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By DonorSearch

Behind every super-successful fundraising campaign is a super researcher.  There, every step of the way. The Prospect Researcher is the expert on the who, the why, the when, and the ‘how much’ (and the IF) for raising the support your organization needs.  So your work is cut out for you.

The good news is you’ll be a hero.

Campaigns: Research MUST be ready in all Phases. Here’s your Prospect Research Preparedness Checklist.


Set a reachable goal, identify the prospect base.

  • Evaluate current constituency for capacity and propensity–through prospect screening.
  • Identify top prospects to be interviewed in a Campaign Feasibility study.
  • Put together a gift table (#’s of gifts and prospects needed/identified at each giving level)


‘Quiet Phase’ (when ⅔ or ¾ of your goal is raised):  Ask top donors for major-level gifts.

  • Rank prospects using screening analysis (capacity, affinity)
  • Suggest ask amounts and giving interests (what they’ll likely support), and estimate readiness.
  • Identify prospects to begin to engage for near-future asks.
  • Build prospect portfolios.
  • Generate detailed profiles to inform 1X1 conversations.

‘Public Phase’ (when you raise the rest):

  • Add to prospect portfolios, flagging with Markers of Philanthropy* to inform cultivation strategies and timing.
  • Build mid-level prospect portfolios to support Annual Giving efforts–screening results are a great source for this list.
  • Keep producing profiles.
  • Report on Campaign Progress


Declare success, thank donors, get ready for the NEXT effort!

  • Compare outcomes to predictions/ratings, RE-rating for future potential.
  • Report biggest donors to invite to ‘Thank You’ event and stewardship calls–that lead to the next ask!
Prospect Research — The Backbone of a Successful Capital Campaign