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Sooner or later, many grant seekers visit a Foundation Center Cooperating Collection to do an online prospect search. After spending an hour or less, they often leave smiling broadly, having just sent long lists of leads to their e-mail accounts. But what do they do next?


Prospect Research:

How do experienced grant seekers make sense of their sometimes lengthy lists? How do they decide which leads are worth pursuing and which ones are dead-ends? As they study each grant maker profile, they do so by posing and answering questions such as those presented here.


Descriptors Questions
Physical Location Is the foundation local?
  How near is it to the applicant?
Website Is there one?
Limitations Does the applicant fall within any one or more of them?
Type of Grantmaker Is the grant maker an independent foundation?
  Is it a family foundation?
  Is it a corporate charitable giving program?
IRS 990-PF Forms What years are available?
  What is the most current year available?
Deadline(s) Is there one or more? When is it or when are they?
Purposes/Activities Do they match the applicant’s purposes/intended activities?
Fields of Interest Does they match the applicant’s interests?
Trustees/Directors Does the applicant have a connection to any of them?
Financial Data Are the asset amounts more than $100,000?
  Is total giving more than $50,000?
Selected Grants Does the grant maker profile list any grant award selections?
  If so, for what amounts were they?
  If so, to what kinds of organizations were they made?


A later post will discuss how and why answers to these specific questions will help potential applicants to winnow the grains of strong leads from the chaff of weak ones.




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