Charities have a wealth of information about donors, and a growing number of organizations are using data analytics to determine which supporters are most likely to make a big gift or give in response to a direct-mail appeal.
“Your database is a gold mine,” says Emily Courville, director of analytics at the Humane Society of the United States. “There is so much you can learn about what your donors are doing if you just start to look.”
Nonprofits have long used data to drive their fundraising efforts. But the complexity of charities’ analyses has shot up as statistical tools have become easier to use, the cost of computing power has dropped, and more vendors provide analytics services designed specifically for fundraising.
Here are a few resources to help you use data to make smart choices on where to focus your nonprofit’s development efforts — and to boost the amount of money you raise.
October 25, 2016
Data Analysis Boosts Revenue at Art Institute of Chicago
Information the museum collects on visitors' movements through the galleries is helping it identify patterns that guide marketing decisions.
September 06, 2016
Analytics Expert Cautions Against Overreliance on Data
Fundraisers have long debated whether their discipline is an art or a science; author and Blackbaud executive Steve MacLaughlin says it's both.
August 02, 2016
The Future of Fundraising and Data Analytics: Two Ideas
Ideas that analysts noodle around with today could become the cutting-edge approaches of tomorrow. Here are two still largely on the drawing board.
October 19, 2015
How PBS Stations Used Data Sharing to Set and Meet Fundraising Goals
Public broadcasting stations formed a group to collect, analyze, and share their fundraising data to help stations identify weaknesses, adopt effective practices, and raise more money.
May 05, 2014
Data Analysis Helps Boston College Hold Onto Talented Fundraisers
Figuring out which donors have the most potential helps staff members get early wins—and makes it more likely they'll stay on the job, say the institution's leaders.
November 16, 2014
Nonprofits Find New Donors With Databases That Track Connections
New technology is formalizing and making easier the process of uncovering hidden connections between the charity’s network and prospective donors.
June 16, 2014
New Books Offer Tips for Data-Driven Fundraising; a Nun’s Tales of Activism
Nonprofits get advice on how to hire people who can analyze information and get inspiration from a proven advocate.
December 02, 2012
An Environmental Group Studies What Donors Want
The Nature Conservancy has been adding employees, revamping its Web site, and doing all it can to measure results as it seeks to amass more online gifts.
July 24, 2011
A University Doubles Donations in a Year
Charles W. Holland taught his alma mater, Lincoln Memorial University, how to figure out the smartest ways to increase giving—all without spending any new money.