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021115 5 ways to id donors

How do you identify your nonprofits’ most valuable donors? Sometimes the best place to start is with the information that’s right in front of you.

Identifying and prioritizing your top donor prospects is something that gets lost in the urgency of securing gifts for many organizations. However, taking the time to analyze your database and dig through your data can help you uncover those donors who are most likely to help you reach your goals.

5 Ways to Identify Your Most Valuable Donors with Giving Data

Most initial searches begin by examining past giving data, such as RFM analysis (recency, frequency, and monetary value). Here are five ways you can begin to identify and connect with your most valuable donors by analyzing your giving data:

  1. Start the prospecting process by examining your current donors.  It’s easy to get aspirational about millionaires you’d like to give to your organization, but the best investment of your time is to start with who is currently giving to you.
  2. If you are analyzing your file based on RFM, select a cumulative gift amount.  For example—if your organization considers a major gift to be any gift over $5,000, search for gifts that add up to that amount in the last 12 months.
  3. Pull the last three years of giving data and examine your retention rate.  Use a cumulative gift amount as a marker. Starting with the oldest year first, examine each donor “class” by year. For example, how many donors who gave more than $5,000 in 2012 gave that much in 2013? The following year? Realize that improving retention by just 10% improves the LTV (lifetime donor value) of your  donor base by 50 percent!
  4. Do you know the story of donors who dropped off and stopped giving?  If not, find out! If it isn’t in their constituent record, ask your colleagues. If they don’t know, pick up the phone to let your donor know they are missed, they are valued, and that you are thinking of them, and want to make sure they know how important they are to your organization.
  5. When you pulled your file, take some time to identify those loyal donors giving small amounts. Congratulations! These are excellent planned gift prospects. Start a conversation with them to explore their philanthropic aspirations!
Are you Ready to Find Your Most Valuable Donors?

Today’s technology allows us to collect and analyze a plethora of data about our donors. How can you leverage it efficiently to find them, deepen your relationship with them, and upgrade their giving?

What are some ways your organization is using giving data to identify and prioritize your most valuable donors?