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…]
If you’re a fundraiser with a brand-new prospect research position to fill, where do you go to find the best candidates? Perhaps you are someone who was recently hired as a researcher, prospect manager, or who will be doing fundraising analytics or overseeing research – where are your peeps? [Read more…]
As you may recall, March is Prospect Research Pride Month.
It’s also Development Services Pride, Operations Pride, Relationship Management Pride, and Analytics Pride Month. It’s a time to celebrate each of us who work behind the scenes every day as part of Team Overhead to ensure our nonprofits’ fundraising successes.
Because there are still misguided folks out there who actually believe that the business of creating a better world can be done with donated chewing gum, dental floss and duct tape. MacGyver may have used that amalgam to fashion an escape from a sticky situation, but you never saw him pulling a million refugees over a border with them. [Read more…]
When faced with mindless bureaucracy, or an inefficient line at a commercial or government establishment, my mom was known to mutter, “When I get in control of the world…” and then she’d voice her solution. As a kid, her answer usually made sense to me. As a teen, I would sidle off pretending I didn’t know her. As an adult, I started hearing the exact same sentence coming out of my own mouth. When I get in control of the world…
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in control of the world sometimes and be able to change the stuff that doesn’t make any sense?
Like long lines at women’s bathrooms at events when the men’s line is empty, for example.
Or more seriously, things like… [Read more…]
How good is your customer service? Here at HBG, we talk a lot about how we partner with our clients. I’ve noticed that our devotion to customer care flows over into the way we work together as a team, too. As HBG Operations Assistant extraordinare Alisa Morgan found out, it works the other way as well. Here’s what Alisa found out:
When someone mentions customer service, we immediately think of ourselves on the phone or in the store receiving some product or service in exchange for payment. “Did that rep greet me, take my order and solve my problem with a smile and a thank you?” [Read more…]
Today I’d like to talk about executive compensation and the fun perquisites (“perks”) that make looking at a company’s proxy statement really interesting. Perks are those little extra somethings that make the financial lives of company executives and board members just a little bit easier. Like a shiny lure, perks attract the most talented ‘big fish’ and help retain them once they’re hooked.
Think of a proxy statement (aka the DEF 14A) as an aquarium of large and small moving objects that flash silver in the sunlight. Some things are easy to find, like annual compensation. Other things you need to look more carefully for as they glint in the weeds: like the perks. According to many sources (including this one and this one), corporate perks are on the wane. But they’re not extinct yet, and companies are very clever about the creative ways they compensate their executives. [Read more…]
What could you and the 1% possibly have in common? HBG Senior Researcher Rick Snyder brings us into the new year with insight on how we can gain a deeper understanding of those we research – and benefit ourselves as well!
I have to confess to having occasional twinges of envy in the course of my research and I would guess that’s true for most prospect researchers. We spend a lot of our time looking at people’s seaside vacation homes or reading about someone taking their extended family on a two-week African safari – things that are out of reach to most of us. But while the lifestyles or careers of our prospects may not be attainable to us, there is one attribute common to many of the 1% that the remaining 99% of us can realize. [Read more…]
Today I’m delighted to share an article with you written by guest blogger and HBG team member Grace Chandonnet. As you’ll see, Grace is an eloquent advocate and guide for those of us planning a move toward the strategy table in our fundraising operations.
As a prospect researcher, you have access to some eye-opening tidbits of information, which makes you exceptionally valuable to the fundraising team. The trick is to get others to see it—and to give yourself a seat at the table.
Recently, I started a new working relationship with a gift officer. In our initial meeting, she came right out and asked me to include my observations and opinions in the research that I provide to her. This was a gratifying milestone in my 13-year research career. As researchers, we often talk about how it can be difficult for research to get a seat at the strategy table and here was a frontline fundraiser asking me, unsolicited, with the implicit idea that my opinions were welcomed and valued. This gift officer gets it! [Read more…]
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…]
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…]