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Powering your capital campaign with data

By September 6, 2016October 13th, 2021Steier Wire

Good data is the cornerstone of a modern, successful fundraising effort. A solid capital campaign database with updated contact information and previous donation information proves vital to a successful effort.

The Steier Group helps our clients use wealth research to get a feel for what is possible through a campaign. Then we use that data to design compelling infographics that inspire donors to give.

For our diocesan clients, the effective use of data can add millions to a campaign total.

Database management

An updated capital campaign database is a powerful tool for any diocesan fundraising effort.

It’s the key to your donors, big and small alike. Good data is the foundation upon which you can build a successful campaign.

Improve your database with these important steps:

  • Update your parish information. Is your parish household information up to date? If not, put a plan in place to get that information up to date and keep it that way. Use the annual appeal data or the subscriber list for the Catholic newspaper as a base and build from there.
  • Don’t lose touch with your donors. Make sure to keep your database up to date by keeping in contact with your donors. This can be simple touches or more complex campaigns. If you have “snowbirds” in your system, make sure to gather information on vacation homes.
  • Use email append services. If your database is up to date in most areas but lacks email addresses, email append services can help boost your digital capabilities. The service takes your known data, matches it against an email address database and fills in the holes.

Wealth research

Once your database is in working order, you can capitalize on that data with proper donor research and wealth screening. These techniques provide you with important information before approaching key donors with gift amounts. These techniques also uncover diamonds in the rough.

Here are some ways donor research and wealth screening can benefit your campaign:

  • Setting request amounts. Research could be the difference between a six- or seven-figure gift. Without knowing the giving capacity for each of your donors, you run the risk of missing out on significant amounts of money.
  • Finding new donors. Proper research will help you identify new donors and target them for an appropriate amount for a first gift.
  • Uncover diamonds in the rough. There are likely many donors in your database giving well below their capacity. Wealth screening will allow you to identify these individuals and provide you with the confidence to ask them for a larger gift.


In addition to the power that data provides to your campaign team, it can also present a compelling case for your campaign. Few, if any, donors are moved by blocks and blocks of text. Infographics are a great way to share your story in a style that will catch a donor’s eye.

What makes for a good infographic:

  • Great data. If your diocese is growing or you’ve seen a surge in seminarians, use that data to your advantage. A good chart or infographic can make your case stronger.
  • Strong graphics. The data you’ve collected is the key to selling a project to your constituents. But most donors won’t be inspired by small charts of numbers or poorly designed graphs. The right graphics, professionally designed, will not only reinforce the story the data is telling but also magnify the importance to your donors.
  • Short and sweet. Infographics should be concise and to the point. Leave the long explanations for other documents.