It All Begins With Prospect Research
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work for a children's medical center. It was an honor to work for such a caring and thoughtful organization. My boss said that, as vice president for development, I was hired to teach him and others how development works. He was extremely supportive and engaged, which is critical to success in this business.
As I finalized my first reorganizational plan, I had the opportunity to create a new full-time position. While many in my position would run out and immediately hire a talented "sales" person to seek annual, major or planned gifts, I immediately hired the heartbeat of any development program — the director of research and prospect management.
That resulted in the organization completing the first two successful capital campaigns in its history, plus developing the processes that enabled it to generate greater donors, gifts, dollars, volunteers, etc., each fiscal year during my tenure at that organization.
Why focus on the research position? Many in resource development do not understand the complex process of integrating prospects, priorities and data, and the discipline needed to generate sustainable and accountable ongoing metrics. Research-focused organizations identify key corporations, foundations, individuals, associations and organizations capable of making contributions. Through prospect research, public information is provided so each development officer can enhance his or her chances of success.
Having information is but a first step on the road to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospect portfolios. Armed with new data, it's up to the development officer to secure volunteers and work with board members and others verifying information leading to successful strategies and gifts.
Prospect research also can identify data that shows how many times a donor has made a gift, for what purpose and of what size. The number of gifts and amount given can be helpful variables in determining the next step of seeking larger gifts. It's always about relationships and having the right person ask for the right amount at the right time.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.