The best prospects for principal gifts tend to share a unique set of characteristics that draw upon their affinity and capacity to give transformational gifts. To a certain extent, these characteristics are highly predictive for principal gifts. Principal gift donors are generally more likely to:
- Have high household incomes
- Enjoy a strong asset base, including but not limited to real estate holdings in excess of $1,000,000
- Belong to the most wealthy and affluent demographic groups in the United States
- Be employed in the finance sector
- Have high credit limits and strong credit histories
- Be philanthropic with other organizations, though some are not current donors or may contribute well below capacity
While factors like income often correlate with charitable giving, income alone is not a sufficient indicator for major gift prospecting. Predictive factors can help to identify those most likely to and capable of making principal gifts.