How can I find local rich lists?
February 26, 2015 3:22 PM   Subscribe

How can I find lists of wealthy individuals in my local area?

A few people have told me that there are companies who will sell you lists of rich people in your area so you can hit them up for donations, grants, etc. I am well aware that there are organizations that can pair you up with donors, foundations and grants, but what I'm looking for is more specific. I'm looking for lists of wealthy individuals, and I've been told that these are available from marketing companies and the like. I have tried googling all sorts of things, but I mostly get national/international lists, or newspaper articles featuring specific rich people. I tried searching Ask Mefi but the results are mostly just people looking for funding in general. For what it's worth, I'm looking for data in Sonoma County, CA.
posted by DJ Broken Record to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can build a list like that using this Experian builder to see how many they think are in the area and get a cost, and then you can shop around to other mailing/marketing list providers or buy from them.

I'd also check out who donates to the symphony and so forth; you can usually find that in a program.
posted by michaelh at 3:29 PM on February 26, 2015

My impression is that a good many non-profit organizations make as much money off of selling their mailing lists of who donates as they do off of donations. Certainly that seems to be the case with KQED here in the Bay Area, a donation to them is a deluge of direct mail.

As michaelh suggests, ask to buy the mailing list of your local symphony or live theatre? The higher pledge levels of your local public radio station?
posted by straw at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2015

Most county business journals do an annual list of the wealthiest individuals in the area. I don't see such a list in the North Bay Business Journal, but I do see a list of the "highest paid executives of public companies". The book of lists also includes lists of the largest companies of various types, and generally includes the name of a top executive with the company. You should be able to find the book of lists at a local library. You can also try searching the local newspaper - sometimes they'll do a list as well.

Other places to find wealthy individuals include the boards of local institutions (example: Sonoma State University Academic Foundation leadership). Sometimes the institutions will publish annual reports that list donors by giving levels. Political giving can also be a wealth indicator: someone who can donate $1,000+ to a candidate or PAC probably has money to spare. The Sonoma County political giving site is here.

There are also companies that compile information and sell it. The Rich Register compiles information on individuals with a net worth of at least $25 million. You can purchase segments of the data, or see if you can get access to a subscription and get the Sonoma County data. NOZA compiles information on charitable donations, which you can then search by area, topic, etc.

Lastly, donor-advised funds are a good option for individuals who want to be philanthropic without the hassle of foundation administration and paperwork. Poke around on the site for the Community Foundation of Sonoma County, and you may find the names of individuals who have established funds there.
posted by mogget at 7:16 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone! I have a lot of work to do!
posted by DJ Broken Record at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2015

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