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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Five Data-Driven Best Practices to Power Your Giving Tuesday Fundraising

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

This is a sponsored guest blog post by Windfall Data

From its humble beginnings in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a massive global movement. Last year, millions of donors gave $2.47 billion in a single day, increasing donations by 25% compared to 2019. This initiative, created to inspire communities to give, offers a unique opportunity for nonprofits to convert their prospects and cultivate their donors.

To help your organization maximize fundraising on Giving Tuesday and beyond, Windfall has created a list of data-driven best practices:

  1. Reach out to the constituents who are already in your donor database

  2. Make sure to screen all of your records

  3. Apply propensity modeling to streamline prioritization

  4. Leverage data and segmentation to enhance your Giving Tuesday channels, messaging, and strategies

  5. Continue your data-driven outreach even after Giving Tuesday ends

Giving Tuesday is a great way to kick off end-of-year giving, so make it count with a data-first strategy!

1. Don’t Just Think About New Prospects! Make Sure to Also Look at Your Current Constituents

Use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to both work on donor retention and build long-lasting relationships with your donors. While it might be tempting to only focus on expanding your donor base and winning new donors, Windfall recommends also taking a look at the pool of donors and prospects who are already in your CRM. In fact, there are several reasons why you should look inward:

  • Your current constituents already have an affinity with your organization and cause, so they are more likely to give

  • Engaging with them is usually more cost-efficient and results in more long-term funding

  • You have more data about your current donors so you can better understand and engage with them

  • And it’s important to note that, in general, fewer donors are donating in larger amounts, so it may be more productive to engage with those who have already given to your organization

2. Screen Your Entire Database

Don’t just cherry-pick the individuals you screen. By using wealth screening on every constituent, you can better understand your donors and prospects, increasing your chances of meeting your fundraising goals. More specifically, a complete wealth screening will help you to:

  • Identify more hidden gems and future gift opportunities in time for Giving Tuesday

  • Screen and identify affluent one-time, peer-to-peer donors for re-engagement

  • Segment your constituents at scale for a more sophisticated Giving Tuesday campaign and a higher ROI

  • Easily prioritize who to go after and how much to ask from them

3. Apply Propensity Scores to Your Giving Tuesday Campaigns

Wealth screening can tell you a lot about your constituents, but propensity modeling provides an additional layer of insight. Larger nonprofits, especially those with sizable constituent databases, can leverage propensity scores based on machine learning modeling to effectively prioritize and segment constituents quickly and at scale.

If you don’t yet leverage propensity modeling, Windfall suggests using a model that is fully customized to your organization and goal to ensure that you’re correctly prioritizing high-propensity constituents. For instance, you can run a model that’s based on a modest gift of $100, a major gift, or even a leadership gift.

Windfall recommends these best practices when building your custom model:

  • Select a realistic gift threshold. You can base it on your annual campaign, leadership gift, or major gift thresholds.

  • Make sure that your custom model is based on machine learning techniques for it to be truly predictive.

  • Work with your vendor to perform a robust exploratory data analysis on your internal data.

  • Make sure that your model’s scoring range is on a scale of 0-99 to enable nuanced prioritization at scale.

4. Leverage Analysis and Segmentation to Enhance Your Giving Tuesday Strategies

While Giving Tuesday is for all donors, it doesn’t mean that you should reach out to everyone the same way. These days, nonprofits have a lot of options to use when reaching out to donors and prospects - handwritten letters, social media, email, direct mail, phone calls, and even texts! When planning your Giving Tuesday strategies, make sure to take advantage of your data, segmentation, and analysis to determine:

  • The channels you’ll use for outreach

  • Messaging and personalization

  • Who you’ll reach out to

  • How much effort your development and advancement teams will put into each contact

Remember - your data and insights will only be valuable if you act on them! Below are some ideas on how to build your data and segments into your Giving Tuesday strategies and workflows.

Wealth-Based Strategies

  • Apply multichannel strategies to high-net-worth individuals (those with more than $1MM in wealth) to keep your organization top of mind. A potential strategy could include personal notes in mailed requests, targeted email requests that re-enforce those asks, and digital retargeting social campaigns.

  • A simpler option would be to send a handwritten note to LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors who are very high-net-worth ($5MM+) while running a direct mail campaign for lapsed donors who are worth $1MM to $5MM.

  • You can personalize your messaging and ask amount for your high-net-worth donors. Leverage your wealth data to estimate gift capacity: Annual gift capacity = 1% X net worth.

  • Remind your high-net-worth donors that they will enjoy increased benefits from their gifts through December, thanks to the CARES Act, which has increased the adjusted gross income (AGI) limit for cash contributions to 100% for cash donations from individual donors to qualifying public charities.

Nonprofit Affinity Strategies

  • If your Giving Tuesday campaign is supporting a specific project, look for donors who have an affinity for donating to a related nonprofit category. For example, if your Giving Tuesday campaign is raising money for an education-focused project then you may want to target donors who have given to other education organizations.

  • Align your Giving Tuesday messaging with the nonprofit categories that your constituents care about the most! So, if the majority of your constituents donate to environmental causes, then you may want to highlight what your nonprofit is doing to support and protect the environment, even if it’s not your primary focus.

Donation History-Based Strategies

  • Make sure to personalize all messaging with donation history! If you solicit a donation without acknowledging that the recipient has given in the past, you risk losing that donor. But, remember that Giving Tuesday is about participation, so it’s ok to reach out to donors who’ve already given this year.

  • Use previous donation history to identify which constituents would be a good fit for social media ambassadors or advocates in a peer-to-peer fundraising program.

  • Reach out to donors who’ve given on previous Giving Tuesdays to let them know that you appreciated their past Giving Tuesday gifts and the impact that they made over the past year.

  • Identify constituents who are not flagged as high-net-worth individuals and who have never given over a certain threshold, then put them into an email drip campaign that encourages them to become monthly donors at smaller amounts, such as $10, $20, or $30.

PTG-Based Strategies

  • Layer PTG scores on top of wealth data to identify affluent donors who have the highest propensity to donate based on your threshold. Then reach out to them with phone calls and solicitations based on your target ask.

  • If you have a PTG model based on your annual fund campaign, reach out to them at scale through a multi-channel strategy across social media and email with your Giving Tuesday solicitation.

5. Don’t Stop After Giving Tuesday

Your fundraising shouldn’t stop after Giving Tuesday. Take advantage of your momentum and make sure to have a strategy for your new donors after your Giving Tuesday campaign is over!

  • Make sure to screen any new donors who came in thanks to Giving Tuesday - you may find additional affluent donors who you should cultivate!

  • Enhance your constituent insights and better prepare for future initiatives by segmenting and analyzing these new donors.

  • Engage your Giving Tuesday donors with additional cultivation and custom messaging. Remember that December statistically sees the highest rate of donations in a year, with the most coming in the last three days of the month. This is a great time for outreach!

Partner with Windfall to Make Giving Tuesday Work for You

Giving Tuesday represents a powerful opportunity for every nonprofit organization to galvanize donors and meet their fundraising goals. If you want to supercharge your Giving Tuesday campaign, then partner with Windfall to identify, understand, and engage your valuable constituents.

  • With Windfall’s wealth screening solution, you receive a precise net worth figure, not a score or a range. Our net worth is based on both deterministic inputs from 50+ sources and proprietary algorithms to ensure accurate values at the household level.

  • Our propensity models are completely bespoke to both your nonprofit and your goal. They leverage your internal data on top of Windfall’s precise net worth and 30+ additional attributes, outperforming RFM, heuristics, and other out-of-the-box models.

  • Windfall understands that charging by record can be very expensive for nonprofits. That’s why we offer a flat subscription. With Windfall, you can screen as many records as you’d like as frequently as you’d like at no extra cost.

Sign up for a free Wealth Analytics Report to get a better understanding of what Windfall can do for you for this Giving Tuesday.


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