Prospect Visual Success Story: How I turned my intern into a relationship-making machine!
My name is Pamela Smith and I am Director of Advancement Services at Nebraska Wesleyan University. I’ve been in my position for about a year. Prior to my arrival, the University had done a great job of focusing on student families and legacy families. What we didn’t have was much in the way of business and organizational affiliations to help us connect with lapsed and lost alumni.
We don’t have prospect research staff so we make the best use of the interns we are able to employ. We hired a sharp student in his senior year and set him to work on how we could use Prospect Visual to leverage the relationships of our volunteer leadership and to add more business and organizational affiliations to our database.
A Great Project for Our Intern and for Our Department
The intern started by locating the individuals in Prospect Visual’s global database. He was able to find business and other affiliations, which we added to our donor database. By examining the relationship networks of our volunteer leadership he was also able to help us find and engage with lost and lapsed alumni.
For example, a connection to one of our graduates was found through a mutual board membership. An additional prospect was also found who is now being cultivated as a friend of the University. We have been using Prospect Visual as an additional source of information for every prospect we research and have created a pool of more than 350 names in Prospect Visual. These names are all categorized by assigning various descriptive tags, such as “governor”, “alumni executive council”, or “class 1987”.
Now that our intern has gotten us started and given us some training, we are ready to start using Prospect Visual in new ways. For example, we would like to get more methodical and begin mapping different categories against each other in Prospect Visual. We also want to begin taking specific categories and identifying giving interests based on nonprofit affiliations so that we can segment our database by interests as well.
We Re-Connected with Our Prospects and Our Intern Got Great Experience
In a small office such as ours, searching manually for connections is not a realistic option. Using our intern to get us started in Prospect Visual not only helped us identify new prospects and reach out to lost and lapsed alumni, but our intern had a great lesson in working inside a new database, applying filters, identifying data that would fit into the University database and presenting the results in various formats including tables, visual maps and in a senior class presentation.
We are truly excited about the opportunities that await us as we begin unlocking more of Prospect Visual’s potential!