Shhh-it's a secret. Discover what forward-thinking fundraisers have known all along-data mining is not just for major gifts. That's right, astute development directors know that they can leverage their electronic screening results to improve their annual fund bottom line. And you can do it, too.
Information from a screening is invaluable for uncovering new major gift prospects, and for creating a more detailed picture of prospects you already know. Perhaps 5-10% of your constituents will fall into these categories. But don't ignore the other 90%. You can use this same research data and predictive modeling to create better annual fund prospect lists so you can make the right ask, to the right person, at the right time. Let's take a closer look at finding your best prospects for a $1,000 per year 'President's Circle' annual appeal...
Step 1: Remove Major Gift prospects
Exclude any prospects you have identified as major gift candidates and any that you are cultivating for gifts of more than $1,000. Likewise, remove any who are already giving regularly at a level greater than $1,000. (Hey-it just doesn't make sense to ask someone who has been giving $1,500 per year for a $1,000 gift.)
Step 2: Use RFM predict ion to focus your list
Pay heed to Recency, Frequency and Money (RFM). These three indicators, abbreviated RFM, provide insight into your donors' giving history and help predict their future giving patterns.
Your Best Prospects: those contributors who gave recently, who give frequently, or who give large gifts.
Less Likely Prospects: those who gave a long time ago, give infrequently and who give very small gifts. By cutting them from your mailing list, or mailing to them less frequently, you'll reduce your costs.
But that's not all? by crafting a carefully planned annual appeal to those who score highest in RFM values, you can actually increase your revenues at the same time. Look for donors who have given recently, and frequently, and those whose gifts to your organization have been significant. Ask them to double their previous gift, and you should see your average gift size increase. With the right message in the right package, you should see your response rate increase, too.
Step 3: Conduct a wealth screening
Now, just imagine for a moment being able to combine the predictive power of RFM with known asset data and other wealth indicators. That's when your list really starts to sizzle!
In order to leverage your screening data for the purposes of targeting for your annual fund, you must select a research company that screens all of your records, not just your most promising, for valuable wealth indicators. Steer clear of research vendors that model first and then screen. This methodology is cheaper and easier for the vendor but not as useful for you since you only receive data on your top prospects.
Conversely, at WealthEngine, we screen all of the records first and return ratings on everyone on your list. Then we model-taking into account not only your supplied giving history, but also all of the wealth indicators uncovered in your screening-to identify prospects most able and inclined to give to your organization.
Step 4: Use hard asset info to build a "hot list"
Now you can use your RFM predictors in combination with the wealth indicators and hard asset data from your wealth screening to identify the best prospects to include in a "hot list." This list should include:
-Donors with at least one gift of $250-$999 in the past year and a $1,000+ annual giving capacity.
-Lapsed donors who have given $1,000+ gifts but not within the last 18 months.
-Donors with 2+ gifts of $100-$999 in the past three years with $1,000+ annual giving capacity.
-Prospects with $10,000+ giving capacity and an identified affiliation with your organization.
-A high-end annual appeal to these constituents is an excellent vehicle for coaxing major gift prospects to self-identify, thus opening the door to more personal forms of cultivation.
The secret's out you've got a "hot list" of prospects with the ability to give significant gifts and indicators that predict they have the interest and willingness to do so. Now get out there and raise some money!