We're the official representative body for professional prospect researchers in the UK.
Our committee made up of professional prospect researchers from charitable institutions, educational establishments and fundraising and research consultancies. All committee members are volunteers and help to coordinate this work in addition to their full time roles.
Simply put, prospect research is the identification of, and subsequent research into, prospective major donors and influencers – individuals, trusts and companies – with a view to maximising their support for your organisation.
It involves the gathering and analysis of biographical, financial, corporate and philanthropic information from a wide variety of sources, both publicly available and those unique to your organisation (such as your supporter database).
Prospect research is invariably time-consuming and complex, as each piece of research needs to be tailored to the individual prospect being researched and relevant to the requirements of your organisation, but it is a proven cost-effective way of raising significant funds.
Our story began in the summer of 1993, when Chris Carnie, Carrie Cocke and Alison Montgomery met up to talk about a new idea called research in fundraising. When they met in those early days, they had three main concerns:
From these early meetings three clear aims developed:
In 1997, to further these aims, RiF became a Special Interest Group of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising . Over the next few years, the membership of RiF steadily increased, passing the 100 mark in 2001 and the 200 mark in 2003, and reaching the current total of over 500 members in the last couple of years. As such, RiF can now claim to be one of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s largest Special Interest Groups and the leading representative body for prospect researchers in the UK.
RiF offers the opportunity to advertise job vacancies and paid-for training courses relating to fundraising research. We've partnered with PRUK (the leading online forum for UK-based prospect researchers) to coordinate all advertising, which ensures adverts reach the widest possible audience. See Advertising through RiF & PRUK for more information.
Established in 2008 by veteran prospect researcher Raj Khera, the Fundraising Researcher’s Group (FRG) is a semi-formal and more intimate forum outside of the annual Researcher’s in Fundraising (RiF) conference, for researchers from across the third sector and higher education to come together, network, share experiences and learn from one another. Now run by RiF, the group meets four times a year with each session hosted and led by researchers. Past topics discussed range from resources used, ratings systems, managing stakeholders, communicating research effectively, GDPR, ethics, career development and everything in between.
Each year, budget allowing, we provide a bursary to help prospect researchers in the UK gain access to high quality training and development opportunities.
The Researchers in Fundraising (RiF) Committee wants to empower researchers to be positive about their future and reach to achieve even more. We offer bursaries for all RiF training courses as well as the RiF annual conference. For 2020, we are also offering the chance for a member of the UK prospect research community to attend the American Prospect Research Association’s (APRA) Annual Conference. See further details below:
RiF TRAINING PROGRAMME BURSARIES
We offer at least one bursary place for every RiF training course and we are able to cover travel/accommodation costs when needed.
Applications must be submitted at least five working days before the training event and are accepted on a rolling basis. Please see the upcoming RiF training courses here.
Download the RiF Training bursary guidelines and application form
RIF CONFERENCE BURSARIES
We are pleased to offer bursary places for our annual conference, held every November in London. We are also able to cover travel/accommodation costs where needed. Details and application form for the 2020 Conference will be available closer to the event.
APRA CONFERENCE BURSARIES
In 2020, RiF will offer up to two people from the UK prospect research community a place at the APRA Conference taking place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. 4-7 August.
*Applications are now Closed. Thank you to all who applied.
Read about the RiF Bursary Scheme history and past recipients.
Over the years, the RiF Committee has set up a number of working groups to report on areas of relevance to our membership. Currently our main focus is on data protection, due to the proposed regulations on fundraising practice and potential impacts for our profession. The Data Protection Working Group includes RiF committee members and other key professionals.
The RiF Awards celebrate the very best in prospect development and research across the UK.
If you have any questions about us, get in touch. Or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to get the latest news.
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