Our weekly Wednesday 9am MT/11am ET Clubhouse chats are full of robust conversation about topics within nonprofit fundraising. As always, please feel free to add and reflect on your learnings and experiences! Here’s some key takeaways from our chat about prospect research and how mission-based organizations can get the most out of their data:

1. If you’re not thinking about data, you’re behind. Every person generates 1.7 megabytes of personal data every second; 33% of time online is spent on social media; and—this one blew my mind–90% of data has been curated only within the last two years. If data is not a major part of your prospect research strategy in 2021, it needs to be. (Shout out Nathan Chappell, MBA, MNA, CFRE for sharing these stats!)

2. When was the last time you sent out a survey to your consistent supporters? Don’t forget that some of your best prospect research can be done in-house, for free. Some example questions (courtesy of major donor Lisa Z G.): How would you like us to communicate with you?; How would you like to be thanked?; How often would you like to know about our successes and failures?; How often do you want your information and in what format? How many of your friends know that you support our organization?

3. Never forget that philanthropy is personal. Be careful not to approach prospect research purely quantitatively and be weary of “one-size-fits all” communications. Use the data you have to customize your approach to each individual. Think about “precision philanthropy” — using data to be precise about what that individual’s thoughts, feelings, intentions, and motivations are.

4. (My favorite nugget from NC) Wealth is not the same as altruism. When conducting prospect research, your organization should be taking wealth into account among several other data-points like affinity and likelihood of giving. Wealth does not equal generosity; use your technology take more into account than someone’s net worth.

Do you have anything to add? I love to hear your ideas. And don’t forget to follow me on Clubhouse HERE.