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Does this scenario sound familiar? You took a donor list, performed a wealth screen and are now staring at a spreadsheet full of data and wondering how to make sense of it all. You’re thinking, “Can these results really help me fundraise? Are these results true? Now what?”
I get really excited when nonprofits want to do wealth screenings. And believe me, I’ve had the same thoughts as you. However, once you figure out how to analyze and make sense of the data, you can really maximize the benefits of wealth screening to help uncover high-net-worth individuals that may align with your organization’s mission. Wealth screening results can also help you discover other insights about your donors and prospects that can be used in your strategies for engagement, cultivation and solicitation.
When I deliver wealth screening results to nonprofits, I keep in mind that results and data are only a small part of the puzzle in developing moves management strategies. Giving history and personal knowledge add to the fuller picture of a prospect’s potential. I also recognize that the organization knows its donors best, and since wealth screening results are drawn from publicly available data in large quantities, the organization’s personal knowledge supersedes the wealth-screening results.
Here are five, tried-and-true methods that I use to help organizations maximize the benefits of wealth screening and help guide in strategic decision-making to engage, cultivate and raise more funds from donors.
1. Clean Data
Clean data is the key to having the best results for wealth screening donor and prospect lists (and data hygiene is a great habit to keep in mind for optimal fundraising management too). If you have accurate information on your pipeline (accurate first name, last name and address), your wealth screening will result in the more accurate and meaningful data. Additionally, including place of business, title and even an email address can help yield more accurate results.
2. Capacity and Affinity
Understanding what capacity and affinity means to your organization is another critical element for successful screening results. Before embarking on a wealth screening project, I like to understand the size of the nonprofit’s current campaign, the largest gift to the organization for the previous fiscal year, what type of lead gifts the nonprofit envisions, and where the organization falls within the nonprofit landscape. These elements help me set scoring preferences within the wealth-screening platform so donor and prospect data, as well as results for capacity and affinity, come back aligned with organizational goals.
Now comes the most fun part — receiving the results, analyzing the data, and segmenting the donor and prospect list. This really brings the pipeline to life for nonprofits and allows them to see the possibilities. This is where the wealth-screening data and what the organization already knows about the donor combines to create a holistic view of the donor. Viewing the pipeline through this lens allows nonprofits to see which donors and prospects rise to the top.
Once you have your different donor tiers from segmenting your list, the real strategy begins. Think about moves management, different donors and prospect group touch points, and committee and event engagement opportunities. Strategize on how you want to engage your different donor tiers. Think about what makes sense for your organization and your donors. This could be a great time to implement a cultivation strategy that you’ve always wanted to try.
5. Other Wealth Screening Data
When developing your strategies you can now use the other data and the ratings from your wealth screen. Business connections and other types of relationships (i.e. foundation funding relationships), planned giving scores, and donations value are only a few examples that are included with wealth screening data.
Utilizing this data can help you think about leveraging existing donor relationships to build new relationships with potential donors. For example, can you use a current planned giving donor to help engage a new potential planned giving donor? It can be a win-win to engage existing champions in engaging new donors and prospects.
Take those wealth screen results and make them work for you. Start slow, and really try to examine the results to see where the biggest growth opportunities are, where the low-hanging fruit may be and where the surprises are. Use the data to see a holistic view of who is in your pipeline. And remember, wealth screening is an incredible tool to recognize what fundraising possibilities lay ahead for you and your organization.
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