Planned Giving – Lowering the Bar

Planned Giving – Lowering the Bar

As I mentioned in my last blog, we recently did a large sample national survey of donors in the United States. We asked a wide variety of questions and we will be blogging about some of their answers over the next few weeks. This is our second blog on planned gifts. Check out this graph: Not surprisingly, the higher the annual income of the donor, the higher the probability they have already included a charity in their estate plan (blue bar). But what’s surprising is that the biggest opportunity for winning new estate gifts (orange bars) are from donors in the $75,000-$250,000 annual income group. Usually, most charities go after their most wealthy donors when prioritizing estate gifts prospects. Our survey data shows that if we lower the income bar we will close more estate...
Tax Study Findings by Nonprofit Category

Tax Study Findings by Nonprofit Category

You’ll remember that we posted the findings from our Tax Study* back in March (see the findings here). The main finding from that was while less than a third of Americans itemize their deductions, as many as 75% of donors who give $1,000 or more to charity each year itemize their charitable deductions. General donors (under $1k annually) and Major donors ($10k+) are mostly immune to the changes to the tax code for 2018.  However, nine percent of Mid-level donors ($1,000 to $9,999 annual) report that they will have a significant decrease in giving next year in response to the change. A client recently asked if we expect those changes to affect any one nonprofit category more than another. The answer is – Not really. Animal Welfare and Environmental causes have a very slightly higher percentage of donors who say that they will decrease their giving, and donors to Arts organizations – for whatever reasons – have a lower percentage of donors who say that they will decrease their giving. But, overall, percentages are similar across the board. Again, the issue seems not to be with the category that the donor donates to, but with the amount of their giving. So, focusing on that $1,000-9,999 group no matter your nonprofit category is key.   *Tax Study co-sponsored by The Donlon Agency and Analytical...
Building Trust

Building Trust

This is the third guest post in a blog series by Steven Screen of The Better Fundraising Company. You can find links here to Part I and Part II. Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat In the last post we noted that the organizations that take their donors through the circle of “Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat” multiple times tend to build relationships and revenue over time. Because by building trust you increase your chances of getting another gift. But when most organizations zoom out to 40,000 feet to look at their communications, they find that they do this: Ask, Ask, Ask, Ask, e-news, Ask, Ask, Annual Report, Ask Or this: Ask, Ask, Brag, Ask, Ask Many smaller organizations just see this: Ask, Event Prescriptive for Majors, Approximate for Mass For your mass donor communications, it’s too expensive to take each donor exactly through each step, in order. That’s why successful fundraising organizations almost always develop an ongoing stream of communications that hit all of the notes often enough. Maybe that’s 6 appeals and 3 newsletters, and customized Thank You/Receipt packages. But maybe it’s 12 appeals and 12 newsletters. Or maybe it’s 4 appeals and 2 newsletters. The numbers are dependent on your file size and its responsiveness (and a few other things). They key is to hit the notes that need to be hit to build trust and relationship. But for major donors, you can and should take your donor through each step. The Major Gifts Officers who take each donor through the Ask, Thank, Report system have great success. For instance, they make damn sure their donors have been well...
Major Donors – In the Beginning

Major Donors – In the Beginning

Recently, an organization wanted to take a look at where their $1,000+ donors originated. After a quick channel analysis, we came up with this chart. For this nonprofit, 55% of their $1,000+ donors came in through their Acquisition Mailings. Another 23% gave their first gifts online. Four percent gave their first gifts to codes categorized as “Cultivation Mail” – mostly newsletters – and 9% of the $1,000+ donors gave their gifts to “Miscellaneous” codes like White Mail. So, Acquisition Mailings are extremely important – not just for the new donors they bring on for direct mail – but also as the entry point for future major donors. Over half of new major donor come in to the organization this way. Do you treat your newly acquired direct mail donors like they are your future major...
Our Top 5 Most Popular Blogs of 2016

Our Top 5 Most Popular Blogs of 2016

As we close out 2016, we wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading, sharing and commenting on our blog posts. We hope you were able to use a few of our analytical insights to win, lift and keep your donors and supporters. We also thought you might enjoy looking back at the most popular blogs of 2016. Our top posts focused on how the election affected – or didn’t affect – holiday giving, the value and scarcity of dual channel donors, major donor modeling, how direct response ROI is connected to net revenue and one reason direct mail continues to work. In case you missed any of these posts, here are the links to our top 5 blogs of 2016: 1. How the Election Results Will Affect Holiday Giving 2. Dual Channel/Schmual Channel 3. The Power of a Major Donor Model 4. The Correlation Between Direct Response ROI and Net Revenue 5. To Have and to Hold Thank you and Happy New...
The Power of a Major Donor Model

The Power of a Major Donor Model

  Think about this and see if it doesn’t convince you of the value of a major donor model to identify prospects on your donor database. These are actual numbers from one of our clients. What are the odds of any donor reaching major donor status? About 1 in 1500 What are the odds of a donor with a net worth of $1 million becoming a major donor? About 1 in 900 What are the odds of a donor whose first gift is $100 or more becoming a major donor? About 1 in 400 What are the odds of a donor with an Analytical One’s top major donor prospect score becoming a major donor? About 1 in 4 Any...