The cavalry can be a heroine, a hero, a bunch of dusty dudes on horses, or a squad of geeky introverts, but you only have to look at every movie ever made in Hollywood to know that when help is needed, it will come. [Read more…]
This week we are honored to welcome guest contributor, Ian MacQuillin, founder and director of Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University’s Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, a serious change threatens to alter the landscape for fundraising and prospect research in the UK. I’m not succumbing to hyperbole when I say that very soon wealth screenings and possibly even prospect research could be greatly curtailed or eliminated altogether. Unless awareness is raised and the momentum shift is altered, the impact on the charity landscape will be devastating. I am grateful that Ian agreed to share not only what’s happening in the UK, but also how these changes could impact us in North America. I hope you will join me in sharing this article socially to help educate our peers. ~Helen
It’s possible that during the course of 2017, using Google to research a potential donor will be declared illegal by Britain’s data protection regulator. [Read more…]
Earlier this week, I was looking at my phone – and at all the apps I have and don’t use – and started thinking about how every person’s app collection looks different based on their individual needs and interests. I wondered how different my screen would look if I were a billionaire. (Hey, a girl can daydream). And so my journey of discovery began.
As I researched, I realized that many of the sites I was idly finding were actually useful for prospect research purposes. Which led me to abandoning my original mild curiosity and heading toward useful employment of my time, which is a good lesson in the power of daydreaming! [Read more…]
Most of the time, taking a step back to get a broader view of a situation is a good idea. As we move into 2017, I’d like to welcome one of our newer team members, Josh Ostroski, as our guest blogger this week. Josh took a year out from a distinguished career in prospect research to try out a new profession that brought him great perspective, insight, and some new great resources to share with all of us when he came back into the fundraising fold. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this – and bookmark as many things as I did!
Before joining The Helen Brown Group in July of this year, I spent just over a year as a real estate agent. Prior to that I had worked as a prospect researcher in various roles for a decade. In my year-long “sabbatical” I learned a lot about myself and prospect research, and I wanted to share my experiences with you.
Similarities Between Real Estate and Fundraising
At first thought you may not think real estate and fundraising are similar, outside of our daily scouring of property records, but the first thing I noticed during our weekly team meetings and trainings was how similar they are.
Both are industries that help people. Both have a sales aspect. Both are about reading people. Both require pipeline building and prospecting in order to succeed.
Four days into my re-introduction into the wonderful world of prospect research with The Helen Brown Group, I found myself listening to the APRA Prospect Development 2016 keynote speaker, Risa Mish, speaking about The Art of the Sale. It was essentially an overview of everything I had been learning as a real estate agent. When she was relating it to fundraising, I knew I was where I should be! [Read more…]
I’m going to get to the top posts of 2016 in just a second, but as we bid goodbye to 2016 – a rollercoaster year if ever there was one – we at The Helen Brown Group wanted to take a moment to say thank you.
To our clients, thank you for making 2016 our best year yet. Your missions – and your personal dedication to them – inspire us to do our best work for you. Our appreciation also goes out to the kind folks who point others in our direction – grateful thanks for your referrals.
To our 1,200+ Intelligent Edge subscribers and to the readers who drop by, thanks for signing up, for reading, and for your comments, both on and offline. Two years ago, our mailing list comprised 65 hearty souls! We couldn’t be prouder of the way our readership has grown or thank our wonderful guest bloggers enough. Thank you.
We also really appreciate our vendor partners, who make the great tools we use and who share our commitment to using quality information to make the world a better place.
And to our colleagues in the prospect development community – thank you so much for your support and for the part you play in building and growing this wonderful profession.
And now, to our top five… [Read more…]
What’s going on, briefly? The British Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) levied substantial fines against two large and well-respected British charities, publicly berated and shamed them for – amongst other things – conducting wealth screenings and prospect research. It’s a very worrisome time in the UK for our colleagues right now, and the fundraising community over here should take note – and provide moral support.
More on this developing story will be found here on the Intelligent Edge, but in the meantime, please take a moment to visit the Further Reading section at the end of this post to get yourself caught up on the ICO ruling and the UK fundraising community’s reaction to it. [Read more…]
As hard as it is to believe, 2017 will be here in two weeks and three days, folks. There will be much you won’t have any control over in the year ahead, but there are lots of things you can do to help yourself, and your organization, be prepared for the challenges of 2017.
Protect Yourself Online
If you haven’t already, let this be the year that you finally subscribe to a password-generating software program. PC Magazine has compiled their list and side-by-side comparison of the Best Password Managers of 2017. They’re not expensive. Just do it. Also, check that your virus protection and anti-spyware software are auto-running. If you don’t have those two things, buy them. [Read more…]
BuzzFeed reports that, on Facebook, the top 20 click-bait-y fake news stories generated more engagement than the top 20 real news stories did in the past three months.
That’s okay if you know that what you’re looking at is fake and you’re just clicking or sharing something to get a good eye roll workout. But a new study by Stanford University says that the “digital natives” amongst us – kids from middle school through college – can’t tell the difference between sponsored content and real news.
And regarding their habits on social media, the Wall Street Journal reported that “[m]any students judged the credibility of newsy tweets based on how much detail they contained or whether a large photo was attached, rather than on the source.”
Think about that – credibility is judged on whether or not there’s a pretty picture.
That’s really worrying, especially because it’s not just kids that are making that mis-judgment. The Pew Research Center reports that 66% of Facebook users get their news there, and overall nearly 40% of us get our news online now.
Facebook is just a social networking site. It’s not a news site…right?
It’s inappropriate for anyone to like an article about someone getting shot. In the case of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, research shows that stories on his death went into a cone of silence on Facebook, partly because it was inappropriate to ‘Like’ (for which read: share) and harder still (for non-trolls) to comment on. So when it comes to what gets shared more, the algorithms favor the Pope endorsing Donald Trump over what’s happening in Ferguson or Flint because of Likes.
It makes sense logically. But if 66% of people on Facebook (and let’s face it, Facebook’s market penetration is colossal) – if 66% of Facebook users are getting their news there, it’s well on its way to becoming a media company. A news distributor. Far and away from simply a social networking site. [Read more…]
This week my colleague Grace Chandonnet points us to great research on the benefits of collaboration and shares some of the methods we use (and you can, too) to take advantage of deep knowledge and resources around you.
The events of the recent past have inspired divisiveness and mistrust amongst the citizens of the United States and even the world. For the sake of my own wellbeing, I’ve been trying to focus on the things in my life that make me feel connected to something positive. Fortunately for me, not only am I connected to work that makes a real difference in the world, but I have an amazing group of colleagues who are always ready and willing to collaborate.
COLLABORATION’S MULTIPLE BENEFITS
According to Murali Krishna, HR Service Administrator at IBM, “Collaboration not only equals a happier workforce, it represents an educated one. This is because it naturally inspires a sense of community within an organization, meaning that employees feel almost like they are a part of a family. Additionally, collaboration allows employees to learn from each other and the bosses.” [Read more…]
Here’s the complaint I hear frequently about wealth screenings, prospect research, and real estate: Knowing what our prospect holds in real estate is useless! She’s never going to give any of those houses to our organization!(*)
That’s absolutely right. She’s probably not. But that completely misses the point of why real estate is key.
Imagine with me that you’re on a lovely sailboat. You’re out for the day with friends in the Caribbean enjoying the sun and the breeze. You’re moving along at a pretty fast clip with the wind, but all of a sudden an unexpected gust causes the boom to flip from one side of the boat to the other, and somehow you’re overboard.
The water’s warm but it’s going to take a few minutes for your friends to turn the boat around and get you. That thin orange ring they tossed you is by no means reliably holding up your weight, but it’ll help keep you up while you tread water until the boat comes back. That orange ring may be crummy, but it’s the most solid thing you’ve got right now. [Read more…]