I’m Stephanie Caudle and I am a Senior Prospect Research Technician in the Research and Constituency Development Department at Duke University. We provide full-service prospect research to support the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing. A recent college graduate, I’m new to the field and have been at Duke for less than a year. When I was tasked with finding new prospects that our Board of Visitors could invite to a prospecting event, I turned to Prospect Visual to get the job done. With no previous research experience and unfamiliar software, you can imagine how nervous I was!
I could have turned to our alumni database, but the whole point of this special, evening event was to identify people we didn’t already know and who are connected to our Board of Visitors. If this first event is successful, the plan is to replicate it in each region where a member of our Board of Visitors lives.
What learning curve?
There were three Board of Visitors members in the first region we selected. Prospect Visual was very easy to use and I quickly populated the contacts tab with the three board members. I feel very lucky to be working at Duke University where the board members are so highly connected. When I looked at each individual’s connections, one person had more than 50 connections!
I chose only the strongest connections and within 30 minutes I had a good list of prospects for each of our three board members. What I didn’t have were mailing addresses for the event invitations. I used LexisNexis for Development Professionals to find a home address. In about two hours I had narrowed the list down to ten prospects living in the area, per Board of Visitor member, which gave us 30 total new names with mailing addresses.
A business address might have been okay to mail to, but I found that sometimes an individual is affiliated with a business that is headquartered in a different town or state from where they live. I needed to be sure these new connections lived in the area where the event was going to be held.
What it’s like to be an information superhero
Being new to prospect research, it was exciting to be able to deliver the list of names and home addresses to my supervisor in such a short time. She was thrilled to get the results, but also amazed that I could gather this information with no previous experience and no training in Prospect Visual! I’m proud of the role I played in helping Duke University identify new prospects through special events with a personal connection. Now it is up to the members of our Board of Visitors to personally send invitations to the newly identified prospects. Our event is scheduled for a few weeks out and I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
Prospect Visual made it easy for a new prospect researcher like me to be an information superhero!