Introduction to Engagement Scoring: Tools and Techniques

Nov 21, 2023

Welcome to the world of engagement scoring—a dynamic strategy that has the potential to revolutionize the way your nonprofit interacts with supporters and drives long-term giving. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to understand what engagement scoring is, the invaluable benefits it offers, how organizations effectively use it, and the essential techniques for creating engagement scores that make a real impact.

Let’s dive in!

What is Engagement Scoring?

Engagement scoring is not just a buzzword; it’s a strategic method for nonprofits to measure and quantify supporter interaction and involvement. By assigning numerical values to various actions, such as website visits, email opens, event attendance, or volunteer hours, nonprofits gain greater insights into their audience’s engagement levels and preferences.

How Do Nonprofit Organizations Use Engagement Scoring?

Donor engagement goes beyond simple giving patterns—it encompasses various factors like giving velocity, event attendance, volunteer contributions, and email subscription status. Unlike traditional giving models, engagement scoring is subjective and requires careful consideration. Is someone attending an event more engaged than an occasional donor? The scoring process is intricate and unique to each organization.

Common use cases for engagement scoring include:

  • Highly engaged underperformers that are ripe to upgrade​
  • Most engaged non-donors​
  • Most engaged young constituents​
  • Who can be an influencer for P2P ​
  • Identify “At risk” ​
  • Who will come to an event​
  • Who is most likely to volunteer​
  • Which attendees or volunteers are most likely to turn into a donor​
  • RFM Scores​
  • And more

Methods for Building the Scores: An Approach to Getting Started

To harness the full potential of engagement scoring, you can get started by following a well-structured approach.

  1. Decide what to score. Start by defining what specific behaviors or interactions you want to score based on your organization’s goals and priorities.
  2. Determine the variables. Identify the variables that will come into play when building your scoring model. For instance, if you aim to predict event attendance, consider past event attendance and if you’re hosting a local event, local donor data.
  3. Assign relative weights. Not all variables hold the same significance. Determine the relative weight of each variable to ensure accurate scoring.
  4. Score your constituents. Let the numbers tell the story. Score your constituents against the model you’ve created.
  5. Segment your communication. Instead of sending generic, one-size-fits-all messages to your supporters, harness the power of engagement scores to segment your audience and deliver personalized and relevant communication. For example, if you’ve identified a group of highly engaged supporters who consistently attend your events, you can create tailored event invitations and updates specifically for them. On the other hand, if you have donors who are less engaged but follow your organization on social media, you might send them content that aligns with their online interests.
  6. A/B Testing. Continuously monitor your engagement scores and perform A/B testing to refine your models and messaging. If you are just getting started with engagement scoring and don’t have any tools to help, you can start with the steps mentioned above, and do a simple export from Raiser’s Edge into excel, and give each donor a score.

Scaling Your Nonprofit’s Engagement Scoring Process

Engagement scoring can quickly become complex.​ Between scores quickly becoming stale, to the tedious and time-consuming process it takes for teams to manually adjust scoring models, nonprofits require a scalable way to build more sophisticated scoring models over time.  ScoreOmatic is an engagement scoring tool that allows you to compile constituent scores within Raiser’s Edge.

With ScoreOmatic, nonprofits can:

  • Easily implement scoring models for different teams and segments​.
  • Dynamically adjust and update scoring on-the-fly​.
  • Cultivate informed and impactful interactions with donors.

“Due to multiple teams with varying needs that sought inputs into the engagement score, we experienced a complex, unwieldy system.​ We reevaluated our approach, asking whether we were seeking engagement or donations, leading us to build tailored scoring for different use cases.​ Using ScoreOmatic, we were able to customize engagement scores, designed to meet specific objectives, which enabled us to rapidly identify key metrics and drive meaningful results.”​ – Jennifer Vincent, Blackbaud

Conclusion

Engagement scoring is your key to unlocking the full potential of donor relationships. It offers nonprofits a strategic edge, allowing you to engage more effectively with supporters, enhance donor retention, and maximize your mission’s impact. With tools like ScoreOmatic, you can streamline the scoring process, making it more efficient and impactful.

Ready to learn how your nonprofit’s engagement and fundraising can improve through the power of scoring? Check out our recent webinar!

 

 

Heather Jackson

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