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…]
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…]
We kick off October with a guest post from HBG Senior Researcher Kenneth Tavares. Like EF Hutton, when normally-quiet Kenny offers a comment at one of our staff meetings, the rest of the team listens. Kenny always has something insightful to say. Here he guides office introverts in the ways of getting ahead and getting heard. Enjoy!
When I entered the field of prospect research more than 10 years ago, I was admittedly intrigued by the opportunity to not only provide appropriate intelligence, but also to do it with a certain amount of autonomy. [Read more…]
In late June, the HBG team hosted Natalie Westfall, a nine-year research veteran and a member of the steering committee of Researchers in Fundraising (RiF) in the United Kingdom. Over Natalie’s 10-day visit, we collaborated on projects, did several show-and-tell sessions with the different resources we each use, and discussed the similarities and differences of prospect research in the US and UK.
One of the similarities we found was the issue of how prospect researchers can be front-and-center in the fundraising operation – true strategy partners. We’re delighted to present some of Natalie’s insight on the topic here.
Prospect Researchers: going beyond the ‘Who’
The Prospect Research specialism has come a long way in its relatively short life; from books to the internet and (hopefully!) a departure from the familiar request that haunts every prospect researcher: ‘can you just Google this person for me?’
These advancements and the desire to add greater value, have in recent years, seen a prospect researcher’s skill set widen beyond traditional research to more advanced data analysis, and using insight from their research to help shape strategic fundraising plans.
I really like this simple flow chart and have used it in a number of planning documents to illustrate how much additional value can be added if the Prospect Research function is allowed to go beyond producing pieces of pure research.