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Putting Dynamite to the Myth

If you’ve ever gotten into a conversation about ways to use data to enhance your major and planned giving efforts, the conclusion you came to may well have been that you can take your top-ranked donors, do a wealth screening on them and simply hand them off to a major gifts officer.

Bang! On second thought, bring more TNT!

Wealth screening DOES NOT mean that you can stop mailing and calling your top-ranked donors.


Because it’s not a good indicator

of an individual’s likelihood to make a major gift.

Put bluntly, if you choose to do away with traditional annual fund mail, phone, and email contacts, it’s our experience that you’re going to end up with fewer gifts.

Let’s put this still another way. If a piece of data tends to be much more common among planned gift or major gift donors than it is in the general population, that particular donor looks more like a planned gift donor and would rank higher on such a list. Common data elements that correlate to planned giving status include the length of the donor relationship and the number of gifts given. Size of gift really doesn’t matter too much.

It’s interesting to note that there is an inverse sort of relationship between the length of time between gift #1 and gift #2 and a donor’s likelihood to be a planned gift donor.

So shorten up that time between the 1st and the 2nd gift and you’ll be more likely to have a planned gift prospect in the next 5-10 years.

You can do this by thanking donors quickly and relevantly, cultivating them, and getting them to make that 2nd gift more quickly.

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