A non-profit for Prospect Development professionals. 

Apra-IL Blog

You Should Write a Blog About That!

As part of our goal to share industry and career-related information to colleagues in the fundraising development field, we encourage you to contact us if you would like to contribute to our blog. 

We also enjoy reading other blogs and may contact you to share a guest post. 

Current 2019 Blog Series:

Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ...

Motivations of Leaders

Completed in 2018/2019: 

Love Letters to PD

Match Makers 2.0

Tales of Terror: The Prospect Development Edition

True Life: A Day in Prospect Development

50 Shades of Prospect Development

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  • Wed, September 25, 2019 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Julie Fregetto

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 

    Julie Fregetto serves as the Director for Prospect Development at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She joined the ELCA in 2013 as one of the team members to help launch the organization’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, Always Being Made New: Campaign for the ELCA. On June 30, 2019, the church announced the successful completion of the campaign, raising just over $250 million in current and planned gifts.

    Before joining the ELCA, Julie served as Senior Associate for a philanthropic consulting company in Chicago and worked for the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration in the Development Office. She completed her Master’s in Business Administration from Northeastern Illinois University and received a Bachelor’s in Business Marketing from West Virginia Wesleyan College. As part of her professional development, she serves as the Treasurer of the Apra-Illinois Board and, most recently, completed the ELCA Leadership Development Program. Julie enjoys traveling, coaching her son’s soccer team, and volunteering in her community.

    1. What in Prospect Development fascinates you?

    The fact that we can utilize technology and science to do good in the world and change people’s lives.

    2. How do you manage the stress of working with people who do not understand the importance of your role?

    Just as we suggest front-line fundraisers remain patiently persistent in working with donors, so too should we as prospect development professionals. It may take time for some people to see the importance of what we do, but the process does work and that will shine through.

    3. If the annual Apra International conference could be anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?

    London

    4. What is something on your desk that helps you be the most productive?

    Inspirational quotes

    5. If you were not in Prospect Research, what career would you have?

    Sports management

    6. What is a super power that you use often at work?

    Telepathy

    7. If you could tell your 15-year-old self about your job, what would you say?

    There is a job waiting for you that will empower you to give back in this world while finding joy and a sense of purpose … no need to worry so much about what is to come!

    8. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    I don’t … they get a bit freaked. I usually tell them I work with fundraising databases and analyze information.

    9. What is one misconception about working in Prospect Development?

    We are to blame for everything.

    10. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    Given me confidence, opportunity, and a vision for what can be.

    11. Are you an early bird or night owl?

    Night owl

    12. What book are you reading right now?

    The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball by Michael Sokolove

    13. Coffee or Tea?

    Coffee

    14. Currently, what is your favorite restaurant in your city?

    Via Roma – I love Italian food!

    15. What is your favorite social platform to connect with people?

    I wouldn’t say there is a favorite, but I typically check Facebook to keep updated on what my family and friends are doing and sharing. WhatsApp is a social platform that I use and like a lot to communicate with my sister who is an international school teacher.

    16. What is the last movie you watched?

    Revenge of the Nerds. Haha!

    17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

    This is cliché, but my grandpas. They both passed away before I was born, but I have heard so many stories about them.

    18. Are you a Chicago-native? If not, where do you call home?

    I am a Des Plaines, IL native and live just five blocks from my childhood home. Some would say I’m a homebody.

    19. What is your must-have snack while in the office?

    It used to be M&M's, but these days a piece of fruit is the goal.

    20. Who or what inspires you?

    At work, my colleagues and our donors inspire me.

  • Mon, August 26, 2019 1:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Keli Jonas

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 

    Keli started volunteering with Apra-IL in 2017 on the Programming & Professional Advancement Committee. She is an Associate Director of Prospect Research at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and has worked there since late 2015. Previously, she worked in prospect research at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and in development at Marquette University.

    1. Do you take work home with you?

    If my team is up against a tight deadline, then yes, I absolutely will take work home.

    2. How many unread emails are in your work inbox right now?

    None at the moment…but then there all the un-filed emails that cause problems.

    3. How many meetings do you have this week?

    Four

    4. What is something on your desk that helps you be productive?

    I have a large calendar to which I’ve added important work dates and deadlines, so I can take a look at the upcoming month.

    5. If you were not in Prospect Research, what career would you have?

    I was fascinated with Russian history growing up, so I wanted to teach and research at the university level.

    6. If you could travel back in time and meet the first person to ever have your role, what would you say to them?

    I would want to ask them so many questions, mainly how long would it take to complete research without the technology we use today and what would the ROI on that be?

    7. If you mentored someone in Prospect Development, what would be your first piece of advice or instruction?

    My first piece of advice would be to sign up for Apra and Apra-IL! Both organizations are full of amazing resources and opportunities to learn of new developments in the field.

    8. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    I say that I work in fundraising research at the Booth School of Business.

    9. What is the best part of working in Prospect Development?

    I have had the opportunity to learn about so many different industries, especially the financial sector, since I have been at Chicago Booth. I also get to uncover prospects to help support the work of the university.

    10. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    I have met so many amazing people through Apra-IL and have learned so much about the various organizations in the state.

    11. Are you an early bird or night owl?

    Definitely an early bird. I like to feel productive early in the day.

    12. What book are you reading right now?

    I just started Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly. It is the second book in the Lilac Girls series and takes places during WWI and the Russian Revolution.

    13. What book would you recommend to people?

    I read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead this year and have been recommending it to everyone. I also love the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series from Louise Penny. It’s a detective series with tons of Quebecois history added.

    14. Currently, what is your favorite restaurant in your city?

    I live in the Western Suburbs, so my favorite restaurant out there is Babcock’s Grove House. Fantastic comfort food, local beers, and amazing owners.

    But since I work in Chicago, I’m adding Aba in the West Loop to the list. The rooftop patio and Mediterranean fare are incredible.

    15. What is your favorite season?

    I love fall. The changing colors, food, clothes, and holidays are all my favorite. But no pumpkin spice lattes!

    16. What is your favorite hobby?

    My husband and I bought our first home last year and it is full of projects for us inside and out. I have been learning so much about interior design and landscape design in the process, so if I have some downtime, I am usually working on that.

    17. Favorite meal of the day?

    If it’s the weekend, breakfast would be my favorite since I get to sit down and actually enjoy my coffee.

    18. What country do you wish to visit?

    The next country to visit on my list is Spain, but I am having trouble narrowing down what cities to visit!

    19. Best advice you have ever received?

    When I was little, my uncle always told me to “Keep on keeping on.” It was a simple way to teach me about the importance of perseverance.

    20. What is a superpower that you use at work?

    My superpower at work is figuring out what type of research someone is really requesting. Sometimes a requester doesn’t exactly know what they’re looking for or will ask for a comprehensive profile. By having conversations with research requesters, we can be strategic about what kind of research is appropriate for the situation and complete the work so much faster.

  • Fri, August 02, 2019 6:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Peter Kotowski

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 


    Peter is a Prospect Research Analyst at Loyola University Chicago. He has been a member of APRA-IL since 2016. Peter got into prospect management and research after finishing his PhD in early American history at Loyola. Before joining the team at Loyola University, he was the Associate Director of Prospect Research at Loyola Academy. Outside of work, Peter enjoys reading, finding new television shows to enjoy, and traveling.

    1. How do you explain your role to people outside of Prospect Development?

    I generally tell people that I work in fundraising but that I don’t solicit donors.

    2. When did you decide to become an Adjunct Professor in U.S. History?

    I’ve been an adjunct since 2011 and I’ve been teaching in various capacities since 2009.

    3. What was your favorite subject in high school?

    This may come as a surprise to many, but it was history. I was particularly fascinated by early American history and early modern English history.

    4. What is it like to both work as a researcher at and teach for the same institution?

    I think it has given me a greater appreciation for the work that I do and a better understanding of what goes on at a university and the way it functions.

    5. If you could travel back in time and meet the first person to ever have your role as Prospect Research Analyst, what would you say to them?

    I’d ask them how they stumbled upon this career path.

    6. If you could spend 24 hours in any period of history, what time would you go back to?

    I’d take 24 hours to observe the construction of the pyramids to test my theory that they weren’t built by aliens, but rather by time traveling humans from far into the future.

    7. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    It provided me some great information and resources when I first started out in the industry.

    8. When you attend Apra-IL meet-ups, what or who do you also make time to visit?

    I live in the city, so I generally go straight to the meet-ups and then head home.

    9. Best advice you have ever received?

    Always double check your sources.

    10. What is something new you just learned or worked on at work?

    I just finished a first attempt at developing an engagement score to better prioritize new prospect assignments for our gift officers.

    11. By 2030, how would the field of Prospect Development have evolved?

    I expect it will be much more prospect management focused as more of the research becomes automated.

    12. What must you start your morning off with, tea or coffee?

    Black coffee only.

    13. How do you manage or balance work and life?

    I set a firm daily schedule for when I arrive and when I leave, and I never deviate unless it’s absolutely necessary.

    14. Where was your last vacation?

    I went to Philadelphia for the 4th of July.

    15. What is your favorite Season?

    Winter. The colder and snowier the better.

    16. Chocolate or candy?

    Chocolate.

    17. What was the last book you read?

    A good friend of mine from graduate school, Noelani Arista’s recent publication, The Kingdom and the Republic: Sovereign Hawai’i and the Early United States. It's a fascinating exploration of how misunderstandings and misreadings shaped relations between native Hawaiians and European and American merchants and missionaries. Dr. Arista’s work draws heavily on Hawaiian-language sources and was one of the more interesting historical works I’ve read lately.

    18. Who or what inspires you?

    Pompey, a pug owned by William the Silent, Prince of Orange. He was so loyal to his owner that Pompey risked life and paw to thwart an assassination attempt against William. Thanks to his loyal service, the pug became the official dog of the House of Orange.

    19. What was your first job ever?

    I worked as a cashier at a drug store.

    20. What is your favorite hobby?

    Reading and running.

  • Thu, June 27, 2019 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Jessica Szadziewicz

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 


    Jessica Szadziewicz is the Assistant Director of Prospect Management and Research at Loyola University Chicago. She previously worked at Northwestern University as a Prospect Information Analyst before joining Loyola in late 2016. Jessica received her MLS from Dominican University in 2011 and her BA in History from DePaul University in 2009. 


    1. What is the first thing you do when you get to work?

    Check email

    2. How many meetings do you typically have in a week?

    Anywhere from 3 to 10

    3. What does your role as Assistant Director of Prospect Management and Research mean to you?

    It means I get to do interesting work every day with great people

    4. If you were not in Prospect Development, what career would you have?

    Probably in a library or archival setting

    5. How would you describe Prospect Development to your 15-year-old self?

    I would say that prospect development is a part of fundraising where you look for wealthy donors

    6. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    I usually say I work in philanthropy or fundraising where I help find wealthy individuals who may want to support the university

    7. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    Introduced me to great people

    8. If it was possible, where in the world would you want to attend an Apra international conference?

    London

    9. When you come to the Apra-IL meet-ups, what or who do you also make time to visit?

    Because I live in the city I go to the meetup right after work and go straight home after

    10. If you could watch only one movie for a month, what would it be?

    The Man Who Knew Too Much

    11. Where did you go on your last vacation?

    Greece

    12. What book are you currently reading?

    Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

    13. What book would you recommend to people?

    Anything by David Mitchell! Especially The Bone Clocks

    14. If you could write your own memoir, what would it be titled?

    What Not to Do

    15. What is your favorite restaurant in your city/town?

    Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinders

    16. What is your favorite Season?

    Summer

    17. As a candidate for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Loyola University Chicago, what advice would you give to those interested in applying to an MBA program?

    It is definitely worth it, especially if you get a tuition discount. I’ve already applied some of what I’ve learned in my job and I’m not even half way done.

    18. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

    Boris Godunov

    19. Best advice you have ever received?

    Treat everyone nicely; they could be your boss someday

    20. What is something new you learned at work today or worked on?

    I worked on my presentation for the Prospect Development conference this summer!

  • Tue, June 11, 2019 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    What makes prospect development a great career?

    Apra-IL is asking local and national industry leaders what the field means to them and why and how they have pursued success in prospect development. Through this blog series, we will explore what drives industry leaders to propel their careers and prospect development forward. 

    For this month's piece. Joan Ogwumike, Apra-IL member and volunteer, interviews Beth Inman, National Director, Prospect Management for JDFR. 


    Beth Inman is the National Director, Prospect Management for JDRF, the world’s largest nonprofit funder of type 1 diabetes research, and is based in Charleston, SC; a position she’s held since November 2017. Prior to joining JDRF, she was the Senior Director of Prospect Management & Research Analysis at the University of South Carolina and Director of Development Services at The Citadel Foundation. At all three of these organizations, she was hired into newly created positions designed to introduce prospect management systems to drive the work of the major gifts enterprises.

    Before her development career, Beth was the associate curator of American and decorative art at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC. She is currently in her second year on the Ethics & Compliance Committee for Apra International and serves as Immediate Past President of Apra Carolinas. Beth is a native of Charlotte, NC and holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in art history from the University of South Carolina. She is mom to a 15-year-old daughter and is passionate about literacy, the arts, and women’s rights causes.

    Apra-IL: Describe your journey into your current position.

    Inman: My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in art history and I went to graduate school with the goal of being a curator in an art museum. For the first part of my career, I worked as a curator for a history museum and then as the associate curator of American and decorative art at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina. They were both great experiences and I loved my work, but life led me to Charleston, South Carolina and continuing in the museum world wasn’t an option. I landed at The Citadel Foundation (the fundraising unit for The Citadel, The Military College of SC) in 2007 as the new Chief Development Officer’s executive assistant. That was such a great way to learn the ins and outs of development! I scheduled donor visits for him, accompanied him to meetings with Deans, sat in on meetings with the major gift officers, etc. About a year later, I was promoted into the new Director of Development Services position and over the next 3+ years, I created a prospect management program there.

    In 2011, I moved back to Columbia, South Carolina to be the new Senior Director of Prospect Management & Research Analysis at the University of South Carolina. South Carolina was in the quiet phase of the state’s first $1B capital campaign and didn’t have a formal prospect management program, so I had my work cut out for me! In 2017, after almost 6 ½ years at South Carolina, I accepted the opportunity to be JDRF’s first National Director, Prospect Management. I saw it as a great way to utilize my experience in building higher-education prospect management program for a national cause-based organization. My first 18 months have been a whirlwind of learning a new database (Salesforce), learning how development works in such a large organization, and learning how to work remotely and it has been amazing!

    Apra-IL: As a leader, can you tell us what motivates you in your current field? And perhaps whether your motivations have ever changed?

    Inman: What motivates me is figuring out ways to identify more prospects, ‘clearing the tracks’ for my team so they can focus on what they do best, learning different ways to summarize & visualize data, and advocating for prospect management both within my organization and outside. I am also motivated by learning in the broadest sense; I get so excited when I have an opportunity to learn something new (I’ve been learning about Excel’s Power Maps) or when I figure something out/have an “a-ha!” moment (why a report wasn’t pulling the way it should). In many of our organizations, we are often the first place someone in our shop comes for help and that’s a great way to build relationships with gift officers, leadership, etc. and if we didn’t know the answer but found it, we learned something new, as well. Win-win! On the flip side, we can’t be afraid to ask for help either!

    Apra-IL: What role has Apra played in your professional journey?

    Inman: Apra, at both the national and chapter level, has played a significant role in my professional journey; I have learned so much about leadership, organization, delegating, conference planning, and even unexpected skills like updating our chapter’s website and filing with the North Carolina and South Carolina Secretaries of State offices! I am confident Apra will help me continue to add to this list as I progress in my career!

    Apra-IL: Could you tell us one misconception people have about professionals in Prospect Development? What is the truth?

    Inman: The role that prospect development plays differs slightly from organization to organization but something I’ve heard (granted, it’s been a long time) to describe us is “police” or that we’re “policing” what the fundraisers do. It used to make me angry because I vehemently disagree with the sentiment, but I learned to use those moments when the term came up to have a productive conversation about why they felt that way and also to educate them about how they can benefit from utilizing prospect development. Taking that approach proved to be helpful!

    Apra-IL: How would you define a leader in Prospect Development?

    Inman: Leaders in Prospect Development are nimble, diplomatic, open-minded, curious, persistent, and patient. It is also important to have the ability to think big-picture while also being comfortable “in the weeds.” We are often creating or editing policies and procedures so attention to detail is really important – at the same time, we’re also thinking about where we want our teams to be in the future so the ability to think strategically is also valuable.

  • Fri, May 31, 2019 7:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Amy Tibbs

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 


    Amy joined National Audubon Society in 2018 and previously held prospect research positions at Elmhurst College, North Park University, and Rush University Medical Center. Amy has been involved with Apra-IL as chapter secretary and on the programming committee. She enjoys binging TV shows while surrounded by her favorite creatures (canine, feline, and human) and is excited that spring is (almost) sprung in Chicago!

    1. Favorite meal of the day?

    Snacks, I’m on Team Snacks all the way.

    2. How many unread emails are in your work inbox?

    Four unread in my inbox, with about 20 non-urgent/actionable unread emails in curated folders.

    3. What keeps you engaged during a very long meeting?

    Humor and memes thrown into a PowerPoint. I’m a sucker for a good Office or Parks & Rec gif.

    4. If you were not in Prospect Development, what career would you have?

    Probably something lame, because prospect development is basically the best. I always toy with the idea of going back to school to become a librarian (like so many in our field), which would be the polar opposite of lame.

    5. If it was year 2080 and someone in your role traveled back in time to meet you, what would you tell them about Prospect Development in 2019?

    “No, no one entered contact reports back in my day, either.”

    6. When you are overwhelmed with deadlines, what is the first thing you do?

    Write out a list, make a game plan, and close non-essential tabs.

    7. What is your favorite thing about the National Audubon Society?

    I love being with an organization that has been around for over a century, advocating for conservation and environmental protections the entire time, something that is so important now. Also, obviously, the beautiful bird paintings.

    8. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    My work connects people interested in our mission with ways they can support our endeavors.

    9. What is the best part of working in Prospect Development?

    Being able to indulge my curious nature for the greater good.

    10. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    So much! But building my network of peers locally and nationally has been helpful with my career and personally fulfilling.

    11. When you come to the Apra-IL meet-ups, what or who do you also make time to visit?

    It’s all about the members! I love connecting with friends and former colleagues, but one of my favorite things is meeting new Apra-IL members and researchers new to the field.

    12. What book are you reading right now?

    Re-reading Bad Blood by John Carreyrou about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos for book club. Bonkers! See also: The Dropout podcast and HBO’s The Inventor

    13. What book would you recommend to people?

    Oh man, tough question. Lincoln in the Bardo from a few years back, and I recommend the audio book in particular for the voice cast. It’s a solid story and put me on spiral of reading related books for a few months. It prompted me to reread The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which I also highly recommend.

    14. What is your favorite restaurant in your city/town?

    Burger Antics in lovely Brookfield, IL – half a block from a Metra stop and super tasty. Everyone should go. Let me know when you’re coming!

    15.  What is your favorite Season?

    Summer – I’ll complain about the heat, but the days can feel gloriously endless.

    16. Tea or coffee?

    Coffee

    17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

    Is it the worst cliché to say the Obamas? I don’t care. The Obamas, one hundred percent.

    18. What is your favorite animal, and would you want it as a pet?

    I feel like I should say birds, but I cannot. We have two dogs and a cat, so I feel obligated to say they are all my favorite.

    19. What is the best advice you have ever received?

    “Keep Moving Forward” (from Meet the Robinsons but also, in a variety of similar phrases, from the strong women in my family).

    20. What is something new you learned at work today or worked on?

    SUPER YACHTS. I feel like there are a lot of stories lately about super yachts – their architects and designers, people who own them, and my favorite, a Forbes article about the “Ten Best Ways to Protect from Pirates and Paparazzi.” I’m not obsessed, but also I’m not not-obsessed.
  • Mon, May 06, 2019 7:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Evan Smeenge

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 


    I am a Michigander who loves travelling. I dragged my then girlfriend, now wife, along to London where we both studied for our Master of Arts degrees, mine is in Museum and Gallery Studies. I was able to visit 20+ cities over that short period of time.

    I’m an impassioned non-profit worker, currently, Manager of Prospect Management and Discovery at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. I have been emboldened to make sure the people I can help are helped, and those who I come in contact with have just as much opportunity that I have had; taking on the seemingly impossible.

    I am excited to someday lead an organization with this goal.

    I am Evan Smeenge.


    1.You have experience in the Museum sector, what has challenged you lately?

    My departure from the collections and curatorial part of museums.

    2. What is something interesting that would surprise people about fundraising for a Museum?

    The numerous paths to pull a donor in.

    3. What is your favorite exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry?

    Numbers in Nature is fascinating, but my favorite is U-505 … WWII geek.

    4. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    I support the fundraising effort by discovering new prospective donors and placing them in fundraisers' portfolios. Normally, the person doesn’t understand, so they stop asking.

    5. Describe Prospect Development with three adjectives?

    Inquisitive, aggravating, personable

    6. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    Connected me with some lovely people throughout the country!

    7. When you come to the Apra-IL meet-ups, what do you always make sure to make time to visit?

    Nothing, just love being with the Apra-IL peeps!

    8. In what city would you love to attend the Apra International conference?

    Seattle

    9. If you were not in Prospect Development, what career would you have?

    Archaeologist

    10. In a day, how often do you drink a cup of coffee?

    Two cups per morning. Maybe one in the afternoon.

    11. How many meetings did you have this week?

    Ten

    12. Do you have lunch at your desk or away?

    Always at my desk.

    13. What book are you reading right now?

    Oliver Twist

    14. What book would you recommend to people?

    Any book on Napoleon’s life!

    15. What is your favorite Season?

    Autumn

    16. Candy or chocolate?

    Obviously chocolate ...

    17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

    Since I’m very focused on my family history right now, probably one of my ancestors. Perhaps one from over 1,000 years ago.

    18. What country do you wish to visit?

    With all my travels, I still haven’t visited Ireland!!!

    19. Best advice you have ever received?

    Take the help you are given.

    20. What is something new you just learned or worked on at work?

    Pivot tables!!!

  • Mon, April 08, 2019 7:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Apra-IL Presents 20 Questions with ... Megan Humphrey

    Based on the 73 Questions series produced by Vogue, Apra-IL presents a series of 20 questions to members and the board. We're excited for you to learn more about your leadership and fellow members in this series of 20 rapid-fire questions. 

    Megan has the good fortune of serving on the talented prospect research team at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Before joining prospect development, she spent many years at the American Library Association, where she managed a national public awareness campaign to promote the value of libraries. Megan is also the new President of Apra-Illinois.


    1. What must you start your morning off with, tea or coffee?

    Either.

    2. How many unread emails are in your work inbox?

    Well, you never know when you might need an old email (I’m an email hoarder).

    3. How many meetings do you have in a week?

    Not too many! Between one to three.

    4. If you were not in Prospect Development, what career would you choose?

    I spent time in communications and marketing for non-profits before becoming a prospect researcher.

    5. If you could travel back in time and meet the first person to ever have your role, what would you say to them?

    I would ask them all of the questions. I’m a researcher – I love asking questions!

    6. What is the first thing you do when you find out that you have multiple projects with close deadlines?

    Make a plan.

    7.What is your favorite thing on your work desk?

    A few years ago for my birthday, my friend Annette made what is essentially an interactive art piece from an old office Rolodex. There are bandages under “B,” earplugs under “E,” paper drink umbrellas under “U,” etc. It is wonderful.

    8. How do you explain your role to people outside of Development?

    “I work in fundraising” is usually the amount of information people seem satisfied with.

    9. What is the best part of working in Prospect Development?

    There is so much to be curious about, and I get to be curious all day long!

    10. What is one thing Apra has done for you?

    Connecting with people from other types of institutions

    11. When you come to the Apra-IL meet-ups, what do you always make sure to make time to visit?

    I live in Chicago, so at meet-ups I make sure to chat with new people.

    12. What book are you reading right now?

    The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles, a novelist who lives in Chicago

    13. What book would you recommend to people?

    A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon

    14. What is your favorite museum in your city/town?

    I’m a member of the Art Institute of Chicago and love that I can dip in and out throughout the year, re-visiting favorites and catching new exhibits.

    15. What is your favorite Season?

    I like every season but prefer spring much less than the others until the moment that trees begin to flower, and then spring is my favorite…until summer.

    16. Candy or chocolate?

    All of the candy.

    17. If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

    Anyone from the distant past who would be patient and answer all of my questions about what daily life was like in their time.

    18. What country do you wish to visit?

    Norway… and Japan… and Chile

    19. Best advice you have ever received?

    Always read the footnotes.

    20. What is something new you just learned or worked on at work?

    I learned more about the SEC form D.


  • Fri, March 01, 2019 8:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Match Makers Season 2: The Prospect Development Edition

    The working relationship between prospect management professionals, data analytics, researchers and gift offers can make or break a shop's morale, efficiency, and ability to reach its goals! In an ode to all the popular reality match making shows, we present to you the second season of Apra-IL's series - Match Makers Season 2: The Prospect Development Edition. Strengths and working style capabilities will be tested through random assignments, so have some fun with us as we imagine a world where we could match our perfect prospect development team whit a gift officer. 

    Host: Welcome back everyone to Match Makers Season 2: The Prospect Development Edition. This is our final week and challenge!

    On the last episode, our two teams, The Builders and The Cultivators, competed in the challenge "There is Always a Twist," and had to create lists of people based on an RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary) model. But there was a twist: each person had to have a capacity rating above $50,000, could not have active steps, and could not be managed by a DO. The Cultivators won the challenge, bringing us to the finale of the competition with a tie.

    Remember that both teams consist of prospect researchers, prospect management professionals, and data analytics professionals that need to collaborate within their specific teams, and harness their skills to win different challenges in order to become one development officer’s perfect team match at Ordinary University.

    Let’s reintroduce our teams-

    Team one, The Builders: Melissa who is our Season One winner and prospect researcher, Michelle from prospect management, and Juanita from analytics.

    Team two is called, The Cultivators: let’s welcome Charles from prospect research, Shayla from prospect management, and Lauren from analytics.

    And our development officer (DO) Anthony who will be our challenge judge.

    Audience, our third and final challenge is called "I’m the Map."

    The objective of this challenge is to create a map and visualize the top 50 people from Anthony’s portfolio based on one specific code in the University’s CRM. Each team must decide their own code and why they chose this method. The challenge will ultimately help Anthony focus on a specific group in his portfolio.

    Once the visuals are in, we will hear from the teams about how they made their decision and Anthony will determine the winner of this challenge.

    Teams, you have until the end week. Good luck!

    *End of the week*

    Host: Welcome back everyone. It is time to review the lists that both teams have created for Anthony. Remember, Anthony will decide the winner based on how the teams worked together, and came to their conclusion.

    The Cultivators, please choose your spokesperson that will speak for you during this deliberation, and tell us how you built your list.

    Charles, prospect research: Hello, my name is Charles and I will be speaking for my team this week. To tackle this project, we began by deciding on a code to use to filter, and concluded that the top 50 people should have the committee member code. We thought it would be great to map out the top 50 people in Anthony’s portfolio who were members of a committee and where they were clustered in the country.

    We found that many were located in the Midwest region, and also found this to be extremely helpful for Anthony’s travel schedule and further engagement plans.

    Host: Thank you. Great work, team! The Builders, please choose your spokesperson that will speak for you during this deliberation, and tell us how you built your list.

    Melissa, prospect research: Hello, my name is Melissa and I will be speaking for The Builders this week. My team chose to pull the people in Anthony’s portfolio that were coded to have prospect research profiles. The research profiles validated the ratings and helped Anthony know his prospects’ capacity range. We chose the top 50 people, mapped them and found that many with profiles and major gift capacity ratings were closer to Ordinary University, and in the surrounding cities. This seemed like a perfect group for Anthony to email or call for visits based on proximity to the University. It would also be easy to bring these prospects to the University for special tours and meetings, for additional engagement.

    Host: Great work team!

    This is going to be hard Anthony, but what do you think of how both teams worked together, and their visuals?

    Anthony: You are right this is hard. Both teams have done a fantastic job! The Cultivators really focused on people in committees, which is very important. I did not know that so many people in my portfolio were members of a committee at the University.

    The Builders did a great job as well by focusing on people with prospect research profiles, and then mapping it out to reveal their proximity to the University.

    Host: Anthony, it is time to tell us who is your perfect team match because whoever wins this challenge wins the competition. Who is the winner?

    Anthony: Well, first I would like to thank you all for participating in this competition. You are all amazing fundraisers that are skilled in different ways that support and strengthen Ordinary University’s fundraising strategies.

    With that said, the winner and my perfect team match is The Builders! The Builders won this challenge and ultimately have the title and role of my perfect team match.

    Host: Folks this is so exciting! The Builders you are our winner!

    Thank you to The Cultivators for participating and sharing your skills, not only with Anthony, but with our audience!

    Thank you to Ordinary University for welcoming us back for Season 2!

    And most importantly thank you to you, our audience, for being a part of this experience.

    This has been Match Makers Season 2 The Prospect Development Edition.

  • Mon, February 25, 2019 7:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As love is in the air, we will share what we love about prospect development. Follow our weekly series (four entries throughout February) to discover the humor, pathos, and irony that comes from our ranks of Apra-IL members. You'll enjoy limericks, long-form poems, and odes to all aspects of Prospect Development and we cannot wait to hear your thoughts!

    Devoted to My Database

    By: Alex Mendez, Advancement Business Solutions Consultant, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association and Treasurer, Apra-WI


    The greatest foundation for any loving relationship is good communication. When moving in tandem, a synchronized pair can overcome even the most treacherous scenarios.

    I’ve heard it over and over, but it wasn’t until I began working in prospect research that I came to really know the saying to be true. On my first day, I met a partner I’d soon come to rely on to get me through my most difficult challenges. I faced frustrations daily; losing hours in bottomless research. But my companion would never dwell on my mistakes. My every request was met with an instant response; I was understood. I counted on this knowing. Together, work became easier.

    Eventually I learned the shortcomings. Came to appreciate the oddities. Love the quirks that encouraged our overwhelming oneness. Our symbiotic brilliance. And for two years I nurtured the relationship. But the flaws continued to creep into focus and the deficiencies began to pile high. I’d lose time trying to explain, wanting nothing more than to cut ties and proceed on my own. Then suddenly, as if overnight, I felt my perfect partner return to me. I began to receive the responses I’d longed for. The reactions I’d wished for; improvements I imagine we both wanted.

    Again, I felt comfort and love for the coworker I needed most: my database. I'm thankful for our application developers and business intelligence teams for restoring our connection. Every newly required field, form, prompt and process improves our bond. We move as one. We research faster. Our communication is as smooth as ever. And now, again, the love and understanding feels shared.

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