Pass the Data
Applying data mining techniques in our fundraising programs has been with us for at least a decade. It’s getting a lot more attention lately, as nonprofits seek out more dollars from their donors—with some success. Data mining is no longer a unique fundraising idea.
Principle 6 of The Eight Principles™ is Divide & Grow™. Stated simply, you must treat different people differently if your fundraising program is to scale. Not all potential investors respond in the same way to the same outreach.
Data mining can be used to positive effect to identify the differences between potential—and current—supporters.
Like any tool, data mining has its uses—and limitations. The unique fundraising idea is not data mining, per se, but the intelligent use of it.
Data mining is very good at identifying groups—even small groups—of individuals who share common traits. Understanding how those traits apply in fundraising requires intelligent interpretation.
Individuals, although a member of a particular group with certain common attributes, do not share every attribute, however.
The unique fundraising idea is that fundraising is ultimately about individuals regardless of the sophistication of the data tools you may be using. Never forget it—not that they will let you.
Use data to sharpen your focus, not as a substitute for the flesh and blood of fundraising—your donor relationships.
To your fundraising success!
Larry believes in the power of relationships and the power of philanthropy to create a better place and transform lives.
Larry is the founder of The Eight Principles. His mission is to give nonprofits and philanthropists alike the opportunity to achieve their shared visions. With more than 25 years of experience in charitable fundraising and philanthropy, Larry knows that financial sustainability and scalability is possible for any nonprofit organization or charitable cause and is dependent on neither size nor resources but instead with the commitment to create a shared vision.
Larry is the author of the award-wining book, "The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising." He is the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2010 Outstanding Development Executive and has ranked in the Top 15 Fundraising Consultants in the United States by the Wall Street Business Network.
Larry is the creator of the revolutionary online fundraising training platform, The Oracle League.
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