iWave Primer: Learn How to Leverage Real Estate Data, Find Volunteers and Double Your Donations

A prospect research tool is handy when you’re a nonprofit. Depending on the tool your organization uses, you’re able to compile pieces of data around a prospect to paint a picture on their fit as a major gift prospect. In iWave, for example,  you can conduct wealth screening, build prospect profiles, and conduct searches on every one of your prospects. You are literally able to change the direction of your organization by using a prospect research tool (like iWave).

iWave’s depth of features and data enable you to get extremely specific and strategic, especially when trying to tackle problems specific to your organization. Below you’ll see three ways to strategically use iWave that may not be evident but can help your organization achieve its financial goals and overall mission.

Look For Different Ways to Leverage Real Estate Data

For Americans

CoreLogic lets you get very granular when analyzing a prospect’s real estate information. Along with seeing the specific dwellings most recent purchase price, iWave users are able to see both appraised value and assessed improvement value of a dwelling. And because we know you don’t want to guess the exact financial situation of the homeowner, iWave provides the nitty and gritty details. These figures include whether it’s free and clear or if there have been any additional financial transactions (second mortgage, etc.). These are all valuable clues used to paint a complete picture of a prospect.

Let’s look at the above property. We can see that the house was purchased in 2006 for just under $300,000. In 2018, the house’s value stood at $251,705, while the assessed improvements value was $61,517. This means the homeowner has been making regular improvements to the property, while not recuperating any value. In fact, they have been losing money on this investment.

And because we’re able to see if a dwelling isn’t free and clear (mortgage free), we know this homeowner is still making regular mortgage payments. This would indicate that homeowner may be house poor, and therefore a less-than-ideal candidate for a major gift ask.

Though it takes a bit of digging, lifting the hood on potentially their largest investment can give real insight to financial health. This strategy is perfect for when you’re preparing a major gift ask, and want to verify the individual’s financial flexibility.

For Canadians

Due to privacy and data regulations, real estate information on Canadian prospects is different than that of Americans prospects. Different isn’t bad, however! Rather than seeing individual properties and their respective values, Canadians see postal codes and the corresponding averages of important financial clues.

For example, let’s look at the postal code M3C 2P1. This postal code is for The Bridle Path, one of Canada’s most affluent neighborhoods. And while Manifold’s Data Mining doesn’t provide the individual value of each dwelling, there is a lot of helpful information.

Average Property Value Median Property Value Average Mortgage Value
$2,609,336 $2,306,031 $383,539
Average Household Income Median Household Income Average Religious Donations
$680,013 $228,225 $282
Average Non-Religious Donations Province Postal Code
$967 Ontario M3C 2P1


If you’re a religious organization, for example, there is lots of value here. In this example, the total religious donations per household are quite low – roughly 30% of the non-religious giving. For your upcoming campaign, this may be a neighborhood you want to avoid. Or if you’re a healthcare foundation looking for major gifts over $10,000, this may be the area for you. The average household income is above $600,000, the average property is valued at $2.6 million dollars, and the average mortgage is value is only $360,000. This would indicate that not only are these individuals cash-rich and carry very little debt in terms of home ownership. This would indicate that a properly-timed and pointed major gift ask may set you up for a relationship of multiple gifts because of the individual’s levels of affluence.

Find Board Members and Volunteers

This is an often overlooked benefit of iWave. When looking to fill that vacant board seat or volunteer role, it is easy to default to bringing on a long-time volunteer or advocate for your cause. However, this vacancy is an opportunity for your organization to think strategically.

When faced with an opening within your organization, a common suggestion would be offering an open position to one of your organization’s prominent major gift donors. They support your cause financially, so they may relish the opportunity to help with the strategic direction and vision. Be careful though; because they contribute significant financial value to your organization, they may feel the right to dictate and guide the board or overall organizational direction. This is not to dissuade bringing on major gift donors to serve in key roles, though it should be done with caution.

Instead of defaulting to the largest major gift donor, default to iWave instead!

Instantly Double Your Major Gifts

What would you say if I told you I could double your donations instantly? Sounds pretty good right? Guess what? It’s actually possible with iWave!

In iWave, users have access to HepData, which lists organizations that offer matching gift programs. Much like a rewards program your favorite big box retailer or global coffee chain offer, you get rewarded for doing something you were going to do anyway. In this case, your reward is more donations for making a gift ask.

In case you need a quick rundown on matching gifts, here is one courtesy of Nonprofit Hub; A matching gift is a charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee’s donation to an eligible nonprofit organization, most often dollar for dollar.

I bet the gears in your head are turning now! The next question you’re going to ask is ‘exactly how can I leverage matching gifts?’. Here is where communication is key between researchers and fundraisers. When a researcher finds a prospect who fits their 3 Keys, they need to find out if the major gift prospect works at an organization which offers matching gifts. This is easily searchable in HepData within iWave.  Once a researcher determines that a prospect is eligible for an employer matching gift program, that’s when the fundraiser goes to work.

A situation like this doesn’t require any different work on the fundraiser’s part, except for possibly educating the prospect on matching gifts. This is especially true if they are unaware of their employers matching program.

And that’s it! A successful major gift ask placed strategically in front of the proper prospect will double instantly (well almost).

iWave is more than wealth screening and profile building. It’s chock-full of useful features that can help dictate your organization’s overall strategy. Whether it’s learning new neighborhoods for canvassing, finding key volunteers, or learning where to double your donations, iWave will help in many different ways. All it takes is strategic thinking.

For current iWave users, please reach out if you have any questions.

About the author: Patrick Bryden is iWave’s Marketing Manager. From creating pitch decks for Nike and Mattel to starting his own water bottle company, Patrick brings over five years of marketing experience to iWave. With a strong interest in creative problem solving and finding efficiencies in everyday processes, Patrick’s never met a challenge he hasn’t liked.

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