Identify prospective donors and match them with your needs
Step 1. Decide what is needed to help fulfill your archives mission
Step 2. Identifying prospective donors
The most important thing to remember when identifying prospects is to first look at who has a natural interest in your archive. People closest to the archive could be:
TIP: You can find the names of donors by looking in annual reports on websites or on the donor lists displayed inside an organization. This is public information so feel free to use it.
Step 3. Creating your prospect list
The important thing to remember when creating your prospect list is not to leave anyone off the list because you think they don’t have any money. Making a charitable gift is an individual decision that should be left up to the individual and not made by you leaving them off the list. Remember you will be offering people a wonderful opportunity to support something they really believe in so please let them make up their own minds.
First: Think of everyone who fits into the categories listed in Step 2 above and write them down on a Prospecting Sheet.
Download Word Doc 4: Prospecting Sheet
Second: Ask your board members and volunteers to take a look at the prospecting sheet and rate each person on the list according to a rating scale. A sample scale appears below and is downloadable and you may make adjustments as you see fit.
Also be sure to ask everyone to add anyone else they can think of who might be a potential prospect and also rate them.
This exercise can be done in a group or individually. Make sure people put their names on the sheets.
Sample Prospect Rating Key
PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING KEYS WHEN FILLING IN THE FORM
Enter number 1 to 8 based on your best guess. Leave blank only if you have no knowledge whatsoever.
LEVEL OF INTEREST IN OUR ORGANIZATION—AND PHILANTHROPIC TENDENCY
Enter letter A through E based on your best guess. Leave blank if you have no knowledge of the prospect.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE PROSPECTEnter number 1 to 5 to indicate the phrase that best describes your relationship.
Download Word Doc 5: Prospect Rating Key
Third: Review the list to see who knows who and rank the list according to which prospects your reviewers have the best relationship with
Step 4. Refining your prospect list
Do some research on your top prospects to see what their interests are and what kind of things they donate to. Use this information to refine the ranking of prospects.
Write a Prospect Profile Sheet on your top five prospects. This will ensure that you have all the basic information you need to proceed or will show that you need to do more in depth research. Similar information is required for foundations, businesses and individuals.Download Word Doc 6: Sample Prospect Profile
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