By Joan Ogwumike, Development Coordinator, Mikva Challenge
We had the First Salon of the year and it was amazing! As a new member of APRA-IL, I joined for the exposure, networking opportunities, and the plethora of knowledge. And at this event, I was not disappointed!
The setting was in a lounge area adjacent Café Cito, and seated on a long L-shaped couch was our three Corporate and Foundation relations panelists- Lindsey Rogers, University of Chicago, Kara Moore, Northwestern University, and Meredith Dorneker,Northwestern University.
It was an informal Q&A with stimulating questions from the panelists to the attendants; we all wanted to learn from each other! Conversations stemmed from sponsorship relations with corporations, marking-up a prospect strategy for engagement, systems for prioritizing prospects, ratings for corporate and foundations, giving strategies in terms of ratings, the variety of databases used, and more.
From the event, I noticed the designated presence of prospect researchers within higher education institutions, and the necessary position of research in other areas within the public sector. Another takeaway was the reliance on different search engines, and the ways in which each one could lead to different outcomes.
This event was a glimpse of prospect research as an independent profession, and the different backgrounds that can lead one into becoming a researcher. I believe there needs to be continuous dialogue within every organization regarding research and its presence. Knowing its presence means a reliance on new funding possibilities.