The Mikuska Group  

What about “success rate”?

I’m often asked about success rates when identifying prospects for an organization, for example X number of prospects leads to X number of gifts or successful asks. Here is why this isn’t relevant.

  1. Fundraising is a relationship business. Research is but one part of the process.
  2. Cultivating and soliciting the gift is the role of the fundraiser (volunteer or staff) and success depends on many factors.
  3. A prospect identified now may only result in a gift much further down the road.
  4. Research may have identified a prospect that appears to be a good one, but upon approach has completely changed their giving focus (from environment to at-risk kids, for example).
  5. The prospect’s circumstances may have changed in the interim and they may no longer have any interest in the project due to changes in their corporate or personal life.

We can’t find out everything about a prospect (which, in my opinion, is a good thing!) before we approach them. Use prospect research as a tool in your fundraising program to make informed decisions about who and when to approach.

The best way to evaluate a prospect’s interests and ability to give is to discover them through a face-to-face meeting. There you can infuse your passion for your organization into the conversation and get to know them better.

– Laura Mikuska


Blog Archives

Articles By Category