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...
Modeling – Art vs. Science (What is a Model – Part II)

Modeling – Art vs. Science (What is a Model – Part II)

My first full-time job was as a Statistical Analyst building credit scoring models at a company that no longer exists. Now virtually all of those models are built by FICO and my old company was absorbed by them years ago. It was a great first job and one reason was because I certainly learned what it takes to get a loan or a credit card and what NOT to do if you wanted good credit. I learned that having a credit card or two is good, but having 24 credit cards that are all maxed out is bad. That’s where some of the art part of building a model comes in. I talked about the science of building a model in my last blog, but one of the exciting parts of building a model for us analysts is more of an art — finding a new variable that hasn’t been used before. For example, in building a model to tell if you’re a good credit risk, it may be bad if you have a lot of debt, or it may be a good thing because you’re a high earner and you have a loan for a house and two cars and a boat. A bigger risk is your debt ratio – you total amount of debt divided by your total amount of credit. If that’s too high and you’re maxed out, that’s bad. In fundraising, sometimes the variables that are less obvious may tell us that you are more likely to be a major donor or planned giving donor or that you’re more likely to reactivate from being a...