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Prospecting For The Endgame: Week 2

We pick up with our Prospect Research hero in Week 2 of Prospecting for the Endgame.
Prospecting for the Endgame: Week 2
Last week’s blog adventure explored a moves management pipeline for the characters of the Marvel Universe. As a prospect researcher, you initially need to determine your research goals (like the type of giving you want) and who is your prospect pool. This week, let’s continue our prospect research journey by honing our knowledge and confront the reality of what some of that information means.

Fill in the Blanks
Sometimes you don’t know all the information about your prospects so you have to make an educated guess to fill in some blanks. Nebula didn’t get to choose a university to attend but being raised by Thanos and enhanced with all sort of technology, I decided she’d probably have at least the equivalent of a Masters. Vision is an android who was recently created, but I think his consciousness is Boomer or early Gen X equivalent. Groot acts like a teenager even though he’s a potentially ageless tree-creature.  

Eventually, like any researcher, I had to move onto another project and move forward with what information I had and start rating my prospects.

What resources do you use to bring together data? What steps do you take to verify that information?  

What Support am I Seeking?
The assets themselves also presented a problem. Even though I didn’t have a specific funding project in mind, I still decided I needed to work with a reasonable Gift Acceptance Policy in mind. I’m a pretty good guy, but if Thor decides to give me his hammer, I’m probably not worthy of lifting it. I can handle an annuity or a gift of real estate, but even an organization that handles vehicle donations all the time is going to have a problem with someone donating a spaceship or magical artifact.

I’ve received some wild gifts in my time and even stranger offers of gifts that I couldn’t accept. Does your organization have an acceptance policy? What kind of odd gift offers have come your way? How do you appreciate the idea of the gift, but gently decline the offer without offending?

Join us Next Week…
Like Thanos and Tony Stark, we have realized knowledge can be a curse. Gathering the data and considering how it can help your organization are only the first steps. We can’t see fourteen-million six-hundred and five alternate futures like Doctor Strange, so we have to prioritize the steps we take. See you next week on the continuing saga of our prospect research hero.

While you are waiting, check out some other episodes, I mean workshops, such as the OBP: Marketing - Personas class where you learn to group similar types of supporters.

If you Missed an Exciting Episode…
Here are the links to every edition of Prospecting for the Endgame!

Prospecting for the Endgame: Week 7

Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 6
Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 5
Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 4
Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 3
Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 2
Prospecting for The Endgame: Week 1

Posted by Matt Connell on Mar 20, 2019 11:00 AM America/New_York

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Thanks for including links that were not just another commercial for a "training class."  I appreciate the information on creating a gift policy.  We currently have one in our office, but are always looking for ways to improve.
I also like the analogy of prospecting with a little Marvel fun in the mix.  
  • Posted Tue 26 Mar 2019 11:18 AM EDT
The white paper linked to was really interesting, it's given me some food for thought!
  • Posted Wed 27 Mar 2019 08:53 AM EDT
Great Article! My organization does have a gift acceptance policy. The strangest gift offer I've heard of was at another organization and someone wanted to donate their pet, which was not solicited, neither was the organization a pet organization.
  • Posted Wed 24 Apr 2019 01:11 PM EDT
As far as resources consulted during a research project, I start with our database, then move onto Lexis Nexis,, FEC site, general googling, LinkedIn, other social media outlets, ResearchPoint, county property tax sites, and depending on the rabbit holes I go down, a bunch of other resources, mostly online. Once I did reach out to a local reference librarian for an old (40+ years) obituary to learn more about a former board member of our organization - super helpful!
  • Posted Thu 15 Aug 2019 11:05 AM EDT