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How Prospect Research can Help Nonprofits Raise More Money from Events

Tuesday, October 27, 2015   (0 Comments)

By Bill Tedesco, Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of DonorSearch

Fundraising events are a great way for your nonprofit to connect and interact with the donors who mean the most to your organization. While you can find any number of fundraising tips out there, did you know that your nonprofit can use prospect research for your next event to maximize donations and expand your donor base?

Here are the top three ways to use prospect research to your fundraising event’s advantage.

While there are numerous other tips on how to use prospect research in general, we’ll be focusing on using this invaluable tool to help your next fundraiser go from good to great.

1. Use prospect research to invite different donors to different events

Not every donor can come to every fundraising event your nonprofit hosts. However, with the help of prospect research, you can determine which donors would be better suited for a gala and who would enjoy a fundraising walk or run.

Prospect research can help you know more about donors’ past giving tendencies and charitable inclinations. You can also discover any business affiliations your donors may have or whether they serve on the board of any nonprofit organizations.

With this information in mind, you can determine whom to invite to what event. If a donor has regularly given large donations to your organization, invite them to your next gala or auction and take time out of your night to talk to them and thank them. This personal attention will help ensure continued donations in the future.

Need help planning your next fundraising event? Check out this thorough list of ideas that DonorPro created.

2. Use prospect research to leverage donor connections

Conducting a prospect screening can provide you with a wealth of information including donors’ business and organizational connections. You can discover where donors work and what other nonprofits they have donated to in the past.

Using this information can not only help you get to know your donors better, but it can also help you discover potential new donors to invite to your fundraising event.

For instance, if Mrs. Major Donor, a regular contributor to your organization, serves on the board of a nonprofit with Mr. Charitable, a noted philanthropist in your community, you can invite both to your fundraiser, doubling the chances that you can cultivate relationships with two potential major gift donors.

Figuring out donor connections can be as easy as identifying where donors and potential givers live in relation to one another.

3. Use prospect research to keep in touch with donors after your fundraiser

You should already be thanking donors for the contributions that they make to your nonprofit, but there are some donors that deserve extra special attention. You can use prospect research to help you determine which attendees you should reach out to after you’ve closed the doors on your successful fundraiser.

Forming lasting relationships with your major gift donors is critical if you want to continue receiving donations from them in the future. Using prospect research to identify who those donors are can help you keep in touch with them well after your fundraising event is over.


While there are many other ways to use prospect research to your nonprofit’s advantage, don’t forget that you can always utilize it to make your fundraiser a spectacular event.

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