Have you ever played a game of darts? This all-time favorite bar sport may seem a bit daunting for first-timers, but it’s actually easy to play. You start with a fixed number of points, typically 301 or 501, and the first player to get that score down to zero wins the game. Landing your dart in the smaller red or green ring on the outside of that section counts as double the number of points for that section, and landing your dart in the inner ring counts as triple the number of points. The Bull’s Eye will count 50 points.
Once you play a couple of games, you quickly learn that the fastest way to win is to aim for double and triple points. You don’t just throw the darts anywhere on the board, you aim for your best score. Donor prospecting works the same way. You can’t just expect anyone to turn into a major donor. The goal is to gear your efforts on individuals who will provide you the most value per opportunity.
Now imagine that each dart you throw will cost you money, just like every outreach effort does. If you miss the board you won’t gain any new donations. Your goal needs to be to earn as many new donations as possible per outreach campaign. Success depends on how well you can land your darts on the areas that allow you to gain the most points.
Aiming at the optimal sections on the board will get you the most return for your fundraising efforts. These sections represent your ideal prospects. Those who have a long giving history, millions of dollars available to contribute another gift, and a strong affinity to your cause. How can you build up your ability to consistently identify ideal prospects?
Your prospecting productivity depends on the strategy and the tools that you use to identify ideal prospects:
Individuals who aren’t ideal prospects are unlikely to support your cause, so engaging them repeatedly is throwing away money that would be better spent on prospects who are the most likely to give or increase their current giving. This is why affinity, how passionate a donor is about a cause or nonprofit organization, has long been a focus for iWave.
iWave users have already been able to use a powerful data-driven model to identify ideal prospects who have a strong connection to a cause by searching each across nine affinity categories. But some users indicated that they would like to dive deeper and build segmentation that is more granular because some individuals may only have an affinity for a more specific cause. This is why iWave launched granular affinity categories—the ability to evaluate a donor’s affinity across thirty categories, including museums, higher education, and youth development.
Now, iWave users can create ultra-targeted segmentation and cultivate messaging that is relevant to more specific interests. Plus, with the help of the recently released Multi-Lens Scoring feature, researchers can view wealth screening results and donor profiles under different affinity settings, and easily adapt segmentation to campaign changes.
With granular affinity categories and the right strategy, targeting the right donors and becoming a “sharpshooter” has never been easier.
To get started, a subscription to iWave is required. You can sign up for a free customized demo here.