The abundance of jack-o-lanterns lining the streets in neighborhoods throughout the country are one of the most visible symbols that the end of the year is upon us. Those smiling pumpkins also serve as a great reminder to nonprofit organizations that it is time to finalize the end of year fundraising appeal and get it out the door.
While determining the creative elements and messaging are incredibly important for any appeal, it’s also important to leverage the data in your CRM solution to ensure your appeal reaches your constituents and that you are maximizing total donations received.
Reaching Your Constituents
Many constituents move throughout the year. Multiple National Change of Address (NCOA) services exist to cleanse your database and ensure that you are mailing to your constituents at their correct address. Preparing for your end of year appeal presents wonderful opportunity to run an NCOA update against your database. If your fundraising appeal doesn’t reach your constituents, they can’t respond and give you a donation. Make sure the appeal gets into your constituents’ hands! If you are sending an electronic appeal, it’s a great time to match your database against an email finder service to build the percentage of your constituents that may be reached by email.
Utilize CRM Data for Segmentation
Constituent records within your CRM contain much more data than simply a giving history. Many organizations rely predominantly upon past giving history to guide a segmentation strategy. However, your CRM contains a variety of additional data points that may be used to aid in segmentation. Don’t simply consider the dollar amount of the last gift, but what fund it was given to and craft the appeal messaging around that gift. If a constituent is predominantly giving online, include them in an electronic appeal segment as opposed to simply continuing to send them direct mail.
Guide Ask Amounts Based Upon Giving Trends
Beyond segmentation, giving trends and previous gift amounts should help inform future asks. Numerous nonprofit organizations send out appeals where the ask amounts are consistent, despite previous giving patterns. If a constituent’s average gift amount is $100, for example, the minimum ask amount on their appeal should be greater than a constituent that has routinely given an average of $20. While keeping ask amounts the same across the constituent population and not tailoring them based upon a constituent’s previous giving patterns, organizations are not maximizing the giving potential of their constituents.