Around the World with Prospect Research

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					Around the World with
Prospect Research
  Carol McConaghy Thorp, CFRE
        Managing Director
   Professional Services Group
  Prospect Information Network
Prospect Research Basics
   What Is It?
   Understand its purpose & role
     To collect and analyze prospect information
     necessary for relationship building/solicitation
     Research generates leads (proactive) through
     prospecting activities and responds (reactive) to
     leads from field staff
     Both activities are important to fundraising and
     equally challenging, especially with regard to
     international prospect research
Prospect Research Basics
   First: Expectations: understand how much
   time it takes to conduct prospect research
   Second: Determine how much time your
   researcher(s) has to devote to your program:
     Domestic Individual Prospects (reactive and proactive)
     Corporate & Foundation Research Support
     Prospect Management & Tracking Responsibilities
     Database Management
     Staff/Departmental Management Responsibilities
     Inter-departmental Meetings & Projects
     Intra-departmental Committees & Obligations
Prospect Research Basics
   Typical Assignment
     Researcher handed a name (often misspelled)
     with little or no additional information from field
     staff; given tight deadline for research profile
     Researcher given list of names (10-100+) on
     Monday to be completely researched by Friday…
     Researcher asked to find “rich people” in a
     particular class, geographical area or some other
     broad designation
Prospect Research Basics
   Good News
    Researcher will be able to complete each
   Bad News
    Not in the timeline requested
Prospect Research Basics
   The Answer?
     A four letter word:
      • PLAN
      • PLAN
      • PLAN!
   Work ahead with research, ESPECIALLY
   TRUE for international projects and
Prospect Research Basics
   Meet with Research at end of fiscal year or
   include in planning meeting(s) over the
   Inform Research as early as possible of
   annual travel calendar
   Determine scope of services needed as early
   as possible
     Also determine if information needs vary by staff
     (ie President, ED, new staff person, volunteer)
Prospect Research Basics
   Typical sources/methods:
     Books/directories (ie, Who’s Who)
     CD-ROMs – many of the directories are
     now on CD
     On-line databases – fee-based
     Internet sites – free
Prospect Research Basics
   Most of the sources used today are now
   in electronic form and available via the
   web – either free or fee-based:
Prospect Research Basics
   Information necessary for relationship
   building/solicitation for domestic prospects:
     Insider/securities holdings
     Real Estate holdings/value
     Privately held company information and ownership
     Non-profit affiliations/gifts
     Biographical information & interests
   Information is collected, synthesized,
   analyzed and organized into a written profile
Prospect Research Basics
   Sound easy?
   Prospect research is demanding and time-
   consuming (although fun!)
   Typical timeframe is 8 hours for a
   comprehensive profile
   International research poses more challenges
   and adds complexities to the research
   Expectations need to be adjusted
International Prospect Research
   Special Challenges
     Information on international prospects is not often
     public nor accessible for a fee
     Information that is available on international
     prospects is often not in the English language
     Researcher often has little to start with and
     names/naming conventions in different countries
     are confusing yet specific
     Researcher needs to become expert on different
     countries and regions to research effectively
International Prospect Research
   Research requires greater lead time –
   rush jobs are sure to fail, not produce
   information and not meet anyone’s
International Prospect Research
   International research takes more time (for
   reasons we will go into shortly) and may
   require additional information for traveling
   staff (President/VP/ED or if staff person new
   to area)
     Country Profile
     Economic Profile
     Customs, Travel tips
     Prospect Profile
     Other Contacts/Network
International Prospect Research
   Try to focus the researcher on just a few
   geographical areas so that she can become
   intimately familiar with them (i.e.,culture,
   custom, families, economics, philanthropy)
   Determine how the researcher will interface
   with your program – will she be responsible
   for identifying wealthy prospects, researching
   names you provide or researching the
   country, customs, etc as a whole?
   So…what do you really need?
International Prospect Research
   Remember to “determine the scope”
   Information needed to qualify and cultivate
   international prospects is the same as needed
   for domestic prospects but add country
   information to the list and build in more time
   for retrieval:
     Wealth indicators/assets
      • Real estate holdings, business wealth, family wealth,
        stock holdings; foundation affiliation, other assets
     Biographical/interest information
     Non-profit affiliations/gifts
International Prospect Research
   Here is a highlight a few good sources
   to get you started
   More extensive bibliography included
   for you to use or distribute back at the
International Prospect Research
   General sites
     Dow Jones Interactive (approx. $75 month
     additional fees for articles)
     Dialog ($300 to sign up and monthly fees for use);
     has over 400 databases, many international
     sources and sites
     Bloomberg Box (about $1500 per month; covers
     every publicly traded company in the world and
     profiles on high level individuals; government
     officials etc)
     Join PRSCT-L, FUNDUK and INTFUND list serves
International Prospect Research
   General sites
     New England Development Research Association
     (NEDRA –
     Internet Prospector – www.internet-
     Forbes –
     Virtual reference –
     AJR Newslink –
     Aileena –
International Prospect Research
   Phone directories
     Telephone Directories -
     find foreign phone numbers, has links to country
     International Look-up -
     addresses and phone numbers of foreign
     International Directories – - yellow and white
     pages of many countries
Prospect Research - Europe
   Tips on Getting Information
      Long-standing attitude of fear toward the
      release of private names and information
      (many think its based on WWII and
      Privacy and data protection legislation is
      being incorporated into national law(s).
      Researchers need to avoid highly personal
      information (as always)
Prospect Research - Europe
   Alternate/Supplemental Approach
      If you have one good volunteer/prospect,
      use them to review lists of other prospects
      for you
      Ask research to look for prospects who live
      in NY but have European business
      This has been very effective in my
Prospect Research - Europe
   According to Christopher Carnie, Director
   Factary Europe & The Factary (NEDRA News,
   Winter 2000 Vol 13.2), researchers will find it
   easier if they can speak/read at least four
   languages but that some sites do translate
   into English language.
   It appears that more and more sites are
   offering an English translation.
   Included with this information is a listing of
   site useful for European prospect research.
Prospect Research – Europe
   Some pointers: has Italy,
     Russia, Spain (put other ones)
     Newspapers are your best source,
     especially European “yellow press” which
     covers society, includes biographies and
     social “who’s whos”
     Check out for society
     news in Europe (mainly UK)
Prospect Research - Asia
   Some pointers
     Learn the naming convention!
     Families are the main focus of financial
     assistance, not philanthropy
     Stigma associated with public displays of
     wealth/conspicuous consumption
     Lexis/Nexis is the most comprehensive
     source, next is Dow Jones Interactive.
     These are great starting points.
Prospect Research - Asia
   These sources work if your prospect is
   prominent enough to be mentioned in
   the news.
   International Whos Who and wealthy
   lists from Forbes, Fortune and Asia Inc
   are a great next step as is Whos Who of
   Business in Asia and Asiaweek has an
   annual list of powerful people.
Prospect Research - Asia
   If prospect is an executive at a major
   company, information will come even easier.
   Bloomberg box (check business school
   library) makes searching by name easy and
   even collects biographical information on
   Asian/foreign individuals.
   Asian Company Handbook lists company’s

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