Predicting Weather Is Not Like Predicting Donations
I understand — "predictions" just feel uncomfortable for many people. While not meaning to take on the weather experts, I just wonder if the reason I don't trust weather predictions is that I don't understand how to predict weather. Therefore, is it really that not understanding something makes us uncomfortable, which, in turn, makes us not believe? I get it. But it just doesn't make any sense.
I spoke with folks from a nonprofit the other day who absolutely were not interested in trying modeling. When I asked why, they said they were pleased with their current segmentation. I'll go on record saying that modeling has a place in every fundraising program, and if you don't believe it, perhaps you just don't understand it.
Now, for anyone out there admitting, "I don't understand how modeling will improve my program," please know that you don't need to understand all the details to benefit from the use. And there is tremendous benefit from predictive modeling.
Predictive models look at traits that influence the likelihood of future behaviors. In the old days of mass marketing, organizations would drop their messages down on everyone and hope they would stick to a few. The key word there is hope. It was an imprecise approach based on reaching the largest possible pool to spark the largest possible response. The problem was every drop that didn't stick cost the organization marketing dollars.
These days, marketing must be smarter for a couple reasons: (1) In our cluttered culture, people do not have time or tolerance for irrelevant messages; and (2) in an increasingly crowded and competitive landscape, nonprofit organizations need to make it a point to get the very best return on their marketing investment.
That's where predictive modeling helps. Modeling helps better target your marketing efforts and achieve a greater ROI.
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.