CASE STUDY 1
A southern, top-tier research university was approaching the end of a $1+ billion dollar campaign when they had the opportunity to relocate their medical school as part of a new municipal redevelopment plan. Their top donors were already committed to the existing campaign priorities, and they needed a creative solution to open doors to people who had never supported the university. They turned to Bentz Whaley Flessner (BWF) to help develop a new digital strategy.
While social media has long been recognized as a tool for annual giving programs, the information these companies are collecting is massive. They know individuals’ interests, social connections, education, and other behavioral data – and now they are purchasing the data and layering onto their records the data used to drive wealth scores. The result is an amazing (perhaps alarming) marketing tool.
Working with BWF experts the university’s marketing team used Facebook’s back end tools to build a custom audience. Their target audience was looking for individuals who had:
- A net worth of $1 million or more.
- A history of giving to cancer and other health causes.
- Lived within a 25-mile radius of the downtown metropolitan center where the new facility would open.
The search produced a cohort of users meeting the criteria. For privacy reasons Facebook doesn’t reveal their identities, but they filtered the university’s existing prospects out of the marketing pool.
In July 2017, the University’s health team launched their marketing campaign. For 2-3 cents per person, Facebook delivered a ‘sponsored ad’ highlighting the medical center project and featuring their existing newsletter. The ‘call to action’ was an ‘offer’ to sign up for the newsletter.
520 individuals clicked on the invitation, and 43 signed up for the newsletter and voluntarily provided their names and email addresses – the charge from Facebook was $900. The university research team quickly validated each response and confirmed that the majority of the 43 individuals were new prospects. Using traditional research they determined that the majority had capacities of $100K or more.
Now the major gift officers are beginning their work of reaching out to qualify and engage these new prospects, and to draw them closer to the medical center. It’s too early to tell how many will turn into major gift donors, but a new stream of constituents has been obtained and the odds are good that the university’s investment will be repaid many times over.
CASE STUDY 2
A western, regional university with a few hundred thousand alumni was struggling to find and connect with a large percentage of their alumni especially their wealthy alumni. They had a desire to both find and connect with many more major gift prospects in preparation for their upcoming campaign. They turned to Bentz Whaley Flessner to help develop a new digital strategy to find and cultivate these lost connections and find more major gift prospects.
Working with BWF experts, the university’s development, alumni, and marketing teams used Facebook’s back-end tools to build five custom audience. Each of the five audiences had variations but generally the target audiences focused on individuals who had:
- A net worth of $2 million or more.
- Income of $500K or more.
- Liquid assets on hand of $1 million or more.
- Home value of $2 million or more.
- Self-declared alumni.
- Self-declared “affinity” to the university.
BWF was able to identify near 90% of the universities alumni and over a hundred thousand more individuals with an affinity to the university. Applying wealth filtering BWF produced a cohort of around 15K individuals for targeting. For privacy reasons, Facebook doesn’t reveal the users’ identities, but they filtered the university’s existing prospects out of the marketing pool.
In October 2017, the campaign launched with 10 different “sponsored ad” variants running to 5 different audience variants. For .07 cents per person, Facebook delivered a “sponsored ad” designed to trigger memories of the school by highlighting campus and its surroundings.
3,055 individuals were delivered the sponsored content, and 1,176 “liked” the content, and in so doing shared their names with us. BWF and the University research team began validated individuals and confirmed that over 90% of the names were new names. Using traditional research methods BWF and the University research team have determined that over 50% of those who liked the content have gift capacity ratings of $100K or more.
BWF and university research are continuing to work through the 1,176 names. All names that look the most promising are being forwarded to major gift officers who are beginning their work of reaching out to qualify and engage these new prospects and drawing them closer to the university. It’s too early to tell how many will turn into major gift donors, but a new stream of constituents has been obtained, and the odds are good that the university’s investment will be repaid many times over.
To see the methodology we applied in this new and innovative approach in action, take a look at our major gifts pipeline process. Or, better yet, take advantage of our free digital analysis of your potential that will demonstrate just how many wealthy prospects you are missing.