Fundraising: Configuration: Ask Array
- This tutorial will cover how to configure ask arrays for use in fundraising/donations.
- Ask Arrays are suggested donation amounts that are presented to the donor when they are making an online donation and presented to the user in the Gift Amount section of the Add/Edit Gift screen.
- The ask array is tied to the Fund. When you select the Fund on Add Gift, the ask amounts/levels populate. In general, the configuration steps are to first configure your ask array (ask levels) and then configure the fund and select the ask array on the add/edit fund screen (see our tutorial on configuring funds for more information).
- Ask Arrays can either be Fixed (set amount determined by the user/all users presented with the same ask amounts) or Dynamic (ask amounts are tailored to the giving history of each individual donor). An example of a Fixed ask array is one where all donors are asked for the same amounts such as $25, $50, or $75.
- An example of a dynamic array is pictured below. You will see that the exact same fund has been selected in both examples. However, the ask amounts change based on the donor because the ask amounts are calculated dynamically based on each contact's past giving history. As mentioned previously, ask arrays, whether fixed or dynamic, will control the ask amounts displayed on your website to online donors as well as on the Add/Edit Gift screen and also the ask amount presented to donors via the e-appeals module.
- You must have at least one Ask Array configured (Ask Array is a required configuration/field when setting up Funds, and Funds are required for recording donations). By default, your system comes with a default Standard (simple) Fixed Ask Array that you can use out of the box or that you can edit/customize. You can also create additional Ask Arrays.
- Generally, you will create a new Ask Array when you have a set of donations that have different Ask Amounts (for instance, your general donations might have ask amounts of $25, $50, $100, and $250 and your event sponsorships might have ask amounts of $250, $500, $750, and $1000 in which case, you would need two different ask arrays) or donations that have different tax deductibility amounts/rules.
- To configure Ask Arrays, start by clicking on Fundraising on the main menu to open the fundraising sub-menu and then click Ask Arrays under the Configurations heading.
- This will take you to the Ask Array index page, where you will see a list of your previously configured/existing ask arrays.
- To edit or delete an existing ask array, select Edit or Delete from the drop down to the right of the ask array. You cannot delete any Ask Arrays that are in use (attached to a fund or is being used on a donation page).
- To create a new Ask Array, click on the Add New Ask Array button in the bottom right.
- In the resulting screen, start by specifying a unique code for this ask array and a descriptive name in the Code and Description fields respectively.
- Next, specify what method the ask array will use to calculate which range/category each donor will fall into (that is, if you want donors who have previously given between $0 and $100 to be asked to give $100, and donors who have previously given between $101 and $250 to be asked to give $200, and donors who have previously given between $251 and $500 to be asked to give $450, how do you want the system to determine which tier/category of past giving each donor falls into?).
Average Amount = the average of the donor's past giving
First Gift Amount = the value of the donor's first donation made to your organization (that is recorded in your CRM)
High Amount = the largest gift amount the donor has ever made to your organization
Last Gift Amount = the value of the donor's most recent gift to your organization
Most Common Gift Amount = the donor's most frequently donated amount
Olympic Average Amount = the average of the donor's gift computed after excluding the highest and lowest values
- If the value of the donor's past giving history should be rounded, specify the rounding method using the Apply Rounding drop-down.
- If you use the Nearest option, you will need to specify the interval that will be rounded to in the To Nearest field (nearest $5 would round $26.32 to $25, nearest $10 would round $26.32 to $30, etc.).
- Next, select the culture that this ask array is intended for from the Culture drop down.
- If this Ask Array will be used on first-time donors/those with no donation/giving history, then select the "Acquisition" box.
- Select the "Is Default Ask?" box if you want this Ask Array to be the default Ask Array used for all Donations made to Funds that don't have their own Ask Array configured.
- When you have configured the Ask Array information, click on Save & Proceed to continue on to configuring the ask array options.
- When creating Ask Arrays, you will be able to specify different ask array configurations and options based on amount ranges. Amount Ranges are the categories your donors will fall into based on their past giving history.
- The Ask Details of each Range/Category will be the specific donation amounts the donors in that category will be asked to give.
- By default, the system will start with a $0 range for donors whom have either not given at all or have given any amount.
- To create new range increments enter a value in the dialogue box under Range and click the Add button (this step is optional. If you want everyone to be presented with the same ask amounts, skip this step).
- Each range value will apply to that amount and above, until the next range value is reached. That is, each range that you create is the FLOOR of that category (and, by extension, the ceiling of the previous category). That is, if you have two ranges - $0 and $100, then your first category/range is those who have previously given $0-$99 and your second range is those who have previously given $100 or more.
- To delete a range increment, check the box to the left of that increment and click on the Trashcan (delete) button to the top right of the range section.
- To create the actual ask amounts for each range, click on that range increment on the left, and then click the Add button or the "+" button in the Ask Details/right pane.
- To configure an ask option, start by selecting the Function to be used to calculate the value of the option.
- Fixed is used for finite/set amounts that you specify in the Gift Amount field.
- Text will provide an option (a text box) for the prospective donor to enter their own amount with an instructive name entered into the Gift Amount field.
- Calculated, which is only available in non-Acquisition ask arrays, will calculate a value for the option based on the donor’s history.
- When using the calculated option, you will need to select what base amount the option will be calculated from with the Gift Amount drop-down.
- Next select the mathematical operator and value that will be applied against the base value to result in the final value for this ask option. In this example, we have instructed the system to take the donor's highest gift amount from his/her past giving history and add $10 to that amount. This amount (highest past gift + $10) is the amount each donor in our $0-$99 past giving range (based on average giving) will be asked to give.
- If desired, you can specify that the value is to be rounded, and if so what increment it should be rounded to.
- You may also specify a Minimum and Maximum value/donation ask amount that the resulting calculated value can be.
- For all three functions you will have the option to modify the tax deductible value as either a fixed amount or percentage of the donated amount.
- The This Gift Provides check-box allows for a second calculation, which can be used to show the benefit a gift will provide to potential recipients as a result of the donor's contribution (for example, "this gift will provide food and shelter to 1 kitten for a week" or "this gift provides $95 worth of building materials to our affordable homes program"). This field is optional.
- For the This Gift Provides area, you can select whether to enter a Fixed Amount (the same amount regardless of donation amount), a Text Description of what the donation provides, or a Calculated Amount which will calculate the value of the donor's gift based on the formula you provide.
- For every donor/donation range you can specific multiple asks. This is optional. You can create an ask array with no ranges (everyone gets asked to give the same amount) and only one ask that is a text field/"type the amount you want to give" field. Or you can create a very complicated ask array with multiple ranges and multiple asks per range. It's entirely up to you how simple or complicated to make the ask array.
Donors who previously gave $0 - $99 might be asked to give a flat amount of $25, their last/most recent gift amount, their highest past gift amount, and their highest gift amount + 30% (stretch ask) (4 donation amount options)
Donors who previously gave $100-$249 might be asked to give $250 and/or their most recent donation amount + $100 (2 donation amount options)
Donors who previously gave $250+ might be asked to give $300, $500, $1,000 or their highest past donation amount + $250 (4 donation amount options)
- When you have finished configuring all ask array ranges and their subsequent options click on the Save button in the lower right and use the Back button to return to the list of configured ask arrays.
- To use the Ask Array, either set it as the default ask or attach it to a specific Fund by going to Fundraising: Funds.
- Edit an existing Fund or create a new one. Under Set Ask Amount, select the Ask Array you have previously configured or create a new Ask Array directly from within the Fund Configuration.
- The Sample Ask button will allow you to preview the Ask Array.
- Now, when a donation is made to the Fund that has your ask array (or any donation is made if you have set your Ask Array as the default ask), your suggested ask amounts will show in the Gift Amount area of the add/edit donation page. These suggested ask amounts will also be shown to donors making donations online via WordPress Plug-In, Morweb, or Pages.
- See also the recording of our "Year End Thank Yous, Ask Arrays, and Donation Premiums" webinar.