I had a nice email back-and-forth with a colleague the other day discussing a new trend she was seeing in the field. As the conversation wound down to a close, I wrote that I looked forward to seeing her at the Apra International conference (Pittsburgh! August 8-11!). She came back for one last reply, saying that after nearly 20 years of going, the vice president of fundraising was asking her for justification of the expense. [Read more…]
What are some of the things you like best about fundraising and our professional community? One of the ways we are as successful as we are is because of the colleagues that help and teach us. This week in honor of Research Pride month, HBG’s Kristina Gropper shares some of her favorite things about fundraising intelligence and shows her gratitude to colleagues who have helped her along the way. Do you have Research Pride stories to share? Let us know if you post an article or blog and we’ll share it at the end of this article! ~Helen
March is prospect research pride month! 31 days dedicated to creating awareness and celebrating our efforts as prospect researchers. The month also marks my first anniversary at the Helen Brown Group, and it has been an amazing twelve months.
There is a wonderful closeness and comradery that I share with my fellow HBGers, which is truly ironic since most of us work remotely. I have gained so much knowledge and insight in my first year here. In the spirit of prospect research pride month, I wanted to share some key takeaways from my first year:
Ask your brain trust: At HBG, there’s a friendly, helpful, incredible team of researchers. I’ve relied on colleagues to help with everything from ranches in California (thanks, Heather Willis) to co-ops in New York (thanks, Kelly Labrecque and Kenny Tavares). It’s been great getting input from others helps to craft a stronger profile. Do you have a brain trust? What do you rely on them for?
Start or join a work book club: So far, the HBG Book Club has read David Callahan’s The Givers and Brooke Harrington’s Capital Without Borders. We are in the midst of Jake Bernstein’s Secrecy World. Having a weekly call to discuss these relevant tomes is a workout for my brain. The information gleaned from these discussions has already been applied to our profiles, and there’s palpable excitement when we read an interesting chapter (like Bernstein’s chapter on freeports).
Tweet and share: At HBG we are encouraged to participate in social media and contribute to the prospect research community online. I was shy at first, but then Rachel Dakarian hosted a training on Twitter, which made it less intimidating. By tweeting (and retweeting) and sharing articles and blog posts on LinkedIn, I’m contributing to the prospect research community instead of being a wallflower.
Get out there and do it: Rachel and I are presenting at Apra of Greater New York’s ProspectCon on March 16 (there are still spots available for the afternoon session, by the way). We’re both passionate about our topic: profiling ultra-high-net-worth individuals and wealth managers.
Wishing you all a month filled with pride and collaboration. We are a uniquely supportive profession, and this month is a great time to celebrate our accomplishments and teamwork!
Research Pride articles
Marianne Pelletier of Staupell Analytics shares her pride as the middle generation of a multi-generational family of researchers – three different professions, one super-sleuth trait – in My Bourne Legacy.
Crystal Leochko’s article, #ResearchPride for Life, is a celebration of her path to prospect research, the mentors who helped her build a career, and the great resources new researchers can use to strengthen their skills.
Except for the few of us who work at our main office in Watertown, most everybody at HBG works from home. One of the (many) nice things about that is that you can listen to podcasts without bothering anyone else in the office (except maybe your furry 4-legged office-mates). [Read more…]
This past year has been enough to make anybody’s head spin. What would have been the normal amount of news in one of 52 average pre-2017 weeks has been crammed into 341 news cycles of increasingly elevated astonishment. Nearly every day feels to me like watching a piranha feeding frenzy in the Amazon.
Will we end up losing our capacity to relax? Or to believe that we aren’t just missing something in our newsfeed if we don’t immediately see evidence that something shocking has happened overnight? [Read more…]
Listen up, all you new-to-prospect-development folks (and anyone who has a brand-new researcher on staff)!
Great prospect development training sessions are coming up SOON (like, next week and next month!) and you really can’t afford to miss them. Why? [Read more…]
This week we welcome HBG Senior Researcher Heather Hoke to share her knowledge on the blog. Every year, nearly a third of attendees at our professional association conference are brand new to our field. The Apra conference in July is one of the best places for new researchers to find in-depth training and unparalleled opportunities to network, test-drive critical resources, and learn from experienced colleagues. If you don’t have the budget this year but still need information to get you started, Heather’s article will help launch you with lots of advice and resources.
I have been a development researcher for more than 15 years and have had the opportunity to meet many new researchers starting out in our profession who need to learn the basics. It’s an exciting time for them, but our field can be a bit overwhelming.
I have met folks just starting out in a non-profit or educational institution with no prior experience or training on how to do prospect research to advance fundraising. And sometimes, to make things more difficult, there may be no researcher on staff to guide them. [Read more…]
It’s that moment when you realize that you have spent (1) way too much time to (2) find a piece of information that you firmly believe must be out there – hiding. Behind some paywall. And now your report is sitting there. Unfinished.
It’s Prospect Research FOMO. Fear of Missing infO*.
It’s frustrating, disheartening, and maddening to have wasted time and feel that, at the end of the day, you just couldn’t make the Boolean logic deliver.
Especially when everything is online, right?
Very innocently. But making you feel guilty.
That work-book you bought.
I’ve got a few books like that on my office shelf. Some that I’ve started and abandoned after an interested afternoon, and others that I haven’t even cracked open yet. (but I will! I swear!)
But now, a solution.
Last week, some of my HBG colleagues and I – independent of each other – watched a vidcast of David Callahan and Emmett Carson in a fascinating, spirited, and sometimes provocative debate sponsored by Philanthropy New York. Callahan is the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, and author of the new book The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age. Carson is president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world, with $8 billion+ in assets. [Read more…]
You may think that’s an outrageous amount (and it is) but I’m saying it anyway. Let me explain why.
First of all, many professionals in the world have one main job. They repair things in a human body or in an automobile. They speak in front of cameras and explain what a company means to do, or what a politician did do. They deliver mail, or babies. They build houses or computer programs. [Read more…]