When using big data for lead generation, non-profits tend to be at a disadvantage compared to their for-profit competitors. Why? The biggest issue is that non-profits simply don’t have the financial resources to put towards extensive data systems and advanced AI. Instead, when marketing non-profits seek to grow their donor base, they need to approach the numbers a different way.
Start With A Goal
Setting an in-house growth goal is the most important factor for non-profits because it allows them to appropriately manage their data and target the best possible donors and motivate staff performance. Setting a goal allows non-profits to track progress and foster competition that makes client outreach better.
Once you know which donors your organization is focused on, you can make small modifications to your automated outbound marketing practices. Current and potential donors want to feel like they’re at the heart of your journey. That’s how you increase giving.
Centralize Your Vendors
Whether they’re dealing with content creation, advertising, or design work, it’s easy to divvy up your external contracts among different specialized companies. Unfortunately, that also means breaking up your data. If you centralize your contracts, though, and work with a single vendor, your non-profit will see improved communications and better outcomes. Fewer vendors equal better data and improved marketing outcomes.
Toss the Clutter
Once an organization whittles down their vendor connections, it’s time to clean up that data. That means updating donor contact information, eliminating inactive profiles, and deleting duplicates. When an organization uses multiple vendors, you basically guarantee there are duplicates within your data. Meanwhile, staff members are wasting time chasing down donations and engagement from individuals who are no longer engaged. By cleaning up the data, it’s possible to increase efficiency and donor support.
Don’t Overlook Retention
At the end of the day, managing organizational data is all about donor acquisition, but it may just be the case that retention is the new acquisition. If that’s the case, then having clean donor profiles is even more important. It’s easy to measure donor retention once you consolidate all the data held by different contractors. And at the end of the day, keeping loyal donors – and making them feel valued – is far and away more important than acquiring new donors who give once or twice but feel no commitment to the cause.
Keep a close eye on year-to-year donor retention rates and the average lifetime value of donors and use that data to determine where to focus specialized attention. Automated emails and other marketing standards can easily hold space for the slow and steady donors – the once a year givers. But when the data shows an organization who the standout players are, the people who beat average lifetime giving numbers in a year or two, that’s when they need to deviate from the standard plan.
At a time when retention matters more than ever, big data does the heavy lifting so that staff can make phone calls and hand write notes to the biggest donors. When computers do most of the work, data can reveal where a greater human effort is needed.