When I visit with charities across the country each week I get the opportunity to see what is HOT and what is NOT. Over the last 18 months a new strategy is emerging among the best non-profits that is giving development pros a new view from the donors perspective. It embraces a 360 degree experience that helps rank and target the best people for appeals and campaigns. It bases the selection for an upcoming appeal more upon the recent “touchpoints” with the organization rather than just using transactional donation dates and amounts.
I like to call this process for segmentation “RFM PLUS”. Make no mistake about it, traditional RFM (recency, frequency and monetary amount) are a key driver of picking your best prospects for the next gift, but when mixing in the donors “non-giving” activity you come up with a HOT list that will boost results.
Let me give you just a few examples of what I am talking about.
Overlaying RFM with events at the charity is key. If you had a choice to mail an appeal to a donor who gave six months ago (and that is the only contact with the charity) versus a donor who gave a year ago, but who had just volunteered on Saturday, went on your website and attended the fundraising banquet last month. Who would you pick?
Let say you had a donor who gave last year, but they have just organized a group of people from their work to volunteer on Saturday at your charity. A “lapsed donor” like this might be ignored in your next appeal, but because of their recent volunteer activity they should be placed at the top of your appeal list.
Cross channel marketing is also important. You should begin looking at your donors’ cross channel activity. Which donors have given in the mail, on line and at an event? As development professionals look at donor relationships in this 360 degree way they are seeing an amazing fact: donors who give in multiple channels are giving 3 to 5 times more money than single channel donors.
The smartest charities today are deploying strategies to encourage donors to give in multiple channels. Email donors are being mailed and mail donors are being encouraged to visit the website. Of course, both are being pushed to attend events and volunteer.
The challenge most charities face today is working with database providers and software companies that will capture and integrate all the donors’ touchpoints, not just gift transactions.
If your charity is not capturing volunteer activities, website visits and event attendance you are going to be far behind the integration marketing train. Far worse, you are leaving money on the table NOW by not integrating and recording in the database volunteer and event activities.
RFM PLUS… is not just a wave of the future. It is happening right now. Don’t get left behind.