Case Studies

The Exodus Road Raises $100K Gift by Leveraging Affinity and Tailoring Cultivation


The Exodus Road fights human trafficking and partners with law enforcement in other countries to organize interventions to locate people trapped in slavery and exploitation. They focus on training, intervention and aftercare for victims. The inspiration and motivation for the cause comes from personal experience. The director for one of the organization’s Asia countries, and his sister — who is a social worker for the organization — have lived through exploitation and sexual trafficking themselves. They both have now dedicated their lives to this mission and cause, to identify, save, and protect individuals who are taken and trapped.


Will Leitch, Executive Director of Philanthropy, admits that the nature of the work is a challenge — even though the cause has gained awareness, it is still a major issue around the world. They need to find the right people and understand how to best engage with them.


“I rely a lot on iWave for prospecting and grant writing”, says Will. With a small development team, they need to be strategic about where to focus their time and efforts. Now, after using iWave for a year, they have been able to learn more about their prospects and donors, craft custom communications tailored around their affinity, and better understand their capacity to make a donation to the organization.

The Exodus Road team conducts an annual end-of-year campaign, focused on Giving Tuesday, as well as a spring campaign, focused on existing and new monthly donors. They recently screened a list of names from one of these campaigns to learn more about the new donors. The screen uncovered many “hidden gems” that would have otherwise gone unnoticed in their database. In one case they identified an existing donor who gives small gifts, and after gaining more information and understanding about their capacity using iWave, they solicited a $100k gift from the donor.

When new donors come into their pipeline, they use iWave to build a profile on them and identify those who they should cultivate a relationship with based on their capacity and interests. “We are able to flag the ones that should get a little extra attention because of their giving patterns and their capacity,” says Will. In the case of one donor, “I did not know the individual, I would not have known his capacity and we didn’t have specific notes on him. It was through iWave we learned he had capacity, so we gave additional attention and a check showed up at our door”, says Will.

The Exodus Road team also uses iWave’s data to dive deeper into the affinity of individuals and foundations. Through personalized follow-up based on this information, nurtured donors have doubled their donations in the months following Giving Tuesday.


The Exodus Road


Colorado Springs, Colorado. The organization is based in the United States, but their work is mostly done overseas (Asia and South America).


Human Services

Key Challenge:

Finding prospects who are motivated to donate to a cause that doesn’t have high profile in North America.

Key Benefit:

iWave’s ease of use and the ability to learn more about existing donors and identify new major donors. Then, customizing messaging to resonate with donors to ultimately strengthen relationships and raise larger gifts.

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“I did not know the individual, I would not have known his capacity, we didn’t have specific notes on him, and it was just through iWave we learned about the capacity and other information, gave the additional attention, and a cheque showed up at our door”

Will Leitch

Executive Director of Philanthropy
The Exodus Road

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