- Why Greek organizations need prospect research
- How prospect research is different for Greek organizations
- Who to screen in your prospect research
- How to screen prospects for your Greek organization
- When to screen for prospective donors
1. Why Greek organizations need prospect researchMembership fees only go so far. Fraternities and sororities have houses to maintain, events to host, and various other expenses. Like other nonprofits, budgets need to be balanced in order for these organizations to run at full capacity. Greek organizations are social communities, but they’re also complicated enterprises with many moving parts. Fraternity and sorority financial management is an important component of the health of your chapter! While donations of all sizes can help, major gifts provide significant sums that can help fundraising campaigns succeed. Finding new major gift prospects is tough work, but it gets easier when you have prospect research to reveal the philanthropic and wealth indicators that matter. Download our free white paper on Major Giving: Prospects and Approaches for more context.
2. How prospect research is different for Greek organizationsHospitals have patients that come and go. Museums have members that have to renew after certain amounts of time. Greek organizations have massive alumni bases from which they can find new major gift prospects. The beauty of a Greek organization’s prospect pool is that alumni are alumni for a lifetime. Just like for universities, this permanent prospect pool allows fraternities and sororities to be more patient with fundraising. Urgency is a must, but not everyone has to be researched at the same time. Prospects can be segmented into groups and researched in intervals. The ability to break donors up into categories helps Greek organizations tackle vast prospect pools. Recent graduates are unlikely to give, and even if they do their donations tend to be minimal. Knowing the time since graduation and the depth of affiliation of alumni with your Greek organization allows you to pick out people to research who are more apt to give large sums. Prospect research will also help to find information on when people give, so you can pitch to people at the appropriate time of year. Learn more prospect research fundraising strategies.
3. Who to screen in your prospect researchNot everyone is a major gift prospect, and you can waste a lot of time and money conducting research on every alumnus. A large piece of successful prospect research is planning before conducting any research. A good research plan details:
- The indicators you’ll be looking for in a major gift prospect
- How much time and money will be allocated to obtaining information on any one prospect
- Strategies to store and share prospect research
- How you’ll approach prospects once they’re identified
- Was the prospect actively engaged in the fraternity or sorority?
- Was the prospect a president or governing board member of the organization?
- How many years was the prospect a part of the organization?