I hear a lot of comments from fundraisers at small shops that they simply can’t afford prospect research. I participated in a terrific Twitter chat for fundraisers earlier this week on the topic of prospect research where a few folks underscored this refrain: “We’re small, we have no money, and prospect research is just too darned expensive.”
But isn’t that like saying “That Maserati is one sweet ride, but it’s too fast and expensive so I’m going to walk instead”?
Not all prospect research costs like a Masarati. Some of it does, but most of it doesn’t. If you work in a small organization, you probably don’t need the Masarati research anyway. But it’s hard to know what to purchase if you don’t know what you need. And there are a lot of tools available in prospect research that can help, from prospect identification to profiles to relationship management to data mining and more. Lots more!
Knowing what kind of research you need and using it smartly and efficiently will get you to success a lot faster. And by success, I mean that you’ll be able to draw a direct line from research well used to increased dollars and pounds in the door.
So here’s one solution: If you’re a fundraiser who isn’t sure what prospect research can do for you, or if you think that the only thing it has to offer is expensive profiles or databases that cost a lot, then you really need to read this book. If you don’t find that it gives you solutions that help you increase donations, let me know and I’ll refund the money you spent on it.
Prospect research is useful for all sizes of organization, from teeny tiny Mini startups to super huge land yachts, like Harvard. Read the book and network with researchers to help draw up a plan to include prospect research in your budget.