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Reviewing and Segmenting Your Data


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Good data is vital to the success of your Year-End Campaign. Don’t wait until you are ready to send out an appeal letter to review your data. Make an initial selection of who you want to reach out to. Your data might include major donors, mid-level donors, lapsed donors, In-kind donors, etc. Each of these groups may need a different type of “ask” or outreach effort.


Major Donors

Every organization identifies major donors differently. For some organizations, gifts over $1,000 plus could be considered major donors and yet others might see major donors as those who give at a level of $25,000 or greater. There is no pre-defined threshold – rather it should be based on the top gifts you receive in relation to the rest of your gifts. Nonetheless, once you have this list it’s time to review who is on this list, when they gave last - in order to see if they are qualified for the upcoming ask - and maybe most importantly who on your team of board, staff, or key volunteers may know the donors on the list. Why do you want to know who might know them? You want to know this because people give based on their relationship to the organization. If a member of your team knows a major donor and can make a “personal ask” the likelihood that you will receive a gift from that donor quadruples.


Data table

Let’s look at this small data selection together. Our donor Jim Taylor seems to be a donor that gives regularly, and I would want to know who on our team might be able to do a personal ask. But even more intriguing to me is Bob Black. His one and only gift was significant but was several years ago making him a lapsed donor. I would want to know more about Bob, why he gave originally and why he stopped giving. Following up on these kinds of issues can help your organization learn how to better retain donors and increase future giving.


Once you have reviewed your data you can begin defining your campaign strategy. Some examples might be:


Major Donors get a letter, personalized note from a board member, and a pre-approach or follow-up phone call or meeting.


Mid-level Donors and Small Dollar Donors get a letter with a “variable ask ladder” and a follow-up postcard. We will get to “variable ask ladder” in a future post.


Lapsed Donors get a letter inviting them to rejoin in supporting the cause and why their support is needed and meaningful.


And finally… our segmented data will tell us if we have enough prospects and the necessary giving capacity, as defined by our Giving Matrix (please see previous post on a The Giving Matrix) to achieve our fundraising goal.


Want to learn more about building a Giving Matrix or planning your Year-End Appeal? Talk to Boone’s Creative Director, Rob Grayson. Rob was a development director and professional fundraiser for 24 years before joining Team Boone. Studio B, our in-house creative studio specializes in designing fundraising campaigns and outreach materials for nonprofits as well as a wide range of private sector creative services.

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