News & Insight
7th June 2023
A guide to prospect research
Kerry Rock, Chief Executive at Prospecting for Gold, spoke to our team to share her insight on major gifts focused prospect research. Prospecting for Gold has the UK’s largest prospect database; the organisation helps clients with prospect research that meets data protection requirements. Kerry’s insights are summarised below.
The purpose of prospect research
Prospect research can help you identify prospects that have the capacity to give, establish potential donors’ natural interest in your cause, determine their proximity to your charity, as well as whether they are established in philanthropy.
What prospect research can help with
Carrying out prospect research can help you figure out whether you have a potential for major gifts, as well as determine whether you have the prospects to meet your table of gifts. In-depth prospect research will enable you to really understand who is on your pipeline and what your potential ask should be.
Prospect research and data protection
When carrying out prospect research or wealth screening, transparency is key. You should consider undertaking a Legitimate Interest Assessment and document Legitimate Interest where it can be relied upon for specific activities. You can ensure provision of fair processing information via Privacy Notices and should always notify supporters of your updated privacy notices.
Where to access data
There are a number of publicly accessible data sources to support your research, these include:
- Public Registers – such as Companies House Data, the Electoral Commission (for political donations), Electoral Roll (Open Register), FCA (Financial Services Register), The Law Society, Land Registry.
- Trade and Industry References – Professional directories, the Charities Commission website.
- UK Reference Volumes – such as Who’s Who, Debrett’s People of Today, Debrett’s Peerage, City of London Livery Company information, Trustfunding.org.uk.
- Print and Broadcast Media – newspapers (The Telegraph, The Times and Sunday Times, City AM), magazines, rich lists (e.g. The Sunday Times Rich List).
- Internet – general google searches are a good place to start, company websites, online-only articles and social media (justgiving.com, linkedin.com).
If you’re keen to discuss your fundraising needs, get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org