DonorBureau

The right ask. To the right donor. At the right time.

Hitting the Bullseye on Cause Marketing with Predictive Analytics

The Situation

The simple truth for most nonprofits is that many worthy causes are vying for attention from finite audiences. With more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S. alone, successful nonprofits have less of their audiences’ attention and less of their time. Most nonprofit leaders would agree that raising money continues to be their greatest challenge, especially when factoring in that “giving” has not returned to pre-recession levels. But the needs of a nonprofit remain – increasing their net income to fuel the resources to pursue their mission.

Imagine being able to identify loyal supporters, understand their means and level of charitable giving, and then personalize campaigns that present higher donor interactions and outcomes. This is precisely where applied predictive analytics can be a multiplier for higher returns. However, building and deploying predictive analytics is time-consuming, budget-breaking, and for the layperson, challenging to implement and maintain.

As a small company, DonorBureau was facing its own challenge: how to provide more effective and accurate predictive models to differentiate itself in a competitive market. Ideally, they would like to have a large team of data scientists on staff, but those are coveted positions that come at a premium.

Working with over 900 million mail transactions, 140 million donations, and over 40 million individuals, the predictive modeling demands were mounting. DonorBureau looked to DataRobot’s predictive analytics platform to fulfill this resource, ultimately surpassing expectations.

“There was no training needed. We took it right out of the box and into our Python workflow. We work with lots of vendors. And the best experience by far has been with DataRobot.” – Brian Johnson VP Product and Operations, DonorBureau

The Solution

Predictive analytics requires predictive modeling. Foregoing a large team of full-time data scientists and the drudgery of technology and coding, the company partnered with DataRobot who provided an automated, highly accurate, fast, and costeffective predictive modeling solution, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Because of the DataRobot Cloud platform’s powerful algorithms, DonorBureau was able to automatically generate far more accurate models in a fraction of the time. The benefits were immediate and continuous. The team quickly experienced a 10% improvement in accuracy right out of the box, with no fine-tuning and a total cost of ownership amounting to just 25% of their previous expense.

Today, clients of DonorBureau are reaping the rewards of predictive analytics to consistently and accurately campaign with a deeper understanding of the science behind fundraising and cause marketing programs.

  • 75% lower TCO than what DonorBureau was paying before, with open source tools.
  • 10% better quality with little or no tuning, right out of the box.
  • One day for anyone in the organization to build and test a new model, down from one to two weeks before.

“The great thing about DataRobot is that the only thing now limiting the models we build is our imagination. There’s no simpler way to interact with data science than with DataRobot.” – Brian Johnson VP Product and Operations, DonorBureau

About DonorBureau

Making every contact matter Since its inception in 2011, DonorBureau has helped hundreds of nonprofits, fundraising organizations, and agencies maximize their return on investment from their fundraising campaigns. Using predictive analytics, DonorBureau provides modeling and segmentation services aimed at improving the efficiency of fundraising appeals. Their proven models help predict how receptive a prospect will be to an organization, with a specific appeal, at a specific time of the year and frequency of contact. The result is that their clients benefit from an increase in Lifetime Value per Donor from 25-40%.