Optimizing Donor Giving

It is critical for fundraising organizations to focus their limited time and resources on those activities that have the greatest demonstrated impact on giving. To address this need we worked with one of the top consortium
of fundraising organizations in the United States to determine which activities and perceptions had the greatest
statistical impact on donor giving. We surveyed close to 7,000 donors who were contributing in the range
of $1,000-$10,000 per year in more than two dozen of the largest chapters and found some eye-opening information.
For example:

Increasing donor giving: The question with the largest impact on donor giving was the alignment between donor values and the mission of the organization. Effectively educating the donors on values was also linked to giving.

Return on investment: We looked at client sponsored events, confirming an association between attendance and increased giving. We found that donors attending one more events increased their giving, on aver-age, by $30. This, along with other giving drivers, suggested to our clients a tangible metric for evaluat-ing events.

Efficiency: 23% of donors did not know if the organization was efficient in spending on overhead and administration. Moreover, these donors who did not have an opinion made smaller gift increases, while those donors with a negative opinion on organizational efficiency did not differ statistically from those who had a high opinion. Since lack of knowledge appears to have a more deleterious effect on giving than does having a negative opinion, our client is ex-ploring ways of being more transparent about in-ternal spending.

Overall, our findings helped our clients focus on activities that empirically affected donor giving and the ways
in which organizations are underperforming, This type of analysis is applicable to all non-profit organizations,
from fundraising networks to schools to community organizations. Having the information to determine resource
allocation to activities that drive increases in giving is critical to success of any organization.