Don’t just go proactive. Get faster and better, too!

Do you struggle to source new prospects? Do you spend endless hours, but still feel like you are swimming aimlessly in a sea of data? Wish there was a tried and true method? There is!

This course will teach you an approach for qualifying individual, corporate, or foundation prospects sourced inside or outside the database by focusing on key criteria to create a scoring system. Learn how to communicate with the requestor at every stage of the project and how to manage your time effectively to ensure the highest return on investment in the project.

This course teaches you how to methodically find, and quickly qualify, new prospects. It’s based on the techniques I developed to routinely and efficiently find good prospect leads for all types of nonprofit organizations. The demand to reach outside your constituency to find transformational donors or donors for special programs is on the rise. Regardless of the project specifics, you need a method that works every time!

Imagine the next time you receive a request to find donor prospects for a special project. What if you could communicate professionally with the requestor, deliver high-quality prospects on time, and keep the feedback loop open? You’d be a trusted professional, that’s what!

You have the research skills – you just need an approach you can rely upon every time to deliver stellar results.

As a prospect research consultant using this technique, my team and I have delivered prospects to organizations inside and outside the U.S. and they have gone on to successfully cultivate and solicit enough prospects to meet fundraising goals.

Yes, you can leverage software tools, but tools can’t replace your insight into fundraising and information sources. Prospect research professionals who add analytical rigor to their work have a well-defined edge in the employment market!

On-Demand Course Registration

Gain access to this on-demand course for one year and work at your own pace.

This On-Demand Course Series is included in the Research Focused Membership Level.

Upgrade to Membership for More

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You Will Learn

In this course you will…

In this course you will…

  • Practice communication skills for defining the request and soliciting feedback.
  • Create a manual scoring model to help you quickly work through large lists in Excel.
  • Leverage your knowledge of public information to source prospect lists.
  • Research and qualify prospects.
  • Manage your time effectively with tips and tricks.
  • Get savvy about delivering a final product that your internal customer wants.


I have been finding and researching new prospects for more than ten years and for all types and sizes of organizations. Let me share my secrets for fast and effective prospecting with you.

Please note: This course is designed to teach you a manual method for sorting through lists of potential donors. This course is NOT designed to teach you how to find information on prospects or to teach data analytics or statistical modeling.

Length and Format

Course Content and Participation

While you can consume the course in any way you like…

  • Modules: There are multiple modules of content for this course – check out the curriculum below.
  • Time: You might spend anywhere from 15 to 25 hours per module.
  • Format: Content includes reading, short videos, homework (with feedback), and quizzes.
  • Live Meetings: Your membership comes with two live, online video meetings per month; a Master Class and a Live Office Hour
  • Discussion: As a member, you can join the Slack discussion channels.


Prerequisites for Success

To be successful in this course, you should…

  • Be able to navigate internet resources and demonstrate persistence in using new and changing websites.
  • Have proficiency in MS Word and MS Excel.
  • Possess good reading, writing, and summarization skills.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Welcome to the course!
    • Syllabus
    • How To Earn Your Digital Badge
    • Zoom Online Meeting Login + Instructions
    • Get Started Using Slack to Send Messages
    • Data Protection and Privacy **must read**
  • 2
    Module #1 | Introduction
    • READ | Introduction to Prospecting
    • VIDEO | Introduction to Prospecting
    • RESOURCE | Prospecting for Women
    • RESOURCE | Prospecting for Women Scoring Sheet
  • 3
    Module #2 | Criteria
    • READ | Collecting Criteria
    • RESOURCE | Prospect Criteria Worksheet (MS Word download)
    • VIDEO | Collecting Criteria
    • VIDEO | Criteria Collecting Skit
    • HOMEWORK | Using the Criteria Worksheet
  • 4
    Module #3 | Communicating
    • READ | Burden of Communication
    • VIDEO | Communicating Persuasively
    • VIDEO | Communicating to Clarify
    • HOMEWORK | Worksheet Interview
    • HOMEWORK | Confirming Email
  • 5
    Module #4 | The Scoring Model
    • READ | The Scoring Model
    • VIDEO | The Scoring Model
    • HOMEWORK | Create a Scoring Model
  • 6
    Module #5 | Identifying Prospects
    • READ | Finding Prospects
    • RESOURCE | Youth Unemployment Prospect Criteria Worksheet
    • VIDEO | Identifying Prospects Proactively
    • VIDEO | Finding New Prospects in DonorSearch | Prospect Generator
    • VIDEO | Finding New Prospects in iWave | Larkspur
    • HOMEWORK | Sourcing Strategies
  • 7
    Module #6 | Qualifying Prospects
    • READ | Qualifying and Disqualifying Prospects
    • VIDEO| Qualifying Proactive Prospects
    • HOMEWORK | Capstone #1: Pull it together and qualify your prospects
    • RESOURCE | LinkedIn Boolean Search Tip
  • 8
    Module #7 | Delivering the Prospects
    • READ | Deliver the Final Product
    • RESOURCE | Corporate Prospecting Brief Example
    • VIDEO | Delivering the New Prospects
    • VIDEO| Word/Excel Merge Demo
    • READ | Communication Strategies for Delivery
    • HOMEWORK | Capstone #2: Prospect Delivery
    • READ | Other Project Considerations
    • RESOURCE | CRISP-DM Annotated Worksheet
  • 9
    Module #8 | Wrapping up the Course
    • READ | Course Wrap-up Instructions
    • HOMEWORK | Course Evaluation Survey
    • REFLECTION | What will you do next?

About the Instructor

  • Jennifer Filla

    Jennifer Filla

    Founder, CEO, and Instructor

    I’m Jennifer Filla, a Prospect Researcher and Fundraiser at Aspire Research Group LLC and co-author of Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook, part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series. As a consultant, I have worked with a lot of small and large organizations that needed to build internal fundraising capacity with prospect research. I have also been a member of AFP and Apra for more than ten years, speaking and presenting at AFP and Apra meetings and conferences. The demand for clear instruction that can be applied immediately at the fundraising office led me to launch the Prospect Research Institute. I’m excited to learn with you!

On-Demand Course Registration

Gain access to this on-demand course for one year and work at your own pace.

This On-Demand Course Series is included in the Research Focused Membership Level.

Upgrade to Membership for More

  • $1,500.00 / year

    $1,500.00 / yearResearch Focused

    A membership community for Research professionals.
    Join Now
  • $150.00 / month

    $150.00 / monthResearch Focused

    A membership community for Research professionals.
    Join Now