Prospect identification: Grow Some Feet

Working Girl meme

These days, prospect research is seen as a fairly cerebral task where you sit at your desk gathering information using a computer while trying not to snack (or maybe that’s just me?).

Back in the day, though, being a researcher meant never needing to say “boy, I really need a gym membership.” Typically, a journal entry for a day would go something like this: [Read more...]

Prospect Identification: Going beyond the same old same old

The theme for our HBG September blog is prospect identification and, because it’s one of her favorite activities, I asked Senior Researcher Jennifer Turner to give us some creative ideas for finding new donors.  Over to you, Jen!

Ideas - Creativity

Your usual prospecting assignment: Find high net worth individuals (HNWIs) with the capacity to make a gift in a specific target range and with a likely interest in your cause.

Sounds like Prospecting 101, right?

Your usual method might be head to donor lists of organizations similar to yours to see who is giving, and at what level.

But what if you took some slightly unusual approaches – ones that shake up the traditional ways you normally prospect? Might that result in viable new prospects as well? My experience says yes! [Read more...]

Getting Through: 3 Easy Tips to Avoid Communication Death Traps

Sydney Harris quote

I got an email like this* the other day which just cracked me up:

To: Helen Brown
From: XYZ Company
Subject: The Master List of DNS Terminology

Helen,

XYZ Company is passionate about internet performance, particularly when it comes to DNS. We realize that DNS, ISC and BIND can be difficult to understand when the terminology is unfamiliar. It’s easier to get the most cost efficiencies from your DNS provider and services if you know the basics. That’s why we’ve created “DNS, ISC and YOU.” This essential e-Book lists the need-to-know terms that you’ll frequently hear when DNS is discussed. Download now and start saving your company money!

Best regards,

The XYZ Company Team

Ummm, yeah.

[Read more...]

Effective Web Searching – social media search tips

Are you including social media searching as part of your prospect research?

Today’s blog post is a slide show featuring some tips and tricks for getting the most out of searching Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Make sure to turn your speakers up if you’re solo (or plug in your headphones) and click on the little speaker in the center of each slide to listen to the audio.

Let me know if you have found other ways to search these great resources!

Having trouble viewing the presentation in this window? Go here:http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/HelenBrownGroup-2204575-searching-social-media-helen-brown-group/

iPad and iDevice users: I’m sorry – The audio may not work for you. It’s a Flash thing, apparently. Come back later and view this post on a laptop or desktop.

The Field Guide to Efficient Searching

Let’s just dive right in, shall we? Here are my top five tips for efficient web searching.

Tip #1: Use Quotation Marks

Bing Council on Foreign Relations

If you want to get the best results for an exact name or phrase, always put your search string in quotes. This works really well for names, for example, of a person or an organization.

Searching on Bing for Council on Foreign Relations got me 18,700,000 hits. Searching for “Council on Foreign Relations” narrowed down the hit count to a mere two million.

This might not matter when you’re searching for something like the COFR, but what if you’re looking for a name? [Read more...]

Search Strategies – The hunt begins

path

I admit that sometimes I cringe a little bit when I watch [some] other people search.

Not all people, mind you. Not professional (and natural-born) researchers. I actually love seeing how they search differently than me – the terms they use and how they use search engines and deep-web sources. I always learn something. It’s fun to share techniques and watch them get from point A to point B efficiently. [Read more...]

6 Reasons Why Real Estate Matters to the Savvy Prospect Researcher

Driveway of Traditional Craftsman HouseEvery so often, the topic of “Should we or shouldn’t we include real estate as one of the factors we use to determine a prospective donor’s gift capacity” comes up in the prospect research community.

Some folks have this logic: “Well, our prospective major donor is never going to give us their house (or sell their house and give us the money), therefore we shouldn’t include it.”

Which is absolutely true. (<stage whisper>: I won’t mention “planned gift” at this point, okay?)

[Read more...]

3 Ways to Build a Great “Gold Guide”

Easter Egg HuntProspect researchers tend to grab great information sources with the zeal of kids let loose onto the lawn of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll.  

And for good reason: well-curated information sources are really interesting and offer valuable time-savings. Especially because (for most of us, anyway) the pile of pending research requests is always a foot high.

[Read more...]

Why Most Prospect Research Profiles Are Dead On Arrival

Buried treasure

Imagine that it’s 10 am on a Thursday morning and you have just discovered a new seven-figure prospect for your organization.

This prospect is an active volunteer and a recent donor.

She’s expressed a firm endorsement of your organization’s mission in the press, and she has undisputedly significant wealth.

You’re going to run down the corridor and tell everyone, right?

[Read more...]

Four secrets for speedier prospect research

Powerful Laptop Computer

As a fundraiser constantly on the go, sometimes it might seem like it takes a long time to get a research profile back from an in-house prospect researcher or consultant.  When you’ve got a meeting coming up or you need to prioritize your prospect pool in a hurry, I know that you really haven’t got a lot of extra time to wait.  Here are four secrets to getting information back faster from your research partner:

[Read more...]