Why create a data-led fundraising plan?

21st February 2017

Although as a fundraiser you know that you need to create a  robust plan, it is not always easy to do so if you don’t have any useful data available to make strategic decisions.

So, if you are new to fundraising, or are struggling to create a strategic plan here are some things you should be doing first:

Get fundraising data and insights from your charity’s database

Do you know how many donors are leaving your charity each year? What are the activities that bring in the most profitable donors to your cause? What are the giving patterns of your major supporters or multi-year donors? How well are your appeals performing, not just in terms of how much money has come in, but also in terms of donor engagement?

Having the right insights from your charity’s database will enable you to make wise decisions on how to spend your time and resources for getting the best results.

Find out what is working and what isn’t

This might sound too obvious, right? Wrong! Often charity fundraisers are so busy getting out the next email, newsletter or appeal that they do not spend enough time evaluating and analysing the results of previous appeals or campaigns and using this information to make better decisions.

Attitudes like ‘We are doing this because we have always done it’ or ‘we know this hasn’t worked so well in the past but we will do it again anyway’ are more common than you imagine.

Identify donor segments and create specific strategies for them

Are you just getting started with donor segmentation? Well, once you find out who your new, multi-year, lapsed, regular and major donors are then you can develop and implement specific messages and use specific communications channels for deepening their engagement with your charity.

Increase the credibility of your role with your CEO and board

Sometimes CEO’s and board members use assumptions, opinions or hunches to determine fundraising goals or to evaluate how well the charity is doing in this area.

But, when you have data and insights to back up your statements you can feel more confident in challenging such opinions, hunches and assumptions. Also, having a fundraising plan that is build on data insights can help you answer questions and thwart the efforts of those who want to tinker with fundraising activities.

Do you need some help with figuring out what kind of data and insights you need to collect from your database in order to create effective fundraising reports?

Why not invite us to do a Fundraising Fitness Test on your database and provide you with a set of insightful reports you can use to reach your fundraising goals this year.