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Connect to High Net-Worth International Prospects

Prospect Visual Success Story: How we performed a 21-day request for International Billionaires!

My name is Mark DeFilippis and I am Director of Prospect Development at The Nature Conservancy. My story begins after we had already contracted with Prospect Visual. One of our senior leadership sent me a request for a list of prospects we could gain access to, with some interest in conservation, and in a country where we currently don’t have any programs or donors. Sounds like a tough request, doesn’t it?

He needed to present the information to our Executive Team in less than 48 hours. From the tone of his email, I don’t think he really believed my team could deliver such a tall order. But we did! With Prospect Visual we delivered an actionable prospect list.

How I Used Prospect Visual to Do the (Previously) Impossible

My first step was to talk with our international researcher, Maria Estrada. When I explained the request, she was thrilled to tell me that she had proactively identified and gathered brief information on 21 billionaires in the new country with some degree of environmental interest. A surprisingly good start, but it usually takes at least a day per prospect to build a sphere of influence and find connections on each name. I didn’t have 21 days. I only had two!

The Nature Conservancy had already subscribed to Prospect Visual and around 1,300 of our board, council and trustee members had been imported. We made sure to include appropriate tags for each name so that each individual was included in one or more categories.

I didn’t have any training from Prospect Visual - there just wasn’t time. I had no idea what I was doing, but thankfully I found the user interface quite intuitive and I was able to figure out how to find the 21 new names in the global database, add them to My Contacts and assign them appropriate tags. Then I figured out how to use the Connections tab and map our volunteer categories against the new prospect category I had created.

I was surprised at the number of connections found to our closest internal connectors. I was able to identify connections between our trustee pool and 14 out of the 21 billionaire prospects – several with multiple intersections. I used the filter for connection strength in the tabular view to narrow the list and then I did additional research to confirm that the connections were real and actionable.



I prepared the memo to the Executive Team using the tabular view of the mutual connections to insert a chart of the unfiltered connections with the 14 prospects. After narrowing the list by applying the filter for connection strength, I used a screen shot of Prospect Visual’s path flow diagram to demonstrate the connections in the refined group.

Actionable Information Delivered on Time!

The research memo was delivered in time to the Executive Committee and they were genuinely pleased and surprised to receive such robust data. One of the comments specifically praised the path flow graphic.

Confident that there were legitimate, actionable prospects to support our potential new work, the Executive Team has moved forward to begin a formal exploration of expansion into the new region.

When I started on this emergency project I had no idea how I was going to accomplish the task. Even without training on the product, Prospect Visual made me look like I knew what I was doing. My team delivered the kind of strategic information The Nature Conservancy needed to make important decisions about future growth - in less than 48 hours!

Prospect Visual: Strategy Guide: Connect to High Net-Worth International Prospects

Step 1: Make sure your original import is in order

You need to have your internal connectors already imported into Prospect Visual and properly tagged. Consider importing people such as your trustees, advisory board members, closest major gift donors, and anyone else who is willing to introduce you to others. When you send your file to Prospect Visual, include the names, employer name, and up to three additional affiliations of which you are aware.

User Tip: If you need help with tags, don’t be shy about contacting your Prospect Visual representative. Tags are essential to using the product efficiently.

Step 2: Work with existing resources in your organization

Many prospect researchers conduct proactive research and have “wish lists” of donor prospects. Some gift development officers have their own donor “wish lists”. Leveraging the efforts of others will give you a jump start in finding connections to the best prospects for your organization.

Step 3: Add additional names one-at-a-time as they are identified

Key philanthropists or corporate executives might be discovered at any time. You can always search for them in the global database and add them to your My Contacts and assign the appropriate tags. Then you can map the new prospects against your directors and other internal connectors.

Step 4: Map your connections and use the filters

Once you have mapped the desired categories under the Connections tab, you can now click on the column titles in tabular view to sort by things like connection strength and connection depth. You can also use the Advanced Filters to narrow the list further.

Step 5: Once identified, verify or instruct

Although Prospect Visual connections are most often correct, they aren’t without error. If possible, before you deliver the list of names to the requestor, take the time to verify in Prospect Visual. You can hover over or click on any path for more details. You can also click on any individual to open up that person’s details record and click on the globe of any “role” to view the source document.

If you don’t have time to verify or it is otherwise not necessary, just be sure to instruct the recipient that although most often accurate, the information was not verified.

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