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…]
HBG Researcher Heather Hoke shares some great words of advice on making the most of our organizations’ most valuable assets in this week’s feature article.
“Don’t gather data first and think about how to use it later!”
I was talking on the phone in April with Tommy Tavenner, Data Strategy Lead at the National Wildlife Federation, to get his perspective on data integrity when he said that. After I hung up the phone and for a few days later, his words kept resonating in my mind. [Read more…]
It is a great pleasure to welcome Melissa Bank Stepno as this week’s guest writer on The Intelligent Edge. I’ve long admired Melissa’s gift in seeing the big picture in prospect development and her ability to eloquently communicate and train on its finer details. So when she and I were chatting between sessions at the recent NEDRA conference, I grabbed the opportunity to ask her to share her thoughts here on capacity ratings, which has been a hot topic lately on the prospect research discussion forum, prspct-l.
How much can they give? What should we ask for? How rich is she? What’s his net worth?
Such short questions. Such common questions. Such important questions. [Read more…]
In a world where computer processing power doubles every 18 months and disk storage density doubles every year, no matter what industry we’re in, we’ve all got a lot of valuable data sitting idle. It’s just sitting there inside that computer-shell, waiting to be discovered.
Even less-than-perfect data situations (a crummy database, or records that haven’t been updated regularly, for example) have important stories to tell us about what we’ve done well (or badly) and where opportunity lies. You don’t need Big Data to get big answers. [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…]
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…]
New Employee, Day 1: Need to find the nearest supply room, restroom, and fridge to store a lunch bag. Computer is still in the box. Desk chair was the department hand-me-down that is permanently stuck on floor level. [Read more…]
Partly because there is no college degree in prospect research. High school kids don’t think “Hey! I’m going to be a prospect researcher when I grow up!” Not because it’s not desirable, but because they just don’t know prospect research as a career choice exists. [Read more…]