Introducing Prospect Research
Chief Development Officer
Basic research will help
you focus your time on
the most likely prospects
and help you shape your
of facilitators (10 min)
Name, Organization, Location
How did we get into this work?
for session (5 min)
identify tools and practices to find major donor prospects
ways to narrow the pool and focus on viable prospects
provide insight on how to determine how much to ask for
Point Presentation (20 min)
Research for Development Officers
on PowerPoint (10 min)
Break into small group (5 min)
Small group work (20 min) Brainstorm:
does your major donor look like? (What do they give to? Community involvement? Other
do you currently find your prospects?
are tools you are using to find information on prospects?
else do you need in order to successfully build your major donor portfolio?
do you first approach these prospects?
Report back (20 min)
Share responses to questions answered in the small group
Q&A (20 min)
Prospect Research: Why it doesn’t happen
Seems unethical and dirty to outsiders, boards and
Cost. Not seen as an investment but waste of money.
Many Founder centered/personality driven
The “we know our donors” mentality
We are “too small and grassroots” for that type of
Getting it done, why?
Know who to ask and for how much, 80% of the
Because otherwise your wasting a lot of time.
Real diversity vs. token diversity: leadership and
Raising a great deal more money. Serious money
If you can ask for $100 you can ask for $100,000.
Because the right surely is advanced to this level of
Getting it done, how?
Hire a full time staffer.
75k a year
Hire a freelancer or firm.
Train a existing staffer or volunteer.
3,000 one time
Do it yourself.
Free, but lots of staff time
Look around, who cares about our issues?
Example…my current work…
After School Programs
LGBT Rights and Youth Organizations
Police Athletic Leagues
Education donors at the Local university
Google them, yeah, Google
Exact Phrase Search
Try “gift from …”
Donor and _________
Getting to them
Who knows them ?
Your Board, donors, employees, alumni?
What boards do they sit on?
Alumni of schools?
Easy one’s to reach
Real Estate people
Anyone looking for clients
Crucial Web Sites
searching is free and is a good way to build lists of people. Premium
search is available
a fee. Can search by keyword, e.g. youth
find organizations that have that as a
; use those
lists to find prospective donors.
data/index.aspx (can be used to build
of organizations which may
have donors who would support Playworks). Premium search is
for a fee.
The Business Journals, www.bizjournals.com/
Look for your city and look up the movers and shakers ; in addition,
most have annual lists of
can be used to find groups of
Big Book www. Bigbook.com
1) Google (or similar search engine)
(I no longer use this because I
get fuller info from LexisNexis, but if I didn't have access
to LexisNexis, I would use
all the time)
for real estate
I find it quicker than going directly to Zillow and
you still get the Zillow value.
(I usually get to this through Google)
free information available even
though you can pay for premium content.
(I usually find
the free info is sufficient)
Professional Licensing Organizations
(physicians, engineers, lawyers, etc.) Every state
and you'll often be able to find contact information. You can also use
martindale.com/ (Martindale Hubbell
Federal Election Commission,
sense of what a person might support by looking at their political contributions; states
often have their own contribution sites, so look for those.
(use the database). If you conduct events, take the lists of people who attend
against those who have given. Give higher priority to those who have attended
and have consistent (even if it's modest giving). Match addresses with high
net worth areas
ask research for lists of zip codes).
To reach us…