Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Free resources for prospect research

Free resources for prospect research

Every now and again, the subject of free resources pops up on one or other of the email discussion groups, particularly

Recently, this has been a hot topic following the decision of Debrett’s to phase out charity discounts for subscribers to the online version of People of Today. It will soon cost charities £1,000!

The best resources for your fundraising will depend on your fundraising needs, but here are a few freebies, some of which could well be essential:

1. fResource – marvellous new website established by Matt Ide. If you are looking for information on any prospect reseach resource (many are free), make this your first stop
2. KnowUK – package of reference sources including Who’s Who, Debtrett’s People of Today, etc
3. Credo – (slightly different) package of reference sources including Who’s Who, Debtrett’s People of Today, etc
4. Who’s Who online – online version of this biographical source, with an advanced search function
5. NewsUK – 60 newspapers
6. NewsBank – clients select the sources they want to include Infotrac – clients select the sources they want to include
7. 192 allows some free searches, combining directory enquiries with other databases, letting you know who lives at an address. All you need is a surname and a postcode/city/town/village

Number 2 – 7 are all available free via local libraries. You do not need to live near the library, in order to join. Check out to see what resources are kept at a fairly accessible library. Some allow you to join online, and will post your membership card, some allow you to complete a form online, then ask you to bring proof of ID when collecting your membership card. You can then use a range of resources remotely, via a computer of your choice, free of charge. Next time you visit (even if it means making a special trip, complete the process and away you go).

Finbar Cullen is an associate editor of fResource –

Finbar Cullen established ResearchPlus in 2005 to provide fundraising research services for the not-for-profit sector. He researches people, companies and grant-making trusts and foundations, mostly in the UK, but also other parts of the world. Finbar has published directories of “unpublished” grant-making trusts (registered with the Charity Commission and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), and each month he contributes to The Trust List, highlighting newly registered grant-making trusts worthy of particularly close attention.

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