Leadership · Best of Connections
Apra Best of Connections 2023 Results
Dear Apra Community,
As we bid farewell to another year, we look forward to the opportunities and accomplishments 2024 will undoubtedly bring us.
In 2023, our much-anticipated Prospect Development (PD) conference in Indianapolis finally took place! We had 120 presenters across 50 sessions, presenting to more than 1,000 of our colleagues. The energy and camaraderie from PD are always so inspiring, even for the introverts among us. I personally cannot wait to see so many of you at PD2024 in Seattle.
This year, Apra proudly introduced two invaluable resources crafted by our dedicated volunteers. The Data Minimization Toolkit underscores Apra's commitment to ethical and responsible prospect development by offering insights and best practices for strategic personal data management. Additionally, I’m excited that I was able to preview the new Apra Fundamentals: Data Science With R, which launched this past spring and remains available on demand in Apra University. If you are interested in growing your data science skills, you should not pass this one up.
Speaking of new Apra resources, how could we overlook the remarkable contributions to Connections made in 2023? This year, in a bid to streamline our workflow, we merged the Online Content Committee with the Editorial Advisory Committee. The newly consolidated Content Development Committee curated this year's "best of" from the last year of content published on Connections, a task made challenging by the wealth of outstanding articles from our talented members. Here are our picks:
Katie Princo’s series on “What it Really Means to Provide a Fundraising Analysis” underscores the remarkable evolution of our field beyond its origins in “just” prospect research. The series illuminates the myriad of ways in which we can organically generate value for our larger teams.
Apra Immediate Past President Carrick Davis’s “The PD Data Science Conversation: What’s Evolving and Where We’re Going” explores sessions he attended at the CASE DRIVE conference, and the growing presence and importance of data science and artificial intelligence.
Kimberly Walz, CFRE, Cheyenne St. Julian and Kate Verret’s article highlights ways to elevate the importance of prospect development work with actionable metrics.
So much of prospect development work focuses on individual giving, leaving many unsure of where to turn when asked for foundation prospects. Kristin Blankenheim lays out a system for identifying, qualifying and disqualifying foundation prospects.
Gisela Simental and Cindy Burciaga emphasize the significance of cultivating connections with frontline fundraisers, underscoring the pivotal role that a comprehensive understanding of communication skills plays in this endeavor.
Ask the Ethicist
In this column, Ask the Ethicist, produced by the Apra Ethics & Compliance Committee, explains the importance and definition of data minimization. This is an excellent precursor to reading the Data Minimization Toolkit!
Here's to a new year brimming with peace, curiosity, collaboration and the transformative power of research — happy new year!
Apra Content Development Committee Chair, 2023-2024