Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Screening Data for Charitable Trust Links

Screening Data for Charitable Trust Links

A common demand placed on trust fundraisers is to find new prospects, which in a mature operation can often be a challenge, especially if all the usual sources have been exhausted. Yet in an increasingly competitive environment, finding new prospects to top up your lapsing donors is clearly important.

We know too that with trusts personal contacts can make all the difference between a grant and a rejection. But how to find those links, especially if your trustees etc are not well-connected? One place where competing charities cannot look is in your database of individual donors. If you have a reasonably sized file, the chances are there are trustees of trusts lurking there. Clearly, if they are already giving to your cause, you have a better than average chance that they will support your bid if it goes to a grant panel, especially if you approach them in the right way.

So how to do this? Well, it is possible for organisations to do their own research on their donors, in order to identify these links, although this can be quite laborious. However, if you have any budget left at the end of the financial year, arguably a good use of it is to commission some data screening, in order to flag up those valuable connections, thus refreshing your prospect list for the new financial year. The last time I saw this done, it identified over 30 donors linked to trusts, providing a warm list of trusts for further research. Well worth a look I’d have thought.

Simon George, BSc (hons) FInstF (dip) FRSA is a Director of Wootton George Consulting and has been fundraising since 1987. He has special interests in fundraising strategy, legacies and charitable trusts. A longstanding member of the Institute of Fundraising, he founded its Trusts and Statutory Special Interest Group in 1999 and was also the first Chair of the IoF’s West Midlands region. He has written two e-books on legacies and grant fundraising, published by SPMFundessentials and has achieved the Diploma in Fundraising Management. In 2010 he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising. Today he manages a team of 20 fundraising consultants around the UK.

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