Generalist Research Training

Learn to support the fundraising office with research

Do you provide general support for the fundraising office? Do you get tasked to “research that?” Wish you could add some key research skills to your fundraising best practices toolkit?

This on-demand course teaches you how to identify good prospects, perform profile research, and track prospects using prospect management techniques. It’s based on the techniques I have used providing prospect research to organizations for more than ten years. A lot has changed over the years and in this course I share with you how I’ve given the fundraisers I work with an information edge.

Imagine the next time you get asked to pull a list of people from the database for an event and you suggest different report criteria that results in double the amount of sponsorships? How awesome would that be? Well, that really happened to one of our participants!

You have the intelligence to research – you just need to help pulling it all together.

You won’t regret adding prospect research skills to your resume, either. Prospect research skills are in hot demand, whether you are a fundraising generalist or seeking a prospect research career. In 2017 and now into 2018, hundreds of job postings have been flooding association list-servs – both brand new positions and to fill vacancies as skilled researchers are lured into leadership positions.

(Registration is open, but course first launches on April 2, 2018)

You Will Learn

In this course you will…

  • Find information in five distinct areas that are relevant for fundraising.
  • Create your own prospect profile.
  • Practice key internet search engine techniques.
  • Discern between reliable and unreliable information sources.
  • Practice an analytical, methodical approach to prospect identification.
  • Use ratings and other criteria to identify the best prospects for your organization.
  • Apply fundamental prospect management techniques to your organization.

At the Institute, our instructors have been providing prospect research to organizations of all types and sizes for decades. Let us share our secrets for fast and effective prospect research with you.

Please note that this course is designed for a fundraising generalist who performs many different fundraising tasks in addition to prospect research, especially a generalist in a fundraising office with a small staff. This course is NOT designed for researchers with years of experience.

You Will Also Receive

In addition to the course content, you will also receive these great resources:

  • 40+ page workbook summarizing the course content and including:
    • Clear explanation of the donor gift cycle and the most common donor motivations and interests
    • How to apply an analytical approach to solving fundraising problems with research
    • Search engine search tips plus a Google advanced search tip sheet
    • How to leverage wealth screenings and ratings for prospecting
    • List of top resources in the prospect research field
    • Glossary with more than 40 terms defined!
  • Online Research Links Directories of the best free and fee sources
  • Worksheets, samples, and templates you can adapt and use in your office
  • Participants who successfully complete the course receive a digital badge to showcase their new skills, and which can be highlighted on sites such as LinkedIn
  • Membership in the free Resource Collections online community, including forums and new content added monthly

BONUS:  Following the completion of this course you are automatically enrolled for one free year in the Early Career Club (, a private, online community for prospect research professionals building their careers. ($420 value)

Length and Format of the Course

Course Duration You have access to the course materials and private instructor feedback for six months. There is no registration deadline. Your six months begins after your course enrollment key is delivered.
Interaction Interacting with your instructor and peers is an important part of learning. This course provides the following opportunities for interaction:

  • Instructor Feedback: When you submit your homework, the instructor provides written feedback. The goal is for you to demonstrate your new skills, so you can re-submit homework at any time.
  • Live Online Meetings: On the third Tuesday of every month from 1-2pm ET, the instructor hosts a live video meeting where you can ask questions and meet your fellow participants.
  • Discussion Forums: Course registration includes unlimited membership in the Resource Collections online community where there are multiple discussion forums. Instructors monitor the forums to ensure all questions are answered.
  • User Profiles: You are encouraged to update your user profile to include how you would prefer to connect with others. You can access a course participant list at any time during the course.
Content and Format There are four modules of content as follows:

  1.  Research in Fundraising
  2.  Prospect Profile Research
  3.  Prospect Identification
  4.  Prospect Management Fundamentals

Each content module includes short videos (15 or fewer minutes) that cover a knowledge concept or step-by-step instruction. Video content is paired with homework activities to reinforce new knowledge or practice new skills.

As much as possible, homework provides you with the option to work on your own organization’s data and prospects.* The workbook chapters correspond to the modules and in addition to summarizing course content, provide additional information.

Time Requirements You should expect to spend anywhere from 2 to 5 hours per week on course materials and homework. A calendar with a suggested timeline for course activities is provided in MS Word format so that you can customize it to create your own timeline.
Prerequisites To be successful in this course, participants should…

  • Have access to and know how to navigate and edit the organization’s donor database.
  • Be able to navigate internet resources and demonstrate persistence in using new and changing websites.
  • Have proficiency in MS Word and MS Excel.
  • Possess excellent reading, writing and summarization skills.
What is Available After the Course?
  • After six months you will no longer have access to the course classroom.
  •  You keep the printed workbook delivered to you in the mail.
  • Documents and other files are available for download when you are in the classroom.
  •  Videos are not available for download, including any recorded meetings.
  • Discussion forums are available during and after the course.
  • All resources in the Resource Collections are available during and after the course.

*All instructors sign a Confidentiality and NonDisclosure Agreement and agree to abide by the ethical guidelines of Apra (Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement) and AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals).

About the Instructor

I’m Jennifer Filla, a Prospect Researcher and Fundraiser at Aspire Research Group LLC and co-author of Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook, part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series. As a consultant I have worked with a lot of small and large organizations that needed to build internal fundraising capacity with prospect research.

I have also been a member of AFP and Apra for more than ten years, speaking and presenting at AFP and Apra meetings and conferences. The demand for clear instruction that can be applied immediately at the fundraising office led me to launch the Prospect Research Institute.

This Generalist Research Training is the next step the Institute is taking to help organizations succeed in their fundraising goals by leveraging professional prospect research techniques.

I’m excited to learn with you over the next six months!

Read more about Jen.

Registration Fees (In U.S. Dollars)

$650 Introductory Offer (Registration is open, but course first launches on April 2, 2018)

Take advantage of this amazingly low introductory price for the launch of this new training!

Course Benefit Summary

  • 6 months of access to on-demand training
  • 40+ page workbook
  • Four modules of content with video tutorials and practice homework, including capstone projects to demonstrate skill proficiency
  • Personal instructor feedback
  • Live monthly meetings
  • Unlimited membership in the Resource Collections, including discussion forums
  • One year free membership in the Early Career Club ($420 value)
  • Digital badge to showcase prospect research skill acquisition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *