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Using Google to Find Funding for Research. Jeff Briand, Associate Director, Research & Records Steven Wardle, Senior Research Analyst, Research & Records Division of Advancement, York University March 21, 2012. Introduction. Overview of Research and Records at the Division of Advancement

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Using google to find funding for research

Using Google to Find Funding for Research

Jeff Briand, Associate Director, Research & Records

Steven Wardle, Senior Research Analyst, Research & Records

Division of Advancement, York University

March 21, 2012


  • Overview of Research and Records at the Division of Advancement

    • Research and Prospect Management

  • Research Sources - Publically available information at York University

  • Accessing and using research resources

    • Search engines

    • Using search operators

  • Questions

Research records at doa
Research & Records at DOA

  • Prospect Research

  • Prospect Management

  • Records Management

  • Central Files Administration

  • Concept of Prospect Development

Prospect research
Prospect Research

  • Research Profiles – Individuals, Corporations & Foundations

  • Response to queries – Memos, projects etc.

  • Research Identified Prospect Process – serendipitous discovery of prospects

  • Prospecting Initiatives – By Request or Strategic

  • Trip planning

  • Briefings and memos for events and trips

Prospect management what is it
Prospect Management – What is it?

  • Designed to focus development activity towards the successful cultivation of Major Gifts, Planned Gifts, Sponsorships and Leadership-level Giving

  • It involves a series of activities that are conducted in order to develop and nurture the prospect’s awareness, interest, involvement and commitment to York University and its mission.

  • Prospect Management enables:

    • Consistent and appropriate donor relations across all university units

    • Repository for institutional memory related to the development of relationships with prospects

    • A process to maximize organizational, divisional & individual performance through systematic tools and portfolio measurement

    • Monitoring and predicting proposal activity and the securing of future gifts to YU

Prospect management components
Prospect Management - Components

  • Details on the Prospect’s fundraising relationship with YU:

    • Stage of Relationship

    • Rating

    • Forecasts for donations

    • Assignments

    • Interests

  • Details on any Proposals provided to a prospect to support an initiative at YU:

    • Type of Proposal

    • Stage of the Proposal

    • Projection & Expected Date for Proposal’s Approval

    • Assignments

Prospect management codifying actions
Prospect Management – Codifying Actions

  • Contact Reports

    • Meetings, Events, Correspondence, Formal Invitations

    • Notes to outline what happened with that activity/interaction

  • Tasks

    • Reminders for future actions to move the relationship forward

  • Notes

    • Strategies, Assignments, Memos to File, Research, Reassignment, Stewardship, Inactivation & Trip

Information collection from people to resources
Information Collection: From People to Resources

  • Human Interaction

  • (Contact Reports, Impressions & Observations)

  • VS

  • Publically Available Research

  • (Databases, Internet, Subscriptions & Media Sources)

What s advancement got to do with it finding funding for research
What’s Advancement got to do with it?Finding Funding for Research

  • Tools the Professionals Use

  • Free Resources

  • The internet!

  • Using free resources

  • Google

  • Better searches

  • Operators

  • Searching databases

  • Additional web resources

  • The Library

  • Fee Based resources

Research on a budget
Research on a Budget

  • Free Resources

  • Search Engines - Google, Bing, Ask

  • (Tip) Use more than one, use the Canadian domain

  • Pick a few search sites and learn them inside out

  • Bookmark your favourite sites so you an access them quickly

Research on a budget 2
Research on a Budget (2)

  • What’s out there?

  • Biographical Dictionaries

  • Donor lists

  • CRA

  • Appointment Notices

  • Canadian Honours

  • Rich lists

  • Company lists

  • Industry Canada

  • SEDI


  • LinkedIn, Zoominfo

  • Foundation Finder (U.S.)

Understanding search engines
Understanding Search Engines

  • Do I really need to understand how this internet thingy works?

Search engines google
Search Engines - Google

  • Googlebot

  • Google’s webpage finding web crawler

  • Constantly searching for new web pages and indexing them

Google how it works
Google - How it Works

  • Ordered by priority of rank or “PageRank”

  • Proprietary algorithm developed by Google that measures a website (actually named after a guy named Larry Page)

  • Believed to include:

  • Link Popularity

  • Link Quality

  • Link Quantity

  • Age of domain name

  • Quantity of traffic

  • Monitoring Bookmarks

  • Monitoring clicks away from page

  • Frequency and quantity of page changes

Remember keep it simple
Remember: Keep it Simple

Better Searches

  • Describe what you need in as few word as possible

  • The more words you use the greater the search will be limited

  • Don’t be put off by too many hits, this is a chance to refine our search

Search engine strategy
Search engine strategy

  • Devise a Strategy

  • Write down key search terms you want to use

  • Don’t be buried under too much information – you don’t have time to read hundreds of pages

  • Make your searches specific and to the point

  • Make use of search operators

  • Consider name variations - are there short forms?

Critical thinking
Critical Thinking

  • What is the first page to come up?

  • Wikipedia – a great resource that can be vandalized, be critical, seek confirmation

  • Zoominfo – may contain inaccuracies

Google search operators
Google Search Operators

  • Quotes

  • “Quotes” – enclosing multiple search terms in double quotes finds pages where the terms appear together, exactly

  • Example: top researchers in Montreal – will find pages where “top”, “researchers” and “Montreal” will appear

  • However: “top researchers in Montreal” – will search for pages with that exact phrase



  • Wildcard Operators – using * (asterisk) that can match a missing word or term; wildcards can be used when you are missing one or more words (or letters)

  • Example: donor to big * of Canada will return – donor to big brothers of Canada, donor to big sisters of Canada, and donor to big organizations of Canada

  • Also: donation* will search for donation and donations

  • Remember the wildcard only works on whole words, not parts of words


  • Searching within a Site:

  • Using the site: operator instructs Google to provide results only from a given website

  • Example: donation will deliver results where donation was mentioned in the Globe and Mail website

  • Most important for us site: yorku

  • Sometimes flipping the order will also work, try – yorku Site: term or name

Synonym operator
Synonym Operator

  • Synonym Operator

  • Use ~ at the beginning of a search term (with no space in between) and make Google search for that term and its synonyms

  • Example: ~donation will bring up pages that include donation and gift


  • The Inclusion Operator (+)

  • Place a +immediately before a search term to ensure the word is present in the results

  • Example: if looking for a job in Los Angeles, use +LA careers; without the + Google will exclude LA since it would deem the word as “the” (in Spanish or Italian)


  • The Exclusion Operator (-)

  • Place a –immediately before a search term to instruct Google to find pages that do not contain the given term

  • Example: to find about a health-related virus, use virus –computer to ensure that Google returns pages that contain virus, but no pages related to computer viruses


  • The OR Operator

  • Use the OR Operator to tell Google that you wish to find pages including any of your search terms

  • Example: a Google search for TV program OR show will generate pages referring to either

  • Example: the OR operator helps with regional spelling differences: like labour OR labor, neighbour OR neighbor

  • OR must be in caps


Every word matters
Every word Matters

Remember, if you add a word to a search query it will be used

But there are always exceptions: Common words such as ‘the,’ ‘a’ and ‘for’ are called stop words and will generally be ignored

And there are exceptions to exceptions: search engines are programmed to imitate how people think. A search for ‘the who’ will direct you to the official website of the band


  • Using filters to limit the number of results you see

  • Pages from Canada

  • Any time

  • Past hour

  • Past 24 hours

  • Past 4 days

  • Past week

  • Past month

  • Past year

  • Custom range...

Google alerts
Google Alerts

  • Let the research come to you

  • Email updates of the latest relevant Google results (Web, news, etc.)

  • Based on your choice of query or topic


  • Handy uses of Google Alerts:

  • A developing news story

  • Keeping current on a research interest or industry

  • Getting the latest on an event

  • Track news on a donor

Further google insights
Further Google Insights

  • Google Image (shhh! now you know my secret)

  • Can shed new light on prospects

  • Who are their Friends, Family, Business Associates

  • Pictures from a gala with movers and shakers

  • Google Maps

  • Where does your prospect live

The other players
The other players

There are approximately 35 additional search engines out there

Bing – Microsoft challenger to Google, strong graphics focus - Q&A focused search engine

Yahoo! – now in partnership with Bing

Webcrawler – One of the first, launched in 1994, a metasearch engine that blends the top search results from Google, Yahoo!, Bing

Introduction to boolean logic and operators
Introduction to Boolean Logic and Operators

[ ]


  • and












( )





The man who invented it all
The man who invented it all

George Boole (1815 – 1864)

  • Mathematician, philosopher and the inventor of Boolean logic, the basis of all digital computer logic (and my hero…)

Search operators
Search Operators

  • AND

  • OR

  • NOT

Search operators and
Search Operators AND


Donors and Alumni

Search operators or
Search Operators OR


Donors or Alumni

Search operators not
Search Operators NOT


Donors NOT Alumni


  • Can be used to substitute for any of a defined subset of characters

  • Especially useful for names

  • Examples

  • Steph$, Brad$, Mitch$

Proximity operators
Proximity Operators

  • Allow you to locate one word within a certain distance of another

  • For Example

  • w/n where n is any number between 1 to 10

  • University w/3 research finds items containing “University” within 2 words of “research” where “research” is the second word

  • nearn where n is any number between 1 to 500

  • University near5 research displays articles with the word “University” not more than 5 words away form “research,” where “research’ is the fifth word (0-4 words between)

More proximity operators
More proximity operators

  • /Nn/ where n is any number from 1 to 500

  • Bombardier Q400/N30/Porter Airlines finds articles containing the term “Bombardier Q400” within 30 words of “Porter Airlines” where “Porter” is the 30th word (0-29 words between)

  • /Fn/ where n is any number from 1 to 500

  • Sanofi/F50/ will find articles with the word “Sanofi” with the first 50 words of the article


  • $n where n is any number from 1 to 9

  • Earn$4 will find articles that contain any word with the root “earn” including earnings, earns, or earned

  • *(asterisk)

  • Telecom* will find articles that contain the root “telecom” including telecom, telecommunications, telecommute, or telecommuting

  • Note: At least 3 characters must be typed before using the *sign, and the *sign must be entered at the end of a word only. No number is allowed following the truncation

  • ?

  • Globali?ation will find article containing “globalization” or “globalisation”

  • Note: At least 3 characters must be typed before using ?

Using parentheses or brackets atleast and same
Using Parentheses or Brackets, atleast and same

  • ( ) Parenthesis or [ ] Brackets

  • Select releases and (university or instructions, or course) finds items about select releases related to to universities, instruction or courses

  • atleastn - where n is any number between 1 and 50

  • atleast6 Magna will return items with at least six mentions of Magna

  • same

  • Bergeron same VeriFone finds items containing “Bergeron” in the same paragraph as “VeriFone”

Library resources
Library Resources

  • What’s Available

  • Factiva

  • Imagine Canada’s Canadian Directory of Foundations and Corporations

  • Lexis/Nexis

  • FP Directory of Directors

  • FPinfo Mart

  • Hoovers


  • Factiva covers information on industries, public and private companies, business and management topics, current awareness information and historical news

  • Covers 1969 – present, dates vary by publication, worldwide

  • Many full text articles, trade journals, news wires, media programs, company and stock reports

  • News in twenty-two languages in over 8000 sources

  • Searchable by title, industry, geographic location and type

Better factiva results
Better Factiva Results

  • Time Savers

  • Consider building a ‘canned’ search. Create it in Word, copy and paste into your search daily or weekly

  • Examples

  • donor$ or philanthropy or donation$ or endowment or York University or endowment

  • Rita Burak or Chantal Hebert or Step$ Ling or Ken Singh or Joel Cohen or Jay Hennick

  • Date: In the last week

  • Sources/Major News and Business Publications/Canada

Using imagine canada s canadian directory of foundations and corporations
Using Imagine Canada’s Canadian Directory of Foundations and Corporations

  • Most accurate funding research tool in Canada

  • Bilingual database with detailed, searchable information on thousands of Canadian funders.

  • Contains searchable information on all Canadian grant making foundations, as well as government funding programs, American foundations, and hundreds of corporations that invest in the community.

  • First published in 1966 by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and adopted by Imagine Canada over 25 years ago.

  • But note:

  • Sometimes it does not display the most recent data. Always check CRA.

Fee based resources
Fee Based Resources

  • Can you afford it? Which one is right for you?

  • PRO – Prospect Research ONLINE

  • Guidestar Grant Explorer

  • Searchable by funder name, state/province, city, ZIP code and can be filtered by grants awarded ($), total number of grants awarded, Employer Identification Number (U.S.)

  • Pivot: funding connected

  • Onesource

  • ABI/ProQuest

Remember it s a jungle out there
Remember it’s a jungle out there







Closing thoughts
Closing Thoughts

  • Interacting with the Research & Records Unit at DOA:

  • Focus Relationship Building that will result in asks over $5K; $25K is considered Major Gift Level

  • Concern on prospects heading into Solicitation

  • Concern with prospects with Stewardship commitments

  • Sharing information – both before and after “the ask”

  • Trips, prospect lists & ideas

  • Contact:

  • Jeff Briand, Steve Wardle Phillipa Vaz

  • Associate Director Senior Research Analyst Research Analyst

  • [email protected]@[email protected]

  • (416) 650-8204 Ext. 58229 Ext. 20380