Prospect Research for Development Officers

Introducing Prospect Research
William Cordery
Program Officer
Marguerite Casey
Armando E. Zumaya
Chief Development Officer
Basic research will help
you focus your time on
the most likely prospects
and help you shape your
engagement strategy.
Biographical information
Contact Information
Assets (real
Giving History
Intros of facilitators (10 min)
o Name, Organization, Location
o How did we get into this work?
Goals for session (5 min)
To identify tools and practices to find major donor prospects
Find ways to narrow the pool and focus on viable prospects
To provide insight on how to determine how much to ask for
Power Point Presentation (20 min)
Prospect Research for Development Officers
Q&A on PowerPoint (10 min)
Break into small group (5 min)
Small group work (20 min) Brainstorm:
What does your major donor look like? (What do they give to? Community involvement? Other
philanthropic issues?)
Where do you currently find your prospects?
What are tools you are using to find information on prospects?
What else do you need in order to successfully build your major donor portfolio?
How do you first approach these prospects?
Report back (20 min)
o 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.
 $45-75k a year
 Hire a freelancer or firm.
 $1,000-$3,000 monthly
 Train a existing staffer or volunteer.
 $2-3,000 one time
 Do it yourself.
 Free, but lots of staff time
Look around, who cares about our issues?
Example…my current work…
 Children’s Museums
 Children’s Hospitals
 After School Programs
 School Reform
 Anti- Bullying Organizations
 LGBT Rights and Youth Organizations
 Autism Organizations
 Police Athletic Leagues
 YMCA’s, YWCA’s
 Education donors at the Local university
 Anti-Obesity Organizations
 Anti-Gang Organizations
 What else?
Google them, yeah, Google
 Advanced
 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?
 Industry?
 Alumni of schools?
Linked In
 In Mail
Easy one’s to reach
Real Estate people
Anyone looking for clients
Crucial Web Sites
Charitable Donations
 NOZA, Foundation
searching is free and is a good way to build lists of people. Premium
search is available for a fee. Can search by keyword, e.g. youth
development,to find organizations that have that as a focus; use those
lists to find prospective donors.
 Guidestar, (can be used to build lists of organizations which may
have donors who would support Playworks). Premium search is
available for a fee.
Free Resources
Biographical Information
 The Business Journals,
 Look for your city and look up the movers and shakers ; in addition,
most have annual lists of lists which can be used to find groups of
 Forbes,
Contact Information
 Manta
 Big Book www.
 1) Google (or similar search engine)
 2) (I no longer use this because I
get fuller info from LexisNexis, but if I didn't have access
to LexisNexis, I would use Zabasearch all the time)
 3) for real estate
values. I find it quicker than going directly to Zillow and
you still get the Zillow value.
 4) Blockshopper (I usually get to this through Google)
 5) - free information available even
though you can pay for premium content. (I usually find
the free info is sufficient)
Advanced Resources
Professional Licensing Organizations (physicians, engineers, lawyers, etc.) Every state
licenses professionals and you'll often be able to find contact information. You can also use
http://www. (Martindale Hubbell-lawyers) and https://extapps.ama-assn.
org/doctorfinder/recaptcha.jsp (AMA-doctors).
Federal Election Commission, (political contributions) You'll get a
sense of what a person might support by looking at their political contributions; states
often have their own contribution sites, so look for those.
Data Mining (use the database). If you conduct events, take the lists of people who attend
and match against those who have given. Give higher priority to those who have attended
multiple events 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…
[email protected]
[email protected]

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