Data & Technology

Top Major Gifts Tools Every Development Officer Should Know

Personal touches rule when it comes to major gifts, and specialized tools are needed to ensure that this "human touch" can scale for hundreds of donors.

Soliciting major gifts is a very human profession, built on forming meaningful connections and fostering strong relationships with philanthropists and major donors. Unlike the traditional direct response marketing approaches that may be taken for smaller individual gifts, one-on-one, personal touches are everything when it comes to the world of major gifts. 

This may mislead some to believe that managing major gifts is a more analogue process than direct marketing, which is often managed through a variety of platforms built to analyze and optimize donor data. The tide is turning on this mindset, however, with a variety of tools now available specifically to help Major Gifts Officers analyze data and optimize performance of their own unique workflows. 

These tools fall into three main categories: Prospecting Tools, Moves Management Tools, and Data Management Tools. 

Cultivate transformative relationships with a platform designed for major gifts (See More)

Prospecting Tools: Prospect Research & Wealth Screening

The Donor Prospecting tools category encompasses a variety of technology available to help Major Gifts Officers with the wealth screening and donor research processes involved in identifying strong, qualified prospects for their portfolios. 


iWave is an industry-leading wealth screening tool that helps nonprofits uncover major gift prospects. iWave enables development teams to segment hundreds or thousands of individuals you know little about into an actionable list of prospects who have capacity to give, are philanthropic, and are giving to organizations similar to yours. 


WealthEngine Insights for Salesforce

WealthEngine provides advanced wealth identification and prospect research solutions with unique profiles of millions of people in the US. The WealthEngine platform applies machine learning to billions of data points, creating millions of pre-scored profiles with regular refreshes to give you detailed insights into an individual’s propensity, capacity, and intent to engage with your organization. 



DonorSearch combines giving history, mission-affinity, and wealth data to deliver your best prospects instantly. In addition to the basic DonorSearch platform which provices access to actionable wealth and giving behavior data, you can add-on additional capabilities like marketing lists, DonorSearch AI Insights, and more.



Windfall enables Major Gifts teams to supercharge their data-driven fundraising efforts with the accurate wealth data and best-of-breed machine learning and AI. Identify and prioritize affluent and high value constituents through Windfall's wealth screening and optimize development workflows for initiatives such as major gifts and planned giving by leveraging propensity modeling bespoke to your organization.. 


Hatch - Giving is predictable

Hatch.AI provides organizations with new information on each individual donor—delivering a complete human profile. They then leverage Altruistic Intelligence™ to recommend the most personalized methods of engagement and fundraising.


Moves Management Tools: Donor Cultivation & Stewardship

The process of cultivating new relationships and stewardship of existing connections (often referred to as moves management) is critical to the success of any major gifts program. Despite the immense importance of the moves management process, there is only one platform available today which is specifically designed to support major gifts officers in optimizing their relationship-building efforts. 


Instil is a modern, holistic, and intelligent platform built to supercharge your major gifts fundraising through powerful donor cultivation and stewardship. 

With intuitive moves management workflows and a fully mobile-friendly interface for finding donor information and recording meeting notes on-the-go, Instil is built to help you create meaningful connections and impactful relationships that inspire your biggest supporters to action.



We've talked to countless Major Gifts Officers at nonprofit organizations of all sizes who manage their donor cultivation and stewardship efforts by exporting data from the organization's CRM and tracking engagement in spreadsheets or project management tools. While these stopgap solutions may sometimes suffice, they aren't designed to support high-touch cultivation and stewardship workflows and require significant manual configuration to meet even the minimum requirements of Major Gifts teams. Additionally, removing sensitive donor data from central platforms managed by the organization's IT teams poses significant challenges when it comes to managing access and ensuring effective data security.

Instil enables Major Gifts Officers to easily build and track their donor portfolios through customizable donor lifecycle workflows. Built-in task management functionality makes it easy to create personalized engagement plans for each donor, complete with automatic reminders so that no follow-ups fall through the cracks. Capturing a holistic donor contact history is also easier than ever, with Gmail and Outlook integrations that automatically capture records of all one-on-one communication and a fully mobile-friendly interface for entering meeting notes from anywhere. And finally, ready-to-use reports and dashboards make it easy for MGOs and Development Leaders to track team outreach activity, gauge the effectiveness of their strategy, and monitor progress to fundraising goals. 

Using a dedicated platform for moves management not only empowers Major Gifts teams with the tools they need to take their cultivation and stewardship efforts to the next level, it also ensures a higher level of data security and persistence within an organization. Instil's integration with Salesforce ensures that important information about moves and Opportunities is accessible for accurate reporting, while centralizing moves management workflows within Instil ensures that important information about donor contact and engagement history is not lost during staff transitions. Interested in learning more about how you and your Major Gifts team can benefit from Instil's leading moves management platform? Schedule time to talk to a member of our team today!

File:Asana logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons    |   File:Monday logo.svg - Wikipedia

While free, online project management tools aren’t explicitly designed for moves management and may lack essential features such as integrations with nonprofit CRMs or wealth screening tools, they can be useful for major gifts teams that are looking to start integrating some basic project and task management workflows into their major gifts process. 

CRM / Data Management Tools

A CRM (constituent relationship management) platform is a necessary data foundation for any successful nonprofit Development program. Your organization’s CRM is your ultimate source of truth for your supporters’ contact information, activity history, and more. Your CRM may come with built-in tools for certain Development functions such as creating donation forms, sending marketing emails, or even managing some aspects of the moves management process, or you may choose to use more specialized tools that integrate with your CRM to ensure that the fundraisers on your team have access to best-in-class solutions for their work while reporting and data management stay centralized. Announces Nonprofit Cloud, a Complete Solution Set Enabling  Nonprofit Organizations to Power their Mission and Accelerate Impact

Salesforce (Nonprofit Success Pack and Nonprofit Cloud) provides CRM technology for a global community of nonprofits and educational institutions to help them operate effectively, raise funds, and build more meaningful relationships with those they serve. Salesforce is a powerful and extremely customizable solution for managing your organization's data.

Raiser's Edge NXT: A Complete Overview for Nonprofits - DNL OmniMedia, Inc.

Raiser’s Edge NXT

Raiser’s Edge NXT is one of four nonprofit CRM solutions provided by Blackbaud. Similar to Salesforce, Raiser's Edge NXT offers complex data management solutions for nonprofit Development teams.

Bonus: Planned Giving Tools

Attracting planned gifts requires the same high-touch relationship-building efforts that would be used to cultivate and steward major gifts during a donor's lifetime. However, processing and managing bequests and other planned gifts may require special tools. 

Freewill logo

Freewill works with nonprofit Development teams to ensure they're able to accept impactful gifts, whether given through tax-smart vehicles like donor-advised funds, stocks, or IRAs, or through a legacy commitment in a will or trust.


Cultivate transformative relationships with a platform designed for major gifts (See More)

Similar posts