Originally published at WealthEngine. Written by Jessica Smith at WealthEngine and Jeanette Russell at Attentive.ly.
When you think about your top donors, do you have really clear snapshot of what they look like from both a wealth and social perspective?
In other words, you should not only have social insights on your prospects and donors are, but have a solid understanding of their wealth and their propensity to give.
Here’s How to Make It Happen
- Utilize social listening to see what your prospects/donors are saying.
- Retain donors through social listening.
- Leverage your social media influencers.
- Identify top prospects/donors based on wealth, lifestyle and demographics.
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The key is to focus on both wealth intelligence and social insights.
If you focus only on wealth, then you might miss opportunities to engage donors who are talking about your work on social media, and who may even be influencers. If you focus only on social insights, you miss the opportunity to make asks based on giving capacity.
In other words, don’t look at your donors exclusively through the lens of dollars. If they’re passionate about your cause, but don’t have the capacity to give a large gift, the value of their influence on those who do have the capacity, should not be underestimated. There’s a value exchange with every donor if you know how to measure it.
By considering both their value on social media and the value of their assets, you get a clear picture of who to spend time with and how to personalize your fundraising content.
The Social Side of Your CRM
Social insights are a combination of social data and social listening collected from social media platforms in relationship to your CRM. It’s referred to as social insights, instead of social media because these “insights” are on the people in your database and not just followers.
This new view is the social side of your CRM, which lets you get to know your people better so you can personalize fundraising and drive engagement for higher conversions.
Social insights take advantage of publicly available data on social media, so fundraisers can track a donor’s current behavior, preferences and values including – the social networks they spend time on, what they talk about, how influential they are, and who could help you reach thousands with your upcoming event. A good place to start is to know some of the basic social insights that drive engagement with your CRM.
Your Donors Are Talking. Are you Listening?
The key is to utilize social listening to see what your prospects and donors are saying on social media. But first, what is social listening? Social listening is the process of monitoring digital media channels to understand the conversation around relevant topics – so you can better engage those people driving it. Until recently, the problem has been you can listen to your followers or the world on social, but not in a scalable way, or in a way that you can take systematic action.
For example, if you’re a Developement Director, you need a way to efficiently listen to your donors and prospects, and not deal with 5 tools to research one donor. You need to see what your top donors are talking about, their propensity to give and their history in a few clicks, not a few hours. You also need a way to take this information, develop a strategy, send an ask via email, social and direct mail, then track results in your donor database. We feel your pain and want to offer a few tips for using social listening in your fundraising:
First, develop a list of search terms to monitor. Mentions of keywords in the conversations can be monitored in real time, so any time a donor posts about a topic related to your work, they can be reminded of how they can show their support with a triggered email or individual reply. This tactic is useful for both retention and acquisition.
Tools that allow keyword research range from free tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, to directly using Twitter or Facebook (plan to spend A LOT of time finding donors with this approach), to Attentive.ly, which only listens to people in your CRM.
Secondly, look for personalization opportunities. Timing is everything – if there’s a swell in the conversations about a related topic, seize the moment and send out an alert or donation appeal while the issue is top of mind.
Often times, you’ll suspect an issue is trending with your base, but can’t back it up with real data. The ability to report on trending hashtags like the image below, is like running a daily poll on your donors, so you have the real-time pulse on your people.
By listening to what a person is saying on social media, your organization can understand which issues resonate with donors and why – you can literally see how they are talking about your work (or not).
Retain Donors with Social Listening
Broadly speaking, donor revenue often depends on how engaged an audience is with the programs they’re funding. The more engaged, the higher donations per-supporter. Retaining donor engagement is, in some ways, more difficult than recruiting new donors because of higher expectations around personalization.
Social listening gives organizations unprecedented insight into their donors’ lives and an opportunity for richer engagement. Far beyond surveys, focus groups or feedback forms, nonprofits have the ability to analyze, in real time, what their donors think, feel, and care about — and can react with predetermined triggers or send personalized marketing messages.
While no one has the perfect formula for donor retention, we know that engagement is the foundation of strong, lasting relationship and is required to maintain future donations. Social data gives new opportunities for richer engagement through content personalization. So if you’re working on education and a donor says “school shootings must stop” on social, you say “We couldn’t agree more and here’s how your gift is solving this problem.”
Leverage Your Social Media Influencers
It’s important to recognize two things about social equity 1) giving is a social act and 2) your social network is a financial asset. A big reason why people give is simply because they are asked to. Who best to ask friends to donate than your existing donors?
While peer driven fundraising isn’t a new strategy, it may surprise you to learn the amazing network reach of nonprofits which allows you to tap into a massive new pool of prospective donors. When we evaluated 90 nonprofit clients here at Attentive.ly, we found the average network reach was 34M! We also found that the top five percent of an organization’s email list reached 85 percent of their extended network and 200 times more people than their CRM.
Your extended network is a financial asset since your existing donors can tap into their social equity for prospective donors. As such, you’re pool of prospects is much larger than just the people in your CRM. Your extended network includes the social networks of everyone in your CRM and your followers.
Your social network is your true social wealth.
Here’s an example of social equity in action. With the help of Attentive.ly, a large nonprofit identified 27 social media influencers and asked them to spread the word about registering for their fundraiser in their own words and through their own social media channels. By providing them with a registration incentive code, over five months, those influencers recruited 105 additional participants, who raised more than $200,000.
Identify Top Prospects and Donors Based on Wealth, Lifestyle and Demographics
Understanding the social conversation around your cause and how your messages are resonating with donors and prospects is a great way to personalize your communications. When you take this intelligence and marry it with wealth data, your conversations transform into conversions.
The organizations that screen their donor lists using wealth scores – for direct mail, telephone and email campaigns – have the ability to prioritize their donors and prospects by their propensity and capacity to give. This is a good first step, however, organizations who take it a step further to truly understand what their ideal donor looks like by using analytics and modeling will see their average gift size increase significantly. In many cases, the cost per dollar raised decreases, as well.
The magic happens when they have a holistic view of their ideal donor. They discover additional common attributes their best donors share, helping them to refine their asks and, as a result, strengthen their emotional connection with their constituencies.
Part of that ask is knowing what amount to ask for based on these factors. Don’t solicit all your donors for the same amount and do not simply ask them for the amount they donated previously. Segment your constituents by giving amount, frequency, and by wealth profile where possible. Asking the right people for the right amount will optimize your fundraising growth.
As your donor bases increases, so does the need to still treat each person as an individual. In your stewardship, when saying thank you, be sure to make your thank you message appropriate for the gift received. A $25 donation should receive a different “thank you” than a $2500 gift.
Practice multi-channel fundraising. You’ve learned how leveraging social influence can have a positive impact on achieving your fundraising goals. However, by integrating your social channels with your direct mail, phone, email and events campaigns, you’ll be sure to reach your donors and prospects more organically and uncover trends about how they engage with your content both online and offline.
Donors may get many messages, and will respond in the way that works for them. However, keep in mind that some are channel-hopping: a donor who gives by email today may prefer to give via direct mail or on the website tomorrow. That is why it is critical to have an integrated campaign across multiple channels.
Sign up for Where Wealth Meets Social >>
Thursday, January 7 at 1pm ET
WealthEngine uses data science and predictive analytics to remove the guesswork from fundraising – so organizations can spend more time engaging with people most likely to donate – and don’t waste time on the ones that won’t. Request a demo to see how WE in action. www.wealthengine.com
Attentive.ly drives engagement by turning quiet supporters into vocal advocates. We show organizations what people in your CRM are saying on social media, and who is influential, so you can better target to increase engagement and drive conversions. www.attentive.ly