Find the Sweet Spot: The Moment Donors Switch from Annual to Planned

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Fundraising sometimes feels like more of an art than a science. The human touch isn’t going out of style anytime soon, but you don’t need to rely on your gut feeling for everything.

Like, for example, when a donor’s behavior shifts from a reliable member of your annual fund to something much bigger. Instead of picking up on a slight change in behavior, coaxing them into it or waiting around for them to flat out tell you, what if you knew the exact moment it was happening?

You can do just that with the power of science. Well, technically with analytics, but you get what we’re going for.

As detailed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Catholic Relief Services recently increased their commitment to donor analytics and shifted much of that work from agencies to in house.

In doing so, they noticed that when longtime donors who had primarily given in smaller amounts stopped giving, it wasn’t a sign that they were withdrawing from the organization. On the contrary, it was a good indicator they were prepared to make a bequest.

By turning their attention to uncovering people who fit that specific profile, fundraisers were able to uncover 300,000 new prospects they could create specialized communication strategies for. In 2017 alone, that resulted in $11.5 million in bequests.

The behavior of your donors likely might not mirror those exactly. But you’re incredibly likely to similarly improve your results by digging in to your analytics.

You don’t even need to spend a bunch of money on some fancy outside analysis to uncover these things. Remember, the Catholic Relief Services team discovered this correlation after refocusing internal efforts on analytics. Even if you aren’t digging deep into your data, no one knows your donors quite like you do.

Check it out: UConn dug into engagement data and saw 75% donor growth in their annual fund.

Learn how you can search and segment your data while making sure that stays up to date with the behavior of your donors.  

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