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.
One of our CharityCAN subscribers is a researcher at a major Ontario arts organization, and earlier this spring she was given a task by her team’s gift officers: find ways to personally connect with current patrons that did not yet have an established relationship with the organization.
As she put it, “As is true for many not-for-profit organizations, our fundraising efforts can only be successful when we develop strong and respectful relationships with our donors.” Armed with a list of almost 175 prospects prepared by her gift officers, she set out to find people associated with her organization who could be liaisons to these prospective donors and encourage the building of relationships with them.
Her first task was to identify the members of the organization’s board and senate, plus a few other advocates – minus any inactive or deceased board members – and then create prospect profiles for those advocates and the list of prospects within CharityCAN.
“It took a couple of days to create the prospect profiles” she said, “but it was worth the work [to ensure] that all possible connections for each of our organization and patron contacts were explored.” She also noted that “creating the prospect profiles also helped to clarify which contacts actually had viable connections to explore.”
"It's a huge help knowing which board/senate members are connected to these prospects"
Once the profiles were created, she used CharityCAN’s relationship path search to find connections between patrons and organization contacts. In total, she was able to find 150 direct connections to 64 patrons and over 7,000 indirect connections to 102 patrons, and then create the final reports for her team using the data exported directly from CharityCAN. In the end, that’s direct connections to over one third of the prospects put forward by the gift officers. If you remove the 50 American prospects that aren’t in our relationship mapping data, the success rate goes up to 50%!
While she noted that “this is not a project that’s designed to provide ‘instant’ results … the information I provided has been received with optimism.” She also shared that one of her gift officers mentioned that “it’s a huge help knowing which board/senate members are connected to these prospects.” Since they will be tracking the success rate of the project over time, it will be interesting to watch how these new relationships develop.
Now that she has the relationship and profile information she needs in CharityCAN, she also said she’s started including connections found using the relationship path search function in a dedicated section of the profile reports she prepares for new prospects.
It’s great to learn firsthand how an organization is using relationship mapping to help their fundraising efforts. If you’d like to take a look at some of our relationship mapping tools, contact us for a free trial!
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:
Charity Analyst Reports
Corporate Prospect Profiles
Thomson Reuters Compensation Data
ZoomInfo Business Info and Contacts
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.
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 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 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.
Relationship mapping is a visual representation of connections among individual items. Most often relationship maps are used to show how people and organizations are connected, but they can be used to represent connections amongst almost anything. Family trees and workplace organizational charts are examples of relationship maps most of us are familiar with.
Relationship mapping is useful because it allows the mapper to not only visualize connections, but to realize and utilize connections. A person looking at his extended family tree is able to visualize his connection to his third-cousin, realize how he connected to his third cousin , and utilize family members they share connections with to get in touch with her. A manager looking at her company’s organizational chart is able to visualize her connection to an employee in another office, realize how she is connected to the employee, and utilize those connections to solve a work-flow problem.
How can it be applied to philanthropic prospect research?
Relationship mapping has a strong application in philanthropic research. In a world where the maxim ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ approaches a truism, understanding and using relationships is essential.
Mapping the relationships of a major donor, board member, or friend of the organization provides valuable fundraising intelligence. Depending on the types of relationship you decide to map, you can answer the following questions:
Who are my subject’s immediate family members? (family map)
Who in this network sits on the board of a family foundation? (philanthropic board map)
Who is my subject’s strongest professional acquaintance? (employment/corporate board map)
Has anyone in this network made a $100,000+ gift? (donation history map)
Connecting to donors
Connecting with potential donors is another useful way relationship mapping can be applied to philanthropic research. Picture a scenario where two organizations are both researching a company they feel would make a great sponsor. Organization 1 uses relationship mapping and learns that one of their former board members currently serves on a unrelated board with a VP at the company. Organization 2 has a similar connection, but doesn’t map relationships so is unaware of the connection. All other things equal, Organization 1 has an advantage over Organization 2 in the pursuit of this sponsorship.
Relationship mapping is a simple concept most of us are familiar with in some capacity. Applying relationship mapping to philanthropic research can yield serious benefits. Relationship mapping allows philanthropic researchers to visualize, realize, and utilize connections for the benefit of their organization.
Here at CharityCAN we know how important relationships are to fundraising. Donors want to be connected to your mission and your organization. Strong relationships can make all the difference, and prospect research can help to find and cultivate those relationships. That’s the reason we’re so excited to announce our newest feature: custom relationship maps.
While board positions are easy to find and verify, they only barely scratch the surface of how a person might be connected to another person or organization: what about that major donor who isn’t on your board but you know has been a long-time supporter? What about your prospect’s business partner, or their law school classmate? We haven’t been able to fully tap into a prospect’s inner circle until now.
Creating a relationship map
Now on any saved prospect profile, you’ll find a Custom Graph tab that will let you build a new, completely customized relationship map from the ground up.
Starting with your prospect, you can add relationships to any organization or person in CharityCAN, along with the strength of that relationship.
Then you can add connections to those connections, and on, and on, and on! We’ll suggest connections based on relationships that are already in our database, or you can strike out on your own, creating completely new ones.
The best part of these maps is that any new relationships you add to a custom map are instantly available for you in our relationship path search and our other relationship maps so you can make use of all your hard work.
We’ve also worked hard to ensure that your data is only your data. Any new relationships you create in a custom graph are visible only inside your organization, including any new paths created for your relationship path searches.
We hope that you find this new feature as exciting and powerful as we do. If you’d like a quick demonstration or if you have any questions, please get in touch!