Is it time to dump donor ‘scores’?
Are scores really worth the trouble?
It seems like every service provider has a scoring system for your donors. They've got capacity scores, likelihood scores, and MarketSmart even has an engagement score. But I have yet to find a fundraiser who solely relies on a score for anything.
I think most major and legacy gift fundraisers really want to know three things:
- Does the supporter have capacity to make a meaningful impact?
- Does the supporter have sufficient 'why' (passion) to make a meaningful impact?
- Is the supporter ready for your outreach?
Problems with scores.
Unfortunately, the scores provided by wealth screenings and predictive analytical models usually deliver way too many donor prospects. They overwhelm fundraisers who reach out to the supporters only to find that:
- They really don't have the capacity
- They don't have sufficient 'why' (passion)
- They just are not ready for outreach (at least not right now)
Capacity is impossible to completely bring to light.
I have found that capacity simply cannot come first because it's impossible to ever entirely know the truth about a supporter's capacity. Don't believe me? Well, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (a crafty bunch indeed) listed 7 charts that show how the rich hide their wealth. Trust me on this. No matter what you and your prospect researcher believe you know, it ain't 100% accurate!
Alternatively, passion and readiness is easy to uncover.
Since capacity research can only go so far, the 'why' and readiness for outreach are your sure bets. Plus, these days they are pretty darn easy to uncover cost-effectively.
Once you know their 'why' and their readiness, you can back into their capacity using traditional and innovative means.
The sector is doing it backwards.
Yes! I said it, finally! I think the sector is doing it wrong.
Instead of looking at capacity first, you should begin by surveying your donors to capture their 'why'' and readiness for outreach. Then monitor their digital body language to determine exactly when you should engage them. Doing it that way will ensure that your supporters will be more willing to accept your outreach. The result? More meaningful meetings with highly passionate supporters who want to engage with you on a deeper level.
Self-serving? Yes! Because I invented the system for surveying and tracking donors. But I did that because I wanted to lower costs for nonprofits. Not just to make money.
Once you alter the direction of your fact-finding:
You'll cold-call less and get accepted more.
You'll no longer be an annoyance but, rather, a welcome friend.
You'll be happy and your supporter will be happy.
Want to see how we deliver the 'why', readiness for outreach AND capacity to fundraisers at hundreds of organizations around the globe? GET A DEMO TODAY.
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