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The Prospector

A Publication of APRA Metro DC


Discover New Ideas | Learn New Approaches | Build New Connections

Newsletter Chair & Editor


Daniel Greeley

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

April 22, 2015


Volume 3 Issue 1

1 From the Presidents


Desk

From the Presidents Desk:


Continuing a Great Tradition

2 MARC Scholarship
Winner!

Associate Director of Development Operations at the Center for American


Progress

3 The Job Board


3 Ancestry.com: A
Users Review
5 Bridging the Big Data
Resource Gap
Special Section:
6 Adventures in
Freelancing
8 Consultancy vs.
Development Office
10 APRA Metro DC Board

SAVE

THE

DATE!

MARC Dinner Group


6/2/2015
Time: TBD | Location: TBD
Sign-ups for this will be at
the hospitality and
registration desk.
For more info. on this
and other events, visit:
http://aprametrodc.blogs
pot.com/p/events.html

By Lindsey Nadeau

It is an exciting time to take on the presidency of APRA Metro DC.


This past year, the chapter has experienced substantial growth:
the Board of Directors added five new members, each brown-bag
presentation featured nationally recognized speakers, The
Prospector published several first-time authors, we revived the
MARC scholarship award, and we partnered with the Association
of Advancement Service Professionals to host a joint event.
Additionally, this years annual conference sold out in record
time. The conference drew first-time members due to the quality
of speakers and the variety of discussion topics. It also attracted
attention from industry partners who sponsored the eventa
chapter first. This is a testament to the abundant energy of the
prospect development community in DC.
Guest speakers, representatives of other APRA chapters, and
APRA leadership have expressed their admiration and appreciation
for the level of activity and engagement they see from APRA
Metro DC's members. Indeed, we have made important
contributions beyond our local events. APRA Metro DC chapter
members have written articles for APRAs Connections and have
volunteered, presented at, or served on the planning committees
of MARC, APRAs annual Prospect Development, and regionalchapter conferences.
Presidents Message continued on page 2.

The Prospector

Page 2
Presidents Message from page 1:
I think our chapter's success is reflective of Devon Villa Gesserts
five years of superb leadership. Her encouragement and example
inspired many of her colleagues to volunteer to lead our
profession. I hope to continue this tradition and make sure that
the wider APRA community, as well as other sister associations,
know that APRA Metro DC is leading the way. I encourage
everyone to continue their service and consider additional ways
we can all contribute to enhancing APRA Metro DCs profile.
If this year has been any indication, I cant wait to see what well
accomplish next!

Photo: Lindsey Nadeau


(reprinted with her permission)

Our APRA DC 2015 Spring Conference Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Congratulations to Our 2015 MARC Scholarship Winner!!


Daniela Petchik
Daniela is a prospect researcher at her alma mater The Catholic
University of America, where she enjoys sleuthing the
universitys next top donors. She tries, with mixed success, to
help the gift officers keep their prospect portfolios at a
manageable size. She is also President of the Havard Virtuous
Leadership Institute and chairs an elementary school's
development committee. By being able to attend MARC, she
says she will be able to acquire additional best practices to
better serve the institution she loves!

Page 3

The Prospector

The Job Board (Job Board)


Director of Strategy and Development
Senior Manager of Prospect Research
Database Analyst
Development Coordinator, Prospect
Management & Data Analytics
Director, Annual Giving
Strategic Partnerships Research and Data
Coordinator
CRM-Development Database Coordinator
Director, Development Operations,
Resource Development & Engagement
Strategies

US Chamber of Commerce
Conservation International
WETA
US Holocaust Museum

DC
VA
VA
DC

4/6/2015
3/25/2015
3/20/2015
2/24/2015

National Park Foundation


International Justice Mission

DC
DC

2/24/2015
2/20/2015

World Wildlife Fund


PAHO Foundation

DC
DC

2/17/2015
2/6/2015

Visit our Resources Page, APRA Intl. and The Chron. of Philan. for current job postings.

Ancestry.com: A User's Review


By Madaleine J. Laird
Coordinator, Research and Prospect Management at American University

conscientious
prospect researchers
will realize soon
enough that effective
use of Ancestry.com
requires them to
have a general idea
of the information
they seek before
starting to look.

Several years ago, television commercials for Ancestry.com made


a claim that sparked fierce debate among genealogists: "You don't
have to know what you're looking for. You just have to start
looking." Some thought the bold declaration would encourage new
genealogy enthusiasts, while others feared it was deceptive and
minimized the need for careful analysis of evidence. This
genealogist-turned-prospect-researcher believes that
Ancestry.com can be used effectively as a search tool for both
fields, as long as we don't rely on the site to do all the heavy
lifting. Those infamous "shaky leaf" hints are sometimes accurate,
but all too often they lead one down the proverbial garden path
and straight into a patch of weeds. Hastily constructed family
trees help no one, and conscientious prospect researchers will
realize soon enough that effective use of Ancestry.com requires
them to have a general idea of the information they seek before
starting to look. However, Ancestry.com can be a valuable
addition to a prospect researchers toolbox.

However, Ancestry.com can be a valuable


addition to a prospect researchers toolbox.
Ancestry.com continued on page 4.

Page 4

The Prospector

Ancestry.com from page 3:


Genealogists call Ancestry.com a "website" or a "subscription site."
Technically, they are correct on both counts, since it can only be
viewed in a web browser after paying between $198 and $398* per
year. Cataloging librarians have given Ancestry.com a number of
different labels, including "online database" and "continually
updated resource." Considering the site's massive scope and everexpanding reach, a more precise definition may be hard to come
by, so perhaps the focus should remain on what researchers can
do with Ancestry.com, rather than what it is.
Once a subscription has been purchased, Ancestry.com provides
access to 32,634* record collections, a term that encompasses a
wide variety of information items, from individual digitized books
to decennial census returns. Federated search capability allows
users to search all collections simultaneously, but researchers
who prefer a more targeted approach can whittle down search
options by record type and location. Record collections can also
be searched individually. To locate relevant collections, the
quaintly named Card Catalog can be searched by title or keyword,
though some experimentation may be necessary when choosing
search terms. A list of Recently Added and Updated Collections is
available even to nonsubscribers, as is the Card Catalog. Indexing
errors are numerous, and submitting corrections is a lengthy
process.

Indexing errors are


numerous, and
submitting
corrections is a
lengthy process.

While wearing my prospect researcher hat, I have used the


following record collections (in no particular order) to verify or
locate information about prospects that would have been difficult
to obtain in a timely manner without access to Ancestry.com:

Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014


U.S. Federal Census Collection
Index to Petitions for Naturalization Filed in New York City,
1792-1989
U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989

Novice genealogists may be thrilled to have a "shaky leaf" guiding


their research efforts, but prospect researchers are more likely to
be critical of their findings. In spite of the challenges inherent in
navigating such a vast resource and sifting through search results,
a subscription to Ancestry.com can be a wise investment.
Disclaimer: I use my personal subscription to Ancestry.com for genealogical
research and my employer's subscription for prospect research. I have also
made use of Ancestry Library Edition at local public libraries.
*Figures verified on March 31, 2015.

a subscription to
Ancestry.com can be
a wise investment.

Page 5

The Prospector

Nonprofit Development: How to


bridge the big data resource gap
(Reproduced with permission from RelSci)
The Brief
Harnessing big data is the latest hurdle for
nonprofit organizations, a task made more difficult by the fact
that most lack the resources larger corporations can so
easily earmark for it. By smartly matching strategy to goals,
though, nonprofits can get data to work for them.

The article is thanks to our


Platinum Sponsor, RelSci.

How can nonprofit organizations with limited resources squeeze


the most from their data? Turns out, its all about getting better,
not bigger. Numbers are important, but what's critical is cutting
through the noise to find the data science tools and processes
that best serve the specific goals of your organization.
In a new white paper, RelScis Josh Mait argues that nonprofits
must first realize that big data analysis is necessary only as far as
it helps drive overall organizational goals. Orgs facing a resource
gap can and should limit their data analysis to whatever drives
Strategy X (engagement, fundraising, communications, etc.). Mait
then outlines three steps nonprofits can employ to help bridge
that data resource gap.

First, small steps


are critical when it
comes to
implementing a data
process.

First, small steps are critical when it comes to implementing a


data process. Data for its own sake is useless and eats up precious
resources, which many nonprofits lack to begin with. Start by
engaging everyone at your organization, from the top down, in a
conversation about data science and what it can do for your
organizational goals. Not every employee can be a data scientist,
but its important for your staff to understand why these tools are
being implemented.
Then, focus your analytics on easily obtained or already accessible
data from within the organization; by doing so, your nonprofit can
gain valuable information about existing strategies and programs.
Studies using medium data are an excellent and inexpensive
way to warm up for larger, more resource-intensive data projects.
To learn more about how to efficiently leverage data at your
nonprofitsand explore Mait's two other strategies for data
successdownload the RelSci white paper on bridging the
nonprofit data resource gap.
Download the Full White Paper here:
http://go.relsci.com/BigDataResourceGap.APRA.DC

Page 6

The Prospector

Special Section
A Comparison: Two Views on Research
Consultants and In-house Researchers
Adventures in Freelance and Consulting Through the
Eyes of a Full-Time Prospect Researcher
By Mandy Heath
Manager, Research and Development Advancement at Barrow Neurological & St. Josephs Foundations, Phoenix, AZ

From Hollywood celebrities to Forbes World Billionaires, the life


of a prospect development professional, consulting or not, is
dynamic and exciting. As a full-time, in-house prospect
development professional for more than eight years, and
consulting and freelancing for six of those, one of the best parts
of my job is that I get to work on something new or different
almost every day. Although each role has its advantages and
disadvantages, I feel my experience as an in-house researcher has
enhanced my skills and knowledge as a consultant and freelancer.
To make a lifelong career in prospect development, I believe
there is great value in working both as a consultant or freelancer
and as an in-house researcher. By doing both, I have gained added
value and new perspectives that I am able to apply in my every
day work.
One of the greatest advantages of being an in-house researcher is
the stability. My work as a freelance researcher and consultant
varies from month to month because requests can be sporadic and
sometimes I am only hired for a short period of time. Another
advantage is that you gain an inside perspective of the
organization you work for which helps you better understand the
philanthropic goals and funding initiatives in order to identify,
qualify and research the right prospects. On the flip side, having
an external perspective allows me to think outside the box and
find a possible connection or interest of a prospect that someone
within the organization may not have recognized.
A lot of my consulting and freelance experience has included
implementing a prospect research and relationship management
system at an organization where one never existed or was
outdated. I have completed a lot of profile requests and special
projects along the waybut what I enjoy most is working with
clients to help create or modernize their research toolkit, train
and mentor staff members, and educate them about the
Adventures in Freelance and Consulting continued on page 7.

To make a lifelong
career in prospect
development, I
believe there is great
value in working both
as a consultant or
freelancer and as an
in-house researcher.

The Prospector

Page 7
Adventures in Freelance and Consulting from page 6:
advantages of prospect development and how it can help make
them successful. Teaching people about our profession and what
we can offer is gratifying when you see that they are succeeding.

Teaching people
about our profession
and what we can
offer is gratifying
when you see that
they are succeeding.

I have been fortunate enough to work at organizations that


encourage me to collaborate and partner with the fundraisers I
work with. Although most of my communication as an in-house
researcher is through email, I make it a point to regularly
schedule meetings with the fundraisers and executive leadership
team. This allows me to engage with members and strategize
about their prospects and portfolios, discuss next steps, and
ensure that what I am providing is exactly what they need. What
may work for one fundraiser does not always work for another, so
I may alter or modify my deliverables. Additionally, I feel there is
more responsibility around what we provide to them because our
goals may coincide with their successes and failures.
Consulting, on the other hand, is primarily face-to-face
interactions with your clients on an as-needed basis. You are hired
to help your client for specific reasons and after your work is
done, there may not always be need for follow-up.

Each role has


challenged and
pushed me to be
innovative, develop
new relationships,
educate others and
more importantly,
learn as much as I can
about our
profession.

The pace of a consultant and freelancer is very different than that


of an in-house researcher. Freelancing and consulting typically
involve high-priority, on-demand work with tight deadlines,
whereas in-house research can sometimes become mundane.
Freelancing often allows for greater flexibility of time, allowing
me to push back if the workload becomes too intense, which is
not always an option as an in-house researcher. It is more about
prioritizing based on who requests the research (executive
leadership or a fundraiser) and the amount of time each profile or
request will take.
I am thankful to have been given opportunities to explore the
prospect development profession in the roles of freelancer,
consultant and in-house prospect researcher. Consulting and
freelance work has also allowed me to view things from a
different perspective which complements and improves my role as
an in-house researcher. Each role has challenged and pushed me
to be innovative, develop new relationships, educate others and
more importantly, learn as much as I can about our profession. I
have come to appreciate the pros and cons of each path. More
importantly, I have been inspired and rewarded every step of the
way, no matter which path I happen to take.

Page 8

The Prospector

Research and Prospecting at a Consultancy and in the


Development Office
By Ben Lord

Research Director at The Taft Organization

Earlier, when I was a consultant, I thought I was a researcher.


When I worked at a development office, I discovered I thought
like a consultant. Now, having gone full circle, I have found they
are different. The skills in one case can complement the other or
prove a mismatch.
The most noticeable difference is the pace. Though it might only
be from my perspective, working at nonprofits seemed relatively
sedate. A prospective donor could be cultivated for decades.
Consultancies work on tighter schedules and it is always
immediate.
At a development office, the staff generally know who their next
prospect will be: another donor, member, or alumni. New
prospects generally originate and are forwarded as referrals or
requests from fundraisers. The procedures for qualifying them can
become standardized, with the quality assurance in their
uniformity. Looking at each prospect one at a time can resemble
an assembly line, each viewed through the key hole of an
information service provider. Because proficiency is based on
pipelines and procedures, staff tend to think inside the box not
outside it.
At a fundraising consultancy, the premium is on making
connections to prospects there might be a relation to but not a
pre-established relationship with. They must see things through
the world view of the client. New prospects are driven by
researchers or previous connections to the firm and its principals.
Rather than focusing on one name at a time, the methodology is
more to gather many names at once. Nonprofits tend to research,
consultancies to prospect. The ability to conjure names seemingly
out of nowhere is most important. Everyone has had these
moments but they are continuous at a consultancy. The
atmosphere at a consultancy is a race against deadlines and
signified by the recurrent nightmare of arriving at a meeting with
no new names. There is a high stakes excitement, though, about
what may be a low-level job elsewhere. A researcher can be a
hero or can crash the system.
Consultancy vs. Development Office continued on page 9.

Consultancies work
on tighter schedules
and it is always
immediate.

At a fundraising
consultancy, the
premium is on making
connections to
prospects there might
be a relation to but
not a pre-established
relationship with.

A researcher can be
a hero or can crash
the system.

The Prospector
The researcher feels
a greater sense of
responsibility for
their work.

In a consultancy,
ones job is based
upon their job
descriptions, and job
descriptions are
readily modifiable
based on your
accomplishments in
fluid situations.

Page 9
Consultancy vs. Development Office from page 8:
Whereas the interface between researchers and fundraisers in a
development office is most often a computer screen, at a
consultancy everyone is in the same room. They interrelate in a
series of handoffs and share credit for the results. The researcher
feels a greater sense of responsibility for their work.
At a development office, the path for promotion tends to be
administrative. Particularly in the direction of information
management, which is why qualified IT people can leapfrog
experienced researchers. At a consultancy, administration is
delegated, and advancement is in the direction of becoming a
fundraiser. At nonprofits, one amasses a string of titles such as
Assistant to the Associate Director of XYZ, which makes the
atmosphere very regimented and constrains job duties. At
consultancies, titles dont typecast. One could be a researcher-inchief of particular accounts or head of some specialty for the
group as a whole. In a consultancy, ones job is based upon their
job descriptions, and job descriptions are readily modifiable
based on your accomplishments in fluid situations.
For various reasons, nonprofits seek to hire one of the same,
consultants look for one of a kind that can multitask, diversify,
improvise, innovate. Cross training is emphasized. Experience
matters. Nonprofits can become compartmentalized and rather
territorial. At a consultancy, someone with an its not my job
attitude probably will not have one
Nonprofits are a hive, consultancies are a swarm. At a
consultancy, meetings are frequent, short and impromptu. One
learns to keep tabs on Outlook. Everyone provides their input and
participates in the strategizing. It is expected one becomes
involved in the whole prospect management cycle. The research
staff often serves as a think tank for the firm. At nonprofits,
meetings are longer, scheduled in advance and less frequent, one
might be asked to attend, report, and receive instructions, or not.
At consultancies, perhaps counterintuitively, there is a prevailing
sense of the inclusiveness that comes with being in it all together.
Consultancy vs. Development Office continued on page 10.

At consultancies, perhaps counterintuitively,


there is a prevailing sense of the inclusiveness
that comes with being in it all together.

The Prospector

Page 10
Consultancy vs. Development Office from page 9:
Development professionals can work for the same institution a
whole career. At a consultancy, clients will change so a
researcher can add organizations to their resume by the yard. By
working with many organizations, the research consultant gets
different perspectives, tools and information that they can then
transfer between clients, whereas in development offices,
researchers only learn to diversify their toolset. Cumulative
knowledge can be utilized again. Recently, in screening names for
one project, I recognized a constituent as the money manager of
a billionaire from another. Proven search routines can be
reemployed and applied to different campaigns.
Nonprofit reports can be long presentation quality documents
with hanging indents and running headers and footers that tangle
one up. Consultants reports are more to the point with concise
rationales. A nonprofit researcher may feel obliged to provide an
exhaustive report on a prospect with no idea why they are doing
the work. At a consultancy, if a researcher cannot summarize in
fifty words why a fundraiser should read what they requested,
someone is wasting the others time.
The main difference between being a research consultant and an
in-house researcher is not why we are in it. But, it is
environmental.

APRA Metro DC
P.O. Box 77205
Washington, DC 20013
Phone:
(202) 495-3696
E-mail:
president@aprametrodc.net

Join Us!

Visit Our Website!

http://aprametrodc.blogspot.co
m/

10/17/2014: Armando Zumaya, Vice 2/26/2015: Andrew C. Schultz, Director


1/27/2015: Jay Frost, Partner of
President
of Bridge Housing, speaking of Analytics of Bentz Whaley Flessner,
Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners,
speaking at a brown bag titled: R You
at
a
brown
bag titled: Creating a
speaking at a brown bag titled: Social
Prospecting
Culture
at
Your
Ready?
Analytics - Making Sense of the Social
Institution.
Web.
The APRA Metro DC Board of Directors
Lindsey Nadeau | President | president@aprametrodc.net | (202) 495-3696
Devon Villa Gessert | Immediate Past President | devon@aprametrodc.net | (202) 885-5923
Bob Lyon | Secretary | secretary@aprametrodc.net | (202) 495-4453
Ray Battistelli | Treasurer | treasurer@aprametrodc.net | (202) 663-5057
Rachel Collins | Communications Chair | communications@aprametrodc.net | (202) 885-5940
Andy McMahon | Membership Chair | membership@aprametrodc.net
Daniel Greeley | Newsletter Chair | newsletter@aprametrodc.net | (202) 800-2221
Katie Mire | Social Media Chair | socialmedia@aprametrodc.net | (202) 687-2656
Anne Dean | At-Large | anne@aprametrodc.net | (202) 994-2769
Thomas Turner | At-Large | thomas@aprametrodc.net | (703) 465-5495 x5101
Leslie Cronen | Ex-Officio | board@aprametrodc.net | (703) 205-2105