Digging deeper into potential and existing donors’ giving interests and history just became easier with Giftsearch, discovers Greg Johnson.

Prospect and donor research is set to take a step forward in Australia, with Fundraising Research & Consulting (FR&C) launching a major new database of philanthropic gifts called Giftsearch. The searchable database is home to information on over 70,000 donations – worth over $ 1 billion – which can be utilised to build prospect lists or even research your existing donors.

“We wanted to create a service which would make that research process much faster and more efficient for fundraisers, and also to create a databank on giving in Australia,” explains FR&C’s Charlotte Grimshaw.

Compiled from donations disclosed in the public domain, the service is an Australian version of the United Kingdom’s Factary Phi. Giftsearch records include a link back to the original website, annual report or article from which the information was sourced, and around 8,000 new records are being added each month.

Detailing donors’ giving

Records in the Giftsearch database include key information such as: the names of both the donor and recipient organisation, its cause, the organisation’s post code, value of the donation (where available) and year the donation was recorded. It allows users to export up to 500 records at any one time in CSV format.

“Using Giftsearch to identify donations by a particular donor or to a particular sector or organisation can save users hours that they would otherwise spend on the web looking for that information,” says Grimshaw.

The service allows you to identify donors to a specific nonprofit, cause or within a certain geographical area. It can also be used to identify other philanthropic interests of your existing donors – which could align with another program area at your organisation – or to discover who your competitors are and the size of the gifts they are achieving before you make a new approach.

Time saving to focus on fundraising

Giftsearch has already had a positive impact at the University of Western Australia, according to its manager of prospect research Anneke Burlinson. Instead of visiting Google, an organisation’s website and finally its annual report to see if a constituent has made a philanthropic gift, Burlinson and her team now head straight to Giftsearch.

“We’ve minimised our research effort in searching for this piece of information and have been granted that extra luxury to concentrate more on our analysis and profile report,” says Burlinson. 

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