To really nail your prospect trips, you’ve got to get off to the right start. And, yeah, upgrading that flight to business class definitely seems like it’d do just that, but it actually starts way before booking flights. (Make no mistake, though – upgrade that flight first chance you get.)
Success starts during the planning stage. Trick is, the planning stage might start earlier than you’d think. Maybe way earlier. Because the most crucial part of your trip is actually the data you find that initiates the trip in the first place. Which explains why our reaction to tip number one in this article from Dan Allenby was…
So…yeah. Safe to say we agree with the advice Dan got from Laura Tepper, Director of Development at Penn Law and travel hero. Using data to plan your prospect trips around a few critical visits gives your journey shape and allows you to fill the rest of your schedule with other potential donors who aren’t exactly sure things but are worthwhile all the same.
What data can you look at specifically to find pillar prospects for your next trip?
Can they even give? Best to know the answer to that question before you walk in the room. Even better to know before you ask to set up a meeting. With capacity filters and scoring you can get a pretty good sense of whether or not the prospect you’re thinking about visiting is even able to make the type of gift you’re looking for.
EverTrue offers our own scoring index based on a potential donor’s data, and we also surfaces indicators like job title, home value, neighborhood income and more. It’s almost like having your very own crystal ball.
A lot of donors slowly build up a giving history before they make a truly monumental gift. Instead of manually poring over record after record hoping something pops, you can sort a donors giving history to give you a sense of who might be ready to take a significant leap forward. Add in some geography filters, and you can find donors who are clustered in the same city or region who fit the profile to help you really target your travel destinations.
Maybe someone has a high giving capacity but no donation history. Give up on them? Hardly! There are valuable constituents hiding in that mix. Just because they haven’t given doesn’t mean they’re tuned out from all the things going on at your institution.
Start with a giving capacity search then layer in some engagement data to see if they’ve been actively interacting with your social media channels. That’s a great way to see what initiatives interest them. Once you know their interests, you’ve got a great opening to start a conversation that they might actually be waiting around for someone to start. As a matter of fact, Oregon State University did some research into it, and it turns out engaged donors are 78% more likely to take a meeting with one of your fundraisers.
If you’re feeling good about your data, check out the rest of Dan’s article for more great tips for your trip.