By donorsearch

What is Prospect Research? (Your Question, Answered!)

// You’re here because you’re contemplating a very important question:

What is prospect research?

Well, ask and you shall learn because this entire post is dedicated to helping answer that very question.

Is your organization looking to grow its pool of major gift prospects? Are you hoping to upgrade annual fund donors? Do you wish you knew more about your prospects during cultivation?

If you answered yes to any of those questions or find yourself in very similar situations, your nonprofit could likely benefit from prospect research.

So, what is it? Let’s define prospect research. 

Definition of Prospect Research

Prospect research is a technique used by nonprofit organizations to learn more about potential or existing donors’ personal backgrounds, giving histories, wealth indicators, and philanthropic motivations to evaluate a prospect’s ability to give (capacity) and warmth (affinity) toward an organization. Now that we have the definition out of the way, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. In our discussion of what prospect research is, we’re going to address four key questions: How does it work? Which types of organizations perform prospect research? What are the common prospect research terms

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