Explore the fundamentals about donor cultivation in this comprehensive guide.

Donor Cultivation 101: How to Build Lasting Relationships

Your nonprofit works day in and day out to bring its mission to life. A big part of that is inspiring supporters to donate, attend events, and volunteer for your cause. Although, it doesn’t stop there. From there, you have to steward them and inspire them to stick around for the long term. As a fundraiser, you need to know the donor cultivation cycle inside and out, including everything from locating prospects to inspiring them to continue giving.

At NPOInfo, we understand the importance of establishing relationships and then effectively leveraging donor data to fuel those connections. We know it takes a lot of patience and persistence. For new and seasoned professionals alike, cultivating donors can be challenging. After all, every donor is different!

Our goal with this guide is to demystify the process, so you can build genuine relationships that last. To help, here’s what we’ll cover:

Your prospects and current supporters deserve a positive experience with your organization. Taking steps to establish and steward lasting relationships will go a long way in building a sustainable future for your nonprofit. Let’s dive in.

Get a quote for our data append services to cultivate donor relationships.

Let's explore the basics of donor cultivation.

Donor Cultivation FAQ

Before diving into the nitty-gritty details of the donor cultivation cycle, let’s explore the fundamentals of what cultivation is and why it’s vital to your everyday work. That way, you’ll have the foundational knowledge you need to craft a comprehensive plan.

What Is Donor Cultivation?

Donor cultivation is the process of establishing and strengthening relationships with prospective and current donors over time. The term describes how you identify potential donors, inspire them to give, and steward meaningful relationships with them.

Effective cultivation involves a range of activities, including personalized communication, effective donor recognition, engaging events, and volunteerism. Every stage of the cycle is fueled by insightful data your nonprofit collects, such as donors’ wealth capacities, giving histories, and contact information.

The ultimate goal of donor cultivation is to create a sustainable base of loyal donors who support the organization’s overall mission and goals.

What Are The Goals of Donor Cultivation?

While each nonprofit pursues a different mission, every organization’s reason for cultivating donors remains the same: they want to establish and deepen relationships with those who believe in their cause.

Let’s break down that overarching objective into a few key goals:

  • Engage donors: The cultivation process helps create engagement opportunities that encourage interaction with your organization to learn more about your mission, programs, and impact.
  • Build trust: Your donor cultivation efforts will build rapport with donors when you demonstrate your organization’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and responsible stewardship of donations.
  • Retain donors: Effective cultivation means you can retain donors and inspire them to stay engaged in your activities. The cycle involves maintaining regular communication and recognizing their contributions.
  • Boost donor lifetime value: As fundraisers, we all know that donor attrition can be costly. Instead of letting new donors churn, following the donor cultivation cycle religiously will allow you to inspire donors to stick around. By convincing them to give again and give large gifts over time, you’ll increase their lifetime value.

The core goals of donor cultivation include engaging donors, building trust, retaining support, and boosting donor lifetime value.

Overall, thoughtful donor cultivation means you can establish a reliable foundation of support.

How Long Does The Donor Cultivation Cycle Take?

The length of donor cultivation varies depending on your organization’s goals, each donor’s interests, and the level of engagement.

Donor cultivation can take several months or years based on these facts. Know that it’s an ongoing process, so donor cultivation never really “ends.” It’s essential to understand that cultivating strong relationships with supporters is a long-term investment that requires patience, commitment, and consistency.

What’s The Difference Between Donor Cultivation and Solicitation?

Donor cultivation is the process of building relationships with potential donors, while solicitation is the direct request for a donation. Cultivation precedes solicitation and focuses on engagement, education, and relationship-building, while solicitation is the ask for a gift.

Think of cultivation as the fun stage where you get to personally know your donors and what drives them to give. Once you understand their motivations and gain their trust, you can make a tailored ask based on their needs.

Let's dive into the donor cultivation cycle.

Breaking Down the Donor Cultivation Cycle

As professional fundraisers, we’re always chasing the coveted “golden” donation. Even once someone donates, we must continue building relationships and maintaining trust. That often means repeating stages, which turns donor cultivation into a cycle. We’ll break the donor cultivation into 5 steps.

It’s important to note that the cycle is ongoing, and donors can move in and out of each step depending on their interests and engagement level. To properly cultivate donors, your organization should continuously assess where each individual is in the cycle and adjust engagement strategies accordingly.

This graphic breaks down the donor cultivation cycle into 5 steps.

Step 1) Identification

The first step in the donor cultivation cycle is to identify potential donors. This stage requires finding people who have the capacity and interest to support your cause.

To create a list of prospects, consider everyone in your network who might support your mission. They might support your work via volunteering or some other method. You can also assess board members’ and donors’ networks to generate this list.

Step 2) Research and Qualification

Once potential donors are identified, your organization qualifies them by assessing their giving capacity, philanthropic interests, and likelihood of supporting the organization. This step in the donor cultivation cycle helps you prioritize which donors to engage with more deeply.

Heavily dependent on thorough prospect research, this stage allows you to determine whether the prospects you’ve identified will be high-capacity donors for your mission. Donorly’s prospect research guide explains you should look into two types of data during this stage:

  1. Capacity (wealth) markers: These data points indicate a donor’s financial position and help predict whether they’d be a high-capacity donor for your nonprofit. Examples of capacity markers include real estate ownership, stock holdings, and business affiliations.
  2. Affinity (warmth) markers:  These data points show whether a donor might be interested in supporting your mission based on their experiences or values. Examples of affinity markers include political involvement, and demographics.

If you find that you’re missing any of this information, that’s a strong indication that you should conduct a data append. You’ll be able to fill in information that’s inaccurate or missing from your CRM, whether you need to append demographic details, wealth indicators, or contact information. Doing so will help you paint a complete picture for each prospect.

Step 3) Cultivation

Here comes the fun part: getting to know your prospects! This step in the donor cultivation cycle is where you begin forming a relationship with each potential donor. This might involve activities like:

  • Sending personalized communications that appeal to their interests
  • Inviting them to your nonprofit’s events or tours
  • Promote volunteer opportunities

The goal of this stage is to educate the prospective donor about your nonprofit’s mission, programs, and impact. To cultivate donors, you’ll need to use this stage to build trust and rapport, positioning your organization as trustworthy and impactful.

Step 4) Solicitation

Once you’ve sufficiently cultivated a relationship with a prospect, it’s time to make a direct ask for a gift.

This may involve making a face-to-face request, sending a fundraising letter or email, or making an online appeal. It all depends on the individual’s communication preferences.

In any case, the solicitation should be personalized and aligned with the donor’s interests and giving capacity. Take a look at the philanthropic and wealth indicators you found during the research stage. Then, tailor your ask to fit their budget and appeal to what draws them toward your organization.

Step 5) Stewardship

You’ve successfully acquired a donation. Wonderful! The work isn’t done yet. After all, it is a donor cultivation cycle.

After receiving a gift, your nonprofit should engage in stewardship activities, including:

  • Thanking the donor with a personalized thank-you email, handwritten letter, or a gift for impactful donations
  • Acknowledging their gift’s impact on your beneficiaries
  • Reporting back on how the funds were used to further your mission

One of the biggest considerations in your cycle is how you’ll sufficiently steward donors since this directly impacts retention. The key is timely, consistent, and genuine communication. After all, they clearly already believe in your mission.

Even after you steward donors, you’ll need to enter them back into the donor cultivation cycle, so you can upgrade them. Over time, you’ll strengthen your financial stability and build a reliable base of donors.

Explore some of the best donor cultivation strategies that will launch your relationships forward.

5 Donor Cultivation Strategies

While understanding the general donor cultivation cycle is certainly helpful, you need some concrete strategies that tailor your plan to your audience. Let’s walk through five of our favorite ideas.

This graphic outlines some of our favorite donor cultivation strategies, like eCards and data appending.

1. Offer Unique Fundraising Opportunities.

One of the keys to inspiring donations is to offer unique fundraising opportunities. Our favorite option is donation eCards. Everyone loves receiving a greeting card, even more so when the proceeds go to a good cause!

You can create eCards branded to your mission that donors can send to their loved ones, either letting them know they gave in their name or challenging them to donate too.

Alternatively, create cards for special occasions that anyone can buy. That way, you can help supporters celebrate birthdays, say thanks to their loved ones, or send well wishes with holiday donation cards.

Sell fundraising eCards like this one to cultivate donors and inspire them to donate.

Then, you have a few ways to sell them to donors. Fundraising Letters’ charity eCards guide explains you can offer them in three ways:

  1. Use eCards as integrated donation forms. Add eCards directly to your site’s donation process. With this approach, a donor selects their preferred eCard, chooses a donation amount, adds the recipient’s contact information, and supplies their payment details.
  2. Sell eCards as fundraising products. If you have an online fundraising store, add your eCards and sell them for fixed rates. Donors can browse your collection, personalize the eCards, and send them to loved ones.
  3. Add eCards to your donation confirmation page. Embed your eCards into your giving confirmation page. While you can promote the reward before someone donates, it can be a fun surprise if a donor doesn’t know they can send an eCard until it pops up on the confirmation page.

The key to this donor cultivation strategy is to leverage a strong eCard creation platform. We recommend eCardWidget for its user-friendly design tools and fundraising features. The platform makes it incredibly easy to sell digital greeting cards for your cause. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to incentivize donors to give (and keep giving)!

If you're looking for unique fundraising and donor cultivation strategies, create and sell eCards to donors.

2. Ensure You Have Updated Donor Data.

Your donor data is crucial to the donor cultivation cycle. Beyond your initial research, you’ll need to maintain sufficient data to ensure your communications are delivered and based on accurate information.

Common donor data we recommend consistently monitoring include:

Proper donor cultivation requires robust supporter profiles with accurate data.

  • Contact information: Consistently update postal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Accurate contact details are essential for effective communication and engagement. Otherwise, your messages will go undelivered.
  • Giving history: Track donors’ giving history, including the amount, frequency, and date of their donations. You can then use this data to identify giving patterns and generate targeted fundraising appeals.
  • Demographic information: Collect demographic information about donors, such as age, gender, and income. Knowing this information will allow you to craft appeals tailored to their budgets and programmatic interests.
  • Donor preferences: Your nonprofit should track donors’ interests, values, and philanthropic preferences. Knowing this information can help tailor engagement efforts to each donor’s individual needs and build a deeper relationship.

Note that data appends can help you acquire any missing or outdated information in your CRM. Essentially, this process involves cross-checking the information you have with an external comprehensive database to ensure you have the right information.

Invest in your donor cultivation strategies by getting a quote for our data append services.

3. Maximize Impact With Matching Gifts.

One simple yet highly effective way to cultivate donors is with corporate matching gifts. As a form of corporate philanthropy, matching gifts multiply the gifts your donors give. If their employer offers one of these programs, their donation to your nonprofit might be eligible to be matched, effectively doubling their contribution.

Double the Donation’s donation matching guide explains that there are a few key times to promote corporate giving during the donor cultivation cycle:

  • During the donation process: Donating is when engagement is at its pique. Share information about donation matching by adding a snippet about it on your donation form and adding an employer research tool to your confirmation page.
  • Throughout your website: Prospective and current donors alike will turn to your website for updated information about your cause. No matter where they are in the donor cultivation cycle, encourage them to check their eligibility. You can also design a page devoted to explaining matching gifts.
  • Across communications: Donor cultivation requires open communication. From your social media posts to your monthly newsletter, mention donation matching whenever you can!

Regardless of timing, promoting matching gifts is great for inspiring initial donations and encouraging donors to take their existing donations further.

Make sure you have accurate employer information for your donors, so you can follow up with match-eligible supporters and cultivate lasting relationships. Learn more about this process with our guide to employer appends for nonprofits.

4. Proactively Thank Your Donors.

Showing appreciation is crucial for inspiring donors to stick around. When you treat your existing donors with respect, the word will get around to prospective ones as well.

Make supporters feel valued by consistently recognizing their generosity. Here are a few donor recognition ideas that work for any organization:

  • Thank-you eCards. While great for fundraising, eCards are also a fantastic recognition strategy. Sending a personalized eCard can help communicate that individual donors are valued and appreciated. Create one or two thank-you card designs you can send whenever someone gives. Then, personalize the message sent with each eCard with the donor’s name, giving amount, and a message from your team.
  • Donor gifts. From branded merchandise to full-out donor appreciation events, gifts can help cultivate relationships with existing donors. Re:Charity’s guide to donor gifts recommends picking gifts based on donation tiers. After all, donors entrust you because they respect your ability to spend fundraising revenue properly. For example, a personalized eCard is great for someone who gives $25, while a gift basket is more appropriate for someone who gives $1,000.
  • Impact reports. Creating an impact report that highlights the organization’s accomplishments and the impact of donors’ support can be a powerful way to show appreciation and cultivate donors. Within your report, include statistics, stories, and testimonials that demonstrate the organization’s success thanks to donors.

Beyond post-donation, reaching out during other times of the year lets donors know you’re thinking about them. Connect with them during the holidays and other special occasions to reiterate your gratitude for their continued support. Remember, timely and consistent communication is key for effective donor cultivation.

5. Encourage Other Forms of Engagement.

When it comes to donor cultivation, other forms of engagement outside of donating can be just as meaningful. A couple of ways that can help you build meaningful donor relationships include:

  • Volunteerism: Sharing volunteer opportunities can be an effective way to grow support. Volunteerism allows donors to engage with the organization on the ground level and provides opportunities for them to use their skills and expertise to support the cause.
  • Events: Build a sense of community around your cause by hosting regular events and inviting committed supporters. Hosting events such as tours, volunteer events, or donor appreciation events can help donors feel more connected to your work. Events provide opportunities for donors to meet staff, learn more about your work, and see the impact of their support firsthand.

Overall, getting donors involved in other areas of your organization can help them understand why financial support is so crucial. Plus, they’ll see that your nonprofit views them as more than a funding opportunity.

Check out these resources related to donor cultivation.

Final Thoughts on Donor Cultivation

Effective donor cultivation looks different for every organization. Beyond understanding the fundamentals of the cycle, your nonprofit will thrive by experimenting with different strategies like thank-you eCards and data appending.

Remember, the cycle is an ongoing process. It never truly ends. Rather, you need to re-enter donors into the cycle every time they give, so you can maintain those relationships and upgrade their support.

As you refine your donor cultivation strategies, check out these additional resources:

Leverage our data append services to build your donor profiles and cultivate donor relationships.

5 Digital Marketing Metrics All Nonprofits Should Track

Whether your nonprofit is putting tons of time and resources into digital marketing or just dipping your toes into more than email, one thing is for sure: you need a method of measuring your results so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

For many nonprofits, it’s challenging to be strategic about digital marketing. With many channels — sometimes overseen by different people — it’s not unusual to create content and messages but not really have a cohesive understanding of how any of it’s performing. We’ll break down how to gain that understanding by tracking the right marketing metrics.

The Key to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your digital marketing strategy likely involves several channels, including:

  • Your website
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Ads
  • Mobile marketing
  • Online fundraising campaigns, such as peer-to-peer platforms

The key to developing a strategy that accurately measures the performance of all of these channels is in your data. But what exactly should you be looking at? 

Tracking key digital marketing metrics is the first step to making sense of how your initiatives are going, where you need to adjust, and where there’s room to grow. Tracking is not a strategy in and of itself. You still need to analyze your data to get the most out of it. But before you can try an experiment or make data-informed decisions, you need to measure what’s going on. 

Metrics can give you a baseline to compare your results, help you see where things are flourishing (or going awry!), and help you measure your progress over time. 

Think Before You Track

While you can track many different metrics, not all of them will give you the information you need to make decisions. Scrupulously counting up the likes on each individual social media post may not be as useful as monitoring how many people who click through on social posts make a donation, for example. The metrics you track should help you adjust and refine your strategy and help you reach your goals.  

In order to know what you should track, it’s helpful to first consider what those goals are. What are you trying to accomplish with your digital marketing? Some possible goals for your digital marketing include:

  • Raising more awareness of your cause.
  • Raising more money.
  • Attracting new donors.
  • Recruiting more volunteers.
  • Promoting an event.

Once you’ve chosen your goals, consider how the metrics you track relate to them. What do you need to know in order to understand whether or not you’re making progress?

The 5 Digital Marketing Metrics To Track

These five metrics are not the only possible things you can track, but they’re a great place to start. 

1. Conversion Rate

How many people take action and make a donation in response to your marketing? Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who “convert” from people who received a marketing message into people who make donations. You calculate it by dividing the number of action-takers by the total audience, then turning that number into a percentage.

For example, if you send a fundraising email to 6,000 people and 200 of them click on the donate button and make a gift, your conversion rate would be approximately 3%.

200/600 = .03 

.03 x 100 = 3%

You can compare your conversion rate to past performance or industry benchmarks to see if your communications are inspiring people to take action.

2. Cost To Raise A Dollar

How much are you spending on digital marketing initiatives? Is it worth it? Keeping an eye on how much it costs to raise a dollar can help you see how efficient and effective your fundraising is.

To calculate the cost to raise a dollar, divide your fundraising expenses by the total funds raised. So if you spend $5,000 on a campaign that raises $20,000, your cost to raise a dollar would be 25 cents. 

5,000/20,000 = .25

If you discovered you spent $15,000 to raise $20,000, your cost to raise a dollar would be 75 cents. At that point, you might want to start tweaking some things. The big exception is if the thing you’re analyzing is a new donor acquisition campaign, in which the initial cost to raise a dollar is high. These campaigns are run in the hopes that first-time donors will become sustaining supporters with a greater donor lifetime value than the first gift alone.

3. Click-Through Rate

How often do people who see your ads, read your emails, or see your social posts actually click on a link? Your click-through rate is a good metric for assessing how engaged your audience is and how well your content is performing. 

You calculate your click-through rate by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times the content was shown or the number of people who received the communication (impressions). If your Google or Microsoft Ad was shown 1,000 times, and 100 people clicked on it, you’d have a 10% click-through rate. 

100/1000 = .1

.1 x 100 = 10%

Once again, you can compare your results to your past performance or to existing benchmarks to get a sense of whether or not people are engaging with your marketing. Click-through rate is different from conversion rate, however, in that it only measures if audience members click on a link, not if they complete the action you suggested. 

4. Total Online Revenue

This one is very simple: how much money are you raising through digital channels? Is that number growing or shrinking? How do this year’s results compare to last year’s? Is one quarter out-performing others? 

When you know how much you raise online, you can identify where you can expand your digital marketing and put additional resources. 

5. Email Response Rates

With changes in Operating Systems and privacy settings, email metrics continue to evolve. Click-through rate and conversion rates are important, but consider tracking your email response rates, too. Your response rate is simply the percentage of people who responded to your email, compared to the number of emails delivered. If they filled out a survey, answered a question, or wrote back to you, they responded. 

For instance, imagine you sent a post-event survey to donors who attended your event. If it was delivered to 5,000 people and 500 people completed the survey, you’d have a healthy 10% response rate.

500/5,000 = .01

.01 x 100 = 10%

You can use your response rate to discover how engaged your audience is, and if that engagement changes over time or in response to different things. If you find that you get a 10% response rate when you send a survey, but a 15% response rate if you send an informal email asking a single question, you may decide to take a break from surveys. If you notice your response rate increases when you change email formats or include a personalized greeting, these insights can help you engage your audience better.

Let Metrics Be Your Guide

If you haven’t tracked metrics before, you don’t have to start doing everything at once. Consider your goals and pick a couple of metrics that will help you understand how you’re progressing toward them. Track those over time and share them with your team. As you get comfortable with those, you can add more. 

Metrics help you make data-driven decisions, which in turn help you get better results. Start tracking, so you can start growing today! 

These four tips will help your nonprofit organize its data this spring.

Spring Cleaning: 4 Tips to Organize Your Nonprofit’s Data

Spring cleaning means out with the old and in with the new. Your nonprofit should take advantage of this time to move away from poor data hygiene practices and introduce new data procedures that keep your database healthy and useful. 

Disorganized data isn’t just confusing to look at—it can also cost your organization time and resources. You may accidentally craft plans around inaccurate information or inadvertently create a poor donor experience based on outdated data. 

You need to be able to rely on your data to make informed decisions and strategic goals for your campaigns and appeals. Whether you’re planning your next online fundraising campaign or developing a major donor outreach strategy, referencing clean data allows you to be confident in your decisions. 

We’ll review these four tips to help you develop a better data hygiene strategy: 

  1. Audit and clean your database regularly.
  2. Enrich your data as needed.
  3. Establish consistent data entry procedures.
  4. Stop unnecessary data from clogging your database.

Establishing a clear data hygiene strategy now can help you avoid major data cleanups in the future. By maintaining good data habits all year round, you can avoid stressful spring cleaning situations and plan more successful campaigns. 

1. Audit and clean your database regularly.

The first step in improving your data hygiene is to understand where your nonprofit currently stands. 

Your nonprofit likely uses a donor management system to store and track supporter information. Audit your donor database regularly to identify irregularities, gaps, and other areas for improvement. 

AccuData’s data hygiene guide recommends taking the following measures: 

  • Identify and eliminate inaccurate or duplicate data. Inaccurate information, whether name misspellings or incorrect contact information, should be eliminated or updated to avoid future confusion. On the other hand, duplicate data can sometimes result from data being entered in slightly different ways. Identify duplicate entries, combine them as needed, and remove the unnecessary copies. 
  • Analyze outdated data and determine whether it’s necessary to continue storing that information. Do you need to continue storing donors’ fax information or their Myspace usernames? Probably not. Identify any outdated information in your database and consider its usefulness for your future campaigns and appeals. 
  • Identify gaps in your database. Are some of your donor records lacking important information, such as donors’ email addresses or phone numbers? Identify missing data and determine whether it would be useful to add this information to your records. 

After your initial audit and cleanup, establish an ongoing data hygiene process. Create a maintenance schedule by determining how frequently you will refresh your data, whether monthly, quarterly, or some other frequency. Assign staff members to specific tasks within the process and plan regular check-ins to promote accountability. 

2. Enrich your data as needed.

As mentioned, you might identify gaps in your data during the auditing process. These gaps are opportunities to get to know your supporters better, allowing you to plan campaigns and appeals that reach them more effectively. 

You can enrich your data and add missing information by taking the following steps: 

  • Look for a donor database that conducts automatic data updates. For example, Bloomerang’s donor database runs nightly National Change of Address (NCOA) updates so you can stay updated on donors’ home address information. Finding a database with automatic updates means your team won’t have to spend time manually researching and refreshing these data points. 
  • Consider whether you may benefit from third-party data appends. Data appending is the process of adding data to your database from external sources. You can append missing information such as donors’ email addresses, phone numbers, employer names, and social media profiles. This can be helpful if you’d like to get in touch with donors over a new platform or better understand their giving potential. 
  • Gather additional insight through donor satisfaction surveys. You may have certain things you’d like to learn about your donors that you can’t gather from appends or automatic updates. For instance, you may want to understand your donors’ preferred communication methods or frequency. Or, you might want to know whether they’d be interested in additional payment methods, like cryptocurrency or Venmo. You can gather this additional information by sending donor surveys and syncing the results into your database. 

Let’s review an example that illustrates the benefits of enriching your data. Perhaps you want to identify more major donor prospects to jumpstart your major gift fundraising efforts. You can conduct wealth screening by appending your current data with employment and financial information to determine who your top prospects are. This data could include business affiliations and stock and real estate ownership. 

Data appends help you build a more complete picture of your donor base, empowering you to identify top prospects and connect with donors on a more personal level. 

3. Establish consistent data entry procedures.

Consistency is essential to clean data. Creating standard data policies helps avoid duplicated data in the future. 

Develop a database manual for managing donor data. Include guidelines for inputting the following data types into your database: 

  • Addresses: Will you use the full word “street” or the abbreviation “St.”? Will you use the five-digit ZIP code or the ZIP+4 code? 
  • Name suffixes: Will you input “Junior” or “Jr.”? Will you spell Ph.D. with periods or without? 
  • Phone numbers: Will you use hyphens or parentheses around the area code for phone numbers? 

These considerations might seem nit-picky, but creating guidelines for your team to follow will save plenty of data headaches down the road. 

4. Stop unnecessary data from clogging your database.

The best way to avoid unnecessary data clutter is to stop collecting the information in the first place. 

For example, consider eliminating unnecessary questions from your online donation page. This creates a more streamlined, faster giving process for donors and helps your team avoid having unnecessary data overwhelming your system. 

Identify the information that is most essential to your internal records, and eliminate any questions that lead to superfluous data. 

Along with your online donation page, review other data sources like your events, direct mail, donor meetings, and phone calls. Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are you getting the data you need from these sources? 
  • Are you getting too much unnecessary data from any source? 
  • Are your staff members properly trained on what type of data they should be collecting from these sources and how they should be inputting it? 

Meet with your nonprofit’s team to review your data priorities and database manual to ensure everyone knows the data types that are most important for your strategies and how to input this information into your database. 

With these tips, your nonprofit should be able to create an effective data hygiene strategy this spring that serves your organization throughout the year. Clean data brings all kinds of benefits, from facilitating improved donor engagement to allowing you to plan more successful fundraising appeals. The effort you put into cleaning your database will pay off in the long run, so start your spring cleaning ASAP!


These five metrics will help you improve your nonprofit’s website.

Improving Your Website with Data: 5 Important Metrics

Your nonprofit collects data all the time, from supporters’ communication preferences to their giving habits, demographics, and more. You probably use this information to improve your fundraising and marketing campaigns to better appeal to supporters’ interests. Did you know you can also leverage your audience data to help redesign your website? 

Website data gathered from sources like Google Analytics, along with donor data from your nonprofit’s CRM, can be used to develop a website that speaks to your audience and drives engagement. We’ll review these five specific metrics that can help you design a better website: 

  1. Donation page metrics
  2. Demographic data 
  3. User behavior metrics
  4. Split testing results
  5. Traffic sources

You can gather and assess this information on your own, or turn to a nonprofit web design professional to help translate your data into actionable insights. Either way, using your data to make informed web design decisions will pay off in the long run when you can generate more online support. 

1. Donation page metrics

Your nonprofit’s online donation page is the tool that turns casual website visitors into supporters. Understanding where your donation page is succeeding and where it’s missing the mark can help you make informed design decisions that boost your online fundraising results. 

Here are a few of the most essential donation page metrics to keep an eye on: 

  • Click-through rate: This is the percentage of website visitors who click on the link to your online donation page. You can boost your click-through rate by developing more enticing calls to action (CTAs) or by featuring your giving page more prominently on your website’s homepage or main menu. 
  • Conversion rate: This metric measures the percentage of people who visit your online giving form and actually donate. To improve your conversion rate, Kanopi recommends emulating the top nonprofit websites by making the giving process as straightforward as possible. Keep the design simple and uncluttered, use a clear and consistent tone, and make the page mobile-friendly. 
  • Average online gift size: Compare this metric to your average gift size for other channels like direct mail. If your average online gift size is lower than expected, you can try to increase it by offering higher suggested donation amounts or giving donors the choice to cover additional processing fees. 

By using data to inform your donation page design strategy, you can increase online conversions and turn your website into a more effective fundraising channel. 

2. Demographic data 

Knowing more about your supporters’ backgrounds can help you design a website that resonates with them. When it comes to managing and tracking donor data, your CRM is your most powerful tool. Use your CRM to track demographics that are meaningful and applicable to your organization. Those could include: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Employment information
  • Education level

Consider this data when redesigning your website to better appeal to as many audience members as possible. For example, if you discover many donors work for companies that offer matching gift programs, you can better highlight matching gift opportunities across your website and online donation page. 

If your CRM is missing critical demographic information, you can conduct a demographic append to add extra details. A demographic append pulls information from third-party databases to help you fill gaps in your supporter information. 

3. Split testing results

Let’s say you’re looking to redesign your nonprofit website’s menu but you aren’t sure what type of navigation will work best for your audience. You may currently have a vertical sidebar menu but want to find out if horizontal navigation will work better. 

To determine the best path forward, you can carry out a split test (also known as an A/B test). You’ll create a new web page with a new URL that is identical to the original page but features a horizontal menu instead. Then, you’ll show both versions to similar audiences to gather feedback about which version performs better. 

Here is an example of what that A/B test might look like, with click-through rates shown for both menu options:

This image is an example of a split test, with a vertical navigation bar showing a 30% click-through rate and a horizontal navigation bar showing a 75% click-through rate.

In addition to your menu design, you can also conduct split testing for: 

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Calls to action (CTAs) 
  • Headers
  • Colors
  • Typography

You can assess practically any web design element with split testing to determine which options are more appealing to your audience. Through this evaluation, you can make informed decisions rather than acting on hunches. 

4. User behavior metrics

Different aspects of your website will naturally be more engaging than others, whether it’s your image slideshow, homepage video, or audience polls. You can determine exactly which page elements are most engaging by running a user behavior analysis. 

Using a website heatmap tool, you can understand how visitors engage with your website to determine opportunities for improvement and proactively identify user experience issues. 

Look into popular options like HotJar or explore the options available through your CMS. Drupal and WordPress both offer modules and plugins to conduct heatmap analysis in real-time.

Combine insights from a heatmap tool with Google Analytics to reveal the following metrics: 

  • Time on page. Determine how long visitors spend on each page before clicking away. 
  • Mouse tracking. See which buttons visitors click, how far they scroll down each page, and what areas of each page they ignore or engage with most. 
  • Direct user feedback via surveys. Incorporate website polls using feedback widgets to gather direct audience input. 

These user behavior metrics can help you collect data for your split tests, making it easier to determine the best path forward for your design choices. 

5. Traffic sources

Your website’s data can also reveal the success of your multichannel marketing efforts. By assessing your most popular traffic sources using Google Analytics, you can see which marketing channels drive the most cross-platform engagement. 

Google Analytics groups traffic sources into the following categories: 

  • Direct – typing your website’s URL into a browser
  • Referral – clicking a link on your website from another website
  • Social media – clicking a link to your website from a social media post
  • Email – clicking a link to your website from an email
  • Organic search – clicking a link to your website from a search engine
  • Paid search – clicking a link to your website from a paid search ad

Using this information, you can maximize your efforts on your most popular channels and build up your outreach on other important channels that are underperforming. 

For example, you might determine that your organic search traffic is thriving due to your robust SEO strategy, but your paid search ads could use some help. In this case, you might consider applying for a Google Ad Grant to support your paid search efforts. According to NXUnite’s Google Ad Grant guide, this program offers qualifying nonprofits $10,000 per month to spend on Google Ads, which are the paid search ads that appear at the top of search results pages. 

Develop a process for continually reviewing these metrics with your nonprofit’s team. Practice good data hygiene by keeping your donor database and reporting processes organized and consistent. This will allow you to adapt to new audience preferences or trends to continue improving your website and appealing to supporters’ interests. 


Data from your association event can improve future event planning.

6 Post-Event Data Metrics Every Association Should Leverage

Your association planned for months, coordinated with members and vendors, and the event was a hit! Even if an event goes according to plan, there are likely still areas of improvement. From enhancing attendance to increasing member satisfaction with the event to determining if you should use hybrid or virtual events, there are a plethora of data points to evaluate when it comes to planning your next event.

In this article we’ll discuss six post-event metrics your association can use to analyze event performance, make recommendations for the future, and maintain proper data hygiene.

1. Attendance Records

One of the best indications that an event started off strong is that all your registration spots were filled. A successful event begins far before the event day, when your association opens registration and begins promoting it. You’ll want to assess how quickly registration filled up and the time periods when the most registration forms were completed. This can give you some indication as to which marketing campaign strategies were most successful, as well as the time period when most people are willing to commit to an event. When thinking about general attendance records, be sure to compare your most recent data to previous events and years to evaluate if there are any overlapping patterns present.

You’ll also want to compare the number of registrants with the number of attendees, as this can help you plan for similar gaps in your future events and leave room for more attendees to register. Similarly, you’ll want to see if there was a drop off in attendance during multi-day events, or even session to session. This can help you determine if there are specific topics or speakers that attendees are more or less eager to engage with.

2. Membership attendance

Depending on the size and purpose of the event, it may have attracted industry peers outside of your association membership’s pool as well as current members. According to Fonteva’s member engagement guide, events can be key in getting members involved with your association, which is essential to improving retention rates.

While events are a great way to gain new members, current member attendance and satisfaction should be a key focus in your event analysis. Consider the following questions when assessing member event attendance:

  • What percentage of attendees were members?
  • How many members of your association registered?
  • What percentage of your total membership attended?
  • Was the event attended more by a specific group within your association?
  • Are there any common demographics or interest areas among members who did attend?
  • How many members registered but did not attend?

You can use your membership directory to send out post-event surveys specifically for members after the event. Tracking members’ feedback and implementing changes in response can boost retention rates by helping you cater to their interests, make events more engaging, and create a more positive member experience.

3. Satisfaction Rate

Within the satisfaction survey, vary the questions to give attendees an opportunity to express how they felt about the overall event. By leaving questions open-ended and avoiding leading questions, you’ll get more accurate responses and more useful data. Include short answers, multiple choice, yes/no, and scaled questions within the survey.

Here are some examples of questions to ask attendees about your event:

  • How do you rate your experience at this event on a scale of 1-10?
  • Would you recommend this event to a friend or colleague?
  • Was this event what you expected? Why or why not?
  • Which sessions or speakers stood out to you?
  • Was there anything you felt was missing from this event?

While asking questions can provide valuable feedback for your association, keep the survey relatively short to encourage more responses. This survey is also a helpful way to confirm you have attendee contact information correct in case there are any contact appends needed for your member directory. In addition to sending association members a post-event survey, you can also create separate surveys for registrants who did not attend to determine if there is a common factor in the lack of attendance.

4. Session analytics

Events are a valuable opportunity for association members to engage with fellow professionals in their field, learn from industry leaders, and get involved with your association’s programs. To continue providing these valuable experiences, it’s important to ascertain what parts of events members find most appealing and helpful.

If you’ve hosted a virtual or hybrid event, look at how many individuals tuned in to a keynote speakers’ presentation, when most people began logging off, or how many individuals tuned in each day of the event. Assessing what speakers, topics, or sessions had the most engagement can help you plan the next events’ programs to better engage members.

5. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Events provide your members valuable experience, but they should also be providing direct value and revenue for your association as well. Compare the cost of an event with the revenue produced to determine its value. If there is a gap in revenue produced and the cost, a secondary measure to evaluate would be new memberships and current member satisfaction. Because there will likely be new members as a result of events, it’s essential to have a value attributed to those who are joining to help you determine the overall ROI of the event.

6. Lead Generation

After determining the success of the overall event, it can be helpful to pinpoint what marketing tactics made the event successful. Consider what your association’s main funnel for obtaining registrants looks like and how you guided registrants to attend the event.

Here are some questions to ask while assessing the marketing of your event:

  • What marketing channels were you using (such as your association website, email, or social media)?
  • Is there and example of specific marketing language that was successful?
  • Did the timeline of marketing match what you anticipated for registration?
  • How did internal (marketing to existing members within the association) and external (marketing to potential members outside the association) marketing efforts compare?

To host a successful event, your association needs attendees. Get as many individuals as possible in the door by determining what worked best in your past event marketing campaigns.

Remember, the work doesn’t end immediately after an event! It’s crucial to review your association’s event information as quickly as possible. By sending surveys out soon after the event, attendees will have a fresh perspective and helpful feedback. Similarly, reviewing event data will give your association ample time to implement any needed changes to ensure planning for the next event is as productive as possible.

Author: Erin Lemons

Erin Lemons joins Togetherwork Association Solutions with over 15 years serving as a marketing director, event producer, and project manager creating robust marketing campaigns and initiatives that focus on the growing and ever-changing technology needs of the association industry. She leads the marketing teams and strategy at Fonteva and Protech.

Leverage data for more effective small business marketing.

4 Data-Driven Tips for Successful Small Business Outreach

Whether you own a dog grooming business, coffee shop, or yoga studio, external communications and marketing should be a top priority for your small business. With effective outreach, you can see improved brand recognition, increased customer support, and greater sustainable growth.

From managing your database to collecting actionable metrics, these four data-driven tips will help your small business establish an outreach strategy that succeeds well into the future.

1. Update customer information with a data append.

If you’re looking to strengthen your outreach strategy, consider partnering with a data append provider. Appending data is the process of using a third-party source to update existing information and add new information to your company’s database. When done correctly, it ensures that you’re contacting and marketing to the right people.

Common information to append includes:

  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Physical mailing addresses
  • Social media accounts

Keep in mind that the data you choose to append should be dependent on your larger goals. For instance, If you already have a strong understanding of your target audience, but don’t have the information to contact them, you should invest in a phone or email append. On the other hand, if you’re launching a social media campaign, you would benefit from adding each supporter’s social media account information to your records.

2. Leverage segmentation for greater personalization.

One of the first things you should do for effective outreach is adapt your messaging for different audiences through segmentation. Segmenting, or grouping customers based on shared characteristics, allows you to tailor your messaging to the unique interests and preferences of each customer. For instance, if you have a large segment of Millennial customers, you can make a strong case for reaching out to them through Instagram and Facebook, as social media content performs well among this demographic.

Small businesses most often segment their customers by:

  • Demographics
  • Geographic location
  • Engagement history
  • Communication preferences
  • Customer loyalty

Invest in a database or software solution to organize this important information and group customers effectively. For instance, Gingr’s pet business software has custom filters that allow you to segment customers into target groups, so the right people get the right message at the right time.

3. Take an omnichannel approach to marketing.

After segmenting customers into well-defined groups, it’s time to appeal to their preferences and solicit their support. An omnichannel marketing approach provides your audience with a unified shopping experience. It takes into account which channel each person is using and what their relationship is to your business, such as whether they’re a prospective or recurring customer.

Here’s an example of how the process could work for a dog training business:

  1. A new dog owner searches online for experienced trainers in the area and comes across an ad for your Dog Training 101 course.
  2. The prospective customer clicks on the ad and is directed to a registration page on your website.
  3. After filling out a form and registering for your course, they receive an automated thank-you message prompting them to explore additional products and services.
  4. The customer navigates to your online storefront and adds a collar and dog bowl to their cart. However, they abandon the page before checking out.
  5. Using the phone number that they provided in their initial registration form, you send a text message reminding them to revisit the items in their cart.
  6. The customer returns to the cart and submits their order.
  7. Finally, you use their mailing address to send a personalized thank-you card and informational flyer to help keep your business top of mind.

To solidify your omnichannel marketing strategy, Kwala’s guide to graphic design recommends maintaining consistent branding across your online and print messages. This helps your audience recognize, trust, and remember your small business.

4. Collect actionable metrics.

Once your marketing campaigns are up and running, collect and track data to make informed decisions about your current and future outreach efforts. Begin by analyzing the following metrics:

  • Email open and click-through rate
  • Social media engagement
  • Website traffic
  • Response rate by source

Based on this information, identify where your communications strategy is performing well and where it might be falling short. For instance, if you notice a high bounce rate on your website, you may need to update your web design to create a more seamless experience for users.

As you make these necessary improvements, remember to practice data hygiene. Ensuring that your marketing metrics are error-free by removing duplicate entries and updating inaccurate information will help you more easily interpret their meaning.

Outreach is vital to the success of your small business. By empowering your strategy with data, you can create meaningful messages that inspire long-term support.

About the Author

Casey Dorman

Hi, I’m Casey! I’m the Sales Manager at Gingr software.  Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in Colorado with my wife and dog, Dexter.  Our hobbies include hiking, skiing, and visiting local breweries.

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.

You can make your proposal for a new workplace giving program as effective as possible by explaining how the program benefits them first. For example, you might share research on how workplace giving correlates with higher employee engagement, can improve an organization’s reputation in their local community, and help attract new top talent.

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. 


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.