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True Life: A Day in Prospect Development

Mon, July 16, 2018 7:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Apra-IL presents True Life: A Day in Prospect Development. Inspired by the MTV show True Life, this series exposes the everyday experiences of Prospect Development professionals. In addition to learning from the unique perspectives of our participants, we hope that you join us by sharing pictures from your day. Use #DayinPD to contribute and follow as we dive into the lives of our colleagues over the next few weeks.

This first entry is presented by Kathryn Thomas, Senior Prospect Identification Analyst at the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association. She serves as Director, Membership & Marketing for Apra-IL. 

True Life: I'm an Honorary Badger

I work as Senior Prospect Identification Analyst (PIA) at the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association (WFAA). My days follow a fairly familiar pattern as my work is structured in yearly and quarterly projects. What follows is a look at an average day in my role at WFAA.

Our work day on the Research & Prospect Management team at WFAA begins with a stand-up in our work space. During this fifteen minute period, each team member shares their triumphs and trials from yesterday and outlines their plan for the coming day. Pictured, you see members of our Prospect Management and Prospect Research sub-groups as well as an array of Bucky Badgers colored during a team-building meeting earlier this summer.

My PIA teammate, Emily, and I pull the best prospects for the University using a Tableau dashboard. Pictured above, the dashboard shows assigned and unassigned prospects as well as constituents with no active plans. The top left quadrant has the highest capacity/highest likelihood (based on a major gift likelihood score) and the lower right quadrant shows those with low capacity/low likelihood. When we are ready to pull constituents for Research review, we click on the boxes we wish to export and download an Excel spreadsheet which details the constituent’s capacity/likelihood as well as their giving to UW and other pertinent details. To learn more about our team’s proactive prospecting process, see me at Apra PD this year!

When a constituent is reviewed by Research, they are either qualified (receive a plan for a pertinent unit(s)) or disqualified (receive a disqualification note on the constituent record). After lunch, a colleague and I met in this Bucky bower in the Work Café to discuss our evolving policies regarding constituents marked Not a Prospect.

Here at my desk, you can see the one-page report created by the PIA's to take to meetings with Development. In it, we highlight their unit's progress with Research Identified Prospects (RIDPs) and call out specific RIDPs that have yet to be contacted by Development. During these quarterly meetings, we have the opportunity to discuss our qualification methodology and get clarification from Development on specific prospects. 

After a long day at work, it’s time to head out. As I leave the office, I get this great view of our building and the 1848 and Bucky statue. The University of Wisconsin was founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848 which is why the Foundation address is 1848 University Avenue. Our beautiful flower-covered Bucky comes from a public art event featuring 85 life-sized Bucky Badger statues throughout Madison, WI and Dane County. Our Bucky is called Flamingo Bucky and was inspired by the UW tradition which covers Bascom Hill with plastic flamingos each year.

Thanks for walking through a day at WFAA! I can't wait to see everyone else's posts in the coming months!


  • Mon, July 16, 2018 9:30 AM | Emily G.
    Loved this look into a day at WFAA and as a PIA! I look forward to seeing more #DayinPD posts :)
    Link  •  Reply
  • Tue, July 17, 2018 7:56 AM | Kate
    Wow - they aren't kidding around with the Badger decor, huh? Thanks for sharing your day! It's so interesting to see into other offices and systems.
    Link  •  Reply

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