Data mining is a great first step in helping you identify patterns of constituent behavior and, the best part is, it can be done in house.
According to Laura Worcester, a consultant with Blackbaud in Charleston, S.C, examining a constituents’ giving history will make the data easier to mine and provide valuable information. To get started:
- Run a query in your database of individuals who have made 25 gifts or more.
- Sort the list in descending order of number of gifts.
- Review the data. You may be surprised at what you discover! You may find a donor who has given a significant number of gifts over the years and could be cultivated for more.
- After you have done this initial analysis, take another look at your list.
- Start enriching it with some additional information — adding parameters like “date of first gift,” “first gift amount,” “date of largest gift,” “largest gift amount,” and “amount of each of the last five gifts.”
In reviewing the results of your data mining project ask: Do I see any patterns? Did I uncover any long-term donors?
If so, you may consider creating a “loyalty society,” so you can recognize and cultivate the newly identified donors. You may also see a chance to increase your planned giving program.
The point is, powerful information resides in the data you have at your fingertips, and once you uncover it and recognize your consistent supporters, good things will happen.