Using Your Library Science Skills Toward A Career


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Using Library Science Skills for Prospect Research

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Using Your Library Science Skills Toward A Career

  1. 1. Using your Library Science Skills toward a Career in Fundraising…... What it's like to be a Prospect Researcher <ul><li>Susan Shebar, University Director of Development Services, LIU </li></ul><ul><li>Linda Gorney, Senior Development Researcher, LIU </li></ul>
  2. 2. What is Prospect Research? Prospect research is used by institutions, groups and programs to help fundraising efforts. It is the collection and analysis of information to identify new major gift potential or to further qualify known major gift donors with the goal to advance a major gift fund-raising program. Prospect = Prospective Donor
  3. 3. What kinds of institutions use prospect research? <ul><li>Colleges and Universities </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Profits </li></ul><ul><li>Performing Arts Theatres </li></ul><ul><li>Zoos </li></ul><ul><li>Music Festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Foundations </li></ul><ul><li>Public Libraries!!! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Position Title could be: <ul><li>Development Researcher </li></ul><ul><li>Research Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Development Associate </li></ul><ul><li>Major Gifts Associate </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Development Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Research/Records Coordinator </li></ul>
  5. 5. Typical Job Announcement: <ul><li>Job Title: Research Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Key Responsibilities: Identify potential donors and/or new alumni to target for fundraising efforts through various research methods. Obtain and analyze information on major donor prospects, trustees from current or prospective corporations, foundations and/or individuals, assess quality of donor and giving ability and forward analysis to Development Directors and Alumni relations officers to use for the creation of targeted fundraising and cultivation strategies. Write donor prospect briefings for development team. </li></ul><ul><li>Qualifications: Bachelor's degree and 1-2 years' prospect research or development and/or fundraising experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Strong analytical, written and verbal communications skills. Familiarity with word processing, spreadsheet, and database software including experience with online database such as Dun and Bradstreet, Hoover's, and Lexis-Nexis. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Salary Ranges for a Prospect Researcher: <ul><li>Based on APRA Survey Results, 2007 Results </li></ul><ul><li> % of responses in each salary range </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits continue to play a role in compensation. Prospect Researchers usually receive an attractive package of vacation, sick days, insurance, pensions and paid education. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Who are your co-workers as a prospect researcher? <ul><li>Major Gift Officers </li></ul><ul><li>Public Relations Personnel </li></ul><ul><li>Development Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Development Volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Capital Campaign Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Planned Giving Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Stewardship Coordinators </li></ul><ul><li>Special Events Staff </li></ul>
  8. 8. Position Goal: <ul><li>Prospect Researchers help development professionals in the cultivation process:   </li></ul><ul><li>      Identification </li></ul><ul><li>Qualification </li></ul><ul><li>      Cultivation </li></ul><ul><li>       Solicitation </li></ul><ul><li>       Stewardship </li></ul>
  9. 9. What does a Prospect Researcher Do? <ul><li>Perform donor and prospect research on individuals, corporations and foundations </li></ul><ul><li>Research using on-line resources, the Internet, print materials </li></ul><ul><li>Make recommendations about potential prospects based on information </li></ul><ul><li>Write profiles on fundraising donors and prospects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The profile usually contains essential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>financial and sometimes personal information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that has been gleaned from annual reports, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>journal and newspaper articles, business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>databases and government databases.  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Often prospect researchers also manage the organization’s donor databases, and </li></ul><ul><li>produce and maintain reports as needed </li></ul><ul><li>for the fundraising department.   </li></ul>
  10. 10. Qualifications Needed to become a Prospect Researcher <ul><li>Knowledge of a Microsoft Windows Environment </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to use on-line databases and the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of your organization’s mission, history, programs, goals, and philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of donor types: individuals, corporate, foundation and government </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of fund-raising research resources (can be learned on-the-job) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to synthesize information and write clear prospect reports </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding of a donor’s rights </li></ul>
  11. 11. Databases Used on a Regular Basis: <ul><li>Lexis Nexis: for news searches, property records, biographical information and business news </li></ul><ul><li> site contains direct and soft money donations to political action committees and candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Hoover’s Online: for business financial data and executive bios </li></ul><ul><li>Zabasearch: a free people search </li></ul><ul><li> a free white pages directory site, including reverse look up by telephone # </li></ul><ul><li> a free site designed for people looking to contribute to organizations </li></ul>
  12. 12. Other Fun Databases: <ul><li> : Free, Quirky site that provides interconnecting maps detailing the most powerful people on American company boards. (Established in 2004, updated annually, but probably not fully accurate at this point.) </li></ul><ul><li> : provides business financials, key statistics, and profiles for publicly traded companies </li></ul><ul><li> : designed by an independent prospect researcher, includes an exhaustive set of links and tips on how to use them </li></ul>
  13. 13. Librarian or Fundraiser? How about both?? <ul><li>The position most librarians gravitate to is prospect research.  This is the “research only” portion of the fundraising job.  It carries a lot of responsibility because you are supplying the person who has to make “the ask,” as it is called in the fundraising world, with all of the information that will make them successful.    </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Resources <ul><li> Here is a list of some of other resources you can use to educate </li></ul><ul><li>yourself about the fundraising or prospect research profession and </li></ul><ul><li>associated resources for both United States and Canada:  </li></ul><ul><li>CASE Currents – </li></ul><ul><li>Charity Village- </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>- </li></ul><ul><li>Fundsnet - </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian Centre for Philanthropy  - </li></ul><ul><li>Greater New York Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA GNY) - </li></ul><ul><li>APRA International - </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Fundraising Professionals – </li></ul>
  15. 15. Preparing for the Job Hunt   <ul><li>If you think you’d like to become a fundraiser or prospect researcher , there are a number of things you can do to prepare for the first interview (aside from becoming a member of AFP or APRA International) such as:  </li></ul><ul><li>Receive training in donor database management software such as Raisers’ Edge </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarize yourself with philanthropic terms. This following website is good for this practice - </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a sample donor profile for your portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Check out the Career Tools section of the APRA website </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for the fundraising arm of an organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice information gathering using some of the free resources available to you online such as company websites and government resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarize yourself with business resources and databases. </li></ul><ul><li>Before you approach a company, read their mission and goals, find out about major campaigns or donors and have a look at their website. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Conclusion  <ul><li>It may not be the path you envisioned when you entered library school but fundraising (and prospect research specifically) is a rewarding and challenging job that is well suited to a librarian’s skill set.  Fundraising and prospect research positions open a whole new series of doors to you as a job seeker.  </li></ul>