By donorsearch

New at DonorSearch: State Political Giving

DonorSearch users will now have access to a new, rich source of philanthropic data at no extra charge: state political giving from a database of 26+ million records.

By adding state political giving to the federal political giving that was already part of DonorSearch’s comprehensive philanthropy and wealth screening, prospect researchers and development officers will gain even more insight into donors’ giving activity.

By donorsearch

ProspectView Plus Ratings Explained

Analyzing prospect research without donor ratings is like getting stuck in traffic. Eventually, you’ll get where you need to be, but it doesn’t have to take so long. With DonorSearch’s ratings system, identify top prospects fast to move forward with your fundraising.

How Does DonorSearch Score Prospects?

DonorSearch uses three rating systems to turn volumes of prospect data into intelligible identifiers. Our two unique scores are presented first, followed by a third universal scoring system: DS Rating — This proprietary scoring system provides a ranking of a prospect’s ability and propensity to make major donations. These scores range from as low as DS3 to as high as DS1-1, and account for a wide array of information, such as wealth markers, real estate holdings, and philanthropic history, in order to deliver a quality indicator of potential giving. Quality Score — Quality score is a confidence level that wealth and philanthropy records have been correctly matched to a prospect’s name and address. This is a threshold indicator, and any score above 17 equates to a high level of confidence. Common names, such as Michael Williams, can affect quality scores, as lots of people have these names, so it can be challenging to ensure that the records are correct. To ensure a consistent level of quality, we will manually review 100 prospects out of every bulk screening – if you want to learn more please contact a DonorSearch representative. RFM Total — This universal rating system provides an internal analysis of the relationship you have with each of your prospects, which is a fancy way of saying that RFM measures existing donor loyalty. RFM includes how RECENTLY the prospect donated, how FREQUENTLY the prospect gives, and the total amount of MONEY given. Each category is scored on a 100-point scale for a total score out of 300. 300 is the highest rating and indicates the greatest likelihood of donating.

Where Can I Find the Ratings on my Screening Results?

The gold color is the distinctive mark of the DS Rating System in your screening results, the ‘Overall’ column is the prospect’s quality score, and RFM Total is labeled as such.

Why Did We Create Our Ratings?

You could lose a lot of time analyzing prospect research. DonorSearch’s proprietary ratings make it simple for researchers to identify high-quality prospects. DS Ratings differentiate between ‘wealthy’ prospects and ‘wealthy + likely to give’ prospects by incorporating philanthropic history into the equation, alongside traditional wealth markers. This means that your donors are rated according to their capacities to give, as well as their affinities for charitable giving. Prospects with money are not as beneficial as prospects with money who want to donate.

DS Ratings Explained

From highest to lowest likelihood to give:
  1. DS1-1 — Exact match as a donor giving $5,000 or more to a nonprofit or political organization found in our giving history archive. A DS1-1 rated prospect may have markers of wealth or may only be matched to a significant giving history, and have no notable wealth markers.
  2. DS1-2 — Exact match to exceptional markers of wealth: LexisNexis real estate holdings of $2 million+, D&B business executive at firms with revenues of $5 million+, GuideStar Foundation Trustees, SEC Insiders, and Market Guide Executives.
  3. DS1-3 — Exact match to lower, but notable markers of wealth, including LexisNexis real estate holdings totaling $1-2 million, D&B business executive at firms with revenues of $1-5 million, or political giving in excess of $10,000.
  4. DS1-4 — Exact matches to LexisNexis real estate holdings of $500,000-$1 million.
  5. DS1-5 — Exact/very likely matches to individuals giving elsewhere, but at levels less than $5,000.
  6. DS2 — Possible/unconfirmed matches to key databases including foundation trustees, SEC Insiders, Market Guide executives, and business executives.
  7. DS3 — No noteworthy matches to giving history or wealth indicators.

How to Use the Ratings

Sorting prospects is as easy as clicking your desired category. For example, click the DS Rating box to bring your top-rated donors to the top of your list. Don’t you love it when the things you want just come to you? Higher DS ratings hold significant fundraising importance, according to our research:
  • DS1-1 donors were over 15 times more likely to donate than the average individual.
  • DS1-2 donors were over 5 times more likely to donate than the average individual.
  • DS1-3 donors were over 2 times more likely to donate than the average individual.


By donorsearch

How to Prepare for Prospect Screening

Pirates seeking buried treasure don’t want to open up the long-sought chest and discover baby booties. You’re not a pirate, but you want your search to end in gold. Gold being an extensive, accurate list of high quality prospects. Know how to unearth precise prospect data, so that, when you stick your shovel in the ground, you strike prospect gold. All journeys begin well before the big discovery, and preparation can play an equally crucial role in both obtaining and implementing the results of your search.

Clean Up Data

Try to sail a ship with a leak in the hull or dig a hole with a broken shovel. Operations work best when all the parts are in proper working condition. Proper prospect research begins with accurate donor data. It’s no good to submit a list of donors with outdated addresses, phone numbers, and giving histories. You’ll receive results, but they may not be as accurate and as detailed as possible. Submitting clean data makes the rest of the treasure hunt clear sailing. Make sure to clean up your donor database ahead of time to ensure you receive the most accurate results to pinpoint the best prospects.

Provide Data Ahead of Time

Not only does clean data help you, but it aids your prospect research company. At DonorSearch, our data is an industry-best 90% accurate, but no data set is perfect. From philanthropic histories to wealth markers to personal interests, no one knows your donors as well as you. Submitting donor data before your screening takes place will increase screening accuracy and add additional detail to your donor profiles. For example, if you supply a history of past gifts then those donations can be linked to specific instances in DonorSearch’s database. Without prior information, some gifts might get left out or go unaccounted for. When you provide donor information you receive search results with higher quality assurance. However, regardless of the information you submit, DonorSearch provides comprehensive prospect profiles. The information you supply merely helps to improve the results.

Try a Test File

Hoisting a sail requires the crew knowing how to attach the sail to the mast, adjusting the heading for the wind, and trimming both the jib sheets and the mainsail. Details matter, and you want to know how to use your prospect research in order to implement it correctly. DonorSearch screens 200 records for free, so you can get an idea of the service we provide. Submitting a test file is great way to try us out with minimal risk. It will help you to get familiarized with a our suite of tools, research categories, and work processes. Test files also include a free walk-through, where a dedicated sales representative will explain your results over the phone and give you the opportunity to ask any questions. You’ll get familiarized with DonorSearch’s formatting, the data we screen for, the additional services we provide, how our scoring system works, and much more.

Review Your Screening Results for Accuracy

Once your results are in hand, how do you verify their accuracy? DonorSearch includes a quality score for each prospect that indicates the confidence level of a name matching to donor records. It is a threshold indicator, and anything above 17 equates to a high level of confidence. DS rating and RFM total are other DonorSearch ratings systems that ensure profile accuracy. Manual review is not necessary to receive accurate results, but, for quality assurance, DonorSearch employs in-house prospect researchers to spend hours manually reviewing your top prospects, and we’ll do your first 100 for free. This assessment process both eliminates extra time your staff would spend reviewing screening results and raises the typical 70% profile accuracy to results that are an industry-best 90-95% accurate. Manual reviews provide an additional layer of accuracy and analysis to your search results, so you receive the most detailed profiles. Additional manual reviews beyond the first 100 can be discussed with a DonorSearch sales representative. There is gold in your donor lists, and it’s easier to find with accurate prospect research. If you’re new to prospect research or want to learn how to do more then schedule a demo with DonorSearch today.

By donorsearch

What Determines the Cost of Prospect Screening Services?

// We all want to understand why we’re paying for what we’re paying for. From an exquisite steak to concert tickets to mortgages, any time we make an investment, we want to know what we’re investing our hard earned money in. And we deserve to know.

Even though we can’t solve all the world’s mysteries of cost, we can help in one area: prospect research costs. 

Let’s unravel the mystery of the factors that determine the cost of prospect research.

We’ll unravel this mystery by answering five key questions:

  1. Who needs prospect research?
  2. How do nonprofits know if prospect research is worth the cost?
  3. What services go into the cost of prospect research services?
  4. What are the additional services?
  5. Why is prospect research worth the cost?

Click on any of the links above to jump to a particular section. Otherwise, scroll through to learn all about the factors that influence the cost of prospect research and to decide if it’s the right fit for you.

And if you need to learn more about prospect research on the whole, make sure you check out Prospect Research — The Ultimate Guide!


New at DonorSearch: State Political Giving
What Products Does DonorSearch Offer?
ProspectView Plus Ratings Explained
How to Prepare for Prospect Screening
What Determines the Cost of Prospect Screening Services?