Researching Prospective Donors: Get More Funding for Your Library

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Reviews

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. But how do you find the most likely prospective donors? 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

Using the strategies outlined in this valuable book, your library's fundraising staff can focus their time and attention on the best donors and potential donors in your community.



  1. Prospect Research Process
  2. The Confidentiality Policy
  3. Biographical Information
  4. Real Estate
  5. Finding Salaries and Net Worth
  6. Stock Holdings and Compensation for Prospects at Public Companies
  7. Family Foundations
  8. Giving to Other Nonprofits and Political Donations
  9. Memberships and Affiliations in Clubs and Other Organizations
  10. Capacity Ratings
  11. The Research Profile

Appendix- Online Resources and Annotated Bibliography


Susan Summerfield Hammerman

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.

"Hammerman expertly offers practice exercises, specific examples, case studies, and templates for funding policies. She gives detailed instructions on ethically seeking appropriate types and sources of research data to begin building contacts. Some of the approaches may not readily occur to fund raisers, making this title enlightening in its comprehensive coverage of funding possibilities."
— Catholic Library World

"Should be considered mandatory reading by library boards, library staff, and 'Friends of the Library' group members."
—Midwest Book Review