There’s Gold in Them Thar Donor Lists

There’s gold in them thar hills!” was once a fabled cry of many a prospector who hoped to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. Intrepid fortune-hunters would spend hour upon hour, day upon day, week upon week, sifting through river sands in hope of unearthing enough gold flakes­­—or better yet, sizable nuggets—to set themselves up for life.

Unfortunately, for most fortune hunters, the fabled riches proved elusive.

Very often what prospectors uncovered was “fool’s gold,” or iron pyrites, minerals that resembled gold but were actually worthless. And when they did find gold in riverbeds, novice prospectors often overlooked the significantly larger deposits that often lay hidden upstream. (Because gold is 19 times heavier than the equivalent volume of water, wherever water stagnates, such as behind boulders or other obstructions, it tends to sink quickly to the riverbed.)

We live in very different times.

Today, gold mining is very much a high-tech enterprise, as are most other remunerative activities, be it stock trading, deep sea fishing, farming, steel production, or auto manufacturing. Nowadays, virtually every industry—extractive, industrial, agricultural, creative, or service—looks to innovation to make things easier, faster, more effective, and more affordable. Perhaps most important of all, tech can help find new opportunities in places one might not first think of looking.

This is why computer-based applications like DonorSearch are being so enthusiastically embraced by forward-looking charity fundraisers.

DonorSearch Ai uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to both identify and target potential donors based on factors that go far beyond mere net worth. Analyzing donor behavior along a number of axes, including affinity to a cause, it is able to find people whose likelihood of making large donations far exceeds what one might suspect based on their past behavior. Put simply, it’s the fundraising equivalent of finding fist-sized gold nuggets in rivers that have previously yielded only flakes.

Simply Fundraising CRM is one such company that has used DonorSearch to make just such a “strike.” Simply Fundraising CRM is a fundraising application that, according to its website, “automates the tedious but critical task of collecting donations, tracking donors, thanking them, and retaining them to give again.” Purchased by Community Brands in March 2022, it now operates as part of that corporation’s GiveSmart division, which stages online auctions, puts on galas, and manages other key fundraising activities for a variety of clients.

Jon Biederman, President & CEO of Simply Fundraising CRM, recently recounted how he has used our organization to find hidden treasures within existing donor lists. “I’ve used DonorSearch on a number of community projects to find hidden donors. This includes Save Kids Castle…we raised over $1 million for a new parking lot and lights at the baseball park, and then also a brand new million-dollar children’s playground called Lion’s Pride Park in Warrington, Pennsylvania,” Biederman said. “In all three cases we used DonorSearch to identify prospects within our community, also existing donors, and to understand their capacity. In all three cases, we discovered this hidden gold.”

 According to Biederman, his appreciation of DonorSearch has serious history.

“My relationship with DonorSearch actually goes back to me meeting Bill Tedesco, who is the founder and CEO of DonorSearch, I’d say back to the late 1990s,” he stated. “We then formed a business arrangement at my previous company. At the time, we needed a prospect research solution. We needed a price point, and a solution that it was simpler to use. It was a great match and DonorSearch was the answer.”

Biederman can also speak firsthand to the benefits he’s seen using DonorSearch’s unique outreach approach for his organization. “Prospect research can save you so much time in doing all the heavy lifting to identify wealth within your database. A lot of times, you’ll already know who these people are, but you’ll be able to pinpoint with very good accuracy what their capacity is, what the right ask amount should be, etc. But you’ll also find what we’ve always called ‘hidden gold.’ These are folks who may have been giving only $100 or $500 a year but, all of a sudden, you’ll discover through DonorSearch that they are capable of a much higher gift. $25,000. $50,000. Or even more. I know countless situations where there was just one gift more that paid for five years’ worth of DonorSearch services.”

         If your fundraising organization could also benefit from the discovery of “hidden gold” within your current mailing list, then DonorSearch could be the treasure map you’ve been seeking. For a free demonstration of DonorSearch Ai, please contact our team of experts today. Who knows? There could be a mother lode of riches sitting right at your feet—just waiting to be tapped.

Additional Resources

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