How Dodd-Frank Affects Your Top Donors

This week we welcome back HBG Senior Researcher Kenny Tavares to the blog. Earlier this year, Kenny and fellow HBG senior researcher Elizabeth Roma shared their extensive research on family offices in a podcast. In this week’s article, Kenny shares more about the legislation affecting hedge funds and family offices, and how this could impact the philanthropic landscape.


With Halloween approaching, the time is right for a scary topic! Pull up a chair and let me tell you about the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, aka Dodd-Frankenstein. Wait, no, sorry. I meant Dodd-Frank. [Read more…]

Expert omnibus research sources: 10 of the best

glass rosettesWhether you’re a seasoned prospect researcher or someone who only researches once in a while, it makes sense to be guided by other smart searchers who are pointing the way to great resources they’ve found and loved.

A number of research shops (including ours) maintain lists of the best sites to zero in on information about companies, foundations, and high net worth individuals. New and useful websites pop up every day, and those of us who curate these lists add new treasures we’ve found frequently, so it’s worthwhile checking back often with your favorite lists. [Read more…]

Morningstar Sunset

Hawaii sunset

What is your prospect research shop doing to prepare for the Morningstar/10K Wizard demise?

10K Wizard has been a staple resource for many prospect researchers over the years for information about publicly-held companies (and the people that run them). I thought it was a curious marriage when Morningstar bought the company in 2008, but as long as 10K was still running I didn’t really think much of it. [Read more…]

Creating calm within the storm

This week I’m delighted to feature HBG Senior Researcher Jennifer Turner as guest blogger. I’ve always admired Jen’s ability to be organized and calm in the midst of a flurry of activity. Here she shares some of the secrets she’s discovered…

Traffic calming

Ping! Another email. Pong! An instant message from a coworker asking for advice on evaluating hedge fund compensation. Bzzz. The sound of a new text message. Your 2:00 meeting is running behind and you’ll be late for your 3:30 meeting. [Read more…]

Relationship Management Rules!

Relationship managementWhat makes a successful relationship management program? What are the traits that great managers  overseeing the process must have?

You may remember that two weeks ago, I interviewed Janna Holm, Director of Relationship Management at Johns Hopkins University to get her insight on these questions. We learned from her that it’s an alchemy of art and science that helps build a great RM system. [Read more…]

What makes for a successful wealth screening?

achievementDespite the title of this popular article, we love wealth screenings here at HBG. What we don’t love is when all that time, work, and money spent on a wealth screening go to waste. My colleagues Maureen, Tara, Heather W. and I were talking about this one day, and we were brainstorming so many great ideas that I asked them if we could capture them in a podcast for you. [Read more…]

The alchemy behind fundraising success

genieLampHeartIt’s no secret that the most important thing about major gift fundraising is relationship building. No matter whether you’re talking about raising money from individuals, companies, or foundations, the key is building honest, authentic relationships to bring about positive change. [Read more…]

Donor Identification in the 21st Century

Donor-Identification-in-the-21st-Century800x400As you probably remember from my previous article on this topic, it’s a myth that high net worth people don’t use social media. Studies show that the adoption rate in that demographic is growing every day, too.

That’s great for those of us in fundraising, because new sources like these help us to (as Chris Carnie recently discussed in a terrific podcast with Ben Rymer) craft a donor-centered relationship for each individual donor – because we can (and should) treat them as individuals. [Read more…]

Shaping Change

Stephen Hawking quoteAt the APRA Prospect Development Conference in New Orleans last month, the three TEDx-style APRA Talks concentrated on change. Two things struck me as common themes:

No matter how much you plan for it, change happens as a slow drip and a sideswipe – sometimes simultaneously.
No matter how much you plan, the future reality is always going to be different from your plan.

As a consultant, I work with clients every day who are dealing with change. Some of the change is welcome, like when we’re hired to do a training. Or when we provide an extra pair of hands to help with a big screening project, or to just be there for the duration of a campaign.

Sometimes, though, it becomes evident that the change I’m bringing was imposed on the people I’ve been called in to work with. Maybe that’s happened to you? You were stuck working with a consultant or vendor you hadn’t asked for. [Read more…]

Gravity Assist

New HorizonsOne of the most significant things I love about the prospect research profession is the way we help each other.

This was particularly evident last week at the APRA international conference in steamy New Orleans. About a thousand of us were there to learn and share information with each other. Tactics. Strategies. Resources. Reams of new tips and tricks. [Read more…]