Office of Advancement Research



It is the goal of the USM research office to offer its constituents quality research in a timely fashion. In order to do this, the Research team has developed guidelines and policies that we hope will expedite all requests by setting forth and clarifying our procedures and explaining some of our methods.

Priority is given to rush requests, where an institution has a meeting scheduled with a prospective donor and special events for the Chancellor's Office.

The system institutions we serve at the present time are: Bowie, Coppin, Frostburg, UMBC, UMES, UMCES and the Universities at Shady Grove.

While we do not directly serve the remaining institutions in the system, we will do our best to communicate with them on a regular basis, share information as appropriate, and assist them in their fundraising efforts whenever possible.

Requests for research can be filed either by the research forms that are available on the website, by phone or by email. These requests must come from people directly involved in the fundraising process. We ask that those requesting research state the purpose of each request (cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, meeting, event, etc.) and that the requestor relay to us all pertinent information that they already have on the prospect.

Turn-around time for receiving a profile depends on the type of research being requested. For a full profile, a minimum of two weeks is standard. Requests are prioritized as they come in. Emergency requests will be given priority. In these situations, pre-formatted on-line information may be substituted for the standard Research Office format, if there is not sufficient time for Research to prepare a full profile.

Paper files, housed in the research area, will include only those documents pertinent to fundraising purposes - correspondence, news articles, public documents, gift information, etc. Contact reports may be submitted on Advance Database and paper copies will not be retained in the Research files. For those institutions not served by Advance Database, contact information should be relayed to the Research Dept. via email.

Prospect profiles will contain only such giving information as pertains to the institution requesting the research. The Research Office does not prepare full-giving histories, since that information is available on-line.

If a profile is requested by more than one institution, the profile will be structured so that each institution receives only giving information, contacts, etc. pertinent to that institution.

The services provided by the Advancement Research Office are as follows:

The Research Office organizes the investigation and preparation of confidential reports and solicitation strategies on alumni, friends, corporations and foundations for major gifts and annual support programs in response to requests from the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, USM and USM development officers.

Individual profiles contain personal, education, financial (salary, stock, real estate, etc.) and career information, including affiliations with the University System and any additional information deemed significant.

Corporate profiles include: information regarding corporate headquarters; subsidiaries and company affiliations; officers and board members; financial information (assets, liabilities, trends, ratios etc); markets, contract and gift information and additional relationships with the System.

Foundation profiles contain information on principal officers, trustees and directors (with USM ties noted); assets; total grants paid (most recent year recorded); total giving; foundation history; grant limitations; areas of interest and geographic restrictions. Additional information considered vital to the profile will also be included.

In addition to foundation profiles, the Research Office performs funding searches to identify possible sources of funds to finance academic and other support programs.

The Research Office also provides proactive research identifying new potential donors and/or volunteers by reading newspapers, magazines and reviewing on-line resources and distributes to the appropriate fundraisers and Development people.

Additional duties of the office include updating records on Advance Database and maintaining the hard copy files on individual donors and organizations. The office is also responsible for administering a budget, selection of research resources and maintenance of a research library to be used in the preparation of timely and accurate information for research purposes.

Prepared April 19, 2000

Updated January 2012