By Jessica Szadziewicz, Prospect Information Analyst, Northwestern University
Our second salon of the year is around the corner. We had a great discussion at our first salon, and hope to do the same again in Evanston on Wednesday, August 26th.
The topic of our second salon will focus on interactions between prospect researchers and gift officers, specifically reactions to research not found and misleading or incorrect information. Jen Filla has mentioned these topics in her blog, so we will be discussing two of her 2012 blog posts to get the discussion going. Both posts are accessible through the salon event description on the APRA-IL website. The first post from May 8, 2012, “Are You Making These 5 Donor Research Mistakes?” addresses finding accurate information about donors and five pitfalls researchers need to be aware of. The second post from May 29, 2012, “How Safe Are You at Your Donor Prospect Meetings?” discusses further research pitfalls, and communication with frontline fundraisers and gift officers. This post specifically focuses on on-line research and interactions with both the donor and the gift officer. It also mentions some great advice on exploring the motive for the gift officer’s visit and research request.
Again, these posts are simply to act as starting points for a larger discussion. Some additional questions to consider for the salon may concern your individual interactions with gift officers and their reactions to your research. Have you ever done extensive research on a prospect, only to realize the gift officer really wanted something completely different? Has a gift officer ever insisted on finding private information, such as an exact salary? Have you found seemingly reliable information on a prospect, only to later realize it was not completely accurate? What steps did you take to remedy the situation? How do you avoid making these mistakes in the future? The possible questions and scenarios are endless!
We will be discussing these questions and more at our next salon. Again, please feel free to bring any additional reading materials or questions.
We hope to see you at 6:00pm on Wednesday, August 26th at Panera at 1700 Sherman in Evanston, Illinois.