Are 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 workshop you learn the jargon, get introduced to the research studies behind the formulas, and practice rating for capacity. 

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 industry 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.

On-Demand Workshop Registration

Gain access to this on-demand course for one year and work at your own pace.

This On-Demand Course Series is included in the Research Focused Membership Level.

Become a Member

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You Will Learn

In this workshop you will...

  • Calculate gift capacity ranges using already researched high profile individuals as examples
  • Share your calculations and receive feedback
  • Create a checklist of the best wealth studies to guide your capacity ratings, especially for prospects outside the U.S.
  • 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.

Should You Take This Course?

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 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.

You Will Also Receive

This course is loaded with great content. Following are some highlights and add-ons:

  • 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

Length and Format

While you can consume the course in any way you like…

  • Modules: There are multiple modules of content for this course – check out the curriculum below.
  • Time: You might spend anywhere from 5 to 10 hours per module.
  • Format: Content includes reading, short videos, homework (with feedback), and quizzes.
  • Live Meetings: Your membership comes with two live, online video meetings per month; a Master Class and a Live Office Hour
  • Discussion: As a member, you can join the Slack discussion channels.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Welcome to the Workshop!
    • Zoom Online Meeting Login + Instructions
    • Get Started Using Slack to Send Messages
    • Data Protection and Privacy **must read**
  • 2
    Key Resource Files
    • RESOURCE | Excel Valuation Calculator 2018
    • RESOURCE| Excel Valuation Calculator 2017
    • RESOURCE|Aspire Calculator Pictorial
    • Excel Valuation Calculator from 2016 (with gender and age)
  • 3
    Module #1 | Definitions and Ingredients
    • READ | Definition and Purpose
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Definition and Purpose
    • READ | Capacity Rating Ingredients
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Ingredients
  • 4
    Module #2 | Using an Excel Calculator
    • VIDEO | Capacity Rating Calculator Demo
    • RESOURCE | Aspire Valuation Calculator in Pictures
    • VIDEO | Howley Capacity Rating Demo
    • RESOURCE | Excel Valuation Calculator 2018
    • READ | Creating Your Own Calculator
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Excel Calculators
    • HOMEWORK | Rate the Prospects!
  • 5
    Module #3 | Entities and Other Scenarios
    • READ | Rating Foundations and Corporations
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Foundations and Corporations
    • READ | Prospects Outside the U.S.
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Prospects Outside the U.S.
    • READ | Capacity Ratings in the Database
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Ratings in the Database
    • READ | Communicating About Ratings
    • HOMEWORK | Discussion Qs on Communicating
  • 6
    Additional Resources
    • Glossary of Terms

What People Are Saying

“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, MichiganStephanie Hughes, Prospect Research Professional, Michigan

“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 YorkDeborah Drucker, Prospect Research Professional, New York

“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, CADavid Lloyd, Prospect Research Professional, San Francisco, CA

About the Instructor

  • Jennifer Filla

    Jennifer Filla

    Founder, CEO, and Instructor

    I’m Jennifer Filla, a Prospect Researcher and Fundraiser at Aspire Research Group LLC and co-author of Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook, part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series. As a consultant, I have worked with a lot of small and large organizations that needed to build internal fundraising capacity with prospect research. I have also been a member of AFP and Apra for more than ten years, 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’m excited to learn with you!

On-Demand Workshop Registration

Gain access to this on-demand course for one year and work at your own pace.

This On-Demand Course Series is included in the Research Focused Membership Level.

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