Capacity Ratings:
Setting the Stage for
Portfolio Management
Sponsored by
Establishing Capacity Ratings, Inclination and Affinity
Sharon Das, Rutgers University Foundation
Screening and Segmentation
Jessica Davis, NYU Langone Medical Center
Portfolio Management
Bill Powers, Hospital for Special Surgery
Working with Fundraisers
Matthew Perrin, Natural Resources Defense Council
Establishing Capacity, Ratings,
Inclination and Affinity
Sharon Das
Rutgers University Foundation
Understanding the Terms
Giving Capacity
• Based on estimated wealth via publicly available information
• Includes an analysis of conditions that could affect giving potential
• Seeking to identifying a maximum gift level
• Be wary of saying “net worth”
Understanding the Terms
Capacity and it’s Effect on Ratings
What is a Rating?
An estimated dollar range for a gift or total gifts over five years based
on a prospect’s estimated wealth in the most ideal situation
Not based on whether or not an individual should or will make a gift at the stated level
or during the time-frame, but only that they have been pre-qualified through assetbased or predictive analysis as financially capable of doing so…. rating and
evaluating an ability to donate
Both science and art
Understanding the Terms
Level of positive feelings about the institution
Earned loyalty
Based on giving history and involvement
Interest in the institution’s programs and initiatives
Measure of overall philanthropic generosity
o Involvement
o Donations
o Are their hobbies and interests inline with your own?
Making the Data Part of the System
• Varies by institution and constituency
• Be consistent in both defining, assigning and reporting
• Adjust as the stages progress, or as a donor’s financial
situation fluctuates
• Fundraisers should request updated research if they
think there are changes in wealth or BEFORE THEY
Capacity and Ratings:
Panel Discussion
Screenings and
Jessica Davis
NYU Langone Medical Center
Wealth Screenings
“How do we obtain the information to rate?”
Wealth screenings can help pave the way!
System to identify publically available wealth indicators:
• Real Estate
• Foundations/charitable gifts
• Businesses/Corporate affiliations
• Insider stock holdings
Different areas of the organization’s population:
Alumni screenings before a reunion
Portfolio screenings for individual gift officers
Screening based on ZIP code, geographic criteria or employment records
Brainstorm with Gift Officers and ITS to get the best pull of data for a
Wealth Screening - Tips
“What are you going to do with all that information?”
A 10,000 person screening might sound great, but is it the best way to
Don’t over screen and get overwhelmed in the verification process!
How many people know how to use the screening tool?
How are you going to give the information to the frontline fundraiser?
Screening schedule should be done in a way that best suits your
organization’s needs.
Never screened?
Budget time (hours, months) and/or reduce time spent on other projects
Test several vendors and find the right one for you and your organization!
– Accessibility (web or software?)
– Reporting features
– Integration with your database
“Why screen and rate?”
•Ratings give clarity to a portfolio or group (sometimes 100s of
•Look at capacity and inclination (internal and general)
•Allocate and allow best use of a fundraiser’s time –go after the
right high-capacity prospects at the right time, and the mid-level
prospects at another time.
Use screening data with internal knowledge to enhance your
Screenings are a great place to start to assign prospects to
staff and to engage in portfolio management
Use Your Database
“What do we do with this information?”
• Use the information to clean up a portfolio in the
– Add capacity ratings  can use them in future reporting or
data pulls
– If the GO learns something that changes the rating,
change the rating!
• Most databases have a field for capacity and
assets—use it!
– See if you can upload the screening data to your DB in
Remember: Garbage in, garbage out!
Screenings and Segmentation:
Panel Discussion
Portfolio Management
Bill Powers
Hospital for Special Surgery
Portfolio: Fundraising
• What is a portfolio?
 A portfolio is a constituent group within an
organization’s fundraising operation.
 Individuals, foundations or corporations can make up
 A portfolio consists of a manageable fundraising
group. Portfolio size can vary.
 Organizations can have a handful or hundreds of
portfolios. Good idea to have written policies
concerning the management of the constituent group
in the portfolio.
Low Capacity
High Capacity
Low Capacity
High Capacity
Portfolio: Stages
• When should a prospect be moved from one stage to the
next (e.g. discovery, cultivation, solicitation)?
 Depends on a number of factors. Each move should be
discussed and/or reviewed with organization’s management
and/or leadership.
• How long should a prospect be in a particular stage?
 Depends on the organization and individual prospect.
Portfolio Management
• Many organizations use prospect management
or moves management to capitalize on donor
• Donor and prospect information is stored in a
central database.
• Allows prospect or lead assignment to a specific
gift officer with a specific action or actions
assigned and a given time frame.
• Purpose of prospect management is for
measureable, actionable and reportable results.
Utilizing the Portfolio
• To drive change, e.g. where are the
unresponsive prospects in your prospect
• To analyze what is efficient.
• To forecast future fundraising results.
• To compare results internally and with
peer institutions.
• To allocate resources to high performing
and/or deserving fundraising areas.
Portfolio: Panel Discussion
Matthew Perrin
Natural Resources Defense Council
Effective Teamwork
Researchers and Frontline Fundraisers
•Break down silos!
•Establish working relationships
•Treat prospects holistically with research and “prospectsourced” information
•Ultimate goal is to secure a gift
Effective Teamwork
Researchers and Frontline Fundraisers
Panel Discussion
Contact Info
Sharon Das,Rutgers University Foundation
[email protected]
Jessica Davis, NYU Langone Medical Center
[email protected]
Matthew Perrin, Natural Resources Defense Council
[email protected]
Bill Powers, Hospital for Special Surgery
[email protected]

Capacity Ratings: Hands