Developing a comprehensive prospect list bespoke to your organisation and aligned to your programmes is a critical part of enabling success.
Given the changing economic and social circumstances nationally and internationally, it may be necessary to revisit your prospect list to ensure that you are focusing resources and time on those relationships most likely to progress your goals.
Below are five tips to refresh your prospect list…
- Re-Visit your Case
Before you can ascertain if you have the right prospects, it is important to consider your case in light of the evolving environment. Are there changes you need to make to the proposition to reflect recent months? Do current challenges strengthen your plans and if so, how? Conduct a SWOT analysis; take every case element and give thought to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that may exist when considering the funding climate for each. In doing so you will be able to prioritise programmes that, in the short term, are more likely to resonate with potential donors.
- Develop a Robust Criteria
List core selection factors for prospects to be included on your list, these may be;
- Financial ability to support your goals
- Past giving to your organisation
- Demonstrated interest in the programme area
- Track record of philanthropy
- Relationship with the organisation
Then use this system to refine your prospect list and determine the prioritisation of engagement.
- Gather Information
Your prospect list may have been developed a number of months ago but it is still worth taking some time to research new opportunities with the current climate in mind. Consider:
- What sectors are more robust now? E.G. software, technology, pharmaceuticals, food retail
- To whom does this programme matter? E.G. Alumni, corporations, employers, government
- What similar programmes exist nationally and internationally and what sort of funders do they attract?
- Fact Check
With the economic uncertainty, spend some time learning how potential funders may have been impacted in recent months. Though there is no exact science, you can use share prices for the year to date or news articles to give a good indication of a company’s performance.
Once you have a refreshed list, circle back to internal leaders that may be able to help make connections and build relationships. Your main objective should be to secure (virtual) meetings so that you can share your plans and gain insights as a first step in cultivating prospects. Even if you have established relationships you can move them along by asking for calls to discuss amendments to programme prioritisation and renewed areas of focus.