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Tool Talk: 5 Things to Look for in a Fundraising Tool

Fundraising success can be boiled down to evaluation: evaluation of your strategies, your tactics, and your tools. Before your campaign launches, you should be able to answer these questions:

  • What makes your donors tick and what doesn’t? 
  • How have your fundraising efforts been reflected in a campaign’s response? 
  • What can be improved to ensure even more growth? 

Many fundraising campaigns rely on the tool used to identify and engage prospects. But with so many out there, which one fits the needs of your fundraising organization best? Here are five aspects to consider when evaluating your fundraising tool:

AI-driven predictions 

Today, AI-driven products surround us. From streaming services like Netflix to online shopping services like Amazon, AI is everywhere. Why isn’t the nonprofit industry embracing AI? Yes, fundraising has come a long way in the past ten years, but what if you could take it even further? What if you could move your prospect development efforts from legacy models to best-in-class deep learning models?

For decades, classic wealth screening and modeling approaches have used one-dimensional summaries of engagement. By using technology previously only available to for-profit companies and only the most well-heeled nonprofits, we can now evaluate engagement in multiple dimensions, simultaneously. DonorSearch is the first and best in class to deliver AI-driven scores to help with sustainer programs, acquisition, upgrading, lifetime value, retention, and more – including the first of its kind, the MLR (Most Likely to Respond) score.

AI-driven Scores

The best fundraisers know that a strong track record of donor engagement correlates very strongly with increased giving. When a constituent starts to become engaged with your nonprofit’s mission and chooses to invest time, they see something special in what you are doing and will be more likely to give more and more often. The DonorSearch Most Likely to Respond calculation is a likelihood score between 1-100 for all constituents, acting as a guide to your most engaged prospects.

DonorSearch ratings are a snapshot of a donor’s wealth and philanthropy. As a stand-alone measure, DonorSearch ratings can pinpoint donors with demonstrated philanthropy or wealth. However, when combined with other markers of philanthropy, wealth, and loyalty to an organization, DonorSearch ratings can help development offices grow and strengthen relationships with the most promising current and potential donors.

Customized Segmentation & Reporting

You already know the importance of fostering communication between your organization and prospects (or your existing donors), but have you considered the importance of targeting different communication efforts to specific groups? 

When you tailor your messages to fit specific groups of prospects, you’re speaking to them on a personal level that makes them feel heard – and a prospect that feels heard is more likely to respond. This is why features such as the DonorSearch segmentation tools – including keyword search and powerful reporting tools –  are a fundamental element of effective fundraising efforts. Prospect lists can be used for mailing purposes, search for potential major donors, or invite a targeted group of individuals to fundraising events.


Focus your research on the right prospects and focus your team on the right data they need to do what they need to do. You’ll want to know what features will streamline prospecting and strategizing from your research and screening results. This allows you to get actionable insights fast, which saves you time and energy so that each member of your team can swiftly pinpoint the prospect intelligence they need to achieve their distinct engagement and fundraising objectives.

Up-to-date data

The importance of up-to-date and accurate wealth and giving data can’t be overlooked. When putting together an effective fundraising campaign, you want to make sure you’re approaching the right people, at the right time, in the right way. Having updated wealth and giving data means that you have the best insight into prospects possible, and can plan your fundraising efforts accordingly. Reach out and learn how DonorSearch delivers the freshest information on your prospects in seconds!

Additional Resources

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