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How to find capacity in your donor database

No matter the size of your nonprofit, chances are there’s some extra capacity in your donor database. In this post, we’re going to explore ways that you can find that capacity and leverage it into recurring donations.

First thing’s first.

Begin with your database.

When used the right way, data can be as valuable as money. In your database lies the answer to the question every nonprofit has: "How/ where can I get more donations?"

What does your data tell you?

You want to make sure that the data you collect helps you interact better with your donors. When looking at data points ask yourself what you want each specific datapoint to do?

For example, collect the donor's address, or zip codes. Why? With sites like Zillow you can use that data to scope out your donor’s estimated net worth. It’s not exact but it can help you segment your dataset and customize your ask based on higher vs lower estimated net worth.

If someone’s giving you $20 a month and they live in a $5 million home, chances are there’s probably some additional capacity there that you can tap into.

Ask for more donations

One idea shared by Austin Pierce, Principal of Hairpin Consulting, in our recent webinar was how he encourages segmenting your donor data to see which demographics might be likely to donate more than the average, and how to leverage that information.

We know, that's easier said than done, but you’d be surprised how much more you might be given by your donors when you ask if someone would like to give more. Don’t be afraid. The worst you might get back is a "not at this time". 

Here's an idea setup for your checkout page based on Austin's recommendations:
  • The lowest donation amount can equal the average amount that a specific donor gives.
  • The middle option can be 10% greater than that, and the next can be 20% greater.
  • The default can be the most commonly given amount.

A set up like this can help nudge donors up to a higher gift amount.

For donors that give thousands, Austin recommends simply leaving the last box blank and adding a note above it saying “thank you for your previous donation of $1200,” or whatever the number is. This not only shows that you’re listening, but also it anchors the donation in their previous gift without listing four figure numbers again and again and again.

This allows you to introduce new giving methods in your current fundraising plan.

You can also ask your donors to give in new ways, such as with round-ups or one-off givers into recurring ones

For lessons on Donor Data, visit some of our pasts  posts.

Or watch our webinar on-demand!


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