Mark Noll, AVP of Research and Development Services at the University of Rhode Island started a conversation earlier this week in an article titled “Why Capacity Ratings are Bunk and What You Can Do About It.” In the post, Noll discusses the difficulties of assigning an accurate capacity rating to prospects. There’s just too much we prospect researchers – and frontline fundraisers – will never know about the totality of someone’s assets and their liabilities. Noll provides a solid lesson on what actually goes into a capacity rating. And what is logically missing. [Read more…]
Researching international prospects can be overwhelming, especially if you have a number of constituents and very little information. It’s fairly easy to hit up against a brick wall. What’s the most efficient way to get a window on your very best prospects overseas?
While not perfect, a wealth screening [Read more…]
Prospect identification is a bi-polar experience for many prospect researchers and analytics professionals: it’s both pure joy and deep-seated frustration. Not all of the time, but mostly.
On the one hand, it’s creative. It’s super fun. (And at work, yet!)
Prospecting sure beats the heck out of doing profiles. Not because profiles aren’t interesting in and of themselves, but because prospect ID projects come from *your* heart. You dream them up, you make them happen. Sure, the project may be in response to a request, but how you fulfill it uses your own chosen palette to create the masterpiece.
But then, on the other hand, you pass off the list of names and what do you hear back? Crickets. [Read more…]
One of the scariest things we know as fundraisers is that donor attrition is at stratospheric levels.
Studies by the renowned philanthropy scholar-evangelist Adrian Sargent have shown that (on average) charities lose 50 percent of their cash income from brand-new donors between their first and second gift, and up to 30 percent after that. (Read Dr. Sargeant’s outstanding article in Nonprofit Quarterly here). [Read more…]
How do you know if your researcher or research team has all of the tools needed to be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead?
When a fundraising office needs to be sure they are ready for a capital campaign, the traditional path is to contract with a campaign consultant to do a needs-analysis and feasibility study.
While those consultants have deep knowledge about how to configure a team of fundraisers, how to craft a campaign message, and how to set up volunteer boards, many fundraising consultants aren’t well-versed in how to effectively deploy the intelligence side of the shop: prospect identification, research, and relationship management.
This list of resources answers many of the frequently-asked questions we get from clients asking “where should I go to get…?” Everything on the list is free (or very inexpensive) and will help you be more efficient and get the best expert advice.
Great free tool: the gift range calculator
This is the tool you use when you’re new to fundraising and your board chair says “Welcome aboard. I need you to tell me what we’ll need to do to raise $10 million.” No need to panic, just use this handy little gift pyramid calculation tool as a starting point.
Contact report get-it-done-quick short cut
For some folks it’s Gershwin’s “Summertime” performed by the incomparable Ella. For others it’s James Taylor’s “Summer’s Here.”
For me, it’s always been “The Boys of Summer.” From the opening beats and guitar riffs, I’m instantly sucked back to a hot cloudless day driving in a Mustang by the ocean singing with my friend and Don Henley at the tops of our voices. Don was unable to physically make that gig, but let me tell you, he missed a good one.
I can see you, your brown skin shining in the sun. You’ve got your hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby.
What pulls you instantly back to summer when red and gold leaves, or snowflakes, are falling? Is it a song? A scent? A flavor? [Read more…]
In fundraising when we are trying to measure how close a prospective donor feels to our organization or cause we call it their inclination to give (or to be involved as a volunteer). Sometimes it’s also described as a prospective donor’s affinity or interest.
Over the weekend I realized that I had just launched right into this series on ratings assuming that they are a given in every fundraising office. That everyone is already clear on the types of ratings that are out there and how they are used in a relationship management system for fundraising.
In my early days as a prospect researcher, I used to be a “Just the facts, ma’am” kind of researcher and report writer. A “here’s what I can see. I have no idea what the rest looks like so I can’t even guess for you” kind of gal. I was so afraid to be wrong.
Except I already was wrong.