Jun 13 • 5 min read

Must Have Prospect Donor Research Tools for 2023


The digital transformation of how our world works grows more extensive by the year. Every sector has now embraced these changes as a fundamental and crucial part of their business strategies. The third sector is no different. Or at least, it should be no different.

Non-profit organisations that rely on fundraising can also benefit from these changes. They now have numerous software tools to choose from as they seek to optimise their donor research processes. The ability to bring in and digest more data sources is a key benefit of these automated tools. The benefits go beyond this though. Automated tools can also deliver side benefits that can help organisations build better relationships and tailor pitches for better results.

We’ll be covering four types of prospect research software tools that you should consider taking up to enable growth for your organisation in 2023, and beyond.

​Suggested reading: There are a number of donorship best practices that non-profit organisations need to keep in mind — our blog Donor Due Diligence Best Practices in 2023 goes into what they are.

1. Wealth screening tools

Wealth screening in the modern, globalised, hyper-connected world is difficult. Yet this process is clearly crucial for donor research. The fundamental benefit of a wealth screening tool comes in how they assess how much a prospective donor will actually be able to contribute to and support your organisation. That is, the potential donor’s net worth.

The added benefits are equally important, though. Wealth screening tools can also help:

  • Verify a prospective donor’s legitimacy. The sources of a donor’s wealth may be varying and complex.
  • Provide insights into the donor’s giving history and any organisations where they have connections.
  • Provide insights into the donor’s interests and areas of experience.

An efficient fundraising process will incorporate these benefits to develop a better understanding of the prospective donor. These actionable insights, in turn, can help you create a closer, more mutually beneficial relationship. At the very least, you should be able to develop tailored pitches that genuinely engage your prospective donors. This all has a significant positive effect on your organisation’s efficiency and success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Wealth screening tools are necessary to get an idea of the potential scope of a donor’s support.
  • They are also crucial in helping you build up a comprehensive profile of a potential donor so that you can deepen your relationship with them.
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2. Donor due diligence tools

If you are reading this blog, you probably need no explanation on how important due diligence is for prospective donor research. Without this crucial process, you open your organisation up to potentially devastating reputational and operational damage. Less appreciated is the value that an ongoing due diligence process can bring to nurture and guide new and established donor relationships. Automated due diligence tools provide a range of vital capabilities that go beyond the abilities of human teams in today’s information environment.

Traditional research methods, such as politically exposed persons (PEPs) and sanctions checks, are still essential. However, they only uncover so much about a subject. Intelligent, automated due diligence tools are guaranteed to be able to analyse a wide variety of data sources on a subject quickly and in-depth. Xapien for example is capable of scouring through millions of publicly available online data sources, disambiguating between false positives and presenting only the relevant information. Advanced tools such as Xapien are crucial in helping organisations tackle today’s fast-changing information environment to draw actionable insights efficiently and effectively.

Key Takeaways:

  • Due diligence plays a fundamental role in defining the growth-potential of your existing and future donorships.
  • Automated tools can unlock the full power of due diligence research for every organisation.

Suggested reading: Adverse media checks are a crucial part of due diligence but can be tricky to get right. Follow our guide 5 Simple Steps to Adverse Media Checks to find out more.

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3. Reporting tools

Pulling together relevant information is not the end of the process of donor research. The information must also be organised and presented effectively to both internal and external stakeholders. Reporting tools help facilitate this vital part of the process quickly, enabling informed decisions to be made promptly and efficiently in turn.

Reporting tools produce reports that follow a standard template that everyone within your organisation can swiftly become accustomed to. These reports can also be shareable in various formats to suit the end-user needs. The balance between producing comprehensive, yet easily understandable, outputs through a simple process is critical here. A comprehensive due diligence tool such as Xapien delivers on this with an intuitive and easy-to-understand process, generating detailed reports in a matter of minutes.

Key Takeaways:

  • A comprehensive and smooth reporting process is key to actually actioning the insights that come from prospect donor research.
  • Automated reporting tools help deliver efficient reporting and streamlined feedback workflows.

4. Database tools

A CRM tool that includes network database research capabilities can assist your non-profit by finding and collecting a subject’s extended network. Blackbaud is one example of such a tool that may be worth checking out. It enables you to expand from your pool of existing donors and build out a network database.

A comprehensive automated due diligence tool like Xapien can also find and report a prospect’s extended network. Such a network picture can include more than just the people with whom the subject has a connection. It can also show their past and present affiliations with other causes or organisations.

All of these insights can be invaluable to an organisation’s future partnerships and major Donor Fundraising Strategy. Information about a new or existing subject’s network could open up more potential for collaboration, fundraising, or other mutually beneficial exchanges.

Key Takeaways:

  • For a CRM add-on solution, or for a due diligence platform that can generate the same information, automation is the common factor.
  • Comprehensive prospect donor research is the first step in achieving campaign optimisation. It also helps you develop better campaigns in the first place.

Suggested reading: For more on the innovativeness of automated due diligence, read our explainer 5 Reasons Automated Due Diligence is the Future.

You need a tool that democratises due diligence

The use of automated tools to boost your prospect donor research is now vital to realising growth and even survival. Organisations that fail to incorporate such tools will inevitably fall behind. This is not only because they will take longer and spend more resources to do this research. It’s also because they will miss out on the added growth opportunities such tools can deliver. If your organisation is still not using these kinds of solutions, it is definitely time to switch.

A full spectrum due diligence tool is the most comprehensive, streamlined, and inclusive approach to optimising your donor research and fundraising efforts. Other individual tools are available for most of these functions and are undoubtedly valuable. However, there are drawbacks to using separate solutions. Integration is one main issue; cost is another. In fact for smaller organisations, cost is already the limiting factor in exercising due diligence.

Xapien aims to democratise due diligence by making its efficient capabilities available to organisations of all shapes and sizes. Our tool includes innovative and powerful reporting, network mapping, and far-reaching analyses.

Xapien is a single, catch-all tool that saves you time and money by optimising your procedures, allowing you to streamline your workflows. It’s easy to use and can quickly scour millions of publicly available online data sources with just a few simple terms of context. Xapien gives you standardised, digestible reports and includes the smart abilities to cross-reference and disambiguate between different data sources.

If you want to see Xapien’s powerful tools in action, click here to request a demo.

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