from The Wall Street Journal:
When your favorite nonprofit isn’t busy saving the whales, chances are it’s making a serious behind-the-scenes effort to know you better – using increasingly sophisticated technology. It can survey your salary history, scan your LinkedIn connections or use satellite images to eyeball the size of your swimming pool. If it’s really on the ball, the charity can even get an email alert when your stock holdings double.
… Predictive analytics – the science of identifying and cultivating new donors by analyzing characteristics of existing donors – has become indispensable to many nonprofits. Meanwhile, fund-raisers can instantly download reports on potential givers from data providers like Blackbaud or WealthEngine. The reports have a numerical score assessing the prospect’s net worth and whether she’s likely to donate. But the details can include career history and education, stock holdings, charitable-giving history, campaign contributions, and even information about a prospect’s home, including its assessed value and satellite photos that reveal its swank factor.