"Am I Done Yet?"
Nancy Ellis Taylor
Associate Director of Development Research
University of Southern California
I. Before You Dive in, Deal with the Big Questions
A. "Why am I here?"
And the Rearsearcher answer is: "To locate the prospects 3Cs: Connection to my organization, Caringfor my
organization and Capacity to give to my organization."
B. "Has anyone ever done this before?"
And the Researcher answer is: "To avoid duplication of effort and better plan research, I always review
in-house databases and hardcopy files before hitting the Web."
C. "What AM I doing?"
And the Researcher answer is: "Answering a specific research question and planning my work accordingly."
II. Dive! Dive! Dive! or Methodology! Methodology! Methodology!
1. Quick Request: Level 1
Ex.: an address look up or a copy of the most report or a quick real estate list
Key: no analysis involved
Purpose: find a fact fast
2. Research Brief: Level
Ex.: research just stock, real estate & previous giving or pull together a brief bio
Key: some analysis involved
Purpose: initial identification of prospect potential or quick update for a meeting
See also: WealthID form below
3. Find Everything!: Level
Ex.: Find Everything!
Key: requires analysis and correlation of a wide variety of sources
Purpose: background for making the "mega gift" ask or background for a personal meeting the
president of your organization will have
See also: Super Profile form below
B. Define a Methodology #2: Learn specific strategies
1. The WealthID: http://www.usc.edu/dept/source/WealthID.html
2. Researching Private Companies: http://www.usc.edu/dept/source/Private.htm
3. Finding Stock: http://www.usc.edu/dept/source/basicstock.htm
C. Use Standard Forms
1. The WealthID Form
2. The Super Profile Form
D. Organize Your Resources
1. NETSource: http://www.usc.edu/dept/source/
2. Development Research Power Tools: http://www.usc.edu/dept/source/DevResTool.htm
E. Promote Reasonable Expections: "With a $300K budget,
3 months and no ethics, I could find that!"
(quote from Nancy ET in facetcious mode)
1. Professional Ethics: No hacking allowed!
2. Available Resources: Sometimes
you have to pay
ex. Lexis-Nexis (full-text database): http://www.nexis.com/research
3. Time Expectations: There
may be a library visit in your future
Special Bonus: Time Saving Tips
a. Go in with a plan (see above)
Look for "One-Stop Shopping"
ex. Hoover's Online: http://www.hoovers.com/
Save 3 hours!
c. 5-Minute Rule
Corollary: The 3-click rule
d.. Search Engine Strategy: Go last. Go Google.
e. Dragon Drops: The joys of the block move
f. Email a page: An immediate gratification report!
Updates & Alerts
ex. Yahoo!Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/
III. Your Final Answer: Learn to Let Go
Reminder: Don't worry about writing down all the URLs in this
This presentaion is linked to NETSource, which is available for free on the Web.
Bookmark it today!