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Modernize Wealth Screening and Prospect Research with Neon CRM and Windfall Data

8 min read
February 01, 2021
Tim Sarrantonio headshot
Tim Sarrantonio
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Neon One
windfall data

Regardless of strategy, building relationships will always be the best investment that an organization can make. 

Creating long-lasting connections between you and your donors will help with retention, leading to lower acquisition costs because supporters will know that they will have a pleasant experience interacting with your organization. 

Accurate donor prospecting information can be a vital tool in developing relationships with key donors. The only issue is, accurate information is not easy to come by.

That’s why we’re so excited to announce a solution to wealth screening woes, through our new preferred partnership with Windfall Data

What is Prospect Research and Wealth Screening, and How Are They Different?

When learning about prospect research, you may come across the term “wealth screening” as well. It’s important to understand the distinction between these two terms, as they’re not interchangeable.

When it comes to comprehensive prospect research, the goal is to identify prospects that have both affirmative wealth (capacity) and warmth (affinity) markers. Wealth screening looks exclusively at financial indicators. 

Affinity is most effectively assessed using your own (1st party data) vs. 3rd party sources – only you know the past activities (donations, events, social/digital interactions) that predict affinity.  Wealth on the other hand is impossible to assess with internal data.

Having wealth data helps inform your prospect research goals living inside your CRM for quick segmentation against your own data. Yet there are many options in our sector around wealth data, so what is the best way to utilize this information?

Creating an Ideal Process Plan for Wealth Screening Data

Historically, when an organization needed updated wealth data, they would either contract with a dedicated provider of this information or they would use the simple tools in their CRM.

The screening would come in the form of a one-time data dump, priced by the record, leading to selection bias around “who to screen.” Or, a pay-by-record model for individual lookups would be completed within the CRM.

In either legacy framework, data decay, selection bias, and false-positive matches are massive problems, making the investment difficult to justify.

Once this data was obtained, then it would be up to the nonprofit’s staff to implement a process plan to engage donors around this information. As Neon One consultant partner Gail Perry outlines, some of the immediate steps an organization should be taking for major donor cultivation are:

  • Prioritizing your prospect list based off of affinity for your organization through previous giving and other factors
  • Establishing a communications plan around making contact with the prospective donor to outline a major giving path with them
  • Follow up consistently with the prospect in order to keep the conversation flowing and moving forward
  • Make the appropriate ask at the right time! 

There are a lot of steps between prioritization and making the ask. Incorrect information can either lead your team down the wrong path on who to contact, or worse, it can lead to an embarrassing conversation if the data you’ve obtained is either incorrect or divulged in a way that puts the donor on the defensive about their income and capacity to give

Trends indicate that donors, especially major donors, are being turned off by the ways that this data is being utilized. To avoid these pitfalls, organizations need to adjust their approach to wealth screening. 

Why Wealth Screening Needs To Be Modernized

The ways that nonprofits contract and use wealth and prospect research data needs a refresh. 

There are three primary factors that need to be considered when reviewing where your organization should be placing an investment around this type of data:

  • Data Management – While there are many options in the market, there are varying degrees of accuracy around what may be returned about an individual. It is important to ask the vendor you are looking at about the sources of their wealth screening information: are they reselling you imprecise neighborhood-level data from the credit bureaus? Or are they using deterministic source data, employing machine learning and predictive modeling techniques to arrive at granular estimates?. Are you working with a data aggregator or a data company? A dedicated database approach aligns best with how nonprofits organize their own data. 
  • Cost – When contracting with a service provider, is your organization paying for access on a per-record basis or are you able to have an unlimited number of scans against your database? If the vendor focuses on the number of records in the database, this presents an issue to your organization on how to best prioritize who you are searching for since this creates a chicken/egg conundrum where the organization is being asked to identify the donors they think may be prospects and then validating that afterward. Instead, an ideal approach is getting consistent scans on old and new records without worrying about per record costs.  Is the data sold in a 1-time dump? Or can you refresh every week to capture changes in wealth?
  • Process – How does the data get into your database? Many providers are offering individual lookup tools or stripped down data access for a low cost, yet either the data is difficult to get back into the database without manual work or the information scanned is so light, and matching algorithms so fuzzy, that anything brought back into the database has a lower accuracy rate and may lead prospect researchers to focus on data that will ultimately cost your organization significant money in time and resources. Instead, see if vendors can have an automated connection that brings in as much data as possible in the CRM with little to no work by your staff and then identify the areas of reporting and workflow automation that are available to save further time. 

How Windfall Data is Solving This with Neon CRM

In 2020, Neon One began a comprehensive search that invited all key wealth and prospect management software providers to submit a vision on how they can help take wealth and prospect research to the next level. 

During this process, our team of stakeholders from across our ecosystem reviewed the technology, database accuracy, pricing, client support, references, and individual client feedback over several months in order to focus our efforts on the best partner for our CRM. 

That is why we are excited to formally announce that Windfall Data will be our preferred integration and exclusive reseller partner for Neon CRM

We have worked closely with Windfall Data’s development team to create something that is truly special to help address the need for modernization of this technology for social good organizations of all sizes. 

Now available to add right onto any Neon CRM contract is:

  • Unlimited scans against your entire database that are updated every two weeks; No “credits” or limits to data refreshed
  • Precise net worth estimates (i.e. $11.8MM) versus broad ranges ($10-20MM), with a focus on the affluent ($1MM+ net worth)
  • Detailed field information relating to prospect data that includes wealth indicators or “Triggers” related to property ownership, other asset ownership, business interests, household life events, and charitable and political giving. Ability to segment CRM data based on specific data points relating to the prospect data
  • Ability to create reports and communication lists based on specific data points relating to the prospect data
  • Workflow triggers specific to wealth screening, which can, in turn, kick off a series of automated engagements

Organizations utilizing Windfall’s tools typically measure accuracy that is 50%+ higher than other tools, and on average see a 30% lift from their matched affluent donor cohort a year after implementation ($1MM raised last year translating to $1.3MM a year later, when fundraisers are armed with the right data). 

Learn more about the Windfall Integration

“We’re really excited to take advantage of this new integration. Having current wealth indicators helps us target our efforts and customize our communications. The integrated offerings will save us time on importing and exporting data, and we can’t wait to use the new philanthropic focus indicators to further focus our efforts.”

Katie Norton
Senior Director of External Relations, Ulman Foundation

Clients are using this data to find hidden gems, and convert a three figure annual fund donor into a 5-6 figure capital gift, but Neon One isn’t stopping there. 

Over the coming months, we will be debuting a specialized cohort of prospect research experts who will be trained in the integration. Consultants like The Killoe Group will be able to offer your organization guided support on top of our existing product support in order to implement the most effective 30/60/90 day plans to implement the Windfall Data information.

 This will be a combination of free resources and affordable consultation fees to ensure that any sized nonprofit can see immediate results. 

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