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What the Right Prospect Research Tool Can Do for Your Organization

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By Alex Quinn, Senior Account Executive, iWave Information Systems

Whatever your fundraising mission, the right prospect research tool will help you achieve your goals.

Here are your five best reasons to make the investment:

1. It will save you time.

The whole point of a prospect research tool is to make your job easier, not create more work. With the right prospect research tool, you will  be able to search quickly and easily. Even better, some of these  tools will do the work for you by allowing you to… set email alerts and notifications so you don’t have to log in to the tool every day to stay informed of your prospects’ developments.

2. You’ll get the best of both worlds:

a. Source More Major Gifts

You have lists coming out of your ears – for most organizations, list-building days are few and far between. You will need a tool that can tell you more about your current donors and prospects so that fundraisers can make smarter asks and maximize every donor’s potential.

That being said, if your prospect pool is looking a bit thin these days, your tool should also be able to:

b. Build Better Lists

What one organization needs in a list could be completely different from the needs of another so make sure your tool allows you to filter a database using specific criteria that can be adjusted and readjusted as needed.

3. You’ll learn a prospect’s capacity and affinity to give.

If your prospect research tool is only telling you about the possible assets of your prospect list, than it’s only doing half the job. When you find an individual with tremendous wealth, it’s a great first step, but only half the job. From there, it is essential to identify if they are philanthropic, even better, philanthropically inclined to your cause. Find a tool that will let you narrow your focus for the biggest return on time invested by filtering out individuals with no indication of an affinity for your cause. The right tool will contain charitable gift history and wealth records.

4. You can tailor the tools to your specific organization’s needs.

Export templates and profiles should be customizable to your organization or even to a specific researcher. It may happen that the logo   from another organization’s templates also carry over visually, but it shouldn’t cover much of your free space. Furthermore, how the data is organized and presented should be up to the individual researcher based on the priorities of their organization, not a predetermined template decided by someone else.

5. It will pay for itself.

If your prospect development solution is finding you new donors, saving you resource costs or sourcing more major gifts, you know you have the right solution working for you.

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