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50 Shades of Prospect Development

Mon, February 26, 2018 8:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Created by: Joan Ogwumike, Principle Gifts, Prospect Research Analyst, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Founding Principal, Jstrategies

Apra-IL presents 50 Shades of Prospect Development; a series of illustrations that seek to provide a visual depiction of the complexities in all aspects of the Prospect Development field. Each colorful image will represent the emotional ups and downs, moments of pride, successful projects and relationships, conflicts with our co-workers/technology/work-life balance, and/or opportunities for growth we find in our careers.


As professionals in Prospect Development, we have opportunities to learn continuously through webinars, conversations with colleagues, and conferences. Through those resources, we are able to celebrate the creation and discovery of new resources, wrestle with changes in tax law, and analyse wealth/capacity calculation advancements. The above illustration shows how far we've come as a field. Throughout the history of the field, we've utilized new tech to store our records more efficiently, found new ways to work with our colleagues in libraries, and collaborated with vendors to build systems that (while often full of quirks and frustrations) surpass the wildest dreams we would've had 10, 20, or 30 years ago. 

Take some time today to celebrate the advances we've made and the ways these technologies have changed the way in which we do our good work. Celebrate, also, the potential in our field. Can you see ways in which you and your colleagues are working to alter the path of Prospect Development? Share them with us!

What do you think the future of Prospect Development looks like? In what areas have you seen growth that you never could've dreamed of only years earlier? Do you think AI and robotics will someday take over our roles as researchers and strategists? 

Let us know your thoughts below!


  • Mon, February 26, 2018 12:28 PM | Anonymous member
    The machines ARE coming.... in the mean time. I'm dwelling in the land of the in between. The rapid increase of advancement technology has not been evenly spread and I think far more of our institutions are still trying to break away from the analog methods of research and fundraising. It inspiring to know that those institutions that can, have made the leap and are boldly venturing into the unknown and contemplating how we can take everything to the next level.
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  • Mon, February 26, 2018 12:32 PM | K. Thomas
    To answer your question about whether AI will someday take over our work, I'd say yes and no. I'd hope that one day, AI could do much of our manual labor: entering contacts, doing news alert reviews, finding and matching obituaries, etc. That way, humans could spend their time in our field creating strategies (assisted by algorithms, etc.) for approaching prospects.
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