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. 


Exporting Data

Exporting data found in CharityCAN can be a useful way to add data to your donor database – donation records a donor has made to other organizations, for example – and use third party tools such as Excel to further analyze data. In this guide we will discuss how to export data in CharityCAN.

We will discuss:

  • Charity Analyst Reports
  • Prospect Profiles
  • Integrated Search Results
  • Donation Records
  • Political Donations
  • Corporate Canada Records
  • Public Sector Salaries
  • Relationship Path Search Results
  • Household Data Prospect Profile Records

Charity Analyst Reports

Charity Analyst Reports can be exported in their entirety by pressing the Printer Friendly Version found on the top right of the General tab. Specific sets of data including People and Gifts can be exported by pressing the Export button on their respective pages.

Prospect Profiles

Both user and system generated prospect profiles (found under My Prospect Profiles and Prospect Profiles, respectively) can be exported by pressing the Export button on the top right of the profile. 

Integrated Search Results

The following Integrated Search results can be exported by pressing the Export button:

  • Donation Records
  • Canadian Who’s Who
  • Political Donors
  • Corporate Canada
  • ZoomInfo
  • Public Sector Salaries
  • Prospect Profiles

Donation Records

Donation Record searches can be exported by pressing the export button found directly the Total Records Found number. 

Political Donations

Much like Donation Records searches, Political Donation Record searches can be exported by pressing the export button found directly the Total Records Found number. 

Corporate Canada Records

Corporate Canada Record searches can be exported by pressing the export button found directly the Total Records Found number. 

Public Sector Salaries

Public Sector Salary searches can be exported by pressing the export button found directly the Total Records Found number.

Relationship Path Searches

Relationship Path searches can be exported by pressing the export button at the top left of the page

Household Data Prospect Profile Records

When you do a household data search by postal code CharityCAN returns you a list of prospect profiles associated with that postal code. You can export this list of people by pressing the export button found directly above the list profiles. 

Custom Relationship Maps

Here at CharityCAN we know how important relationships are to fundraising. Donors want to be connected to your mission and your organization. Strong relationships can make all the difference, and prospect research can help to find and cultivate those relationships. That’s the reason we’re so excited to announce our newest feature: custom relationship maps.

In the past, CharityCAN has been able to show you connections between people and organizations based on an individuals’ time spent in a board position. We also made those connections searchable with our relationship path search.

While board positions are easy to find and verify, they only barely scratch the surface of how a person might be connected to another person or organization: what about that major donor who isn’t on your board but you know has been a long-time supporter? What about your prospect’s business partner, or their law school classmate? We haven’t been able to fully tap into a prospect’s inner circle until now.

Creating a relationship map

Now on any saved prospect profile, you’ll find a Custom Graph tab that will let you build a new, completely customized relationship map from the ground up.

Starting with your prospect, you can add relationships to any organization or person in CharityCAN, along with the strength of that relationship.

Then you can add connections to those connections, and on, and on, and on! We’ll suggest connections based on relationships that are already in our database, or you can strike out on your own, creating completely new ones.

The best part of these maps is that any new relationships you add to a custom map are instantly available for you in our relationship path search and our other relationship maps so you can make use of all your hard work.

We’ve also worked hard to ensure that your data is only your data. Any new relationships you create in a custom graph are visible only inside your organization, including any new paths created for your relationship path searches.

We hope that you find this new feature as exciting and powerful as we do. If you’d like a quick demonstration or if you have any questions, please get in touch!

Setting a Default Organization

The ability to set a default organization is a new feature in CharityCAN that impacts both the prospect profile builder and relationship path searches. In this short guide, you will learn how to set a default organization and a few ways it can help you use CharityCAN more effectively.

How do I set a default organization?

There are two ways to set a default organization:

  1. Go to My Prospect Profiles and on the right side of the screen select Select Default Organization. Type in the name of any registered charity or profiled corporation to set it as your default organization. You will notice a list of suggested prospects will populate. Cool and super interesting right? I agree. More on this later.

  2. Go to Relationship Paths and type in the name of any registered charity or profiled corporation to set it as your default organization.

Okay, I’ve set a default organization. Now what?

Suggested Prospect Profiles

Now that you’ve set a default organization you will notice My Prospect Profiles looks a little different. Setting a default organization allows CharityCAN to suggest potentially interesting prospect profiles to you based on the strength of the connection to your default organization. If you are looking for new people to add to your pipeline, setting your organization as the default organization and looking through the profiles CharityCAN pushes to you is an awesome place to start.

Alternatively, you could set a granting foundation or corporate sponsor who has been a major friend to your organization as the default organization. CharityCAN will then suggest a list of profile with connections to the granting foundation or corporate sponsor.

Easier Relationship Path Searches

Once an organization has been set as the default organization it will auto-populate in the from section of all relationship path searches.

If you would like more information on this or have any questions please email us at info@charitycan.ca

CharityCAN Granting Foundation Research Guide

Although the majority of giving in Canada is done by individual donors, charitable foundations are an important source of funding all Canadian fundraising organizations should consider. In this guide, you will learn how to use CharityCAN to effectively research, qualify, and connect with charitable foundations.

Research 

First, we need to qualify a foundation as a prospect. If you are looking for a brand-new donor, head over to donation records and search for a foundation that has given to your cause in the past, in a dollar range that fits your parameters. If you already know the name of the foundation you would like to research, go to Integrated Search and select the Organization tab. Entering the name of the foundation in this search field, will return all of the information CharityCAN has on the foundation. From here, you can take a quick look at donation records and ZoomInfo contact information. For comprehensive research, however, we need to open their detailed Charity Report.

Qualify 

The detailed Charity Report lets us review financials to make sure the prospect is in good shape to make a gift; the people on the board of directors so we can understand who the decision makers are; and, most importantly, their entire giving history. There is often a disconnect in the causes a foundation claims to fund in its stated purpose and the causes it funds. For this reason, reviewing giving history as opposed to simply reading a stated purpose or description is critical to successful foundation research.  

The default view under Gifts returns all gifts the foundation has ever made. You can also use the drop down to view specific years. When reviewing gifts look at the size of the gifts, the categories they give to, and location of the gift recipients. If the foundation is giving in dollar ranges that make sense for you to pursue and to organizations with broadly similar missions to yours, they are well on their way to being a well-qualified prospect.  

CharityCAN’s interactive gift visualization charts are useful at this stage. The charts quickly show the proportion of gifts going to certain causes and locations. You can also use CharityCAN’s gift visualization charts to drill down even further and determine the total dollar value of gifts to a specific cause, specific location or a specific cause in a specific location. 

It is worth noting that foundation giving histories can be exported to excel and stored on your local donor management system. CharityCAN does not cap or restrict data exports and almost all data in CharityCAN can be exported.

Connect

After qualifying a foundation as legitimate prospect, use the Relationship Paths tool to see if your board has any connections to the foundation you can utilize in your approach. Relationship Paths searches our entire Relationship Graph to see if your board has connections to the board of the organization you are researching. In the search displayed below, I found 24 connections the Special Olympics Canada board has to the MLSE Foundation board.  

When doing a Relationship Path search, it is worthwhile to look some of the other organizations you are connected to. In addition to the MLSE connection, this search also revealed connections to Tim Hortons, Tim Hortons Children’s Charities, The Justin Eves Foundation and RioCan.

CharityCAN’s foundation research tools give you the information you need to fundraise more effectively from Canadian granting foundations. Remember: use donation records to identify a new prospect, use the Integrated Search and the Analyst Report to qualify your prospect and then use Relationship Paths to search for connections you have to your prospect!

If you have any questions or would like to set up a quick demo of any of the features discussed, please do not hesitate to email us at info@charitycan.ca!