Learn how to perform an RFM analysis, the simplest tool to start narrowing your prospect list to your most impactful donors. This article contains background information and a video to lead you step-by-step into meaningful engagement.

With roughly 100 days between now and December 31st, how can you prioritize your team’s time and resources to decide how to cultivate major gifts and prioritize gift requests?

Almost every cause and organization is facing increased philanthropic need this year. When combined with the reality that discovery visits and in-person cultivation, briefing, solicitation, and stewardship will likely be limited for many more months, deepening your existing relationships becomes an even higher priority in the current environment. It is critical to take the time to examine and analyze your data so that you can identify your best prospects to upgrade and prioritize engagement activity with those who are most likely to support you now.

To achieve year-end goals, sharpen your focus on those who have the greatest capacity to give and are already your friends. Make sure you are working with your top and most obvious donors when prioritizing your valuable time. While a seven-figure prospect who has not responded to repeated outreach may still be a long-term relationship to pursue for lots of reasons, a consistent five-figure donor who is not yet giving at maximum capacity is likely a better focus for a virtual briefing that underscores the critical need your organization faces right now to secure a major gift in the next 100 days.

Fortunately, data can inform how to segment donors into short, medium and long-term focus. Examining the intersection between Recency, Frequency, Monetary Value (“RFM”) and wealth screening is the simplest way to start narrowing your prospect pool to focus on those who are both closest to you and have capacity. When those very basic results are combined with relationship mapping and engagement analysis, they form the foundation of a strong plan to increase major gifts.

RFM: What is it and why would we do it?

A Recency, Frequency, Monetary Value (“RFM”) analysis is the scoring of current donors to rank and prioritize your database through three attributes: recency, frequency, and volume of giving. It can help you answer many questions, including: Who has given recently and is with you right now? Who has given over time and demonstrated loyalty to your cause? Who are your top lifetime givers?

Questions to Answer

Before getting started on your analysis, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:

How to Perform an RFM Analysis

You have followed along and may be wondering, how exactly does one perform an RFM analysis? Jessica Roberts, Director of Data Insights and Client Engagements at CCS, can help! Jessica has used advanced analytics to advance nonprofit fundraising for over 15 years and has put together a step-by-step guide here: How to Perform an RFM Analysis. For questions about the process or donor analytics more broadly, contact Jessica and CCS’s Data Analytics Team at analytics@ccsfundraising.com.

Wealth Screening: Another Tool in the Quiver

There are many vendors who can screen your data for pennies per name, and many organizations already have access to screening built-in through database subscriptions. While wealth screening is not perfect (every screening turns up a million-dollar donor with low identified giving capacity), it can be very directionally important. The consistent $1,000 donor who gave last year with a capacity to give $1M+ that you never thought about is one ideal outcome of this exercise.

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How can we help you?

CCS offers an array of Data Analytics services to help nonprofit organizations reach their full fundraising potential.