Database Ranking - Development Plan

Hello, I have been working our Development Committee to put a system together to rank our database and determine categories and scoring for follow-up and marketing based on a profiles score. We have been progressing along but I have hit a bit of a hurdle. Our database is very large, 14,000+ donor profiles to export, categorize and score. I do not have a background and/or expertise in database development.

Do you have a consulting firm you have worked with to analyze and rank your database? Do you have other resources you would recommend for this, I need additional help to learn and help us move forward the best way possible.

This also aligns with this post but extends a bit beyond using CSuite. It will be the step after this.

Karen Wolf

Operations Coordinator

Email [email protected]

Web www.cfcwi.org

Facebook www.facebook.com/cfcwi


KaraAdams

Comments

  • Hi @KarenWolf - me again! We began to undertake this type of project a few years back. It is proving a very long, very slow process for us. We are using a few different variables to very generally 'rank' donors already in our database. We've been loosely grouping people in coded categories, depending on their perceived positive affinity (so, multiple gifts to us over a time period, or service as a volunteer, committee member, or board member) + perceived/demonstrated capacity (cumulative giving AND/OR per gift minimum over a time period). In CSuite, we are ranking as A or B Engagement Type - really there are Aa and Bb, 4 total potential categories. This method was outlined by another Indiana CF that shared their ranking criteria with us. Naturally, we have had to adapt to fit our own structure. It is a version of RFM scoring without the math.

    It has been THANKLESS, both in effort and outcome, so far - lol - and incredibly imprecise and subjective and all those things that make 'analysis' maddening. Of course, in FIMS, it was dang near impossible, even using Data Grid views. CSuite is helping somewhat, especially with the at-a-glance Donors > Reports 'pivot table,' but it's still a lot to look at - made much worse for us because we are essentially coding both lists for 9 different organizations (our 9 affiliates - and we have to keep them separate).

    I'm the one doing this examination following strategic guidance from leadership, but it isn't something I can or have been able to dedicate a lot of uninterrupted time to at all, which, IMO, it really requires. No matter what, this coding requires pulling data out of the system and into Excel for analysis.

    Having someone with a pretty good breadth and depth of institutional knowledge helps, but even so, it's an enormous project. The Foundation from which we adapted this method said it took them 3 years to come up with what they felt were even usable coded lists (they devoted an entire year to data clean-up alone!). Obviously, the way data has been historically captured and coded in your organization will make a big difference. I'm at ~3 years in now, but really only 2 because one of those years was consumed with our conversion to CSuite. The conversion has fast-tracked clean-up we could not do in FIMS, so maybe I am really only 1.5 years into this actual effort?! 😐️

    Essentially, our criteria is:

    A – High Capacity and High Affinity

    - Constituents giving at least $5,000 (single gift amount) PLUS 3+ gifts on different dates within look-back period

    AND/OR - Constituents giving $1,000-$4,999 (single gift amount) PLUS 3+ gifts on different dates within look-back period

    B—High Capacity and Low Affinity

    - Constituents giving at least $5,000 (single gift amount), who don’t qualify for “A,” within look-back period

    AND/OR - Constituents giving at least $1,000 (single gift amount) up to $5,000 (cumulative), within look-back period

    The larger strategic goal is to use these lists to target specific communications, campaigns, appeals, and attention. In the A case, we will need to really work on personal cultivation and stewardship to plumb their capacity, then make more meaningful and significant asks. In the B case, we will need to work toward meaningfully increasing their education about our organization and our work, and reach out more often and more pointedly, in hopes of building affinity (and, so, ideally, giving).

    We've sort of detoured at the moment to better structuring Campaigns and tracking ROI for the communications we ARE already doing. Hopefully, I can get back to prospect analysis and examination eventually...


    AshleyHarperTammyTilzey
  • KarenWolfKarenWolf
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    @JesikaEllis Thank you so much for the write up you provided. It was like reading my testimonial of this process as well. except we have really only been doing it for a year.

    We are in a constant state of change, and this project has just not been my focus. I am thankful to hear, I am not the only one facing challenges through this. I was not part of the conversion from FIMS to CSuite making the database clean up so very difficult. Every time I think I am ready to pull data another kink happens in the database that needs to be fixed. And not just a new process but fixing data from the conversion.

    I have no expertise in this area, and with a new budget year coming I am trying to find a consultant or options to learn how to work through a development process.

    Karen Wolf

    Operations Coordinator

    Email [email protected]

    Web www.cfcwi.org

    Facebook www.facebook.com/cfcwi


  • @KarenWolf If it helps, the CF from which we adapted our general approach offered a STELLAR bit of advice for anyone attempting this: Start where you are - but you have to start! It's kept me buoyed through this long process - hopefully my experience helps you, as well. Always happy to offer an ear or advice or insight - and always, encouragement!


  • @SidneySuttles I thought you may find this discussion interesting, as well!


    KaraAdams
  • @JesikaEllis, thank you for the tag! This is helpful, and it is also nice to hear so many of us are working toward the same goals.

    JesikaEllisKaraAdams
  • We started using iWave for this purpose. Sadly, Csuite just doesn't have a real useful system for integrating this data or at least not that I have seen.

    iWave is the best wealth/giving evaluation system I've seen so far.

    KarenWolfJesikaEllisLornaSandberg
  • KarenWolfKarenWolf
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    @hankdrew Thank you for the recommendation. I will look into it!

    Karen Wolf

    Operations Coordinator

    Email [email protected]

    Web www.cfcwi.org

    Facebook www.facebook.com/cfcwi


    hankdrew
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