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Survey of Best Practices in Researching the Wealthy Donor



The study is based on a survey of 40 colleges, foundations, museums and other non-profit fundraisers.  The 95-page report helps its readers to answer questions such as: How much do fundraisers pay for prospect research?  What are their most trusted sources of information?  Do they use consultants? If so were they satisfied with them? How much did they spend on them?  How do fundraisers research particular issues such as the potential for bequests or divorce settlements?  How do they use LinkedIn and Facebook? How do fundraisers develop profiles or statistical models to predict the likelihood of giving? 

Specific data is provided on the use of many major resources such as WealthEngine, Vital Records, DonorScope and many more. 

Data is broken out by organizational size, determined by the number of full time fundraisers, and also for colleges, libraries, foundations and museums.  

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that: 
  • Organizations in the sample with more than 25 full-time fundraisers spent an average of  $39,506 each on prospect research information in the past year.
  • 15.56% of the organization sample have ever used Portico from the University of Virginia. Its use was most popular among the museums in the sample of which 40% have used Portico.
  • 11.1% of public colleges and 13.33% of private colleges have used a prospect research consultant.






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