I’ve worked with many organizations who’ve raised tens of thousands by hosting a Prospect Research Session.
The truth is that almost all small businesses, people and organizations have corporate sponsorship prospects, but only some truly know how to identify and approach those corporate prospects in ways that are not intrusive and mutually beneficial. Consider inviting your vendors, stakeholders, and VIP customers to a prospect research session to uncover the relationships that exist between your business and the corporations to which they are connected. Once you have your prospects identified, create strategies to engage those prospects.
Ask your stakeholders, colleagues and supporters to come together for one hour and bring:
Their personal and business contact lists: holiday cards, address books, client and colleague lists, etc.
Connections on their social media networks (Linkedin followed by Facebook help you find the strongest partners
Vendors they use personally (i.e.: banks, legal firms, office supplies, accounting, etc.
Directories of organizations to which they belong: boards fraternities and sororities, chambers of commerce, service groups, country clubs, etc.
Tips For Hosting A Productive Session
Use flip chart paper to capture the information given during the “rapid fire” nature of these sessions.
Let everyone know that the session is a confidential exercise, and that the information they share will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and sensitivity.
Starting with the “obvious prospect list” you created, talk about each prospect individually and ask if anyone in the room has connections. Ask participants to dig deep … you never know who knows someone who knows someone!
After the session
Agree upon the next steps of the process at the meeting and reiterate the expectation that participants will connect you to the prospects they identified during the session.
Did You Get It Yet?