All About Research: 6 Frequently Asked iWave Questions 

You asked. We answered. If you missed our Ask Me Anything webinar a few months ago, have no fear! We are recapping our top 6 questions that came out of the webinar below. If any of you are avid webinar attendees, you know that the Q&A portion of the webinar is often the most valuable. It’s not only your chance to ask questions directly, but it’s also a chance to see what questions are on the minds of your colleagues. Sometimes these discussions can speak directly to your own situation, without even having to ask!

So let’s dive in. Here are our top questions from you.

1- Can you use iWave if you don’t already have a name in mind to search?

Yes – absolutely! While iWave is a great tool for nonprofit pros searching in their databases and learning more about their donors, it’s also a great place to build lists of people who you didn’t know before. 

You can do that by searching in each of our datasets (screenshot below) and looking for indicators you’re interested in. That could be a search for c-level executives in Nashville. Or maybe you want to find individuals in Vermont who have certain interests. Honestly, the possibilities are endless!

2 – How do I verify my person is the right person in iWave?

If you start in the 360 search, this can be a little overwhelming. We have over 1 billion data points within our tool, so that’s a lot of data to look at! But don’t worry, you can easily narrow down the search and begin to parse through. One great place to start is in the Donations and Real Estate sections once you’ve performed your search. Chances are, you might know a little something about the person you’re searching for. Maybe as an example, you know that they live in New York. If you know they live in New York, maybe the next piece of information you find is their company name. Then you find a middle initial. Eventually, that snowball will start rolling and you’ll be able to add relevant records to your prospect’s profile. 

At this stage in searching, it’s important to know that it’s about putting pieces of a puzzle together. iWave makes it easy to step in and out of datasets and annual reports, so that you can constantly have a clear picture of the prospect profile you are building. If you can search, and then verify along the way, you can be more confident that the information you are collecting will lead you to a successful prospect profile.

3 – How do you integrate with CRMs?

This is a question we get a lot – and honestly, our answer is always changing. That’s because we are constantly adding and improving on our integrations list! We have fantastic direct integrations with Salesforce, Tessitura, and Neon. This are full partnerships with bi-directional data. What that means is that there is a conversation happening between your CRM and iWave. It’s a pushing and pulling of data to make your experience, your research, and your jobs easier. These integrations keep your CRM up to date with the latest iWave information. One exciting part of those integrations is the ability to screen your database without even leaving your CRM!

Check out our latest announcement about the exciting new updates to our Tessitura integration here.

We also have partial integrations with CRMs like Raiser’s Edge.

But, if we haven’t mentioned your CRM yet, have no fear! You can still easily download and export any of the data within iWave and import it into your database. Especially in the case of getting results back after a screening, you can import those data points back into your database when you’re done. And remember, we love hearing your feedback – so if you have a suggestion for a CRM integration with iWave, please let us know!

4 – What affects a donor’s iWave Score over time?

This is all about preferences! Did you know that you can change your user preferences right within iWave to completely customize your experience?

One huge driver of why a person’s score may change is that they have changed. Seems simple right? Maybe their child went to college for 4 years, and they decided to only support that school for the duration of those 4 years. After that period, once their child has graduated, maybe they wanted to focus more on giving back to other areas they love like the opera or the local theatre. You never know what could be going on in a donor’s life – but in iWave, we can help tell that story! How do a person’s interests change over a number of years?

The next thing that could impact a prospect’s score is their capacity. Ultimately, we want to see your donors increasing and we want them to go from a weak prospect to a major gift donor! So hopefully we see this capacity score improving over time. 

But if that’s not the case, that’s ok. If someone’s capacity has gone down, maybe they are retiring. Maybe they sold a home, or some of their assets are no longer available. These factors can all influence the score and therefore influence where that donor ranks in your priority list.

5 – How can I organize my profiles list?

Labels! Now, since iWave is a software tool used on a computer, this might not be as exciting as using a real label maker (anyone out there know what I’m talking about?! Label makers are so fun!). But, it can still be fun in iWave.

Right within your Profiles tab in iWave, you can create labels and start organizing your list. First, select the profiles you’d like to include, then click on labels (screenshot below). 


You can also include sub-labels which gives another layer of organization. The great part about these organizational tools is that they will encourage collaboration as well. It’s easy to share profiles, labels, sub-labels within your team so you can all stay on the same page and even divide responsibilities.

6 – How do I segment my database – how do I prepare for my screening?

I know we say this a lot but, every organization is different. So keep that in mind when looking at screening. Typically, a great place to start is with your own prospects. Figure out what you’re trying to uncover with your screening. Do you have an event coming up? Maybe this could be an opportunity to screen those event attendees to learn more about them and prioritize. You can also screen after an event! Or maybe you’re looking to screen your major donors only, or mid-range donors to see if there are any more opportunities there. 

If you are going right from prospecting-mode – you can prospect within, for example, the Prospects of Wealth or Real Estate datasets, export a list, and screen right away.

Another great place to start is by focusing on those high level donors. Maybe they are a huge supporter of your cause already. Maybe they’re supporting someone else with major gifts as well. Those people would fall under our “distinguished philanthropists” category in our iWave Insights. Some of these major donors can give at a bigger threshold. And now you can factor them into your priorities! 


So there you have it. We hope you learned some things! Stay tuned for more FAQs coming your way. And as always, send us your questions anytime. 

About the author: Liz Corney is iWave’s Content Marketing Manager. She has a degree in Journalism, is a fiercely positive team-player and a creative self-starter. She has experience working in software technology, video/mobile games, learning & development, social & traditional media, and communications. Liz is also the co-founder of a local nonprofit organization working to better the lives of homeless women in her community. 




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