January 18, 2021 Lauri Stone

How Rich is the Data? A Loaded Look at Wealth Screening Tools for Nonprofits

When it is time for your nonprofit to receive funding, understanding who your donors are, their willingness to give, and the right asking amount is a trifecta that’s tough to get right. Missed gifts either end up supporting another cause or are left on the table, missed entirely.

Wealth screening is such a complicated process that often starts with the best intentions but ends up overwhelming and improperly handled. Either the formula is missing important actions or the data retrieved is lacking in-depth information to truly help with advancement toward your mission.

Many nonprofits have all of the right combinations to yield promising results on a donor search. Actually, almost too many results. There can be so much data, you just don’t know how to handle it all and trying to figure out which guy on the list is the correct “John Smith” can be a nightmare.

But the biggest missing piece is the getting to the effective implementation part; another important formula where any one of the missing pieces will sideline even the most dedicated development efforts. Adequate staffing, enough time, handling multiple roles and juggling priorities, and  having the expertise to handle the project most effectively.

 

“Big Brother” has nothing on the data discovery capabilities of wealth screening tools

The technology that goes into wealth screening software is capable of diving in so deeply to an individual’s assets, by the end of a properly conducted screening and implementation plan, you will feel like your part of the family (and you will know all of their names and their favorite pet, too.)  It is a powerful tool and a popular way for nonprofits to learn more about their donors and identify those who can make a large impact. The higher the wealth metrics, the larger the capacity to give.

But knowing how to use a good wealth screening platform along with other essential nonprofit development strategies is just not enough. After all, tools are just tools and the user builds up and tears down with them either way. A great wealth screening not only yields good, clean data but with expert analysis, reporting, and implementation of a strong plan will put into high gear exactly who to ask, how to reach them, and the most fitting asking amount. The challenge at this point is the message. How you ask a platinum donor is not the same as how you ask a silver donor for a gift. This is another area where an expert who knows nonprofit  strategy, with a keen sense of design, knows how to tell your story and how to deliver it will make the difference.

DonorSearch

There are a number of great wealth screening tools on the market and one of them is DonorSearch, a leading wealth screening platform that pulls and analyzes data from financial, wealth, and philanthropy databases. The tool helps nonprofits identify and better understand prospective major gift donors. The fundraising intelligence platform is built on architecture that leverages its modern design and intuitive layout to help you identify, cultivate, and retain donors in order to raise more major gifts. The software enables development teams to segment high numbers of individuals you know little about into an actionable list of prospects who have capacity to give, are philanthropic, and are giving to organizations similar to yours.

Using information from over 25 databases, DonorSearch uses proprietary algorithms to help clients find the best philanthropic prospects. Then the advancement professional screens donor lists against a multitude of other unique databases, helps allocate scarce resources effectively, and then manually verifies prospects before compiling the abundance of data into detailed reports for the organization’s overall implementation plan.

 

Lead Generation

It’s more than a sparked interest in your organization. It’s emotional involvement, values-based passion. It’s finding people who love your mission and creating clever ways to engage them interactively. The engagement can be targeted toward donations, volunteerism, activism, or another resource.  Although, to be fair, some online actions are driven by motivations other than values such as personal experience. Whatever the reason for the interest and participation, developing the right lead generation plan with creative quality content and meaningful, online engagement is paramount. It’s not enough to have a few blurbs on your website, visitors need your story in living color with videos, photos, interviews, and interactive materials.

Through the creation of email campaigns, webinars, infographics, informational videos, newsletters, tutorials, and other campaign communications and branding strategies–  your community has the potential to help you achieve many of your objectives in the future. Although, acquiring new leads is easy, but there is no point to acquisition without a clear plan for retention and monetization. This is where hiring a nonprofit specialist is king.

Your organization has a story…. this is the chance to tell your story and tell it well.

Your website is the greatest tool of them all… with the right driver

Donors go there to give, advocates go to volunteer, prospective donors go to learn more about your organization, and constituents go if they need assistance from your nonprofit. But is your website truly working for your organization? A nonprofit’s website should offer ways to engage with its visitors in multiple ways to successfully capture the visitor’s email address. One example is offering a useful creative asset that can be downloaded in exchange for an email address.  This tactic is most effective when amplified by a complete campaign that includes digital media, social media posts, and website banners to help market any website digital assets.

 

An Overview of Donor Management Software

Photo credit: Salesforce.org

Donor Management Software

A Donor Management System or Nonprofit Constituent Relations Management (CRM) software is a means of organizing, analyzing, and strategically implementing communication strategies with nonprofit supporters to maintain and grow those relationships. It enables organizations to manage donor information, including donations, volunteer work, etc., and use that information to devise personalized strategies for donor retention. Depending on the fundraising strategy of the organization, this type of software can be used to invite donors to donate online, in person at fundraising events, or to use other payment methods such as check, electronic transfer, and more. Multichannel communication is also an important part of maintaining the relationship between not for profits and donors.

Salesforce.org offers solutions built on the Salesforce platform, designed for the needs of nonprofits, educational institutions, and foundations. As an open-source, social enterprise, the more missions their technology supports, the more they are able to invest back into innovation and communities, creating an endless circle of good.

Built on one connected platform, Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud is one integrated platform helping to connect all parts of your organization by unify fundraising, program management, marketing and grant-making teams to deliver experiences that “surpass the expectations of today’s digital stakeholders and drive next level change and impact.”

 

In short–

First, find prospects who are passionate about your cause and then wealth screen them using a specialist. Refresh or rebrand your organization’s branding and communications with concise messaging and clever lead generation strategies. Bulk up community engagement from leads, build greater online presence, and  interactively connect. Make sure your website tells your story and is working for you with rich content. Integrate a solid CRM donor management platform like Salesforce.org.

Hire a nonprofit specialty firm with a solid track record to support you with such an important project as raising major gifts/Donations, and connecting with volunteers and supporters for your organization.

 

At Sanmita, your mission is our mission and your purpose becomes ours. We are dedicated every step of the way toward supporting, enhancing, and elevating your cause. We partner with you and your team to help make great things happen for your nonprofit. We provide the scalability and quality of a large firm in a compact, call-my-cell anytime quality of service that only a small team can offer. Our work is an intersection of creative strategy and data-driven decision making. It is a blend of content, strategy, design, technology, marketing, sales, and business consulting.

We love to empower nonprofits and charities and help them do more with less. Reach out for a complimentary consultation here.

 

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Lauri Stone

Lauri Stone is Director of Client Relations at Sanmita, Inc., a web design and development firm offering strategy, design, and technology services to higher education, government, and nonprofit entities. She comes to Sanmita with over 25 years of experience in media marketing and advertising and is originally from Los Angeles, California.