‘Using iWave, Our Fundraising Accuracy Increased from 4% to 70%’

Zoo Sign

At a Glance:

A World-Renowned Canadian Zoo


Museums, Zoos & Parks, Environment, Conservation

Key Challenge:
Producing prospect profiles using only Google was taking hours and only 4 percent of the fundraising dollars requested were being donated.

Key Benefit:
iWave has increased the accuracy of their ‘ask’ to 70%, profiles take less than half the time, and the fundraising dollars secured has gone way up.


A world-renowned Canadian zoo and a leader in endangered species protection are having remarkable success using iWave. The zoo is a research leader, and one of the few zoos to have their own medical hospital. Their top fundraising priority is supporting a new state-of-the-art research laboratory. This new facility will be one of the best in the zoo industry.

The Challenge

As a flourishing and World renowned facility, the zoo had a need for a new fundraising strategy that would help them increase their major gift donations. Three years ago, the Campaign Director at the zoo and his development team implemented a new strategy that included researching potential donors to get to know them and how much they might be able to donate, prior to making the major gift ‘ask’. Initially, they used Google and other search engines for this research, and although it increased the accuracy rate of their ask from 0% to 4%, it was taking too long – about 10 hours to research each prospect.

The Solution

One year into the new prospect research effort, the Director and his team turned to prospect research tools to help them increase the efficiency of their research. One of the primary tools added was iWave, and the results they started to see were astounding. “Over a 3 year period, we went from 0% to 4% to 70% accuracy in our ‘ask’. And our dollars have gone way up because we’re talking to the right people, we know they’ve got some interest, and we know how much they’ve given to organizations like ours.” Although they’ve tried a few tools, the Director says iWave is his go-to tool of choice. “It has the most powerful search and filter capabilities of all of the services I’ve tried, and has the most user-friendly and intuitive interface.”

Now when the development team comes across a potential prospect they immediately turn to iWave to determine: 1) if the person has donated before, 2) if they’ve donated to organizations similar to the zoo, and 3) how much they’ve donated to those organizations. Being able to learn this much about a prospect so quickly has resulted in increased efficiency and ask accuracy. A quick prospect identification profile that used to take over an hour now takes one minute. A full profile went from 10 hours to 4 hours. For the development team, the future of the Zoo is promising. Using iWave, they are now focusing on the right prospects at the right time. “We have 60 times the number of pre-qualified prospects, and talking to pre-qualified prospects means more fundraising success.”

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Using iWave, we have 60 times the number of pre-qualified prospects.

Campaign Director /The Zoo


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