Nonprofits -Targeting and Fundraising Strategies

June 23, 2020

Korey Thurber, SVP- Data Science & Marketing Service Solutions

Though the pandemic is still creating a great deal of uncertainty in our lives, this is not a time to panic.  Don’t leave your fundraising initiatives on automatic pilot with targeting strategies that may no longer be relevant.  Ask yourself, are we now attracting and acquiring new constituents and donors that we would not have otherwise?  You may find that donors who are now giving a gift for the first time look quite a bit different than your typical pool of loyal donors.

For marketers and fundraisers in the nonprofit space, it is a time for well thought out data and analytic driven strategies to drive your new donor acquisition and loyalty programs.

Analyze the Data!

Leveraging the power of data and analytics to fuel more effective and relevant communications strategies is critical at this stage.

Perform a deep dive analysis on these newly acquired donors to examine gift-givers now vs. gift-givers before the pandemic.  How are they different from a demographic, psychographic and geographic standpoint?  How are their gift-giving behaviors and the size of their gifts different?  If you have predictive models in play that are utilized to score and rank constituents on their likelihood to give a gift and the size of the gift, you may find that the performance of these models has deteriorated given the pre-pandemic data that was used to construct them.  It would likely be worthwhile to construct new predictive models to account for the current, new reality to help ensure that you are getting as much juice-for-the-squeeze possible from a fundraising targeting standpoint.

Important to note is the impact of the pandemic has varied across the U.S. and other locations across the world.  The key is to leverage strong data science and analytic techniques to extract those insights to help individualize and optimize digital, email and DM communication.

Convert New Donors to Repeat Donors

Another key objective should be capturing critical insights now regarding both your current and newly acquired donors so you can better serve them now….and be better prepared to serve and hopefully retain them in the future.  Many of the new donors may be episodic, one-and-done gift-givers if ignored.  Focus on using the insights from the analysis described previously to get to know these new constituents.  Target them in future campaigns and use these insights to create more relevant, individualized messages that creates a strong connection with them.  Acknowledge their initial gift and describe how the gift helped in this time of need.  Then focus on obtaining that second gift and continue to utilize data and analytic driven insights to help inform the continued development of this new pool of loyal donors.


Stay Relevant and Remind Your Constituents of Your Mission

Now is not the time to slow down.  Connect with your donors.  Show your constituents that you care about them and the challenging situations they may be experiencing in their own personal lives.  Organizations that connect with their donors and continue to send relevant messages reminding their donors about the positive impact their generous gifts are having will emerge stronger than similar organizations that are competing for the same donation dollars.