4 Creative Data Management Tips to Unlock Donor Connections

October 18, 2023 / Comments Off on 4 Creative Data Management Tips to Unlock Donor Connections

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As a nonprofit professional, you likely use data all the time to understand your donors on a deeper level and foster fundraising connections in your community. When you take the time to get to know donors personally, your connections with them will be much more genuine and long-lasting. 

As part of this process, you can use the internal data in your nonprofit’s database and supplement that information with additional data from a data append service. NPOInfo defines data append services as “a service that handles the process of filling in the gaps in your database and adding more useful information to your existing data.” 

In this guide, we’re going to explore four creative ways that your nonprofit can leverage its supporter data, along with data appends, to create more impactful targeted marketing campaigns. Let’s dive in!

1. Go global with social media appends.

Social media appending involves using external data to update the social media profile information you have about your supporters. 

Social media appends can expand your reach in the following ways:

  • Interact with supporters on essential online platforms. Currently, the average internet user spends over 2.5 hours on social media each day. Social media appends allow you to interact with supporters on popular channels like Facebook and Instagram by commenting on their posts, sharing their content, or tagging them in photos. 
  • Connect with a global audience. If your nonprofit is looking to widen its reach to a global scope, social media appends can provide a convenient way to connect with more potential supporters online. 
  • Understand your audience’s preferences. A person’s social media presence can tell you a lot about their passions and interests. With social media data, you can review supporters’ posts, likes, comments, and shares to learn more about them. Then, you can use this information to develop tailored marketing content that speaks directly to their motivations. 

Depending on your audience’s demographics, you may choose to append social media information from different platforms. For example, if your audience contains mostly Gen Z and Millennials, conducting Instagram appends can be helpful because these individuals make up the bulk of Instagram users

With the right social media information, you can strengthen your online community on this platform to foster greater mission awareness and engagement. 

2. Identify your match-eligible donors with data.

Matching gifts are donations that businesses make to match their employees’ contributions. Most companies match at a 1:1 ratio, but some offer a 2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1 ratio. 

These gifts can add up quickly, especially if a donor’s employer matches at a high ratio. However, according to Double the Donation, 78% of match-eligible donors have no idea whether their company offers a matching gift program. 

Using employer information, you can identify donors who are eligible for matching gifts through corporate giving programs. You can identify donors’ employers using employer appends or reviewing donors’ emails to see which supporters used their work email addresses to give. 

Store donors’ employment data in your donor database and follow up via email with match-eligible donors to remind them to submit a matching gift request. 

Your message could say something like “Jenna, thank you so much for your generous gift of $40 on June 11. Did you know you can double your impact by submitting a matching gift request to your employer? Follow this link to get your gift matched now!” Then, you can include the link to an online matching gift database where donors can find the forms they need to submit their match requests. 

3. Use geographic data to promote in-person events.

In-person events are your nonprofit’s opportunity to meet local supporters face-to-face and introduce them to your staff and volunteers. Connecting with your community ahead of time is crucial for getting the word out about your event and engaging with supporters who can actually attend. 

With supporters’ address data, you can create targeted direct mail materials that encourage local supporters to register for your event. Highlight the local aspects of your event that show supporters that your organization is engaged with your community. For example, you could ask popular local businesses to sponsor your event, or you may have an up-and-coming local musician perform. 

You can also create targeted digital ads using geographic data through geofencing. Geofencing is the process of creating a virtual boundary around a certain geographic area and delivering targeted ads to devices that individuals use within that boundary. For example, you can create a geofence for nearby neighborhoods and serve targeted event promotions to the households within those neighborhoods. 

Keep in mind that it’s best to work with a dedicated data provider to help you manage the geofencing process effectively since it can be more complex than traditional marketing methods. 

4. Get creative with birthday data. 

Date of birth data isn’t just nice-to-have information—this data can help you refine your marketing strategy even further to meet donors where they are and connect with them in unique ways that capture their attention. 

Here are a few ways your organization can leverage date of birth appends to deepen donor relationships: 

  • Birthday offers. Offer special perks to supporters on their birthdays, such as a personalized birthday message with a photo of one of your staff members holding up a sign that says “Happy Birthday, [supporter’s name]!” You might also send free merchandise, such as a complimentary button or sticker. 
  • Voter age verification. If your organization focuses on political advocacy or voting issues, you can increase your marketing campaign’s return on investment by ensuring that you’re only marketing to individuals who are old enough to vote. 
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising opportunities. Birthday fundraisers are becoming increasingly popular, especially on platforms like Facebook that make it easy to launch peer-to-peer campaigns. When you collect supporters’ date of birth information, you can ask them if they’d consider launching a campaign to support your organization on their special day. 
  • Segmentation. Segmentation is the process of dividing donors into groups based on the characteristics they have in common. Age is one of the most common segmentation criteria that nonprofits use to refine their marketing efforts, such as their email outreach. When you group supporters by age, you can ensure that you’re reaching out using a message that will resonate with them. Different age groups also tend to have different giving capacities, so you can also refine your donation requests with the help of age data. 
  • Accessibility considerations. Different generations also have different needs, especially when it comes to accessibility. When you understand your audience’s demographics, you can design your website, email campaigns, and social media strategies in a way that incorporates their accessibility needs. For example, younger generations tend to access nonprofit websites using their mobile devices, meaning that your online marketing materials should be readable on any device. 

All of these use cases support your ultimate goal of developing meaningful donor relationships that make your nonprofit stand out and increase recurring revenue for your cause. You can collect date of birth data using a data append service or by gathering this data using online forms like your donation page or volunteer registration form.

Your nonprofit’s data is as good as gold when it comes to developing donor connections that benefit your fundraising efforts for the long term. Take your data management strategy beyond the basics with these four creative use cases that help you connect with donors on a more personal level.