Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

The Magic of Q1

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

First, I hope you had a Merry BIG Christmas. I am overjoyed that so many of our Wealth Window clients reported a strong season!

As you begin 2017, I suggest you take advantage of what I call, “The Magic of Q1.”

Our experience shows that Q1 is a terrific time to test: a new strategy, a new audience, and a new channel. In fact, January and February are two of the best performing months for marketing. Additionally, if your new strategies prove successful in Q1, you can benefit all year. Conversely, if they underperform, you can cut your losses quickly.

When it comes to testing, we suggest a “Structured Spending” approach for many luxury brands: 70% of your dollars go to what has proven to work; 20% is invested behind strategies that show real promise; and 10% is allocated to dramatically different approaches that have the potential to deliver vast improvements.

Here are a couple of exciting ideas we’ve seen work for our clients:


Thankfully, as we enter 2017 things are looking bright. The market remains strong. Consumer optimism is high. And government policy should be advantageous for luxury brands.

Yet since markets and consumers can be fickle, you won’t want to lose any time testing innovative strategies in Q1. I’m happy to help in any way I can to ensure you experience a magical first quarter.

Nonprofits Are Benefitting from the Wealthy’s Desire to Give Back

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A vast majority of high net worth individuals donates to nonprofit fundraisers.

High Net Worth Donors give because they believe nonprofits can make a difference.

As many charitable organizations return to levels of gifting not seen since pre-recession fundraising, a refreshingly optimistic new survey is shedding light on where that money is coming from and why.

The 2015 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey, conducted by Bank of America’s Private Wealth Management arm, identifies “what the wealthy consider to be important elements of a life well lived.” Among them is a strong desire to give back. In fact 78% of the survey respondents who hold investable assets of more than $3,000,000 participate in traditional philanthropic activities for many good reasons such as:


You see, the 1% do have a heart!

An earlier report, The 2014 U.S. Trust Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, found that 98.4% of high net worth households gave to charity, a 3% increase over the previous year. 84.4% of those gave with the intention to advance social or charitable goals. The report notes that high net worth donors are motivated to give because “ they feel moved about how their gift can make a difference.” The vast majority believes that nonprofit organizations have the ability to solve societal problems.

Of course this is not lost on directors of fundraising at all types of nonprofits from cultural to environmental to political to health and humanitarian. Acquiring a few mission-driven, high net worth donors can add up faster than gaining many low dollar donors signing up for a free umbrella in return.

The operative words here are “high net worth donors.” There are thousands of donor and income lists available on the market, but where does a nonprofit go for an audience of high net worth individuals identified as proven donors?

Why Wealth Window Major Donors of course. Right in synch with the rise in the number of affluent individuals in America, I can report higher numbers of wealthy donors on the file — nearly 7 million in total. That number was just 6 million a year ago. I can also help you navigate to the types of donors best suited to support your organization by types of causes they join. I also recommend that you test our “Power Donors” by how many thousands of dollars they give: $2,500-$4,999; $5,000-$9,999; and $10,000-$14,999.

The Rising Tide of Mass Affluence Among Women

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Women are experiencing a rise in female mass affluence and are prime prospects for luxury marketers and financial service providers.

America is seeing a rising tide of affluent women becoming captains of their own ships.

Now that women control half of the private wealth in the country,* it’s time for financial service providers, luxury real estate marketers, non-profits seeking high dollar gifts, and every other purveyor of upscale goods and services to focus on them.

Over 41% of Americans with incomes exceeding $500,000 are women. By 2020, women will account for $22 trillion in spending as wealth continues to shift from men to women. There are numerous reasons for this trend. Here are the top 3 that I can see:

Constituting half of the U.S. workforce, women are empowered to take charge, “lean in,” and demand more pay. In fact, two out of five working married affluent women age 40-69 report that they earn the same or more than their husbands. Yet when it comes to investing, they lack confidence. An overwhelming majority say that it is important women have confidence in their ability to invest, but only 8% say they are. Clearly this presents a huge opportunity for financial advisors to specifically reach out to affluent female investors.

There’s a large and growing leadership of elite female role models soaring to new heights in formerly male-dominated business sectors. Here are just a few that quickly come to mind:

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A society where women can rise to the highest levels of net worth makes it possible for women in general to attain mass affluence. This rising class of self-made professional women is making a huge impact on the economy. It’s a force to be reckoned with and I suggest that a good start is to speak to affluent women as primary decision makers in a voice that will resonate with them.

* Source: The Power of the Purse: How Smart Businesses Are Adapting to the World’s Most Important Consumer – Women

Another Peer-to-Peer Way to Fundraise by Friendraising

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Friendraise to fundraise by directly appealing to friends of their nonprofit organization's donors for peer-to-peer support.

Nonprofits can directly appeal to friends of their donors for peer-to-peer support.

Nonprofits all share one thing in common: a group of committed, mission-driven supporters. These are the valuable supporters who help make every charitable cause possible whether it be helping those in need, finding cures to disease, preserving the environment or promoting political candidates. Each core base of donors shares a passion for the causes they believe in and likely share it with their peers — friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues.

One surefire way many nonprofits accomplish this is by hosting events whereby participants ask their friends to support them in their participation. Most of us, I suspect, support friends who run 5Ks or take on challenges like the latest ALS Ice Bucket Challenge currently taking the nation by storm. Since July 29, the organization added 70,000 new donors to the cause – most of whom are friends of individuals who already support the ALS mission, which is to enhance the quality of life of those afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s Disease while searching for new treatments and a cure.

There is another way to friendraise that few nonprofits are aware of; a way that fundraisers can also grow their base by directly engaging the peers close to each donor who have already likely been exposed to your mission. By tapping into the peer network of current supporters, an organization can access a viable group of prospects who are friends with their donors. These previously unknowable individuals may already share a positive perception of your mission by way of a credible acquaintance.

This method takes advantage of smart new uses of big data whereby donor bases can be matched to consumer databases to detect relationships with people they know and have close relationships with — parents, aunts, uncles, roommates, business associates, and next door neighbors. The data is there. It’s just a matter of how you communicate with these connections that can make all the difference.

Creatively, messaging can mention that the prospect may know someone who already supports the mission. For example, lead-in copy could go something like this:

Did you know that our mission has already attracted more than 10,000 supporters? Without them we could not have made the lives of thousands of others better. Chances are you know someone who supports us or who could be helped by all that we do. Why don’t you join them in their support and share in the rewarding experience that you are both engaged in the same cause?”

In this way nonprofits can conduct peer-to-peer campaigns by directly appealing to the friends of their current donors. In addition to acquiring new supporters to the cause, friendraising through events can become even more contagious. It’s an audience building strategy that Wealth Window Connections has already helped many organizations accomplish.


Meet HARRY – Highly Affluent Really Rich Yank

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Targeting really rich consumer prospects for luxury brand marketing.

Targeting really rich consumers requires more than income data.

Achieving the status of earning that elusive six-figure income was once the telltale sign of truly making it. One-hundred-thousand-dollars! Sounds like a lot to me. But to those in the upper high-end market, that’s pocket change.

Luxury brands, exotic travel marketers and high net worth financial service providers all need really rich people to keep their businesses booming. However, finding viable luxury customers is not about how much they make. It’s how much they keep; how big their portfolios are. By definition “rich” means that you have an abundance of money or assets, not simply a high income.

Listen, a hundred grand is still a handsome sum, but when it comes to marketing to the rich, it does not mean all that much. According to the census bureau, 20% of American households currently earn six figures, but does that make them rich?

Fortune Magazine coined a name for those earning nearly half-a-million-dollars with not much to show for it after taxes, schooling, housing, and those occasional 5-star dinners: “HENRY”High Earner Not Rich Yet.

I say what you need to move the needle higher on luxury sales is HARRY Highly Affluent Really Rich Yank. And by “Yank” I mean American. (And yes, you heard it here first.)

So why the persistence of luxury direct marketers sourcing prospects solely through geo-demographic data? Why only request income level? Why not ask how the data is sourced? What do individual prospects own? How can you prove these folks are really rich?

Just because someone may make more than his neighbor does not mean they are worth more. But a rich person is secure in the knowledge that they have diversified assets in place to afford a lifestyle worthy of the rich and famous. They are the ones who can spring for a quick jaunt to Monte Carlo, a share in fractional private jet ownership or an investment in the next big thing.

You see Wealth Window does not only factor income as the determination of the wealth of an individual. We examine ownership, membership, investment, philanthropy, upscale activity and professional career data. Based on cross-verification of certain financial criteria, only then can a “HARRY” join the exclusive club that we call Wealth Window.

With No Limit on Total Political Campaign Contributions, the Rich Can Give More

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Find wealthy political campaign supporters and fundaising donors.

The race is on in the search for wealthy political fundraising donors.

SCOTUS recently ruled that the rich can now give money to an unlimited number of campaigns. Prior to the high court’s ruling, supporters were limited to giving individual candidates up to $5,200 for a maximum of $123,200 across races per two-year cycle. Now the rich can give that same amount to as many candidates as they want.

While this loosening of campaign finance laws may be controversial, one thing we can agree on is that it should be a nice boost to the direct marketing industry. The race for campaign funding is ON! With the 2014 midterms right around the corner, politicians of all stripes need to get their message out to as many super rich, passionate supporters as they can.

Aspiring and incumbent congressional candidates — you’ll find them all right here — must mount a fundraising blitz by mail, email, telephone and digital display advertising. But they need to be smart about it. Simply targeting high-income households by demographics won’t cut in in the fierce competition for donations.

Political  fundraisers need to identify major political donors who have given to campaigns and causes in the past. And they will increase their chances to gain maximum support if they target individuals of very high net worth,  rather than high income.

In today’s polarized political atmosphere, Americans are increasingly likely to participate in political activities, contribute money, contact candidates and talk to their colleagues about a campaign. This is particularly true among affluent Americans who participate more in civic life than other groups.

The lifting of the spending cap follows 2012’s Citizens United ruling, which allows political organizations funded by wealthy individuals to spend an unlimited amount of money to advance a politician’s agenda and campaign. These groups are already soliciting big-time donations from their power base and can add to that base with wealthy donors nationwide.

 What does it all mean for our country?

Don’t ask me. I only talk politics when it comes to helping our elected officials and their challengers accurately source the highest net worth supporters — whether on the left, on the right or on the fence.

Sourcing the Right Crowd for Investment Opportunities

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

crowdfunding investors

Crowdfunding is giving accredited investors direct access to entrepreneurs.

There’s a whole new level of crowdfunding and participants are looking for big returns, not just mentions or prizes. Let’s call it “crowd-investing.” It’s quickly taking shape in real estate as many investors are jumping onto new real estate crowdfunding platforms.

Through a provision in the recent JOBS act, entrepreneurs can now advertise private investments to accredited investors who earn at least a $200M annual income and possess more than $1 million in net worth.

Earlier this year Realty Mogul announced a $9 million crowdfunding round whereby  accredited investors pooled their resources and bought shares of investment properties. It’s similar to investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts, but unlike REITs investors know specifically what they are investing in such as office buildings, retail space and residential properties. In addition to investment returns, investors can claim real estate depreciations on taxes.

Forbes has gone as far as suggesting that crowdfunding may reshape the whole real estate investment model. Where entrepreneurs traditionally had to raise capital through banks or professional investors, they can now go directly to people with money to invest. This democratizing of the process allows individuals outside of institutional funds to invest in real estate properties paving the way for entrepreneurs to more easily secure capital.

A similar sea change is taking place in the entertainment world where accredited investors and high net worth individuals have the opportunity to back a movie. The film investment company Junction has been called “Kickstarter for the rich” and rewards investors based on their contribution to a film. Two films currently funded by Junction include some big Hollywood names — A Hologram for the King starring Tom Hanks and Triple Nine starring Chiwetal Ejifor, Kate Winslet and Woody Harrelson.

As in real estate, filmmakers can take their projects directly to people with money to invest thereby accessing capital more quickly than seeking bank loans or the backing of a big studio. The holy grail of this type of investor is the “angel” who’s willing to stake a filmmaker whatever it takes to get the movie produced. In many cases, the investors can play a role in the film making process.

A few recent developments have made online crowd-investing possible.

1)   The SEC lifted a decades-long ban on general solicitation. Prior to this, entrepreneurs could not try to raise money from investors with whom they did not have an existing relationship.

2)   Self-directed online investing has become the norm that entrepreneurial companies can capitalize on by pooling money from individuals who buy shares in the company or specific projects.

3)   Through new web platforms, investors can browse and screen investment opportunities, view details of the investment and sign legal documents online.

The key to success in crowd-investing is acquiring and retaining a list of accredited investors open to the concept of crowdfunding, which is no easy task. Before you solicit funding for investment opportunities via mail or email to a prospect list, make sure you ask two very important questions of the prospect data provider.

a)    Do you have accredited investors?

b)    Do these investors have a history of making crowdfunded investments?

Marketing to accredited crowdfunding investors will make all the difference in your ROI. Finding an angel or two among the group willing to bankroll a project can quickly spell success. These types of prospective investors are very difficult to identify, but when you do, they can send your operating capital through the roof.



Play to Win When Targeting the C-Suite Consumer

Friday, March 14th, 2014

targeting marketing to affluent executive consumers at home and business

Targeting affluent executives at home and business is a winning game plan for luxury brand marketers.

Luxury brand marketers can take a page from the big ticket B2B playbook in capturing the attention of busy, high-level executives. You can find a few choice pointers in this article on How to Reach the C-Suite:


I agree with all of the above, and I see exactly how this can play out in upscale consumer marketing. After all, if you follow the money in big-ticket consumer spending, it’s in the hands of the highest paid executives.

Three Big Plays You Can  Make Now  to Acquire C-Level Customers”

1) Add Multi-touch to Multichannel

C-Level executives are running and gunning 24/7 at work, at home, on the go. A well-laid plan to break through to them requires contact information at multiple touch points and channels. You need to address them where they live and where they work. Follow up with email. Then follow them wherever they go on the web with digital display and video.

2) Get Your Hands on Need-to-Know Data

In today’s world of relevancy, your marketing is only as good as your intel. Is your C-Level prospect married? Does she have children? Where does she work? What’s her job function? What’s does her company  do? Company sales? Company size? Her own personal net worth?  Hobbies and interests? This is need-to-know personal and business information if you want to be hyper-relevant.

3) Reach Out to Their Connections

C-Level executives seek the advice of others. Makes sense. Family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors. Wouldn’t it be smart to include these influencers in your campaign to create some buzz? This works both ways. Once you land a heavy hitter who wields a lot of clout, he will likewise influence those close to him. You need to penetrate your prospect’s inner circle and get the message out to his group of influentials.

Targeting the working rich directly at both home and the office, via postal, email, digital display, mobile marketing and through their connections is a game plan that gives you the best chance to win the elusive C-Level executive as a new customer.

I hope I’ve kept your attention long enough to deliver this timely, succinct, actionable insight on marketing consumer brands to high-level execs!

In Luxury Marketing, People Talk – Find Out Who They’re Talking To

Monday, April 15th, 2013

“Satisfied customers tell three friends,” writes Pete Blackshaw, co-founder of Word of Mouth Marketing Association. I’ll take that a few steps further and suggest that a happy wealthy customer shares their satisfaction with dozens of friends, family members, and business associates.

Affluent people identify with the brands they buy, the causes they support, and the hot spots they frequent. Beyond that of the average customer, they want to share their passions with friends and family—wearing designer merchandise, attending fundraising galas, and bragging about the exotic cruise they just took. Where you have one loyal upscale patron, you have the potential to tap into the dozens who they influence. But how can you gain entry into these affluent social circles?

Until now, marketers relied on friend-get-a-friend tactics, referral incentives and the like.  But through the sophisticated technology of Wealth Window Connections, you can now build that prospect universe using DATA.  Provide an upscale consumer — or thousands of them — and we can match up to 12 family and friend connections to each; people close to your best customers who are likely predisposed to support your cause or buy your brand.

We did just that with our Wealth Window database and developed a new universe of over 8 million connections to the most affluent people in America. Because we believe that in luxury marketing, it’s all about connections, you can build audience exponentially much the same way that social media works — by reaching those who’ve heard about you from people they know

For example:

Now “Wealth Window Connections” are available to all luxury marketers. Tap into our established audience of Wealth Window consumers and their connections, or to match your own customer and/or prospect file and identify friends, family members and associates with the means to spend. Hey, it’s good to have connections!

The Wealthy Finance the Bulk of All Political Campaigns

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

For the wealthy, giving financial support to politicians and their parties is not only a way to influence policy, but also an effort to serve their own self-interests. Whether fighting global warming or tax increases, political donors tend to give higher average donations than donors who give to other non-profits.

Contributions of $200 and more typically account a significant majority of all campaign donations. In fact, in 2010 the average congressional campaign got 84% of its money from donations of $200 or more.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, most political donors are highly ideological, whether liberal or conservative. They show support for multiple campaigns and single-issue groups and they give often. Not surprisingly, most are investors, lawyers and corporate executives.

Politicians and their backers are increasingly relying on donations from such affluent supporters in positions of power. They are also looking outside of their own districts to “Political A.T.M.s” or certain ZIP codes that are home to concentrated communities of high-spending donors. In fact, in recent congressional elections nondistrict residents provided 68% of the typical candidate’s total itemized individual contributions.

Your takeways?

1)    Target the wealthiest 1% for the majority of your political donations

2)    Target the wealthy in high-performing ZIP codes for local campaigns nationwide

3)    Target investors, lawyers, C-level executives and known major gift donors

If you can achieve all three of the above, you’ve reached the political fundraising holy grail.


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