Did you know that Individuals with over $2 million in real estate ownership are 17x more likely to give philanthropically than the average person? It’s true!

In today’s data-driven fundraising world, insights like that are key to building strong relationships with potential donors. Prospect research tools and wealth screening for nonprofits are now standard practice for fundraisers who want a leg up on their advancement goals.

As nonprofit organizations continue to automate the collection and analysis of wealth insights, fundraisers can better invest their time into building meaningful donor relationships.

Prospect research and wealth screening is a must for fundraisers!

This article will cover everything you need to know about prospect research and wealth screening for nonprofits:

What Is The Difference Between Prospect Research and Wealth Screening for Nonprofits? 

Prospect research is the process of identifying prospective donors who have the financial capacity, interest, and giving behavior that indicates they’re likely to make a donation. The goal of prospect research is typically to find major donors.

Wealth screening for nonprofits is a function of prospect research that focuses on finding indicators of an individual’s financial capacity.

FREE Major Donor Profile Template

By downloading this template, you’ll be able to keep track of your major donor prospects’ giving histories and wealth indicators and prepare for your next appeal.

What Is Propensity to Give, Capacity to Give, and Affinity? 

A comprehensive prospect research strategy needs to be based on three indicators: propensity to give, capacity to give, and affinity.  

  1. Propensity to give: Whether a donor has a high net worth or not, if they don’t have a track record of giving to other nonprofits, they’ll be unlikely to donate to yours. Giving propensity is typically measured by recording an individual’s past donations; if they make frequent donations to nonprofits, they have a high propensity.
  2. Capacity to give: This indicator is usually tied directly to factors like net worth, real estate, stock holdings, cash on hand, and other signals of wealth. A high-net-worth individual has a much higher capacity to give than an average person. 
  3. Affinity to your cause: This indicator is defined as a donor’s interest in your cause. For example, a person with a history of donating to arts-based organizations would have an affinity for the arts.

Which Prospect Research Tools Should I Choose?

To find the top prospects, you need the right tools! Prospect research tools and wealth screening vendors allow fundraisers to quickly sift through millions of donor data points and identify prospects with the capacity, propensity, and affinity necessary to become their next donors.

Prospect research tools typically integrate with nonprofit CRM donor databases to provide additional donor information.

1. Windfall Data

Windfall-data-wealth-screening

Windfall Data provides evidence-based wealth screening factors like tax returns and real estate holdings to provide a “precise net worth” rather than making assumptions based on things like zip codes. Additionally, Windfall calculates factors like propensity to give and capacity to give for each prospect you’re interested in.

Windfall boasts the most accurate prospect research tool, backing up their claim with datasets they rebuild every single week. Additionally, a Windfall subscription includes unlimited screening for your constituents, so there’s no need to pay for the extra credits or “pulls” that some platforms require.

Notable Integrations: Bloomerang, Donor Perfect, Fundraising KIT, Neon, Salesforce, Salsa, Tessitura. 

What sets it apart: Data accuracy. Windfall updates its datasets weekly to provide the most up-to-date information for fundraisers.

2. WealthEngine

wealthengine-wealth-screening

Using over 45 data sources, WealthEngine has created unique profiles for over 250 million individuals. This broad dataset provides the backbone for WealthEngine’s service to help organizations screen, prioritize, and identify possible donors.

WealthEngine also offers data modeling to help organizations identify more prospects and donors that fit within their “Ideal Donor Profile”.

Notable Integrations: Arreva, Charity Engine, Charity Proud, Clearview, Every Action, Fundraising KIT, Neon, Salesforce, Salesforce, Tessitura.

What sets it apart: WealthEngine’s donor pyramid modeler can automate the arduous process of creating accurate donor segments to help formulate long term fundraising strategies. WealthEngine also generates wealth scores and ratings to help identify, segment, and prioritize donors with the right attributes like total assets, net worth, cash on hand, propensity to give, and many others.

3. DonorSearch

donor-search-wealth-screening

DonorSearch wealth screening software is unique because it’s 100% focused on philanthropy. Unlike other prospect research tools that are marketed toward luxury markets such as financial services, DonorSearch is designed with fundraising in mind

This platform provides wealth screening for existing contacts and a “Prospect View” feature that finds new prospects who match your criteria. Also, DonorSearch’s pricing is based on the number of “pulls” or the number of contacts you screen.

Notable integrations: Arreva, Donor Perfect, Giveffect, Keela, Kindful, Fundraising KIT, Neon, Salesforce, Salsa, Tessitura, Virtuous CRM.

What sets it apart: DonorSearch wealth screening can identify individuals based on their giving to other organizations. DonorSearch flags when people have given major gifts and to which organizations. This can make major gift prospecting significantly easier for fundraisers. Deciding to buy DonorSearch vs WeathEngine is a hard choice!

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4. iWave

iWave-wealth-screening

iWave is one of the original prospect research tools and consequently has the largest market share of organizations using it. It has options for wealth screening on individuals, and it’s the only tool that can comprehensively screen companies and foundations.

iWave wealth screening subscriptions also include search functionality for over 40 premium datasets to find insights like news, obituaries, real estate, and other key data points. iWave also uses “credits” to allow users to pay based on how many searches and screens they use. Additionally, iWave has provided prospect research tools for various cause areas: Healthcare, Arts & Culture, Faith Based, and Community Foundations.

Notable Integrations: Salesforce, Tessitura, Neon, Raiser’s Edge NXT, Patron Manager, Cause View

What sets it apart: As one of the most established wealth screening and prospect research solutions, iWave boasts award-winning client support and training. iWave is also the only solution to offer both US and Canadian comprehensive wealth screening data by drawing on the Canada Revenue Agency’s datasets.

Free Prospect Research Tools

Although they’re not as sophisticated, there are also a variety of free prospect research tools and free wealth screening tools (and methods):


Prospect research and wealth screening for nonprofits should be a part of any nonprofit fundraiser’s toolbox. Make sure to consider your organization’s existing technology to see which tools integrate with your current CRM. Then, pick a provider that best suits your fundraising tools.

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