In college, I worked in the Alumni Giving office making cold calls to solicit donations from former students. I wasn’t good at this job at all. I figured if someone hadn’t donated in 5, 12, or 27 years, then I couldn’t change their mind now. At the time, I did not realize that the limited information given to me on each former student could have helped me establish a small personal connection.

Did you know that contact information and RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) data are enough to turn an unwelcome phone call into a happily given gift?

The power of one-to-one marketing is harnessed when data points are leveraged to create a personalized experience for prospective donors. The most common marketing metric is the RFM model. Most likely, your organization is already tracking your supporters’ recency, frequency, and monetary data points. This is useful data, but consider all the other information that you are probably already tracking: demographics, volunteering history, event participation, online activism, and more! Truthfully, you are probably already capturing more information about your donors than you realize.

With all of your data points considered, your organization must determine where this valuable data is going. Gathering all of your donor data in one place can be invaluable for identifying “micro segments”. Even minimal added data points can make a difference in creating personal contact with your donors. The goal is to deepen connections to your organization, while increasing loyalty and return on investment. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? What would any of our organizations be without the donors, volunteers, activists, and event participants supporting us? Let’s show them the love and appreciation that they deserve!

Ready to get started on your one-to-one marketing strategy?

Check out these best practices:

  • Gather all your various data points into one location where it will be most effectively used for personalized communications.
  • You already know a lot about your donors – find out what that is, and identify what data you may be collecting without even realizing it.
  • When you decide to capture information from your donors, ensure that you are consistently gathering the same data across all channels.
  • Every time you contact your donors—or they contact you—it is a learning opportunity. What information can you solicit that may be useful?
  • Start to break down your data into various micro segments to make a contact feel personal.

Lauren McCarthy has a passion for utilizing technology, data, and efficient processes to enable effective fundraising. Throughout her career Lauren has been fortunate enough to experience fundraising through many lenses – as a fundraiser, as development systems director at a large federated organization, and through various roles related to direct marketing fundraising technology at Blackbaud. In her current role at Blackbaud, Lauren is thrilled to be on the team leading strategy for new solutions that allow organizations to harness the power of data to drive effective identification and communication with supporters. In her free time Lauren can be found running, recovering from running, or complaining about running.

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