Know your Donors, Even Better!

Within your database of active (and in many cases, lapsed) donors lies a treasure trove of people who love your mission enough to support you, in some cases, for many years.  It’s very likely that many of those donors have the capacity to give more.  A lot more.  Getting to know those donors better will help you help them make their dreams come true.

The key to forging those relationships is gaining information about donors that is broader than the data in your database.  Some databases have modules or overlays built in that allow you to flesh out the giving priorities and behaviors of your donors.

Recently at the Public Media Development & Marketing Conference, Penelope Burk presented the 2017 Cygnus Research donor survey on people who give to public media.  According to results from the survey, 33% of public media donors with a household income of $200,000 or higher give $10,000 or more to not-for-profits annually.  Other findings about public media donors surveyed who donate $10,000 or more:

14% have annual income of $100,000-$129,999

8% have annual income of $130,000-$159,999

9% have annual income of $160,000-$199,999

Forty percent of the public media donors surveyed by Burk are retired, and the largest percentage of respondents (53%) hold advanced degrees.  Interestingly, 40% of public media respondents in the Burk survey said they could have given more last year, as compared to their giving in 2015.  Respondents also said they would give more in 2017 due to a number of factors, primarily due to a financial comfort level and the results of the 2016 presidential election.

The upshot is that there is a good deal of pent-up philanthropic aspiration out there, and according to the survey, one of the chief arguments we can make to inspire more giving is to highlight the extraordinary need for funds to carry out our station’s mission.  Whether your mission is tied to news, music, the arts, and/or verticals such as science, education, politics, race relations, the economy, or health, there are donors who care about you who have a good deal of discretionary dollars to invest.

The call for public media to expand efforts in areas of major and planned giving began some time ago.  The CPB-funded Major Giving Initiative got the ball rolling, and there have been a number of conference sessions devoted to starting, refining, and growing major and planned gift efforts.  While wealth is one indicator of potential, the history of a given donor’s charitable giving is a main factor, and for that we need to take a Big Data approach.

The CDP has partnered with DonorSearch to provide special pricing for member database enhancements that will help stations identify major giving prospects. DonorSearch’s ProspectView digs deep into both philanthropic and wealth markers to provide:

 Comprehensive philanthropic and wealth reports on every member in your donor file

 30% more prospects of interest generated per screening on average over other industry-leading products

 Ratings for all members’ ability and propensity to become major donors

 Executive analysis on your entire file; segment, sort, filter, and organize with ease

DonorSearch provides data appends for your existing donor file, including age, date of birth, marital status, homeowner status, and education level.  A CDP-generated custom dashboard reports also profile your member base across four key segments: active/lapsed, new donors, sustainers, and major gifts.

Check out the Penelope Burk presentation here and reach out to the team at CDP with any questions.

Barry NelsonComment