There is one really low tech way to make your high tech online fundraising campaigns perform better: using your donor data.

It sounds shockingly simple, but I propose this is like using Excel: Anyone can enter data into the cells (simple), but only masters make the most of it. Anyone can insert their donor’s first name into an email solicitation, but only master fundraisers use their donor data to build advanced and high-performing campaigns.

What data you’ll use to amplify your online fundraising campaigns and, even your offline campaigns will naturally vary organization to organization. For example, it makes sense for an animal welfare organization to potentially use pet ownership data, but that’s in no way applicable to a hospital foundation. So the first pro tip: Use your unique data to stand out.

Beyond that though, there are four data points every nonprofit organization can use to strengthen solicitations.

Four Go-To Donor Data Points

Giving History

This includes gift size, gift frequency, gift recency, gift type, and lifetime giving value.

Email History

This includes list join date, opens, click-throughs, and of course, opt-outs.


This is all about how your donors relate to your organization and each other, including family, friends, and professional relationships.

Other Engagement

This includes volunteer engagement, such as committee or board membership, advocacy activity, event attendance, or even service recipient.

Watch our two-minute video (below) on using engagement data to improve your fundraising solicitations, or learn about using every data point and how to write effective email solicitations in our full webinar, “Amplify Your Digital Asks.”