For Impact


The Master Prospect List

For Impact Ideas | | Nick Fellers

A Master Prospect List is a list of your most important prospects rated and ranked in descending order of importance (DOI).

This is a very important part of our sales system. Rarely, do we see an organization with a TRUE Master Prospect List when we start working with it.

This is a tough concept for most organizations to embrace but it’s a simple concept:

    • MASTER = ONE LIST. Not ‘one list for the gala’ and ‘one list for annual fund’. And, certainly not ‘fifteen reports from Razor’s Edge’.
    • Most Important Prospects. If you receive half your funding from the government then the government is ALWAYS your most important prospect.
    • Re: Individuals, Corporations, Foundations… a gift received yesterday does not remove the ranking of relationship.
    • Smaller organizations should focus on their top 33 prospects. Larger organizations (e.g. Colleges) should maintain the same focus but take the ranking out to 100+ prospects.

  • RATED. We have a rating system that incorporates capacity, relationship (to cause/case), timing, gift history, philanthropy… but the concept is to actually RATE the prospects. Note: If you’re doing this for the first time don’t worry about being perfect. You will probably change a rating after asking anyway.
  • RANKED. Not Alphabetical. Not by giving history. Not by Relationship Manager. RANKED BY IMPORTANCE.

The Master Prospect List:

  • Streamlines prospecting meetings and reporting… you work your way down the list.
  • Determines what to ask for… by matching your prospect list to your funding plan.
  • Saves a lot of time… in meetings, thinking, planning, strategy, etc. because the list IS the framework for all these things.

See also: