Collecting Data from the Web – Is it legal?

Over the past few weeks we’ve noticed a lot of chatter about the legality of scrubbing the web for data. This issue has been shrouded in too much ambiguity and confusion, so we thought it was about time to clear everything up – at least when it comes to how our team works.

What is web scraping?

Web scraping is the process of gathering data from websites, usually via a program that emulates the human behavior of finding information on the web. It’s useful because it helps translate a lot of unstructured data that’s available on the web into useful information that can be stored and/or analyzed.

Here’s why we’re all a little confused

We exist in the age of social media and, as a result, more and more people are choosing to make information about themselves available on social media platforms. These platforms – e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook etc. – typically require you to register and log in before accessing the data they contain. Their data is restricted, and logging in to export data from these platforms is usually a violation of their terms of service.

So far so simple.

The confusion tends to arise when you consider that, in some cases, certain social media profiles are in fact available via search engines – whether you’re logged into the platform in question or not. This is when people become – understandably – concerned that the data, despite its visibility, is also restricted.

Here’s how we can clear things up

When we first began developing our profile service, we knew the public web represented a vast resource of data that could prove invaluable to our customers. We also knew to effectively use that resource we had to fully understand all the issues involved in gathering the data. So we put together a team to conduct extensive research into all the nitty gritty details so we could become fully educated on the issues at hand.

And, here’s why you don’t have to worry

The services we provide have been developed considering every detail that our team discovered. We’ve worked very hard to ensure our methods are 100% legitimate by focusing entirely on the “public web.”

So what does that mean exactly? When we say we pull information from the “public web” we mean the part of the web which is indexed and made available via search engines – the data that is readily available without registering for or logging into any websites. In the specific case of our profile service, we are referring to the data individual users of social media platforms have actively chosen to make public.

This choice makes the entire issue wholly transparent. When a user chooses to make their profile public, they are deciding not to restrict their data to the platform they are using, choosing instead to share it with the wider web via search engines.

Once the data is made public in this way, we have the right to gather it without ever approaching any legal “gray areas” – thus ensuring you can use our services without any concerns at all.

 

University of Tampa Gets 10M$ Gift from Howard and Patricia Jenkins

University of Tampa has received one of the largest gifts in the school’s history from Howard and Patricia Jenkins. In honor of the donation, there will be a residence hall named after the Jenkins couple at the University of Tampa. The 11-story West Kennedy Hall, which was completed in August 2013 and houses 528 students will be re-named the Jenkins Hall.

The Donors

Howard Jenkins, serves on the executive committee of University of Tampa’s Board of trustees and chairs the board’s planning committee. Mr. Jenkins also serves as the Chairman and President of Jenkins Clinic, Inc.  He started his career with Publix Super Markets in 1966 and served as its CEO since 2001.

Patricia Jenkins founded Apollo Environmental Inc. ,which specializes in hazardous materials consulting and analysis, expert witness testimony and regulatory compliance.

Howard and Patricia Jenkins have made some significant impacts on so many cultural and educational areas in Tampa Bay, and University of Tampa is pleased to welcome the couple to the UT community according to the university president Ronald L. Vaughn.

The Relationships 

For insight into the relationships which may have been the catalyst behind the gift, see this connections report from Prospect Visual to see who may have acted as an influencer for UT.

University of Tampa and Jenkins

Michigan State University gets $25m from Billionaire Couple

Eli and Edythe Broad of the eponymous College of Business at Michigan State University surprised and delighted students and officials alike last weekend with the announcement of a $25 million “challenge donation” to kickstart a $1.5 billion fundraising goal which the institution hopes to achieve by the end of 2018.

Eli Broad is the architect of two Fortune 500 companies – KB Home and SunAmerica – and is a long time friend of the school. His connection with the institution is obvious in the name of the Business school and confirmed by the relationship report below, provided by Prospect Visual.

Broad - MSU

Proof yet again that an organization’s largest donors tend to be those who have strong relationships with them.

If you’re interested in finding out which prospective donors are most likely to become your donors, use relationship mapping to investigate which ones have strong connections to your institution. Contact the Prospect Visual team for a free demo to find out more.

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100% accurate Alumni Append for Educational Institutions from Prospect Visual

“We’ve been working very closely with educational institutions on relationship mapping projects for a long time and, as a result, we appreciate how important alumni employment data is to their fundraising efforts. As more and more people put their information online, we have found ourselves in a unique position to help universities and other educational institutions by using our proprietary data-gathering software to scrub the web for that information.

“We estimate that we can deliver profiles on 35-50% of an institution’s entire alumni database, and we guarantee both 100% accuracy and a high match rate. Most importantly – because we understand how important it is to have the most current information – our service also includes quarterly updates to highlight any changes that have taken place after the initial delivery of the data.”

Tatia Zuloaga, Director of Sales & Marketing via www.prospectvisual.com

 

DOWNLOAD A FREE SAMPLE FILE OF YOUR OWN ALUMNI

If you’d like to make an inquiry about our Append / Alumni Profiling service or would like to download a free sample file of your own alumni please use the form below to make your request.

 

University of Redlands gets $35m from former Board Members

During Homecoming celebrations this Saturday,  it was announced that the University of Redlands has created a scholarship program with the help of a $35 million donation from Richard Hunsaker and his wife Virginia.

The scholarship will be named the Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship Fund and will benefit future students of College of Arts and Sciences.

The Hunsakers are very important donors for the University of Redlands. Both are former students at the school who graduated in 1952 and both have previously served on the school’s Board of Trustees. As a result both will have relationships with high-level constituents at the school.

This connections report from Prospect Visual shows the links between Richard Hunsaker and the university’s existing and past board members – and gives us a clue as to why the Hunsakers continue to enjoy a close relationship with their alma mater.

Redlands - Hunsaker

Why businessman Les Muma gave $25m to University of South Florida

Over the weekend it was announced that Tampa based businessman and philanthropist Les Muma and his wife Pam, were to donate $25 million to the University of South Florida.

The gift is the largest individual gift in the school’s history and as a result the College of Business will be renamed as the USF Muma College of Business with immediate effect. .

Why did the Muma’s donate?

When looking into the reasons behind the couple’s incredible generosity towards USF, we were unsurprised to find that they had very strong links to the school.

Les Muma is an alumnus who graduated in 1966 and he and his wife have a past history of making donations to the school and are in fact (as a result of this most recent donation) the largest donors in the institution’s history. Les has even served as the the chart of the USF Foundation’s Board of Directors in the past.

With such strong connections to the school, it’s no wonder the Muma’s would choose USF to be a beneficiary of their charitable giving.

What USF did next…

USF have been quick to show their gratitude – recognizing the need to continue to nurture their relationships with their largest donors.

In a statement released by the University, USF Foundation CEO Joel Momberg said “Pam and Les Muma have a deep and real passion for the University of South Florida, its students and its faculty. This transformative gift for the USF College of Business exemplifies this, and in naming the Muma College of Business, we forever recognize this legacy of support.”

Please click here if you wish to view the official press release.

The Wilson Family & their connections to Duke University

A few days ago we posted an article about the relationship between the University of Tennessee and the Haslam family. A connection which has resulted in a series of generous donations for the school.

Today we wanted to take a look at Duke University and their relationship to the Wilson family. Below is a relationship report generated by Prospect Visual revealing the connections between the school and Gary L Wilson.

wilson&duke

The report shows many strong connections – and no wonder.  The Wilsons have a long history with Duke. Gary Wilson, a running back on the football team for two championship years, was a ’62 graduate of Trinity college. Derek Wilson earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Duke in 1986 and an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business in 1990. Derek’s mother, Susan Moody Wilson, also graduated from the Woman’s College at Duke in 1962. His daughter, Trinity, is currently a student there too.

How has the relationship benefitted Duke?

If you’re a regular reader you already know that we believe that relationships can be a powerful philanthropic catalyst. So we weren’t surprised to discover that Duke’s strong links to the Wilson family has been extremely beneficial to the school.

This year alone, the Wilson family has committed a $3 million to Duke University. Previously Derek Wilson and his wife Christen have donated two works of art to the Nasher Museum and contributed to the purchase of three others. Wilson is also a founding board member of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The family donated $5 million in 1996 to fund the construction of The Wilson Recreation Center and last year.

That Duke understands the importance of maintaining their links with the Wilsons is evident in the fact that they have not hesitated to honor the family by putting their name on the projects that have supported. In fact a gate at the newly renovated Wallace Wade Stadium is due to be named for the Wilson family in honor of Gary’s $2 million gift to Duke Athletics last year.

What does this mean for your organization?

All of the above reiterates the importance of cultivating and maintaining relationships with high-capacity donors. It can be a mammoth task – especially if you’re not exactly sure about your institutions connections.

That’s where a relationship mapping product such as Prospect Visual can help, allowing you to identify relationships quickly and accurately and ensuring that you are aware of the prospects who are within your reach and the relationships that can help you engage them.

If you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch right now.

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Cornell Receives $50 Million From Billionaire David Einhorn

Cornell University has received a $50 million gift from a trust established by David Einhorn for its new Engaged Cornell initiative.  The initiative is aimed at getting Cornell students to “become active citizens and to tackle critical challenges by participating in hands-on, practical learning experiences in communities at home and around the world,” the university explained in a statement.

Donor Bio 

Einhorn, an American hedge fund manager, who grew up in Wisconsin and graduated from Cornell University, is now the Chairman of Greenlight Capital. By getting Einhorn on board, Cornell hopes to attract other donors and raise another $150 million for the new initiative.

Relationship Report 

The report below, generated by Prospect Visual, gives us a glimpse into some of the relationships that exist between Einhorn and Cornell and gives us some insight into the reasons why the billionaire chose Cornell to be the beneficiary of his gift.

Cornell and Einhorn

$50m gift from Jim Haslam shows UT is maintaining links with Haslam Family

Last week it was announced that the University of Tennessee trustees were to vote on renaming the business school to James A. Haslam II College of Business after a $50 million gift from the aforementioned Jim Haslam.

The Relationships between UT & the Haslam Family

Haslam and his family have donated to UT in the past – in fact, UT’s business school campus was overhauled with the aid of a prior gift from the Haslam family and already bears their name as does the school’s new music building and practice fields. This clearly shows that the school enjoys a good relationship with the Haslams.

Further evidence of connections between UT and Jim Haslam in particular can be found in this relationship report from Prospect Visual – it shows that he has several Board-level connections with constituents at UT. And if you’re a regular reader you know that strong relationships with donors can often result in substantial gifts.

Haslam - UT

UT believes that Relationships Matter

UT understands the importance of maintaining strong links with one of Tennessee’s most prominent families. Renaming various schools, campuses and buildings is their way of publicly declaring their appreciation and gratitude.

Is your institution doing all it can to reinforce the relationships with your biggest donors?

College of William & Mary Gets $3 Million Gift from Henry C. Wolf and his wife

Earlier this week it was announced that the College of William and Mary were to receive a $3 million gift from former rector and student, Henry C. Wolfe and his wife, Dixie.

According to a release from the college, the gift will be in aid of establishing the 1779 Scholars Fund for students at Law school and will also go towards funding the Wolf Gallery of the History of the College of William & Mary, a section at the Museum of Art which will explore the history of the institution.

A connections report from Prospect Visual reveals the relationships that helped act as a catalyst for the donation.

HCW - CWM

As ever it seems that alumni with close ties to existing constituents represents the most fertile pool of prospects for Universities and Colleges.