The following is an excerpt from WealthEngine's "Best Practices for Prospect Research in Healthcare Fundraising: 2nd Edition." To learn more, fill out the form to the right and download the full report.
Volunteers often play a significant role within a non-profit organization. Gathering groups of board members, physicians, key volunteers and staff in order to put a list of their peers in front of them for assessment as prospective donors is an effective way of enfranchising all levels in the fundraising process. Used with great success by many colleges and universities, hospitals and healthcare organizations are beginning to see the value in this substantive approach. A peer screening can be known by many different names; “silent screening,” “external screening,” or “outside screening.” A peer screening is used to make a long list of prospects shorter. It also provides a great platform to cultivate key volunteers and board members and, if your organization is planning for a capital campaign, to introduce them to your campaign goals.
A peer screening can be used in connection with a hard asset screening to validate results and to uncover personal connec- tions between your key fundraising volunteers and your key prospects.
Peer screening requires clarity, precision and planning. Communication of fundraising goals, intent and confidentiality policy compliance is essential, especially with physicians who may be somewhat averse to the fundraising process. Much like HIPAA concerns, peer screening is not readily understood and, in order to be successful, needs great clarification and commitment.
Why conduct peer screenings? Other means of prospect research help build a “view” of each prospect or donor. These views can be limited by the nature of the resource. Often these research resources do not include a personal qualification of the individual under consideration. Peer screening brings this personal evaluation of the prospect or donor, and therefore adds additional information that cannot be garnered from other resources. This is a key component in gaining what is a 360 degree view of a prospect or donor. The more an organization knows about its prospects or donors, the better it can personalize its fundraising strategy. Peer screening can help an organization:
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