About 10 years ago I attended the national planned giving conference, not as a fundraiser, but as a vendor selling wealth screenings. I was younger, I had yet to be a frontline fundraiser, and I was still a little wet behind the ears. As a planned giving officer stopped in front of my booth and asked me what I was selling, I happily and excitedly said “wealth screenings!” He looked at me and said “I don’t get the top prospects, kid (he didn’t really call me kid). Give me a 30 year donor over 60 who owns a home and is NOT on the major gift radar, that’s where I make my living.” That was how the conference went for me. I learned a few things that weekend. First, I recommended that we not attend next year’s planned giving conference with only a wealth screening product, and second, that planned giving is a very different animal from major gifts.
With this knowledge in hand, I can discuss DonorScape’s planned giving score as more than just providing a list of over 60 year old consistent donor real estate owners. We certainly understand that these key components need to be included, but we also use our data driven philosophy to provide planned giving officers with four actionable scores for their immediate, mid, and far term strategies. The top score, P, is a guide to prospects the planned giving officer should have in their portfolio today. These are people that show the traditional planned giving signs of home ownership, persistent giving, and higher age, but also meet lifestyle codes we have identified as indicative of a planned donor, and they are people who meet the pattern of donors to your organization. The P rated prospects are the nearest to making planned gifts to your organization.
The next two codes, S & T, pull out two more groups of people that are likely to give planned gifts, but are not as near term as the portfolio suggested P group. So how does that help your organization? We suggest using these two pools for targeted mailings. I have heard the joke “everyone is a planned giving prospect,” but in reality, sending planned giving information to the wrong prospect is a mistake. Our ratings help you segment and hone your message to people who truly fit the planned gift mold.
Our final rating is X, and indicates a prospect who does not meet the age threshold of a typical planned giving prospect, does not meet the pattern of a donor to your organization, and might not own a home. In these budget conscious times, we suggest you either remove these prospects from your planned giving mailing (for now) or lower the number of times you send the mailing to this group. Focus on the P’s, S’s, & T’s with targeted and persistent campaigns.
As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on planned giving ratings. Please post comments, and thank you for reading!