Move On from the Mailing List

crowdIf you’ve been using your donor management software primarily as a mailing list, where you also happen to archive donors’ giving history, perhaps it’s time to take it to the next level.

Maybe you aren’t particularly math-oriented, and the idea of interpreting all that data is overwhelming and intimidating. Perhaps you’ve been doing the same fundraising activities, year after year, for so long that it’s difficult to think about doing things any other way. Or, possibly, you just don’t really know where to start down the road where you actually use your data to help steer you into the future.

Well the time has come. If it hasn’t already happened, using your database should be evolving from a mailing list tool into a relationship-management tool. And that starts with some basic analysis to help you learn from your own experience.

Here are some of the most valuable questions you can ask, plus a peek at how ResultsPlus can help you find the answers:

Question #1 - who are your top donors?

  • Run one of the ‘Top N Donor List’ reports from the Folder category of the Reports menu, using the number of donors you wish to see as your ‘N’ value (e.g. 10).
  • Display the Segments and Pipeline tab from the Performance menu, then review the Quintiles graph. Right click on the top of the pyramid and select ‘View donors in this quintile’ to see the top 20% of your donors
  • Build and run a query to find donors with a TotalGiftAmount greater than a value that makes sense to you. If you find that the list of $1000 donors is too large, adjust the amount accordingly

Question #2 – who are your most loyal current donors?

  • When a donor first gives to your organization, ResultsPlus automatically puts the date of that gift into a field called Folder.FirstGiftDate. Build and run a query to find all living donors, then display the FirstGiftDate field and sort by that field in ascending order.
  • The number of gifts a donor has made in their lifetime may also be an indicator of loyalty, and ResultsPlus keeps track of that for you also. Build and run a query to find all living donors, then display the Folder.TotalGiftCount field and sort by that field in descending order.

Question #3 – who are your most current donors?

  • Run one of the ‘Donor List’ reports from the Folder category of the Reports menu. Use a recent and meaningful date range to find a list of people who are currently supporting your organization.
  • Whenever you post a batch of gifts, ResultsPlus automatically copies the date of each gift into the constituent’s Folder.LastGiftDate field. Build and run a query to find all donors for whom the Folder.LastGiftDate is in your desired date range.

Question #4 – which donors are about to become lapsed donors?

  • Run the LYBUNT report from the Yearend category of the reports menu. This will show you everyone who gave during the last fiscal year but have not yet given in the current one. Before the year runs out, you may wish to reach out to them to try and ‘save the relationship.’
  • Build and run a query to find those with a LastGiftDate that is less than the start of the current fiscal year, but make sure to post any open gift batches before running this query.
  • You can also run the SYBUNT report for those who have not given since the fiscal-year-before-last.

These are just some of the ways you can begin to use your data to help you identify donors who are well-positioned for a more meaningful relationship. Once you get to know your data better, you can get to know your donors better, and begin to track far more than just their giving.