Let’s look more deeply at the “ABC” (ability, belief, contact) approach for identifying prospects. Remember that “CBA” is the actual order of importance. You can determine what makes a prospect “right” by working an existing connection. Perhaps you have something in common: maybe you both donate to your cause already, you both know another donor, or the prospect knows someone in your organization socially or professionally.
It’s key that prospects believe in your cause—and a big part of that is being able to see how a gift might affect them, their community, or those they care about. Many people profess to care about most humanitarian causes. However, most people are more personally affected by what happens in their community, to people with whom they interact on a regular basis. Consider how you can bring your cause closer to the prospect’s personal experience.
In terms of ability, keep in mind that assets like a big house or fancy car could just as easily be indications of debt as indications of wealth. A better indicator is how much the person gives to other groups. Do they attend fundraising dinners and pay a high per-plate cost? What do you know about their discretionary spending? Are they season ticket holders to sports games or theaters? Do they participate in other expensive hobbies?