So You Have Oodles of Giving Data, What Can You Do With It?

I thought I’d take a few moments to write about ways you can use the data you have in your database to identify patterns that may be useful. The rest of this blog post identifies some basic trends to look for and a few example things you can do after you’ve identified them.

Some patterns:

  • How often donors give?
    a.  Total number of gifts ever given
    b.  Number of gifts per year
  • What’s the average amount donors give?
    a.  Lifetime Average
    b.  Average per year
  • Whose last gift was less than their largest gift (who is downgrading their giving)?
  • Who is increasing the frequency of their giving?
    a.  Who gave more this year than last year
    b.  Who gave more often this year than last year
    c.  Who gave more often this year than 3 years ago

After identifying people in the above categories, what can you do with them?

  • Perhaps promote a contest to see how many donors can give above a certain number of gifts? Or above a certain amount?
  • Do you have giving levels? Are some of these donors on the verge of moving from one level to the next? Promote that!
  • Do you, as an organization, want to increase the average amount of donations? Perhaps you can design an appeal for this.
  • Do you want to catch the folks who are downgrading and find out why? Perhaps you can identify the reason and correct for it before it becomes an issue.
  • Do you want to thank the people who are upgrading for their increased support?

Do you have other patterns you would like to identify or other things you can think of to do with the information? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments section!