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Who Are Your Access People? Identify and use them to reach out to major-gifts prospects.

people in networks 061513

By Gil Israeli, Director of Prospect Research and Senior Writer, American Technion Society
Appearing in Fundraising Success Magazine, May 2013

Every organization that raises (or strives to raise) major gifts faces the same challenge upon identifying a new prospect: How do I reach out to this person and develop a meaningful relationship? Unlike other types of fundraising such as direct mail, online giving, phonathons and small annual gifts, cultivation of major-gift prospects requires the critical first meeting, which can be facilitated by a door-opener or “access person.” With strong collaboration and information sharing between fundraisers and prospect researchers, the latter can play an essential role in identifying access people.

Who is an access person? He or she believes in your cause and may (or may not) be a donor. He knows your organization and, most importantly, trusts your professionalism to…

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