Apra Fundamentals: Prospect Research · Prospect Research
Apra Fundamentals: An Energizing Way to Build Your Prospect Development Career
Twice a year, Apra offers Apra Fundamentals: Prospect Research. The program, designed for new prospect development professionals, covers topics across the key themes of campaigns, prospect research, prospect management and data science. Apra Fundamentals is held as a live event (virtual or in-person) and attendees gain access to an online community with a set of 11 modules and a message board, as well as a workbook with guidelines, processes, templates, and free and paid resources.
As someone who started their career in a small development shop without a lot of resources, Apra Fundamentals is exactly the kind of program I wish I had known about and been able to attend. It’s an incredibly efficient and energizing way to learn the basics of what you need to excel in a prospect development career. Ahead of this spring’s Apra Fundamentals session (March 11, 13 and 15), I was thrilled to be able to reach out to past students and current faculty members to determine their favorite parts about the event.
Priya Balachandran (left), prospect research and management specialist at Northern Illinois Food Bank, is one of the newest members of the Apra Fundamentals faculty. As a past participant of Fundamentals, she has had the opportunity to witness firsthand how the Fundamentals curriculum and training sessions are strategically crafted, prioritizing the chance to create an environment where prospect development professionals can acquire new skills, get updated with the latest trends and techniques, exchange ideas and build meaningful connections.
Priya is especially excited about how immensely beneficial Fundamentals is for individuals from one-person shops, who often lack the opportunity to engage in discussions with experienced experts within their team. The event, however, is not limited to small shops; it is designed to cater to participants from diverse backgrounds in terms of team size, organizational type and more.
Pete Kotowski (right), director of prospect management at the University of Denver, is another new faculty member this year. While he was never able to attend Fundamentals, he benefitted from the willingness of the community to answer his questions, share their experience, pass along benchmarking materials or policy documents, or anything else he needed. He is excited to share his knowledge and experience and help newer professionals the way others helped him.
Past attendee Sloane White came to Fundamentals with very little knowledge of prospect development, and still refers back to her notes about tools, resources, processes and the workbook as she builds her own processes around prospect development.
While Apra Fundamentals is designed for newer professionals, the classes can be helpful for experienced professionals as well. Past Fundamentals attendee Matthew Hamaker (left) wasn’t a traditional attendee, as he had four years of prospect research experience before taking a break from the field. When he was ready to return to the profession, Matthew took the class to make sure he had a good foundation on the basics and reestablish a skills baseline. He shared that he found the content of the class helpful and informative.
Apra Fundamentals is an excellent networking opportunity — the prospect development field encompasses so much and positions can look very different at each organization. Past attendee Cynthia Cadena (right) noted her favorite part of Fundamentals was meeting other prospect development professionals and learning about their positions and institutions. She described Fundamentals as a great opportunity to network, as many attendees were also new to the field, making those connections more organic because they could relate on many levels.
If you’re on the fence about going to Fundamentals, in the words of past attendee Rachel Jacobs, “Absolutely do not hesitate to go to Fundamentals. Don’t think twice — just go — you won’t regret it.”
Mark your calendars now and join Priya, Pete, and other faculty members Selene Hur, manager of prospect development and research at the YMCA of Greater Toronto, Regina Alhassan, CEO of ResearchPRO, LLC, and Jodi Kohrs, director of prospect management and research at Minnesota State University-Mankato, on March 11, 13, 15 for a virtual session. Registration is open now.
Are you new to the field of prospect development — or manage someone who is? Don’t miss out on Apra Fundamentals: Prospect Research! This year’s schedule includes sessions on ethics and privacy, prospect identification, working with development officers, capacity ratings, creating research profiles and portfolio management. Learn more and register today.