Originally published September 30, 2015
Predictive modeling, the process of using data patterns to predict future activity, is well established in fundraising for identifying prospects, prioritizing portfolios, and increasing return on annual giving investments. However, for many organizations, these likelihood indicators remain static for many years despite the dynamic nature of donor relationships. Now, it is within the reach of development programs to have scores that change as donor activity change.
From Wealth Screening to Predictive Modeling
Screening and modeling initially emerged to scale the filtering process in prospect identification. A seasoned major gift officer knows to assess capacity and inclination upon meeting a prospect for the first time. Prospect researchers have assessed these same criteria using found indicators of wealth, connection, and aligning interests. Yet, historically this work was done one prospect at a time. Through the establishment of consolidated data providers, fundraising programs were able to scale the capacity assessment to include large sections of the database. This wealth screening brought efficiency to the research process. Predictive modeling enabled these teams to scale the inclination question. In other words, fundraisers could screen for propensity.
As fundraising programs became more complex, we saw an increase in the frequency of wealth assessment. Perhaps the most frequent iteration is found in grateful patient programs because of the time-sensitive nature of patient affinity. We also see more frequent assessments in membership programs in the arts, in new parent populations in education, and following gift-level triggers in complex programs. For most organizations, though, the frequency of modeling remains about once every three years.
A Prospecting Innovation
Now, we are at a point where the frequency of inclination assessment can match the frequency of wealth assessment. A few innovative organizations have embedded the characteristic weightings from predictive models directly into their donor relationship management systems. As constituents give new gifts, volunteer, participate in activities, attend performances, or respond to appeals, their scores change dynamically.
The benefits of dynamic predictive modeling scoring include:
- Managing the flow of new prospects by fresh levels of urgency.
- Removing the often stagnant nature of major gift portfolios.
- Targeting the timing of appeals.
- Converting members to donors.
- Increasing our responsiveness with our closest constituents.
We are excited to announce that DonorCast, the analytics division of Bentz Whaley Flessner, has successfully produced dynamic scoring with predictive modeling clients across nonprofit sectors. Dynamic scoring is now an option for any predictive modeling project.
Furthermore, clients can receive dynamic scoring for attractive prices during our pilot period now through December 31, 2015.
You can get in on this opportunity today. Contact us to take the next step in this dynamic world of predictive modeling!
For more information about Donorcast, the analytics division of Bentz Whaley Flessner, click here.