Scout Quest is M+R’s data co-op where participants share email deliverability indicators, fundraising data, and advertising audiences.

Over the last couple years, M+R has convened periodic data co-ops among our clients. They’ve been focused on sharing email deliverability, engagement, and fundraising data between groups. And the results have been… dynamite! So much so that we gave it a name — Scout Quest* — and we’re inviting a limited number of nonprofits to join.

Scout Quest has been super effective at identifying people who are good candidates to re-engage over email and in advertising targeting — as in, safely reactivating tens of thousands of supporters on their email files, and seeing more than a 10:1 return on the work in just a few months (that’s revenue they brought in from people they reactivated by using the co-op data). But wait, there’s more…Scout Quest also offers custom lookalike audiences for ad targeting built from the full co-op data set.

Interested in finding out more?

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Some examples of Scout Quest results from past participants:

600
Co-op-identified subscribers made more than 600 donations at EOY for one participant
50,000
Another participant has reactivated more than 50,000 subscribers
78%
The average ad tier participant saw a 78% increase in ROAS

How it works

Step 1
Let us know you're interested at quest.mrss.com
Step 2
Review requirements and sign agreement
Step 3
Provide subscriber info, email-clicker data, action-taker data, and donation data
Step 4
We compare lists, normalize data, create advertising lookalike models, and generate your dashboard
Step 5
You select what data you want to purchase after reviewing match rates from your dashboard
Step 6
You receive valuable data back on matched supporters you selected and access to lookalike audiences you selected for ad targeting
Step 7
Use your data to help with email reactivation, ad targeting, raising more money for your cause, and motivating more activists

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost?

Annual enrollment in Scout Quest
$2,000 (waived for current M+R clients)

Covers your participation costs for a full year (starting in 2023, you can participate as many times as you like).

Appended data:
Pay based on what data you want back after reviewing your dashboard (see “What information do I get back?” for more details on what will be included in your dashboard). You have the option to purchase:

  • All matched records: $0.03 / matched record
  • Subscribed Clickers (clicked for other organizations but not yours, and is NOT unsubscribed): $0.15 / matched record
  • Subscribed Actiontakers (took an online action for another organization but not yours, and is NOT unsubscribed): $0.15 / matched record
  • Your donors (any donor that has given to you and has a match from the co-op): $0.15 / matched donor
  • Donors to other organizations (are on your file, are not giving to you but ARE giving to other organizations): $0.15 / matched subscriber

In each category, appended data will include:

  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this individual appears on and which cohorts (for all cohorts with sufficient participation, e.g. environmental, wildlife & animal welfare, rights, hunger & poverty, etc);
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person has clicked an email for in the last year; 
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person took an online advocacy action for in the last year;
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person has made a donation for in the past 12, 24, and 24+ months; 
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person is a monthly donor for; 
  • the highest previous contribution for this individual in the last 12 / 24 / 24+ months among groups in the co-op
  • an indicator for if the individual is using an alternate active email address for another organization

Premium Advertising Tier
Participants can also elect to access lookalike models for advertising targeting on relevant platforms. Access to the lookalike audiences in Facebook will be available for a year.

Audiences will include lookalike models of:

  • Engaged Supporters Lookalike
  • Donor Lookalikes
  • Monthly Donors
  • High Value Donor Lookalike

Within each of the above, lookalikes will be created for specific cohorts of nonprofits (e.g. environmental, wildlife & animal welfare, international relief, rights, etc) for those with sufficient volume within those sectors. The pricing for this tier is $9,500.

Q: How often do you run the co-op?

In 2022, we are running Scout Quest twice, once in the spring (data submission by late April) and once in the fall (data submission by September 30). You may sign up at any time, but sign up before the spring round and you have two opportunities to get data back during the year, as well as a full year’s worth of advertising audience access.

In 2023, we are shifting to allowing participants to join on a rolling basis. Join at any time!

Q: What information do I get back?

Every participant will receive a dashboard back detailing the following:

  • How many other lists your subscribers appear on & how many other organizations’ messaging your subscribers are clicking on;
  • How many of your subscribers have clicked for other organizations but not yours in the last year;
  • How many of your subscribers have taken an online action for other organizations but not yours in the last year;
  • How many of your donors are giving to other organizations in the last 12, 13–24, and 25+ months; similar data point for prospects;
  • How many of your donors are giving to other organizations as a monthly donor; similar data points for prospects;
  • How many of your donors are giving to other organizations as a monthly donor; similar data points for prospects

You will then have the option to purchase subscriber-specific data. You can choose to purchase all matched data, or choose from some specific options, including subscribers that are clicking for other organizations but not for yours (great for maximizing reactivation), just data for your matched donors (great for donor reactivation and targeting), or just for subscribers giving to other organizations but not to yours (great for donor acquisition efforts). We also offer a custom option if you need something more specific!

For whichever category you choose, you’d then receive:

  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this individual appears on and which cohorts (for all cohorts with sufficient participation, e.g. environmental, wildlife & animal welfare, rights, hunger & poverty, etc)
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person has clicked an email for in the last year
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person has taken an online action for in the last year
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person has made a donation for in the past 12, 13–24, and 25+ months
  • the number of other organizations in the co-op this person is a monthly donor for
  • the highest previous contribution for this individual in the last 12, 13–24, and 25+ months among groups in the co-op
  • an indicator for if your supporter’s highest previous contribution among co-op groups is to your organization
  • an indicator for if your supporter’s only donation among co-op groups is to your organization
  • an indicator for if your supporter is using alternate email addresses for other organizations
Q: What happens to my subscriber and donor data?

What makes Scout Quest different from many other co-ops is that we do not share personally identifiable information between organizations. No one will receive data for supporters that they don’t already have access to. The purpose here is to enhance the data you have on your existing supporters, not to provide access to other organizations’ supporter/donor files.

We also do not share the list of participants from each round of Scout Quest. All submitted data will be deleted 24 months after submission to Scout Quest.

Q: How do you ensure the security of my subscriber and donor data?

Securing your data for the limited time M+R has it in our possession is core to Scout Quest.

Key to securing your data is encrypting it in transport and rest. Your data will be permanently deleted from our systems after 24 months.

Access to PII from your organization will not be provided to any other individual, organization, or company. 

M+R has documented processes for handling PII data and training of staff including system management and updates, password protocol, and detecting exploit attempts. We undergo periodic data security and risk assessments, as well as annual system penetration testing.

Q: What am I required to do to participate?

Talk to your M+R team if you are a current M+R client to confirm participation. If you are not a current client, let us know you are interested by completing the form here and we’ll follow up! You will need to sign a Letter of Agreement before proceeding.

All participants need to submit:

  • Email address information for all the people in your database, an indication as to whether the people have engaged with email in a given time period in the past year (both 6 and 12 months), whether the people in its database have taken an online advocacy action (both 6 and 12 months)), and whether that email address is unsubscribed.
  • Online giving history for the past five years, including first and last name of the donor, amounts donated, whether the donations are recurring or one-time, and the email and physical address of the donor.

In order to participate in the advertising tier, you will need to connect your relevant ads accounts to M+R’s so that we can transfer audience access to you.

Q: How are the lookalike audiences built?

The data of co-op participants are used to generate lookalike audiences. We build seed lists from participating organizations for a variety of types of donor/supporter audiences to serve as the base for lookalike models in relevant advertising platforms. Participants have the option to choose from three broad categories of lookalikes (choose just one or all three):

  • Engaged Supporter Lookalike
  • Donor Lookalike
  • High Value Donor Lookalike

For example, to build the donor lookalike, we take donors from every participating organization. The advertising platforms will then build a model of people who have similar attributes to those donors, and we will then share that audience with you through the relevant advertising platform, which you can then use to target for advertising purposes.

Note that even though we use the same seed lists to generate our audiences across relevant ads platforms, the actual audience is generated by each platform’s own algorithm. The audiences being targeted will not be the same.

Also note that your donors would not directly be targeted by other organizations through this effort. We are not providing the actual donor lists to any participating organization. This service leverages the data from participating groups to build models to find new donors — not target each other’s existing supporters.

Q: What lookalike audiences do you offer?

Participants have the option to choose from three broad categories of lookalikes:

  • Engaged Supporter Lookalike (based on email clickers)
  • Donor Lookalike (based on all donors, one-time and monthly)
  • Monthly Donor Lookalike (based on monthly donors)
  • High Value Donor Lookalike (based on $1,000+ donors)

For any sector that has 3 or more participating organizations, we also provide a LAL model of donors within that sector.

Q: How long do I have access to the lookalike audiences?

You will retain access to the lookalike audience you choose for the next 12-18 months. We periodically retire older audiences and generate new ones. You will continue to gain access to new Scout Quest audiences as they are generated over the next year. If you do not continue to participate in the Scout Quest Advertising Tier, after 12 months, access to your audiences will be revoked.

Q: How have past participants used the data they got back?

Each organization is a little different, but many have used the data to reactivate tens of thousands of email subscribers and subsequently raised $10 or more from reactivated subscribers for every dollar spent on participating in the co-op. Some have also used the data to create custom audiences for ad targeting.

Participants using the advertising audiences have targeted various lookalike audiences with prospecting content. On average, these ads have generated a 78% higher ROAS relative to their usual prospecting audiences.

Interested in finding out more?

tell me more

We are M+R

We are communicators, marketers, fundraisers, and campaigners who help causes that inspire people to act. We work exclusively with nonprofits who are alleviating suffering, fighting for human rights and democracy, dismantling inequality, making art and knowledge accessible to everyone, and fostering a healthier and sustainable world.

* You might already know about Scout, M+R’s proprietary data dashboard that includes Scout Reports, Scout Ads, and Scout ROI. Until now, Scout has only been available to M+R clients. But Scout Quest…is way too great to keep to ourselves.

Interested in participating and/or finding out more about Scout Quest?