Fanalytical’s Insights Help Preserve Elite Donors

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Posted on 2022-06-20

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Being able to retain donors is critical to sustaining booster program revenues. A major independent institution partnered with Fanalytical to proactively identify at-risk accounts.

Fanalytical performed several different analyses for the institution's athletic association, one of which was identifying donors who were at risk of churning, or failing to renew their donations. The purpose was to more effectively utilize resources to help persuade donors to continue to retain their benefits associated with their booster giving level  and secure necessary resources for the athletics program. 

Jargon Alert! LYBUNTS

For this analysis, Fanalytical utilized the principles of LYBUNTS analysis, finding former donors who had not renewed their donation for the past year. Unfamiliar with the term? LYBUNTS is an acronym for “Last Year, But Unfortunately Not This Year.” Fanalytical's proprietary machine learning algorithm enabled the athletic association to explore the relationship between sustained giving levels and hundreds of data points on each donor. 

The analysis involved two segments that separated the lower tier donor groups and the higher tier groups. The two segments have their own model to identify donors in those tiers at-risk of churning. Each of these segments has different factors that drive their respective models. 

Key Finding: Time Since Last Donation

The analysis revealed that the most telling variable as to whether or not an individual in the bottom three donation tiers would retain a donor’s support was the number of days since their first donation. The longer elapsed time since their first donation, the more likely the donor was to continue donating. 

For higher tier donors, the amount of merchandise purchased before 2015 was the largest model driver. In the higher tier segment, just 40% of the unrenewed accounts were projected to be at-risk. This is down from the over 50% of unrenewed accounts that were at-risk.

Put Your Data to Work for Your Booster Club

Fanalytical’s analysis is driven by predictive modeling, which helped identify donors at-risk of lapsing on their gift. While the athletic association could have certainly eventually called these individuals, Fanalytical took out the guesswork and provided specific information that helped make the contact process more efficient.

The data revealed an interesting insight: the amount of the gift wasn’t a factor; it was the timing or recency of the gift. With this insight, the athletic association was able to adjust a mid-year campaign message from the traditional ‘renew at your previous amount’ to a message requesting a low-level of support for a specific cause. Gaining a small gift of $25 or $50 toward a targeted campaign establishes the rhythm of giving and ensures ‘share of mind’ in the donor’s philanthropic priorities. Thus, when the established year-end annual campaign was executed, these donors readily recalled their commitment to the program and renewed it at a higher level than those who had not made an incremental gift mid-year.

In helping the athletic association identify and target at-risk gift-givers, Fanalytical showed the effectiveness of their analytics, in addition to the efficiency benefits of their service. By cutting down the time, fiscal, and human resources needed to create contact lists, programs are able to invest those resources in other endeavors.