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Prospect Research

Prospect Research Rationale


The Prospect Research function for a comprehensive institutional advancement program identifies individuals, corporations, and foundations that have a philosophical rationale for becoming involved in the life of the college and who have the potential to make large gifts.  This process specifies the most effective way to cultivate and solicit major gifts from these sources, while also identifying a significant pool of potential volunteers, future board members, and "friends of the college."


The research function is based on the premise that a prospective donor is likely to contribute if the college demonstrates that, through its strengths, it offers a capacity to address opportunities the prospect considers worthwhile.  Donors want to feel they are investing in something they care about-something that offers a return on their investment.  An effective research component is based on this marketing perspective.


Prospect Research Services


  • Assessment and review of the current prospect list
  • Organization, training, and mentoring of a board prospect listing and evaluation committee
  • Determination of research criteria for both foundations and individuals
  • Training on all aspects of the web-based prospect research tool
  • Organization of a board retreat to review the committee’s findings and utilization of results
  • Offsite assistance with preparation of the list and submission of the list to the web-based prospect research tool
  • Ongoing consultation to prepare the prospect list and assist the board prospect listing and evaluation committee in the correct research principles


Prospect Research Outcomes


  • By implementing the prospect research program, the college can expect to significantly enhance the development and success of its institutional advancement program by:
  • Establishment of an ongoing effective prospect research program to evaluate alumni, past donors, past employees, community and business leaders, and others on their potential for giving to the college
  • Establishment of a board prospect listing and evaluation committee to continue evaluation in an effort to move the prospect into the cultivation cycle and, ultimately, into an opportunity for major gifts to the college
  • A review and match of up to 1,000 names with multiple data sources to determine wealth, assets, charitable giving, and board affiliations using the web-based prospect research tool
  • Maintenance and updates of a searchable electronic database file of detailed profiles and prospect “ratings”
  • Where available, research of information on a prospect's "circle of friends" that can lead to new prospects and new prospect information
For additional information on the prospect research service, please send inquiries via email to Amy Pollock, Associate Vice-President of Programs and Services:


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