We've done a ton of work with a variety of non-profit, higher ed, and healthcare fundraisers to develop best practices to help them segment their prospects. The Big Idea is that not all prospects are the same. We often see fundraisers approaching their prospect base in an undifferentiated manner … often with the logic that goes along the lines of "if we don't mail our year-end offering to everyone we might miss somebody". But this actually is quite inefficient and may cost more and produce less revenue than a more focused approach.
The concept is to figure out how to group prospects based on capacity, advancement engagement, patient connection (for healthcare fundraisers), and interest areas. This then leads to a variety of differentiated strategies …. Segments A1-A2 and B1-B2 are prime for the major giving teams, A3-A4 for leadership annual giving cultivation, C1-C2 and D1-D2 comprise the core of the annual giving program, etc. Also helps to figure out the "ask levels" … for example "consider making a $25, $50, or $100 gift" might be a comfortable ask for the D3 Segment, but for others in the B3 segment it could actually be an insult … you'd be better off asking $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000!!! And knowing what somebody's interests are will help you focus the messaging to them … which will clearly increase the hit rate.
Just published a whitepaper on this which you can grab at https://www.pursuant.com/ebook/who-will-give-right-now-secrets-to-major-gift-segmentation/. We also would love talking about this stuff … would be glad to share more our thoughts and observations. Just let me know.
EVP Pursuant || President Advizor