How To Get Deeper Insights Into Your Donors

Philip Manzano • Mar 27, 2018

Your donors are telling you a lot of information, even when they’re not talking to you. You just have to be good at reading your contact database. The post How to get deeper insights into your donors appeared first on Keela.

Your donors are telling you a lot of information, even when they’re not talking to you. You just have to be good at reading your contact database.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the need for a CRM , regardless of your nonprofit’s size. And the ability to get deeper insights into your donors is one of the biggest reasons why.

Nonprofits are tasked with the responsibility of doing more, with less. And this is a valuable tool to help reduce any frustration you might have when trying to do this.

We’ve been there too!

So, the question remains – what can I learn from reading a contact database? We’ve identified 3 things you can figure out by knowing what to look for:

•   Find out who your donors are

•   Determine why they are donating

•   Find out what they want to hear about

Each of these areas are important for your team to work more strategically. In an ideal world, this will lead to a lot more engagement – getting you busy in the way you want!

How to Buy Technology for Your Nonprofit

Find Out Who Your Donors Are

When new donors come in, you can see them in your CRM. That’s the most basic way to understand a donor. You learn their name and a bit of their background information. Most organizations can get a pretty good profile about each person. But this isn’t what we’re talking about.

CRMs can give you a much more important picture of your donors. You can find this in the relationship-management feature. Contact databases have a great ability to map out relationships and households. These are relationships that your organization dictate.

For example: you can track that the donors that have things in common. Donors all go to the same athletic club, or graduated from the same university, for instance. Now your organization has a bit more context about these individuals. You might know more about their lifestyle, their values, their education, their interests.

Why is this important?

Every bit of information you gather about your donors becomes a tool that you can use to help you raise more money. When you see these trends within your database, you are able to create strategies around them. This takes the form of targeted messaging and conversation points relevant to these individuals.

Find Out Why They Are Donating

Determining the “why” is always important. It’s important for story-tellers, fundraisers, and relationship managers. It’s even more difficult when your contacts are unresponsive, or don’t fill out surveys. Yeah – we know that pain too.

That’s why finding out the “why” from your database can be such an important tool for you.

You are able to do this by looking at trends within your campaigns and marketing. Campaigns give you the opportunity to test out messaging and different calls to action. When you track audience reaction to those messages, you see what messages are successful. Let’s assume you have three different fundraising campaigns, focusing on different aspects of your work. You can reasonably assume that the most successful campaign is the one that relates closest to what matters to them.

For example: you can have a campaign to support Rhinos, Pandas and Koalas. From here, you see overwhelming support for Koalas. You can make the assumption that they are donating because they care more about Koalas than they do about Rhinos and Pandas.

Why is this important?

Understanding why people choose to give – even if it’s just scratching the surface – helps your team make strategic decisions. For story-tellers, it’s content. As a fundraiser, it’s an angle; for relationship managers, it’s a conversation starter.

Find Out What They Want to Hear About

Understanding what stories resonate with donorscan seem like an impossible task. This feeling is especially felt during #GivingTuesday campaigns. They never seem to convert the way we want them to.

We talk a lot about creating stories that resonate with donors – and that being a big part of donor retention. It was actually a huge talking point during Capacity Conference. Your contact database can be a great place to find out what resonates with your donors.

To do this, look at what programs or initiatives your contacts are engaging with the most. Look at key indicators such as volunteering, response rates, donations and interactions.

For example – Your program for puppy therapy seems to be getting a ton of response. You notice that your volunteer numbers for that program are through the roof, and that people continue to donate to the program with relative consistency. This is a huge sign that this program matters to your contacts.

Why is this important?

This information helps to guide your marketing and communications strategy. It stops you from wasting effort and sending the wrong message to people. If your contact database is telling you that people want to hear more about the puppy therapy program, you probably shouldn’t run a campaign about your new donation forms. Communicate value, and build up that resonance to your cause.

We hope this is helpful for you! Like any new process, it will take some time to learn how to read your database. But once you build that muscle, you can learn so much more about your contacts, to truly know them intimately.

Happy CRM-diving!

How to Buy Technology for Your Nonprofit