gifts … sustainer giving … upgrading … mid-level giving … major giving … planned giving … and reinstatement.

From planning and budgeting to donor segmentation appeal by appeal, DonorScores™ is the ultimate improvement  in Audience selection and control.  The ultimate Door #2!

Best of all it’s here today.  Ready for you.  Proven to move the needle.

If you’d like to know how DonorScores™  can be put to work in improving your fundraising – without risk —I hope you’ll get in touch and I’ll personally walk you through fundraising’s Door #2.


Topics: Donor Retention, mid-level upgrade, Predictive Analyics, DonorScores

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