A couple of times every week my other half and I are on a particular section of highway in rush hour that is backed up for 7-10 miles. I am always grateful that there are the two of us, but most especially those times because we slip into the HOV lane and speed past the bumper-to-bumper madness to get to work on time.
As I was thinking about what I wanted to say to kick off Research Pride month this week, it occurred to me that prospect research, prospect management, and fundraising data science are a nonprofit’s HOV lane. Its warp drive, if you will. A nonprofit can certainly fundraise without fundraising intelligence, but it’s a bumper-to-bumper slog.
In fact, academic research undertaken at the University of Kent by Nicola Williams, MA, showed that 100 percent of fundraisers surveyed felt that research is necessary to helping them understand a prospect’s capacity to give. Eighty-six percent felt it was necessary to prioritize prospects, and 80 percent for understanding a prospect’s affinity with their organization.
84% of fundraisers said that prospect research helps them raise more money.
Those of us in research, prospect management, and data science have always known it in our bones, but finally the academic research (and most importantly) the opinions of our colleagues – frontline fundraisers – bears out the truth of our impact.
This #ResearchPride month, whether you’re a frontline fundraiser or prospect development professional, please tell your impact stories in staff meetings, on social media, at professional conferences, or wherever you gather.
If you’re a frontline fundraiser, how has fundraising intelligence made an impact on your work, on your campaign, on your fundraising totals? If you’re a prospect development professional, celebrate those prospects you found that turned into major donors or share the impact of your new or renovated prospect management system.
There are still fundraisers at nonprofits struggling in the slow lane, and some of them don’t even know that prospect development exists. Get the word out about your great work, and share your pride!