AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

BlogWho’s in your Fundraising Database?

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Who’s in your Fundraising Database?

Your nonprofit may have hundreds or even thousands of prospect records in your fundraising database. But not all may be attending your programs or events or contributing regularly to your organization.

These individuals may be those to whom your organization sends newsletters or annual appeals, but do you know who they are or how they became part of your database? Many of them were likely added to your database by a previous employee of your organization. And if there are no historical notes about the prospect in your database and a relationship has not been maintained, how do you engage?

Fundraise Wisely shares that a single major gifts officer can typically manage 100 to 150 prospects in their portfolio. Most nonprofits have prospects with the capacity to give at various gift levels which means your organization will need varied approaches to how you engage. For example, annual or mid-level donors typically need less of a personal approach than major gift prospects, and strategies to connect may be digital or through direct mail. In this case, a development officer’s portfolio size could be 200 to 300 prospects.

Building A Relationship with Your Database

Whether you are managing a portfolio of 100 or 300 there are likely to be prospects in your database you’re not engaging with or know how to begin building a relationship with them; especially if your database is in the thousands. Screening your database can help your organization better understand who is in your fundraising database. What are your prospects’ capacity and likelihood to give to your organization? Determining who your prospects are can assist your organization in developing a plan for engagement and building relationships with those in your database. Perhaps some who are major gift prospects just need to be provided with the areas where your organization needs support. You may also find that some individuals in your database are not prospects at all, and you could save costs by not sending mailings to these individuals.

Are you interested in finding out who’s in your fundraising database? AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising can assist by conducting prospect research and creating a strategy for engaging with those in your database. Contact Jennifer Rubel, director of fundraising at or call 877.932.3279 for more information.

Written by:

Melissa provides fundraising counsel for AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients, leading feasibility studies and providing solutions that drive successful fundraising campaign results. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she uses her experience and extensive skill set to continually advance her fundraising practices and develop campaign-specific strategies, materials and training to help clients reach their campaign goals and advance their mission. Melissa has vast experience working in the nonprofit sector, having served in development and leadership roles with Sisters of Mercy and the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with local nonprofits, such as the Catherine McAuley Center. Faith-based organizations and causes are of particular interest to Melissa. Melissa moves the needle by always looking for new opportunities and ways to improve professionally. She is currently president of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council and a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter. Melissa holds a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Mount Mercy University. This busy professional, wife and mother enjoys sports and live music in her free time. A fan of Cubs baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football, Melissa and family enjoy football tailgating, where she’s known for her breakfast burritos. She enjoys the local band scene but says a Foo Fighters concert is her all-time favorite.