Research Training

Episcopal entities seeking reliable information about potential prospects for any level of fundraising, including annual pledges, special appeals and capital campaigns, can tap into our Prospect Research offering.   As part of our outreach, we provide a comprehensive, three-step service and training program for congregations and organizations that do not have a prospect researcher on staff.  We offer a unique approach to prospect research training for non-researchers, with a special focus for Episcopal dioceses, congregations, and related organizations. 

Our basic prospect training program consists of two separate three-hour sessions, for a full day’s training.  We plan to roll this out regionally as well as in New York City.  Depending on your need, experience and interests, you can take both or either one.

The morning session covers the following: How to conduct an initial review and analysis of donor lists, or the development database, if it exists; ethical guidelines to follow when handling donor information; leveraging personal and anecdotal knowledge that already exists within the congregation or organization; making the decision whether or not to send the list for wealth and philanthropic screening; how to prepare information for screening and how to choose a company that conducts screenings.  Finally, the session provides information on selecting individuals from the lists or, if you have already conducted a wealth screening, from the screening results, for further research.

The afternoon session provides an introduction to basic prospect research on those individuals you have selected, using free resources.  This should give development officers or key volunteers the tools to either cultivate individuals for medium-level gifts or start to solicit individuals capable of larger gifts.

A separate advanced, full-day training covers how to conduct next-step research using low-cost sources.  We will also discuss how to partner with the Development Office’s professional prospect research staff for expert research on selected, high-potential major gift prospects.