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Are Potential Major Donors Holding Out on You?

Maximizing donor value is nothing to ignore. Are you asking every donor for the proper amount in your appeals? While it might be natural to assume that you are, maybe the reality is that you’re not.

Let’s say you get a new donor who makes a gift of $25.00 to your cause. You should have an increase or upgrade strategy to move that donor from $25.00 to $35-$50.00 in the next 2-3 solicitations you send out.

When you get donors to increase their gift giving, that’s a big deal. However…

What if that same donor gives you a $25 gift (or $35 or $50) every time you ask and you knew that he was actually capable of giving much, much more?

I hope your strategy would change if that were the case. Mine certainly would.

Armed with that kind of knowledge would mean you could start to ask for gifts at significantly higher amounts from the hypothetical donor in question.

In a direct mail solicitation it could mean that you ask for an expanded (or stretch gift, as it’s known in some areas), or, for truly affluent donors, you make an open or non-specific ask.

Having this kind of knowledge of a donor’s capacity should also help you to prioritize who gets treated in a more personal and targeted way.

Key point: improved targeting and a more personalized cultivation strategy, when done correctly, almost always lead to more and increased giving. And what that means to your organization could be a world of as of yet unlimited potential.

Lately, we’ve been helping clients develop more strategic ways of upgrading wealthy donors who have been giving at low dollar values. In addition to looking at how often, how recently, and how much the donor has given, we’ve been adding data that gives us a more fully developed picture of each donor and a much more accurate picture of each one’s true giving capacity.

The results have been eye-opening, to say the least—nearly $300,000-$1 million income for these organizations.

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