Digital Must-Haves for Fall Fundraising Success Part 1: Dynamic Ask Strings

September 18, 2020  |  Richard Gabrintina

With #GivingTuesday and Year-End right around the corner, your nonprofit is probably already feeling the pressure to have a fool-proof fundraising plan. Don’t worry - if you’re not there yet, you’re not alone. First, why don’t you take a moment to breathe deeply, roll back your shoulders, unclench your jaw, readjust your posture, and hydrate. In our newest 6-part blog series, the EveryAction team is here to help. We’ll be releasing a new blog post every week, each of which will highlight a key digital feature your organization can start implementing now to boost fundraising this fall. First up: dynamic ask strings.

What is a dynamic ask string?

An ask string (or gift string, gift array, ask array, etc.) is a list of suggested gift amounts that appear on an ask. A dynamic ask string is an ask string that calculates the suggested gift amounts based on the giving history of a unique, individual donor. The giving history factors in values such as the highest previous contribution (HPC) amount, most recent contribution (MRC) amount, average contribution amount, or a value stored in a custom currency contact field.

Conversely, a static ask string is a list of ask amounts that prompt all donors for the same amount. If a donor’s HPC was $200 and their MRC was $50, however, it might not be the most effective fundraising approach to start your ask with $20. This is where dynamic ask strings can come handy!

Dynamic ask string
Easily set up and customize a dynamic ask string in EveryAction’s Targeted Email workflow.

Even though dynamic ask strings aren’t a new concept in the world of nonprofit fundraising, the way in which your nonprofit potentially isn’t using them might be. Dynamic ask strings are commonly found in direct mail, but are you regularly incorporating them into your emails as well?

Customizing your digital donation form to include a dynamic ask string can be highly beneficial. In fact, the CDR Fundraising Group estimates that doing so could increase response rate by 50% and average gift by 40%.

In order to effectively build dynamic ask strings, it’s important to have access to a full picture of your donor data within the tool you are using to build your emails and digital forms. Using a unified CRM like EveryAction will make this process much easier.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to setting ask amounts - every organization’s audience is unique. For this reason, data collection and testing are critical! Test early and try out different formulas or custom contribution amounts to see what resonates best with your donors.

Can’t wait till next week’s post for more fall fundraising tips? Download our free guide, “Your Guide to a Successful #GivingTuesday and Year-End 2020: Strategies and Tools for Fall Fundraising in Uncertain Times” to get the insight into the tips, techniques, and tools you need to make this year a success.

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