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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


1 From the Presidents
Desk
3 The Job Board
3 Prospect Research and
Library Science
5 Thankful for MARC
6 Op-Ed:
Dear Fundraisers
8 APRA Metro DC Board

SAVE

THE

DATE!

APRA Metro DC
Annual Conference
4/28/2016
Location:
World Wildlife Fund
For more info. on this
and other events, visit:
http://aprametrodc.blogs
pot.com/p/events.html

October 15, 2015


Volume 3 Issue 2

From the Presidents Desk:


Stepping Up To The Challenge
By Lindsey Nadeau
Associate Director of Presidential & Principal Gifts Research
at The George Washington University

On the heels of two great September events, I am pleased to


report that the 2015-2016 APRA DC programming season is off to a
promising start. Last month not only featured a roundtable
discussion that drew members from several small shops, but 25
prospect development professionals joined our first networking
happy hour of the year, which was the largest of recent memory.
The credit for this strong start goes to Javier Rodriguez, who the
Board welcomed as Programming Chair in May. He has already
proved to be a terrific addition to the Board, bringing renewed
energy and a fresh perspective to APRA Metro DCs vision.
As you may have noticed, the Board decided to engage the
membership via a survey to determine the direction of the coming
years curriculum, your communication and newsletter
preferences, and the chapters interest in our scholarship and a
potential mentorship program. The results are in: the membership
is overwhelmingly interested in professional development
speakers, topics, and events, including a mentorship program. At
our September meeting, the Board discussed our hope of
launching an Ask a Manager column in The Prospectors next
issue (which, per the survey, well be increasing the frequency
of), hold professional development workshops from seasoned
veterans starting this winter, and if there truly is enough interest,
launching a mentorship program.

Presidents Message continued on page 2.

The Prospector

Page 2
Presidents Message from page 1.
As the Board re-doubles its efforts to provide responsive
programming to the membership, I want to highlight a significant
change in APRA Internationals programming: the 2015 MidAtlantic Researchers Conference (MARC) was the last of its kind.
Instead of MARC, APRA will now offer the Annual Regional
Conference (ARC), which will focus on local topics and will
balance the geographical divide with the annual international
conference, Prospect Development. Losing MARC is a tremendous
blow to our Mid-Atlantic region. For those who couldnt attend
Prospect Development, MARC was a cost-effective means of
gaining exposure to best practices and networking. It provided an
intimate setting, without the sometimes overwhelming spectacle
of the international conference.

Photo: Lindsey Nadeau


(reprinted with her permission)

Going forward, I firmly believe it will be up to the local APRA


chapters to provide increased programming, recruit national
speakers, and partner with other Mid-Atlantic chapters to fill the
void. The APRA Metro DC board is prepared to rise to the
challenge. Weve set a date for our annual conference (April 28,
2016), and have already lined up terrific speakers. Stay tuned for
further details, and be sure to follow our social media accounts
for the latest updates.
As one of your 2016 Prospect Development Volunteer Co-Chairs, I
encourage the chapters membership to begin thinking about how
they can take full advantage of and volunteer in this years
programming on both the local and national level.

Our APRA Metro DC 2015 Sponsors


Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Page 3

The Prospector

The Job Board (Job Board)


Prospect Research Analyst
Portfolio and Prospect Research Manager
Development Research Associate
Development Specialist
Prospect Management Director

Smithsonian Institution
Georgetown University Law Ctr
BrightFocus Foundation
INOVA Health System
INOVA Health System

DC
DC
MD
VA
VA

10/7/2015
10/1/2015
9/28/2015
9/16/2015
9/15/2015

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

Library School and Prospect


Research: Two Professionals Share
Insight and Experience
By Madaleine J. Laird
Coordinator, Research and Prospect Management at American University

In spite of the many educational opportunities available to


prospect researchers, no academic institution offers a degree in
the field. However, a quick glance at email signatures on PRSPCTL reveals that at least a half-dozen subscribers working in
prospect research have earned master's degrees in library and
information science. What is the connection? I wondered. Two
members of DC prospect development community were gracious
enough to satisfy my curiosity.
Jon Thorsen, Associate Vice President of Advancement Services at
George Washington University, holds an MLIS from the University
of WisconsinMilwaukee (UW-Milwaukee), and Rachel Collins,
Assistant Director of Research and Prospect Management at
American University, earned an MLS from the University of
Maryland, College Park. Both had worked in libraries before
turning to prospect researchJon as a college librarian and
instructor, while Rachel held contract positions at academic
librariesand neither had heard of prospect research or
development before they saw the job postings that led them to
their first positions. Jon saw a development advertisement in The
Chronicle of Higher Education, and Rachel found a prospect
research job while volunteering for INALJ (I Need a Library Job).

What is the connection between studying


library science and prospect research?
Library Science and Prospect Research continued on page 4.

Page 4

The Prospector

Library Science and Prospect Research from page 3.


I asked Jon and Rachel if their education in library and
information science had provided a good foundation for their
careers in prospect research and development, and both said that
it had. Jon believes he acquired a "directly translatable skill set"
at UWMilwaukee's School of Information Studies. "The fun part is
helping gift officers figure out what they want to know," he said.
Rachel also affirmed that what she learned at the University of
Maryland, College Park's College of Information Studies was
indispensable for investigating prospects, verifying source
materials, and using subscription databases.
When asked if they recalled taking any specific courses in library
school that have a direct link to the work they do today, their
responses varied. Jon remembered writing a literature review for
a class assignment and considered it a useful exercise in "figuring
out where the most meaningful information on a big topic can be
found." Though he "hated" cataloging, he was "delighted" to find
out that there were people who loved it and were good at it. "I
feel the same way about frontline fundraising!" he said. Rachel
considers the classes she took on reference librarianship to be the
most relevant to her current position and says that the knowledge
she gained continues to serve her well. She also credits an
introductory course in information science for giving her "a better
understanding of systems and data analysis."
Is being a good prospect researcher a matter of training or
aptitude? According to Jon, it's both. "You have to have an innate
curiosity. Anyone can be trained to find information, but what's
the purpose of the information? That's where the training comes
in. Rachel also acknowledged that aptitude and training are
connected. "If you have an analytical mind, if you're thorough,
detailed, and focused, you can be taught. You can learn the
language of fundraising."
I ended our conversations by asking Jon and Rachel if they had
any tips for new prospect researchers. "Learn the fundraising side,
even if you never want to do it," Jon recommended, "and be an
advocate for your profession." Rachel offered similar advice:
"Meet people! Be curious about the work your organization does."
To read more on this topic, check out this article in APRAs
Connections Q2 2015 Issue: MLIS and Prospect Research: Two
Birds of a Feather by Ryan Frank http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/apra/connections_2015q2/in
dex.php?startid=26.

You have to have an


innate curiosity.
Anyone can be
trained to find
information, but
what's the purpose of
the information?
That's where the
training comes in
Jon Thorsen said.

Rachel acknowledged
that aptitude and
training are
connected. "If you
have an analytical
mind, if you're
thorough, detailed,
and focused, you can
be taught. You can
learn the language of
fundraising.

Page 5

The Prospector

Thankful for MARC: Turning


Prospecting into a Strength
By Daniela Petchik
Prospect Researcher at The Catholic University of America

Editors Note: Daniela Petchik received APRA Metro DCs 2015


Professional Development Scholarship. Below she summarizes
how her experience at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Researchers
Conference (MARC) and how it has benefited her ability to serve
The Catholic University of America.

Relationship Science was


APRA Metro DCs MARC
Scholarship Sponsor.

The MARC
conference is always
the best annual
opportunity to see
the research office in
a new light...

The MARC conference is always the best annual opportunity to see


the research office in a new light and this years conference has
already yielded many returns for us at The Catholic University of
America. Here are two different areas where my office is using
what I learned at this years conference to enhance The Catholic
Universitys prospect development operation.
Since everybody knows the research office serves others,
especially the major gifts team, the session that was met with the
most enthusiasm when implemented back home was by John
Gulino, called Data-Informed Prospecting at UVa: A Technical
Overview of Three Tools Developed at UVa. The session taught
how to design prospecting reports and gave a framework for how
you can start to create these reports from the database. The
session was very technical but two of the reports we built from it
were instantly put to use with our Millennium database. The
development reporting we use all the time now helps us target
constituents with greater inclination based on trends of past
giving to specific areas and the giving-frequency report has helped
us immensely with forecasting what donors future giving is
expected to look like. Its nice when efforts that get into the
highly technical nitty-gritty are valued throughout the whole
advancement office!
Another aspect from the conference that is helping us is the
encouragement to have our office look to the future. The session
R you ready? focused on predictive analytics. We are still
tinkering with ideas about how we might use this statistical
language software in the future but we are confident it will help
us find so many of our prospects yet to be discovered.
I am very thankful to the APRA Metro DC chapter for the
scholarship to attend MARC. The conference is turning prospecting
into a new strength for the research office at The Catholic
University! That is a success in my book.

The Prospector

Page 6

Op-Ed:
Dear Fundraisers
By Anne Dean
Director of Research & Relationship Management at The George Washington University

I love you, but I dont want to be you. You are really great, and
have incredible jobs. So do I.
As with many people who have prospect development at the core
of their careers, I fully embrace the new school of prospect
research (Is it still new? I hope not.) being proactive in how we
communicate and deliver work, having strategic discussions at
micro and macro levels, honing a peer-partnership with
fundraisers while embracing an adviser-client dynamic, and
pushing the envelope on what projects or initiatives we touch and
lead. This new school is now one of the tenets of the larger
field of prospect development.
I came to prospect development at a time when the shop I was in
was going through the massive process of changing from a
reactive, no-real-seat-at-the-table shop to a full-fledged
fundraising partnership. While I spent a few years in the
transition, I never had time to get comfortable in the more
reactive, passive shop...which, frankly, doesnt fit as well with
my personality anyway.
There are times I find that fundraiser colleagues are a bit, ahem,
behind in their view of what prospect development is, can, and
should be doing. There are still those who approach prospect
development cautiously, thinking that we dont understand what
fundraisers are looking for, so just give them the full profile, they
will pull out what they want and move to solicitation without our
recommendations. Utilizing us as thought partners and knowledge
experts is often overlooked and sadly is still not commonplace.
For the fundraisers who understand the importance of what we
provide and use our work in fabulous, strategic ways, thank you!
We love to see a successful solicitation strategy that leads to a
major gift as much as you. We love to volunteer at the annual
scholarship event as much as you. We love to make Thanksgiving
stewardship phone calls as much as you. We love to see change in
the organization, to grow something we are passionate about, just
like you. We love to make things a success and strategically aid in
thoughtful donor cultivation, just like you.
Dear Fundraisers continued on page 7.

I fully embrace the


new school of
prospect research (Is
it still new? I hope
not.) being
proactive in how we
communicate and
deliver work, having
strategic discussions
at micro and macro
levels, honing a peerpartnership with
fundraisers while
embracing an adviserclient dynamic, and
pushing the envelope
on what projects or
initiatives we touch
and lead. This new
school is now one of
the tenets of the
larger field of
prospect
development.

Page 7

The Prospector

Dear Fundraisers from page 6.

The fact is, a


successful fundraising
operation needs both
of us, leveraging our
corresponding
strengths.

Prospect
development can
provide a host of
information, insights,
and strategy no
matter where a
prospect is in the
donor cycle.

But, telling me you are not a fundraiser (which most prospect


development professionals have heard at some point) does not
help us be close partners. The fact is, a successful fundraising
operation needs both of us, leveraging our corresponding
strengths.
Prospect development can provide a host of information, insights,
and strategy no matter where a prospect is in the donor cycle. At
the core, we assess publicly known assets, philanthropic history,
lifestyle factors (How many kids in college? Does it look like they
are caring for an elderly parent?), and private information known
by the organization to estimate philanthropic giving capacity and
interest areas to help guide a solicitation. Other examples include
tracking stock prices and transactions or news articles to guide
timing of a gift conversation or utilizing RFM (recency, frequency,
monetary value) data to identify a new planned giving prospect
and noting a prospects desire to have their family involved in
their philanthropy, thus leading to including the family in
stewardship. We can also show and suggest a prospects past
board experiences that were paired with donations as the best
way to engage a prospect thoughtfully with their time, treasure,
and talents.
Fundraisers provide their experience, in-person exchanges with
the prospect, deeper knowledge of their focus areas (economics,
womens leadership, athletics, libraries), and the skills to solicit
and close both on their own and in partnership with faculty,
leadership, and volunteers. On the frontline, you are most
intimately aware of a prospects philanthropic goals and passions
and can assess if the organization is their top priority and hear
directly about the best timing. You learn of relationships between
individuals that will help open doors in engaging a new prospect.
You artfully guide conversations and interactions daily with key
prospects and donors, often while coaching a solicitation partner
(faculty, leadership, etc.) for the big day. You, on your own or in
partnership with other staff, work to produce proposals,
newsletters, and events to raise the level of awareness of and
support for our unique and important causes.

Fundraisers provide their experience, in-person exchanges


with the prospect, deeper knowledge of their focus areas
(economics, womens leadership, athletics, libraries), and
the skills to solicit and close both on their own and in
partnership with faculty, leadership, and volunteers.
Dear Fundraisers continued on page 8.

Page 8

The Prospector

Dear Fundraisers from page 7.


Put us together, and we are much more powerful and successful.
With information from prospect development on a couples
penchant for contemporary art, you can re-frame a proposal with
a new, graphic look. With guidance from us on RFM data, you can
start conversations with an elderly faculty member who others
wrote off as being committed elsewhere, only to close your first
bequest. With a strategically tiered list of individuals, you can
invite the right people to a private, high-profile event at a
lacrosse game and re-engage with that elusive alumnus. With
knowledge of philanthropic capacity and interest, you are
focusing on the right prospects at the right time and can offer an
appropriate giving vehicle (stock, real estate, etc.), resulting in
more donations for our organization.
But, please know that saying to me you know, you could be a
fundraiser, really doesnt put a zing in my step and can come off
as offensive. I love what I do this is my career, my touchstone,
my area of strength, and passion I do not look at becoming a
fundraiser as a promotion to what Im doing now. Continuing to
grow my career within prospect development and the larger
advancement services is where Im focused, and theres so much
more to be done in the industry.
When organizations talk about growing from within, I work to
ensure there is an advancement services consideration here; not
all people in fundraising service or support roles want to be
frontline fundraisers and they need to know, without hesitation,
that advancement services is as wonderful and strategic a move
as moving to an assistant director of development. And I
encourage my fellow prospect development and advancement
services colleagues to do the same.
Speak up when you feel leadership doesnt understand that this is
a very real, very rewarding career path. Help create paths within
your teams and organizations for advancement services colleagues
to be successful whether they are looking to move to the
frontline, to marketing and communications, to stewardship, to
relationship management, or to personnel management, support
their growth and professional development! And frontline
colleagues, you can also help us set our co-workers on the road to
success. We need all of us doing our best for our organizations to
achieve their goals, so lets keep growing!
Love,
Anne

Put us together, and


we are much more
powerful and
successful.

APRA Metro DC
P.O. Box 2741
Washington, DC 20013
Phone:
(202)994-6625
E-mail:
president@aprametrodc.net

Join Us!

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The APRA Metro DC


Board of Directors
Lindsey Nadeau | President
Devon Villa Gessert | Past President
Javier Rodriguez | Programming Chair
Bob Lyon | Secretary
Ray Battistelli | Treasurer
Rachel Collins | Communications Chair
Andy McMahon | Membership Chair
Daniel Greeley | Newsletter Chair
Katie Mire | Social Media Chair
Anne Dean | Sponsorship Chair
Thomas Turner | At-Large
Leslie Cronen | Ex-Officio