Capacity Rating Workshop

Capacity_Ratings_workshop_iconAre you confused about how capacity ratings are created? Worried that you are using the wrong formulas or don’t have any? Curious how other people are doing it?

In this two-week workshop you learn the jargon, get introduced to the research studies behind the formulas, and practice rating for capacity. Then you and your peers share your capacity rating techniques, generating lively discussion on usage and validity.

Imagine you get questioned about your capacity rating and this time you can demonstrate how you arrived at the rating. Instead of being on the defense, you get to have an intellectual conversation about wealth. Wouldn’t that be a welcome relief?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. New and veteran researchers struggle with capacity ratings. A quick search of the PRSPCT-L list-serv finds 130+ results for the keywords “capacity rating” in the subject. You are not alone!

You could go on struggling and wondering if your capacity ratings are grounded in best practice, but why? Getting it right is important to you and getting expert help with the right tools will give you confidence – and give your organization a competitive edge.

You Will Learn

In this workshop you will…

  • Calculate gift capacity ranges using already researched high profile individuals as examples
  • Share your calculations and hear from your peers in round-robin style, online, live discussions
  • Create a checklist of the best wealth studies to guide your capacity ratings
  • Get a clear understanding of the different terminology involved in capacity ratings so you can keep your conversations with other fundraisers on track

I have been creating capacity ratings for more than ten years and for all types and sizes of organizations. Let me share my spreadsheet tool with you and make it easy for you to connect with your peers for lively discussion.

Please note that this workshop is designed for a researcher who is actively researching prospects and tasked with assigning or confirming capacity ratings. This course is NOT designed for researchers who are unfamiliar with the sources of information used in creating prospect profiles.

The Capacity Rating Workshop was incredibly helpful in my day-to-day prospect research work. Although I have years in the field, the opportunities to dig into the hows and whys of rating formulas and procedures, compare methods and results with other researchers, and look at this very important area of prospect research with a new perspective was invaluable. I was able to take what I learned from this workshop and apply it immediately in a way that fits my organization. I highly recommend this workshop.

-Deborah Drucker, Prospect Research Professional, New York

You Will Also Receive

In addition to the two weeks of practice and discussion, you will also receive these great resources:

  • 20+ page printed workbook summarizing the course content and including:
    • Capacity ratings for foundations and corporations
    • Discussion on international prospect capacity ratings
    • Glossary
  • Downloadable Excel workbook with capacity rating formulas and the sources from which they are derived
  • Philanthropy and Wealth Report links collection with the most current studies
  • Short videos with instruction and definitions of commonly misunderstood terms
  • Downloadable reference sheet and meeting notes

Length of the Course

Workshops are heavy on participation. Be prepared to spend an hour each day doing some kind of activity: reading, watching, emailing, texting, or live online.

Registration Deadline: 26 Mar 2018
Course Opens: 02 Apr 2018
Orientation: 04 Apr 2018 | Wed | 1pm-2pm ET
Meetings: Online Classes:
12 Apr 2018 | Thu
19 Apr 2018 | Thu
*All classes are 1-2pm ET
Live chats:
10 Apr 2018 | Tue
17 Apr 2018 | Tue
*All chats are 12-1pm ET
Course Closes: 27 Apr 2018

WARNING: This is NOT a how-to find information on prospects. This is about how to apply various capacity rating methods, of which there are many. If you are not familiar with how to find information on prospects, we recommend the Introduction to Prospect Profiles course.


This workshop combines a learn-on-your-own, online classroom with live class discussions facilitated by an instructor, also known as a “flipped” classroom. Following is the workshop schedule:

  • MONDAY through FRIDAY watch instructional videos, read, and craft a capacity rating for the assigned prospect.
  • TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY participate in a live chat in the workshop chat room (this is text only chat, very similar to sending texts on your phone).
  • THURSDAY everyone meets online, sharing and discussing the workshop materials (Online meetings use a video and audio connection to talk and participate).

Each online meeting discussion will provide the opportunity for you to share your experience creating a capacity rating for the assigned prospect – so get ready to talk and share your computer screen with up to nine of your fellow researchers!

After each live chat or class discussion the chat, any meeting notes, and/or video recording are available on the classroom website.

You can access all the workshop materials in the online classroom at any time and you will be asking and answering questions in the workshop forum (similar to an email group just for this course), which gets pushed right into your email inbox.

The Capacity Ratings Workshop was the second course I completed with Jen through the Prospect Research Institute. I had never really had much training on capacity ratings even though I’ve been doing prospect research for almost 7 years. Strategic proactive prospect identification hadn’t been a priority at my organization until the arrival of a new Vice President last year.

I enrolled in the workshop hoping to learn how to assign a basic preliminary capacity rating and be able to do it quickly, since I am a shop of one. I was also looking for guidance on the most effective way to educate gift officers about ratings being initial guides or estimates. I wasn’t disappointed in either regard. The tools and resources Jen presented, combined with the knowledge and experience of the other participants, were tremendously helpful!

-Stephanie Hughes, Prospect Research Professional, Michigan


About the Instructor

Filla0001_sqI’m Jennifer Filla, a Prospect Researcher and Fundraiser at Aspire Research Group LLC and CEO of the Prospect Research Institute as well as co-author of Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook, part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series. I have been a member of AFP and APRA for over ten years.

For nearly ten years I have been speaking and presenting at AFP and APRA meetings and conferences. The demand for clear instruction that can be applied immediately at the fundraising office led me to launch the Prospect Research Institute. I look forward to learning with you!

Read more about Jen.

Registration Fees (In U.S. Dollars)

 $395 USD | Class size limited to 10 participants  | Deadline 26 Mar 2018

If the course does not reach a minimum of 5 participants it will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund.

Questions? Call us at 727 202 3405 or email

Class Cancellation and Privacy Policies

The Capacity Rating Workshop was really useful. I was new to the prospect research field when I took the workshop, so it helped to demystify capacity ratings for me. The online classroom provided a great forum for interaction with the other participants and for a robust exchange of ideas. Beyond that though, Jen shared a wealth of information and resources about capacity ratings and other important aspects of prospect research. I highly recommend this workshop whether you’re new to the field or have years of experience in our profession.

-David Lloyd, Prospect Research Professional, San Francisco, CA

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