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Here’s Why Your Screening Solution is Missing 80% of Donors

Have you ever had the feeling that perhaps your donor screening solution is missing something?

You’re probably right. Many screening solutions miss a huge chunk of potential opportunities among donors. We see solutions that miss up to 80% of donors that could have been great candidates to be approached by your nonprofit.

Why do these screening solutions miss so many donors? It’s largely because they’re not “smart” enough to recognize opportunities outside of a very narrow scope. For example, around 10-20% of the file may be ultra-wealthy individuals which the screening process picks out as potential major gift donors. This is essentially throwing away the majority of the file, even though there can be plenty of value among those remaining.

Among the 80% of donors that these screening systems overlook, you’ll find a wealth of potential annual fund donors, giving society members, and donors with a secondary affinity who may donate if they received more tailored messaging. That’s a lot to pass up! And importantly, if you’re overlooking large numbers on your list, you’re left to work extra-hard, sourcing more donors.

It’s time to expand your parameters with a smarter solution. You can maximize your donor opportunities and harness those with potential that other solutions toss away.

4 Ways to find and screen donors for your nonprofit organization

Making sure you don’t miss that 80% of donors starts with the right screening solution . It needs to have a broad scope, with customizable parameters that help you to prioritize the results you receive.

Here’s how you can find and screen those donors:

#1. Utilize Multi- Lens Scoring

Multi-Lens Scoring is a true game-changer in screening for non-profit organizations. As the name suggests, it allows you to screen donors from multiple viewpoints, widening your scope for donor potential. You can set your scope based upon your goals, then view your screening results through different lenses .

Importantly for your organization, those screening parameters are customizable. Each organization is unique – you don’t have the exact same goals as the next nonprofit, and your screening tool needs to reflect that. Multi-Lens Scoring has the power to provide hundreds, even thousands of actionable insights across your donor list, based on your needs.

You might ask, what is a scoring lens? This refers to the screening criteria that you set up before running your scoring. This is your first step to more effective screening. You can weigh different criteria according to your own priorities to get customized results. For example, some criteria could include affinity for your cause, wealth capacity, and propensity to donate.

 

Your donor scoring system should do much more than identifying the wealthiest donors – that’s the easy part. It should provide actionable information that supports your other areas of fundraising, too.

#2. Broaden your affinity scope

Affinity refers to the interest a potential donor has for a cause. It is demonstrated by their prior support of similar causes, or activities such as sitting on the board of a related cause. For example, you might have a donor who has a primary affinity for animal welfare causes – that’s a very simple lens to look through.

However, people are rarely singularly focused. The same person whose primary affinity is animal welfare might have a secondary interest in supporting environmental causes. If you happen to be part of an organization that’s rebuilding wildlife habitats for an endangered species, you can look through both of those lenses to improve your scope of donors. People who have a history of supporting causes for animals and have a connection, or past support for environmental causes are strong prospects. This is an example of assessing affinity through more than one lens.

What’s your next step once you have these tailored results? You can personalize your communication with those potential audiences so that you focus on their strongest giving interest. For example, someone who seems most interested in animals should receive messaging that highlights the impact of the project on the animals, while someone who leans more heavily toward environmental causes should receive messages that highlight the environmental importance of the project.

Multi-Lens Scoring has helped nonprofit organizations to screen more efficiently and effectively for affinity. For example, a private school client said: “We leveraged iWave’s new Multi-Lens Scoring feature and enjoy the ability to look at donors through different lenses based on different projects. We use the ‘Education lens’, of course, and being able to look at other areas of affinity like Arts or Philanthropy simultaneously helps us get a clearer picture of our prospect’s interests and philanthropic inclination.”

#3. Determine the right cultivation strategy

Capacity to donate is a lens through which you can identify the right cultivation strategy for potential donors. Some people typically only support annual appeals, some have the potential to give major donations, and some will be more likely to give if they can set up a set monthly donation amount.

You can also overlay this information with a propensity to donate. A donor’s prior history of donation tells you a lot about how they prefer to give and what might be a better strategy to pursue.

It’s important to tailor your “ask” so that it is reasonable and in alignment with the preferences of the donor. You’d be wasting time asking someone without the capacity to give a major donation when you could instead ask them to make smaller, monthly contributions. An effective donor strategy is usually multi-pronged, with a mix of different donor types.

#4. Nurture your donors

That 10-20% of high-wealth donors often end up getting a lot of attention, but you’ve got to nurture the rest too. Your affinity scores will help you to segment potential donors appropriately and focus on nurturing them in a way that is personally engaging for them.

This is often the missing piece for nonprofits. Donor stewardship matters because it’s about building, and keeping, a relationship with your donors. Those who stay engaged with you tend to remain long-term donors, which is a big deal in a world where donor retention is a major challenge.

How do you nurture your donors? First of all, by prioritizing thanking them. That should be a given! Secondly, by tailoring your communication with them and providing them with updates that they’d like to know about. Stay in regular contact so that they feel like a valued part of your organization.

Prioritize donor nurturing as part of your overall strategy. To revisit that often-neglected 80%, nurturing is what helps you to keep them there once they’ve been identified. This is how you add the final step to making the best use of your screening because keeping those that you successfully brought on means you don’t have to waste time, constantly chasing new one-time donors.

Power your donor intelligence with iWave

At iWave, we’re dedicated to ensuring that nonprofit organizations don’t miss that important 80%. Our fundraising intelligence solution with Multi-Lens Scoring helps nonprofits to identify more opportunities and gather more actionable information.

iWave takes out the guesswork and helps you to pinpoint distinct opportunities. Request your free demo here to start maximizing your donor screening results.

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