Would you treat one of your $100 donors differently if you knew he or she had given a $100,000 gift to another charity, and would you treat those donors differently if you knew there were 5,000 more just like them on your housefile?
Those were the questions that kicked off the session, "Uncovering Major Donors in Your Mass Marketing Donor Files," presented by Kim Carter, direct mail manager at American Bible Society (ABS), and Max Bunch, senior vice president of consulting and client service at Stratmark, Wednesday at the 2012 New York Nonprofit Conference. They continued: "Knowing this information, can you rapidly upgrade their giving to your cause? Can you actually turn a $100 mass-marketing donor into a potential major donor who gives $500, $50,000 or even $250,000?"
In the session, Carter and Bunch shared how American Bible Society tested to see if it could, in fact, uncover major donors on its housefile. Using its Bibles for China control acquisition package — ABS provides Bibles to 100 countries in more than 400 languages and is the largest supplier of Bibles in China — the largest annual cultivation piece for ABS, it decided to test upgrading and determining the potential for major-donor response.
The goals were to test the ability to significantly upgrade giving by donors who are currently major donors to other causes but not to ABS, as well as test the ability to significantly upgrade giving from donors on its file similar to those donors who had given major gifts to other causes but not ABS. ABS used a three-step process:
- Data enhancement and targeting
- Meaningful stretch offer development
- Innovative creative execution
Data enhancement and targeting
To understand its file even better and find potential major givers, ABS matched publicly available giving outside of its own charity to ABS donors. It found that only 10 percent of the ABS file yielded exact matches to outside giving data, so demographic, geographic, current giving data and purchased data were added to the enhancement and targeting. Then a cloning model to identify people who also have the likelihood to give significant gifts was created.