Feeds:
Posts
Comments

FALL 2016 WORKSHOPS

FALL 2016 WORKSHOPSgreen new

Clark County Library
1401 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas NV 89119
For more information,
please call 702.507.3421

 

INTRODUCTION TO NONPROFIT FUNDING

TUESDAY SEPT 20      2-4 PM

Are you new to nonprofit funding?   Discover what funders look for and how to find them in this introductory course.

Learn the 10 most important things about finding funds, including:

  • Who funds nonprofits and what are their motives
  • What do funders want to know about the organizations they are interested in funding
  • How to find potential funders and make the first approach

STARTING A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION

SUNDAY OCT 9      2-4 PM

Do you want to start a nonprofit organization? If you understand the requirements, you have a good chance of being successful. Part 2 (Applying for IRS Tax-Exempt Status) is offered in November.

Learn the steps involved, including:

  • Pros and cons of forming a nonprofit organization
  • Legal requirements
  • Myths about nonprofits
  • Tips for success

APPLYING FOR NONPROFIT
TAX-EXEMPT STATUS

TUESDAY NOV 15     2-4 PM

There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars in legal fees if you know how to fill out the IRS tax exemption application form.

Learn about the IRS Form 1023, including:

  • Filling out the form
  • Which form to use – Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ?
  • Keeping tax-exempt status
  • Time frame and costs

It is recommended (but not required) that participants have previously attended
Starting a Nonprofit Organization in October.

 

Registration will open shortly.
Keep checking the registration page.

Image of a bag of money exchanging hands

Prospect research is the key to unlocking a veritable treasure chest of donor data.

And with that treasure chest of data, your nonprofit can develop a well-informed strategy to cultivate, solicit and steward your top prospects. How does it work?

Prospect screenings analyze select characteristics about your donors (personal backgrounds, past giving history, etc.) in order to tell you two things about them:

  • Giving Capacity: Their financial ability to make a donation.
  • Charitable Affinity: Their philanthropic interest in making a charitable donation.

You simply can’t look past the value in performing a screening. It’s true for nonprofits of any size. As an article on this blog explains, “What’s the #1 thing that small nonprofits don’t do? Prospect research. Yet, that is the key to successful major giving.” This article will help you make the most of prospect research, and in return, hopefully yield better fundraising results.

Whether you’re wanting to begin performing some primitive screening at your nonprofit or you’re wanting to better hone your craft, you’ll find actionable advice in the list below.

  1. Clean Your Donor Database
  2. Look to Your Annual Fund
  3. Focus on Major Gift Donors
  4. Prioritize Philanthropy
  5. Think About Big Picture Implications

Let’s explore each best practice on it’s own.

 

Text Clean Up Your Donor Database

1. Clean Your Donor Database

It can be tempting to jump right your research, but before you do, you should make sure you’re working from the best initial data possible. And that means you need to clean your donor database. As part of your screening, you’ll be identifying new prospects, but you’ll also spend a considerable amount of time looking at donors who are already within your database.

While you’ll be updating, correcting and adding to your existing information, that doesn’t mean that you want to deliberately start with inadequate data. Cleaning up your database prior to a screening positions the process for a prosperous future.

Cleaning should consist of:

  • Removing duplicate files.
  • Updating old information when possible.
  • Getting rid of files that are older than 2 years.

Start your screening off right with a squeaky clean database.

Best Practice Bottom Line: If you’re capable of fixing it, you should never be working from problematic data. Clean first; research second.

 

Text Look to Your Annual Fund

2. Look to Your Annual Fund

As was mentioned in the above point, much of your screening should be focused inwards, on the donors you already have. There’s no better place to look than your annual fund. Past giving is the greatest indicator of future giving, so it imperative that you analyze those who have already given to you.

Consider their RFM scores:

  • Recency: When was the last time they donated?
  • Frequency: How regularly do they donate?
  • Monetary Value: How much do they usually give?

Using their RFM scores, rank your annual fund donors accordingly. Keep in mind, most of your annual fund donors are likely donating to other nonprofits, too. You might have a donor who gives small gifts to your organization annually but major gifts elsewhere. Prospect research will help you find such candidates.

Best Practice Bottom Line: You only serve to benefit from leveraging existing relationships, so it’s advisable to pursue such prospects first.

 

Image of Text Focus on Major Gifts

3. Focus on Major Gifts

Major gifts are arguably the main reason why an organization would venture into prospect research. At nonprofits with substantial development teams, typically, “Major gift officers will work closely with prospect researchers to find the best candidates for their organization’s major giving program,” (Source: DonorSearch’s ‘Recruiting Resources: Major Gift Officer Job Description’).

By studying a combination of wealth markers and philanthropic indicators, prospect research assists organizations in identifying who is both qualified to give a major gift and who would be interested in following through with a donation.

Major gift indicators include:

Wealth:

  • Real estate ownership,
  • Stock ownership,
  • Business affiliations,
  • And more!

Philanthropic:

  • Past giving to your nonprofit,
  • Past giving to other organizations,
  • Nonprofit Involvement,
  • And more!

Best Practice Bottom Line: Let prospect research do what it’s great at: identifying major gift donors.

 

Text Prioritize Philanthropy

4. Prioritize Philanthropy

Kim Klein said it well when she explained, “Many wealthy people give very generously, and many more give relatively little compared to their ability…Don’t confuse having with giving.”

“Don’t confuse having with giving,” is sage advice and worth truly taking to heart. While wealth is a pivotal component of major giving, it’s not what drives someone to donate. In order to see the most results, you should lead any consideration of a prospect with analysis of their philanthropic past.

Best Practice Bottom Line: Wealth does not a donor make. First, they need to be philanthropically driven. So, it’s paramount that the philanthropic indicators, like nonprofit involvement, are foregrounded in your search.

 

Text Think About Big Picture Implications

5. Think About Big Picture Implications

Prospect research goes beyond identifying prospects. It’s about learning more to be more informed fundraisers. Once you’ve identified some prospects, the fun is only getting started. You’ve already gone through the work of thoroughly researching these people. Use that information for future plans!

You might, for instance, have gained a greater understanding of your prospect’s hobbies and interests. You can then take that knowledge and uncover possibilities for engagement, such as fundraising events (learn more about planning from this Booster resource).

If, for example, you know now that one of your prospects is an avid runner, you should invite them to participate in your 5k. You’ll give the prospect the opportunity to participate in an activity she loves, and hopefully, she’ll build a deeper bond with your nonprofit and your cause in the process. And that’s just one example of many that proves how beneficial it is to zoom out from the nitty-gritty of prospect research.

Best Practice Bottom Line: Once you consider other applications of what you’ve learned, you’ll be surprised how many insightful factoids you’ve unearthed.

There you have it! 5 best practices for effective prospect research. After selecting the right prospect research tool for your organization, it’s time to prepare your database and get to searching. Prospect identification is the first step on the way to fundraising success.


Image of Bill Tedesco

BILL TEDESCO is a well-known entrepreneur in the field of philanthropy with over 15 years of experience at the helm of companies serving the fundraising profession. He has personally conducted original research to identify markers of philanthropy and has developed modelling and analytical products that use those markers to accurately predict future giving. Since 2007, he’s been the founder, CEO and Managing Partner of DonorSearch, which provides wealth screening, philanthropic reviews, and online prospect research tools exclusively to the nonprofit market.

SOURCE:   GrantSpace blog.  5 prospect research best practices  July 18, 2016.
Nonprofit With Balls

Exploring the fun and frustrations of nonprofit work

GuideStar Blog

Better Data. Better Decisions. Better World.

Michael Rosen Says...

Thoughts from the author of "Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing"

GrantSpace Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

BoardSource Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

Socialbrite

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

Beth's Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

Getting Attention Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

Nonprofit Law Prof Blog

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

ANN = Alliance for Nevada Nonprofits

A Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center

Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Strategist and Consultant

Technology for the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers