Maximizing Fundraising Analytics to Secure Leadership Gifts for Your Campaign

Fundraising Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining and Donor Intelligence are all currently buzz words in the fundraising industry. Some believe these are a magic item that will make leadership gift efforts easy and formulaic. In fact, these tools are just a piece of the overall effort. This information has the potential to be a resource for your parish or diocese, allowing it to learn more about the giving potential and giving patterns of your parishioners, as well as analyzing behavior. This information can be extremely helpful if it is used as one of many tools in your development effort. Having the information about your potential donor is one factor, but the ability to take this information to the next level and turn it into a gift to your organization is another.

In order to truly tap into the information you have ascertained through modern day analytics, you need to turn the information into actionable knowledge by pairing it with the principles of fundraising.

Successful fundraising is still built on the following principles:

Access to and/or Relationship 
with the Donor
Who in your parish or diocese knows this potential donor? Does the bishop or pastor have a relationship with them? Have they been involved with parish or diocesan organizations, boards, campaigns, etc.? Does the development director know this donor and have they established a relationship with them? How well do you know them? If none of the leadership members of your parish or diocese has a relationship to this potential donor, who in your organization does? How can you get them involved in building this new relationship for your organization? Building relationships with your donors is still, and will always be, the most important element in successful development. People give to people.

Relevance/Inclination to Give
Why would this potential donor want to donate to your project or campaign? Is this a project close to their heart? Have they been involved in the development of the plans? Will they directly benefit from a successful fundraising effort? Are there memorials involved that they would be interested in supporting?

Capacity to Give at a High Level
Donors may have the ability to consider a leadership gift to your campaign or development effort based on your fundraising analytics. However, have they given to your organization in the past at a high level or to other organizations? Did they get involved as a volunteer to help cultivate and/or solicit additional gifts? Are they regular contributors to your diocese or parish? While they may have the capacity to consider a gift, it is crucial that they have the inclination and opportunity to give.

Fundraising analytics are a great tool in modern day stewardship and development efforts. However, they don’t create a shortcut to the gift. The organization still needs to follow all of the fundamental practices of cultivation and ultimately matching the campaign need with the donor’s need to give. By relying solely on analytics, the giving potential will more than likely remain just that ,“potential”.