International wealth screening companies

Window with a viewIf you’re like most mid-to-large sized charitable or educational organization, you have a growing number of prospects and donors that live outside your home country.

Researching international prospects can be overwhelming, especially if you have a number of constituents and very little information. It’s fairly easy to hit up against a brick wall. What’s the most efficient way to get a window on your very best prospects overseas?

While not perfect, a wealth screening [Read more…]

The UK Mansion Tax: a ‘game changer’ for researchers

Bodnant House

We continue our theme of international research with an extended pause in the UK (because as anybody who knows me knows, I’ll take *any* excuse to pause there!). This week, guest blogger Ben Rymer shares with us some tantalizing news about high net worth real estate in Britain. Ben is the Fundraising Research and Insight Manager at Age UK, the UK’s largest charity working with and for older people, where he has worked for four years.  His professional interest and specialism is in measuring affinity and gauging capacity to give using data.  This is his first article for the Intelligent Edge.  He tweets at @benrymer. [Read more…]

Casting Your Net Across the Pond: 5 Tips for Effective UK Research

Always a popular fundraising research conundrum, this month’s theme on our blog is finding information on international prospects and donors. We kick off the series with a guest post by HBG Research Associate, Kelly Labrecque, who traveled to the UK to bring back some great resources for us to use…Tower Bridge from White Tower

A few weeks ago, while visiting a client in England, I started to think about how challenging it can be to research prospects outside of the United States. If you’re like me, you spend the majority of your time researching prospects in North America. You know exactly where to look to find what you need – addresses, real estate values, stock holdings, philanthropy, etc. But where do you turn when your prospect lives “across the pond,” specifically, in the United Kingdom?

As researchers, our efforts are often hampered when many of our trusted resources, like Lexis Nexis for Development Professionals, are limited to country-specific (i.e. US-only) information. Also, the UK has strict new guidelines governing donor privacy and doesn’t have the same reporting requirements for corporations and foundations. [Read more…]

Attracting and retaining great employees

staff meeting 2014Finishing up this month’s theme of management and human resources, I wanted to share with you my experience of hiring great team members at The Helen Brown Group.

True Confessions

I never wanted to be a solo prospect research practitioner. I named my company intentionally because I always knew that I wanted to build a team of people to go on this wonderful, crazy journey with me. So hiring people was always going to be in the cards for me. And that’s kind of scary when your name is on the door. When it dawns on you that others will be helping uphold your reputation.

Choosing well is important. So is setting up the value proposition.

Over the course of the 12 years since HBG began, I’ve hired 18 employees. Thirteen of them are still working here today. Two have more than 8 years with the company and one (who had left) even returned with great additional experience. That kind of longevity and (dare I say it?) job satisfaction are rare these days. [Read more…]

You’ve been Boo-ed!

You've been BOO-Ed!

Walked into my office this morning and there it was on my desk: a zipped-up baggie of candy, with a squishy rubber creepie-crawlie and a ghostly note saying “You’ve been BOO-ed!”

It’s raining today and pretty much overcast and gross, but that little bag of goodies brought out the sunshine (and the little kid in me). I dug into the bag immediately for the mini box of Nerds. (Nerds! Ha! Candy irony even!) [Read more…]

Welcome! Now get to work.

Manager with new employeeManager, Day 1: You’ve been short staffed for weeks and your new employee starts this morning. You need them to hit the ground running.

New Employee, Day 1: Need to find the nearest supply room, restroom, and fridge to store a lunch bag. Computer is still in the box. Desk chair was the department hand-me-down that is permanently stuck on floor level. [Read more…]

How to recruit for that hard-to-fill position

poppy wheat1 NKHow do you recruit new employees? That’s always a tough question in the prospect research field.

Partly because there is no college degree in prospect research. High school kids don’t think “Hey! I’m going to be a prospect researcher when I grow up!” Not because it’s not desirable, but because they just don’t know prospect research as a career choice exists. [Read more…]

Introverts Advance! How researchers adapt in an extroverted world

We kick off October with a guest post from HBG Senior Researcher Kenneth Tavares. Like EF Hutton, when normally-quiet Kenny offers a comment at one of our staff meetings, the rest of the team listens. Kenny always has something insightful to say. Here he guides office introverts in the ways of getting ahead and getting heard. Enjoy!

Businessman Wearing Cape --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

When I entered the field of prospect research more than 10 years ago, I was admittedly intrigued by the opportunity to not only provide appropriate intelligence, but also to do it with a certain amount of autonomy. [Read more…]

Prospect identification: 5 steps to get action on the front line

Artist painting clouds

Prospect identification is a bi-polar experience for many prospect researchers and analytics professionals: it’s both pure joy and deep-seated frustration. Not all of the time, but mostly.

On the one hand, it’s creative. It’s super fun. (And at work, yet!)

Prospecting sure beats the heck out of doing profiles. Not because profiles aren’t interesting in and of themselves, but because prospect ID projects come from *your* heart. You dream them up, you make them happen. Sure, the project may be in response to a request, but how you fulfill it uses your own chosen palette to create the masterpiece.

But then, on the other hand, you pass off the list of names and what do you hear back?  Crickets. [Read more…]

Prospect identification: 4 ways to help retain new donors

Man with Bouquet

One of the scariest things we know as fundraisers is that donor attrition is at stratospheric levels.

Studies by the renowned philanthropy scholar-evangelist Adrian Sargent have shown that (on average) charities lose 50 percent of their cash income from brand-new donors between their first and second gift, and up to 30 percent after that. (Read Dr. Sargeant’s outstanding article in Nonprofit Quarterly here). [Read more…]