Researching prospective donors: Get more funding for your library

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/07/2014


Dan Freeman

eLearning Manager

ALA Publishing

ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new facilitated eCourse, Researching Prospective Donors: Get More Funding for Your Library. Susan Summerfield Hammerman will serve as the instructor for a five-week facilitated eCourse starting on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. This is a four-week course that has been extended an additional week to accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday.

In this eCourse, you will learn how to find prospective donors for your library. Individuals, not government sources or foundations, are the largest source of giving in the United States. Right now your community has individuals ready to become enthusiastic donors to your library. Susan Summerfield Hammerman, a successful prospect researcher, will provide you with the tools to research these individuals and their wealth. Using the strategies outlined in this course, your library's fundraising staff can focus their time and attention on the best donors and potential donors in your community. This eCourse will include readings from Hammerman’s new ALA Editions book "Researching Prospective Donors: Get More Funding for Your Library."

eCourse outline

Week 1

  • Define prospect research
  • Discuss the need for a confidentiality policy
  • Describe how to find biographical information for potential donors
  • Describe how to find real estate holdings for a potential donor
  • Homework: Finding real estate and biographical information (all homework will use free resources)
Week 2
  • Describe how to find salaries and net worth
  • Describe how to find compensation and stock holding for insiders at public companies
  • Describe how to identify family foundations and interpret 990 tax returns for foundations
  • Homework: Finding salaries, stock and reviewing a 990 tax return
Week 3
  • Describe how to find giving to other nonprofit institutions
  • Describe types of nonprofit and for-profit memberships and affiliations and how to find that information
  • Describe types of capacity ratings
  • Homework: Finding giving and membership information and reviewing and selecting a preferred capacity rating method
Week 4
  • How to write a research profile
  • Suggestions for how to learn more about prospect research
  • Homework: Writing a research profile
About the Instructor

Susan Summerfield 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. She is the author of "Researching Prospective Donors: Get More Funding for Your Library".

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on Monday, Nov. 3, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

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