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How to Make the Most of Your Nonprofit Data Strategy

I was excited to attend this year’s Bridge Conference that focused on how to address a big challenge that the nonprofit industry has been facing: new innovations in donor experiences are constantly disrupting the industry. To compete in a market saturated with calls, direct mail, email, and social messaging to drive donations, nonprofit marketers must think outside the box to raise funds for their organization’s mission.

Success is Never Random

I presented at the conference and discussed how nonprofit marketers can make the most of their data strategy to drive donor acquisitions. The presentation centered around three main learning objectives:

  1. Critical components of a data strategy
  2. How to stay ahead of the changes
  3. Key elements to success

Comprehensive data strategy

A solid data strategy will be aligned with nonprofit marketers’ business objectives and budget. Key components of a data strategy include: long term value, new donors/members, average gift/spend, channel preference, mailing efficiencies, and messaging and creative/offer.

How to stay ahead of the changes

To optimize your data strategy and stay ahead of the changes, your organization should select partners who employ proven methodologies to improve data sourcing strategies that positively impact results by:

  • Utilizing data for multi-channel, people-based marketing
  • Leveraging analytics to drive data evaluations
  • Enhancing data sourcing pre-campaign
  • Improving data performance through predictive analytics

Key elements to success

There are a couple of best practices and approaches to consider to bolster your data strategy:

  1. Utilize analytics to determine the optimal list mix for each campaign
  2. Utilize modeling to rank and select names for mailing – update the model annually
  3. Mail random samples of names in each campaign to enable updates of the model and measurement of model performance
  4. Target special offers based on promotion history and data variables

While all the changes occurring in the industry may seem overwhelming, you should think about how to differentiate your organization to increase affinity to the cause. You can do this by making your data work for you.

Want to learn more? Download our presentation deck.