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We’re pleased to share this post from our friends at DonorSearch.

As COVID-19 continues to affect individuals and organizations across the world, there has developed an incredible need for corona-related relief funding. Whether it’s to help subsidize medical bills or simply provide our health workers with the right equipment, people want to help and give back. That’s why #GivingTuesdayNow has been created.

Taking place on May 5th, #GivingTuesdayNow will be a day of global generosity that encourages individuals and organizations to get involved in their community. As a nonprofit professional and philanthropist, this is a movement that you should start planning for.

As you determine the best ways to maximize your #GivingTuesdayNow efforts, one of your greatest assets will be prospect research. Prospect research helps nonprofits identify key donor data by analyzing complex data about individuals, like past giving histories and business affiliations.

Whether you’ve used prospect research tactics in the past or are just getting familiar with it, this guide will walk you through exactly how prospect research will help for this #GivingTuesdayNow:

  1. Determine which donors to engage with.
  2. Learn more about how donor connections can help maximize success.
  3. Connect with donors after the campaign.

Ready to get started? Let’s begin.

1. Determine which donors to engage with

As you figure out the best way to launch your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign, you have to consider your donors. COVID-19 has impacted them as well, and while they might want to help out, they might not be in the best position to do so. However, this doesn’t mean you stop all donor engagements. 

With the help of prospect research, your organization can fine-tune who might be the best supporters to contact first, narrowing it down to existing and potential major gift donors. It might be worth redefining what major giving means to your organization. Because of the economic crisis, a smaller amount by an impactful donor still contributes to your cause and sets the stage for future engagement. 

While it’s not set in stone that your potential major donors will give to your nonprofit (there are plenty of organizations helping out for #GivingTuesdayNow), start reaching out to them as early as possible. Don’t simply resort to fundraising asks and instead ask donors how they’re doing. This way, you show them that you care and increase the chance that you retain them once the crisis is over.

By pinpointing potential major donors to your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign, you can start prioritizing those relationships from the get-go and explain how your specific fundraising efforts will help the broader COVID-19 cause. 

So how can you use prospect research to identify your most likely major gift candidates? You’ll want to analyze various data to uncover their ability and affinity for giving.

According to this DonorSearch article, to identify a donor’s ability to give, you can check for wealth metrics like property ownership, political giving history, and business affiliations. To identify a donor’s affinity to give, you can check for philanthropic indicators like past gifs and volunteer history.

All of these elements should be analyzed in tandem to gain a more comprehensive picture of your donors. That way, you can pinpoint the donors who aren’t just able to give a major gift, but who are also deeply connected to your cause.

2. Learn more about donor connections

Prospect research can provide you with a goldmine of information. It can reveal anything from a donor’s age and marital status to employers and other business associations. 

This information is important for understanding new donors and their networks. For example, you may have gained new donors in your database with peer-to-peer fundraising software, or you may have noticed that your supporters speak regularly on social networking sites about your nonprofit.

Prospect research can help you manage your donors’ extensive personal and professional networks so that you can most effectively leverage the connections that will be most advantageous.

For instance, say that one of your existing major gift donors serves on a board of directors with a prospect who has donated to nonprofits like yours in the past. Through your current relationship, ask the existing donor to connect you to the prospect! 

Additionally, your prospect research tool can identify business connections and employment information. This gives you a clue into who might be eligible for a corporate matching gift. This way, you can increase fundraising without having to ask specifically for more money. To learn more about this opportunity and why it’s great even during COVID-19, check out this article.

3. Connect with donors after an event

Staying in touch with donors after your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign can not only boost donor retention rate, but it can also encourage donors to give more in the future.

When you reach out and thank donors after the event has ended, it shows that your organization wants to continue to have a relationship with them. This vested interest will encourage donors to give to your next campaign and contribute more to your cause. 

If a major donor gave a significant sum to your fundraiser, make sure you don’t just thank them. Check in with those supporters to keep them posted on the projects and missions that your organization is accomplishing thanks to their contributions.

To really maximize your communications strategy, you can even perform prospect on your #GivingTuesdayNow donors. This way you can identify additional donor connections and opportunities.

The key is to use the data you have to make the longest-lasting impact of your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign once it’s over.


Prospect research can be an invaluable tool when planning your #GivingTuesdayNow campaign. While it can be done manually, investing in a dedicated prospect research tool saves a lot of time that can be reinvested in your mission. If you’re interested, Double The Donation has a guide of top prospect research solutions to look through.