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New Major Gift Study Shows Prospect Research Matters

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Discover the 42 Questions to Ask Major Donor Prospects

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Did you ever stop to ask yourself, “Does prospect research really matter? And, is it worth the cost?”

A new study of more than 660 small and mid-sized nonprofit organizations says YES!

Dr. Adrian Sargeant and I set out to answer the question: Can small and mid-sized organizations (with budgets of $10 million or less) really raise major gifts? And if so, how?

Answers are revealed in the results of a new research project – click here to download the free report.

One of the key findings was the importance of your major gifts pipeline, and who is in it.  To put it another way, having too many first time, prospective donors can be harmful (in the short term) to your bottom line.

New Donors Cost Money

To be more exact, for every additional new, prospective donor in a major gift pipeline, it was costing an organization, on average, $300.

In other words, new donor acquisition is an investment. And, if you’re going to be making the investment, you want to do so carefully and with the right prospects.

That’s where donor research comes in.

Cultivating Existing Donors Matters

The study also showed that every additional subsequent donor in a major gifts pipeline (i.e., working with your existing major gift donors) resulted in an additional $2,200 in major gifts.

The average prospect list for survey participants was around 20 people, so picking the right 20 is an important task.  Prospect research will help you determine exactly which individuals belong in your pipeline at any given time.

Prospect research helps inform your decisions about who goes into your major gifts pipeline, which could mean the difference between securing major gifts or not.

We’d like to thank Bloomerang and DonorSearch for being a valuable partner to the nonprofit sector in conducting this important research!

How have you used prospect research to fill your pipeline and secure major gifts? Let us know how in the comments below.

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