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Case Study

Tree House Humane Society

How a Chicago-based animal shelter used new fundraising technology to identify planned and major giving prospects who would otherwise have become missed opportunities.

 
 
 

By the
Numbers

50

Donor list includes people from all 50 states

$25k

23 prospects were identified as the potential of donating $25k and up.

25

Every month they discuss their “top 25” list, who is most viable, who they’ve connected with, and from there, move forward with personal outreach.

By the
Numbers

50

Donor list includes people from all 50 states

$25k

23 prospects were identified as the potential of donating $25k and up.

25

Every month they discuss their “top 25” list, who is most viable, who they’ve connected with, and from there, move forward with personal outreach.

The Challenge

Tree House Humane Society’s small fundraising team previously used three separate software platforms to assist their efforts. They found over time that their research software fell short of delivering actionable insights and was not as robust as they needed. That made prospecting for potential major donors, as well as segmentation, challenging and inefficient.

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Before GivingDNA, pulling lists and segmenting them for planned giving, major gifts, or annual funds was dizzying. GivingDNA helps us prioritize and segment those leads to be more effective. We’re a small shop, so it’s critical that we have tools that help us prioritize our time.

Raissa Allaire
Executive Director

The Potential

With their previous software suite and research efforts, the Tree House Humane Society fundraising team determined that they had a gap between active donors and potential donors based on their likely capacity to give and giving affinities. Donors’ locations spanned coast-to-coast, so they knew there was great interest in and support of their mission far beyond the Chicago area. If they could more accurately target even some of those prospects who had the capacity to become sustainers or even major donors, the potential impact to Tree House Humane Society’s bottom line numbered in the millions of dollars!

 

The Solution

Tree House Humane Society knew that with the right technology and expert assistance, they could better focus their efforts and tailor their communications to reach more prospects. So they enlisted the help of Pursuant and integrated GivingDNA into their fundraising program. GivingDNA’s robust segmentation features allowed them to tailor messaging to reach prospects not previously on their radar.

The Tree House fundraising team immediately began to appreciate the benefits of having GivingDNA in their tech stack, particularly for advancing their planned and major giving segments. “What’s great about the platform is the map of our donors’ locations. While we anecdotally knew, it was great to see it visually and be able to market that as a strong point of Tree Houses’ works. We actually used that map in one of the publications we sent to our donors and the general public!”

 

Since adopting GivingDNA, Tree Houses’ donor list now includes people from all 50 states.

The Results

Tree House has already begun to see a huge return on their investment in adopting the GivingDNA platform. “GivingDNA is bubbling up people already in our databases who are viable donors we would have never otherwise discovered,” said Executive Director Raissa Allaire. “Before we send out our quarterly newsletter, we mine our database as part of our prospecting process. As a result, we were able to have a conversation with a donor of ours who let us know that we were in her will for a gift of up to $9 million. Now, we can properly steward them.”

In the major giving area, Tree House identified at least 23 prospects that weren’t previously on their radar. Those prospects have demonstrated a capacity for major gifts -- $25,000 and up. Every month Allaire’s team meets to discuss their “top 25” list, who is most viable, who they’ve connected with, and from there, move forward with personal outreach.

Major and planned gifts that have come to fruition since implementing GivingDNA have already made enough an impact on Tree House that they are beginning to plan key initiatives such as infrastructure investments – things they would not ordinarily be able to fund with their $3.4 million annual budget.

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I think for us having a small development shop, GivingDNA helps us prioritize our time and the opportunities that may be the most viable. So for me, I’ve seen value in that it helps our team and me become better at making decisions and figuring out where to spend our time and resources on fundraising. GivingDNA has allowed us to work smarter and ensure we’re not leaving opportunities at the table.

Raissa Allaire
Executive Director

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