Measure twice, cut once. So the saying goes. Before you start creating your fundraising plan, start with measuring! Or, let Givelify do it for you! Givelify’s Donor Intelligence feature provides powerful insights about your donors’ giving patterns so you can keep them engaged and inspire their generosity. Segmenting donors is not a new fundraising strategy, but it has never been as easy as this.
Read on if you’d like to learn more about using the latest features added to the Analytics Studio, particularly the donor intelligence now available just a few clicks away.
Overview of Giving
On your Analytics Studio Overview, you can view a snapshot of your giving for the timeframe of your choice, with a summary of:
Your total giving
Your total donors
Average donation amount
A breakdown of giving by envelopes (to which causes people donated the most)
Additional charts including donor giving styles and giving trends by envelopes.
If you would like to see a week-by-week comparison or a daily trend for giving you can choose the specific month or year timeframe and view the giving trend chart. You can use this information to create a presentation for your leadership or board, or to compare this year’s giving with the previous year, for example.
Giving Styles & Donor Segmentation
Making connections with your supporters is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Like any valuable relationship, there’s nothing more important than making people feel like your nonprofit or place of worship actually knows them. Instead of using the same communication, engagement, or giving strategies for your entire community, you and your team can divide your givers into a few segments. In addition to all the insights in your Analytics Studio, this new feature categorizes your donors by their Giving Styles. The Donor Intelligence section classifies donors into five groups based on their giving patterns.
1. Consistent Donors
Donors with a consistent giving pattern- either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
These are the faithful, the soldiers, the ones you depend on to keep your mission active. Get creative with naming them, because these are the MVP’s of your donor base. Here are a few other names to consider calling them when communicating:
GEMs (Give Every Month)
Partners (and then combinations like “Impact Partners” or “Partners in Hope)
The Front Row
Charity:Water, an NGO that builds clean wells for developing countries, calls their donors “The Spring.” Thistle Farms, an organization based in Nashville, TN calls their supporters “Thistle Farmers.” The more intimate the name, the more your donors will feel validated in their consistency.
2. Occasional Donors
Donors who don’t have a regular giving pattern but do give occasionally.
Celebrate, don’t minimize, the occasional giver. Some of us in the world are not planners; I am not one of them. However, know that they have the same joy in giving that the consistent givers do, they are motivated more by the direct impact of giving. They want to see their dollars in action. Their gifts are making a difference and they want to feel that emotional connection when giving. They respond to reminders to give because they know they need a little help.
Recurring giving options can either assist them in their efforts to be generous or can make them feel trapped and disconnected from the cause. Nudge them toward joining the club or rope them into a one-time volunteer opportunity to give them a sense of belonging and ownership. Pay attention what these impulsive givers respond to and do more of it!
3. New Donors
First-time donors remain in this category for four weeks, then become either “consistent” or “occasional.”
Remember being the new kid at school or the one at the party no one knows. Yeah, that’s your newbie donors. For some reason, they were compelled to give. You planned the party, so it’s your job to play host. Name tags, ice-breakers, a welcome table, assigned seats, the buddy system. Think of ways that make you feel that sense of belonging and familiarity and keep them coming back for more.
4. Decreasing Donors
Donors who were “consistent” but who have become “occasional” over time.
Hmmm… Why aren’t they giving as much as they were before? Perhaps they haven’t heard from you in a while. Maybe they aren’t sure they can trust how money is being spent. This group’s motivation might be easily identified. Covid through many-a giver into a spending freeze. Whatever the reason, you now have the data that gets you geared up and ready to motivate.
5. Inactive Donors
Donors who have not given in the last 12 months.
“A problem identified is a problem half-solved,” said Wale Mafolasire, CEO of Givelify, at our last team meeting.
Inactivity can feel like rejection, but don’t let it! Think of it as a challenge. You WILL win them back. You will try something and it may or may not work. You’ll hypothesize, you’ll check the data for confirmation, and you’ll try something else.
Building Better Relationships with Your Donors
Could there have been a change in your supporters’ current situations? Kids off to college, loss of a loved one, etc? By being intentional about getting to know the donor, you might just discover opportunities to show how much you care about them. If a good relationship is made better, it’s much easier to help the donor see all the good that their donations along with others are putting into the community.
By using the newfiltering tool, you can find the list of donors belonging to these five categories on the Donors page. This intelligence is the honey hole for insights that lead to inspiring and focused strategies for donor engagement.
“Segmentation offers nonprofits a way to maintain a competitive advantage in the increasingly aggressive donor marketplace.”
Jacob Allen & Dan Case, Cicero Group
Although there are myriad ways to segment your donors, we’ve simplified the process for you into giving frequency. Some other ways to segment could be by what inspires them, their demographics, how they prefer to communicate. Whatever the segment type, it will all lead to invaluable intelligence that should up your giving game.
How to Segment Your Donors & What to do Next
How do I segment and what do I do with the information I gather after segmenting, you ask? It’s simple, friend!
First, filter a list of New Donors. Notice who they are, their ages, what was the call to action or sermon that compelled them to give. Send a welcome note to them and let them know how glad you are that they joined your mission. Or, for a little more advanced strategy, begin an email sequence that leads the new donor through the life of their dollar at work in your organization.
Then, take your list of Consistent Donors, for example. You can spearhead a hand-written thank you letter campaign for all your Steady Eddies! The faithful are your bread and butter. There are at least one or two people in your organization that love writing on beautiful stationery and customizing the perfect message to show how much your consistent donors mean to you. Unleash these artsy and sentimental wordsmiths on the unsuspecting, and appreciative crowd.
While you check in with a member whose giving is decreasing, you may find they are in need themselves and haven’t reached out for help. Do you have a system set up for this scenario? Or simply, they have lost that lovin’ feeling and you need to show them they are part of a generous and purpose-driven community, before it’s gone, gone, gone.
For those segmented as Occasional or Decreasing Donors, you can employ strategies around how to build relationships with them in order to foster a stronger community. Encouraging them to become more consistent givers should not be done through guilting or evoking pity. Your donors are smart and don’t respond kindly to manipulation of any sort. They simply want to be brought in on the joy of impacting others together. That’s what motivates them to give. At least, that’s what we believe here at Givelify!
Finally, if you see that some of your givers have become Inactive Donors, don’t assume they are gone forever or that they’ve found greener pastures. Send out some surveys, make a phone call, take someone out to lunch and find out why they stopped giving and what changes your org needs to make to win them back. Donor Intelligence is simply data that helps you build a better donor base and stronger relationships. We are a people-first company and hope all our partners in giving are too!
The donors page also provides you a way to sort and filter your donors by various criteria. For example, if you were looking to identify your top donors during a particular timeframe, simply select that timeframe and sort the donors list by their total donation. Or rather, if you were looking to identify your most recent donors, sort by the last donation date.
Very soon, you can use this area to select the appropriate donors and directly communicate with them using push notifications, email, or text, so stay tuned!
And Last of All
Don’t forget the last, yet equally significant segment of donors: Potential Donors! While Givelify doesn’t yet offer that feature, perhaps in the future we will be able to see the future of giving for your organization. In the meantime, enjoy the new donor intelligence at your fingertips. Now it’s up to you if you’d like to use it.
Remember, it’s all about the people.
About the Author
Sarah Braud is a storyteller, writer, and educator. Sarah’s core values — creativity, compassion, and connection —converge in her role as Senior Content Producer at Givelify. Her nonprofit marketing and screenwriting background are galvanized in her passions for social justice, faith, and neuroscience.