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Prospect Research Tips
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Updated Jan. 2002. A Waltman Associates exclusive -- a time-saving index to
donors and recipients. (856K file -- will take several minutes to display
over slow connections).
Note: This index has 4200 entries of gifts. For a more extensive search of 2.1 million gifts, search the Donor Series as described below.
The Donor Series, developed by Waltman Associates, now DonorSearch.net, lets you search a database of
four million gifts to nonprofits to see who is philanthropic in the U.S.
Go to DonorSearch.net
The Political Money Line site offers a searchable database of contributors to
candidates in Federal elections by election year.
Go to Political Money Line
The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering and
Retrieval) database contains the full text of corporate disclosure filings made
under the SEC full-disclosure program. It is the world's most important and
valuable database of financial information.
EDGAR includes proxy statements, listed as form DEF, type 14A. To search for a
proxy statement for a company, enter search keywords exactly (note all caps
for operators) as shown in this example for Dayton Hudson Corporation:
Dayton AND Hudson AND DEF ADJ 14A
Your search results are displayed. Click on the company name for the year of
the proxy you wish to view.
When the proxy form is displayed, search for SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE using
your browser's search facility. You will usually find a table listing salary,
bonuses, and stock options for officers and directors of the company.
Search SEC EDGAR Archives
Free real-time online access and full-text search of the EDGAR system. 10K Wizard
enables users to search current and historical filings, from the start date of each
company's existence, by full or partial names, symbol, phrases or keywords.
Go to 10k Wizard
Current stock quotes and other up to the minute financial news.
Go to CBS MarketWatch
Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, offers customizable
business news and research. This subscription-only site integrates content from
top national newspapers, Dow Jones & Reuters newswires, business journals,
market research reports, analyst reports and Web sites. Articles can be
downloaded for $2.95 per article.
Go to Dow Jones Interactive
A collection of Knight Ridder newspapers searchable on line.
Go to NewsLibrary
Newspapers and financial data on line.
Go to LEXIS-NEXIS
You can now order Dun & Bradstreet company reports over the World Wide Web
for $20 apiece. The reports are displayed immediately and are billed to your
credit card -- American Express Visa, and MasterCard are accepted. (Netscape
secure mode is used to encrypt your credit card information, so you shouldn't have
to worry about it being intercepted.)
The first time you access this service,
your phone number and address is verified. After that, you can order
Go to Dun & Bradstreet Information
KnowX databases contain millions of public records compiled from official
sources. Most searches are $0.50 during peak hours and free the rest of the day,
with an average retrieval fee of $4.95.
KnowX is the Web version of Information America, one of the world's largest
services addressing the relationships between corporations and people and their
assets. The company's information products and services are used to obtain
background data about businesses, locate assets and people, and retrieve
Go to KnowX Public Records Searches
A handy resource from Northwestern University that provides ratios of assessed
value to market value by state and county, as well as contact information and
links to local assessors' Web sites.
Go to Tax Assessor Database
A useful resource that provides estimates of home values by neighborhood or block.
Go to Realtor.com Home Price Check
A great free resource. Directory information on thousands of companies.
Information includes top execs, address & phone, and more. Contains links to news
reports and SEC records through the 10K Wizard.
Go to Hoover's Company Capsules
Valuable resources and current news for information professionals from Gary Price.
Go to ResourceShelf
A 30-day obituary file combining online obituary sections of newspapers nationwide.
Go to Legacy.com
FindLaw (West Legal Directory Lawyer Profiles)
Looking for information about a member of the legal profession? FindLaw, a division of Thomson/West, North America's leading legal publisher, provides West Legal Directory (WLD) at no
charge over the Web at its FindLaw site. FindLaw contains searchable listings
for more than 1 million attorneys.
To do a simple search, enter the attorney's last name, select his or her state of
residence from the drop-down box, and click Search!
For more complex searches, click on the Advanced Search link.
Search West Legal Directory at FindLaw
Looking for information about a member of the medical profession? The American
Medical Association (AMA) provides a searchable database of more than 650,000
physicians through AMA Health Insight.
Choose the link below to go to the AMA Health Insight starting page. Then choose the
link to AMA Physician Select. From the AMA Physician Select page, choose the
Physician Name link to display the search form.
Note: The AMA site uses Shockwave animations. If your browser is not
configured with a Shockwave plug-in, you may receive an error message when you
attempt to view the pages.
AMA Health Insight
Here are some other compilations of information and links useful in prospect
research. Many of these sites contain links to other valuable sites. Explore!
- The home page for the Association of Professional Researchers for
Advancement (formerly the American Prospect Research Association). Includes an Internet-based job
- Another good collection of pointers, including access to Northwestern's Tax
- prspct-l is an Internet mailing list for prospect researchers to share
information. The above-linked site archives postings to prspct-l, but archives
can now be viewed only by subscribers to the list.
To subscribe to the list, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PRSPCT-L/.
- A handy online guide to more than 700,000 nonprofits and foundations in the U.S.
- A new online service at The Foundation Center site allows you to search the
PF990's that were formerly on microfiche in The Foundation Center library.
The Web contains a wealth of general reference sources. Here is a selection of
those we find useful in prospect research.
- The Internet Public Library, at the University of Michigan. If you can't
what you're looking for, you can query a research librarian.
- Check the quality of an address and find the ZIP+4, from the U.S. Postal
- Find the address and phone number of any individual or business in the
Note: Eight names are displayed at a time. Click on "Next Page" to see more
- Search for the address and phone number of an individual, or, enter a
phone number to find the person the number is listed under. Very fast.