Top 7 Donor Prospect Research Software for Secure Nonprofits

The most important information a nonprofit stores is its donor data. Keeping donor information safe protects not only your donors’ identities and financial profiles but also their trust in you as an organization.

When it comes to the major donors you rely on for support, especially for large capital campaigns, security becomes more important than ever. You store a lot of information about your major contributors and your prospects that you wouldn’t want released.

When embarking on the prospect research process, security shouldn’t be something you have to constantly worry about. You already take steps to secure your own website, so you should be focusing on finding solutions that work for your nonprofit’s structure and budget without having to worry about their security practices.

To help you out, we’ve gathered the top secure donor prospect research software solutions for a broad range of nonprofits looking for different levels of prospect research help:

  1. DonorSearch
  2. 360MatchPro
  3. Giveffect
  4. Zillow
  5. Foundation Center
  6. SEC.gov
  7. ZoomInfo

With these vetted providers, you can focus on the features and services you need while trusting that your donor data is safe.

Ready to find a donor prospect research solution that fits your budget and puts your mind at ease? Let’s get into the list!

 

1. DonorSearch

If you’re looking for a trusted name in the field of prospect research, DonorSearch stands out on top.

DonorSearch pulls from a minimum of 20 different databases to build comprehensive prospect profiles. You can send a list of donors for wealth screening or request a generated list of prospects based on engagement with organizations and causes similar to yours.

What stands out about DonorSearch is its accuracy rate. Machine-generated prospect data can only reach 70% accuracy, so DonorSearch manually reviews results to return a 90% accuracy rate — the highest in the industry.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

If you’re a large nonprofit, especially if you’re in the healthcare, education, or arts and culture sector, DonorSearch will take the hard work off your shoulders during the quiet phase of a capital campaign.

DonorSearch is especially useful for healthcare institutions that draw prospects from their grateful patient programs. Daily patient screening takes daily lists of patients and turns them into philanthropic profiles by the next morning.

Get Started With DonorSearch!

 

2. 360MatchPro

As anyone who has fundraised for a nonprofit before knows, one of the most immediately actionable pieces of information you can know about a donor or potential donor is their employment information.

Whether your donor works for a company that offers a great corporate giving program or owns their own company that could sponsor your event, the only way you can take advantage of these business connections is if you know about them.

360MatchPro is an automated software service that automates this process for you. The software will screen your donors’ email domains to match them up with the companies they work for, then generate lists of match-eligible donations by comparing those details to a corporate philanthropy database.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

A matching gift database, particularly a full-service, automated one like 360MatchPro, is most useful during a large campaign. As donations come in, the software automatically logs all the relevant information for you to parse through later.

Then, when it’s time for your next campaign, you have a full record of the donors with potential to turn around a major gift backed by their company.

Get Started With 360MatchPro!

 

3. Giveffect

Major giving officers will love working with Giveffect because the prospect research and major gifts management system is built just for them.

Giveffect delivers reports that lay out a prospect’s wealth and philanthropic information, including giving history, income estimates, real estate and public stock holdings, and history with other philanthropic organizations. These reports are easy for a major gift officer to produce and deliver straight to the outreach team.

The software also allows major gift officers to actually move their prospects through the stages of onboarding, then share notes and highlight details for other members of the development team.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

If you’re just starting out with prospect research or you’re a small nonprofit looking for a solution to get you through your first major campaign, Giveffect is probably not for you.

This software is built to take on everything your nonprofit needs to tackle a big campaign, from donor data management to event planning to volunteer management to marketing and communications. Nonprofits that want to incorporate their prospect research and major giving system into the rest of their complex operations will benefit from Giveffect’s integrated solution.

Get Started With Giveffect!

 

4. Zillow

Maybe you can’t invest in a full-service software just yet. Don’t worry, there are plenty of software and resources that facilitate do-it-yourself prospect research! Take Zillow, a website created to provide consumers with information about the property value of their real estate. Many people use Zillow when searching for a new home to buy or rent, but that’s not its only use.

Did you know that owning $2 million in real estate statistically makes a person 17 times more likely to give to charity?

If you’re looking for the next major donor to your capital campaign, take a look at your prospect’s property ownership and the value of their properties on Zillow. Don’t forget to pick up on clues other than just the value of their property — the location or types of property they own can give you a hint to the kind of charitable giving they might be interested in.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

The statistic about real estate ownership’s relation to philanthropic inclination is a great place to start, but it can’t show you the whole picture. When you’re using Zillow, make sure it’s not the only tool you’re using if you want to make the most effective use of your outreach energy.

For example, a mansion owner who has never had a pet or a child might not want to donate to a nonprofit that brings puppies to children in need, no matter how charitable their real estate ownership might make them seem on paper.

Get Started With Zillow!

 

5. Foundation Center

Nonprofits looking to stay up-to-date on the latest in the world of philanthropy turn to Foundation Center, a nonprofit that centralizes resources, shares news, and builds connections between organizations doing charitable work.

One of Foundation Center’s most useful resources is Foundation Directory Online, a robust database of foundations that offer grants, information on the grants they offer, forms 990, and historical information about foundations and grants.

Major gifts don’t always come from individuals, and that’s sometimes easy to forget. With a resource like Foundation Directory Online, nonprofits can access information about valuable grants that isn’t available from a quick Google search.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

Well-defined, mission-oriented campaigns are those that tend to earn grants. If you’re organizing a capital campaign or diving into your annual fundraising, you’re less likely to receive a grant to fund it than a corporation or an individual.

Most foundations will require a grant proposal submission before they will consider partnering with a nonprofit, and the trustees will often also require a follow-up report after your campaign ends that clearly lays out how you put the grant money to use to accomplish your goals.

Get Started With Foundation Center!

 

6. SEC.gov

Unless you plan on ringing doorbells to ask for tax statements, you’re going to need some other way to get an idea of which prospective donors have the capability to become major donors.

One indication of wealth that’s free for anyone to search is holdings in publicly traded companies, as documented on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website, SEC.gov.

Information about stock ownership isn’t just useful for determining if a prospect is wealthy enough to become a major donor. If you get a general idea of how much a prospect has to give, you can craft a solicitation that’s more likely to be received well because it asks neither too much nor not enough.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

As with any wealth marker, stock trading can only give you an idea of how much money a prospect has, not how they’re inclined to use it. Take philanthropic markers into account, too, when doing your own prospect research.

Get Started With SEC.gov!

 

7. ZoomInfo

Often, the hardest part of prospect research’s isn’t identifying potential major donors — it’s getting in touch with them. How many emails do you ignore every day? Now imagine being a wealthy, philanthropic person, and it’s no wonder impersonal solicitations get lost or ignored.

ZoomInfo provides contact information for more than 10 million companies, C-level employees, and decision makers, adding 50,000 contacts every day.

Though contact information is of course necessary for reaching out to prospects, it would be useless without context. ZoomInfo collects information about contacts’ title, responsibilities, location, and colleagues to make sure you have all the information you need to make a successful solicitation.

 

When to Use This Donor Prospect Research Software

Right before the quiet phase of a capital campaign is the best time to get your major donors on board. By using ZoomInfo, you can plan your outreach with reliable contact information, which lets you set realistic goals.

Don’t forget to identify any connections between prospects and current donors, volunteers, staff members, or board members. Busy prospective donors are much more likely to respond to a solicitation from a friend or business associate than from a stranger.

Get Started With ZoomInfo!


As this list of donor prospect research software solutions has shown, there is a software solution for nonprofits of all sizes and budgets. There are all-inclusive solutions for nonprofits large enough to have major gift officers and free online resources for small nonprofits ready to take on a big campaign.

If you want to take the next step with prospect research, check out these awesome resources and become the expert at your nonprofit:

  • Innovative School Fundraising Ideas. Are you looking for major donors to fundraise for your school or university? Check out the top 30+ school fundraising ideas to supplement those major donations.
  • DonorSearch’s Major Donor Fundraising Strategies. From the prospect research experts at DonorSearch comes this ultimate list of the most profitable fundraising strategies for major donors. Discover your next successful strategy by reading this comprehensive list of the best tactics!
  • Top Free Fundraising Software Providers for Nonprofits. Found your major donors? Ready to move on to the donations stage? Make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck with the top free nonprofit fundraising software. Our Top 10 list is bound to have a tool for your team!
  • Hiring a Prospect Research Consultants: 5 Considerations from Donorly. If your nonprofit doesn’t have an in-house research team, prospect research might seem overwhelming. A prospect research consultant can help you identify and analyze prospect data. Read this post from Donorly to find out if you should start the search for a consultant!
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