I’m preparing a web seminar for fundraising consultant Lori Jacobwith’s Ignited Online Fundraising Community this Thursday to introduce her group to prospect research. Lori has been providing coaching and continuing education to her clients through the Ignited Online community for over four years, and I’m impressed at her dedication to capacity building within the fundraising profession. I’m looking forward to sharing what prospect research can do and when to use it.
As I’m putting together my presentation, I was thinking about how to graphically show when prospect research is most helpful, and created this image.
We may identify new prospects with a wealth screening, with data analytics, by happenstance, in conversation with our volunteers or a number of other ways. Something in our identification methods tells us that a prospect is a good fit, but most of these ways don’t involve intensive one-by-one research.
As the relationship progresses with mutual interest on the part of the donor and the nonprofit, Research is used intensively help build a deeper connection. Information gathering is both primary (in conversation with the donor) and secondary (using online and offline resources to collect information).
After the gift is given fundraisers tend to need very little information; much is already known about the donor and their interests. Research may be used to help with stewardship of the donor or their family. For example, news alerts may be used to send a note of congratulations for a birth in the family, a company sold or a marriage announced.
Does this match your experience? When does your organization use research the most?