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7 Instruments for Making a Prospect Profile

Initially posted in March 2014, up to date in March 2023

One of the vital gratifying elements of main reward fundraising is getting to construct relationships with donors—relationships that final past one donation and stay robust even when it’s difficult for donors to provide. However usually nonprofits squander the relationship-building alternatives given to them by not doing any analysis.

Conducting thorough donor analysis lays the muse for attending to know your donors as individuals first and supporters second. On this information, we’ll take a more in-depth take a look at the donor analysis course of and tips on how to compile donor prospect profiles that may inform your interactions with potential donors.

What’s a donor prospect profile?

A donor prospect profile is a donor administration device that organizes all the data a corporation gathers a few potential donor.

In response to DonorSearch’s information to prospect profiles, this will embody particulars in regards to the particular person’s:

  • Group involvement
  • Hobbies
  • Household
  • Training
  • Profession and employer

You may as well use a prospect profile to maintain monitor of interactions with a prospect. Consider it as a dwelling doc that you just’re at all times including to while you get new data.

7 Instruments You Can Use to Create Prospect Profiles

Making a profile for a potential new main donor begins with conducting thorough analysis, and to take action, you’ll want the correct instruments in your aspect.

Under are eight instruments you should utilize to get a fuller image of who your potential donors are.

Earlier than we get began, a phrase of warning: the aim of analysis isn’t to snoop. We’re solely going to take a look at publicly obtainable data, however it nonetheless may really feel intrusive. Your integrity is at all times price greater than the most important donation an individual might give. At all times. (Click on right here to tweet that.)

A great apply is to run your self by the prospecting device first that will help you see what comes up and the way correct it’s. After I just lately ran myself by the steps outlined beneath, I used to be shocked to see myself listed on the boards of nonprofits I’d fully forgotten about. It’d been over a decade for the reason that organizations closed, however they nonetheless confirmed up on the checklist.

1. Your Donor Database

The perfect place to start out your analysis is in your individual database.

For every potential donor, take a look at:

  • Their fundamental handle data (resembling metropolis or state)
  • The “notes” on their information
  • The “actions” or “interactions” tab
  • The “relationships” or “associations” tab

This data is barely pretty much as good as the continued record-keeping of main reward officers. In my expertise, main reward officers and nonprofit leaders rely far an excessive amount of on their reminiscence when working with main donors. Most appointments and interactions should be documented. One shopper known as this the “hit by a moose” plan: what would occur when you had been hit by a moose? May your nonprofit decide up the place you left off? (For these of you not in rural areas, when you’re hit by a moose, the moose normally wins.)

Be persistent and tenacious in recording all of the pertinent data in your prospect profile.


When you don’t have the prospect’s handle or cellphone quantity, is a superb place to look. (Once more, attempt looking your self first to see what addresses come up.) This data helps fill out their profile and is required to do the extra detailed wealth screening later.

3. Google

Among the best donor analysis instruments is Google. Looking out a prospect’s title tends to tug up a number of data. Relying on the prospect, you will see that company bios, alumni notes, and even neighborhood volunteer lists. You may refine your search by placing the title in quotes, including a location, or looking their title and their enterprise title collectively.

If you copy and paste any useful tidbits onto your prospect profile, embody the URL of the reference so your group can shortly learn extra. I like to avoid wasting useful webpages as a PDF and add them to the prospect’s file on my laptop or my nonprofit’s shared server. This fashion, anybody can see the supply materials even when the webpage is eliminated sooner or later.

I additionally do a picture search on Google. As soon as I discover a picture that appears to be correct, I put it aside to the prospect’s folder within the shared drive and paste it into the highest of their prospect profile. It’s a lot simpler to speak with a donor when you’ve gotten a face to place to their title.

4. Wealth screening device like DonorSearch

Wealth screening instruments like DonorSearch, WealthEngine, or iWave pull collectively all types of publicly-accessible wealth data and indicators: actual property holdings, inventory holdings, directorships, airplane or yacht licenses, and many others. Additionally they report on prospects’ charitable giving and lists if individuals are on boards of foundations as listed by Guidestar. And it provides you with a instructed vary to ask for a donation primarily based on the prospect’s capability.

However watch out. Many wealth screening instruments solely concentrate on whether or not a prospect has the monetary means to donate, not in the event that they’d be inquisitive about making a serious reward. They usually don’t allow you to customise the report, eradicating listings don’t belong to the donor. Right here’s the place DonorSearch shines! They will let you take away listings in a profile that to be inaccurate. They even rating data reliability primarily based on their expertise doing this kind of analysis.

Extra importantly, DonorSearch is weighted extra towards demonstrated philanthropy than towards wealth. They’ve all of the wealth indicators they usually provides you with an estimated capability primarily based on wealth. However they’ve a way more full checklist of presents the prospect has made. So in addition they recommend a present ask degree primarily based on the giving, not simply the wealth. A prospect might have the potential of creating a $25 million to $50 million reward. But when the best reward they’ve ever given is $100,000, it’s higher to think about asking at that degree, no less than at first! Plus, an perceived means to provide could also be primarily based on the worth of their home. However I’ve not but met a donor who’ll promote 1/10 of her home to assist your nonprofit.

No matter device you employ, be sure you add a PDF of the profile to the shared drive. And jot down any gadgets of notice on the prospect profile sheet.

5. Zillow

Placing the prospect’s handle into Zillow might help you discover an estimated price of their home (or homes you could have found within the property listings in WealthEngine or DonorSearch). This may be helpful to incorporate on the prospect profile.

6. GuideStar

When you’ve found clues that point out the prospect might have their very own basis, wanting up their Type 990s on GuideStar might help you get a extra full sense of their giving.

The Type 990s checklist each what organizations they’ve supported and the way a lot they gave to every. Jot any worthwhile data onto the prospect profile.

7. Matching Present Database

Some prospects may match for an employer that gives reward matching as a part of their company philanthropy efforts. Understanding which prospects are eligible for matching is efficacious, as employers will usually provide a 1:1, 2:1, and even 3:1 match.

Leverage an identical reward database to test prospects’ eligibility and report it in your prospect profiles. Then, when the time comes, make certain to coach your donor about matching presents to allow them to submit the required data to get their donation doubled!

Sturdy Donor Relationships are Definitely worth the Effort

Your nonprofit’s relationship with donors is price taking time to get proper. Utilizing these instruments to arrange a prospect profile might help you concentrate on what’s vital to particular person donors and discover the best methods to talk with them.

Creating prospect profiles may assist your nonprofit leaders. One of many prime nonprofit CEO fundraising frustrations is just not being correctly ready for a gathering with a serious donor. Donor profiles like these will assist your leaders be their greatest of their conferences!



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