Lots of Prospect Information Is Out There -
Find It!

Did you know you could use Zillow.com to research the real estate holdings of your prospects? After I read this article from SocialFish, it occurred to me how many different research tools are out there for fundraisers, some you’d never even consider using for this purpose. In my opinion, this article should really be titled “4 Ways Open Online Databases Can Make You a More Effective Fundraiser.”

Today it’s a requirement that you cover your bases when meeting with, or approaching a prospect for the first time. According to the article…

Via social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and so on, your fundraisers can uncover highly useful information about a donor’s professional and social networks.”

But that’s just a start. There are charitable giving databases, and as you may have noticed, more and more often guest lists for fundraisers are being managed using online tools (such as Evite) that enable you to see who has been invited and/or who is coming. The transparency and openness of the Internet is changing the face of fundraising for the better. The article sums it up beautifully: “Asking for donations can be a tightrope walk; learning your donors’ preferences makes it a relative cakewalk.”

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