Research is essential in identifying prospective donors for your organization. Identification is the first step in the donor lifecycle. In order to create a donor pipeline, you need to establish ways to identify giving capacity and affinity to your organization.   

They could be brand new donors to your organization, or it could be lower level donors that you have identified as having the ability to give. Either way, here are some tips and tools to aid in your prospect research: 

Online Non Profit Fundraising Tools and Software 

There are many tools (such as Wealth Engine, Lexis Nexis, and Donor Search) that compile information on the wealth of individuals. Statistics like net worth and income are all data points you can use to start understanding the prospective donors giving capacity. These platforms often provide a baseline score of their giving capacity to help prioritize your pipeline. While these services give you an abundance of information, remember that fundraising is largely relational. Just because a prospect can give, doesn’t mean he is willing to give to your organization. Further research will help you identify the likelihood he or she might give specifically to your organization.  

Social Media for Non Profit Fundraising  

Social media is a great tool you can use to learn more about the personal life of your donor. You can get an idea of interests from what they share. Some donors may have no social media presence, and others may only have a company social media, but it can give you some insight into the prospect. Use their social media presence to gauge if their values or interests could align with your organization’s mission.   

Be careful with how you use this information. While potential major donors usually understand their backgrounds were researched, establishing a relationship requires listening and learning from the donor themselves. Use social media as a way to understand what motivates the donor rather than rely on it as a conservation starter.   

Past Non Profit Giving 

When looking at a prospect, who could give but hasn’t, examine why they haven’t participated. What are this person’s interests? Does it align with your mission? Looking at past giving can be a critical indicator on where a prospect’s heart lies. This is where your prospect strategy comes into play. Will you prioritize meeting and cultivating individuals with a giving history within the scope of your mission, or will you take this as an opportunity to bring in seemingly unlikely partners?   

If you are looking at a donor you would like to move into a higher level of giving, their current giving to your organization can be a stronger indicator of propensity to give more. Look at the wealth of your monthly donors who have consistently sent in checks year after year. You already know they have an affinity to your organization. Using this information combined with the other tools mentioned in this post can build a solid cultivation plan.  

Once you understand your prospective donors through extensive research, you will be able to establish a plan to build a relationship with a donor that can lead to monetary support. Julep has the tools to help build a moves management plan. Schedule a Julep demo today!