Survey Results Are In! (The Real Skinny on Nonprofit Data)
As someone who has spent years understanding what it really means to see the full relationship of a constituent, I've learned that the non-financial transactions are the lowest priority for capture yet often are some of the most valuable indicators of brand commitment and loyalty. As fundraisers of the past, we were drawn to look at donations as indications of the people most likely to stay engaged with our brand. But today's fundraisers have to think more like brand marketers — and sometimes it's simply not all about the money.
Relative to the last bullet above, many organizations would say they are successful because of their volunteers. Yet, based on this study of nonprofits, the data above suggests that only a little more than half of the organizations think just knowing that someone was a volunteer or what specific area for which he or she volunteered or even when is important enough to capture.
Capturing is different than using
The study also included a specific question related to what information was being used in direct-marketing /mass-marketing strategies. The reason I called out this specific area/program in the study is because by their nature, these mass-marketing strategies deal with larger pools of people, and any information that is available to help further segment and target the right donors with the right message is helpful.
Below are the various types of information and transactions, as well as the percentage of organizations that say they use this information in their mass-market programs.
- Donation Information (recency/frequency/monetary) …… 92%
- Community/Event Participation …… 70%
- Demographics …… 57%
- Mission/Cause-Specific …… 54%
- Volunteer Interactions …… 51%
- Call-Center/Donor-Service Interactions …… 39%
- Website Interactions …… 37%
- Product Sales …… 33%
- Advocacy Interactions …… 31%
As expected, the standard RFM has the highest representation across the organizations. But while every organization is different, I would argue that many of these data points can help unlock new ways of looking at your donors. And based on the higher percentages above, the use of event engagement, demographics, mission engagement and volunteer interactions are successful strategies for the direct-marketing programs. Yet we must be careful not to apply the same logic that lower percentages imply testing yet no success. While it sounds trivial to say — and the modelers and analysts in our industry will say it very differently — it simply makes sense that engagement data should be used as we talk to our donors about further engagement.
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.