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. 


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!