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Presented by: Chris Cannon, Saint Louis Zoo Cheryl Alt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University PowerPoint Presentation
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Presented by: Chris Cannon, Saint Louis Zoo Cheryl Alt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University

Presented by: Chris Cannon, Saint Louis Zoo Cheryl Alt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University

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Presented by: Chris Cannon, Saint Louis Zoo Cheryl Alt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University

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  1. The APRA MO-KAN Chapter Conference,University of Missouri - Kansas CityBasic Research: Issues and Building Blocks Presented by: Chris Cannon, Saint Louis Zoo Cheryl Alt, Ph.D., Saint Louis University October 13, 2000

  2. 1 Introduction: Big/Small; Education/“Other” • Understanding our various circumstances • The “big shop” and the “one-person shop” • Education-based organizations and other type of organizations • Other distinctions • How do our circumstances affect our research? • Role of the researcher in the organization • Resources available for research • Catalyst for research - reactive and proactive research • Amount of (electronic) “Automation” Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  3. Role of the Researcher 2 • The researcher’s role in the organization will affect basic • research issues and the building blocks you have for success. • A basic component of research is that the organization must realize • the strategic utility of information. • When research is made a part of fund development plans, resources • will follow. • The best way to ensure research is a part of the equation is to use • existing resources to assist in strategic decision making. • So, what’s out there? Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  4. 3 What’s Out There? Resources for Research There are three aspects to consider when reviewing the resources available for research: 1) What sources of information on your donors and prospects are available? 2) What materials or processes can be provided to front-line development officers to communicate this information? 3) What can the researcher do to add value to the information? The next few pages focus on the sources you can find (mostly on-line and/or for free) to learn about prospects and donors. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  5. Sources of Information 4 • There are four primary “sources” of information, all of which can • provide information that overlaps. In fact, the overlap of sources is a key component to verifying information: • Organization-specific files (constituent/prospect in-house files, including information provided by volunteers and institutional memory) • Paper Sources (Older and unique sources tend to be paper files) • On-line Web Sources (Many free sites provide excellent data) • Pay-sources and the “invisible web” Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  6. 5 Sources of Information: Organization-specific files • Your organization’s files are critical to basic research • In-house files and information tell you where to start • These files provide key links among donors and prospects • These files provide critical data for verification of your findings • These files might provide the information needed to stop researching before you’ve started Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  7. 6 Sources of Information: Paper Sources Whether in-house or at the school or public library, paper (or microfiche) files are sometimes our only hope (making our esteemed librarians our best friends). What sources are often the most useful? • Yearbooks • Alumni Directories • SEC filings (S1, DEF 14A) • Foundation directories • (Local) magazines • Relevant newspapers • Dun & Bradstreet, etc. • Who’s Who • Good ol’ phone books • Martindale-Hubble Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  8. 7 Sources of Information: On-line Web Sources There are many free sites that offer information on all manner of research subjects. Here, a few sites are noted based on the type of information they provide. Although overlap is inevitable, these sites are broken into 4 basic subjects: 1) General 2) Individual 3) Corporate 4) Foundation Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  9. 8 Sources of Information: On-line Web Sources - General • (great resource for links to nearly every component of wealth identification and prospect data verification) • (comprehensive listing of on-line resources, including many "hidden" sites that standard search engines do not scour) • (an Internet journal for how to scour the web for information) • (another useful site for links and ideas from David Lamb) • (another useful site for links and ideas from Univ. of Richmond ) • (another useful site from Northwestern.) • PRSPCT-L is the standard for prospect researchers listservs ( to subscribe) Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  10. 9 Sources of Information: On-line Web Sources - Individual Individual Information: (the AMA's doctor web site) (the site for lawyer searches) or (40 business journals) Public Information: (FEC's site for all campaign donations for federal elections); the social security death index) (number of address/phone number directories) (appraisal sites and many other public record sites) Salary and Securities: (one-stop source for corporations and the leaders) (the best, indexed site for SEC information) Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  11. 10 Sources of Information: On-line Web Sources - Corporate & Foundation Corporate Sites: corporate-sponsored web sites Foundation Sites: (the first source for foundation information, esp. larger foundations) (an indexed site for 600,000+ nonprofits) (Council on Foundations site) (good general info.) Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  12. 11 Sources of Information: On-line Web Sources - What’s Missing? When using free on-line resources, a broad, search engine query can narrow your efforts or indicate that your general search is too vague or broad to be effective. Keep in mind that search-engines do not catch everything nor do they review all pages (see next slide). A few of the more effective and popular search engines are: http://www. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  13. 12 Sources of Information: Pay Sources and the “Invisible Web” • Pay Sources are varied in cost, quality and depth of the information, means of access, etc. Some of these sites include: • • • • Additional services from P!N, Grenzebach Glier, Martz and Lundy, etc. can pare down your org’s info. to target top prospects • Gary Price ( provides the best source of links for non-indexed sites, such as census bureau info. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  14. 13 Communicating Information: • The information made available should serve to inform decision makers as strategic actions are developed. • In some cases, the catalyst for the information will be front-line officers asking for information (see SLU handout). In other cases, the researcher can use information to drive action. • The key to allowing the information at hand to positively affect the mission of your organization is developing processes for communication and professional relationships among staff and volunteers. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  15. 14 Communicating Information:Processes forPro- & Re-active Research Communication can occur in three general ways between front-line development officers and prospect researchers: 1) Front-line officers can request information and receive a report to utilize for a call or when developing strategic next steps. (Reactive) 2) Prospect researchers can provide information and ask front- line officers to consider the information in developing strategic next steps. (Proactive) 3) Front-line officers and prospect researchers can share reports indicating the outcome (and effectiveness) of their actions. (Evaluative) Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  16. 15 Communicating Information:Processes forPro- & Re-active Research • Reactive research: • Examples of processes • Examples of forms (see handouts) • Key issues to consider Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  17. 16 Communicating Information:Processes forPro- & Re-active Research • Proactive research: • Examples of processes • Success stories • Key issues to consider Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  18. 17 Communicating Information:Processes forPro- & Re-active Research • Evaluating Results: • Examples of processes • Success stories • Key issues to consider Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  19. 18 Communicating Information:Processes forPro- & Re-active Research • In all three cases, some sort of standardization of the communication is key; all parties should know what to expect out of the three “types” of communication. In general: • Information requests (and reactive research) should include all known information (or the location of the information), the level of detail and completion date expected. (All should be within the orginzation’s standards.) • Proactive research should include the relevance of the info. and a proposed next step. • Evaluative reports should be consistent and provide accurate info. that can be acted upon by all parties involved. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  20. 19 Communicating Information:Standardize, Automate and Manage • Information on donors and prospects should be kept in either a paper file or a database: • Information should be stored in a standardized fashion. • If possible, seek ways of automating information gathering and information sharing. • Be certain to update information when necessary, provide information when appropriate and manage data effectively. Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN

  21. 20 Basic Research Issues:Role, Resources, Research, Reports & You • The role of prospect research is to provide information for strategic fund development. Information “informs” action. • Many resources are available; information, though, becomes valuable only after relevance and strategic utility are attached to the information. • Communication is imperative and is best fostered through processes for pro- and re-active research and reporting on results. • Remember the value you can add to the fund development process! Alt & Cannon - APRA MO-KAN