How Non-Profits (Already) Use DonorSearch to Re-Energize Prior Donors

It’s an axiom in marketing that it’s far easier to sell to existing customers than it is to find new ones. (Some studies put the cost difference between 5 to 25 times.) The logic is simple: Existing customers have already shown interest in the product or service in question. They have already overcome any objections they might have harbored. If previously satisfied with their prior purchase, they have probably developed a level of trust that can grow into brand loyalty and evangelism in the best of circumstances.

The same can be said about charities and non-profit organizations:

It is far easier to solicit contributions from prior donors than find new ones. The logic is the same: Past donors have already demonstrated an affinity for the cause or organization in question and are thus far more likely to donate again compared to someone who has never contributed before. With past donors, one need not take time introducing a charitable group, explaining its purpose, history, and mission—nor detailing the benefits donations can deliver. The affinity is already there. One must simply develop an appeal that motivates donors to re-open their wallets…now.

Understanding this, the challenge for charities and other non-profits has long been how to engage previous donors in ways likely to produce additional contributions. For many groups facing this challenge, the solution has been DonorSearch.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC):

Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), a performance complex situated in the heart of Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, is one such group. Located in upstate New York, it consists of a 25,000-person-capacity outdoor amphitheater, the 500-seat Spa Little Theater, the Charles R. Wood Gazebo Stage, and the intimate Jazz Bar. The 50-year-old venue annually hosts performances by the New York City Ballet, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, Opera Saratoga, and concerts by Live Nation.

“Like many non-profits, we’re a small team,” said Christine Dixon, SPAC’s Senior Director of Individual Giving. “Someone in our box office who is much more data-driven than I started playing around with DonorSearch. After she took the initiative to ask DonorSearch to do a batch screening of maybe 500 to 1,000 names, I saw the results, they grabbed me, and I was hooked. 

“[Using DonorSearch], we’ve been able to identify those folks who are happy to be involved but, because we are able to see them in this way, we’ve been able to focus on the relationship and engaging them in a way that works for them. It solves the question, who should I be speaking with, and who should I be reaching out to today? It makes that very real and is bringing to light names of people who are already in the fold but who I might not have seen otherwise so I can focus on that person and learning about them and their passions and really building a relationship.”

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS):

Like SPAC, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is another non-profit organization that found it could successfully engage past donors using DonorSearch. Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the WCS manages five New York City wildlife parks: The Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo, the New York Aquarium, Prospect Park Zoo, and Queens Zoo. In addition, it aims to conserve the world’s largest wild places in 70 countries.

Geoff Klein, Associate Director of Prospect Research, was aware of DonorSearch when he arrived at WCS and immediately recognized its potential for the group. “When I came to the WCS, and I evaluated our tools, I suggested we take a look at DonorSearch and bring them on board so we could use their skills to help us with our mission,” Klein explained. “We did a screening of over 2 million records, and they were terrific in getting those results back to us in a timely fashion and into our database. And it all worked great.”

Targeting prior donors using DonorSearch is now central to Klein’s fundraising strategy. “We have found a tremendous amount of value in what we already had in our database….past donors and former members of the Wildlife Conservation Society that we’d like to approach again and get back into the fold,” he said. “DonorSearch provides really wonderful content and data to look at what you have in your universe of prospects.”

About DonorSearch:

DonorSearch is an application that leverages advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to target potential donors of all income ranges, ethnicities, genders, and generations with messaging that speaks directly to their connection with a non-profit or other organization in need of fundraising. This is far different from conventional outreach applications, which focus on a potential donor’s net worth and past philanthropic patterns when making electronic solicitations. By pairing the right message with each recipient’s individual sympathies/loyalties, DonorSearch makes acquiring donations far more efficient, effective, and cost-effective.

Specifically, DonorSearch helps organizations:

  • Identify donors who have the capacity to give and possess an affinity for a particular cause.
  • Expand prospect lists with our philanthropy-focused prospect search database.
  • Predict a prospect’s giving capacity with accurate, secure giving intelligence data.

To find out more about how you can reach out to past donors eager to hear your message—and give, please contact our team of experts to arrange a demo of DonorSearch today.

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