Here is what we do know: data is important for any organization. Whether you’re a nonprofit collecting donor analytics, a multinational company tracking customer behaviors, or a small business monitoring buying trends, collecting and tracking data is vital. Data helps you gain a clearer picture of your current situation, and what you can do to best improve it. You can find the holes, leaky ceilings, and opportunities for growth all in one spreadsheet — when done right, of course.
Tracking and analyzing data does not only help you to see what is going “wrong”. Instead, it shows you the avenues for growth and helps you chart out an optimized path forward. With respect to nonprofit organizations, asking the right questions to collect the right data can have a tremendous impact on the number (and size) of gifts received.
“Your database is a gold mine. There is so much you can learn about what your donors are doing if you just start to look.”
Emily Courville, Director of Analytics at the Humane Society of the United States
Before we jump into how donor analytics can help you optimize your fundraising efforts, it is crucial to ask the right questions. You should know what needs to be tracked. The donor data collected shouldn’t only include the basics, such as a donor’s name and address. Organizations should, instead, be tracking as much as they can. This includes:
- Years of giving
- The average amount donated per year
- Most recent gift amount and date
- First gift amount and date
- Largest gift amount and date
- Events attended
- Nonprofits and causes they support
- Why they support your cause
- Contact information (phone, email address, and mailing address)
- Relevant background information (marital status, children, pets, passions and hobbies, educational background, occupation, etc)
- Preferred means of communication
- Information they’d like you to communicate
- Preferred way of supporting your organization
Now that we broadly know what aspects of donor data you should be tracking, it is important to move on to the next step: donor analytics. Here is why you need to make donor analytics a priority. Stat.
1. Donor analytics help you better understand and target your donors
“Knowledge is power”, by Sir Francis Bacon, is perhaps one of the most quoted sayings of all time. And for good reason. Knowledge helps us understand, see, analyze, structure, and work better.
Collecting donor data can help nonprofits understand a lot about their current and potential donors. Armed with this knowledge, nonprofits can find patterns and understand the habits of their donors. Rather than chasing after those who have the largest assets or the most wealth, organizations can now make their approach much more structured and logical. This allows them to instead target those with the highest affinity and propensity to give.
To put it simply, donor analytics help nonprofits target better.
2. Donor analytics can help you build and nurture relationships with donors
Donor analytics help you segment your donors properly. Simply put, donor segmentation means grouping donors with others on similar ground. What this ground is will depend entirely on the goals of your organization.
Donor segmentation allows you to communicate with your donors more efficiently. You will be able to customize your overall tone, build better rapport, or personalize the information that reaches their inbox. This can happen all while sending them the right content in their preferred communication channel. Subsequently, more effective communication and more efficient giving will result.
Studies have shown that simply personalizing your subject lines can lead to a higher open rate and larger return. According to a recent article, personalized subject lines increased the open rate of emails by 26%. This, in turn, led to a 7.6X increase in revenue generated from email marketing.
Donor analytics helps segment donors and engage them better.
3. Donor insights can help you improve communication with your donors
Identifying patterns and segmenting donors based on their data and analytics allows organizations to reach them better. This helps nonprofits plan their fundraising events (online versus in-person) efficiently. For instance, take the case of donors’ location. An international organization would benefit more from virtual events and fundraisers than a local organization. For organizations at the local level, in-person events would yield greater results since they’d be able to utilize local businesses for support and promotion.
Donor analytics help nonprofits reach out and communicate with donors better.
How can Donor Compass help you optimize your fundraising?
Finding patterns and leveraging the results of donor data that will help your organization, not the data itself. All of this boils down to having a sound system through which analysis can be conducted.
Donor Compass by Legacy Leaders is one such solution. Donor Compass organizes your data in a manner that is easy to sort and filter. After the donor data is scored, the donors are targeted on the basis of four key behavioral traits. What is remarkable about this tool is that it goes beyond simple wealth scoring.
As we have mentioned before, nonprofits should look at targeting those with the highest propensity to give, rather than those with the most wealth and assets. This is precisely Donor Compass’ focus and philosophy. Donor Compass crunches the number for you to provide instant strategic insights, helping you to optimize your campaigns.
All in all, understanding your donor data by analyzing it can result in helping your organization collect more donations. From targeting the right people to communicating with them in an optimized manner, analytics can do wonders!
Learn more about how Donor Compass can help you manage your donor analytics here.