Collecting data can improve your hybrid auctions and fundraising efforts.

Hybrid Auctions: 7 Metrics for Your Nonprofit to Track

Gathering data is an incredibly important part of your nonprofit’s strategic planning. While it may not feel as exhilarating as planning your next big event or as exciting as landing a well-known title sponsor, analyzing your data helps with measuring your success and honing in on the new opportunities that will take your organization to the next level.

But, what is the right data to be looking at? How often should you be looking at it? There IS such a thing as analysis paralysis, right? While only you and your team can answer some of these questions based on factors that are unique to your organization, we can provide you with some pointers.

One such opportunity to collect information that will help you succeed in future campaigns is during your organization’s hybrid silent auction.

In this guide, we’ll cover seven metrics your organization can track in conjunction with your hybrid auction; both during the event and after it ends.

1. Registration Page Conversion Rate

Before you shudder and get scared of the word “conversion,” thinking back to your high school chemistry days, observing the conversion rate of a website is very simple:

Definition: Your registration page rate = those who arrive on your registration page vs. how many “convert” by signing up.

Importance: Analyzing your conversion rate will show you how impactful your registration page is and give you insight into what you could add or take away to invite more registrations. These variables can include headlines, colors, or even the use of photos on your page.

You might even use A/B testing, allowing half of your audience to see one version of your page and the other half another version to see which converts higher. Then, you can use this information to choose the best version and imitate it in future campaigns.

Application: If people are abandoning your registration page at the last minute, it means your marketing is working to get them there, but something else is driving them away. If you can identify this factor, you’ll be able to encourage more registrations in the future.

You can also use this insight both for fundraising and online auction pages in real time throughout your event to see how many people give during the event itself. This fundraising data will also allow you to raise more money in future campaigns.

2. In-Person vs. Online Attendance

Definition: How many people attended the event in-person vs. online.

Ask your registrants how they plan to attend right at the beginning of the registration process, on the initial form. This way, you can plan ahead, and the data can be stored in your auction software.

Importance: You can use this information to measure any significant differences, such as the amount of money raised, between the two audiences.

Application: This metric is important to measure before your event, because it will help you make decisions like how much event space or food you’ll need for your in-person audience. You should also track this information in donor profiles as a part of your CRM, allowing you to see who is showing up in person vs. online. This will help you market to these audiences in ways that will get their attention and best engage them in your future campaigns.

Understanding your in-person vs. online audiences will also help you to follow up and communicate relevant messaging after your event, and better predict your audiences for future hybrid events.

3. Percent of Value Return

Definition:Winning bid amount divided by fair market value.

Importance: The percent of value return shows you which items have the highest return on value – or – which auction items will give you the biggest bang for your buck!

Application: Knowing how the winning bids matched up against each item’s value is a highly beneficial tool when evaluating your silent auction. This can show which of your items are most popular and help you determine which category of auction items your audience prefers the most. Then, you can emphasize that category in future auctions.

4. Number of Bids Per Item

Definition: How many bids each auction item received. 

Importance: Knowing how many bids were placed on each item in your auction will show you how much interest people had in your items, and whether you were able to garner some friendly competition and bidding wars.

Application: If your average number of bids per item was lower than expected, you might have a couple of issues that need to be addressed. There are two key culprits in this situation:

  • Your bidding increments are too high. According to Handbid’s Silent Auction Rules, lowering your bidding increments — especially when the auction uses mobile bidding technology — will encourage more bids and more bidding wars.
  • You have too many auction items. Next time you might want to increase competition by decreasing the number of auction items per guest.

5. Event ROI

Definition:How much you earned from your event compared to how much you spent.

Importance: When it comes to looking at a nonprofit’s financials, supporters, board members and key stakeholders like to see high efficiency. Considering the cost of an event versus its fundraising potential should be the first question you ask before diving into planning any kind of event for your organization.

Application: If your ROI is low or, heaven forbid, in the red, you can take further action to decrease your spending and increase your revenue the next time around by doing the following:

  • Collect outright corporate cash sponsorships to drastically offset your expenses and increase ROI.
  • Collect in-kind sponsorships.Often more feasible for companies than large sums of cash, in-kind donations of food, decor, and especially auction items, will help to reduce the cost of your event.
  • Create more donation opportunities for people to engage in throughout the course of your event.
  • Identify valuable and hard-to-get auction items that will wow your audience and start a bidding frenzy that will be sure to increase your ROI!

6. Attendee Retention Rate

Definition: How many of your attendees return year after year.

Importance: Retention is less expensive than acquisition. In other words, it’s more expensive to gain a new attendee than it is to get an existing attendee to come to next year’s event. Knowing your retention rate will give you insight into how much people enjoyed your event and its activities.

Application: If your retention rate is lower than you’d like, here are a few things to consider:

  • The event’s timing: Did you change the time or day, the day of the week, or the time of year from last year to this year? This could be a key factor for attendees, based on many factors like school, work, other events, etc.
  • The event activities: Are people participating and having a good time? Do you have enough things to do throughout the course of the event? How was your event program? Was it compelling and did it flow well enough to captivate your guests’ attention?
  • Your stewardship strategiesSupporters who feel appreciated and communicated with throughout the year are more likely to come back to future events.

7. Attendee Satisfaction

Definition:How satisfied are your event attendees? 

Importance: Knowing how satisfied your event attendees are will show you if your event was engaging and impactful. If your attendees are excited about your event, think of all the free marketing (and more dollars!) that will give you when they invite their friends to next year’s event.

Application: One of the best ways to measure attendee satisfaction is to send out surveys via email after your event. Keep the survey simple, inviting them to rate each element on a scale. Then, ask for comments about what they liked and disliked at the event.

Knowing this information from your guests will help you to make adjustments for future campaigns based on their feedback. It also shows supporters you’re paying attention to them, which is excellent stewardship!

If you’re missing emails from supporters, you might decide to append email addresses so you can contact more of them with your survey and continue contacting them moving forward.

After you’ve collected this important data, save it in your CRM. Update it regularly and delete duplicate and outdated information. Properly maintaining your CRM keeps a clean database, making for more efficient communication and the possibility of both optimizing your guest list and raising more money at future fundraising events.

Learn everything you need to know about wealth screening for nonprofits.

Wealth Screening for Nonprofits: The Definitive Guide

As a nonprofit marketer, you strive to create meaningful, lasting supporter relationships, and data is a big part of that. Data-driven strategies can inform your cultivation strategies by letting you know who your donors are. In particular, wealth screening can help you determine how much someone can afford to give and how likely they are to donate to your cause based on past giving behaviors.

In a world driven by technology, donor data is more accessible and helpful than ever. You just need to know what information to collect, use the right tools to gather it, and then fold your results into your outreach strategies.

Whether you’re looking to fund a capital campaign with major gifts or level up your low- and mid-tier donors, wealth screening is a smart option. At the same time, it might seem daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the basics. This guide is here to help! So that you can tap into wealth screening, we’ll dive into these topics:

At NPOInfo, we work with all sorts of nonprofits to build robust donor profiles. With our data enrichment services, we can help you send more targeted fundraising asks and subsequently deepen donor relationships. By sharing what we know, we’re confident you’ll be equipped to leverage wealth screening at your nonprofit. Let’s get started!

Get a free quote for NPOInfo's financial data appending services.

Let's break down what donor wealth screening is.

What is wealth screening?

Wealth screening is the process of appending financial data and other wealth indicators for individuals. This process helps nonprofits identify and target prospective and existing donors with the greatest capacity to give.

Nonprofits using this service must share identifying information for individual supporters, such as their names and contact information. Then, their chosen nonprofit wealth screening service leverages public record data and propriety philanthropy databases to pull this information. When their file is returned, nonprofits can use the data to segment supporters into groups based on giving capacity and send targeted fundraising appeals.

Here's a definition of donor wealth screening.

Donor wealth screening can help you improve your fundraising efforts.

How do nonprofits use wealth screening?

Guessing who your wealthiest donors are based on hunches or inaccurate data is a risky game. Wealth screening will guarantee that you’re working with accurate data, so you can make informed decisions when planning your fundraising campaigns.

With accurate wealth data, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on the right donors, honing in on those who are likely to make a big impact on your cause. So let’s take a look at four key ways you can fold this process into your everyday marketing and fundraising.

Wealth screening helps you accomplish goals such as tapping into corporate giving and locating major donors.

1. Create realistic fundraising goals.

At its core, donor wealth screening will let you know how much your donors can give. Based on this data, you can set realistic (yet still aspirational) fundraising goals to drive your campaigns to new heights.

Otherwise, you risk underestimating your team and setting goals that are too low. Then, when you reach your campaign’s goal, support may taper off as donors won’t feel as motivated to give if they don’t think you still need donations.

On the other hand, you also risk overestimating your team if you don’t have sufficient wealth data. You may set objectives that are too far-fetched, causing your team to feel deterred when you fall short.

2. Send targeted fundraising appeals.

A well-crafted fundraising appeal is comprised of four primary components:

  • Who you’ll ask to donate
  • When you’ll ask for a donation
  • How you’ll ask for it
  • The amount you’ll ask the donor to give

Data appending allows you to address each of these areas, resulting in a higher return on your investment. Alongside other donor data, wealth screening will help you understand the individual’s giving capacity. Then, you can pair that with their communication preferences and frequency, resulting in a well-timed ask completed with a reasonable amount.

That way, you don’t risk leaving money on the table by asking for too little or much. And as we’ll explore later, you can streamline your outreach further by grouping donors with similar giving capacities, saving even more time.

3. Locate major donors.

Your organization’s major donors are the life source of your work. They’re fully invested in your cause and devote a considerable amount of their hard-earned money to keep your doors open. Donorly’s guide to major donors explains that these individuals provide your cause with its largest, most impactful gifts.

About 80% of individual donor fundraising revenue comes from just 20% of your donors.

That being said, finding these donors and cultivating relationships with them should be a top priority for your team. Wealth screening gives you the information you need to uncover them and create outreach that resonates with them.

By uncovering donors’ current assets and past giving to similar organizations, you won’t waste your time trying to level up donors who aren’t likely to give any more to your cause than they already do.

4. Tap into matching gift opportunities.

Appending financial data can provide valuable employer data, letting you know where your donors work. From here, you can research their companies, flag any that offer matching gift programs, and follow up with anyone who might be eligible.

Around 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs, but only 1.31% of individual contributions made to the average nonprofit are matched, according to Double the Donation’s fundraising statistics.

Knowing this, you likely have a few matching gift opportunities within your own CRM. By finding these opportunities, you’ll double (maybe even triple!) individuals’ contributions, multiplying their impact on your cause.

There are several types of data you can gather from wealth screening for nonprofits.

What data can you receive through wealth screening?

The type of data you’ll receive depends on your nonprofit wealth screening services provider. Pinpoint the type of information you need and then find a provider who can append that data for you. To maximize results, we recommend pairing philanthropic and wealth data, helping you find donors who can give and actually want to give to your cause.

Of course, there’s no limit on how much data you can collect, but there is a limit on how much you should collect! Several factors can point to a donor’s capacity for charitable giving, and some are more valuable than others. Let’s break down the most valuable types of data you might collect. That way, you won’t get buried under unnecessary data!

This chart shows how we can break down wealth screening data into categories.

Wealth markers

When appending financial data, focus on these wealth indicators:

  • Business affiliations. A donor’s business affiliations hint at their net worth and give insight into potential professional connections you can use for networking opportunities. This type of data includes business partnerships, a role on a board, and other types of corporate connections.
  • Profession. Someone’s profession, along with other employer data, can help you estimate their salary and disposable income, which is especially useful if they’re in a high-paying field. You’ll need to know information like their city, job title, and company, so you can research average salaries in their career field and location.
  • Stock ownership. Although these are typically liquid assets, stocks are a reliable wealth indicator that can be used to estimate prospects’ financial capacity. Start researching stock ownership by consulting portals like the one provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which maintains records on publicly traded companies.
  • Real estate investment. The amount of money someone invests in real estate can point to their net worth and signal that they value opportunities to spend their money wisely. In fact, major giving research has found that individuals who own at least $2 million in real estate are 17 times more likely to donate to charity than the average person.

Donor wealth screening research has found that those who own more real estate are more likely to donate to charity.

These wealth indicators will give you a solid foundation to launch your prospect research forward. While they’re not surefire proof of donors’ wealth, they can give you a pretty solid idea of it. Always use your best judgment when analyzing any wealth data and formulating it into your outreach strategies.

Philanthropic markers

While wealth indicators are certainly valuable, they’re not the only indicators of a donor’s giving capacity. Philanthropic indicators that can also point to giving capacity include:

  • Political giving. Political donations can be both a philanthropic and a wealth indicator. You’ll gain insight into their beliefs by determining their political affiliations, allowing you to promote relevant opportunities that align with their values.
  • Previous giving habits. Take a look at each donor’s RFM — the recency of their last gift, the frequency of their donations, and the average monetary value of their gifts. Look at the specific projects and programs they’ve funded to see which resonated with them. While a donor’s past giving to your specific nonprofit is crucial, you’ll also want to know if they’ve given to other nonprofits. This can help you identify what drives them to give and pinpoint other philanthropic-minded donors who share similar values.
  • Past engagement history. Beyond donations, look at other areas of your cause where donors are involved. Perhaps they’ve volunteered, served on your board, participated in advocacy efforts, or joined a peer-to-peer fundraiser. Extra involvement may point to a deeper commitment to your cause and therefore a higher chance of donating.

Determining philanthropic indicators is a vital part of the wealth screening process. Pairing wealth and philanthropic markers will help you determine whether someone’s willing and able to give to your cause. From there, you can craft appeals that feature the appropriate ask amounts and point to areas they’d be interested in supporting.

Follow these tips to get more out of your wealth screening results.

Tips to Get More Out of Financial Data Appending

As you can see, wealth screening is a valuable opportunity for any organization. However, your data is only as valuable as what you do with it. So before you start collecting donor data, have some solid data management strategies in place. In turn, you’ll wind up with organized data that drives greater results for your cause.

1. Clean your database.

Your CRM can quickly become cluttered with data if you’re not careful. That’s why we suggest cleaning your database before employing wealth screening services!

To organize your donor database, we recommend taking a couple of steps, including:

  • Remove duplicate information. Otherwise, you may accidentally screen donors more than once.
  • Purge lapsed and deceased donors. Don’t spend time or money pulling data for donors who haven’t given to your cause in years or who have passed away.
  • Standardize your entries. If each constituent’s data is entered differently, it’ll be difficult to append financial data and provide results in a standardized format. Take some time upfront to put everything in a consistent format.
  • Update outdated or missing contact information. To correctly identify donors during wealth screening, make sure you have as much identifying information as possible. We recommend conducting data appends to fill in outdated or missing contact details, such as donors’ phone numbers, email addresses, and postal addresses.

You want your prospect research to start off on the right foot, and cleaner records will yield more accurate results. This is a solid first step for any nonprofit that wants to append financial data for its constituents.

2. Follow up with new business connections.

One of the most valuable pieces of data you’ll uncover from wealth screening is individuals’ business connections. When you’re smart about how you leverage this information, you can form valuable partnerships with companies and expand your donor network to like-minded individuals.

Let’s say you notice several donors work for the same company. That might point to a potential partnership or sponsorship opportunity. Reach out to one of your donors to facilitate an introduction with the company’s leadership. Then, you can also share that several of your donors work for the business when chatting about a potential partnership, indicating some alignment between your values.

Don’t forget to follow up on matching gift opportunities! Look into each employer’s guidelines to pinpoint eligible donors. If your development team has enough time on its hands, you might even start conversations with companies that don’t have a program in place already.

3. Segment your donors.

While certainly helpful, wealth screening is an extensive process. Segmenting your donors before conducting your financial data append can ease the workload and break down your expansive donor base into bite-sized pieces. For instance, you might segment your donors into categories such as:

  • Recurring donors
  • New donors
  • Event attendees

Screening by group will help your nonprofit focus on specific areas of your fundraising. Then, after you receive your results, you can segment your donors even further to send highly-relevant appeals. For instance, you can group donors based on their giving capacities and specific interests in your programs, making sure they receive the appeals most relevant to their needs.

4. Screen before events.

Leading up to an event, you can perform a wealth screening to increase registrations and create a memorable experience for attendees. For instance, you can leverage the data you gather to:

  • Know who to invite. Before you send out invitations, screen your donors to discover who will enjoy your event the most. For example, you might specifically invite major donors and major giving prospects to an auction where prizes start at high initial bids. Then, you may also invite major giving prospects to a more casual, family-friendly event to form connections with them in a less formal setting.
  • Create better seating charts. Managing guest lists and seating donors can be a logistical nightmare. You can group donors and put like-minded people together so that they can form meaningful connections at the event.
  • Know who to interact with the most at the event. Events are known for their networking opportunities. Make sure your team prioritizes cultivating relationships with those most likely to give to your cause again.

By folding wealth screening into your event management strategies, you’ll create positive environments for your donors, inspiring them to stay connected with your cause long after the event ends.

Carefully choose a financial data appending company with these tips.

Choosing Wealth Screening Services

When it comes to choosing a provider, finding the right one can make a world of difference. Going with an untrustworthy one may result in inaccurate data, which will cause misinformed fundraising strategies and may negatively impact your donor relationships.

First and foremost, you want a provider who works in your industry, so go with one that works in the nonprofit sector. These providers bring a unique understanding to the table that generic data management companies can’t.

In addition to providing the wealth screening services you’ll need, you’ll want to look for these key advantages:

Look for these key aspects in a financial data appending company.

  • Manual verification processes
  • High-quality customer service
  • Standardized formatting for results
  • Accuracy scores to let you know how reliable the data is

NPOInfo offers these benefits, so you can trust you’re receiving the most dependable information out there. Plus, we work exclusively with nonprofits, providing an unparalleled understanding of your organization’s fundraising needs. We’ll help you find the most impactful data points for your cause from publicly and privately available sources, helping you create robust donor profiles with all the donor data you need.

Between appending contact data and employer data, we’ll help you launch your donor relationships forward with our data enrichment services. Reach out to get started!

Continue learning about donor wealth screening and other strategies with these resources.

Additional Data Enrichment Resources

It’s time to stop expending your time and energy cultivating prospects who are unlikely to give to your cause. Wealth screening will illuminate high-net-worth people who are eager to support your work. That way, you can focus your efforts on groups most likely to contribute.

This ultimate guide should give you everything you need to get started, but don’t venture into the donor wealth screening world alone! NPOInfo is here to support all your data enrichment needs. Partner with us, build out your donor profiles, and cultivate more valuable supporter relationships with the right data.

In the meantime, keep exploring the vast world of data management with these resources from the NPOInfo team and other trustworthy sources:

Get a quote from NPOInfo and let our team handle your financial data appending.

5 Metrics to Track at Your Next Charity Auction: A Guide

Hosting a charity auction is no easy feat. With so many moving parts, from procuring items to reserving a venue, your nonprofit has to set aside ample time to prepare, execute, and reflect on your fundraiser. A critical part of this process is tracking performance metrics. 

Once you’ve set goals for your charity auction, tracking metrics before, during, and after your auction is a surefire way to assess your progress and modify your strategies. Metrics can give your nonprofit invaluable insight into how to maximize its ROI and leverage your events to drive higher engagement. By collecting data, you’ll be in a better position to adjust your approach and optimize your auction strategy in the future. 

To make the most out of your next charity auction and future auctions, you’ll need to pay close attention to the following metrics:

These data analytics can help you compile a list of strengths and weaknesses and find room for improvement. Then, you can revamp your fundraising strategy to drive revenue and meet your fundraising goals! Let’s dive in. 

Demographics

Understanding your target audience is pivotal to executing a successful charity auction. You’ll need to collect information about your supporters ahead of time so you can tailor your marketing strategy to them. 

An important demographic metric to look at is the average age of your target attendee. By understanding your target audience’s age, you can advertise your auction on platforms where supporters are most likely to see it. For instance, Facebook is great for older generations, while TikTok and Instagram tend to appeal more towards Generation Z and Millenials.

As people begin to register for your event, take a look at demographic breakdowns like age, gender, geographic location, and other relevant factors. This will provide you with invaluable insight into the best ways to reach your target audience and create hype around your event so attendees come ready to bid! 

Plus, you can use this information to guide your item procurement strategies. For example, if your target audience is typically parents, you can offer more family-friendly packages bound to inspire bids. 

Nonprofit involvement

You’ll also want to track supporters’ past involvement with your organization, such as looking at how frequently supporters give and the average donation amount. This can be done with your donor data management platform by creating donor profiles and tracking overall trends. 

Donors’ past involvement will help you better understand your registrants’ budget and how much they’re comfortable giving to your organization. As a result, you can procure auction items that fit their giving capacity so your nonprofit can maximize fundraising. 

For example, if your target attendees typically do not give large donations to your organization, choose cost-friendly items that donors are likely to bid on. According to the OneCause guide to charity auction ideas, popular auction items that are budget-friendly for your organization and its supporters include:

  • Gift baskets
  • Day in the life experiences
  • Local coupons
  • Nonprofit merchandise

If you’ve held an auction in the past, you can also look at metrics like the average bidding amount and number of bids per item. This will help you understand the items that most appeal to your target audience, ensuring that all of your items get a substantial amount of bids. You’ll also want to track these same metrics at your upcoming charity auction so you have this insight for future events. 

Conversion rate

Before your charity auction, you’ll need a multichannel marketing campaign to increase excitement over your event and boost the number of registrants. For example, your organization might choose to promote your charity auction on the following platforms:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Your nonprofit’s website

Each of these platforms have their own analytics that are helpful to track in order to assess your marketing performance. For example, you can track open and read rate with email, number of likes and comments on social media, and incoming organic traffic to your nonprofit’s event landing page. 

However, the most notable metric you want to pay attention to before your event is marketing conversion rate. Conversion rate is the percentage of people who take the intended next action after seeing your marketing content. This could be the number of people that donate to your auction ahead of the event or register to attend. 

Conversion rate can help you adjust your marketing strategies to create more effective marketing materials. For example, let’s say that your nonprofit sees a low conversion rate with emails that promote registration for your next charity auction. As a result, you can modify your segmentation strategy, the frequency at which you send your emails, or make your call to action stronger. Experiment with different strategies to increase conversions and boost excitement over your event! 

During the event itself, you can look at the conversions, or how many bids are placed, for your auction items. This information can then be broken down into average number of bids per item or per guest, which items attracted the most amount of bids, and which items attracted the least amount of bids. These insights will allow you to strengthen your item procurement strategy for the future. 

Retention rate

Once you’ve held your auction, take a deep dive into how many people attended and donated toward your fundraising event for the first time, and how many people were recurring attendees. Retention rate helps your nonprofit understand how effective your charity auction was at engaging past supporters and maintaining their interest in your organization. 

While donor retention and acquisition are both effective ways for nonprofits to bolster their fundraising strategy, donor retention is more cost effective and essential to building a reliable donation pipeline. If you’re seeing low retention rates, consider how you can deepen your connections with existing supporters to boost their participation. 

For example, you can modify your communication strategies with more personalized emails, invite existing supporters to an exclusive in-person component of your hybrid auction, or be more explicit about the impact of recurring donations in your marketing materials. 

Fundraising ROI

Another important metric to track after your auction wraps up is your return on investment (ROI). ROI may sound like an oxymoron for nonprofits but trust it’s important to track! 

Your nonprofit likely invested a lot of funding into hosting an auction, whether through investing in online fundraising software, booking catering, or creating marketing materials. Once you’ve wrapped up your fundraiser, determine whether you made back the money you put into the event and extra to power your mission. 

A high ROI is a great indicator that your auction was a success. If you’re running at a loss or merely breaking even, your nonprofit has to do more in the future to use budget-friendly planning strategies and increase event revenue.

One way your nonprofit can save funds is by partnering with a local company. According to 360MatchPro’s guide to corporate philanthropy, a business can help you by offering in-kind donations for auction items and packages or providing financial support. Your nonprofit can partner with a local restaurant to offer a free dining experience or coupon booklet as one of your auction items. This will save your nonprofit money so you can boost your ROI. 


Collecting data is the best way to assess your nonprofit’s fundraising progress and determine how you can improve your strategies for the future. After you collect these metrics, take the time to review them so you can build a clear roadmap for future auctions. Remember to share relevant metrics, like your total funds raised, with your nonprofit’s audience so they understand the impact of their contributions and are more likely to give again. 

Learn more about the Microsoft Ad Grant program in this comprehensive guide.

The Ultimate Microsoft Ad Grant Guide for Nonprofits

While the Google Ad Grant program has been around for several years, Microsoft has finally come out with a similar program of its own. Ads for Social Impact, Microsoft’s Ad Grant program, provides eligible nonprofits with $3,000 per month in Microsoft ad spending. Microsoft then places these ads on a variety of its platforms, including Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.

While the Microsoft Ad Grant is certainly smaller than the Google version, which provides qualifying organizations with $10,000 per month, there are some key differences that make Microsoft’s program worth looking into. However, both programs have the same great benefits of spreading awareness for your cause, attracting new supporters, and boosting your fundraising efforts.

To help familiarize your organization with the Microsoft Ad Grant program, we’ll answer the following questions:

Here at NPOInfo, we provide nonprofits with the data they need to maximize their fundraising efforts. That’s why we’re featuring Microsoft Ad Grants, a fantastic way to boost fundraising and drive traffic to your nonprofit’s website. We’ll cover the basics of the program and how to apply so your nonprofit can take advantage of this opportunity. Let’s get started!Check out Getting Attention for help with Microsoft Ad Grants.

Follow along to learn the basics of the Microsoft Ad Grant program.What Is a Microsoft Ad Grant?

Starting in June 2022, Microsoft began offering an ad grant program called Ads for Social Impact. The goal of the program is to help nonprofits grow their reach and revenue by increasing their visibility online. To assist eligible organizations in promoting their websites, the Ads for Social Impact program equips nonprofits with $3,000 per month to spend on ads appearing on Microsoft’s platforms.

While Google Ads appear on Google, Microsoft Ads show up on several websites, including Bing, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook, MSN, and Microsoft Edge. To give you an idea of how Microsoft Ads work, we’ll show you an example in action.

Perhaps you’re a community member who loves working with animals. As an animal lover, you might want to make a difference in your community, leading you to search for an animal shelter on Bing. This search may pull up a Microsoft Ad for a local animal shelter’s website where you can learn more about any volunteer or donation opportunities.Here is an example of a nonprofit ad being promoted using the Microsoft Ad Grant program.

Although Microsoft offers a smaller grant than Google, there are some unique benefits to enrolling in the Microsoft program. While the Google Ad Grant program requires you to create a separate ad account, the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact program adds your grant to your existing paid account. In essence, it acts as a coupon that bolsters your Microsoft monthly paid search budget. That way, you can run all of your campaigns in one centralized account dedicated to your organization.

Since the Microsoft Ad Grant is a discount on your regular paid ad account, there are fewer restrictions on your ad activity. For example, Google requires organizations to meet minimum click-through rates and quality scores and a maximum cost-per-click. However, Microsoft has none of these restrictions, letting you use your grant as you would for a paid search campaign.

With a basic understanding of Microsoft Ad Grants in mind, we can now take a look at the benefits of leveraging the program.

Check out the benefits of leveraging a Microsoft Ad Grant.Why Should My Organization Use Microsoft Ad Grants?

Now that you know a little more about what a Microsoft Ad Grant is, you might be wondering why it would be useful for your nonprofit. Here are a few benefits of enrolling in the Ads for Social Impact program:There are several benefits of Microsoft Ad Grants.

Increased engagement on your site.

The key to an effective nonprofit website is to feature high-quality content. However, if potential supporters can’t find your content, then it’s not serving to expand your website’s reach as it should.

With a Microsoft Ad Grant, you can make sure prospective supporters see the web pages that provide information on topics they’re interested in. For example, if someone searches “volunteer for a soup kitchen” on Bing, they’ll want to know when and where they can contribute their time to an organization. Consequently, your nonprofit can use the Microsoft Ad Grant to promote your site’s volunteer registration page for these searchers.

More conversions.

Many people think of conversions in terms of sales and other for-profit activities, but nonprofits can also track the impact of their campaigns using conversion data. When your website and digital marketing strategy reach different audiences and help them find what they need quickly, you can increase conversions. Take a look at these online conversions that your organization might track:

While having the right content is the true root of increased engagements and conversions, Microsoft Ad Grants can help you boost your content’s reach in order to maximize its impact.

Better supporter communications.

Most nonprofits utilize a variety of communication tools including email, phone calls, and social media. While it’s important to keep your supporters informed, it’s equally as important not to overwhelm them with too much information.

Microsoft Ad Grants work in conjunction with your existing communication strategies to spread the word about your organization. They make it easy for your supporters to find your content on their own without direct interference from your nonprofit.

Access to data about your website activity.

Microsoft understands that the more data you have about how your supporters interact with your website, the better you’re able to optimize your Microsoft Ad Grant. That’s why they provide nonprofits with tools such as event tracking, campaign analytics, and traffic insights to learn more about the effectiveness of your content and campaigns.

With this information in mind, your organization is better equipped to optimize your website’s content and increase engagement in the process.

No competition for funds.

As a participant in the Ads for Social Impact program, you’ll never have to worry about how much funding you’ll receive. Traditional grant programs typically distribute a limited amount of money to organizations based on their needs. However, the Microsoft Ad Grants program gives each organization the full $3,000 per month in Microsoft ad spending.

With the security of knowing exactly how much money your organization will receive from Microsoft each month, you can spend less time worrying about your funding and more time optimizing the grant.

With some common goals of program participants in mind, you'll have a better idea of how your organization can leverage its Microsoft Ad Grant.How Can My Nonprofit Use Its Microsoft Ad Grant?

When you begin participating in the Ads for Social Impact program, it’s best to outline your goals for how you’d like to use the grant money. That way, you can make sure you’re optimizing the grant in a way that makes sense for your organization.

For inspiration, here are some common goals of nonprofits participating in the Microsoft Ad Grant program:

  • Collecting more donations
  • Spreading awareness for your organization’s cause
  • Recruiting volunteers
  • Informing supporters about upcoming opportunities
  • Selling tickets for events
  • Gaining email list subscribers
  • Gathering petition signatures
  • Engaging more supporters on social mediaTake a look of how other nonprofits maximize the impact of their Microsoft Ad Grant.

By delineating your goals ahead of time, you’ll get the most out of the Microsoft Ad Grant program and be able to easily track progress made throughout your ad campaigns.

Determine whether your organization is eligible for the Ads for Social Impact program.How Do I Know If My Organization Is Eligible for the Program?

In order to participate in the Ads for Social Impact program, Microsoft requires organizations to abide by three eligibility requirements. The first requirement is that all participating organizations must be legally recognized nonprofits or non-governmental organizations in their respective countries. In the United States, this means obtaining tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status from the IRS.

Next, Microsoft stipulates that organizations must operate on a not-for-profit basis and serve a specific mission to benefit their communities. The mission examples they give include aiding the poor, preserving the environment, and promoting human rights.

Lastly, it’s important to Microsoft that all organizations participating in their ad grants program are inclusive and respectful of all types of people. Therefore, they do not accept organizations that have a policy or mission based on discrimination of any kind.Take a look at Microsoft's Ads for Social Impact program eligibility requirements.

Even if your organization meets the three eligibility requirements outlined above, it still may not be eligible for the program. Microsoft lists various ineligible organization types, including:

  • Governmental organizations
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Public utilities
  • Financial institutions
  • Professional, commerce, and trade associations
  • Professional and semi-professional sports organizations
  • Political, labor, and fraternal organizations

If you’re still unsure if your organization is eligible for the Microsoft Ad Grant program, you can check out Microsoft’s page on program eligibility here.

Next, it's time to fill out your Microsoft Ad Grant application.How Do You Apply for Microsoft Ad Grants?

Once you’ve determined that your organization is eligible, it’s time to apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant program. The application process is divided into two separate parts.

The first part of the process involves applying for Microsoft for Nonprofits. Microsoft for Nonprofits encompasses several different resources and offers for charitable organizations, one of which is Microsoft Ad Grants. When applying for Microsoft for Nonprofits, there are four short steps to complete.

  1. Welcome & Policies: To begin, Microsoft asks you to name your organization’s point of contact and review some of their program policies.
  2. Organization Info: Next, you’re prompted to fill out more basic information about your organization, such as your organization’s name, address, website, phone number, size, budget, mission statement, and IRS EIN.
  3. Verify Phone: In this step, Microsoft asks you to verify your organization’s phone number so they can easily get in contact with you.
  4. Create Account: Lastly, you can set up the login for your Microsoft for Nonprofits account.

Once your Microsoft for Nonprofits application is complete, you should hear back from Microsoft about your program acceptance within 24 hours.

After your organization is enrolled in the Microsoft for Nonprofits program, it’s time to apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant program specifically. Microsoft will ask you for additional information about your organization and your point of contact. Once you submit that information, Microsoft will notify you of the outcome of your application within 10 business days.

For the best results, follow these Microsoft Ad Grant best practices.How Do I Optimize My Microsoft Ad Campaigns?

If you’ve taken the time to research and apply for the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact program, you’ll probably want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the program.

While the ads you create should be based on the goals you set at the beginning of the process, there are certain ways you can run your account to optimize your campaigns and ultimately conquer your goals. Here are some Microsoft Ad Grant campaign best practices:Here are five ways you can optimize your Microsoft Ad campaigns.

Keep your campaigns organized.

It’s more impactful for your potential supporters to see an ad that’s relevant to them. That’s why it’s important to organize your campaign according to your goals. For example, you may have a campaign encouraging donations and a different campaign for scouting volunteers. This method will not only help you stay on top of your campaigns, but it will also make it easier for your supporters to engage with your organization in the ways they choose to.

Simplify your ad copy.

When creating your ads, remember to keep them simple. People will be skimming through the results page very quickly, so you want to capture their attention with clear and concise copy. Use short sentences, and avoid any uncommon acronyms or abbreviations that may confuse people.

Pick effective keywords.

When choosing keywords, you’ll want to think about what your supporters are likely typing into the search box when trying to find information about your organization. Remember to be specific. For example, choosing “trees” as a keyword may display your ad in searches for tree-cutting services. If your organization stands to preserve trees, “save the trees” or “protect the environment” may be more relevant.

Take advantage of Microsoft’s analytics options.

As mentioned before, Microsoft has analytics options such as event tracking, campaign analytics, and traffic insights. You’ll want to use this data to figure out how your supporters are interacting with your campaigns and how you can improve them. For example, some of your keywords may simply draw users to your landing page while others may be more useful for generating conversions such as volunteer signups or donations. These would be the keywords your organization should prioritize.

Set bids automatically.

When you run a Microsoft Ad campaign, you’ll have to bid for keywords with other organizations. By using automated bid strategies, you can devote more time to developing effective campaigns rather than managing them. Microsoft offers automated bid strategies for enhancing your cost-per-click, maximizing clicks, maximizing your conversions, and hitting your target cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.

By following these five best practices, you’ll create more effective ad campaigns, maximizing the impact of your Microsoft Ad Grant.

Working with a Microsoft Ad Grant agency can help you optimize your grant money.What If I Need Help Managing My Microsoft Ad Grant Account?

If you’re overwhelmed at all after learning about the Microsoft Ad Grant process, you’re not alone. Many nonprofits opt for using a digital marketing agency to help them navigate the program.

Since they have familiarity with managing ad grants, using the appropriate agency will allow you to reap all the benefits of the program without having to divert too much team member time. Ad grants agencies can help you with any step of the grant management process, including:These are the ways a digital ad grant agency can help your organization.

  • Determining your Microsoft Ad Grants eligibility
  • Applying for the program
  • Managing your campaigns
  • Optimizing your web pages

No matter what questions or troubles you have with the program, Microsoft Ad Grants agencies are there to help.

To learn more about other fundraising ideas in addition to Microsoft Ad Grants, check out these additional resources.Additional Resources

Now that you know the ins and outs of Microsoft Ad Grants, you likely have a better idea of how the program could benefit your organization. This invaluable tool will help you spread your mission and ultimately work more efficiently toward your fundraising goals.

If you’re looking for even more ideas for how to boost your fundraising efforts, we’re here to help. Check out these resources that feature additional fundraising tools:

Check out our recommended agency, Getting Attention, for help with Microsoft Ad Grants.

Fundraising Innovation: Key Takeaways from NPOInfo’s Educational Panel with NXUnite

As the donation landscape changes, bringing new approaches to nonprofits is essential to effective fundraising. On NXUnite’s “Upping Your Fundraising Game: New Tactics to Add to Your Roster” panel, speakers discussed innovative fundraising strategies.

Brian Lacy of NPOInfo was joined by DonorSearch Vice President Sarah TeDesco, Julia Beltran of Double the Donation, and DonationMatch CEO and co-founder Renee Zau. The panelists drew on their experiences in fundraising AI, data management, events, and software for this engaging conversation.

Here are three key insights from the panel:

  1. Take new approaches to fundraising
  2. Maintain good data
  3. Maximize your resources

1. Take new approaches to fundraising

The panelists began their conversation by addressing the value of taking new approaches to fundraising. NPOInfo’s Brian Lacy outlined two trends influencing the need for fundraising innovation.

First, nonprofits have been rated more poorly than corporate organizations in public opinion. This contributes to the second trend, which sees a decrease in the number of American families that report being philanthropic. Being aware of and responding to trends is essential to effective fundraising.

Responding to donor trends may mean adapting existing practices, not replacing them. For example, AI fundraising technology can modernize current efforts.  Brian observed that direct mail campaigns have decreased in scale, reflecting a reduced donor interest in receiving paper mail. However, direct mail campaigns can still be strategically targeted, reaching potential planned donors and donors who regularly give with checks.

2. Maintain good data

Throughout the panel, Brian Lacy stressed the importance of having good data. Donor data should be clean, organized, and accessible within an organization.

Brian shared a story about a nonprofit director who was unable to find information about past events in their system. In nonprofits with high turnover, information can be lost if it isn’t organized. This can be especially difficult for nonprofits when a major gift officer leaves, as all their donor conversations will be lost if there are no centralized records.

Good data is essential to a strong annual giving program. Brian noted that a simple data cleansing program is not expensive and can make other efforts more effective. Without data cleansing, emails may bounce back and phone-a-thon events may not reach donors.

3. Maximize your resources

Sarah TeDesco of DonorSearch addressed a challenge faced by many nonprofit professionals: allocating minimal resources for fundraising efforts. Stressing that there is no quick fix, Sarah noted that an organization’s first priority should be setting goals.

Key performance indicators (KPIs), are progress measures for specific objectives. To establish KPIs, Sarah suggested reaching out to other nonprofits and looking for common denominators in their fundraising efforts. This strategy allows you to identify areas where your organization can improve. Instead of trying to spread resources thinly over multiple initiatives, you can focus your efforts in your goal areas.

Major gift work is a goal area with potential for a high return on investment. Sarah noted that concentrating efforts on donor retention and securing major gifts can be an effective way to allocate limited resources.

Conclusion

Nonprofit organizations can adapt current practices, bring in new technology, and update their strategies in response to changing fundraising trends. Innovative fundraising practices allow your organization to continue to connect with donors and maximize your impact.

How to Collect and Use the Data In Your Donation Form

Whether it’s a physical sheet of paper or a page on your organization’s website, a donation form is a crucial component of any nonprofit’s giving process.

A donation form not only allows you to accept and record donations, but when created correctly, a donation form can unlock powerful data to track fundraising trends, make informed decisions, and strategize future fundraising efforts. Moreover, donation forms can reveal valuable insights into how supporters give to your organization and how best to communicate with them in the future.

With this in mind, in this guide, we’ll answer the following frequently asked donation form-related questions:

Before diving into building a data-driven donation form to boost giving to your organization, let’s first review its core components.

What is a nonprofit donation form? 

A donation form is a key tool used by nonprofits to collect information and process contributions. Donation forms can exist both as physical forms that supporters can fill out by hand and as digital forms that supporters can fill out on your online donation page.

 

At its core, your donation form should include fields for basic contact information, gift amount, and payment details. However, many donation forms include additional fields that help nonprofits better understand, thank, and retain their donors. Below, we’ve cataloged the most essential fields to consider including in your donation forms.

What should be included in a donation form? 

  • Contact information. Ask for donors’ names, emails, phone numbers, and physical addresses to follow up with thank-yous and personalized appeals in the future.
  • Donation amount. This is a necessary field to complete a donation, but it’s also important to understanding giving trends and knowing how close you are to reaching your fundraising goal.
  • Payment information. In order for a donation to be processed, you’ll need to collect information about how a donor plans to pay. 
  • Matching gift search. Including a matching gift tool on your donation form allows donors to determine if their employer has a corporate giving program that will amplify the impact of their donation.
  • Campaign-specific survey questions. Depending on the fundraising campaign, you might ask additional questions about how donors learned about your nonprofit and why they’re donating. To make your form as streamlined as possible, consider making these questions optional.
  • Thank-you landing page. Once donors submit their donation, automatically direct them to a thank-you page that suggests other ways for them to get involved in your cause.

Using these fields to collect donor information not only helps build out your donor database but also provides vital data and insights that can improve supporter engagements and further develop relationships. 

What data should you collect from a donation form? 

Each field in your form can translate into impactful giving data. As a result, you can learn more about your donors:

    • Personal information. When someone makes their first donation, the most basic information you’ll receive is their name and contact information. As a result, your nonprofit can use this data to address donors by their preferred name and title in your future solicitations to improve your chances of receiving a response.
    • Engagement history. Assess the frequency of a donor’s contributions and their average gift amount alongside other ways (volunteering, attending events, serving on your board) that they’re involved in your organization. With this information, you can predict the timing and amount of future donations you will receive from a given group of donors. 
  • Demographic information. Information about your donors’ educational background, age, location, hobbies, interests, and reasons for giving all serve to help you better understand and connect with supporters.
    • Employment info and matching gift eligibility. An individual’s business affiliations can give you an idea of their net worth and potential connections. Plus, if they work for a company with a matching gift program, you can reach out to begin the gift match process.
    • Payment preferences. People can make donations with cash, credit, debit, online payment systems, and checks. Tracking how donors give will help you tailor your future asks and the payment options you give your donors.
  • Communication preferences. Similar to payment preferences, knowing how your donors want to receive communications from your organization allows you to target your giving requests more effectively.

Even if you’re not able to collect all of this information in your donation form, that doesn’t mean those data points are lost forever. With just a core set of basic donor data collected in your form, a third-party provider can append additional data to enhance the information in your database.

How do nonprofits collect donation form data? 

While you can certainly collect donation data with hard-copy donation forms—and some donors will prefer that!—integrated online forms and fundraising tools make it vastly more manageable for you to organize, update, and analyze your fundraising data. As a result, your team can spend less time trying to catalog data and more time responding to trends and implementing your insights.

For the most effective data-driven donation forms, your nonprofit should plan to invest in:

  • A payment processor that helps you securely collect billing information, prevent fraud, export data, and avoid hidden fees.
  • A constituent relationship management (CRM) system to ensure your donor data is centralized and accessible for both future outreach and strategic planning.
  • An online fundraising platform, such as one of these solutions recommended by Re:Charity, to easily and automatically track donor data as supporters fill out your online donation form to make their gift.

When choosing solutions to create and process your donation forms, look for those that can be integrated into your existing systems. Always customize your tools and donation forms to fit the unique needs of your organization, collect the most impactful data, and streamline the giving process. 

Once you begin collecting donation form data, you can take the next steps to use this data to optimize your form and your requests for donations. iATS’s guide to accepting donations online recommends: 

  • Removing excessive and redundant fields that can slow down the donation process and lead to form abandonment.
  • Branding your form to align with your organization’s logo, colors, images, tone, and fonts.
  • Adding suggested giving amounts and recurring gift options to encourage donors to increase support for your organization.
  • Optimizing your form to automatically adapt to be accessible across different screen sizes.
  • Automating receipts and thank-you letters to send to donors immediately after the gift is processed.

As you collect more data, continue to refine your donation form to drive more conversions and maximize gifts. Good luck!


About the Author:

This is a guest post from Peggah Azarvash at iATS Payments. Peggah is a passionate iATS Payments’ Sales Executive with 10 years of experience, providing payment solution support and guidance to nonprofits.

Why Your Nonprofit Should Be Collecting and Analyzing Data

As a nonprofit fundraising or marketing professional, you’re always looking for ways to connect more deeply with your donors and create outreach campaigns that resonate with them. Whether it’s your online fundraising pushes or awareness campaigns, you want to develop content that speaks directly to your supporters’ preferences and motivations. 

These outreach efforts all have one thing in common — they’d all be vastly improved with the incorporation of data analytics. 

Never before have nonprofits had greater access to high-quality data, such as charitable giving statistics, as well as the necessary tools to collect and understand the data. This information can help guide your organization’s fundraising and marketing efforts to ensure you’re making the most of every supporter interaction.

In this quick guide, we’ll discuss the three reasons why your nonprofit should be collecting data: 

  1. Data collection is no longer out of reach.
  2. Data helps you connect with your donors.
  3. Data can improve your fundraising. 

We’ll also highlight a few best practices for editing and organizing your data properly to ensure you’re using it to its full potential. Let’s get started. 

1. Data collection is no longer out of reach. 

The first reason your nonprofit should be collecting and assessing data is because the process has never been easier. Software solutions specifically built for nonprofits have made data collection and analysis accessible for organizations of all sizes.

Let’s take a look at a few of these solutions and how they simplify and streamline the data collection process:

  • Nonprofit CRM: Your nonprofit’s CRM is your most important tool for collecting and assessing donor-related data. Plenty of nonprofits turn to comprehensive systems like the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) in place of other solutions to store and assess donor data using a robust database. With your donor database, you can store data regarding donors’ names, contact information, past giving history, event attendance, and more. Then, you can leverage this data in outreach campaigns and donor stewardship efforts to build genuine supporter relationships. 
  • Donation software:With powerful donation software, you can not only accept online payments but also automatically collect information about the individuals submitting those gifts, such as their names, contact information, and even how they heard about you. 
  • Event management software: Your nonprofit probably hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from fundraising 5Ks to galas, auctions, and more. Event management software allows you to easily track metrics such as ticket sales, total fundraising amount, and attendance rate. 

You might think these tools are only available to large, well-funded organizations, but the truth is that nonprofits of all sizes can access them. For instance, the Salesforce NPSP offers free subscriptions for up to 10 users from your organization. 

Also, while you may assume these tools are complicated to set up and use on an ongoing basis, that isn’t the case. The initial set-up for some of these solutions will take some work, but once they’re up and running, they can function nearly automatically and often integrate with your existing software platforms. This can save your team plenty of time and allow you to avoid any manual data entry and assessment tasks.

2. Data helps you connect with your donors.

Getting to know your supporters is probably one of the most pressing tasks you work on daily. When you prioritize building authentic relationships, it becomes much easier to ask for donations later on down the road. 

Using donor data, you can step into supporters’ shoes to understand their perspectives and figure out the best ways to reach them on a personal level. Collecting donor data allows you to: 

  • Personalize messages: You can use tools like your online donation form and CRM to store personal information that lets you get to know your donors better. Then, you can personalize outreach using donors’ names, referencing their previous involvement, and sending them new opportunities based on their past interests. 
  • Segment donors for tailored outreach: Using the donor data stored in your nonprofit CRM, you can group donors based on shared characteristics using a process called segmentation. For example, you might create groups for new donors, volunteers who haven’t yet donated, lapsed donors, and major donors. After you’ve defined these groups, you can send messages to each segment that resonate with their preferences and interests. This makes your outreach feel more relevant and relatable. 
  • Optimize marketing content: All of the marketing platforms you use, from your email marketing system to your social media pages, collect analytics about your audience’s behavior. These metrics allow you to understand which marketing messages supporters interacted with the most and why. You can capitalize on your most engaging strategies and adjust the ones that aren’t working as well to optimize your marketing content. 

Your supporters broadcast their preferences and interests constantly through the ways they interact with your organization. It’s your job to collect these data points and assess them strategically to connect with your audience more deeply. 

Supporters will feel much more inclined to continue connecting with your organization if you’ve made a serious effort to get to know them and appeal to their interests. This can help boost your donor retention rate and develop long-lasting donor relationships. 

3. Data can improve your fundraising. 

You may sometimes feel like your fundraising planning consists of a little bit of strategy and a little bit of luck. With data, you can make your campaigns more strategic by relying on hard facts rather than hunches or best guesses. 

Here are just some of the ways that data can improve your fundraising: 

  • Event analytics can help you determine why attendees decided to register, when they were most engaged throughout your events, and what influenced them to give to your mid-event fundraising pushes. Plus, you can collect data through event tools such as sign-up sheets or post-event surveys which ask supporters to provide feedback on their most and least favorite aspects of the experience. All of these factors allow you to plan a more engaging event next time around. 
  • Donation page data can help you determine your most popular donation amounts and donors’ preferred giving methods. Then, you can use this information to establish your suggested giving amounts and ensure that you have the proper payment processor system. 
  • Donor data can also allow you to craft more tailored fundraising requests. You can pull information from your CRM such as your donors’ names, titles, and past donation amounts to personalize your outreach and request an appropriate donation amount. 
  • Predictive data can help you conduct prospect research — the process of identifying potential major donors. NPOInfo’s guide to fundraising data explains that you can use your CRM to keep an eye on donor trends, such as donation size growth and increased participation in events and other opportunities. These trends might reveal that certain donors are willing and able to become major contributors. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can use data to optimize your fundraising campaigns. You can also keep track of overarching fundraising trends using data points such as your fundraising return on investment (ROI), online donation rate, and donor retention rate. All of these data points will give you a bird’s-eye view of the effectiveness of your fundraising strategies and where you should focus your energy. 


Before you can start collecting and leveraging data effectively, ensure your organization has a solid data hygiene strategy. Audit your existing data for irregularities, eliminate or correct errors, and establish standardized data entry procedures for your entire team to follow. 

Once your data is clean and organized, you’ll be able to rely on it for future fundraising and marketing campaigns. This can help boost your ROI since you’ll only be directing outreach to active supporters using their accurate contact information. 

When your organization has a clear plan for collecting and analyzing multiple types of data, you’ll be prepared to take on fundraising challenges with an informed, data-driven strategy. 

 


About the Author

Karin Tracy

Karin Tracy, VP of Marketing at Fíonta, is a seasoned designer and marketer with a passion for serving nonprofit organizations and being a small part of bettering the world. She is a certified Pardot Consultant and Marketing Cloud Email Specialist, a fan of automation and reporting, a lover of animals, and devourer of popcorn.

At Fíonta, Karin drives marketing efforts for all internal and external projects. Her direct service work is focused primarily on marketing strategy and automation for Fíonta’s MCAE (Pardot) clients.

Donor Cultivation: Top Insights from NPOInfo’s Educational Panel with NXUnite

NPOInfo’s Brian Lacy joined Amy Boroff of Amplifi and Martha H. Schumacher of Hazen and HILT for NXUnite’s “Cultivating Relationships: Strategies for Getting to Know Your Donors” panel. Each panelist brought their industry expertise to this panel and offered valuable insights into donor cultivation. 

Over the course of the hour-long panel, the speakers shared information about building your donor base and answered questions from a live audience Q&A. The panelists provided tips for organizations new to donor cultivation, strategies for starting donor cultivation initiatives, and guidance on building sustainable cultivation practices.  

Here are three key takeaways from the discussion: 

    1. Learn More About Your Donors
    2. Highlight Donors’ Impact
    3. Reshare Key Points in Donor Communications


Learn More About Your Donors

Understanding your current donor base is foundational to donor cultivation. Amy Boroff offered suggestions for learning more about your supporters, highlighting surveys as a simple way to get to know your donors. 

Surveys can be leveraged to understand what current donors are interested in. Ask donors what kinds of programming they would like to see, and learn who has participated in past initiatives. 

This is also an opportunity to discover your supporters’ goals for your organization and what motivates them to give. Knowing what drives your supporters to give is an important aspect of conversion, from small appeals to year-end major gifts. 

Answers to your survey questions provide valuable insights into your donor demographics and interests. This information can be used to construct your ideal donor profile and focus cultivation efforts on your target supporters.

 

Highlight Donors’ Impact

Following up with your donors after an event is an essential step in facilitating donor engagement. Phone calls, handwritten notes, or thoughtful gifts are effective ways to recognize supporters. Brian Lacy of NPOInfo also described the importance of communicating an event’s success to supporters, noting that even donors who do not attend events are invested in your organization’s impact. 

Lacy suggested dividing your event budget in thirds. One-third of the budget should be spent promoting the event, and the second third should be used for the event itself. The final third of your budget should be dedicated to sharing the success of an event with your supporters. 

Talking about what happened at the event and its positive impact shows donors what your organization accomplished with their investment. This encourages them to continue their support.

 

Reshare Key Points in Donor Communications

When communicating with donors, repetition can ensure that your message reaches the most people. Brian Lacy emphasized that though nonprofit professionals see their communications every day, donors may only see them once. Repeatedly contacting donors allows them to notice and think about your messages.  

Repeated communications can be used to target specific audiences. After sending an email to a group of donors, Lacy suggests resending the same email with a different subject line to people who didn’t open the first message. 

In addition to increasing email open rate, resending emails with new subject lines provides data on which subject line is most effective. In combination with fundraising data analytics, this data can inform your approach to donor outreach.

 

Conclusion

Effective communication with current donors and ongoing outreach to potential supporters builds a strong donor base. Through donor cultivation efforts, your organization can foster an engaged donor base and expand your capacity to make an impact.

Learn everything you need to know about social media appends with this guide.

Social Media Appends: Locating Your Supporters’ Profiles

In today’s fast-paced world, social media is one of the most direct and effective ways to reach out to constituents. In fact, around 22% of social media users spend their time online to be a part of a community that values the causes and interests they care about. The vast online space allows them to connect with global, like-minded communities and interest groups by simply joining a Facebook group or following different Twitter profiles and topics.

If you want to take advantage of the social media world for nonprofits, social media appending can help you tap into those tight-knit communities!

Collecting data through accurate social profile appending empowers you to get to know your supporters, their ever-changing interests, and what drives them to support your cause. In turn, you can form deeper, more meaningful relationships that help donors, volunteers, and other supporters feel more fulfilled in their philanthropic lives by pushing your mission forward.

To help you start reaching prospects where they already are, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to social media appending. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Here at NPOInfo, we value effective data management. While our main focus is on other types of appends, we recognize that social media is an incredible resource when it comes to getting to know your supporters. When paired with other appends like those for email and postal addresses, it’ll help your marketing ROI skyrocket!

Let’s dive in so you can learn how to take advantage of the wonderful world of social media appends!

Get started with our social media appending services.

Let's review a basic definition of social media appending.

What is a social media append?

Social profile appending is the process of updating outdated social media information and pulling new details for contacts in your CRM. This allows your marketing team to do the following

  • Invite existing supporters to join your nonprofit’s groups
  • Encourage them to follow your pages
  • Dive into their profiles to learn more about their interests

Especially when stewarding deeper supporter relationships, being able to find them online will be incredibly helpful. Constituents’ interests constantly change, so you can’t rely on the same information they provided you at the start of their relationship with your cause!

Further, turning to a professional services provider will ensure you receive accurate social profile append results. They can extract the information for you, removing the time commitment for your marketing team.

All you have to do is provide them with identifying information, such as your supporters’ names, past social media profiles, postal addresses, contact information, and any other details they’ve shared with your team. They’ll locate as many supporters on different platforms for you and share that information with your team!

There are several benefits of social media appending.

Why use social media appending for your nonprofit?

Knowing where to find your supporters online has its obvious benefits, such as being able to interact with them and see what reels them into your cause. However, with the constantly-growing number of social media sites, it’s becoming more difficult to find supporters on every platform with a simple search.

That’s why we recommend turning to social media appending services. This allows you to pull supporters’ profiles in bulk by matching their information against a comprehensive database of social profile information.

Doing so will enable you to amplify your mission and forge deeper connections through benefits such as the following:

These are the benefits of social media appends.

Benefit #1) Tap into a global network.

There are more than 4.6 billion social media users worldwide, making it easy to find mission-oriented individuals who feel strongly about your cause. Connecting with your supporters online allows you to also leverage peer-to-peer marketing.

When supporters follow your pages, share your posts, or comment on your posts, this information will often pop up in their followers’ newsfeeds or notification centers, depending on the platform. This communicates that they feel strongly about your mission to like-minded individuals in their networks.

Benefit #2) Send targeted appeals and create tailored program offerings.

With social media being a part of most people’s lives, it’s an essential source of information to understand the likes, dislikes, and overall preferences of your target constituents.

By having your marketing team explore your committed supporters’ posts and likes, you can:

  • Create tailored outreach that speaks to their unique interests
  • Adjust your product offerings to fall in line with their values
  • Create different prospect profiles to guide who your team reaches out to support your cause in the future

Overall, you’ll be able to see who your supporters truly are and what they value, so you can make your nonprofit’s work a more prominent and meaningful part of their lives.

Benefit #3) Create an open line of communication.

Social media differs from many other digital marketing platforms in that it opens the door for two-way communication. Not only can supporters like, comment, and share your nonprofit’s posts, but your nonprofit can do the same!

Through your nonprofit’s profiles, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Respond to and like their comments on your organization’s posts
  • Like, share, or comment on anything they post about your cause
  • Direct message them when relevant

This level of communication makes it convenient for them to stay in contact with your team and fold your cause into their everyday lives.

Benefit #4) Guide your omnichannel marketing strategy.

For one, a social media append gives you another outlet to communicate with supporters. However, you can also leverage the information you gather to inform your outreach on other platforms and make sure you’re delivering a consistent brand experience across multiple channels.

The benefits of social media appending run deeper than simply learning about supporters and asking them to follow your nonprofit online. Get creative with how you leverage your social media append results! Your services provider may also have a few ideas, so you can make the most of the information they provide you.

Benefit #5) Re-engage lapsed supporters.

A person’s social media profile gives you insight into who they are and how their values have changed over time.

If your marketing team wants to learn why someone stopped donating or volunteering with your nonprofit, take a look at their posts and the pages they engage with online. You might be able to pinpoint why they lapsed and find opportunities to connect with them based on their current interests.

Let's walk through different platforms you might append social media profiles for.

Types of Social Media Appends

Here's an overview of different platforms for which you might append social media information.

You might have an idea of which platforms are most important to your cause, but if not, it’s worth considering early on alongside your marketing team.

Depending on the social media appending services you turn to, there are different sites you might pull supporters’ information from, such as:

  • Facebook: Considering this is the most widely-used platform, you’ll likely want to append social media profiles for Facebook. Great for connecting with your boomer and millennial audiences, this platform lends itself well to local marketing and relationship building. You’ll be able to easily share photos, post links to your nonprofit’s website, post long-form posts, and livestream to your supporters.
  • Instagram: Particularly popular among Gen Z and Millennials, Instagram is a fantastic place to share photos with supporters, conduct polls on your Story, and tap into both eCommerce and organic engagement.
  • Twitter: Great for connecting with people between the ages of 25 and 49, you might want to append social media profiles for Twitter if your nonprofit often has news stories to share, wants to engage in discussions with supporters, or has a more playful voice.
  • LinkedIn: If you want to tap into more of a professional audience, consider social media appends for LinkedIn. This platform is great for learning about supporters’ professional backgrounds, identifying corporate giving opportunities, and sharing long-form content about your nonprofit’s work.
  • TikTok: Most popular among Gen Z, TikTok is great for nonprofits that want to entertain their audiences, share inspirational stories, and call attention to pressing issues that require a community to get behind.
  • Snapchat: This platform is most popular among teenagers and younger millennials. If you have a younger audience, consider social media appends for Snapchat! However, bear in mind that this platform lends itself more to paid and location-based advertising rather than organic engagement.

Before you start locating supporters online, you’ll want to determine which platforms are most important to your cause based on your target audiences. Then, find a services provider that will append profiles on those sites for you!

For instance, you may online want to append data for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In that case, you won’t have a bunch of extraneous information since that’ll only clutter your CRM. You’ll instead only append and only pay for the data you need, helping to maintain good data hygiene.

Here's how the social media append process works.

How Social Media Appending Services Work

When it comes to finding your supporters on social media, your best bet is to turn to professional social media appending services. Expert services are much more reliable than appending the data yourself or using a generic database you find online!

A professional team will help you identify only relevant accounts for your contacts and remove the ones that aren’t useful or are fake.

When you partner with a data append team, here’s how you can expect the process to go:

This graphic outlines the social profile appending process.

  1. You provide the existing data you have to your social media append team. This might include full names, email addresses, past social media usernames, or any other information that will help them identify the correct people’s profiles.
  2. They search their database of consumer and business contacts for your constituents. Often, this can be done by simply entering people’s names or email addresses. This helps them find profiles associated with that information.
  3. They return the appended social media profiles to your team. They’ll let you know whether they found a profile associated with each constituent and what their username is. They may even import the data into your nonprofit’s CRM for you.

It’s that simple! While NPOInfo doesn’t offer social media appends, we’re happy to match you with one of our partners in the data enrichment space.

As we mentioned, we also offer plenty of other data append services that will pair well with your social media strategies. Whether you’re looking to append email addresses, postal addresses, dates of birth, or phone numbers, we offer services that can take your multichannel marketing strategies to the next level!

Reach out to chat about our data enrichment services and how we can help you strengthen your customer profiles with insightful data.

Explore these additional resources to keep learning about data management beyond social media appends.

Additional Data Enrichment Resources

Social media is an incredibly powerful resource for learning about who your supporters are, why they support your cause, and how you can re-engage anyone who’s losing interest in your work.

If you want to more intentionally incorporate social media into your nonprofit’s marketing, social media appends will help you do exactly that! Turn to professional services to find your supporters online and reel them into your cause.

If you want to keep learning about data-driven strategies, the NPOInfo team is here to teach you all about effective data management! Get started by checking out these educational guides:

Get a free quote for NPOInfo's social media appending services.

Learn about demographic appends with this ultimate guide.

Demographic Appends: Stewarding Relationships Through Data

When it comes to marketing, you need to know who your prospects are and what inspires them to support your cause, so you can send tailored outreach that encourages them to get and stay involved. Demographic appends can help you do exactly that!

Demographic information is a powerful way to learn about your supporters’ backgrounds, especially when paired with other details.

From filling out donation forms to registering to volunteer, supporters share information at every corner. While you’ll naturally gather supporter data throughout their relationship with your organization, there’s much more you can do to ensure you have the complete picture just by appending demographic data.

With the right provider, a demographic append is the most reliable way to fill in any gaps in supporters’ profiles. That way, you can send targeted asks and promote the right opportunities at the right time to maximize their support. This guide will cover everything you need to know to append demographic data for your nonprofit, including:

At NPOInfo, we believe that having the correct data will help you communicate using your organization’s unique voice and truly connect with your audience. We help nonprofits accomplish this through data appending, so we’re equipped and excited to teach nonprofit marketers like yourself how to leverage the opportunity.

If you’re ready to go beyond generic appeals, let’s dive in and explore the wonderful world of demographic appends!

Get a free quote for NPOInfo's demographic appending services.

Let's answer some frequently asked questions about demographic appends.

Demographic Appends FAQ

Before you consider using demographic append services, you should understand the basics of the process. If data appends are a new subject for you, let’s answer some common questions you might have before finding the right data enrichment service.

What is a demographic append?

Demographic appending is a service that pulls essential background information on your supporters, so you can build successful and highly-targeted marketing campaigns. You provide basic information like each supporter’s name, address, phone number, and other defining elements. Then, your service provider will use this information to identify the individual in their database and fill in any missing details in your CRM.

Standard demographic data you can append includes:

  • Age and Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Ethnicity
  • Marital Status
  • Familial Information
  • Education Information

Demographic appending pulls essential background information on supporters.
Combined with other data, a demographic append helps you create a highly-detailed profile for each constituent, allowing you to customize their experience in ways that other nonprofits won’t be able to replicate.

How much does it cost to append demographic data?

The price of demographic append services depends on the provider you use and the number of constituents for whom you’re appending data. Prices vary considerably between providers, but you’ll likely have to spend slightly more for better-quality data.

While it can be tempting to go with the cheapest option available, it’s worth spending a little extra for access to a more comprehensive and reliable database of demographic information.

To chat about pricing for our demographic append services, contact our team for a free quote! We’ll ask you to provide some information like the types of data appends you’re interested in and how many constituent records you’d like us to append. From there, you can decide whether your custom quote makes sense for your nonprofit’s budget!

How long does a demographic append take?

Similar to pricing, the time it takes to append demographic data depends on your service provider and the number of records you’re appending. You’ll usually receive results pretty quickly, but your turnaround time will also depend on how thorough the provider’s checking process is.

How can I increase the accuracy of my demographic append results?

Provide as much identifying information about your supporters as possible. This data might include full names, postal addresses, contact information, and education level. The more details you provide, the easier it’ll be to verify that you’ve found the correct individual’s information.

Moreover, you’ll also want to consider the quality of the demographic append services provider you choose. Those with a more reliable and complete database will increase the accuracy of your results.

What types of demographic data can you append?

You can pull a wide range of demographic information for each of your constituents. We gave a brief overview earlier, but there are plenty of other background details you can pull for your supporters.

To give you a sense of how they might play into your strategies, here are just some demographics that you can pull:

  • Net worth
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity and race
  • Income
  • Marital Status
  • Presence of Children
  • Religion
  • Lifestyle attributes such as hobbies, interests, and occupations
  • Buying behaviors such as online product purchases and online gift registries

These are the most common demographics that nonprofits append.

Remember that the data points your team will find most useful depend on your organization’s needs and strategies.

For instance, advocacy organizations may want to verify that people are of voting age or have particular political views to ensure they’re sending the right advocacy opportunities. On the other hand, an organization that wants to expand its fundraising may want to group donors based on their income levels to send more targeted asks.

Appending demographic data offers plenty of benefits for nonprofits.

Why You Should Append Demographic Data

Demographic appends can help enhance your constituent data, tailor your marketing capabilities, and take your relationships with supporters and prospects to the next level.

If you’re considering appending demographic data but aren’t sure whether it will truly benefit your organization, here’s how the process can impact your organization beyond simply filling in missing fields in your CRM:

  • Create detailed buyer personas: Create a holistic picture of each supporter and identify common trends between groups. That way, you can create buyer personas based on different types of supporters to understand what drives people with specific attributes to get involved in your cause.
  • Shape content strategy: Knowing specific characteristics allows you to deliver relevant content and appeals to supporters, rather than sending generic outreach to your entire constituent database. For instance, donors who have lower incomes likely wouldn’t be good candidates for major giving. Or, if you have a volunteer opportunity that benefits a particular area in your community, you might target former residents.
  • Increase marketing ROI: When you have the necessary information to create targeted marketing opportunities, your marketing team will spend fewer resources creating generic appeals that don’t yield results. Instead, they’ll be able to create highly targeted outreach based on specific characteristics of different constituent segments.
  • Identify intent opportunities: Based on the buyer personas you create using appended demographic data, you can see if anyone in your database might be an excellent fit to upgrade their support. For instance, maybe family-oriented individuals commonly participate in 5Ks and other events that welcome younger audiences. Predicting this behavior will allow your team to nudge the right opportunities to the right supporters.

A demographic append can be incredibly impactful for your cause. Best of all, the right service provider can ensure you receive the most accurate, complete data in a timely manner, so you can start experiencing these benefits as soon as possible.

The demographic append process is straightforward.

The Demographic Append Process

Like any data append, appending demographic data is incredibly straightforward. You just need a knowledgeable provider who leverages a comprehensive database and has a reasonable turnaround time.

After finding a reliable demographic append services provider, here’s what you can expect from the process:

This chart outlines the process for a demographic append.

  1. You share a list of constituents’ names, postal addresses, emails, and other identifying characteristics with your service provider.
  2. The service provider searches their database for any missing demographic details for supporters.
  3. They’ll add missing demographic information and replace any inaccurate data.
  4. After a thorough verification process, they’ll return your constituents’ data with the appended demographic information.

If you turn to a full-service data appends provider like NPOInfo, they may also offer other services like phone numbers, postal addresses, and employer appends. That way, you can verify all existing details and fill in any missing gaps all at once, rather than turning to different providers for different services.

To run an append without a demographic append services provider, you’ll need to pay for access to your own database of demographics. You’ll need to find software that will extract the information for you. However, this isn’t as reliable as having an experienced provider who can manually verify each constituent’s demographic information and deliver the details you need.

Getting started with demographic append services is easy.

How to Get Started with Demographic Append Services

The experts here at NPOInfo strive to make demographic appends (along with other data appends) as seamless as possible for organizations!

Plus, we work exclusively with nonprofit organizations, so we understand the specific data types you need to push your mission forward. That way, the appended data won’t clutter your CRM with unnecessary details.

When you rely on NPOInfo for your demographic append needs, here’s what you can expect:

Here's an overview of NPOInfo's demographic append services.

  1. Select the data append services you need. To help you make the most of your marketing efforts, we offer a range of data appends beyond demographic appends. Let us know which data you’d like appended: phone number, emails, employer information, or postal addresses.
  2. Receive a custom quote. We’ll tell you how much our data append services will cost based on the number of records you’d like appended and the types of data you’d like us to append.
  3. Send us your constituent records. We’ll let you know what information we need, like constituents’ names, contact information, and so on. Ideally, the more details you can provide us, the better. That way, we can verify that we’re pulling information on the right individual.
  4. Wait while we conduct the data append. Our experts will conduct a thorough verification process to ensure we provide you with the correct demographic information.
  5. Receive your appended demographic data. We’ll return your information to you in an easily understandable format. We’ll let you know if we found any additional demographic information, what those details are, and how confident we are that we found the correct information. If you have any questions, our experts will be happy to answer them. We can even help you import the information into your CRM.

That’s all there is to it! We’ll set you up with all the correct demographic information. That way, you can drive deeper connections with supporters and boost your marketing ROI in no time.

Ready to get to know your supporters better so you can launch your mission forward? Reach out for a free custom quote! All you need to do is share a few details, such as how many profiles you’d like to append and whether you’d like us to append any other data for you!

Check out these great additional resources for data management beyond demographic appending.

Additional Data Enrichment Resources

Your constituents are unique, and to cultivate genuine relationships with them, you need to treat them as individuals. That means going beyond speaking to them using the same generic voice. A demographic append is a reliable way to understand what messages they actually want to receive from your team.

Knowing everything from constituents’ ages to their income levels allows you to send relevant appeals and keep everyone connected to your work. Remember, NPOInfo is here to help fulfill your demographic appending needs! Reach out for a free quote to start gathering meaningful information that will take your cause to the next level.

If you’re striving to continue improving your data management strategies, there are plenty of helpful resources out there. To help, check out this list of helpful resources we’ve put together:

Get a free quote and elevate your nonprofit marketing with demographic append services.