Follow the money – how to start out as a prospect researcher
You may not have heard of prospect research. This field of research is devoted to assisting organizations with donor identification and donor relations management for fund raising, and is one of the many specialized research services AIIP members offer clients.
This field of research often combines Prospect Research, Prospect Management, Grantwriting and Fundraising.
We asked Marge King, President of InfoRich Group for some tips on how to get started as a prospect researcher.
- Prospect research requires broad knowledge of the available resources for researching people, private foundations, and private companies. Begin collecting links to your favorite sources of information. Consider using bookmarking and password apps to organize your resources and their respective passwords.
- Learn about the fundraising process by talking to fundraisers, reading books and magazines on the topic. It will help you understand the industry jargon so that you speak the same language as your potential clients. It will help when you are developing marketing materials for your business.
- Join professional associations like the Association of Fundraising Professionals and APRA for profession development, to stay up-to-date on emerging issues in your industry, and because your potential clients will be members, too. And get active in these associations so that your potential clients see you as a problem-solver and the go-to-person for the services you offer. And, don’t forget to join an association like AIIP to help you think like a business owner.
Marge King (@margeking) is President InfoRich Group. InfoRich Group provides cost-effective fundraising support to nonprofit organizations through donor prospect research, annual fund strategies, constituency analysis, prospect list development, board training and development, and staff development and training.
For more tips download the AIIP free guide on Getting Started as an Independent Information Professional.