3 Top Analytics Techniques Every Fundraiser Should Know, Part 2
[Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a three-part series based on a session, “Analytics in Plain English: 3 Top Techniques Every Fundraiser Should Know,” presented by Don Austin, director of analytics at Infogroup | Nonprofit, Lawrence Henze, managing director of Blackbaud’s Target Analytics, and Bryan Terpstra, vice president of client services at LW Robbins, at the 2010 New York Nonprofit Conference held Aug. 24-25. View part 1 here. Part 3 will run in next week's edition of FS Advisor.]
Who are my donors?
It’s impossible to target personalized messages and relevant communications to your donors if you first don’t know who they really are. But “how do you find out who your donors are?” Austin asked. The answer is crucial for identifying affluent donors for major-gifts campaigns and planned-giving prospects, as well as unearthing the proper marketing messages, corporate relationships — “Corporations want to work with organizations that have an overlapping market,” Austin said — and more.
That answer lies in analyzing the data that’s available to describe your donors, Austin said. So, what data is available to fundraisers?
- Census data: the least expensive and least accurate
- Geodemographic: PRIZM, for example, based on “neighborhoods”
- Compiled demographics and lifestyle: very comprehensive
- Purchase behavior: catalog, retail and Web transactions
- Social-networking data: number of friends, groups, etc.
Census data applies to relatively large geographic areas and does not provide insights to specific households, Austin said. Geodemographic data categorizes neighborhoods into many different segments, generalizing on known household data. Compiled demographics and lifestyle data provide very detailed and comprehensive information on household demographics and interests such as age, income, household composition, wealth, etc.
The type of data to use depends on your objectives, Austin said. For example: for planned-giving prospecting, you want to focus on age and income; for major-gift prospecting, age, income and wealth rating are important. Likewise, for marketing and corporate partnerships, focus on age, income and lifestyle data; for donor acquisition, age and lifestyle are crucial.