How Knowing Your Donors Can Inspire Generosity

I have a friend who doesn’t like to answer his phone. For every 100 times I call him, I get his voicemail 99 times. When I send him a text message, on the other hand, I get a response within a minute or two, without fail. I’m sure you know people like this.

Then there’s my mom, who’s apparently still living in 1994. She can’t seem to figure out how to respond to texts and thinks Facebook has something to do with scrapbooking.

If I insisted on communicating with all my friends and family the exact same way, it wouldn’t work out too well for any of us. But I know from experience that texting my friend works and that texting my mom doesn’t, so I communicate with them differently.

The people who give to your organization are just like my friend and my mom – they each have their own communication preferences. We all do, even if we never consciously think about them. That’s why it’s so important to know who your givers are and how to reach them.

Do you know your givers? I mean, do you really know them? Do you know what they’re most passionate about? Do you know how they like to hear from you, and how often? Do you know their realistic giving capacity?

In order to cultivate loyalty and inspire the highest levels of generosity in your givers, you’ll need to find the answers to these kinds of questions on a massive scale. And your CRM should help you do just that.

More than capturing the basic level of information used for generic donation appeals, a good nonprofit CRM will provide you with key insights you need in order to tailor your messaging to specific givers. Those insights should include:

  • The financial and relational value of givers
  • The optimal messages and timing of those messages for specific givers
  • The best people to contact today to save time and focus your energy
  • How supporters are related and connected to one another – beyond family lines and households – to better connect with them and them to one another
  • Predictions and forecasts on donations and engagement to help you build plans and strategies on real data from real people
  • The giving capacity and community influence of a giver

By using a wide variety of data points and signals – combining what you enter with what the CRM itself captures – information can be turned into insights, and these insights can then be converted into actions that help you meet your givers where they are, while effectively driving your cause forward.

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