It’s an ideal time for wealth and philanthropic screening

Most nonprofit organizations know the benefits of performing a wealth & philanthropic screening of their constituents.

But, amid the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations are wondering whether they should continue to screen their donors and prospects. Some are also questioning whether the screening’s results are reliable given the current economic unrest.

Conducting a wealth and philanthropic screening during a crisis

It’s clear that the COVID-19 crisis has produced a significant amount of uncertainty around the financial impact of the crisis on donors and prospects. That’s exactly why this is an ideal time to use a wealth & philanthropic screening tool and, if possible, predictive modeling.

A wealth & philanthropic screening can help an organization make data-driven decisions, rather than act on emotions. It can also help it regroup, refocus, plan, and prepare for whatever the “new normal” will look like.

Here are some reasons organizations should engage in a wealth & philanthropic screening now:

  • It provides them with up-to-date evidence about the changing wealth of donors and prospects.
  • It gives them real-time updates on prospects’ wealth changes due to fluctuations in their securities and stock assets, as well as their corporate valuations.
  • It helps them understand philanthropic behavior, and how some segments of their constituency might be more inclined to give during a crisis/emergency.
  • It enables them to find the next tier or segment of prospects to engage.
  • It allows them to create a plan by knowing who to engage and who to solicit.

Additionally, diving into the results of a wealth & philanthropic screening, and strategizing around it, can be a worthwhile use of staff time that can be done in a remote setting.

Beyond the immediate crisis, there are several more reasons organizations are engaging in wealth & philanthropic screening that are unrelated to the current moment, including:

  • They accumulated several new prospects and donors who are yet rated.
  • They need to rebalance existing portfolios or identify new prospects to do qualification work.
  • They have new initiatives such as starting a campaign, need a mid-campaign boost, or need to finish a campaign strong.
  • A significant amount of time has passed since their last screening and prospect/donor life stages have changed.
Reliability of the wealth & philanthropic screening data during a time of economic unrest

The reliability of wealth & philanthropic screening results during a time of economic unrest will vary from vendor to vendor.

DonorScape provides critical data from a wide array of premium data sources that will help organizations during this crisis.

For instance, DonorScape’s sources of stock assets are updated daily to give clients real-time insight into changes in wealth among its most valuable prospects.

The immediate Gift Capacity Rating of an individual might be lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 crisis due to changes in his or her stock assets. However, the DonorScape platform provides clients with the logic behind the Gift Capacity Rating, which enables them to recalculate Gift Capacity Ratings based on additional data points and changes in the marketplace.

GG+A’s approach consists of:

  • Using a carefully curated set of commercial data assets that enable DonorScape to seek evidence of wealth of all kinds including income, cash, real estate, stock holdings, pensions, company ownership and partnerships.
  • Incorporating client-based engagement factors (such as length on file, volunteer activities, advocacy) with demographic factors (such as age, presence of children at the home, length of residence) to model potential giving.
  • Including model variables such as past institutional giving at the granular level (such as gift transaction level) as well as at the summary level (such as giving recency, frequency, and monetary values; total number of gifts, largest gifts), and evidence of philanthropic giving elsewhere, where it can be identified.
  • Using the Claritas PRIZM lifestyle segmentation tool to further evaluate lifestyle behaviors and unique demographics that lie beneath, or drive giving behaviors. GG+A has used this tool effectively for more than 30 years to strengthen its predictive model.

DonorScape’s wealth & philanthropic screening provides institutions with guidance that helps them focus their client fundraising resources on the best prospects within their constituent data – those with the highest capacity to give, and who are most likely to respond positively to that solicitation level.

We have been seeing that many of our clients are doubling-down on mission, continuing to engage with donors and prospects, and planning for what’s next during this time, with encouraging results. At GG+A, we believe that the best way to do that is to have an evidence-based, data-driven approach that can be enhanced with wealth & philanthropic screening and predictive modeling.


Please check out GG+A’s Response to COVID-19 and GG+A’s Virtual Resources Guide, and contact us at pmateo@grenzglier.com, rgeiger@grenzglier.com, or marnason@grenzglier.com if you have further questions about DonorScape wealth & philanthropic screening and predictive modeling, and/or for a DonorScape platform demonstration.

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About the author

Paul Mateo

Vice President, DonorScape LLC

Paul Mateo, Vice President, DonorScape LLC, brings clients more than 10 years of experience in information systems design and management. In his role at GG+A, Paul is responsible for product development and consulting support for the firm’s array of analytical services. He also oversees the day-to-day operations and client services…