Whether we realize it or not, each of us has been applying data to decision-making processes since our youth. Remember that time you were selected to be the captain of the kickball team? The pressure of selecting the best team rested solely on YOUR shoulders. If you were like me, a million strategic thoughts went through your head as you tried to recruit the best team to ensure you won the game. The first step was evaluating the group of classmates staring back at me. What do I know about them? Are they a fast runner? A good kicker? A good fielder? My friend? After quickly assessing the answers to those questions, the selection process began.
In fundraising, we deal with a similar situation, faced with an entire pool of prospects and the desire to reach your fundraising goal. While the data needed to create the best team of donors is more complicated, the premise behind it is the same. We need to review data on our prospective and current donors to ensure we are selecting the right team to help us achieve each of our specific fundraising goals.
While scouting reports weren’t available for identifying the kickball skills of your classmates, tools exist to assist with the more complicated task of analyzing prospects. Wealth screening partners help development teams efficiently screen thousands of prospects and receive valuable information to identify your best potential donors. The results of the wealth screen can be analyzed and used to segment your prospects based on their historic philanthropic giving, their capacity (wealth) and by their wealth screening score.
The segmentation of prospective donors provides you information to develop a better understanding of the composition of your prospect file. With that understanding, development teams can build solid cultivation strategies designed to maximize internal resources and manage the amount of time and effort spent on each level of donor. For example, an organization can segment their file into Major Gift Prospects and Annual Gift Prospects. Once segmented, specific strategies can be developed to cultivate relationships with each level of donor, steward them and eventually make the appropriate ask. While a more individualized approach may be required for Major Gift Prospects, those you identify as Annual Gift Prospects may utilize a multi-channel approach including digital media, social media, direct mail, phone calls, etc.
As you continue to work toward your fundraising goals, remember a wealth screen can be a valuable tool in making sure the right players…I mean donors….are on the team!