14.11.22 11:40 PM By Vijay Arora

Prospect Research is a technique used by fundraisers, development professionals, and organizations to learn about a prospect's past donations, personal background, and so on.a

Prospect Research: What is it? 

Prospect research is a fundraising method that enables you to learn more about a donor's personal history, philanthropy history, financial markers, and generous objectives. Fundraisers, development teams, and charitable organizations use it to assess a prospect's willingness to give (how much money he or she has) and affinity for a cause (desire to give to that specific cause). 

Prospect research is most commonly used to aid in the identification of significant contribution donors. The majority of money generated for most fundraising initiatives comes from a small group of extremely rich donors. For NGOs of all sizes, locating significant gift contributors is critical to their fundraising success. 

Why Use Prospect Research? 

Prospect research is an excellent way to uncover hidden big donation prospects in your current donor database. This is because it can aid in the discovery of previous giving and involvement, as well as the tracking of giving patterns that may forecast big contributions. 

Prospect Research Terminology 

Before we get into how prospect research might help you raise money, it's vital to define a few concepts. The following points are critical to fully comprehending how background research can make fundraising easier. 

  • Fundraising Prospect: A person or philanthropic entity, such as a foundation, who has the financial means to make a significant gift to your organization. They can be new to your cause, or they might have already donated to you. 
  • Prospect Researcher: A position within your organization tasked with accumulating information about potential funders. The prospect researcher could also be in charge of incorporating data into fundraising initiatives. 
  • Philanthropic Markers: Information from prospect screening that helps you determine whether or not a potential donor is likely to donate to your cause. The following are some of the most prominent charitable indicators: 
  • Donations to your non-profit in the past: Is this a well-known donor? Is it possible that they will become a significant gift donor in the future? 
  • Giving to other like-minded groups in the past: Do they regularly donate to a comparable charity? Do they have a vested stake in the outcome of your campaign? 
  • Participation on a non-profit’s board of directors or as a trustee: What is their history of philanthropic giving? Do they collaborate with other NGOs on a regular basis? 

Benefits of Prospect Research

As you can see, prospect research is beneficial to both large and small businesses in terms of saving time and resources (and all non-profits in between). If you can start a fundraising campaign knowing who the best donors are, you'll have a better chance of succeeding. 

Prospect research has a number of other advantages, including: 

    • Fundraising made easier and more efficient: Prospect research can help you raise more money for significant gifts. The findings of the wealth screening will route your team to the right possible contributors, allowing you to ask for the funding you need to move your organization forward. This saves time and resources, allowing you to spend more time executing the change in the field and less time looking for help. 
    • Refine your significant gift solicitation: Data on philanthropy demonstrates which annual donors have the financial means and prospective affinity to make a significant contribution. 
    • Identify fresh business opportunities: Your non-profit has evolved and developed over time in order to have a greater impact in your community. It's likely that you've built up a strong donor base that continues to support your cause. 
    • Look for potential planned gifting opportunities: There are times when significant fundraising events are necessary, such as a capital campaign to fund the construction of a new structure or the purchase of top-of-the-line medical equipment. You may assist start a more successful planned giving program by conducting prospect research to discover potential top givers. 
    • Analyze the giving patterns of your donors: Prospect research can be used to discover more about your present donors' generous behavior in the future. You may be able to determine when they are more charitable by monitoring their routines and then request a significant gift donation at that time.  

    As you fundraise, you'll notice that prospect research has even more advantages. The best news is that you'll be able to take your organization's fundraising efforts further than ever before thanks to the customizability of wealth screenings and donor research.


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