It has been quiet on the Frost on Fundraising blog for a few days. No, it wasn’t a case of pneumonia after returning from the inauguration. I have been busy launching a group of free websites that address some of the perpetual information needs in fundraising. Let me explain…
I belong to a large number of lists for fundraisers, prospect researchers, grantmakers and others in philanthropy. Most are wonderful. I must admit, however, that I am puzzled by about half the posts on the lists. They go something like this:
* What do you do with your screening results after you get them from the vendor?
* Where can I find some donors for my XYZ project?
* Where can I find out about a British prospect’s stockholdings?
* I am moving to the West Coast. Any jobs out there?
* How much should we charge for naming our new building?
These are good questions, of course. Everyone else on the list wants the same information, just not right now. A few people may have an answer, or one angle on the question, but they are not always shared. When answers are provided from different perspectives, the answers may be compiled but not weighed and integrated. And even when information is provided, it is not always easy to find later when the question comes up again.
Also, listserves, like conferences, are not seen as appropriate forums to directly compare resources or services. They also do not usually welcome comments from suppliers themselves, sometimes the only people who can really answer certain questions.
So, while lists and newsletters provide valuable information but are not well indexed and searchable and are not a place for unfettered opinions on or by vendors, I thought we needed something new. And that’s what I’ve been creating.
Big Gifts is a site devoted to large individual gifts being made around the world. Everything is indexed and easily searchable. Also, every entry has tags to information on the individual donors, the recipient institutions and the underlying source materials. Like any new site, there’s not much here yet, but I do expect it to grow quickly. Best of all, it is available as an RSS Feed, which means that you can get updates on a regular basis. Please do send along notices of large gifts and I will be sure to include them.
Jay’s Fundraising Jobs is, of course, a list of jobs. Like Big Gifts, Jay’s Fundraising Jobs is indexed and searchable. Please help me fill it by sending me your announcements.
Three more sites are coming up in quick succession: Jay’s Fundraising Links, International Philanthropy and Capital Campaign Tracker. Jay’s Fundraising Links will provide an annotated, catalogued and fully searchable reference for the best sources of information for fundraising and prospect research around the world. International Philanthropy will cover news on giving around the world. Capital Campaign Tracker will provide updates on capital campaigns.
I look forward to hearing what you think of the sites–and to getting information from you to incorporate into all of them!