How to Make Better Sense of Your Wealth Screen Results

We all know a wealth screen is a powerful tool in a nonprofit professional’s toolbox.  But the results you get back can often be complex.  Without the right know-how, it’s easy to get confused.  Here are some proven strategies to better organize and evaluate your wealth screening results.

Picture This

Let’s imagine we just received our results back for a screen of about 100 names.  We’re looking for individuals who have a connection to our cause, are philanthropic, and are wealthy.  We have a number of filters available to help us identify our best prospects, be they current donors or unknown persons of interest.

Use Filters to Organize Results

Look at the results below.  You can quickly organize results by clicking on the various grey tabs you see in the results window (iWave Score, Propensity, Affinity…).  By default, these filters show the highest value results at the top.  Try toggling the filters to show prospects with the lowest values.  This view may help you identify if you are missing any information about your prospects and quickly evaluate who has the greatest (or least) giving potential.

Working with wealth screen results is supposed to be simple. Try using the variety of filters you see to organize and make sense of your results.

Maybe we want to filter our results to show people with estimated net worths between $500,000 and $5 million.  Let’s input those values in the “Est. Capacity Value” filter near the top.  Based on these parameters, we are now looking at 30 prospects we would consider high net worth.

But is their money tied up, or is it readily available?  We might choose the “Est. Capacity Source” as charitable giving, which suggests any prospects we find are very wealthy and contributing large donations to various causes.  This step gives us seven (7) prospects.  Could these be our next major gift donors?  In fact, based on their RFM scores these individuals already are our major gift donors.

If we filter by capacity value and capacity type, we can get a good idea of who is both wealthy AND philanthropic.

Don’t Forget RFM Scores

Speaking of RFM, let’s quickly cover what that means and identify some opportunities.

RFM is essentially a relationship score that visualizes how much a particular person loves your cause based on internal donation data.  A high RFM of 3 or 4 indicates the person has donated to your cause fairly recently (R), donates frequently (F), and donates a large monetary (M) amount each time.  Keep in mind, you can adjust what those expectations look like for your organization at any time in the Preferences section.  

iWave Score + RFM = $$$

If we cross-reference the iWave Score and the RFM score, they can tell us a lot about a prospect’s giving potential.  

A low iWave Score and low RFM indicates the prospect may not be interested in our cause, or maybe we don’t have enough information about them.  

A high iWave Score and a high RFM indicate the prospect is not only a current donor but is probably a major gift donor and definitely worth your time and effort to build those relationships.  

But what if a prospect has a high iWave Score and a low RFM? This may indicate that the individual is very wealthy and philanthropic but isn’t a current donor. There may also be an opportunity to upgrade, so to speak, a current donor to a higher gift level based on their giving activity to other causes and organizations.  

High scores are great, but some of the best opportunities come from brand new prospects who have no previous relationship with your nonprofit.

Let’s try that now.  We’ll filter for a high iWave Score and a low RFM.

Based on our results, we can see about 10 individuals who are wealthy, philanthropic, and seemingly don’t care much about your organization.  However, most of them demonstrate some connection to our primary and secondary affinities.

This could be a case of we’re looking at brand new prospects, or as mentioned, current donors who have the potential to contribute larger gifts.  Of all the ways to slice and dice screening results, this may present one of the most interesting major gift opportunities for you.

Download a Summary

Above the grey filters you will see an option to download a summary.  The summary includes graphs and charts that visualize your results.  For this example, we learned that:

  • 52% of prospect wealth came from properties, and 48% came from charitable giving;
  • Education was the largest cause supported, followed by health, human services, and the arts, respectively;
  • 63% of the 100 prospects were considered “strong” potential donors based on their iWave Score

How do you organize your wealth screen results?  Do you have any feedback about how to make iWave Screening better?  Let us know in the comments below.

About the author: Ryan McCarvill joined the iWave team in 2016. Ryan enjoys meeting and learning from nonprofit professionals, researching trends in the nonprofit community, and offering strategies for development teams to use iWave’s solutions to meet and exceed their fundraising goals.

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