Researchers in Fundraising

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Who are we and what do we do?

We are a volunteer committee of professional prospect researchers representing charities, educational institutions, and fundraising and research consultancies from across the UK.

We create opportunities for the prospect research community in the UK and internationally to develop their skills, connect and network with one another, strike up mentoring relationships, discover new research roles, and much more.

What is prospect research?

Prospect research, also known as fundraising research, is research carried out for the purpose of identifying and qualifying prospective donors and funding partners for a fundraising organisation.

Prospect researchers use a range of research methods and sources of information to determine the value of a funding prospect by establishing through research a prospect’s affinity to an organisation, giving capacity, and inclination (propensity) to give.

Prospect research is a component of prospect development, which also encompasses pipeline management and fundraising insight.

Our history

Researchers in Fundraising (RiF) began in 1993, when Chris Carnie, Carrie Cocke, and Alison Montgomery met up to talk about a new idea called research in fundraising. They developed three aims:

  • To raise awareness of prospect research
  • To increase understanding of the importance of prospect research in the fundraising community
  • To provide opportunities for researchers to meet, discuss, share, network and learn from one another.

In 1997, RiF became a Special Interest Group of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Today we are the leading representative body for Prospect Researchers in the UK.


We are looking for new volunteers to join our committee. If you'd like to support our activities across the sector, and gain some valuable experience in the process, please visit the group volunteering page, or get in touch with any questions.

We are currently recruiting for the following roles:

Get in touch

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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