Fundraising events can be a great way to generate revenue for your nonprofit and allow your donors to interact directly with your organization.

But did you know that you can take your fundraising event to the next level by using prospect research?

Nonprofits can use prospect research to learn more about their donors to determine if they are a good major or planned giving prospect. Performing a prospect research screening can reveal basic information like a donor’s address or more complex data like past giving patterns and business affiliations. You can use this information to give your fundraising event the boost it needs!

Here are 4 ways prospect research can help you raise more money at your next fundraiser.

1. Use prospect research to determine who to invite

While it would be nice to invite all of your donors to your next fundraiser, that isn’t always feasible. How could you possibly narrow down the list?

Prospect research can help! You can find out which donors have consistently given to your organization in the past and who has the potential to become a major gift donor.

Additionally, if you’re hosting an event where donors will be sitting together, you can use this information to plot out your seating chart. Prospect research can help you put a major gift donor next to a contributor who has the potential to become a major donor.

By utilizing the information that prospect research gives you, you can better prepare your fundraiser’s guest list and seating chart.

2. Use prospect research to leverage your donors’ connections

One of the benefits that prospect research offers is the ability to look into donors’ philanthropic patterns. You can discover donors’ past contributions to your organization, other nonprofits, and political campaigns as well as whether or not they serve on boards of nonprofits.

By identifying donors’ philanthropic tendencies, you can begin to make connections between them and other potential donors. Having access to past donation information and other data concerning donors’ charitable associations will allow you to find a broader donor base and invite more major gift donors to your fundraiser.

3. Use prospect research to keep up with donors after your fundraiser

By completing a prospect research screening, you can learn which donors are worth pursuing once your fundraiser has ended. If you identify a donor who has the potential to become a major gift donor due to their propensity to give to nonprofits similar to yours, you can raise more money by reaching out to them using letters, emails, and phone calls.

You should personally thank every donor that attends your event, but don’t let the conversation stop there. Use prospect research to help you determine which donors you should spend more time communicating with after the party is over.

4. Use prospect research to fill in data about existing donors

Nothing could be more embarrassing than talking with a major gift donor and not knowing where they work or what kind of business or personal connections they have. Prospect research can help you study up on donors so that your team is better prepared to effectively mix and mingle during your event.

While you should already have basic information, prospect research can help your nonprofit fill in the blanks about your donors, enabling your employees to talk to major gift donors and potentially raise more money during your fundraising event. The more personally connected donors feel to your organization, the more likely they are to contribute more money more often.

For 40 fundraising event ideas, take a look at this comprehensive list.

These four tips are not the end-all-be-all for prospect research, but they are a good starting point if you want to raise more money at your next event fundraiser. By using all of the available data that prospect research grants you, your next fundraiser will help your nonprofit raise more money.

This guest post is by Ryan Woroniecki, the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at DonorSearch, a prospect research, screening, and analytics company that focuses on proven philanthropy. He has worked with hundreds of nonprofits and is a member of APRA-MD. When he isn’t working, he is an avid kickball player.