Strength Training for Fundraisers
11. I'd have our donor database properly profiled at least once each year
We need to know our donor file inside out so we can make sure we have the most useful information on our donors, what they are doing and what they are thinking. This information has to be available to us at all times and in ways we can easily access. Very often organizations have lots of information on their donors but don't know how to access it, or what to do when they have it, e.g., lifetime giving (a donor's giving total to date) and lifetime value (what a donor will give you in his or her lifetime). I'd use this process to identify the real donors hidden within our file, so we could aim to ask fewer people for more money for better reasons. We would then combine this empirical information with all the other research data we have gathered to ensure that we are doing all we can to optimize and grow all our donors' lifetime values.
12. I'd offer donors and other supporters the chance to choose when and how often they hear from us and what they might want to hear about
Which do you think would work best? If we send our donors what we want them to have, or what they are willing and happy, or at least prepared, to receive? It's the 90-degree shift again. Donors are always more responsive if what we send them is what they want to receive. We'd aspire to only send donors what interests them and what they're most likely to respond to.
Giving donors the right choices enables us to segment our donor file not just by the two traditional levels of segmentation — demographic characteristics and past behavior — but by choice, the third level. We would continually ask our donors what they want and do our best to deliver it.