Want to maximise return on your fundraising activity? Here’s why you need charity data analysis

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Neat hedges, representing the need for charity competitor analysis

With the ongoing cost-of-living crisis leading to a cost-of-giving crisis too, every penny counts for charities.

It’s never been more important to maximise return on your fundraising activity, which means that your fundraising strategy needs to work harder than ever before if you are going to overcome the challenges currently facing the charity sector.

And that’s exactly where charity data analysis comes in.

Rather than simply throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks, data-driven fundraising allows you to work smarter, not harder, by basing your decisions on fact rather than gut instinct. Doing so means you can better understand your supporters, increase engagement, and make sure your fundraising activity packs a punch.

From charity competitor analysis to profiling and segmentation, read on to discover how charity data analysis can help you maximise the return on your fundraising activity…

6 ways charity data analysis can maximise return on your fundraising activity

1. Use benchmarking to better understand your performance

First things first, if you’re going to improve your fundraising activity, you need to review what you’re currently doing and see where adjustments can be made in the future. Benchmarking your fundraising performance against yourself or against others through charity competitor analysis, allows you to use the data gathered to inform your plans moving forward.

Without benchmarking, myths build up and poor performance is often accepted as the norm. However, if you want to unlock the full potential of your fundraising, you need to gather your data and review what you’re currently doing versus where you want to be, before using your data to bridge the gap between the two.

2. Get to know your audience at a deeper level

Be honest: how well do you really know your donors? If your fundraising activity is going to deliver the best possible results, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your donors and what makes them tick.

By using charity data analysis, you can gain a deep understanding of donor behaviour and divide your donors into specific segments so you can get to grips with who your supporters are and how they support you.

Using your data to analyse historical giving patterns, preferences, and engagement levels means you can bring your audience to life, build up a strong picture of your supporters, and start to piece together how and why your donors give.

The result? More targeted fundraising, enhanced donor relationships, and the increased likelihood of continued support. And we don’t know about you, but we’d say that seems like a powerful place to start!

3. Use clever segmentation for targeted campaigns

Once you’ve got to know your supporters, you can then use clever segmentation to identify new opportunities and connect with your audience in a more effective way.

With surveys, data analysis, and modelling, you can build up a strong picture of your audience so you can target your communications accordingly. Predictive analytics, for example, can help you to identify potential high-value donors or those who are likely to become long-term supporters, so you can target your fundraising to them.

Essentially, tailoring your fundraising efforts and communications to appeal to different audience segments means your fundraising is more likely to hit the mark.

In fact, marketers who use segmented campaigns report as much as a whopping 760% in revenue, so using segmentation to provide structure to your programmes is a proven way to get the most out of your fundraising.

4. Make it personal for maximum impact

Another way to make your charity data analysis work harder for you is by going one step further and creating personalised appeals that resonate with each segment.

People give because they feel connected to the person asking, and the action of donating to a charity is a very personal one. Therefore, it makes sense that to maximise your fundraising efforts, you need to make your campaigns are as personal as possible.

Did you know, for example, that 84% of people say that being treated like an individual rather than a statistic has a huge impact on what brands they support? Or that 90% of marketers attribute personalised marketing to enhanced business profits?

When it comes to fundraising success, personalised, donor-centric messaging is an essential part of your strategy.

Not only does it show your supporters that you truly care about them, but it also makes sure your donors have a positive experience with your charity, which can in turn encourage them to give more in the future!

5. Test and optimise your chosen channels

Not all fundraising channels are created equal – to get the most out of your fundraising activity, it’s important to use charity data analysis to evaluate the performance of each fundraising channels so you can hit the sweet spot and communicate with your audience in the right way.

Do your donors prefer print campaigns? Or do they engage with email communication? Do they use a specific social platform? Or do they respond best to a multi-channel approach that combines lots of different mediums?

By using charity data analysis to identify which channels are most effective, you can pinpoint which donor touchpoints are the most relevant, enabling you to allocate your resources accordingly for maximum impact.

6. Monitor and measure success for continued improvement

Another top tip our team at Wood for Trees swears by is testing different strategies and tactics to identify what works in real time.

A/B testing can be conducted on various fundraising appeals, from landing pages to email campaigns, and by analysing the results you can identify what works best and refine your fundraising campaigns for the future.

What’s more, you can also track the ongoing performance of live campaigns to access valuable insights into what’s working and what isn’t quite hitting the mark. Depending on the channel or type of campaign, you can then adjust whilst your campaigns are live so you can improve results.

Plus, by backing this insight up with broader analysis, you can scope out larger trends and use this knowledge to inform your marketing activity, helping you to improve targeting, response rates, prompt levels, and revenue – and identify any cross-sell opportunities too. Win-win!

Can’t see the Wood for the Trees? That’s what we’re here for!

Big decisions become easier when you can count on what your data is telling you. So, by using charity data analysis to take control of your data, you can maximise return on your fundraising activity and ensure your campaigns deliver success.

Make 2024 the year you meet your fundraising goals with Wood for Trees. To learn more about how we can help you unlock the power of your data to get the most out of your fundraising, contact our team today. We’ll be more than happy to help!