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How Machine Learning Can Reveal Trends with Your Donors: Part 1

06/18/2024 How Machine Learning Can Reveal Trends with Your Donors

Are you a nonprofit looking for ways to tap into the power of data to understand your donors and their giving behavior better? Imagine uncovering rich revelations about donor trends and preferences, making it easier to connect with your supporters on a more personal level. Thanks to advancements in Machine Learning (ML), nonprofits can now access powerful tools to revolutionize their fundraising activities.

So, how exactly does Machine Learning make it easier to uncover important information about donors and donor trends? This AWS post highlights many of the technical aspects of ML models.

Machine Learning is the compass that’s transforming how nonprofits unearth valuable information about their supporters. Here, we’ll kick off a series exploring how ML is revolutionizing donor data analysis, enhancing donor segmentation, and shaping the future of fundraising. Stay tuned for Part Two…

A Deeper Dive into Donor Data

Fundraisers have always sifted through donor data to find patterns, but Machine Learning automates and refines this process. The true power of Machine Learning is its ability to build hundreds of models for each campaign that a nonprofit can then use to grow its donor base. It can swiftly analyze years of donation history, psychographics, and communication engagement to hone in on factors influencing giving. If used correctly, ML can also identify who is not likely to give, saving an organization countless wasted dollars on marketing to an uninterested audience. This scaleable, granular analysis unveils the preferences and behaviors that separate lifelong supporters from one-time donors or indifferent individuals, guiding fundraisers in tailoring their strategies.

Machine Learning: The Game Changer for Donor Segmentation

Machine Learning elevates donor segmentation from a basic classification task, which is typically RFM, to a nuanced and dynamic process. Gone are the days of segmenting by basic demographics. With Machine Learning’s ability to mine data quickly and intelligently, organizations will find they can segment individuals based on far more personalized and impactful attributes. With more personal segmentation, predicting donor actions, and identifying preferences, nonprofits can create highly targeted fundraising campaigns on a whole new level.

Prescriptive Analytics for Proactive Fundraising

ML’s analytical power helps organizations anticipate donor behavior—from superficial indicators like who is likely to respond to deeper factors like what creative elements generate larger gifts. By analyzing past giving patterns, amounts, and communication channels, among other factors like color preferences, font, and font size, it can go beyond forecasting who is likely to give, when, and how much but what will get a response. Machine Learning can literally see a campaign from a million different perspectives and factor in infinite dimensions that standard analysis can’t detect. With these next-level details, think of this modern approach to finding donor trends as a look into the future. Now, fundraising teams can proactively reach out to these individuals with unprecedented tailored appeals right when they are most likely to donate.

Unlocking Donor Trends with Machine Learning

ML not only helps in understanding individual donor behaviors but also in spotting broader trends across the donor base. Machine algorithms are adept at identifying subtle, complex patterns in data that might elude human analysts. This can include seasonal trends, the impact of external events on giving, unknown bias, or the emergence of new donor demographics.

Implementing Machine Learning in Your Fundraising Strategy

Ready to channel the power of Ai for your nonprofit? Here’s how to get started.

Partner with the Right Tech Providers

Nonprofits may not have the in-house expertise to develop Machine Learning systems from scratch. Partnering with tech providers that offer Machine Learning solutions tailored to fundraising can jump-start the process. VeraData’s Machine Learning and Ai solutions combine the deepest donor data with the most sophisticated technology and data science capabilities to see the future in ways others simply cannot replicate.

Train Your Team on Machine Learning Fundamentals

Fundraising teams must understand the basics of Machine Learning to use it effectively. Investing in training can demystify the technology and qualify your team to make data-driven decisions.


Machine Learning is reshaping the fundraising landscape by providing deeper insights into donor behaviors and trends. It empowers nonprofits to personalize their outreach, predict future giving patterns, and adapt to changes swiftly. While implementing Machine Learning requires some due diligence, its benefits can significantly enhance fundraising efforts. By embracing this technology, organizations can ensure they are well-equipped to meet the evolving expectations of their donors and secure the resources needed to fulfill their missions.

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