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Databases and Prospect Research Jason Briggs Prospect Research Officer University of Sheffield, United Kingdom www.shef.ac.uk/alumni.

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Presentation on theme: "Databases and Prospect Research Jason Briggs Prospect Research Officer University of Sheffield, United Kingdom www.shef.ac.uk/alumni."— Presentation transcript:

1 Databases and Prospect Research Jason Briggs Prospect Research Officer University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

2 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Databases What is a database? Why have a database? Types of database Information to hold Sources of information Legal issues Resources

3 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications What is a database? “A structured collection of data held in computer storage; esp. one that incorporates software to make it accessible in a variety of ways” O.E.D.

4 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Why have a database? Stores masses information in one place Which in turn allows you to easily extract information e.g. mailing lists, addresses, VIP ’ s and other information Reduces paperwork Secure Automate certain functions

5 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Why have a database? But most importantly, it allows for collective memory so you are all ‘Singing from the same hymn sheet!’

6 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Spreadsheet Pros Cheap Easy to create Cons Limited in dimensions Hard to manage Difficult to share Hard to search Relational Database (Access, Oracle, SQL) Pros Easy to manage Easy to share Easy to search Runs reports Cons Can be expensive RE £13k Can be very complex Types of database

7 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Information to hold Minimum of Name Contact details (home & work) Educational qualifications Work history, including salary Donation history Interests (while at University and now) Action history (Events, mailings, , visits)

8 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Sources of information 1– Internal Sources Current Databases – in other departments Alumni Directories – graduation records Personal Knowledge

9 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Sources of information 3 – Pro-active Sources Questionnaires Website Business Cards Networks Social Media

10 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Questionnaires Cheap to produce Easy to fill in Engage your alumni Can be used at all events and with s Gather a lot of information quickly However: Need time to input Need addresses

11 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Note on Questionnaires In 2002, we sent 100,000 questionnaires 18,000 were returned with new and updated information 9,000 were returned due to incorrect addresses 25% response in some form on the first contact for 8 years! Even received several donations 43 Weeks to Update the Database!

12 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Easy to create Cheap to send Very easy for people to respond - meaning a higher response rate Can redirect them to official website However Need addresses Need resources to update your database

13 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Website Easy to set-up Provides key information to viewers Advertise events and services easily Sheffield Reunited However Keep up to date! Don’t look dated!

14 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Business Cards Easy to collect Up-to-date contact information One idea is to have a Business Card raffle at all events with a prize

15 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Networks Start where you are! Encourage a major gift mentality amongst staff – so information is shared with you Encourage alumni to tell you about other alumni Remember, some people are precious about who they know! Arrange peer meetings – bring wine!

16 Social Media Huge advantage as they do the work for you Create Alumni groups on LinkedIn and Facebook – create a sense of unity and pride! The more activity you put out the more you get back Easy to search Be careful not to believe everything! 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications

17 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Legal issues Before storing information check for any legal issues In Europe the “Data Protection Act” defines how we can store personal information Explain how you are going to store and use their information Give them “opt outs” Make sure the data is worded professionally and considerately as they can request to view what information you hold Always cite your sources of your data

18 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Resources – what you will need Database Data entry staff Researchers Database administrators All requires money!

19 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Data entry staff Data Entry is a big & time consuming task – will need help from time to time Students Cost effective Can do “odd hours” Hardworking Intelligent Appreciate why

20 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Tips on how to record information Drop down lists vs “Free text” Keep it simple and consistent Group information where you can - Actions Media clippings saved as images or documents for easy viewing Keep figures to monitor progress – New Addresses added per year etc

21 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Database screen shots With Sample Data

22 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Database screen shots With Sample Data

23 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Prospect Research Why do Prospect Research? Where to find information? Prospect Profiles Gift Capacity

24 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Why do research? To find wealthy and influential alumni Provides essential data that guides fundraising strategy – gift table Help group our alumni to manage them –senior alumni, famous, academics etc Helps provide briefings to senior staff Can save embarrassment! Overall it enhances your database and eventually your institution!

25 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Building a picture – Prospect Profiles Name Photo Address What do they do? Biography? Do they have family? What are they interested in? Who do they know at the Institution? Who is in their network? What might interest them at the Institution?

26 Building a picture 2 – Gift Capacity What motivates them philanthropically? What is their capacity to give? We estimate 1% of assets 2% of salary = 1 year gift capacity Again, always cite sources in profiles. 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications

27 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Where to look Alumni Database “Tip offs” and personal updates Simple or advanced internet searches Commercial databases Nexis (News alerts) Who’s Who & Debrett’s WealthEngine ( searchable collection making it cheaper ) Factary Phi Rich Lists Company Accounts

28 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Research Project Ideas Asses local organisations Look up successful businesses and compare names with your alumni Look up charities and their trustee or patrons Alumni Database Search on wealthy street names and postcodes in your country Search on senior job titles or salary Search on single gifts over £250 Social Media Search for those whom have graduated from your institution & in high turnover companies Create News Alerts Where your institution is mentioned

29 Notes on Research It is a slow process Patience is needed as it often results in dead ends Occasionally you’ll find a great prospect that makes it worthwhile 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications

30 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Conclusions The database underpins all the work in your office – ‘rubbish in, rubbish out!’ It is a long-term investment which requires costing and proper funding Over time it will evolve to your needs Start gathering data now! Research enriches your data and is critical in setting fundraising targets

31 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Key point: Without Maintenance! Not very useful!

32 With maintenance! 09/05/2015© The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications Useful!


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