Avoid the Rabbit Hole! When to Stop SearchingHow many times have you heard a prospect research professional tell a story about how she dug just a little deeper out of curiosity and found the key piece of information that her gift officer used to make a successful solicitation? We all want to be the hero researcher who expertly identifies the right information. But the truth is that most of the profile research we do is pretty routine. And for many of us craving the excitement of a scintillating find, we spend far too much time unraveling threads of information that have no substantial benefit to our work. How do we avoid falling down the rabbit hole? First, we must recognize the rabbit hole! Only then can we make a rational decision about whether or not to fall down it. No matter what type of profile you are working on, you should be answering a question or set of questions. Top questions are frequently:
- Does this prospect have the capacity to make a major gift? In what range?
- Does this prospect have philanthropic inclination? Does she make philanthropic gifts?
- Is this prospect interested in the mission of our organization and the project(s) we need to fund
- What is the prospect’s connection to our organization?