Grow the active donor base

February 4, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

More is good, and more more is better. And, more, more, more is even better.

Fundraisers are constantly seeking to expand organizational donor bases, which often means they are looking for new ways to do just that. Sometimes they find something new, but often it is possible to overlook something staring them in the face.

During the National Catholic Development Conference, Grace Lazzara Marcoms of SofTrek, cited Giving Hands International as an example of how to increase its active donor base. In some cases the methods were obvious, in others not so much.

Giving Hands is a human service organization addressing issues of poverty, serving 20,000 people with several programs. Lazzara said it found success by utilizing annual appeals and the organization’s Website. In addition, for addressing attrition, the options were channel-driven, research-driven and data-driven.

By utilizing the data-driven option, with data already in the organization’s systems, Giving Hands was able to get results from the following tactics:

  • Data governance and management. It eliminated silos, standardized and expanded data collection and standardized its workflows.
  • Analyzing the active list. This was for annual appeals and retention mailings.
  • List selection/segmentation process. It looked at response tracking and used the philanthropic rating on lists.
  • Direct marketing strategy. It determined mail quantities by using attrition statistics.
  • Donor management. It used a donor renewal strategy and reinstatement mailing.
  • Structured management system.