Helping Your High-dollar Donors to Stand Out
Specifically, the information should pinpoint wealth based in part on liquid asset factors, not just income. To understand why this is important, consider two people with the same income. If one’s dominant asset is his home, then he isn’t as likely to bestow a major or planned gift as the person whose dominant assets are liquid. The latter is capable of making a major gift without having to sell a portion of his dominant asset. The key is to focus exclusively on households with not only high income, but with high
liquid, discretionary income.
3. Prove a correlation between capacity to give and actual gift amounts: The capacity to give and actual gift amounts — cumulative and largest single gift — are strong predictors of giving. Screen to compare giving capacity with actual giving history to identify top donors. Doing so effectively can increase an organization’s performance by 20 percent to 30 percent annually.
Factors such as private company ownership, professional status and public stock ownership can provide a clearer picture of a prospect’s major-gift capacity. With this data, nonprofits can develop a donor profile that includes interests, gift timing and other factors, enabling them to target prospects as unique individuals.
4. Identify donor attachment to the organization: A donor’s attachment to a nonprofit organization also is an important factor in determining whether she’s a top-level prospect. Attachment often is defined by how long and how often a donor has given to a particular organization. Combine this information with her true ability to give to determine appropriate asking amounts. For example, a donor might be giving regularly to an organization, but the total gift amount might equate to well under 1 percent of her discretionary income.
5. Use data mining to determine donor affinity: Affinity indicates how likely a prospect is to give to a particular organization — even if he hasn’t given before. Data mining is at the heart of determining affinity. Find pieces of information in your database that relate to giving, such as marital status, event attendance and age. You then can create an affinity score that will rank your prospects based on their likelihood to support your organization at a higher level.