Engaging Donors Made Easier

By | Campaigns, Customer Experience, Daxko Engage, Engage, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Financial Development, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Online | No Comments

The Member Engagement Index provides quick visibility into an unit’s current level of engagement. With the index we are able to predict how likely someone is to terminate their membership in the next 90 days. It has become an integral part of our Daxko Engage software and a defining feature of targeted engagement campaigns.

Since the release of the Member Engagement Index, we’ve had the intention of creating something similar for donors. After all, engagement is the key to contributions. Engaged members make better donors, and engaging people in communities provides great opportunities for new members, donors, participants, and volunteers. A majority of donors report they have received information about their favorite charity at least once and 40% report receiving information from email/newsletters more than a few times per year (“Nonprofit Donor Engagement Benchmark Study,”, Fall 2012).

We are excited to be nearing the completion of a Donor Engagement Index. While the Donor Index uses similar attributes as the Engagement Index, the algorithm has reworked those factors to determine who is likeliest to donate in the next 6 months. However, the Donor Index will be visible on both current members, past members, and basically anyone created in Daxko Operations. You can now reach deeper into our database with more insight and highly targeted fundraising campaigns.

In May, we will be piloting our algorithm with a select group of organizations to refine it to the point that it stands the test of the diverse member data that we encounter across our customer base. As we refine the algorithm we will notice patterns that you would never be able to see unless you look at the data in such large quantities. One pattern we’ve noticed already is that the lowest givers tend to be member units aged 30-50 without kids on the account. We can speculate that these families either have children that don’t belong to their organization so they have not seen the value for their children, or they don’t have children at all and marketing materials aimed at families with children don’t resonate with them. Daxko Engage users can utilize Engage to find out exactly what these member units are interested in and send them a targeted message that can really connect them to the mission of the organization.


Igniting a Spark in Atlanta

By | Campaigns, Engagement, Events & Happenings, Fundraising, Industry, Mission Delivery, Uncategorized | No Comments

Daxko’s Headed to the 34th Annual NAYDO Conference

Next week, 30+ Daxko Team Members will travel to Atlanta for NAYDO 2015 – an annual, four-day conference that draws 1,500+ YMCA staff and volunteers from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and 20 other countries. If you’re also planning to attend, we know your schedule is already jam-packed with sessions, social events, and networking. We hope you’ll find time to connect with team Daxko while you’re there. Here are four ways you can meet us in Atlanta:

1. Visit Our Booth (#57-58) and Score Swag

Swing by our booth in the Marquis Ballroom foyer to pick up your FREE ticket to the “Paint the Town Red” party Friday night and enter for your chance to win one of two Apple Watch giveways! Come see us when you’re ready for a break. We’ll have lounge furniture for relaxing, treats for snacking, and fun Daxko swag to give away. Learn more.

2. Party with Us at “Paint the Town Red”

We’re proud to sponsor NAYDO’s big Friday night party – “Paint the Town Red!” Pick up your free ticket at our booth, wear something red, then walk over to the World of Coca-Cola Friday night at 7:00 to enjoy delicious Southern food, drinks, a cash bar, dancing, and a live band. We’ll also announce the winner of our Apple Watch giveaway, so you won’t want to miss this party! Learn more.

3. Ignite your Inspiration by Attending our Sessions

Thursday @ 12:00 p.m. – General Session & Luncheon Sponsored by Daxko

Thursday @ 2:15 p.m. – “Creating Fundraising Volunteers who are On Fire for the Cause

Thursday @ 3:45 p.m. – “Tap Into Membership to Fuel your Donor Pipeline

Friday @ 10:45 a.m. – “Engaging Millennials in the Y’s Cause

4. Get Social with Us

Be sure to follow @Daxko on Twitter and like us on Facebook so we can keep you posted with updates, drawing winners, conference photos, and more.


FOSDEM Confrerence Belgium room view rev o

DAXKO Attends FOSDEM 2015 Conference

By | Culture, Professional Development | No Comments

Dan Florentin revised photo pic 1IMG_1544In my opinion, the best perk at Daxko is the Professional Development Allowance. This annual allowance can be used for any professional development activity of our choosing, including conferences, seminars, tuition, books, etc. This past February, a team member and I were lucky enough to attend the annual FOSDEM conference in Brussels. You know… as in Brussels, BELGIUM. That’s right folks; because my company is awesome, I took a trip to Europe to eat waffles and learn about software.

Since I know you are wrecked with curiosity, I’ll get it out of the way now. Yes, Belgium is amazing. The tourism districts in Brussels and Ghent are so majestic, so grand, so richly-detailed, they look like they must be illusions. From the grand squares to the intimate alleyways, I’m still not convinced that I wasn’t walking around some blockbuster movie set. During the days, I ate authentic Belgian waffles, chocolate, and French Fries (with mayonnaise, of course). During the nights, I drank Belgian beer, Belgian beer, and a little bit more Belgian beer (it’s that delicious). I stood guard along the parapets of a 12th century castle, slept in the quaint quarters of a 13th century monastery, and begrudgingly willed myself up the steps of a 300-foot, 14th century bell tower. But don’t let my fanny pack and general confusion about public transportation fool you. I wasn’t just there to be an awestruck tourist.

Ghent - Panorama 2 revFOSDEM stands for Free Open Source Developers European Meeting. It’s held annually at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Brussels and attended by thousands of passionate software developers. Finding the conference was easy enough; I just had to follow the sea of hoodies and laptop bags. I remember arriving at FOSDEM thinking it resembled some sort of high-tech carnival. We were lured from booth to booth, drawn to the “oooohs” and “hmmms” of an intrigued audience. But instead of marveling at exotic beasts or bearded ladies, we were captivated by the latest and greatest open source projects. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!
• “This can open and close your blinds, even tell you which devices in your house use the most energy,” said one person at the OpenMotics table.
• “Behold… the Archivist!” announced DIYBookScanner, gesturing at an intimidating doomsday device, but really it just made digital copies of your physical books.
• “That’s not what its intended for, but yes, you could probably use it to buy and sell drugs,” answered a rep from OpenBazaar, a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace.

Though Daxko’s software is neither free nor open source, internally we do utilize many open source tools that were represented at the conference (GitHub, Jenkins, PostreSQL, MySQL, ElasticSearch, and probably several others). And with all the keynotes speeches, lightning talks, and developer rooms available throughout the weekend, there was plenty of opportunity to learn and even offer contribution. It was immensely rewarding to be in an environment that promoted and celebrated collaboration as much as FOSDEM did. I had a blast in Belgium, and happily returned with a few tricks up my sleeve and a few extra inches on my waistline. Oh what, was I supposed to only eat a moderate amount of waffles?!? I shudder at such an insulting thought… I regret nothing.

Brussels - Grand Place Night 3


The Basics of Prospect Research

By | Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Organizational Health | No Comments

Prospect research is a fruit salad. It’s not just pineapple or watermelon or honeydew, but all varieties of research techniques that help fundraisers, development teams, and nonprofits to find major gift prospects.

The fruits of prospect research’s labors include background on donors such as:

  • Previous Donations – Past gifts to your organization and similar nonprofits are the top indicators of high quality fundraising prospects.
  • Nonprofit Involvement – Nonprofit board members, foundation trustees, and directors all understand the importance of philanthropy and are more likely to give.
  • Political GivingDonors of $2,500 or more in political gifts are 14 times more likely than the average person to make a philanthropic donation. Political giving is an indicator of philanthropy and should not be confused for a wealth marker.
  • Business Affiliations – Discover new prospects through people your donors are connected to as well as eligibility for matching gift grants.
  • Wealth Markers – Real estate ownership, stock holdings, and boat ownership are examples of wealth indicators that reveal a prospect’s capacity to give.
  • Personal Information – Don’t forget to check up on mailing addresses, phone numbers, spousal information, and other information in order to contact the major gift prospects you find.

This data helps to determine whether or not a prospect has the capacity and affinity to make a charitable donation. While wealth matters, a history of philanthropy matters more, because the goal is to find philanthropically inclined prospects first and capacity to give second.

While prospect research does help find prospects who can give large gifts, typically of $5,000 or more, it does much more than merely provide names on a list:

  1. Identification – Some gifts can take a long time to cultivate, and you may not receive them until a donor passes away. Learn who is apt to be a planned or deferred donor in order to leverage significant donations from those who tend to give minor amounts.
  2. Generation – A great place to find new donors is on the donor lists of similar organizations. You can also look to nonprofit foundations and boards for wealthy people inclined to give charitably. While your list of annual fund donors is the best place to look for major gift prospects, and the best place to start, prospect research opens up the opportunity to find entirely new donors, too.
  3. Conversion – Past giving is the top indicator of future giving, so be sure to research your annual donors to discover who has the capacity to give more.
  4. Refinement – Time matters, and prospect research allows you to pinpoint major gift prospects so that you can allocate your resources accordingly and move on to other phases of fundraising.
  5. Optimization – For organizations that have constant influxes of donors, it’s important to routinely screen prospects in order for staff to focus fundraising efforts on the right people. It’s also important to analyze giving patterns and update missing information in your nonprofit’s database in order to create a more efficient fundraising effort with more specific ask strategies.

There is no right or wrong way to conduct prospect research, but you don’t want to show up for the fishing trip with an insufficient rod. A feasibility study can help you to determine which of the three most common prospect research methods is right for your nonprofit:

  1. Prospect Screening Company – Save time by employing a screening company to research large batches of donors against a plethora of databases. You’ll receive philanthropic indicators, wealth markers, and individual and group prospect overviews. This allows your staff to spend more time on other fundraising efforts.
  2. Prospect Research Consultant – A good consultant will dig deeper than a screening to discover the specific information you need to deliver better pitches to your high quality prospects. Some consultants will also train your staff on prospect research, develop cultivation strategies, and help to manage your relationships with high-profile prospects.
  3. Do It Yourself – You can do it! Or the prospect researcher on your staff can. By providing your researcher or team of researchers with the proper tools to find and organize donor information, you can conduct prospect research in-house, and to the detailed degree of your choosing. If you’re a smaller nonprofit that can’t afford a staff researcher then consider the ways to conduct makeshift prospect research on a budget.

Prospect research is best used in tandem with other habits that lead to effective business outcomes, as it is one thing to obtain more prospect information and another to have the systems in place to maximize that data’s potential and turn it into more major gifts for your organization.