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Finding Major Donor Prospects Webinar
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Finding Major Donor Prospects Webinar


created by Heather Yandow at Third Space Studio,

created by Heather Yandow at Third Space Studio,

Published in Business
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  • Rituals and practices you use?
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • Take 2 minutes to make a list.?: YMCA, local churches,
  • Little bit of work to go through each – could be a volunteer or intern projectIf you are a statewide, big city based group, think about other areas you are working in
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • You’ve now created a huge list of potential prospects, how do you focus?
  • Remember: you are not likely going to receive a gift that a long-time priority charity or political candidate gets
  • Any other ways that you find major donor prospects?
  • Time for In Defense of Board members


  • 1. Finding Major Donor Prospects
    If you have trouble connecting, please contact Heather at 919.451.1329.
  • 2. How To Use
  • 3. Let’s get started!
    What is one question you’d like answered today?
  • 4. Amanda Rodriguez
    Dogwood Alliance
  • 5. Betsy Dassau
    Cary Creative Reuse for the Arts
  • 6. Brenda Battle
    Down East Partnership for Children
  • 7. Camilla Eubanks
    NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • 8. Cheri Grauer
    Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
  • 9. Gwen Griffith
    Cumberland River Compact
  • 10. Henrietta Zalkind
    Down East Partnership for Children
  • 11. Jan Nichols
    NC Justice Center
  • 12. Jill Wiggins
    Land Trust for the Little Tennessee
  • 13. Karen Rindge
    WakeUP Wake County
  • 14. Katherine O’Brien
    Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
  • 15. Lexi Kay
    Yadkin Riverkeeper
  • 16. Lucy Martinez
    NC Justice Center
  • 17. Nicole Stewart
    NC Conservation Network
  • 18. Rose Hoban
    Raleigh Public Record
  • 19. Russell Herman
  • 20. Sean Kasofsky
    Blue Print NC
  • 21. Sheena Woods
    White Oak-New Riverkeeper Alliance
  • 22. Heather Yandow
    Third Space Studio
  • 23. Today’s Agenda
    A Model Prospecting Program
    Creating your draft prospect list
    Refining your list
    Researching your prospects
    Organizing your prospects
    Making it happen!
  • 24. “You already know all the people you need to know to raise all the money you want to raise” -Kim Klein
  • 25. Finding Major Donor Prospects
    Finding prospects has a lot to do with volume, data, and research
    A successful major donor program is created by building strong relationships
  • 26. Major Donors
    What makes your donors MAJOR?
  • 27. Major Donors
    What makes your donors MAJOR?
    Treat them differently from other donors
    Different for every group
    Most groups have a dollar limit: $100 and above, $5,000 and above
    Mostly an internal definition
    Key ?: How many donors can you treat in this way?
  • 28. Major Donors
    Major donors need to have the three Cs: care, connection, and capacity
  • 29. Creating Your List
    Where do you find prospective donors?
    Current donors
    Staff and Board contacts
    Sister organizations
    Local foundations
    Random people
  • 30. Current Donors
    Best way to find new major donors is by upgrading existingdonors
    All about building relationships
    Mine your giving data! Look for people who:
    Have a history of consistent giving
    Have given big gifts in the past few years
    May be giving under their capacity
    Ask current donors for names and introductions to other donors
  • 31. Staff and Board
    Create a culture of fundraising in your organization
    Make sure staff are comfortable talking about the basics of your organization and funding
    Ask staff and Board to be on the lookout for new people to bring into the organization
    Ask for names and contact information for potential donors
  • 32. Questions? Comments?
  • 33. Sister Organizations
    What organizations in your area do similar or compatible work? What are other organizations that you, your staff, or your Board give to?
    Look at their donor lists – website, newsletter, annual report, donor wall!
    Know that these donors have capacity and likely care – need connection
  • 34. Local Foundations
    Search by city, state, or zip
    Examine 990’s, particularly:
    Page 6: list of officers and possibly their contact info
    Page 10: if and how they accept proposals
    Page 11: list of grantees
  • 35. Data Management
    Important to track data consistently
    Important to include:
    First and last name
    Spouse/partner name
    Source of name
    Links to relevant website
  • 36. Questions? Comments?
  • 37. Focus
  • 38. Focus
    You’ve mostly identified people with capacity and/or care, but you need connection.
    Have Board and staff respond to your list.
    Do they know? Can they introduce?
    Give option for “call me later to discuss”
    Compare potential prospects to your email list or donor list.
  • 39. Research Top Prospects
    GOAL: if you have a connection (or potential), find out enough information to make an ask
    Giving history
    Contact information
    Work or personal history
    Simple sources of info
    People who know them
    White Pages
  • 40. What other methods do you use for research?
  • 41. Questions? Comments?
  • 42. Organize
    Organize your prospects according to your pyramid
    Focus on the largest donors first
  • 43. A Sample Pyramid
  • 44. Create Your Own Pyramid
  • 45. The Pyramid and Prospects
    Need 112 prospects!
  • 46. The Pyramid and Prospects
  • 47. Questions? Comments?
  • 48. Action!
    Prioritize and plan. Try focusing on a different set of donors each quarter:
    Q1 - renew previous donors
    Q2 - reach out to new donors $5,000 and up
    Q3 – reach out to new donors below $5,000
    Q4 – clean-up
    Delegate – use the Coordinator/Director part of your title!
    Follow up – give a timeline and check in
  • 49. A Model Prospecting Program
    Creating your “big list”
    Defining your prospects
    Researching your prospects
    Making it happen!
  • 50. Thank you!
    Heather Yandow