publication date: Aug 21, 2012
author/source: Kyla Makela
of the Canadian Donors Guide
gathered some top minds in Canadian prospect research to consider the needs of
the sector. Charters also operates CharityCAN
an online site used to search for, analyze, compare and report on charities and
funders. The goal of this gathering was to explore the world of in-depth
relationship mapping and how service providers can provide comprehensive and
integrated resources to researchers.
Historically, relationship "mapping" has consisted of
massive spreadsheets listing constituent/prospect names and their connections. This
rare meeting brought forth a consensus that organizations and their leaders are
eager for deeper insight into the degrees of separation within their affiliates
and ways to accurately present these relationships to their leadership staff.
of Queen's University
mapping methodology that won his team an award from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education
. They have used TouchGraph
, a web-based service
available through their intranet that continually updates as data changes. TouchGraph
and other services such as Prospect
can offer a variety of data mining options which will present useful
visuals and uncover hidden relationships.
With more than 17 years experience in prospect research, Jennifer Zhang
is considered an expert
in the field. Currently head of prospect research for the campaign at Sunnybrook Health
, Jennifer lectured on
prospect research at both Ryerson University and the University of Toronto.
Her comments were in step with the rest of the group: "Relationship
mapping will be a huge area of growth in the future. ...There are very limited
choices of quality commercial databases that provide such service. Fundraising
is friendraising in a sense, so identifying relationships and connections are
It will certainly be a topic for discussion and education at
the upcoming October Association of
Prospect Research for Advancement
conference. All who participated in this
conversation agree that better tools will be needed to adapt to 21st
fundraising in an increasingly interconnected world.
Charters and CharityCAN keep pushing forward to facilitate
better quality prospect research by pulling in Canada Revenue Agency
which bills itself as the world's largest donations database, Elections Canada
, Corporations Canada
and information from Canadian Who's Who
, which has over 22,000 authoritative biographies
on notable Canadians.
a postgraduate student in the Fundraising Program at Humber College and is
spending her internship as an analyst in Philanthropic Advisory Services with
Scotia Private Client Group. With over 10 years in the sector, she has worked
in several capacities including prospect research for the Nature Conservancy of
Canada and Director of Education with the South Florida Wildlife Centre.