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Case Study

Lutheran Hour Ministries

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a global Christian outreach ministry that uses radio programs, daily devotions, and other resources to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It reaches 196 million people worldwide every week.

The organization worked with Allegiance Group + Pursuant to uncover more mid-level donors with the potential for increased giving. Through our GivingDNA tool — and in partnership with data company Windfall — LHM’s development team was able to build rapport and foster relationships with donors, leading to a sizeable increase in donations.


By the


endowment pledge and an additional $100,000 gift intention from one donor


pledge from a donor


estate gifts

By the


$500,000 endowment pledge and an additional $100,000 gift intention from one donor


$100,000 pledge from a donor


$305,000 estate gifts

The Challenge

Lutheran Hour Ministries’ constituents highly regard the ministry, but many associate it with its Lutheran radio program, established in 1930. However, this program now represents less than 1% of the ministry’s activities and programs. The organization’s Chief Development Officer, Terry Biesboer, recognized the importance of communicating the full scope of the ministry’s endeavors.

Because historical data was lacking, the main obstacle was identifying mid-level donors with the potential to make major gift pledges and donations. While many donors felt a strong affinity for the ministry, determining those with the financial capacity to contribute significantly posed another major challenge.


Through the strategic use of data-driven insights provided by GivingDNA + Windfall, Lutheran Hour Ministries successfully unlocked major gift opportunities within our donor base. This led to significant increases in philanthropic support, ultimately advancing our mission and impact.

Terry Biesboer, CFRE
Chief Development Officer

The Solution

LHM integrated data from Windfall with GivingDNA to segment mid-level donors in its portfolio and gain deeper insights into their giving capacities and philanthropic interests. The ministry used smart segmentation and combined data sources like primary donor

information, demographics/relation information from GivingDNA, and detailed wealth insights from Windfall. It could then effectively segment its donor base and identify those with a high net worth and strong affinity for the ministry.

Gift officers strategically engaged with prospects on this list, conducting in-person visits and cultivating relationships to nurture potential future gifts. They went to homes, knocked on doors, and left sweet treats and handwritten notes. People immediately called back to thank them and update their contact information. Even better, the prospects either made an appointment on the spot or asked the gift officer to call the next time they were in town.

It previously took LHM 18–24 months to secure a major gift after the first meeting with a donor (without a referral). However, after reaching out to only 10 prospects in six months, the ministry achieved remarkable results. They continue to assess the impact of their outreach and refine their approach based on donor responses and feedback.

The Results

With data insights from Windfall and GivingDNA, LHM uncovered previously overlooked major gift prospects within its mid-level donor file. As a result, it saw a substantial increase in major gift pledges and donations from donors who had yet to make significant contributions to the organization.

Gift officers reported successful cultivation efforts, with donors expressing strong interest in making major gifts such as endowments and estate planning. Ultimately, the partnership with GivingDNA and Windfall identified donors with the potential to contribute millions of dollars in major gifts to Lutheran Hour Ministries.

The ability to identify major gift prospects among LHM’s mid-level donors has significantly impacted the organization’s fundraising efforts. For instance, the ministry saw a record number of estate gifts in 2023; yet by the end of the first quarter of 2024, it had already doubled that record. Its development team continues to contact this list of potential major gift donors to grow their affinity and strengthen their connection.