Research Strategies Anyone Can Use
Successful Fund Raising asked prospect researchers about strategies that any
nonprofit could employ. The following list represents several responses:
- Network with current donors to review and rate prospects.
- Ask board members for background information on major donor prospects.
- Access public records of auto registrations - focus on luxury vehicles.
- Save newspaper clippings on businesses, individuals, and foundations of interest.
- Review plat maps to determine who owns real estate in your area.
- Compile a list of those who use your services or request information about your
- Read obituaries for family information and memorial possibilities.
- Review a list of your nonprofit's vendors.
- Conduct telemarketing and/or personal visits with anyone who has contact with your
- Visit the nearest local library branch of The Foundation Center.
- Complete standardized "contact reports" following visits to compile a
- Review the Foundation Directory to discover past foundation recipients and ranges of
- Visit with former employees to learn of former clients (or, in some cases, alumni).
- Secure access to a city directory for occupations, titles, residences, phone numbers.
- Secure a state bank directory that lists boards of directors for each institution.
- Obtain personal contacts of board members and key volunteers.
- Coordinate focus group meetings to collectively discuss key prospects.
- Establish "advisory committees" in other communities to help identify local
Review other agencies' lists of contributors.
- From Successful Fund Raising Vol. I. No. 8
Stephenson Consultants, P O Box 4528
Sioux City, IA 51104