Conversation Starters: Strategies That Open Doors to Major Gift Success

by Paul D’Alessandro Donors, Then and Now In the late 80’s I worked on my very first capital campaign for a major university.  I remember walking into the room where there were a few prospect researchers.  They had a stack of books to look up information on donors, and they would draw insight from published […]

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Predicting the Future With Past Giving

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the best major gift prospect of them all?” Unfortunately, there are no magic tricks or easy shortcuts when it comes to prospect research and fundraising.  Sometimes it’s hard enough to find your prospect’s middle name! But what we do have are proven indicators of major gift potential.  One of the best […]

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The Three Keys to a Better Major Gift Ask

The following is an excerpt from iWave’s new eBook: The Three Keys to a Better Major Gift Ask.  Read the full story. There are three important ratings that researchers and fundraisers use to segment and prioritize major gift prospects and donors. They are: PROPENSITY: Has this person given to nonprofit causes before? AFFINITY: Is this person passionate […]

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Prospect Ratings: Propensity-Affinity-Capacity Conclusion

  Here we are at the end of the Prospect Ratings: Propensity-Affinity-Capacity Series.  If you’ve been following this blog series, hopefully, you’ve learned something new about prospect ratings.  If you’re just joining us, get started here. What did we learn? PROPENSITY Simply knowing a donor prefers a specific cause and has lots of money to […]

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THE PAC SERIES – CAPACITY: Does Your Prospect “Have” What It Takes to Be a Major Gift Prospect?

The third aspect of the PAC series is for some the most important, but for all, probably the most infamous.  Trying to determine exactly your prospect’s capacity to give is very difficult.  There is usually no definitive answer, but every major gift ask usually depends on it. Defining Capacity You probably already know what capacity is, […]

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THE PAC SERIES – AFFINITY: Finding the Major Gift Donor of Your Dreams

In the second of our Propensity-Affinity-Capacity (PAC) Series, we explore Affinity.  Let’s discuss how and why a strong affinity rating indicates your prospect may be your organization’s next major gift donor. Affinity describes a natural liking for someone or something.  In the nonprofit space, we understand affinity (or linkage) as the strength of a person’s […]

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THE PAC SERIES – PROPENSITY: Finding Clues in Charitable Giving, Board Affiliations, Volunteering, and More

In the first of our Propensity-Affinity-Capacity (PAC) Series, we tackle Propensity.  Let’s discuss how and why a strong propensity rating indicates your prospect might be your organization’s next major gift donor. What is Propensity? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines propensity as “a strong natural tendency to do something.”  In the nonprofit development world, propensity is also known as […]

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THE PAC SERIES Introduction: What is Propensity, Affinity, and Capacity?

Good things come in threes.  When it comes to ideal donor ratings, the big three are propensity, affinity, and capacity (PAC).  Throughout the nonprofit space, there are many different perspectives (and names) for this ratings trio. But what is propensity, affinity, and capacity ratings? We’re here to chime in with our thoughts about PAC in relation […]

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