Wealth Screening and Profiling Lawfully

Included in my new book is the detail on how to wealth screen and profile your donors lawfully in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Finding the multi-millionaires embedded within your data is an exciting step. It is quite common to assume there are no wealthy individuals on your database because no large gifts have been received by your organisation.

However, a donor is very unlikely to give a large gift unless the proposal offered fits within their own personal goals and interests.  If there hasn’t been a major gift programme in the past then it is unlikely the donor has been offered an appropriate proposal that matches their interest.

It is more likely they may have only given a small gift in response to a direct mail piece which suggests interest but nothing to really excite them. This is the reason why a philanthropic major donor could be on your database but has not chosen to give a sizeable gift. This is quite common and it is likely that your database will have 1% to 3% of millionaires and multi-millionaires within your data. Wealth screening will enable you to find these potential philanthropists.

The ability to wealth screen has come into the spotlight in the UK and EU by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is enforcing the General Data Protection Regulations (May 2018). You can refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website for the most recent codes of practice on data protection. Other countries are likely to have similar codes.

To help you through this minefield and to ensure that your wealth screening is carried out lawfully, in the new book I have outlined how to approach this lawfully, with the assistance of Independent Consultant Andrew Barton. Here is an extract from the book:

“There needs to be a valid legal basis for each purpose for processing your data. There are 6 legal bases under the GDPR, however in fundraising there are really only 2 out of the 6 practical alternatives: Consent and Legitimate Interest. If you wish to conduct wealth screening and prospect research profiling there needs to be a legal basis for these specific purposes of processing.

You don’t need to have the same legal basis for all purposes for your data processing.  Even if you have decided to go down a Consent approach for direct marketing with existing supporters such as Cancer Research UK and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute have done, you may decide to use Legitimate Interest as your basis for wealth screening and profiling.

There are some pre-requisites for Legitimate Interest to be an acceptable basis for wealth screening and profiling……………………………….”


Ruth Irwin’s new book “Major Gifts Unwrapped – 39 Principles for the Successful Major Donor Fundraiser” is now launched !
Check Amazon to purchase your copy.
UK :From here  USA :From here and also across Europe


For over 30 years Ruth has worked as a major gift fundraising consultant in the UK heading up her own Consultancy and then as Business Development Director and Board Member for the UK’s Chapter One Group/Ketchum Inc Consultancy followed by Major Gift Director for the London based Domain Group. She is currently the Principal and Founder of Ascent Philanthropy. Ruth is a writer and blogger and is passionate about helping non-profits with their major gift programmes either by enhancing the work of the philanthropy team or overseeing the introduction of a new major gift programme.

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