Researching prospective donors to get more funding

For Immediate Release
Mon, 08/18/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Individuals, not government sources or foundations, are the largest source of giving in the United States. Right now there are individuals ready to become enthusiastic donors to your library. But how do you find the most likely prospective donors? “Researching Prospective Donors: Get More Funding for Your Library,” published by ALA Editions, outlines strategies for focusing your time and attention on the best donors and potential donors in your community. Susan Summerfield Hammerman, a successful prospect researcher, gives library directors, fundraisers and board members all the tools they need to research individuals and their wealth. This straight-talking guidebook:

  • describes how to identify and research prospects using existing or easy-to-find resources, including publicly available information on individuals' wealth and assets;
  • spells out what information about a prospect is most important, such as previous charitable donations, hobbies, interests and memberships in clubs or other organizations;
  • provides worksheets to document findings so the research can be used effectively for fundraising;
  • shows how to establish a confidentiality policy and securely store information on prospects;
  • includes an annotated bibliography of fundraising resources.

Hammerman is a librarian working in the field of fundraising at Northwestern University as a prospect researcher. She has a BA in history from the University of Michigan and an MLIS from Dominican University.

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