Are you chasing wealthy people or philanthropists?

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Wealthy people are not necessarily philanthropists. But philanthropists are usually wealthy.
When organizations develop their lists, I think, perhaps, a little too much attention is paid to capacity while not enough attention is paid to uncovering a supporter’s philanthropic mindset and whether or not the organization’s strategic objectives align with their personal mission.

Don’t get me wrong. Wealth screening is great. It helps you uncover which people have the assets and the means to make impactful gifts. It helps you identify capacity.

But wealth isn’t enough!
If you’re only screening people for wealth, you’re only scratching the surface. Uncover philanthropic inclinations and you’ll go much further much faster with much greater results (in dollars) to show for your efforts. And, nowadays determining whether or not someone has a philanthropic mindset can be done at very little cost.

Sure, wealthy people have the capacity to give. But philanthropists are much easier to engage in giving.


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4 years ago

Most of the time, chasing fancy cars and big houses leads to debt and not philanthropy!

Joseph Cole
4 years ago

This is really where the hard work lies in fundraising. Wealth screens are easy (not cheap though). But it takes a lot of time and thoughtful interactions to find the philanthropists—especially the ones who want to invest in your organization!

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