Using Biographical Data in Philanthropic Prospect Research

Donation records can tell you a person’s affinity for a cause. Salary records and real estate values are useful in gauging a person’s capacity to give. But to really get to know your prospect you need to look at biographical data. Biographical data tells us about a person’s experiences and interests. It helps answer questions such us:

  • What are this person’s academic interests and qualifications?
  • How has this person’s careeer progressed?
  • What are his or her recreational interests?

CharityCAN has a wealth of biographical data ranging from press releases to academic qualifications. Biographical data sources in CharityCAN include:

  • Thomson Reuters corporate biographies and academic qualifications
  • ZoomInfo press releases and web refrences
  • Canadian Who’s Who biographies

Here is a short video walkthrough showing you how to access CharityCAN’s biographical datasets:

Edit Biographical Data in CharityCAN

Check out this video: https://share.vidyard.com/watch/VaxKDmfrZCHViQnnQMC7sA?

Relationship Mapping – Using Intermediary Connections

Relationship mapping has become an integral part of philanthropic prospect research. Relationship mapping can show you how to connect with a prospect, the connections of a board member or major donor, and the different ways your organization is connected to another organization. 

Most of the time when we map relationships we are looking to realize, or visualize, a certain connection. Perhaps you want to see how your board connects to the board of Barrick Gold or maybe you want a list of corporate boards a new board members sit on. In both cases we know the beginning and the end of the relationship chain we are trying to map.  

This type of relationship mapping is incredibly useful and this utility is the main reason relationship mapping is such a big component of CharityCAN. That said, you are leaving potentially important information on the table if you are only concerned with getting from point A to point B.

Consider the Relationship Path search below:

In this search, we are looking for connections Headwaters Health Care Foundation has to Enbridge Inc. There are 14 total connections and the strongest one is Ron Hay to Al Monaco. This is a big win: Headwaters has a connection to the CEO of Enbridge (Al Monaco) through a past board member (Ron Hay). If we were prospect researchers looking into the viability of Enbridge (or Al Monaco) as a major gift prospect our relationship mapping exercise has been an unqualified success. That said, there is something we may be overlooking here: Blake Goldring, the intermediary in the Headwaters-Enbridge connection. 

Let’s take a closer look:

When we expand Blake Goldring’s organization list we can see he is quite active on both philanthropic and corporate boards. He’s connected to organizations including WWF Canada, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Sunnybrook, AGF and Acuity. On first glance, Blake Goldring appears to be an interesting prospect – as a major gift prospect himself or as a link to the companies he’s associated with. Let’s dig a little deeper to see if our fledgling assumptions about our intermediary connection hold true. 

When we look at the donation records CharityCAN has on file for Blake Goldring, we see over 300 gifts to a wide variety of causes, including a number of six and seven figure gifts. When we look at the donation records CharityCAN has on file for AGF (Blake Goldring is the CEO and Chairman of the Board), we see over 400 gifts to a wide variety of causes, including a number of six and seven figure gifts with a decided tilt towards healthcare and hospital giving. 

While the original intent of this relationship mapping exercise was to explore connections between Headwaters and Enbridge, we would be remiss to not acknowledge the value surfaced when we explored Blake Goldring, the intermediary connection in our original search. Blake Goldring is a legitimate major gift prospect. The companies he is associated with are legitimate donation/sponsorship prospects. Paying attention to the intermediary connection in our search has been a good use of time.  

As more fundraising organizations engage in relationship mapping, the ones that pay attention to the entire map, not just the point A to point B journey, will be the ones that come out ahead.



Using the Integrated Search to Research a Charity or a Company

The Organization Integrated search is the best way to use CharityCAN to conduct prospect research on a granting foundation and companies. In this guide we will walk you through how to most effectively use the Organization Integrated Search for prospect research. We will discuss:

  • Searches
  • Donation Records
  • Charity Analyst Reports
  • Corporate Prospect Profiles
  • Thomson Reuters Compensation Data
  • ZoomInfo Business Info and Contacts

Searches

To conduct an Organization Integrated Search, select Integrated Search from the left menu under Prospect Research Tools and then select the organization tab. Next, type the name of the organization you are researching (you can filter by city, province, and country, if desired) and press search.

Your search results will be comprised of data from five data sets:  donation records, charities, companies, Thomson Reuters, and ZoomInfo. Let’s start by discussing donation records.

Donation Records

The donation records displayed here are the same records you would see if you did a donation record search for the organization’s name. CharityCAN’s donation record database contains around 14 million donation records, pulled from both T3010s (for charity to charity gifts) and announcements, annual reports, and other published documents (for individual and corporate gifts).

If you are in a hurry and want to quickly determine if the organization you are researching is a viable prospect, this is the best place to look. Look at the dollar ranges and types of the gifts. Do a good number of them match your current goals? Look at who is receiving the gifts and their location. Are they a similar organization in a similar location?

Charity Analyst Reports

If you are researching a granting foundation and need to go beyond a simple donation record analysis, select the Charities tab and open the Charity Analyst Report. From here you can review the foundation’s contact information, financial and board information, and most importantly, giving history. Under the Gifts tab, the default view shows you all years of giving history. You can use the dropdown menu to select a specific year. The dynamic gift visualization graphs will automatically update.

Corporate Prospect Profiles

If you are researching a publicly traded company (or one of the 3000 or so larger companies we profile), select the Companies tab and open the Corporate Prospect Profile. From here you can review contact information (including FullContact social media contact info), industry classification codes, financial information, current officers and employee information, and donation records.

Thomson Reuters   

Thomson Reuters Compensation Data allows you to see disclosed compensation information for certain people at public companies. Clicking on a name will give a bio of the person and compensation data (if required to be disclosed) broken down into salary, bonus, long term compensation, and stock options.

ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is a directory of business data including contact information, biographical information, revenue and staffing levels, and press releases. It is a very useful dataset for learning about your prospect, whether it is a person, granting foundation, or a company. ZoomInfo revenue levels and press releases are particularly useful when prospecting small and medium size companies.

The Organization Integrated search makes it easy to pull and review all of the information CharityCAN has on your granting foundation or corporate prospect with a single search. This search can be especially useful when you are prospecting a company that has a charitable arm such as Telus, Canadian Tire or RBC. Much like the Prospect Integrated Search, the Organization Integrated Search is designed to make prospect research easier, faster, and more effective.