If you were to comb through your nonprofit’s donor database, you’d likely find a wealth of stored information on your supporters. However, the raw data points you collect contain untapped potential unless you strategically analyze and apply them to your nonprofit’s operations.
The practical conclusions your nonprofit can draw from donor data are collectively termed donor analytics. Jitasa’s guide to donor analytics breaks down these insights into four categories: giving, engagement, demographic, and predictive analytics.
To help you start applying these categories of donor analytics, we’ll discuss four corresponding ways you can leverage them at your nonprofit. Here’s what we’ll cover:
By drawing insights from your donor data and incorporating them in these ways, you can improve your nonprofit’s fundraising strategy and ultimately bring in more revenue to fund your mission. Let’s dive in!
If your organization is like most nonprofits, you probably focus most of your day-to-day efforts on running your programs and launching fundraisers, meaning you spend less time on financial activities overall. However, fundraising and financial management work side by side in allowing your nonprofit to sustainably fund its mission.
Giving analytics help your nonprofit understand supporters’ individual donation habits to make better fundraising and financial decisions. To gain these insights, try analyzing the following donor data points:
Drawing conclusions from these data points can help make your nonprofit’s funding model more sustainable in several ways. For example, analyzing donors’ average donation amounts and giving frequency together can help you identify strong candidates to join your recurring giving program. If you have a supporter who has given $100 each year for the past three years, they might be willing to set up an automatic monthly donation of $10. Your nonprofit would receive an additional $20 from them annually and have a better chance of retaining them.
Giving analytics can also inform your nonprofit’s budget, since knowing how much you received in individual donations in previous years allows you to more accurately predict your revenue for the coming year. Then, you can plan your organization’s expenses accordingly.
Although individual donations are essential to fund your nonprofit’s mission, keep in mind that monetary gifts aren’t the only way supporters can contribute to your organization. In fact, your most dedicated supporters might not always be your biggest donors, but rather the individuals who engage in a variety of other ways.
This is where engagement analytics come in. To boost supporter involvement across the board, examine data points such as:
These insights allow you to shape individual supporter journeys, helping supporters get more involved at your nonprofit over time. For example, if a food bank noticed that a particular supporter provided in-kind donations of canned goods on a regular basis and filled out a survey about their experience, the organization could reach out to that supporter about signing up to volunteer.
Additionally, examining this data helps ensure you show appreciation for every type of contribution your organization receives. Volunteering, event attendance, and in-kind donations often aren’t valued as highly as monetary gifts in the nonprofit world. However, these functions are essential for your organization to further its mission, so your supporters deserve thanks for all of their contributions.
A solid marketing strategy allows your nonprofit to reach new audiences, retain current supporters, and spread awareness of your mission. However, every organization’s communications will look different based on their unique donor data.
Demographic analytics are the most applicable to marketing, as they allow you to group donors based on shared characteristics and then target your communications to each segment. To make your segmentation process effective, consider donor data points such as:
In addition to these data points, keep track of each supporter’s preferred name in your donor database. Then, use that information to personalize your direct mail and email marketing, as supporters are more likely to respond to a message that addresses them by name.
Research shows that approximately 80% of individual fundraising revenue comes from the top 20% of nonprofit donors. These major gifts are essential to your organization’s success, and a data-driven approach will help you secure this vital funding.
According to Double the Donation, prospect research is typically the best way to find major donors for your nonprofit. Leveraging your donor database alongside specialized prospect research tools allows you to identify predictive donor analytics, which is drawn from two main types of data:
Besides allowing you to identify potential major donors, predictive analytics help your nonprofit employees build deeper relationships with prospects and make more targeted fundraising asks. This ultimately increases your chances of securing the significant gifts you need to launch programs, complete projects, and accomplish your organization’s goals.
Donor analytics can serve a variety of purposes at your nonprofit, from helping identify new opportunities for fundraising to improving your marketing efforts. By unlocking the potential of the data your organization already collects on your supporters, you can set your nonprofit up for fundraising and financial success in the short and long term.
Written by Jon Osterburg | Leader at Jitasa
Jon Osterburg has spent the last nine years helping more than 100 nonprofits around the world with their finances as a leader at Jitasa, an accounting firm that offers bookkeeping and accounting services to not-for-profit organizations.