Institute and automate these tried and true donor segmentation tips and you’ll be in the clear in no time.

When fundraising for a non profit – lots of information can be thrown at you. Some good and clear, black and white. This gift came in. This gift didn’t come in. Sometimes the data is so voluminous or messy or divergent there isn’t enough time in the day to sort through it. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.

So, I’ve found in those instances its time to get back to the basics when looking at your donor data to develop a path out of the information maze you are in.

Here are some of the basics I’ve returned to from time to time that bring clarity.

Increased gift size and increased frequency.

This is a tried and true measurement that fundraisers have used for years and it demonstrates an individual’s increased financial commitment to the organization.

If we want our donors to place our organization at the top of their philanthropic priorities then this is a strong indicator that the organization is rising in their view.

This gives fundraiser’s an easy follow up call to make – thanking them and a great excuse to talk and get to know each other better.

Salesforce Tip: Create an automatic alert so you don’t have to find or track these donors on your own. Have the alert sent directly to your email.

Decreased gift size and lapsed donors

This is also a tried and true indicator but in the reverse. Something is going on with the donor and you need to figure it out by making more contact with them and getting to the bottom of it. Make a commitment that for a certain period of time you’ll make contact with them and then you have to let go.

Automation can help you stay on top of this type of monitoring.

Salesforce Tip: Create an automatic alert based on gift size or inactivity so you don’t have to find these donors on your own. Have the alert sent directly to your email. Set up alerts for when the stewardship cycle is completed so you know when to re-evaluate efforts.

Develop a simple rating system for your donors based on wealth and inclination.

There are lots of complex donor models out there but you know your donor’s best! Develop 5-8 simple questions based on past giving history, affiliations with the organization, and geography/ zip code. Ensure one or two of those questions are unique to your organization. Meaning those questions answer to donor behaviors or cultivation steps that you have consistently witnessed at your organization that lay the ground work for a successful solicitation or gift – such as attending a scholarship recipient’s graduation ceremony. It’s okay if you don’t know the donor enough to answer all the questions. That alone will tell you – you need to figure out creative ways to get to know your donors.

Salesforce Tip: You can ensure the rating automatically calculates when data is entered such as gift size, zip code, role affiliation (i.e. board member).

These exercises can guide you through a large data set or one particular donor profile so you can begin to segment, organize your data, and develop a customized strategy to move forward.

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