How to Prospect Research

Looking for training in researching prospective donors as part of prospect development? Helen Brown of the Helen Brown Group has several leads in her posting Expanding Your Prospect Research Horizons (Oct 27) that includes websites, the APRA association, and books.

Of particular interest to Canadians she notes a new book, Prospect Research in Canada.

Most excitingly, our cousins up North have just released a brand new book called Prospect Research in Canada! Edited by Tracey Church and Liz Rejman, two leaders (and forces of nature!) in our field, the book features expert authors taking a soup-to-nuts overview of fundraising research with a special focus on – but not limiting themselves solely to – Canada.

Business Research – resources

Business research expert, Karen Blakeman, has released a new presentation – Business Information; key resources and search strategies [Edited] (Mar 9) This is mainly directed to researchers dealing with the United Kingdom but it has many points and resources of interest to anyone researching business information, markets, and statistics. For example, Karen provides advanced search techniques to use at Google.

Twitter for Research

Excellent advice to researchers (though with particular attention to prospect research) on exploiting Twitter for leads, answers, news, updates. Helen Brown and Rachel Dakarian discuss in their podcast the value and best use of Twitter.  Includes tips and tools. Essential.

The hidden river, Helen Brown, The Helen Brown Group (Feb 25)

Value of Twitter:

But there is an underground river of information and genuinely informed commentary that runs through the channels of Twitter, where questions and debates are led by some of the brightest minds in our industry.

Podcast on use, practices, techniques for establishing presence, creating lists for topics, running searches, engaging with others, networking.

So we decided to create a podcast to talk about what you’re missing. We’ll talk you through the most important points of joining in, share etiquette tips, useful books, great curation tools, and give you pointers for who to start following. If you’re on the fence, or if you really aren’t sure how or why to get started, give us a few minutes of your time to talk you through our experience.



Millie from Northern Light

BestBizNewsletter from BestBizWeb for January 2016 featured a service from Northern Light. I haven’t seen mention of this firm that once offered a leading search engine for eons. Northern Light still provides market intelligence and  industry information to its clients.

Millie – – is free.

This site curates and aggregates substantive industry news from around the Web and provides a powerful search and filtering interface to sort, refine, and analyze search results. Industries covered include agribusiness, chemicals, financial services, food & beverage, healthcare, IT and life sciences.

Business research learning resource

Recommended by BestBizWeb – Business Resource Videos at Ohio University. Robert Berkman wrote, “These short but highly informative videos are great, as they provide hands- on and practical search strategies for popular fee based professional business databases ranging from Bizminer to LexisNexis to Euromonitor and more, and are produced by one of the most knowledgeable business librarians we know.”

Subscribe to Berkman’s excellent montly e-newsletter at BestBizWweb for more

Resource list for researchers

The Helen Brown Group has constructed a page of Expert omnibus research sources: 10 of the best (Sept 24). These serve a variety of research interests – people, businesses, finance, philanthropy. A master list of resources picked by experts and practitioners is always an excellent starting point and reference. However, not all will be absolutely uptodate. For example, the Aspire Research Group’s collection still includes Google Reader. Pick and choose as you can to develop your own list.

New from Mary Ellen Bates

Searchers will be interested in the two new slideshows Mary Ellen Bates has posted at SlideShare in advance of sessions Web Search University in September 2015. Excellent.

Social Media Gains Respectability – primer on the value, how to use, how to search, and how to protect privacy.

Competitive Intelligence for non CIers – what it is, how to do it. Has strategies and tools.

Best Biz Web Newsletter and Site

There were more good items in the Best Biz Web Newsletter this month. This newsletter is available for free but you must have a subscription. If you have any interest in business resources, sign up now at Best of the Business Web. When you visit, check the blog – Thinking Out Loud – for thoughtful postings by Robert Berkman on the research process.

Of interest to me in the June newsletter were:

CORE – Connecting Repositories — aggregates open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide. CORE provides “services for different stakeholders including academics and researchers, repository managers, funders and developers”.

Lies, Damn Lies and Viral Content at TOW Center for Digital Journalism that describes and links to a report by Craig Silverman on “How News Websites Spread (and Debunk) Online Rumors, Unverified Claims and Misinformation.” Beware the viral story.

Journalists today have an imperative—and an opportunity—to sift through the mass of content being created and shared in order to separate true from false, and to help the truth to spread. This report includes a set of specific and, where possible, data driven recommendations for how this anti-viral viral strategy can be executed.


Donors and Prospect Research

BestBizWeb Newsletter for January 2015 has a gem of a find for the how-to of prospect research  in Donor ID Techniques.

Purpose is described as “A collection of documents and advisories on sources and strategies for finding donors and other individuals who could contribute to non-profits, universities, and other institutions that need to identify prospects and donors.”