It is well documented that charities of all sizes have faced huge challenges since March of last year. Some haven’t survived, and many more are in a precarious position. In this article, I consider three of the nine pieces of crucial information you should know about your donors if you want to improve your post-pandemic fundraising.
I will start with an open admission – this is another heartfelt post with my data evangelist hat on.
Charities are under pressure like never before and not only in relation to fundraising. Managing service provision is another area of humongous challenge for many charities.
But this post is focused on fundraising. For many charities, the situation is already bleak, and an article in Third Sector suggests things may get worse. The article refers to a report by Charity Benchmarks and says “a ‘collapse’ in donor recruitment because of the coronavirus pandemic last year is yet to be fully felt in charity income.”
With this in mind, trustees, chief executives and heads of fundraising should ask themselves this question: do you know everything you need to know about our donors? If you do, it will lead to increased donations and a long-term benefit for the charity and its beneficiaries. If you don’t, please read on – it should be a priority.
There are nine fundamental things you should know about your donors, and these should be linked to your charity’s strategic objectives, goals and KPIs. Here are three of the nine:
1. Donor journey
How did your donor come to the charity, i.e. social media campaign, event, service user or referral? If you know this, it will help you identify the activities and segments most likely to increase donors and donations. You should also know which stage of solicitation your prospects are at so that you can have a clear plan as to how to move them along the pipeline.
2. Age and gender
Do you know the age and gender segments your donor base falls into? This is important because it will tell you the most likely method they will use to donate, the medium they used to find the charity and the best method and content for your communications to keep them engaged.
3. Regularity of donations.
Once this is understood, you can consider which segments you can approach to increase donation frequency, predict where donors may be about to drop off (and do something to stop it), re-engage with donors who have been lost, and identify first-time donors that you want to encourage.