What does “donor research” and “wealth-screening” mean to you?
This three-part series examines the latest in donor research in three critical areas:
1. The value of screening your entire donor database;
2. Tips on what’s new about wealth screening so that you can “sell” it; and
3. The value of relationship science to connect with donors.
Part I: The Whole Enchilada: Screening the Entire Donor List
Have you wealth-screened your entire donor database? If you were like me when I served as the director of development at a local nonprofit, the answer is “No.” I only screened those select individuals I deemed to be “major donors,” and my screening methods (Google, looking at real-estate assets, considering a donor’s profession, etc.) were limited at best. I was defeating the entire purpose of prospect research in the first place—to tell me something I didn’t know about my donors, namely, that they might have the capacity to give more than I ever imagined. I like to use the analogy of “finding the needle in the haystack.” You see, the problem with only screening major donor prospects is that, on average, we are leaving 80% of our database untouched. When we “batch wealth-screen” our entire donor database, we can do five things we couldn’t do before:
1. Accurately evaluate major donor prospects.
2. Identify strong annual-fund givers, monthly givers, and planned giving prospects.
3. Find hidden major donors among your annual-fund givers and cultivate them.
4. Segment your mail list so that donors receive appropriate appeals.
5. Ask for increased gifts through moves management.
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