Learn more about analytics and research best practices, as well as real world examples and solutions for nonprofits.


Dec 3, 2018

Upgrade ROI

Since The Great Recession, two of the macro trends in fundraising are: 1) Organizations’ active donor counts are declining; and, 2) The donors who stay active have been giving more.

Thus far, the increase in individual donor value has mitigated the decline in the donor counts. So, organizations are raising more money.

As the top end of the donor pyramid has become a greater portion of an organizations’ overall giving, it has become more important for all organizations to efficiently identify donors on the file that have the potential to upgrade to major donor status. At Analytical Ones, we have seen our major donor identification models become one of our most popular products.

To see why, check out the table.
This table shows the 12-month donor values “before and after” Analytical Ones created a major donor identification model for a client.

On the left side of the table in blue are the model scores (1-6+, the higher the score the higher the probability for conversion) and the number of donors who were identified with that score.

The next column, in yellow, shows the retention rate by model score. All of the donors identified have better than average retention.

In the green columns are the percent of donors who upgraded (gave more than they did the previous 12-months) and the percent that converted to major donor status that year. Note, as their score increases, so does the percent of conversions.

In the orange columns we show three metrics. The 12-month value of the donors who did upgrade before the client received our major donor identification model, and the 12-month value of those same donors after the client received the model.

As you can see, the organization netted over $90,000 in incremental value from the 444 donors we identified. Which means in year one, the client received over a 6.00 ROI on their model investment. The ROI will only improve in year two.

Which makes me wonder, why aren’t you doing a major donor model?

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