Ashley W.

Solutions Manager, Tessitura

Fundraising isn’t always a party

9/16/2022

5 min

Often when people think of fundraising, they think of galas, auctions, and fancy events.

But we fundraisers know that asking donors for money isn’t always a party. Amidst a pandemic and in the face of inflation and rising costs, donors are evaluating their budgets and reconsidering how they spend discretionary funds.

Maintaining (and hopefully increasing) donor support can be particularly challenging during times like this. That’s why leveraging your donor data is so important. Data supports the relationship building work you do, providing information beyond what may be shared in a meeting or at an event. Data can enable you to determine the next step in a prospect or donor journey and help build deeper engagement.

Maintaining (and hopefully increasing) donor support can be particularly challenging during times like this. That’s why leveraging your donor data is so important.

Tessitura has tools to help you mine your donor data to support your fundraising campaigns. If you’re not using Tessitura, you’ll be able to apply these principles to help successfully navigate the current crisis.

Let’s get this data party started!

1. The guest list

Identify who is — or isn’t — giving

It may sound obvious, but distinguishing your current donors from those who have lapsed is always a good place to start. Identifying your LYBUNT and SYBUNT donors can quickly segment your existing donor base. Use that info to prioritize your efforts and set realistic goals for each segment.

2. The invitation

Segmentation, segmentation, segmentation

Making a compelling ask means tailoring your messaging. “Dear friend” rarely motivates donors, and often frustrates them. Speak to your long-time supporters in a different way than your prospective and new audiences.

Leverage constituent details for segmentation to show that you’ve considered a donor or prospect’s relationship to your organization. Perhaps you’ve identified a list of long-time, low-level donors who may be good planned giving prospects. Maybe you’re creating a targeted communication to donors with a specific giving capacity based on wealth screening information.

Making a compelling ask means tailoring your messaging.

Not sure where to start with segmenting your audiences? Check out this blog post about donor segmentation.

3. RSVPs

Tracking your efforts

Tracking campaign response is critical to your overall success. Go beyond measuring amounts raised and progress toward revenue goals. Evaluating campaign response can provide insights into what donors are responding to — which can drive high-level decision-making. Pay attention to what messaging your donors are responding to and through which channels. Then use that information to guide your next steps.

Evaluating campaign response can provide insights into what donors are responding to.

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Budgets may be decreasing while costs rise. But people often crave and cling to arts & culture during hard times. Whether you’re focused on retaining annual donors or identifying prospects as you kick off a special campaign, it’s important to let the data you have support and inform your efforts.

Questions? Let us help! Reach out anytime.

Topics

Fundraising

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