Data-driven analytics can be leveraged across higher education to improve institutional financial health, increase student success, and even drive fundraising. For the latter, analytics can help cultivate prospective donors like alumni, corporations, and philanthropists, and help maintain relationships with existing donors. With a growing pressure to increase fundraising goals, higher education institutions should consider incorporating analytics into their advancement and development initiatives.
There are two factors to consider when determining the likelihood of a donor’s contribution. The first is donor capacity. Donor capacity is an evaluation of individual wealth indicators, such as real estate holdings, income, stock, and assets. The capacity rating is a best-guess estimate based on data available in public databases as well as databases curated for donor research.
The second factor is donor affinity. Donor affinity uses individual philanthropic indicators to understand a donor's willingness to give to an organization. Higher education institutions tend to already have an abundance of this type of data in their advancement offices. Does a prospective donor have a connection with an institution? If yes, then they may be a potential donor. If an individual is not necessarily affiliated with an institution but gives to organizations with similar missions/causes, they could still be a potential donor.
There are numerous criteria that can help institutions better evaluate fundraising prospects. Here are a few.
All these factors are data points that, with the help of analytics, can be evaluated and weighed to determine the likelihood of a prospect giving a donation.
Every donor interaction or community engagement introduces data that can be analyzed to improve results. Some of the benefits of analyzing data and incorporating findings into fundraising are listed below.
Donor data should be one of the biggest influences in an institution’s fundraising decision-making. Data-driven fundraising helps schools focus and measure their efforts. With the right tools and the best partner, organizations can collect, manage, and utilize data to secure more and larger gifts and grow their donor community.
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