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Four Ways Universities or Colleges Use Prospect Research

Extravagant dorms attract new students, superior educational opportunities keep upperclassmen satisfied, and guest speakers provide students with unique experiences as only a place of higher learning can deliver.

None of that can be accomplished without funding. Every college or university needs to fundraise to have enough money to give students the best educational experience possible.

Fundraising is hard work. The business of convincing prospects to donate is a long game of building relationships and convincing people that their money will do a lot to improve your school.

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Planned Giving: Identifying Prospects

Planned giving prospects demonstrate significantly different wealth and philanthropy characteristics from major gift prospects. Traditional wealth markers, such as value of real estate, are not accurate indicators of planned giving. The philanthropic activities, such as significant political giving and prior major gifts, that are strong predictors of future major gift philanthropy, are also not accurate indicators of planned giving.

The key factors in identifying planned giving prospects are loyalty to the nonprofit, as evidenced by the number and frequency (not the dollar amount) of gifts, and the age of the prospects.

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Four Strategies to Find New Donors in Your City or State

The Earth has 196,940,000 square miles of total surface area, and, unless you have a teleportation device, your fundraising team can’t cover it all. The most convenient place to look for new donors is on your street, around the corner, and other places within your city or state. As with those who desire fresh vegetables, it’s best to stay local to get what you want.

Unlike fresh vegetables, money won’t conveniently spring up from the ground. You need to be proactive to get new donors. Proactive as in don’t just jump through hoops. Jump through rings of fire to land where new donors live. And don’t merely take the long road. Dare to trek across frozen tundras in order to find greener pastures. Don’t think that finding new donors will always be difficult, but do realize that donor acquisition takes both decisive action and a dedication to reaching for new opportunities.

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