For many schools, a new calendar year means new goals. In fact, your prospect researchers may already be putting together lists of potential donors for 2018.
Before the new year, we recommend reviewing your existing database to make sure you haven’t left any stone unturned. We’ve got some suggestions to help you find the rising stars you might have missed from this year’s list.
Look at people from different angles: Consider data points such as an alumnus’ board memberships, volunteering roles, causes of interest. Depending on what data you already have on file for your constituents, you may want to fill in some gaps – the most pertinent information can be usually be found on an individual’s LinkedIn profile.
Moving Up? Don’t just look at current employment – follow your alumnus’ career path. What is the trajectory of their past positions? If they have ascended quickly within the same company, this could be an indication that they are destined for bigger and better positions throughout their career.
Not All Companies are the Same: Speaking of their company – it is important to know and understand the size of your alumnus’ workplace. A CFO at a small private company is not going to be making the same salary as a CFO working for a large public company. The same goes for their career path. An individual being promoted within a smaller company isn’t quite the same as one with multiple promotions in a large one.
Postgraduate Advantages: Pay attention to a person’s level of education. A postgraduate degree could be a good indication that an individual is headed toward a senior level position. Individuals with masters and doctorates are also likely making better salaries than their counterparts without these degrees.
Enthusiastic Individuals: Many of this years Forbes “30 under 30“ candidates attributed their success to an enthusiasm to dive deeper into their passions.  Someone who is actively participating in activities related to their career goals is more likely to succeed.  So check the groups your alumni are interested in or what boards they might be sitting on – this data can give you great insight into their goals.
The important thing is to start prospecting rising stars early in their career. If their career path is as successful as predicted, these individuals could become great advocates for your school. Not only could they be your next great prospective donors but they could also open doors to their companies they work for. You might be able to enlist their help in finding mentorships or internships, their company may have a matching gifts program and/or even be willing to get involved in your school’s philanthropic events.
To start identifying your institution’s rising stars, download and run this pre-generated query: Rising Stars
Sources & Additional Reading
 30 Under 30: The Key To Success, Forbes.com
 The 10 Most Important Personality Traits for Career Success, TimesUnion.com