For Impact


Define Your Ideal Prospect

Daily Nuggets | | Tom Suddes

I’m absolutely stunned, amazed and flabbergasted that so very few organizations and sales teams actually take the time to define their ‘IDEAL PROSPECT’! (This is just as true in the ‘FOR PROFIT’ world as it is in the ‘NOT FOR PROFIT’ sector.)

The IDEAL PROFILE is one of the most powerful TOOLS that we use during our IDENTIFICATION PROCESS.

Don’t blow by this one. It has created many, many ‘MILLION DOLLAR’ prospects and INVESTORS.

Here’s the concept:

If you can actually come up with a PROFILE of your BEST PROSPECT/ INVESTOR then you simply have to MATCH this IDEAL PROFILE with REAL PEOPLE!

In essence, this IDEAL PROFILE would be a simple ‘list’ of absolute best characteristics of your PERFECT (IDEAL) PROSPECT that should include examples of how we know the following:

Unlimited Capacity (Or Capacity to Make a ‘Major Gift’)
ex. Have multiple homes in expensive zip codes, Recently sold a business, Could drive a Ferrari, but drives a Tesla, etc.

Relationship To The Cause (Kids, Education, Health Care, Cancer, Workforce Development, Disadvantaged Populations, Etc.)
ex. A Cancer Survivor or Spouse/Loved One of a Survivor

Geographically Connected
ex. Someone who may not live in your Community, but who has strong roots or ties

Interest/Connection To The Priorities, Programs Or Projects

ex. Has given significantly to other organizations, especially those working on the same cause

Note: You can come up with more than one ‘ideal’ profile. For example, for a Campaign, for a transformational gift, for a legacy commitment, for President’s circle etc.


This profile works for me in almost every situation and organization:

Someone who is ready to move from SUCCESS to SIGNIFICANCE!

Someone who has had the ‘Bill Gates-in-the-shower’ epiphany – “I can’t take all of this with me.”

Somebody who has been very successful financially in business and is now committed to making an IMPACT on the world. He or she has already taken care of their family and their own needs, as well as their ‘wants.’ There is still plenty left.

Special Note: Taking this a little deeper, my very best Ideal Prospect is someone who has actually moved from STRUGGLE to SUCCESS to SIGNIFICANCE! For me, that means a wealthy ENTREPRENEUR!

They know what it’s like to start things, to overcome obstacles, to make a difference. Plus, there’s no ‘committees’! (They can make a decision – This is my favorite kind of prospect!)


Any school should be looking (ideally) for:

A Very Wealthy Alum

Also, A Current Parent

Also, A Current Board Member

Also With A Significant Gift History!

(Trust me. If you’ve got somebody who fits this profile, and you’re a school… you need to go visit with them tomorrow!)


If you have a great Cause or Case that impacts your Community, you might be looking for the ‘C’ IDEAL PROFILE: A Current, Committed, Champion who is Connected to the Cause, the Case and the Community (with large sums of Cash/Currency).


It would be great to visit with:

A Very Wealthy Survivor or Grateful Patient

Or A Parent or Child of a Survivor

Who wants to Impact Others

And, through you, can help Save Lives, Reduce the Incidence of the Disease and Improve the Quality of Life of Those Touched.


(‘Legacy’ Profile) Any organization looking to increase their ENDOWMENT needs to look for the IDEAL ‘LEGACY’ PROFILE…

An Older Person or Couple (65+)

With Significant Resources/Assets

Connected to your Impact

Current Investor

Special, Special Note: Using this ideal profile technique works great with your BOARD! It’s specific. Simple. Successful. And, it beats the daylight out of ‘give us names.’ (How’s that working for you?)

To help you understand this further, here are some examples from the private sector:


Someone who has just had a dramatic change in their circumstances (marriage, new child, new business) and significant ‘protection’ issues. Even better is an entrepreneur or ‘key man’ in a business partnership who need ‘buy-out’ protection.


Someone with a passionate interest in independence and financial freedom, a strong commitment to family, a sales or entrepreneurial background, and major frustration with their current situation.


Great prospects would be committed to changing their lifestyle, know they need a program and help, and realize that the quality of their life is a function of their health.