University Development Offices Reveal 'Must Have' Prospect Research Technology

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On the heels of that research, Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, has released a study entitled Prospect Research: Technology and Vendor Evaluation, which identifies the most widely used and top-rated products across five categories for prospect research.

Boston, MA (PRWeb) April 25, 2007 – Eduventures’ Higher Education Survey on Leadership, Innovation, and Technology revealed that fundraising is one of the most urgent objectives for universities, and it is a major focus for technology investment over the next two years.

On the heels of that research, Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry, has released a study entitled Prospect Research: Technology and Vendor Evaluation, which identifies the most widely used and top-rated products across five categories for prospect research:

•    Information services: Lexis/Nexis and Hoovers

•    Prospect-management databases: SunGard Higher Education Advance and Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge

•    Wealth-screening services: P!N Electronic Screening and WealthTracker

•    Data-mining tools: Microsoft Excel

•    Predictive-modeling vendors: P!N Electronic Screening and Blackbaud Analytics

“Increasingly, fundraising development officers are moving away from person-to-person information sharing, in favor of accessing prospect research information online and/or through an intranet,” says Jennifer Zaslow, senior analyst for Eduventures. “The goal of this research is to identify the products that peers consider essential and effective so universities can make the proper considerations prior to making significant investments.”

According to the study, one-third of prospect research departments have a system in place for routine reporting between offices, such as the registrar’s or alumni offices. A trend toward constituent relationship management (CRM) software is developing, however, among universities. CRM is a set of specialized products and processes designed to mine, manage, and service relationships with current and prospective donors. This infrastructure provides universities with a better understanding of constituent behavior, improving long-term growth and profitability.

“The majority of prospect research departments are concentrating on alumni communication and contributions, although most universities surveyed lack a reporting system between departments,” says Zaslow. “A self-service model – comprised of databases and reporting tools that development officers can directly access – frees officers to access prospect information without relying on other staff members and creates efficiencies in operations.”

Eduventures’ report, Prospect Research: Technology and Vendor Evaluation, is the result of a survey of nearly 40 higher education institutions from across the United States. It was designed to identify which products, services, and tools universities use, and how effective these tools are in supporting development officers. The research is a product of Eduventures’ Development Learning Collaborative, a member-based research program designed to help college and university leadership and its development departments address critical strategic and operational challenges.

About Eduventures

For more than a decade, Eduventures has been the most trusted name in the education market for research, consulting services, and peer networking. Its clients include senior administrators and executives from leading educational institutions and companies serving K-12, higher education, and corporate learning markets, as well as decision-makers in government agencies and the investment community. For more information, visit http://www.eduventures.com.

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