3 Top Analytics Techniques Every Fundraiser Should Know, Part 2
Once you have the data, you must know what you intend to do with it, i.e.:
- Simply describe characteristics of donors
- Incorporate it into my database to use for donor selects
- Use it for simple donor segmentation
- Develop complex segmentation for marketing
Simple descriptions are usually provided as frequencies and can (and should) be used to compare to the general population or specific population segments. For instance, you can use the data to find out that 9 percent of your donors earn less than $15,000 a year and 14.6 percent earn $125,000+ a year, compared to 14.6 percent of the general population earning less than $15,000 and 10.8 percent earning more than $125,000 annually. This gives you an understanding of how your donors compare to the general masses.
If you want to go further with your data, you must incorporate it into a database so you can gain even more insights. Ask yourself:
- What data do I need?
- Are fields available for the data?
- How will I access the data (for selects, analysis, etc.)?
Answer those questions, and record the data in your database to reference for further insights.
With your donor database set up, you can do simple segmentations such as segmenting donors by age and income, then tailor messages and cultivation strategies accordingly. Even better, you can use your database to set up complex segmentations, developing clusters of similar donors and creating personas to characterize donors.
This allows more personalized messaging, taking into consideration things like giving amount, giving history, demographics, etc., helping you predict future behaviors. Personas give you a better understanding of donor motivation and ability to donate.
Once you’ve identified donor clusters and created personas, you can do a cluster analysis. It should be driven by traits affecting donation behavior and requires specialized analytical tools, but it is an invaluable practice, so long as you “keep it manageable, but large enough to be representative,” Austin said.