Behaviors Change, So Should Your Contact Scores

Universities typically have a tremendously vast contact database accumulated from multiple sources which are filtered based on a handful of data points and then assigned to gift officer portfolios. In many cases prioritization of these contacts can be as simple as wealth indicators, graduation year, school affinity such as Engineering or Arts and Sciences, and/or gift capacity.

In most situations, the valuation of contacts uses static information that might be quite stale. Most contact scores utilize pre-defined data fields and are rarely updated. Expensive demographic data appends and data garnered from marketing questionnaires become stale almost as quickly as they are added to the database.

People change over time. Behavioral factors and attributes that might make someone a good donation contact one day may change leaving the contact score outdated and leaving gift officers to waste time and money pursuing a poor lead.

The best time to approach a potential donor is when that contact becomes a great prospect and before they lose interest. Identifying a ‘hot’ prospect is the first step of a holistic approach to efficiently maximizing donations and cultivating donors.

A contact scoring platform that leverages the nuances of each contact’s attributes such as past donations, years giving, last giving date and more tells a more comprehensive and accurate contact score when combined with flat data such as name, graduation date, college, marriage status, income and other demographic and costly data points.

Uncovering qualified potential donors requires using contact data from multiple data sources and includes attributes, prospects behaviors, timing, and more. Finding the most optimum donors also requires an intimate understanding of contact data and complex analysis. All contacts are not alike therefore each contact must be scored individually and not lumped into pre-fixed bins based on simple data definitions.

Nightly updates illustrate the dynamic nature of the contact beyond utilizing dynamic data. Contact scores that are updated every 24 hours ensures that the hottest contacts are ranked highest and any movement in a contact’s scored value is reflected in the rankings.

Dynamic contact scoring identifies the hottest prospects, however, it also identifies the contacts that are ‘not so hot’. Working prospects in the lowest contact score ranking is time consuming, demoralizing, and expensive. Scores that are written back into the university database can easily become part of a more global marketing effort. As prospects engage with marketing campaigns and university events and activities, their contact score may (or may not) increase without wasting gift officer’s time and effort.

Contacts’ values are typically only hot for a period of time. Senior staff and management’s direct view to the factors that influence a contact’s ranking displays important insights into the contact’s behaviors and aids in selecting the gift officer best suited to manage the lead. Rapid assignment of high-ranking prospects to qualified gift officers has proven quite successful. Clients who have used piLYTIX Dynamic Contact Scoring platform have regularly seen greater than 30% of the highest ranked prospects convert to a win. This targeted focused approach to contact qualification and distribution maximizes efficiency and saves money. Without a contact scoring system that identifies the ‘hot’ leads and updates nightly, prospects may as well be pulled from a hat for distribution.

Developing a healthy fundraising strategy includes providing gift officers and management an optimum opportunity to cultivate a donor by maximizing the right tools for the job. Of course, gift officers still need to court donors, however, a dynamic contact scoring model gives gift officers the best opportunity to be successful by providing a powerful view to each potential donor early in the fundraising process.