Prospect research is market research for philanthropy. The objective of prospect research is to provide actionable wealth intelligence for philanthropy. Nonprofit organizations use prospect research to identify, qualify and prioritize the top individuals and funders who can support their philanthropic mission.
Why We Do Prospect Research
To identify, qualify, rank and rate for donors and prospects for fundraising. The information is used to identify estimated giving capacity, identify motivations and likely approaches for solicitation, and to prioritize who is the most likely candidate for your major gift, an annual gift, capital campaign, board membership, event, and planned giving programs.
Who Should Do Prospect Research
Ideally, your organization will have a professional prospect researcher, or prospect research team, on your staff, or you will outsource to a professional prospect research consultant (who is engaged full-time as a prospect research consultant for hire) or freelance prospect researcher (who works part-time as a prospect researcher for hire, often employed full-time as a prospect researcher for a charitable organization).
Our plans address the identification and qualification of new prospects, maintaining a qualified prospect pipeline, and providing ongoing prospect research, screening, prospecting and analytical support.
Our clients have used these plans to implement game changing improvements to the prospecting and research operations that support major gift, campaign, annual fund, planned giving and other fundraising efforts.
Examples of why we do prospect research:
- Ensure that your gift officer’s time is prioritized and spent cultivating qualified prospects.
- Avoid cultivating unqualified prospects and wasting their time, as well as yours.
- Health system needs to identify grateful patients for annual fund and major gift solicitation (proactive wealth screening).
- Major gift officers need to know everything they can to develop a cultivation strategy for that $1 million gift (in-depth prospect research profile).
- The planned giving officer needs to identify potential legacy donors for solicitation (wealth screening, prospecting, analytics, and modeling).
- Identify corporate and foundation funders who support your mission (C&F Research).
- Identify top alumni giving prospects.
- Identify the giving potential for new parents and grandparents at an independent school or college.
- Identify adverse information (judgments, liens, lawsuits and criminal activity) in advance of naming gift solicitation or approaching potential board members.
Examples of our work include:
- Starting and improving Grateful Patient Program wealth screening programs
- Wealth screening and researching admission families, new parents and grandparents
- Developing systems to regularly screen donor records for actionable ratings, scores and values
- Implementing analytics and modeling for campaign, major gift, annual fund and planned giving (one campaign model was used to exceed $18 million target by $2 million)
- Recruit and hire director of prospect research and support staff
- Acquire best in class resources for individual prospect research, wealth screening, prospecting, analytics and modeling
- Training research staff on prospect research, wealth screening, analytics and modeling
- Developing procedures to build and maintain qualified prospect pools for MGOs