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Uncovering a Pot of Gold in Prospect Research

Top o’ the mornin’ and Happy St. Patty’s day to you! This week, our research guru, Meghan Jamison, shares a quick prospect research Ah-Ha! Tip that might help lead you to your next unexpected pot of gold. We’re always excited to share her expertise and learning with you.

Savvy philanthropists are fantastic! They tend to be the most passionate advocates for an organization. However, they don’t always donate from their personal checking account, making the hunt for the source of funds a bit difficult. Understanding where donations come from can give you more insight into your donor’s capacity, connections, and philanthropic philosophy.

So, if you’re struggling to find one of these elusive treasure-troves, try perusing the donor check archives. You may find that luck isn’t just for the Irish…

Tip: Check copies of donor’s checks to see if the money was given from a family fund, a trust or a donor advised fund. The check may even list a company name or charitable giving committee. (BONUS TIP: The check may contain their significant others’ name, too!)

Once you have the name of the source, you can search to find additional information. Even if you come up empty-handed, you’ll know the trust or committee exists and will be able to arm your Major Gifts Officer with this handy bit o’ intel.

Do you have any other nuggets of research wisdom? I’d love to hear them!

p.s. Our specialty is helping our clients build successful major gift initiatives. Check out more about our prospect research services here.


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