Prospect research is important to finding new leads for funding as well as identifying pockets of opportunity for upgraded giving in your existing network. Using proprietary and subscription databases, donor screening tools, and well-honed research skills, Faircom researchers provide our partners with the kind of prospecting support typically reserved for large-scale nonprofits. In addition to feeding a pipeline for major giving, research can be valuable in finding new Board members or other volunteer leaders, or to expand a network of partners that build visibility and program reach.
We help you build a meaningful donor journey
Successful moves management depends upon a strong foundation of research. Research helps you:
- Identify new prospective donors who may be interested in your nonprofit mission or program.
- Deepen your knowledge about existing prospects and donors to improve your ability to connect with them.
- Uncover connectors within your prospect and donor base to influence future fundraising strategies.
At Faircom New York, we utilize a series of free, subscription and proprietary data sources to build targeted prospect lists and profiles for our nonprofit partners. Depending upon the needs of your organization, we can target our prospect research in multiple ways, including:
- Building a broader base of new individual donor leads to incorporate into your mid-level and major gift prospecting.
- Identifying new potential grantmakers or corporate partners for program-specific fundraising.
- Enhancing profiles of existing prospects or donors so that your frontline fundraising team is equipped with the latest intelligence to support their valuable work.
Prospect Research to Identify New Donor Leads
Faircom New York can help to identify new funding leads for your nonprofit. We assess prospect value and relevance following a Linkage-Ability-Interest or LAI approach.
- Linkage refers to a pre-existing connection to you in some way, perhaps serving as a volunteer, attending an event, or being connected to a Board member.
- Ability correlates to the capacity an individual or institution has to give, based upon known assets to predict net worth or openly-available tax filings for many institutional funders.
- Interest should be an obvious point — is this prospect engaged in causes like yours, especially through their philanthropy? This could be shown by gift or grantmaking history, or through other indicators like Board memberships, volunteer work, or personal experience.
Research is tailored to each partner, and we share all findings including contact and other details in customizable formats that give our partners actionable intelligence to drive their fundraising.
Onboarding New Nonprofit Partners
Before we get started with research, we onboard any new partner so that we understand more about your mission, programs, and needs. We ask for a lot of information from your team, including which may include but is not limited to:
- Strategic planning documents that set your mission and agenda for the next decade.
- Ethical guidelines that dictate whether you will accept gifts from certain industries.
- A listing of current and former Board members as well as other friends of your organization.
- A list of current and former donors, ideally including any details for the program funded (if applicable) as well as the gift or grant amount.
After reviewing these documents and an exploratory kick-off conversation with you, we develop a suggested research brief for your review, feedback and approval that will guide the research process. We set bi-weekly check-in calls throughout the research process, during which time we share our current findings so that you can ask questions and offer feedback that further guides our approach.
Faircom New York’s Prospect Research Output
Our research findings are typically presented in a spreadsheet format that we transfer through secure channels to protect donor and prospect privacy. We can set this up with customized fields to allow import into your CRM, or use the following standard fields:
- Name (of the individual or institution).
- Prospect type (e.g., individual, foundation, corporation).
- Contact details (of gatekeeper or program officer, if applicable).
- Brief biography with relevant charitable/grants history, as well as non-monetary charitable engagement (e.g., Board affiliations).
- Any applicable linkage to your organization and additional researcher notes.
- Initial wealth estimate or detail on recent total assets/giving.
We offer prospect research packages at 10, 20 or 30 hours per month, with a minimum investment of two months to ensure several rounds of conversation and feedback. We also work with organizations on an ongoing retainer basis to cover a range of strategy and support services, which can include prospect research.
Increased Potential in Your Current Donors
Research is not limited to examining external or “cold” audiences only — in fact, some of your best prospects could be existing donors to your organization. These contacts have already proven their interest in your mission, and they have the added benefit of already being linked to you as well. The question we ask is, do they have the ability to be giving more?
Before becoming a mid-level or even major gift donor, it is not unlikely for an individual to be giving to an organization for five to ten years. If you don’t know how to identify these donors, Faircom New York offers Data Services & Scoring, after which we can help you define and implement the strategies to move these donors to higher giving levels.
In-Depth Prospect and Donor Profiles
In some cases, you may have a list of prospects or donors that you have varying levels of information about. You may want to have a better understanding of who these funding leads are, and here, prospect research can again be incredibly valuable.
The Faircom New York research team can build in-depth prospect and donor profiles, with the option of custom formatting for easy import into your CRM, or through documents with the following standard fields:
- Name and contact details.
- Gatekeeper details, if applicable.
- Full profile narrative.
- Education/career history.
- Family details.
- Board engagement.
- List of key contacts.
- All available gift history.
- Refreshed wealth estimate, with breakout by source.
- Interesting personal facts.
- Full source listing.
If the profiles are built for institutions, like a foundation, we can also revise this formatting to be built around things like a broader institutional narrative and grantmaking highlights, spotlight on the most valuable program officer(s), and grantmaking cycle.
At Faircom New York, we offer in-depth prospect profile development as a standalone service based on the number of profiles to be completed. We also work with organizations on an ongoing retainer basis to cover a range of strategy and support services, which can include preparation of in-depth profiles on an as-needed basis.