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4 Proven Ways to Use Data to Woo Donors

When it comes to using data, you don’t want to simply start flinging numbers around and hope something sticks. You want your data to pack a punch. In this article, we cover four key ways to use data to woo your donors.

1. Teach them about your organization

Infographics capture complex data in one picture so that donors can quickly learn about your organization: maybe about the problem you address or how much good you have done to address it. Eye-tracking studies have shown that people pay attention the most to images, as we talked about in this post on selling your cause with infographics, so infographics are a great way to teach donors about your organization.

2. Show donors how they can make a difference right now

People naturally procrastinate, and what we can do tomorrow, we do tomorrow. When your appeal lacks urgency, it’s too easy for donors to put it on the someday pile.

But what if your nonprofit doesn’t work in emergency disaster relief? Another way to instill urgency is to create a sense of importance. How important is your cause to preventing pain or suffering? What would happen tomorrow if you weren’t there?

In the book Impact & Excellence, which delves into data-driven strategies for nonprofits, Sheri Chaney Jones suggests how a Medicaid-related organization could use data to show importance: cuts to the program would result in unemployment, a hit to local businesses would hurt the economy, and an increase in welfare costs would mean less tax money to go around. The facts paint a very concrete picture of why people need to give now to make sure the negative outcome doesn’t happen.

3. Turn your donors into insiders

Generally speaking, when you make a donor an insider, he or she will have a greater stake in the success of the institution, and a greater willingness to contribute to that success. People love the feeling that they know your organization behind the scenes, and this exclusivity drives action.

What data do you have that the world doesn’t know about? Share specifics with donors to make them feel special and more connected to your cause. The Money for Good 2015 report found that sharing data is particularly good for engaging people who fall under the “Contented Benefactor,” “Busy Idealist” and “Unengaged Critic” profiles.

4. Show the impact of donating

People give to nonprofits because they sincerely believe in the cause. They want to leave the planet in better shape, relieve suffering, or solve problems that governments can’t. On The Life You Can Save Why Donate page, they use data, graphs, and charts to let donors know that they can indeed change the world, even with just a small donation.


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