Introducing Avenue Donor Data

We here at CharityCAN would like to introduce a new way to find quick insights about the donors in your Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT database: Avenue Donor Data. 

Avenue Donor Data is a new application available in the Blackbaud Marketplace that creates an add-in tile in your constituent pages to display a donor’s net worth, annual income, dwelling value, and annual donations, based on their postal code.

Avenue Donor Data Example

We think this application will be useful for any Raiser’s Edge user or fundraiser that either doesn’t have a team of prospect researchers behind them to create donor profiles – or a fundraiser who might be supported by prospect research but who needs data now and at their fingertips.

Imagine a time when we get back to galas and golf tournaments and a fundraiser meets a donor over cocktails (full disclosure – I just got my second COVID vaccine dose and so this actually seems like more than a hypothetical right now!) and wants to find a little bit more about them and if they might be a major gift prospect.

Since Raiser’s Edge NXT and Avenue are mobile friendly, the fundraiser can log in and quickly view Avenue’s data to qualify the donor on the spot using their smartphone.

If you’re interested in installing Avenue or want to find out more, including our pricing options, checkout our new Avenue Donor Data product page.


Avenue Donor Data is just a little window into some of the data we have in our main CharityCAN prospect research tool. If you’re already a CharityCAN user, you have access to the same data in Avenue via our Household Data Search.

If you want the same kinds of data that Avenue has to offer in your donor management system, then you might be interested in doing a donor screening with us. We can append similar data (plus a whole lot more) to your donor file to help you qualify your whole database at once.

If you’re already a CharityCAN user and a Raiser’s Edge NXT user, you might also be interested in CharityCAN for Raiser’s Edge. It includes the same constituent add-in for household data, plus add-ins for relationship and donation data too.

And if you’re interested in something totally different, get in touch directly. We love to hear what ideas for projects you have and see if we can help you bring them to fruition.

Internal and External Relationship Mapping

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:

  1. Relationship mapping done with internal data
  2. 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. 

Click here for a how-to guide on Custom Relationship Maps!

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 info@charitycan.ca!

Donor Screening vs Wealth Screening

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:

  • Net worth
  • Dwelling value
  • Salary
  • 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:

  • Relationships and connections to your organization
  • Past philanthropic gifts in general
  • Past philanthropic gifts to similar causes and/or organizations
  • Non-giving philanthropic engagement such as serving on the board of a charity
  • Political giving

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.

Conclusion

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.

A New Look for CharityCAN

If you’ve logged into CharityCAN recently, you’ll already know that we’ve been working on freshening up the site a little bit. In the past couple of months, we’ve given the site a new look, a new menu, a new place for news and now a new homepage. It’s all part of our software development efforts this year on streamlining the prospect research experience on CharityCAN.

It’s not a total re-imagination of our website – instead, it’s kind of like when you’ve lived somewhere for a while and feel nicely settled. And then you realize that maybe things would work better if that couch were just over there, and this chair was closer to that wall…

A New Menu

One of the first changes we made was to move our old menu from the side of the page up to the top, and rearranged our menu items to make it a little easier to find all of our most-used features. This may not seem like a big change, but it frees up a lot of screen real estate and makes things a lot nicer on tablet-sized devices.

A New Place for News

The next thing we did was move our news from the home page to a smaller widget that shows up on each CharityCAN page you visit. This way we can keep you informed of new changes and features no matter where you are in our application. It also freed up more space that let us create…

A New Home Page

With the extra real estate from our menu moving and our home page freed up, we were able to re-imagine a new experience for someone logging into CharityCAN for the first (or thousandth) time. We moved some of our most used features right to the home page so that you can use our integrated search and our donation records search as soon as you sign in.

We also chose to highlight something else we’ve been working on: donor recommendations based on our relationship maps. We choose a couple of donors to highlight based on their connections to your board of directors or their donations to similar charities. To view a larger list of recommendations, you can also visit your saved prospect pages to see who else you may already be connected to.

We hope you are enjoying the changes we’ve made so far, and there are more planned, so stay tuned!

Introduction to Donor Screening

What is Donor Screening?

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?

Prospect Identification

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. 

Database Segmentation

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.

Conclusion

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.

New Charity Analyst Report Front Page

We’ve recently made a change to the general tab of a Charity Analyst Report that allows you to more quickly access relevant information about the charity you are researching. 

Here’s an example:

The two most significant elements of this change are bringing director data and gift data to the surface, allowing users to quickly access this important information. 

If you would like to know more about one of the directors or trustees you see on this page you can click his or her name and generate a prospect profile.

If you would like to learn more about the charity’s giving activity you can hover over the elements of the gift visualization pie charts and see the categories this charity is giving to and the locations they are giving in. For an in-depth look at giving history click on the Gifts tab and review all gifts made since 2001 (or the date of inception, if after 2001). 

Other useful features of the new front page include a general description, social media links, industry codes, and a description of on-going programs.