Are you confused by the endless tables and footnotes in financial filings? Frustrated trying to calculate stock options? Struggle with understanding insiders’ capacity?

This course teaches you how to find, understand and share how your prospect’s insider stock and compensation can turn into a gift. It’s based on the techniques I have developed while researching prospects for organizations for more than ten years.

Insider_Stock_course_iconImagine the next time you point out a prospect’s history of gifting stock for a front-line fundraiser and she stops you in the hall and tells you how she was able to overcome the prospect’s objection to an ask by offering the option of gifting appreciated stock. How cool would that be?

You are smart – you just need someone to break it down into digestible pieces.

The fundraising climate after the Great Recession isn’t necessarily bleak, but it is very different. The group of people with the ability to make transformational gifts is getting smaller – and wealthier. The Economist magazine reports that the top 0.1% or 160,000 families worth $73 million on average hold 22% of America’s wealth, which is exactly the same share as the bottom 90% of the population.

Public company insiders are few, wealthy and … public. It doesn’t take an economist to know how important it is to understand the stock market and public company insiders!

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

Join Now

You Will Learn

In this course you will…

  • Demystify the world of executive compensation and stock trading – for yourself and your front-line fundraiser
  • Find, calculate and present stock holdings and options on real people
  • Use Excel to calculate stock and options
  • Clearly present executive compensation so there is no confusion or double-counting between cash and stock
  • Find out whether a prospect has a history of gifting stock
  • Learn exactly which sources to use for quick, qualifying information as well as for a deep dive into all the details
  • Make good estimates of wealth from past or future events such as termination or takeovers
  • Communicate complicated wealth information in simple, understandable terms so your front-line fundraiser can act on the information


I have been reading financial filings for 18 years, both in the corporate and not-for-profit world. Let me share my secrets with you for teasing out the numbers that are relevant for fundraising.

Should You Take This Course?

Please note that this course is designed for a researcher new to financial filings, or a researcher who wants to fill in the knowledge gaps. This course is NOT designed for researchers with a deep knowledge of public companies and SEC filings.

“Jen’s course on insider stock and compensation was informative, interesting, and well-thought out. Jen broke down the complicated material into digestible pieces. She showed us resources that I use in my day-to-day research that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. Jen is always quick to respond and has been helpful even after the class has ended. She answers questions thoroughly and is always pleasant. I was able to take what I learned from the course and present the material to our front-line fundraisers. One fundraiser told me after my presentation that she discovered one of her donor’s compensation was much higher than she thought. So, already, this information has come in handy! Thanks again Jen!”

Kim Anthony, San Francisco CAKim Anthony, San Francisco CA

“Jen excellently demystifies the topic of insider compensation. This concise guide enables researchers to quickly gather and interpret the most prescient data points from common publicly-available filings. With relevant examples throughout, this course and accompanying workbook are invaluable resources for any researcher looking to maximize the impact of their wealthiest donors.”

Michael Pawlus, St. Paul, MNMichael Pawlus, St. Paul, MN

“I really enjoyed the course, and was grateful for a chance to gain some confidence in an area that I have always felt was a bit daunting.”

Carey D.Carey D.

“”

You Will Receive

This course is loaded with great content. Following are some highlights and add-ons:

  • Detailed list of SEC forms, definitions and how they are used in fundraising
  • Glossary of financial terms (inside the online classroom and in the workbook appendix)
  • Boilerplate language you can adapt and use in your office
  • List of practitioners’ favorite vendors and why
  • Research Links Directory of the best free and fee sources
  • Excel worksheet for calculating stock and options
  • Blank profile template you can adapt and use in your office
  • Current media like the blog post: “Value Add for Prospect Research”

  • BONUS:  Students successfully completing the course are eligible for a digital badge that can be added to social media, such as your LinkedIn profile. Your digital badge demonstrates your proficiency in this topic.

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!
    • Course Syllabus
    • 3 Easy Steps 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 to Public Companies
    • READ | Introduction to Public Companies
    • WATCH | Introduction to Public Company Trading
    • QUIZ | Public Companies Quiz
    • QUIZ | Name the Insider
  • 3
    Module #2 | Meet EDGAR
    • RESOURCE | Must Know SEC Forms
    • WATCH | Find the Proxy Statement
    • RESOURCE | Anatomy Of Proxy
    • HOMEWORK | Info From the Proxy Assignment
  • 4
    Module #3 | Stockholdings
    • READ | Quick Searching to Qualify
    • WATCH | Cursory or Quick Check Insider Search
    • READ | Calculating Value: Stock and Stock Units
    • VIDEO | Presenting Beneficial Ownership
    • RESOURCE | Beneficial Ownership Solution - Novak (demo in video)
    • RESOURCE | Equity Ownership Types
    • HOMEWORK | Insider Beneficial Ownership
    • WATCH | Insider DIRECTOR Stock and Compensation Example
    • CAPSTONE #1 | Insider DIRECTOR Stock and Compensation
  • 5
    Module #4 | Executive Compensation
    • READ | Introduction to Insider Executive Compensation
    • WATCH | Introduction to Insider Executive Compensation
    • RESOURCE | Key Concept: Equity vs. Non-Equity
    • HOMEWORK | Separate Equity and Non-Equity (Cash) Compensation
  • 6
    Module #5 | Stock Options
    • WATCH | What is a Stock Option?
    • READ | Calculating Stock Option Values
    • HOMEWORK: Options Assignment
  • 7
    Module #6 | Deeper Research on Insiders
    • READ | Digging a Little Deeper
    • RESOURCE | Research Flow Chart
    • WATCH | Insider EXECUTIVE Stock and Compensation Example
    • READ | Golden Parachutes and Change in Control
    • WATCH | Golden Parachutes: When Insider Executives Depart
    • HOMEWORK | Change In Control - Waller
  • 8
    Module #7 | Form 4
    • READ | Keeping Up with Form 4
    • VIDEO | Introduction to Form 4
    • RESOURCE | Anatomy of a Form 4
    • HOMEWORK | Understanding Form 4 - Waller
  • 9
    Capstone #2 | Insider EXECUTIVE Compensation
    • CAPSTONE #2 | Summary Compensation with Delta Air Lines Inc.
    • PRACTICE | Challenge Assignment Instructions
    • ANSWER | Illustrated Answer Key
    • ANSWER | Excel Workbook with Calculations
    • ANSWER VIDEO | Solution Demonstration
  • 10
    Module #8 | Back At the Office Applications
    • READ | Back at the Office
    • WATCH | Beyond the Dollars: What it Means for Giving
    • HOMEWORK | Understanding Wealth Creation Assignment
    • READ | How to Keep from Being Automated Out of a Job
    • READ | What Tools Do You Need?
  • 11
    Module #9 | It’s a Wrap! Finishing the Course
    • HOMEWORK | Course Evaluation Survey
    • Course Wrap-up Instructions
    • REFLECTION | What will you do next?
    • RESOURCE | Glossary for Public Companies
    • RESOURCE | Table of SEC Forms + Tips

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

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  • $150.00 / month

    $150.00 / monthResearch Focused

    A monthly membership community for Research professionals.
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Content Review Panel Experts

These are the individuals who generously volunteered their time to ensure the course content is comprehensive, accurate, clear, and interesting:

  • Emily Davis, Development Analyst, Prospect Management & Research at the Indiana University Foundation
  • Neil Herdan, Prospect Development Professional, Greater New York
  • Jennifer Huebner, Development Researcher at the University of Virginia
  • Joyce Newton, Freelance Researcher; (retired) Dartmouth College Senior Research Analyst
  • Michael Pawlus, Prospect Research and Development Manager at Grand Valley State University
  • Susan Shebar Fioribello, President at PEAR Research Group
  • Charles Snyder, Director of Prospect Management and Advancement Research at Nova Southeastern University