Donation records can tell you a person’s affinity for a cause. Salary records and real estate values are useful in gauging a person’s capacity to give. But to really get to know your prospect you need to look at biographical data. Biographical data tells us about a person’s experiences and interests. It helps answer questions such us:
What are this person’s academic interests and qualifications?
How has this person’s careeer progressed?
What are his or her recreational interests?
CharityCAN has a wealth of biographical data ranging from press releases to academic qualifications. Biographical data sources in CharityCAN include:
Thomson Reuters corporate biographies and academic qualifications
ZoomInfo press releases and web refrences
Canadian Who’s Who biographies
Here is a short video walkthrough showing you how to access CharityCAN’s biographical datasets:
We all know how important relationship mapping is to philanthropic prospect research. However, not all relationship mapping is created equal.
There are two main kinds of relationship mapping:
Relationship mapping done with internal data
Relationship mapping done with external data
Relationship mapping done with internal data uses information you know about your donors and prospects. Think creating a family tree that links a current donor with a prospect who know is his or her niece.
Relationship mapping done with external data uses information from outside your organization to show you how people are connected. Think a graph showing you how a prospect is connected to other people of interest based on the corporate boards your prospect sits on.
Now that we’ve got that covered, here’s the good news: you can combine both types of relationship mapping using Custom Relationship Mapping in CharityCAN. This feature opens up CharityCAN’s relationship data and mapping functionality and allows you to create and edit maps. You can define family, personal, and professional relationships by type and length and CharityCAN will automatically pull in everything we know about the people in your custom map.
Another great benefit about Custom Relationship Mapping is the ability to associate people with your organization. Let’s say your organization has a well connected donor or volunteer and you want to use his or connections while you are qualifying prospects. Or you are creating a fundraising committee and you want to reveal all of their connections in CharityCAN like you can with your Board members. All you need to do is create a custom relationship map and link these people to your organization. Then, whenever you are looking at a profile in CharityCAN, whether it is an individual, a company or a foundation, CharityCAN will use that person’s connections as though they are a current or historical board member and show if you are connected to your prospect.
If you have any questions or would like a quick walk-through of this feature please email us at email@example.com!
Donor screening and wealth screening are sometimes used interchangeably in fundraising. Since wealth screening is almost always a component of donor screening, this misunderstanding is understandable. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the limitations of pure wealth screening when compared to full donor screening. Let’s look a closer look at both types of screening.
Wealth Screening Overview
Wealth screening is solely concerned with wealth. Here are some of the things wealth screening can tell you:
Other assets and liabilities
Donor Screening Overview
Donor screening is also concerned with wealth and any quality donor screen will include the elements of wealth screening listed above. However, donor screening will also look for the following:
Past philanthropic gifts to similar causes and/or organizations
Non-giving philanthropic engagement such as serving on the board of a charity
Capacity and Affinity
Where wealth screening and donor screening differ concerns capacity and affinity. Wealth screening tries to determine how much money a person has. Donor screening expands on wealth screening and looks at a person’s overall viability as a donor in addition to how much a person can give. Wealth screening focuses on capacity. Donor screening focuses on capacity and affinity.
Yes, it is critical to have an idea of a person’s capacity to give – this makes sure our gift asks are reasonable and accurate. However, we also need to know the person’s affinity for the cause or organization if we want to maximize our chances of success. Wealth screening helps determine the gift ask. Donor screening helps determine the gift ask and the likelihood of success.
Although sometimes they are confused due to their similarity, it is important to understand the differences between wealth screening and donor screening. If you are solely concerned with a person’s capacity to give, wealth screening is the exercise for you. If you are concerned with a person’s capacity to give and his or her connections to your organization and likelihood to give to your organization, donor screening makes the most sense.
Donor screening is a process where a list of potential or current donors is analyzed and, usually, ranked. Typically, the names on the list will be ranked for their viability as a major gift prospect, but donor screening is also used to identify monthly, annual giving, and other types of prospects. Donor screening is extremely useful in better understanding your donor database and the people in it.
Why is Donor Screening Useful?
Consider the following scenario. There is a donor who has been faithfully giving your organization $100 every month for the last few years. This donor is very likely entrenched firmly in your organization’s monthly giving bucket. And rightfully so; based on gifts to your organisation, this donor fits the profile of a monthly donor.
Donor screening has the potential to reveal information about this donor that will alter that profile. Perhaps the screen reveals that, based on external wealth indicators, this individual has the capacity to make a six-figure gift. Perhaps the screen analyzes external donation records (gifts to other organizations) and reveals this donor is on the board of private family foundation that routinely makes five-figure gifts to the local hospital.
In this scenario donor screening has helped your organization realize that a fantastic monthly donor is actually more of a major gift prospect.
Donor screening also helps you segment your database. A good donor database is used by multiple people for multiple reasons (or, sometimes, one person assuming multiple roles). For example, a donor database should be able to tell a major gift officer who her top prospects are. It should also be able to tell an annual giving officer who his top prospects are. And it should also be able to tell the organisation what postal codes are likely to have the biggest impact for an upcoming mailout.
How do I do it?
Typically, you will send a donor screening service a spreadsheet containing names pulled from your database. This spreadsheet may also include email addresses or postal codes depending on a) the data the service needs to conduct a screen and b) the data they will return to you.
The service will then attempt to match those names (and other data points, if included) to external data sets. External data sets used in a donor screen can include: real estate wealth, connections to your organization, donation records, and salary records. After the names have been matched the screening service will append the spreadsheet you sent with the data they have pulled and rank your list of names based on any agreed upon criteria.
Donor screening is an immensely effective exercise for a fundraising organization to undertake. It can quickly help identify under the radar prospects in a database and also segment a database for more effective out-reach. Donor screening is a crucial step in developing a better understanding of a donor database and the people in it. Organizations that understand who their donors are raise more money.
Relationship mapping has become an integral part of philanthropic prospect research. Relationship mapping can show you how to connect with a prospect, the connections of a board member or major donor, and the different ways your organization is connected to another organization.
Most of the time when we map relationships we are looking to realize, or visualize, a certain connection. Perhaps you want to see how your board connects to the board of Barrick Gold or maybe you want a list of corporate boards a new board members sit on. In both cases we know the beginning and the end of the relationship chain we are trying to map.
This type of relationship mapping is incredibly useful and this utility is the main reason relationship mapping is such a big component of CharityCAN. That said, you are leaving potentially important information on the table if you are only concerned with getting from point A to point B.
Consider the Relationship Path search below:
In this search, we are looking for connections Headwaters Health Care Foundation has to Enbridge Inc. There are 14 total connections and the strongest one is Ron Hay to Al Monaco. This is a big win: Headwaters has a connection to the CEO of Enbridge (Al Monaco) through a past board member (Ron Hay). If we were prospect researchers looking into the viability of Enbridge (or Al Monaco) as a major gift prospect our relationship mapping exercise has been an unqualified success. That said, there is something we may be overlooking here: Blake Goldring, the intermediary in the Headwaters-Enbridge connection.
Let’s take a closer look:
When we expand Blake Goldring’s organization list we can see he is quite active on both philanthropic and corporate boards. He’s connected to organizations including WWF Canada, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sunnybrook, AGF and Acuity. On first glance, Blake Goldring appears to be an interesting prospect – as a major gift prospect himself or as a link to the companies he’s associated with. Let’s dig a little deeper to see if our fledgling assumptions about our intermediary connection hold true.
When we look at the donation records CharityCAN has on file for Blake Goldring, we see over 300 gifts to a wide variety of causes, including a number of six and seven figure gifts. When we look at the donation records CharityCAN has on file for AGF (Blake Goldring is the CEO and Chairman of the Board), we see over 400 gifts to a wide variety of causes, including a number of six and seven figure gifts with a decided tilt towards healthcare and hospital giving.
While the original intent of this relationship mapping exercise was to explore connections between Headwaters and Enbridge, we would be remiss to not acknowledge the value surfaced when we explored Blake Goldring, the intermediary connection in our original search. Blake Goldring is a legitimate major gift prospect. The companies he is associated with are legitimate donation/sponsorship prospects. Paying attention to the intermediary connection in our search has been a good use of time.
As more fundraising organizations engage in relationship mapping, the ones that pay attention to the entire map, not just the point A to point B journey, will be the ones that come out ahead.