Part One: Identifying New Donor Prospects

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Part Two: Evaluating Donor Prospects

Growing Your Pipeline of Prospective Donors

The science of fundraising requires the identification of enough prospects at the necessary levels to reach your major gift objectives. That’s the beginning! Allocating time and resources to identify and qualify prospects is challenging for many organizations, but the return on investment is both important and necessary for fundraising success.

There are three parts to growing your pipeline of prospective donors: identifying, evaluating and cultivating. Successfully completing each of these steps will put you on track to a healthier major gifts fundraising pipeline.

Evaluating Donor Prospects

After identifying and developing a list of donor prospects (Part One: Identifying Donor Prospects), the next step is evaluating each and every prospect.

This starts with validating the information you obtain about each prospect. Whether you develop the list internally or contract with a screening organization to help analyze the capacity of your prospect pool, take what you know about each individual and determine how best to proceed. Treat every prospect as a mini-campaign.

Below is a checklist we've developed to help you evaluate donor prospects.

  • Evaluate each prospect by conducting a peer review. This requires assembling a committee of board members, staff and volunteers to garner information. Discuss within this peer review group the information you have and know about each prospect.
    • Prepare a list of your potential major gift prospects.
    • Review the list of prospects in order to:
      • Make connections between your volunteers and potential donors;
      • Prioritize giving potential of prospective donors;
      • Establish inclination to give; and
      • Determine who should be involved in cultivation and solicitation.
  • Assign volunteers, board members and staff to solicitation teams. These teams will create a cultivation plan as well as a solicitation plan for the prospect.
    • Specify each member’s role in your solicitation teams;
    • Establish goals for each person and task at hand; and
    • Set a regular meeting schedule.
  • Decide how to present your fundraising message to each prospect.
  • Identify and develop The Perfect Ask. Partner with staff, board members or a volunteer leader to create individual solicitation strategies for each prospect.

Interested in learning more about growing your pipeline of prospective donors? Inquire today to have the Prospect Research workshop conducted for your board, staff and volunteers.

© 2018 The Compass Group, Inc.