A Prospect Research Mix Tape

For this month’s blog post, I created an annotated prospect research playlist on Spotify. The titles (if not always the lyrics) reflect techniques, processes, themes and buzzwords in prospect research. 

In the time-honored tradition of letting music speak for itself: here you go.

It includes more songs than I listed below.

Mining Song – Ladysmith Black Mambazo

This song will elevate the necessary task of data mining—going back to your tired data again to find hidden gold—and leave you with goose bumps. Also a shout-out to the group’s founder, Joseph Shabalala, from Ladysmith, South Africa, who died this month. 

Looking for Clues – Robert Palmer

A falsetto number from Robert Palmer’s solo period to inspire your detective work.

Information Overload – In Living Color

Distorted guitars, a driving drum beat and simple lyrics to accompany the days when you can’t possibly look at one more web site, excel list, or database result. Also one of my favorite concerts in high school.

Data Source – Waveshaper

This synth-pop bit of Swedish electronica will make you feel like you’re driving across a forgotten planet in a dune buggy to find the source of all data.

One Thing Leads to Another – The Fixx

A new wave earworm for when you’re humming along that little bread crumb trail.

Down in a Rabbit Hole – Bright Eyes

The sad send-off from your Apra colleagues when they hear you were last seen at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research poring over Houston telephone directories.

Pick Up the Phone – Lupe Fiasco (Explicit)

A suggestion to those who would ask a researcher to please “do a little digging” to find out if their donor in question would prefer the chicken or the fish entrée.

Fool’s Errand – Fleet Foxes

The wistful, haunting refrain will transport you back to every time you lost a week of your life to that research project that you have to admit was pretty far-fetched, if not an entirely pointless, dead-end time-suck.

Data Entry – Flying Lotus

A wordless groove for the task.

Profile of Jackie – Charles Mingus

Remember that profile you wrote of Jackie, or anyone.  You captured the ineffable quality of her spirit, the way she is worlds within worlds.  After jazz, your profile may be the only true American art form.

Moves – Olly Murs (feat. Snoop Dogg)

Moves—managing, tracking, measuring. If you’re doing portfolio management as part of your prospect research work, you’re talking a lot about moves.  But not in such a catchy way, I bet.

Metrics – Active Bird Community

Ah, metrics.  Well, before you develop a new metrics report to measure the behaviors you want to encourage, listen to this 90’s style slacker rock lament. 

Inclination – Fragile Porcelain Mice

Determining prospect inclination can be…murky.   Like this song.

StrategyArchie Bell & The Drells

The whole point, kinda.  Yes, if you really want that donor, you’ll need a strategy.  And, I want those back-up singers the next time I am up there all alone on stage at the major gifts meeting. Hailing from Houston, this band was once backed by students from Texas Southern University, and later, HSPVA (High School for the Performing and Visual Arts).

Family Tree – EZI (Explicit)

If you’re a new researcher, practice making these.  One of the most nerdy fun projects in research (speaking of a rabbit hole) and most difficult to fit on a page. 

Deadlines and Commitments – The Killers

There’s more to life than deadlines and commitments, but don’t tell that to your proposals and solicitations report.  Listen to The Killers; everyone else seems to be.

Rabbit Hole – blink-182

This, my fellow researchers, is a final cautionary tale.  Don’t spend six hours on BloodHorse or The Equinest looking for the alleged name of your prospect’s thoroughbred. Apra needs you!

– Victoria Walsh, Apra Greater Houston board member


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2 responses to “A Prospect Research Mix Tape

  1. Fabulous and AWESOME! Thank you for capturing the essence of doing research using really great music!


  2. Ashley E

    I’m loving all of this!

    Liked by 1 person

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