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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

3 Reasons Wealth Screening is Critical During a Crisis


The challenges of nonprofit fundraising have been made even more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it’s more important than ever to conduct thorough
prospect research to ensure campaign success. And a key component of this research is wealth screening.

Wealth screening is research that determines a donor’s giving capacity by examining indicators like real estate holdings, stock information, past charitable giving, and other records.

In recent months, many organizations have turned to wealth screening as a key tool for moving forward from the crisis.


Wealth screening data can help your organization to:


  1. Create realistic fundraising goals.

  2. Understand supporters and evaluate crisis-related circumstances.

  3. Use key information to maximize revenue.


We’ve seen firsthand how nonprofits are using wealth screening data to strengthen their fundraising efforts, even in the middle of a crisis. 



Create realistic fundraising goals.

In a time of economic uncertainty, it can be difficult to determine a reasonable fundraising goal. You may be worried about your supporters dealing with layoffs or otherwise struggling to make ends meet. How much should you expect prospects to donate? 


The goal of wealth screening is to answer this question.


Key wealth markers and philanthropic indicators paint an accurate picture of possible gift amounts so that you can set—and achieve—more realistic goals. 


Of course, your goals are going to vary depending on whether you’re attempting to secure gifts from major donors or engage lower-level supporters. Either way, a deeper understanding of your prospects’ wealth and average donor’s capacities to give can guide your campaign targets across the board.




Understand supporters and evaluate crisis-related circumstances.

Wealth screening gives your organization useful information about supporters that can help you understand their motivations, evaluate their affinity and ability to give, and assess overall wealth.


You can even use this information to determine how they’ve been affected by the current crisis. Wealth screening data can reveal prospects’ industries or stock holdings and determine whether their capacity to give has likely changed.


It’s especially critical to assess the impact of the crisis on your major donors. According to this DonorSearch guide, just 12% of donors contribute 88% of the average nonprofit’s donations. Understanding each major donor’s circumstances will more effectively inform your fundraising asks and strengthen your stewardship and cultivation efforts over the long run.



Use key information to maximize revenue.

The pandemic may have caused a loss in planned revenue due to canceled events or lapsed donors. But your constituents still need help! Wealth screening data can help your nonprofit secure the critical funds you need for your mission.


Wealth screening maximizes your fundraising efforts by enabling you to:


  • Determine eligibility for matching gifts. Wealth screening can help you determine which of your supporters work for employers that offer matching gifts. If you find supporters who are donating but aren’t taking advantage of their eligibility, you can conduct outreach to maximize the impact of their donations.

  • Create targeted asks. Segmenting your donor communications based on wealth screening data allows you to tailor your ask to the ideal gift amount. Tailored communication also builds rapport and trust, which strengthens your relationship over time. This relationship will make solicitation easier if you decide to pursue a larger gift in the future.

  • Identify new major donors. Wealth screening can help you find current supporters in your system who are able and likely to give more to your organization if prompted.

These data-driven strategies will amplify the impact of your existing and future fundraising efforts.


Wealth screening data can act as a powerful tool to support and inform your nonprofit during the crisis. By more accurately understanding your supporters, you’ll be well-equipped to maximize your fundraising efforts through 2020 and beyond.


Written by Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President of DonorSearch.


DonorSearch is a prospect research and wealth screening company that focuses on proven philanthropy. Sarah is responsible for managing the production and customer support department concerning client contract fulfillment, increasing retention rate and customer satisfaction. She collaborates with other team members on a variety of issues including sales, marketing and product development ideas.


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