The working relationship between researchers and gift officers can make or break a shop’s morale, efficiency, and ability to reach its goals! Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to match yourself with major gift officers based on strengths and working style capability instead of random assignments? In this month of love, APRA-IL is having some fun and imagining a world where we could pick our perfect research and gift officer match. In an ode to all the popular reality match making shows, we present to you- a new series, Match Makers: The Prospect Development Edition.
The Prospect Development Addition
Host: And we are back everyone! Welcome to another episode of Match Makers: The Prospect Development Edition. Let’s also welcome back our researchers Xavier, Veronica and Melissa, and our major gift officer Jared. I hope you all are ready for today’s challenge because it will be enticing.
For this challenge, the researcher’s will show us their ability to verify the information gathered from a gift officer. We call this challenge,
True or False: A Family’s Inheritance
Jared has very important information about a prospect’s mother. The prospect: Gabrielle Hunter is now assumed to inherit a significant amount of wealth, in addition to her current career and status.
It is up to the researchers to verify this information, and report their findings to Jared.
Will our researchers uncover the truth about this mysterious inheritance?
Or will there be more to learn about this family?
Stay tuned folks, this is going to get interesting.
*End of the Day *
Host: Let’s hear from our researchers and find out what they’ve found.
Xavier: So, I spoke with Jared this morning and learned that Gabrielle Hunter’s mother supposedly owned several properties in her home state of Illinois, and several farms in Iowa, where she lived with her husband for some years. The Hunters are an interesting family and have always been rumored to be an affluent family, with a name tied to wealth thanks to several Hunters being very successful in rural real estate, in the late 60s.
I began to search for the Hunter name in Illinois, and thanks to Jared, I also was familiar with the towns in which their properties were located so I knew resources to use to access property records related to ownership and taxes. After searching for an hour, I found nothing beyond property values of these rural properties to help inform me of their wealth beyond real estate. I was able to find a few properties but only one or two were being held by the family. Being able to confirm that the family holds at least one of these homes does give me some idea of their capacity but the lack of clarity on their ownership of the other properties makes it hard to give a complete assessment of their holdings. Based on the difficulty of my search, I can confirm that this family has taken great steps to shield their wealth using LLC’s and other strategies. I found an old interview with the Chicago Tribune in which Gabrielle Hunter’s father describes an interest in being an angel investor to several real estate companies in the country, and would not reveal the ones he was in talks with. While this explains the hard to find personal information, it still gives us something to work with since he has disclosed that he has enough capital to be an angel investor.
I brought this information to Jared and explained the significance of an angel investor- someone described to be an investor to small start-ups, and entrepreneurs, and to meet the Securities Exchange Commission's (SEC) standards, an angel investor is one who must have a minimum net worth of $1 million and an annual income of $200,000.
And based on the Hunters’ anonymity, as a researcher I could only conclude that their wealth has been based on the residuals from these investments.
Host: This is amazing, I was not expecting this! Melissa, what were you able to find?
Melissa: I could not find any signs of property under the Hunter name, and search tools such as Lexis Nexis, only gave me old addresses. But what I did find was a large gift made to a hospital in Illinois under our prospect’s mother’s nickname. Although we already know her nickname is Shelly, I still had to verify that it was really her because she was acknowledged as simply “our most devoted volunteer Shelly”. Michelle Hunter, Gabrielle’s mother, is known to speak highly of this hospital in public settings and her previous gift officer has noted her volunteering experience.
I think this information should be a great indicator of the Hunter family’s capacity, and perhaps what Gabrielle could inherit from her parents, being the only child.
Host: Great work Melissa, I would like to remind our audience- It’s important to emphasis that your fundraisers are keeping their interactions with prospects in the database up to date, and recording all the details. A good contact report can sometimes be the only trace of a previous relationship or strategy and could make or break future solicitations. It truly helps the researchers. So, shout out to that previous gift officer who entered their contacts!
Now onto Veronica.
Veronica: After getting all the information about the prospect’s potential inheritance, I started searching for the properties and farms, and came up with not much to work with. I unfortunately spent hours using all the resources available to us, and still found very little. I did find that although Gabrielle’s mother didn’t own properties, Gabrielle has two a summer homes in Florida and recently bought a condominium in New York. Thanks to some interactions with her previous gift officer I verified her comments on wanting to own homes in those states as factual. I think Gabrielle has major gift capacity, and although we hear things about her family, she is building her own reputation!
Host: Wow, I’m sure Jared appreciates learning this news about Gabrielle, thank you Veronica!
Jared, its time now, the audience and I are dying to know what you thought about the researcher’s feedback and who won this challenge?
Jared: Well honestly, I am shocked at what they uncovered. Each one of them gave me so much to work with and I will be setting up a meeting with Gabrielle to talk about a gift, using all the information learned today. Today, I will not be crowning one person the winner because they all did an exceptional job with the information I gave them. I think they made sure they brought something I could use and add to my strategy and I am grateful. Thank you researchers!
Host: *In shock* Folks I think Jared just changed the show on us. This was not planned! Are you saying we don’t have a winner today Jared?
Jared: Nope, I’m sorry they all won this one!
Host: Well there you have it folks! Today everyone is a winner. Thank you all for joining us for another amazing episode! This challenge was full of twists and turns!
Make sure to join us next time on Match Makers: The Prospect Development Edition. At the end, there will only be one match.