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.

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.

Relationship Mapping – Using Intermediary Connections

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.



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. 

Using the Integrated Search to Research a Charity or a Company

The Organization Integrated search is the best way to use CharityCAN to conduct prospect research on a granting foundation and companies. In this guide we will walk you through how to most effectively use the Organization Integrated Search for prospect research. We will discuss:

  • Searches
  • Donation Records
  • Charity Analyst Reports
  • Corporate Prospect Profiles
  • Thomson Reuters Compensation Data
  • ZoomInfo Business Info and Contacts

Searches

To conduct an Organization Integrated Search, select Integrated Search from the left menu under Prospect Research Tools and then select the organization tab. Next, type the name of the organization you are researching (you can filter by city, province, and country, if desired) and press search.

Your search results will be comprised of data from five data sets:  donation records, charities, companies, Thomson Reuters, and ZoomInfo. Let’s start by discussing donation records.

Donation Records

The donation records displayed here are the same records you would see if you did a donation record search for the organization’s name. CharityCAN’s donation record database contains around 14 million donation records, pulled from both T3010s (for charity to charity gifts) and announcements, annual reports, and other published documents (for individual and corporate gifts).

If you are in a hurry and want to quickly determine if the organization you are researching is a viable prospect, this is the best place to look. Look at the dollar ranges and types of the gifts. Do a good number of them match your current goals? Look at who is receiving the gifts and their location. Are they a similar organization in a similar location?

Charity Analyst Reports

If you are researching a granting foundation and need to go beyond a simple donation record analysis, select the Charities tab and open the Charity Analyst Report. From here you can review the foundation’s contact information, financial and board information, and most importantly, giving history. Under the Gifts tab, the default view shows you all years of giving history. You can use the dropdown menu to select a specific year. The dynamic gift visualization graphs will automatically update.

Corporate Prospect Profiles

If you are researching a publicly traded company (or one of the 3000 or so larger companies we profile), select the Companies tab and open the Corporate Prospect Profile. From here you can review contact information (including FullContact social media contact info), industry classification codes, financial information, current officers and employee information, and donation records.

Thomson Reuters   

Thomson Reuters Compensation Data allows you to see disclosed compensation information for certain people at public companies. Clicking on a name will give a bio of the person and compensation data (if required to be disclosed) broken down into salary, bonus, long term compensation, and stock options.

ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is a directory of business data including contact information, biographical information, revenue and staffing levels, and press releases. It is a very useful dataset for learning about your prospect, whether it is a person, granting foundation, or a company. ZoomInfo revenue levels and press releases are particularly useful when prospecting small and medium size companies.

The Organization Integrated search makes it easy to pull and review all of the information CharityCAN has on your granting foundation or corporate prospect with a single search. This search can be especially useful when you are prospecting a company that has a charitable arm such as Telus, Canadian Tire or RBC. Much like the Prospect Integrated Search, the Organization Integrated Search is designed to make prospect research easier, faster, and more effective.

Relationship Mapping and Prospect Research

What is relationship mapping

Relationship mapping is a visual representation of connections among individual items. Most often relationship maps are used to show how people and organizations are connected, but they can be used to represent connections amongst almost anything. Family trees and workplace organizational charts are examples of relationship maps most of us are familiar with.

Relationship mapping is useful because it allows the mapper to not only visualize connections, but to realize and utilize connections. A person looking at his extended family tree is able to visualize his connection to his third-cousin, realize how he connected to his third cousin , and utilize family members they share connections with to get in touch with her. A manager looking at her company’s organizational chart is able to visualize her connection to an employee in another office, realize how she is connected to the employee, and utilize those connections to solve a work-flow problem.

How can it be applied to philanthropic prospect research?

Relationship mapping has a strong application in philanthropic research. In a world where the maxim ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ approaches a truism, understanding and using relationships is essential.  

Donor networks

Mapping the relationships of a major donor, board member, or friend of the organization provides valuable fundraising intelligence. Depending on the types of relationship you decide to map, you can answer the following questions:

  • Who are my subject’s immediate family members? (family map)
  • Who in this network sits on the board of a family foundation? (philanthropic board map)
  • Who is my subject’s strongest professional acquaintance? (employment/corporate board map)
  • Has anyone in this network made a $100,000+ gift? (donation history map)

Connecting to donors

Connecting with potential donors is another useful way relationship mapping can be applied to philanthropic research. Picture a scenario where two organizations are both researching a company they feel would make a great sponsor. Organization 1 uses relationship mapping and learns that one of their former board members currently serves on a unrelated board with a VP at the company. Organization 2 has a similar connection, but doesn’t map relationships so is unaware of the connection. All other things equal, Organization 1 has an advantage over Organization 2 in the pursuit of this sponsorship.

Conclusion

Relationship mapping is a simple concept most of us are familiar with in some capacity. Applying relationship mapping to philanthropic research can yield serious benefits. Relationship mapping allows philanthropic researchers to visualize, realize, and utilize connections for the benefit of their organization.