• Deborah L. Drucker

    I’ve been a prospect researcher for more than 10 years and, to my knowledge, LexisNexis does not do wealth screening. They do batch screening for public records information (address, phone, etc.), which is a different animal. (I could be wrong on this, but I don’t think so.)

    Another good wealth screening option: Donorscape, by Grenzenbach Glier.

    An excellent foundation research tool is FoundationSearch by Metasoft.

    A caveat on wealth screening: The information that is returned by wealth screening services must be validated, so there is still a good deal of manual work involved (how difficult this is will depend on the specifics of your prospect pool, i.e., how unique your names/addresses are, and how clean your data is.) One of the principal advantages of batch wealth screening is the ability to rank your donors/prospects, so you know which ones to focus on first. Wealth screening will also turn up prospects that you did not know had wealth capacity.

  • Susan Ruderman

    Good basic introduction to prospect research. One clarification: the author writes “Much of this information can be found for free in public records like tax documents, property values, board affiliations, and publicly held stock portfolios. ” Individual tax returns (e.g., Form 1040) are not public information and are not used in prospect research. Also, the threshold for disclosure of stockholdings in public companies is high, so the 0,01% of Microsoft’s outstanding stock that your prospect Jane Doe owns is not going to be disclosed unless she is also a director or top officer at Microsoft. Knowing what you can’t get via prospect research (whether performed by an individual human researcher or by a computer match algorithm) is just as important as knowing what is possible. Finally, for those who want to delve further into prospect research (and learn more about the ethical standards for the profession), a good place to start is the professional association APRA at http://www.aprahome.org/ .

  • Rebecca

    Great article! Just FYI- your link to Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, appears to not be working. Were you trying to go here: http://mediaimpactfunders.org/ ?

  • Jim Wrenn, IT Works Inc. CEO

    Hi Kyle – thanks for assembling this informative post about the basics of grant and prospect research. You share valuable insight about what it takes to be effective in this important effort.

    In terms of tools to manage the grants cycle, MS Excel or Google Drive can certainly work for smaller nonprofits embarking upon a few grant projects. However, for organizations that find themselves researching and applying for numerous grant funds on an annual basis, a more strategic approach is most effective. As a best practice, these organizations are wise to employ comprehensive grant tracking solutions for pre- and post-award management. Such tools are designed for pre- and post-award management at institutions with a significant number of proposals, grants or research projects.

    See http://www.itworks-inc.com/solutions/grant-management-software-solutions/ as an example.

    Thanks again for the informative article!

  • This article helped my research game