This week I started a new data science contract for a post-secondary institution in the US. The idea is to build a major gift prospect model that predicts likelihood of a donor responding to a high level gift ask. I’ve done many of them over the years, and frankly, I still love them.
Any time I do a project like this, you can imagine that I get a lot of different data about each of the client organization’s donors. However, my favourite piece of information about a donor in any of these projects is simply this: their geographical coordinates (i.e. their latitude and longitude) of where they live.
When you’re able to get your donors’ geographical coordinates, the first most obvious thing you can do is simply plot them on a map. Where do they tend to live? Are they very concentrated in one area, or are they very dispersed? Or perhaps, are there major pockets of them in different parts of the country? Answers to these questions could change how you choose to communicate with them in the future.
Next, are donors more or less likely to give high level donations to your organization if they live closer vs further away from your organization’s head office? Take for example the below image, taken from a contract I did for a US organization. The idea was to score donors based on their likelihood of upgrading to giving at least $5,000 or higher in any one year if asked. I was curious if there was a geographical component. Sure enough, there was! The closer a donor was to their New York office, the more likely they were to upgrade. This was great in that it meant that they could focus their solicitation efforts on a more localized part of the US, compared with spreading their efforts way too thin.
Mapping your donors is great. Once you do it and take a look at the results, you get drawn in to the locations on the map that are familiar to you. They give you ideas as to how to proceed with your campaign work and help make you more efficient.
Do I have your interest? Let me know if so 🙂