Sometimes secondary research just doesn’t cut it. As fundraising professionals, we all know it’s important for us to understand the context of our prospects’ lives. But as much as you can read about private equity, venture capital, and all the other finance-related professions, nothing beats actually talking with people in that industry to find out how they would like to be cultivated and stewarded. I’m particularly delighted this week to shine a light on a project that University of Chicago researchers, Amelia Aldred and Namrata Padhi, undertook to interview professionals in the finance industry. In this week’s article, Amelia and Namrata share the questions and answers about these professionals that we all want to hear. ~Helen
The problem and our solution
In 2015, our prospect research team hit a wall when it came to understanding venture capital and private equity professionals. Like many of our research colleagues, our team read hundreds of articles about venture capital and private equity industries but we couldn’t find information specifically about venture capital and private equity professionals’ attitudes and behaviors regarding philanthropy, nor could we find information about compensation and wealth beyond a general industry overview.
Our solution? Change our research methods. Instead of reading, we directly interviewed venture capital and private equity professionals about their career path, compensation and wealth accumulation, networks, and how all of these factors affected their approach to giving. [Read more…]