Bentz Whaley Flessner

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International Prospects

International Prospecting: Looking Beyond Capacity

BWF Client Advisory — June 28, 2017

Today’s data-driven prospect development shops have more tools than ever before to identify top quality prospects. In a world growing more economically and culturally interconnected every day, the centers of wealth and philanthropy extend well beyond U.S. borders. Prospect development efforts, likewise, must bring a more global focus to identification.

Many students and patients are not only able to but are also choosing to seek out education and services outside of their home countries. Individuals, corporations, and foundations across the world are thinking more about philanthropy and making gifts across borders. However, many U.S.-based prospect research resources rely heavily on data that is not publicly available outside the U.S. Screening for wealth, for instance, is a very different proposition when considering an international constituency.

However, these constituents remain a vitally important segment, and prospect researchers need to take a fresh look at how we can evaluate and identify important and valuable prospects abroad. The following three main strategies will help organizations lay a strong foundation for international prospecting and fundraising efforts.

Segment prospects by likelihood and connection.

Do you know which regions have high concentrations of your constituents? What do you know about these prospects? Are there relationships that you have not tapped into yet? Are there family members or volunteer networks? Can you identify the groups of constituents who are the most connected and engaged with your organization?

Predictive modeling can help answer these questions and is an effective practice for analyzing the distinguishing characteristics of donors and prospects with high affinity. This analysis can identify where an organization has the best opportunity and greatest potential in international prospect pools by isolating the characteristics most closely associated with giving and engagement.

Reevaluate resources, including time and staffing.

Do you have staff members trained in international research? Do you have the right tools? Does your team understand the economics that are creating wealth in each nation represented in your constituency?

Today’s prospect development teams must be well-versed in knowing how to navigate wealth and business information hubs globally, in addition to knowing what types of information are public or discoverable. There are many free and subscription-based prospect research resources available that can provide insight into international wealth and capacity. It is important to evaluate the available budget and align paid resources with your known high-value prospect pools to maximize your investment.

Focus efforts on the likeliest prospect pools.

Once you know who your likeliest prospects are, in which regions they are concentrated, and which research resources are needed for those regions, it is time to prioritize segments, verify ratings, develop criteria, and identify the top tier of prospects for research verification.

The end result should be a deeper knowledge of your organization’s highest value prospect pools internationally and a comprehensive assessment of the capacity of those pools. And, ultimately, proper prospect ratings that your leadership and development staff can have confidence in and use in their global cultivation and solicitation efforts.

To learn more about how the BWF Insight team uses analytics tools like predictive modeling and offers research services to help fundraisers all around the world, check us out on the web at BWF Insight. Together, we transform philanthropy.

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