Wealth Screening Guide

    Longing to change up your fundraising strategy and find new donors to support your mission? Changes within your organization and the world of fundraising at large may have you wondering how new wealth screening tactics can enhance your strategy.

    Let’s go through some of the ways iWave can assist you in finding donors through all phases of your fundraising journey. With accurate wealth screenings leading the way, you can make the right ask at the right time to bolster your fundraising efforts and reach or surpass your goals year after year.

    What Is Wealth Screening?

    At the heart of many of the most successful fundraising campaigns, you’ll find comprehensive wealth screenings. Traditionally, wealth screenings have been used to help your organization determine which prospective donors have the ability to donate to your cause.

    Now used hand-in-hand with prospect research, wealth screenings scan wealth, philanthropic, and biographic records to provide a holistic view of your prospects and donors.

    Wealth screenings enable development departments to segment hundreds or thousands of individuals you know very little about into a prioritized list of prospects with the greatest capacity and inclination to donate a gift to your organization. This data is then used to estimate the gift amount your team can ask for, ensuring no money is left on the table!

    How Wealth Screenings Can Assist Your Nonprofit

    Now that you understand what a wealth screening is, you may be wondering how this can be used to empower your nonprofit. The insights provided by wealth screenings can help you identify major donors with both the capacity and the affinity to contribute to your cause. The right wealth screening will also uncover annual fund prospects, planned giving prospects, and more.

    By segmenting your donors according to your various fundraising strategies, you can streamline your organization’s fundraising efforts and donor solicitation process. From narrowing in on key prospective donors to helping you determine exactly how much to ask for, wealth screenings provide a clear path forward for your nonprofit’s fundraising team.

    There are many different ways wealth screenings can assist you, some of which include:

    1. Find major donors

    Of course, major donors are always vital to your fundraising goals. With wealth screenings, you’ll be able to uncover who could potentially become a major donor by making large annual gift donations to your organization.

    To put this into perspective, research shows that compared to other donors, major donors who contribute between $5,000 and $10,000 to a nonprofit are five times more likely to make a future donation. Taking advantage of accurate wealth screenings will better ensure the livelihood of your organization for years to come.

    A major donor may also be part of a legacy gift program (in other words, a planned giver). About 78% of legacy gift givers contribute 15 or more donations throughout their lives to the same nonprofit they give a planned gift to.

    iWave will help you identify those with the wealth capacity and inclination to give. We’ll even provide insights such as who your Hidden Gems are or who might be a more viable option later on. By having both a short- and long-range vision for your asks and major donor cultivation, you can better ensure you have the necessary funds to fulfill your mission.

    1. Determine matching gift eligibility

    Matching gifts are often an under-utilized resource, but can double the gift amounts you are receiving. The premise is simple: Certain companies pledge to match their employees’ donations—usually up to a fixed amount.

    Use prospect research to determine which supporters work for companies offering this program, and then run a wealth screening to determine the gift ask. Matching gifts also allow you to reach out to those with a lower wealth capacity to give with a big return for your organization. This may encourage more donor prospects to make a contribution, since their gift will make an even greater impact.

    Expanding your reach in this way can significantly increase how much you receive from your more extensive lower-tier donor base.

    1. Efficiently gain a deep understanding of who donors are

    In the past, gathering a comprehensive understanding of your donor base took a tremendous amount of time. Now, you can put together an accurate and wide-ranging portrait quickly. This saves you precious time you can dedicate elsewhere in your organization!

    1. Providing analytics to guide next steps

    What good is data if you’re not sure how to use it? iWave’s fundraising intelligence is all about actionable data, so you know what to do with the information you learn from your wealth screenings. In particular, iWave provides Cultivation and Engagement Analytics, so you understand which channels and messaging to use as you cultivate prospects.

    1. Create solid fundraising goals

    Once you’ve performed wealth screenings and have identified potential major donors, you will then be able to build an accurate and attainable fundraising goal. Use this research to build out your fundraising plan for the year and work your expenses around this number. This will help you stay on track and ensure your nonprofit remains organized.

    1. Tailor asks based on affinity

    Wealth screenings can also help you plan more personal asks. They give you a sneak peek at the donor and what their interests may be, helping you tailor your gift ask to the specific prospect.

    All donors prefer to feel like individuals instead of mere demographics. A tailored ask fosters this sense of individuality.

    If a donor has a keen interest or passion for a particular branch or program within your organization, you can focus your ask on the ways their donation can keep that program up and running for years to come.

    1. Increase donations made by annual donors

    If someone donates to your cause consistently, they may be a good candidate to up their gift size—even by a small amount. Since wealth screenings reveal capacity, you can see who can give more. For instance, maybe a donor is currently giving $25 but could be giving $250. The information you glean from wealth screenings can help nurture these donors!

    This is just the tip of the iceberg for wealth screenings. Whether you want to support your annual fund or host a successful gala, wealth screenings can help secure the results you’re looking for.

    Wealth Screening Data

    When performing a wealth screening, there are two main indicators you should look at first: philanthropic indicators and wealth indicators. These indicators are then broken down into smaller, more specific data sets.

    At iWave, we provide our clients with complete transparency into the data, formulas, and sources used for our wealth screenings. This enables you to validate the data and ratings yourself, which means you can trust the intel even further and make your data-driven fundraising asks with confidence.

    Philanthropic Indicators

    • Past Giving: Has the prospect given to likeminded charities in the past? Do they donate often, such as every week, every month, or every year? If so, how much and when do/did they give?
    • Nonprofit Involvement: Does the donor prospect volunteer frequently? Do they serve on a board? Do they regularly attend events? Have they participated in specific programs? If so, which ones and when were they involved?
    • History with Your Organization: Have they worked with your team before? Have they contributed money, time, or resources in the past? If so, in what ways? Do they care about a specific initiative or aspect of your overall cause?

    Wealth Indicators

    • Real Estate Ownership: How many homes do they own? What is the value of the home(s)? A donor prospect who owns many properties may be more likely to give. Compared to the average donor, someone who owns $750,000 to $1 million in real estate is twice as likely to make a charitable contribution. Moving up, prospective donors who own $2 million or more in real estate are 17 times more likely to give.
    • Stock Ownership: Do they own a lot of stocks? Do those stocks hold high value?

    Not only does stock ownership indicate a donor prospect’s capacity to give, but it also means they have the potential to donate stock to your organization. Along with that, there could be an opportunity to pursue a corporate grant.

    • Business Affiliations: Does their company offer matching gifts? Is the company prominent in their field? Are they an executive, major investor, or board member? If so, this could be an indicator that they have wealth to give.

    The more factors a wealth screening scans for, the more complete of a picture you’ll receive, helping you save time and easily find the right supporters for your cause. Combining philanthropic and wealth information enables you to see clearly which donors have the capacity to give, a history of philanthropy, and an affinity for your cause. By letting this sweet spot be your guide, you set yourself up to meet your fundraising goals more efficiently.

    The Best Tools for Wealth Screenings

    When performing individual look-ups or individual research, you have two main options: Do it all manually or use advanced fundraising solutions to streamline your work.

    Having your team perform this research by hand is very time-consuming.  They’ll have to spend a lot of time manually searching through billions of data points to gather the same type of information that a wealth screening can provide in minutes. However, if you choose a next-generation fundraising platform to assist, the process will be sped up considerably.

    Your team works hard every day, and you want to make sure they have enough time and energy to perform critical work in your community on an ongoing basis. The time saved with a platform like iWave can help them do just that.

    Build Highly Specific Prospect Profiles

    One way to make your wealth screenings more effective is to build profiles. Comb through your current donor data to find commonalities between your supporters. If you find that many of your major donors own two or more homes, for example, this will be a key factor to scan for.

    Segment these donors into more specific groups, as well, for the most accurate information possible. For example, annual donors may have different wealth indicators than event donors. By understanding what type of donor a prospect can be, you’ll have a more targeted gift ask to yield stronger results.

    Every nonprofit is unique, so your supporters are bound to be unique as well. Discover what sets them apart to lead you to new supporters with a strong affinity for your cause.

    Tap into the Full Power of Affinity with Our Industry-First Multi-Lens Scoring

    Have you heard about our latest feature? It’s not just new to iWave—it’s new to the entire industry—and it provides you a chance to take advantage of donor affinity in ways you never have before.

    As you perform wealth screenings, you can apply different lenses (hence Multi­-Lens Scoring) to the same campaign. This allows you to segment viable donor prospects into categories that, while very different, all demonstrate a likelihood to support your cause.

    Our Multi-Lens Scores provide a holistic view of the donor that ensures fewer good prospects are overlooked during wealth screenings. It enables fundraising teams to uncover new giving opportunities and get more value out of every wealth screen.

    Wealth Screening Best Practices

    As you’ve seen in this guide, wealth screenings have the ability to launch your nonprofit to a new level of funding. If you’re using iWave, you want to make sure you’re performing your wealth screenings in a way that aligns with your nonprofit’s goals.

    Following these wealth screening best practices can help you do just that!

    Maintain Good Data Hygiene Practices

    When it comes to wealth screenings, it’s vital that all the information you’re scanning is accurate and up to date. To make sure your results are the best they can be, have your team do the following:

    1. Keep track of who has been active recently to determine engagement levels.
    2. Make sure you have updated personal and contact information, such as current addresses.
    3. Determine your average donation amount to use as a benchmark for fundraising goals.
    4. Delete any duplicate information to ensure the most accurate data and results.
    5. Follow a detailed and specific data entry procedure to standardize the process.

    During your initial cleanup, create a timetable in which to clean your database by, to help you remain on course. This number will reflect how many donors you have. Larger databases should then be cleaned monthly, while smaller ones can be revisited annually.

    Assigning specific team roles to complete this process will also help you stay on top of your databases as you move forward.

    Customize Your Wealth Screenings—They’re Not One-Size-Fits-All

    In the modern day, wealth screenings should not and cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. To get results that are right for your organization in terms of capacity, propensity to give, and affinity, you need to be able to customize your wealth screenings.

    Today, iWave is the only platform that allows you to customize the way you segment your lists, screen and score prospects, and more. This high level of customization creates a more accurate, complete picture that tailors results to your organizations unique fundraising strategy.

    Keep an Eye on Affinity

    Speaking of customization and affinity, did you know that iWave is the only platform that also gives you an affinity score, so you can measure how passionate a donor is about your cause? Scores and ratings are a big part of wealth screenings, but many neglect the all-important affinity score.

    When the passion for your cause is lacking, the support will be too. When you account for affinity, you ensure you’re talking to the best prospects for your organization and reduce the time it takes to convert those prospects into life-long donors. With iWave, that affinity score will be factored into the overall prospect score. That way, you’ll have a more complete view of capacity, propensity, and affinity.

    Wealth Screen in Segments

    Break down wealth screenings into smaller, specialized categories to help create more targeted results. Those who have donated in the past are more likely to do so again. That means it makes the most sense to focus much of your organization’s time, energy, and resources on reaching out to previous donors. Some of the categories you can target include:

    1. Recurring donors
    2. First-time donors
    3. Lapsed donors
    4. Event attendees
    5. Parents of first-year students

    The more personalized your categories are the more likely you are to uncover the right supporters. Each donor type has specific characteristics that make them unique. For example, attending an event or engaging with your nonprofit in another way shows a donor prospect’s interest and affinity, even if they have not yet made a monetary contribution.

    Take the time to analyze commonalities—for example, between existing first-time donors—to help you find future ones.

    Prioritize Philanthropy

    Philanthropic indicators are another great sign that someone is willing to support you. Make sure a prospect has an affinity for your cause, as well as a history of supporting likeminded charities and missions. With iWave, you can leverage the power of more than 170 million charitable donation records to gain a comprehensive view of a prospect’s past giving.

    By combining wealth indicators with philanthropic ones, you’ll be more likely to cultivate a major donor who will be willing to support your cause for years to come. Affinity for your specific cause ensures an interest and passion, so make sure you’re using these philanthropic indicators to forge a stronger connection with prospects.

    Don’t Focus All Your Energy on Major Donors

    In the past, many organizations have exclusively used wealth screenings to find major gift donors. However, the modern capabilities of wealth screenings allow organizations to fuel all fundraising strategies. You can find annual givers and many other vital donors spanning the breadth of your donor pyramid. Remember that industry-exclusive Multi-Lens Scoring we mentioned earlier? You can even use that to determine which lower- and mid-level donors, such as annual donors, have the means and affinity to upgrade to a higher tier of your pyramid!

    Remember, the ideal fundraising strategy is a well-rounded one. If your current strategies aren’t targeting all levels of the donor pyramid, it may be time to reconsider your tactics.

    Take Your Wealth Screening Results on the Go (If Possible)

    When choosing a fundraising platform, look for one that can be used on the go too. Mobile use allows you to scan through data on the train or airplane before a meeting, so you can quickly check for any changes. The more information you have when heading into an ask or event, the more likely you are to secure a targeted gift with no money left on the table.

    Remember: Your Team Is Still the Beating Heart of Your Organization

    Even with iWave’s help, it takes an incredible team of researchers and nonprofit team members to build the better world you desire. It’s their vision of the world and their passion for the cause that will make the biggest difference. iWave is here to help them along by providing them the support to utilize our customizable platform to the fullest.

    Having the right tools will empower your team further and make fundraising a total success.

    If you choose to make use of iWave’s customizable fundraising intelligence, you and your team will receive personalized onboarding and unlimited support. This will ensure every team member, both now and in the future, understands how to effectively use all that our next-generation platform has to offer.

    How iWave Can Empower Your Nonprofit

    Using next-generation fundraising solutions is one of the easiest ways to streamline your wealth screenings and keep them current and highly effective.

    At iWave, our next-generation platform quickly scans billions of data points to provide you with a clear and organized picture of how likely someone is to support your cause. This means your nonprofit will save time, energy, and resources, and even potentially find donors you had never considered before.

    Our platform can also help uncover what we call “Hidden Gems.” These are prospective major donors who may be often overlooked, but have great potential. Additionally, our platform can be accessed via your mobile device, putting the power in your hands at all times.

    The best way to see how iWave can help is to view us in action. Contact us today to schedule a free demo or fundraising assessment and get started on wealth screenings. Our team will also be here for you through every level of fundraising. We’ll grow alongside you and show you how our platform can adapt to all your needs. Finding major donors has never been easier—learn more today!


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