Greetings! My name is Kate Cherry, and I am a program director here at Connect Detroit, specializing in development and strategy. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about prospect lists and their importance in initiating a fundraising strategy.

There are three parts to creating a prospect list, and if you keep those tips in mind you will be sure to have an effective tool to use in raising money for your nonprofit organization.

The first tip is the brainstorm. Begin by unloading from your mind all of the different organizations and individuals you know or know of that potentially could support your cause. You’ll want to begin with those closest to you, like your board, local businesses and move your way out toward larger corporations, foundations and government organizations.

The second step in your process for creating a prospect list is to qualify your prospects that you’ve brainstormed. That means to think about your prospects in terms of whether they are interested in the type of work that your organization does, whether they have the capacity to give to support your cause and whether you have any existing relationships or connections with them.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to refine that list, prioritize it and repeat that process as you move through your cultivation strategy. This is an ongoing process that will continue throughout your fundraising and it begins with brainstorming, and qualification and continues with prioritization and refinement.

If you these three techniques – brainstorm, qualify and prioritize – you will move ahead with your fundraising strategy in an effective and efficient manner.