Prospect researchers gather and analyze biographical, financial, company, foundation and other philanthropic information in a purposefully ethical way on behalf of charitable organizations, using only publicly-available information. This information is used to identify new major gift prospects or to further qualify current major gift donors. Researchers and fundraisers then devise a plan to involve those prospective donors in a meaningful way with the charity, with the goal of advancing the charity’s ability to meet and further its mission to do good in the world.
Prospect researchers stay current on individual, business, market and world financial news to help organizations make key strategy decisions about which donors might be ready to be asked for a donation, and what the timing should be.
In addition, they help with managing donor databases and mining these databases to find new groups of donors.
The three most important characteristics of successful prospect identification and donor involvement are: knowing a prospect’s Interest in the organization’s mission; their Capability to make a major gift; and the personal and business Contacts that they have that tie them to the organization. Successful, strategic prospect research goes beyond simply providing biographical and other generic information about a prospect and looks for these three key factors to help organizations forge strong, positive and lasting relationships with their donors.
We help at many stages of growth:
* Starting from scratch: We will provide to you lists of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations with a demonstrated interested in your charity’s mission.
* Before a capital campaign: We find campaign leaders and volunteers, screen your database to find hidden prospects, and provide information on these individuals and suggest target asks.
* When a campaign is lagging: We can mine your database and model past giving to find likely future major and annual donors based on those characteristics.
* Ongoing: As you learn about new prospects, or decide to ask someone for a major gift, it’s important to know their background, interest in your (and other) organizations, discover people who can introduce you to them, and
find out an appropriate ask amount. We provide detailed information to help you make the right decisions.
* Supplement existing research: We frequently fill in for staff on leave or by helping during particularly busy periods.
No problem. We’ll learn about your organization’s needs and mission and help you build lists of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations that have a demonstrated interest in your charity.
Through screenings (both electronic and manual) and data mining, we can help you prioritize large lists of prospects into manageable groups that your fundraisers and volunteers can handle. Then, by looking more deeply at the very top prospects identified, we can get you moving down the right road quickly.
Most of the time, we find that organizations doing major gift work actually can afford it. We will talk with you and learn about your fundraising priorities. While having an in-house researcher is ideal, most small charities just don’t have the budget to afford a researcher and/or the expensive research database fees. We will work with you to develop a research strategy that makes sense for you and your budget, without the overhead and salary costs.
Once you discover first-hand how research helps you prioritize your top donors and efforts, you will discover that strategic research actually saves you time and your organization’s money.
Profiles, snapshots and custom research work on a per-piece or contract basis. We specialize in international research, and our world-wide network of researchers and data sources mean that we can provide you with information on prospects around the world or right next door.
Research shop creation and best-practice audits; temporary on-site management of research departments; recruitment of research staff; data-mining and donor modeling services; assistance with database screenings and post-screening analysis.
On-site and web-based training for prospect researchers, development officers, and those for whom efficient Research is an occasional necessity.