Monday, December 19, 2011

Should You Use A Prospect Database?

Looking for fundraising prospects is a lot like looking for gold: It's better to have a systematic process in place to find it rather than just hoping you find it where you look.

Part of that systematic process involves using something called a prospect database.  This technology is a virtual warehouse in which data is linked and aggregated to help enhance your campaign.  It contains an organization's own donor data, compiled data, transactional data, prior mail history and response lists in their entirety  Not all nonprofits use them, but the ones that do have experienced success. 

One of these organizations is Smile Train, a children's charity based in New York City.  Priscilla Ma, executive director of the organization, spoke about their use of the prospect database at the DMA Nonprofit Federation conference.  The NonProfit Times recorded her suggestions on what types of organizations should use a prospect database.  You should consider using one if:
  • You’re a high-volume mailer, and your costs are increasing.
  • You want to be a high-volume mailer and you need to cut your costs to get there.
  • Direct mail drives your revenue. 
  • You use a wide variety of lists.
You can read the rest of Ma's suggestions on our website.

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