Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summertime Reading

I love to read. I don't always have enough time to read as much as I'd like, but I've found that in the summertime, I have been able to spend a little more time devoted to a good book. In fact, I have a running list at all times of at least 10 books I want to read in the near future. By the time I check a few books off my list, I find myself discovering new covers that I am adding on. And so, the cycle continues
Usually, I shoot for easy-read fiction stories--especially when I'm on a beach vacation, but lately I have been more interested in reading professional development books focused on fundraising to help me improve my skills as a development officer.
Most recently, I have been reading How to Write Fundraising Materials that Raise More Money by Tom Ahern. It has given me some great insight and ideas to think of as I appeal to our donors year-round. As I said in my last blog post,  fundraising is a large focus in my role at the non-profit organization for which I work. Although I am responsible for raising money to support our annual operating budget, I also serve as the Research and Data Manager. Many times, I find myself limited in the time I can spend on research. I find myself focusing more on fundraising and less on prospecting but I would love it if I could find a good book, focused on prospecting and donor research that would help me hone my skills and tactics. Most of the books I have been finding are geared toward fundraising specifically, but surely, there has to be some great information out there about prospect research as well. If so, where can I find it?
How many of you have read a great prospect/research book (or even helpful articles) that you can recommend?
I look forward to hearing any feedback that you have that can help me better myself not only as a fundraiser, but as a prospect researcher as well.
As I gear up for the last holiday weekend of the summer, I am looking forward to spending time with my family grilling, playing outside, possibly heading to the pool for one last dip, and hopefully relaxing with a good book. I hope you can do the same.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Amanda Madonia, Membership Director, APRA MidSouth

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Useful Google Searching Tip

Every researcher I know is always on the lookout for ways to make our work more efficient and accurate. Here’s a little tip that will help with both of those goals!
Did you know in Google Search you can search an entire website for a specific word or phrase? It’s true! This is especially useful when a website does not have an integrated search feature. Just type “site:” and the domain (no space), then a space, then your search terms.
For example, this search (in Google) produces a list of every time my name appears on our chapter’s blog: rossini
Using quotation marks, you can also search for phrases. Like this: "shakespeare in the park"
There are many applications for this trick! You can quickly find every mention of a person’s (or institution’s) name on another website. It is also useful when you want to limit your results to just those found on a particular domain.
Happy searching!

Caroline Rossini, Treasurer, APRA MidSouth