Finding New Donors With Political Contributions

Many prospective donors give not only to support various nonprofit organizations, but also to support various elected officials and campaign platforms. Every election cycle, tens of thousands of individuals pledge funds ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars to support their candidates.

Consider these thoughts from industry consultant Lori Lawson in her previous blog post shared here on the iWave Blog.

“Finding your prospective donor has contributed politically suggests he/she is more likely to be charitable.  This is proven by numerous industry studies, including my own experience working with wealth screening results with various types of organizations. Capacity formulas abound along with justifications for such.  But a long-time general rule of thumb is this: estimated gift capacity = 20 X political contributions made within any one election cycle.

With iWave’s Political Giving tab, you can access these giving records for both Canadian and US prospects.  But there are caveats regarding this information.  According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) privacy regulations, you cannot outright leverage political giving data in PRO when soliciting charitable donations.  Even though this data is public, remember that “data is people.”

So why are we telling you this, and what does that mean in practice?  iWave offers third-party political giving data at no charge to provide context for your research efforts.  This information is not intended to be used in the direct use of soliciting contributions of any kind.  It goes back to Lori Lawson’s point: political giving suggest a prospect is more likely to be charitable.  It’s then up to you, as prospect research professionals, to gather fundraising intelligence about your prospects from other data sources to support your donor profile.

Learning Opportunity

If you’re curious about the how, why, and why-not’s concerning politics and prospect research, here’s a great (and free) learning opportunity for you.

Rachel Dakarian, Senior Researcher at the Helen Brown Group, has examined political giving research in great depth.  On Wednesday, September 20th, iWave will host Rachel for a special presentation: Prospecting With Politics: Finding New Donors With Political Contributions.  You will learn insight about leveraging political giving to find new major gift prospects.  You will also learn how to work responsibly with this information.

Stay informed!  Join us September 20th at 2pm EST to hear Rachel’s insight on political giving opportunities.

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