Part One: Identifying New Donor Prospects

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Part One: Identifying New 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.

Identifying New Donor Prospects

Identifying donor prospects requires a solid strategy — and is not a task for one person. Creating a major gifts committee is highly recommended. You should include board members, current major donors, key stakeholders and individuals deeply-rooted in your constituency.

  • Identify current and past donors.
    • Major gift and annual donor history;
    • Board members’ networks; and
    • Event attendees and volunteers with the capacity to give major gifts.
  • Expand your list by performing research of potential new donors.
    • Ask board members and current donors for information on potential donors;
    • Invest in fee-based products;
    • Conduct a prospect screening of your database; and
    • Locate community members who have donated major gifts to nonprofits with similar causes.
  • Create your list with detailed information for each prospect.
    • Contact information;
    • Giving history — when donations were given and for what project/area of interest;
    • Business affiliations, club memberships, relevant hobbies, donations to other organizations;
    • Relationships with current staff members or volunteers;
    • Prospect’s business/occupation and industry; and
    • Wealth and donor capacity provided through a prospect screening.

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.


© 2017 The Compass Group, Inc.