It could seem like a troublesome task to conduct donor research because it might not be in the budget. Large organizations usually have a full-time researcher and can afford it whereas small shops cannot. Don’t despair, however, because Ann Rosenfield, executive director of The WoodGreen Foundation, gives a simple six-tip checklist for small shops in the Winter 2013 issue of Advancing Philanthropy.
1. Hire a researcher, even if just for a while: This will enable managers to focus on the technical aspects of fundraising while research crunches the numbers.
2. Pay for a research database service: This allows for quick look-ups of prospective donors recommended by the board, events, and potential board members.
3. Remember that information on foundations is free: This information is easily accessible online on such sites as http://foundationcenter.org.
4. If possible, use data analytics: This allows the organization to see how analytics work and keep track of these findings on a spreadsheet.
5. Identify new prospects: Having a researcher means being able to seek out new prospective clients who will give.
6. Don’t forget that the organization’s small size is actually a strength: The small size of is an asset in that it allows research to be done on a more personal level.