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Whether you’re hosting a capital campaign, trying to increase major gifts, or looking to personalize your donor communications, wealth screening is an invaluable tool. However, many nonprofits are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the wealth screening process.

To clear up any confusion, we’ll answer all of your wealth screening questions so your organization can dive right into the process and start unlocking its benefits.

What is wealth screening?

As AlumniFinder explains, wealth screening allows nonprofits to determine donors’ giving capacity and target them accordingly. The data supplied during the wealth screening process helps organizations refine their fundraising outreach approach.

To obtain this data, nonprofit wealth screening tools pull information from public records and philanthropy databases. Then, they leverage data-driven algorithms to determine giving capacity.

What is the difference between wealth screening and prospect research?

Because wealth screening and prospect research are similar processes, they’re easy to get confused. To clarify, it’s important to note that wealth screening is actually an element of the prospect research process.

While wealth screening alone provides nonprofits with financial information about their donors, prospect research is a more comprehensive approach that incorporates financial and philanthropic data to determine donors’ willingness and capacity to give.

Wealth screening is the right solution to use when you want to pinpoint donors’ giving capacity only and use it to create highly targeted campaigns. The financial data provided in a wealth screening includes:

The data supplied in a wealth screening, as outlined in the text below.

  • Business affiliations. Unlock information about donors’ careers, employers, and salaries.
  • Stock ownership. Learn more about donors’ giving capacity through their stock ownership. If your organization has 501(c)(3) status, you can also accept donations of stocks and securities from these donors.
  • Home value. Use donors’ real estate assets to assess their wealth. Studies show that homeowners who own over $2 million in real estate are seventeen times more likely to donate to nonprofits.

The combination of these three data points offers an extensive overview of individual donors’ ability to give to your nonprofit. Then, you can leverage these insights to target donors with the highest giving capacity or develop different donor segments based on their giving likelihood.

What are the benefits of wealth screening?

The data you obtain from wealth screening can empower different areas of your fundraising approach and help your nonprofit earn more for its cause. Here are the main benefits nonprofit fundraisers receive from wealth screening:

  • More informed fundraising goals. When your database is filled with precise estimates of each donor’s donation capacity, you can develop more realistic fundraising goals. If the data indicates you may fall short of the goal you had in mind, you can plan additional fundraising activities to reach your target amount of dollars raised.
  • Personalized ask strategies. The right ask amount is crucial to capturing a donor’s support. Wealth screening eliminates any guesswork involved in finalizing your ask strategy and ensures you’re requesting an appropriate amount from each donor.
  • Matching gift eligibility identification. According to 360MatchPro, 78% of donors are unaware if they’re eligible for matching gift opportunities. Using the employer data supplied in wealth screening, you can identify which donors are eligible for matching gifts and encourage them to submit matching gift requests to their employers so that they can double—or even triple—their donation amounts.
  • Major gift opportunities. Major donors have the potential to significantly increase your organization’s funding. Wealth screening allows you to flag potential major donors and begin soliciting major gifts from them.

The personalized donor experience you can provide with wealth screening data not only helps your organization earn more but also makes donors feel more connected to your cause. When they receive communications and opportunities that align with their giving capacity, donors will be more likely to engage with your nonprofit.

How can my nonprofit get started with wealth screening?

Now that you understand the basics of wealth screening and why it’s so valuable to nonprofits, it’s time to explain the process in more depth. To get started with wealth screening, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare your data. Before you acquire new data, make sure the data you already have is organized and comprehensive. This step is essential because the more accurate the data you use to conduct your wealth screening is, the more actionable your results will be. Audit your database for any errors or duplicate information, and resolve these issues ahead of time.
  2. Append missing data. Once you’ve tidied up your database, you may notice you’re missing some key donor information. In this case, conduct a data append to fill in the gaps. You may append information such as demographics, email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. After your wealth screening, you can use this information to reach out with donation requests and eventually follow up to steward those who contribute.
  3. Segment donors. Segmenting your donors using any wealth or giving capacity information you have provides a strong foundation for your wealth screening. It allows you to prioritize screening donors who have the highest potential to contribute major gifts.
  4. Partner with a screening service. When you work with a wealth screening service, you can speed up the process and rely on data experts to deliver the best results possible. The best screening services manually verify top prospect information, prioritize secure donor data storage, and are eager to answer any questions you may have.

While there are many wealth screening tools and services available, we recommend locating a nonprofit-specific wealth screening service. When you partner with a provider that has experience in the nonprofit industry, you can rest assured that they’ll handle your donor data with care and help you reach your fundraising goals.

Wealth screening doesn’t just tell you more about your donors’ giving capacity. It also allows you to determine how to best engage your donors and offer them relevant opportunities to get more involved in your organization. As a result, you can earn more for your cause and develop long-lasting relationships with donors.

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