I keep seeing software or wealth screening companies providing fundraisers with target ask amounts.
I don’t get it. How on earth can a software provider or wealth screener (or, sometimes, even a prospect researcher) assume a ‘target ask amount’ without having had a single conversation with the donor?
I find this offensive and I think your donors might too.
And besides, wealth screening is rarely accurate since affluent supporters know how to hide their money.
Plus, this is not the right stage of the process to make assumptions. First, you should qualify the donors for your caseload (portfolio).
In other words, you need to see if they even want to have a relationship with you at all.
Then, you need to get to know them as they get to know (and trust) you.
Only after they’ve qualified themselves, opted-into a relationship with you, shown signs of interest, and perhaps hinted at how much they might give can you put an ask amount next to their name.
I think unless you already know the donor, presupposing is dreaming. Guesswork. A hunch! Why bother spending time on that kind of nonsense?
Instead, spend time qualifying your supporters. Or better yet, put effort into helping them qualify themselves. Then you’ll be able to assign real target ask amounts to your spreadsheets.
I think that’s more fair, and realistic.
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