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Prospect Research and Management

Question: How do you researchers calculate capacity?

Answer: At Lewis & Clark, we determine a prospect’s total philanthropic capacity (i.e. the maximum amount the prospect can give to all charities) based on all the financial information that is available to us. Published or estimated salaries, real estate values, stock holdings, etc. are all used if found. Once we have collected all the financial information, we apply fundraising adages (e.g. real estate represents 20 to 25 percent of net worth) that are derived from the IRS Study of Personal Wealth 2004 ( to calculate the prospect’s capacity. Also, if the prospect falls into an older age group the capacity is higher than if the prospect falls into a younger age group. In some cases, we use or combine self-reported wealth information or published gifts to other organizations.

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Prospect Research and Management

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