4 tips for prospecting with married women

Fundraisers are finding success by tailoring their pitches to women, who often feel a more compelling connection to a mission or organization than men do, supporting causes that advance personal values and beliefs.

This specific targeting is working across ethnic and age lines, but Tycely Williams, a regional chief development officer of the American Red Cross (ARC), suggests that prospecting among women can benefit from looking at another specific area: married women.

Williams wrote that studies from Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy show that women will inherit 70 percent of an estimated $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer in the next 40 years. Even better, married women will inherit twice, once from parents and once from the husbands they outlive (by 5.2 years).

With that in mind, Williams offers the following tips:

* Conduct prospect research on the spouse to inform the overall cultivation strategy.

* Pose discovery questions that will reveal individual interests for each person.

* Welcome the spouse’s involvement, but remain open to the donor’s desire to have a singular donor experience.

* Ask explicitly how charitable giving decisions are made. When decisions are made jointly or influenced by the spouse, be sure to thank and appropriately steward both parties.