Find Your Diamonds in the Rough

Committed donors who support your work year after year are among the most valuable assets your organization has. And we’re not just talking about those major donors whose big checks easily catch your attention. We’re talking about those “stealth” supporters, the ones who contribute steadily and regularly, making modest gifts, but no big upgrades that could raise a flag.

These dedicated, smaller-sum donors not only provide the regular revenue you’ve come to expect, but they’re also among the best individuals to cultivate for upgrades. And, they’re prime prospects for planned giving marketing. In fact, one study reported by Donor Search found that 78% of planned giving donors gave 15 or more gifts to the nonprofits named in their wills during their lifetimes. Even more than giving amount, giving frequency is the key characteristic of planned giving donors.

But without the right attention, these donors may never reach their full giving potential. And, these faithful contributors can be hard to identify in the sea of transactions within your database.

That’s where a Giving Frequency Report comes in. Simply put, this report looks for donors that stand out through their regular, consistent giving over the years – using frequency rather than gift level to rank your donors. Those donors are then ranked into tiers to make it easy to prioritize your cultivation efforts.

What might a top-tier donor look like? He or she has given at least one gift per year for the last eight or nine years. Many organizations are surprised by just how many of their donors meet this criteria! These are the perfect donors to reach out to right away to thank them for their partnership and get to know them better – especially since many of them haven’t made a gift big enough to warrant a special call. These are also the perfect folks to include in informational planned giving marketing, as their donation history shows they are most likely to consider leaving a legacy gift.

Identifying the donors who have been with you for years is the first step to finding your diamonds in the rough. But to take it to the next level, we recommend also identifying donors who may have less history with your organization, but show the early signs of being in it for the long haul. This includes donors who have contributed in at least the three most recent years. By cultivating strong relationships with these donors now, you can help ensure they keep on giving and make sizable upgrades as their bond with your organization grows.

Whether you’re looking to make the most of your limited donor cultivation hours this year, hoping to market planned giving to the right donors, or just trying to get a better understanding of your donor file’s potential, running a Giving Frequency Report is a great way to start.

If your database provides the functionality to run a report to identify those donors with consecutive year-over-year giving, give it a go! How many donors have made at least one gift per year for the last five years? Eight years? Ten or more years? And what about folks who joined just a few years ago but are already giving annually?

If running this type of report is beyond the scope of your internal capabilities, contact us to find out how we can help. Our Giving Frequency Reports are quick, easy, and inexpensive to run — and you’ll receive a ranked list of all your diamonds-in-the-rough donors so you can start targeting them right away.