All over, Apra chapters are organizing events that highlight industry innovation, information and connection. Learn what Apra chapters have been doing this quarter, and discover upcoming events you can pencil into your schedule.
Apra Maryland had a busy spring in response to COVID-19 and there was a challenge to remain focused on some of the original ― and ambitious — goals for the year. Thanks to the stellar Apra Maryland Board, we are happy to report that we have made steady progress, including the development of an inaugural Advisory Board.
To provide some background, the Apra Maryland Board of Directors mostly consists of individuals who have been in the nonprofit industry for less than 10 years. When taking the leadership reins for the organization in November, Apra Maryland President Joanna Schofield recognized that the strength of the profession rests on the shoulders of those who advocated, dreamt and built before us. Additionally, it is Apra Maryland’s 25th anniversary this year, and there is no better time to acknowledge our past as we build to the future.
In response, the Apra Maryland Board developed a framework for the Advisory Board, created marketing material and brainstormed on possible members. President Emeritus Andy Suther accepted leadership as chair of the Advisory Board, and he worked to recruit our nominations.
The Advisory Board nominees were asked to commit to three primary responsibilities: attending quarterly meetings, leading a fireside chat on a topic of their choosing during the year and participating in a mentoring program we are hoping to launch in the fall.
On May 12, our first Advisory Board signed onto Zoom to meet ― 100% attendance of all eight members, along with Andy and Joanna. Past Apra Maryland presidents, board members, original founders and long-time participants shared their insights and advice. A favorite quote from the meeting was an endorsement to our COVID-19 response: “Error on the side of kindness.”
The timing could not have been better. COVID-19 has disrupted many of our initial plans for the year, and created challenges in our long-term strategy as our members face their own economic insecurity. Apra Maryland is so appreciative of Andy Suther’s leadership and the new members of the Advisory Board for anchoring us to the past as we navigate toward future opportunities and growth.
Apra Maryland President Emeritus Andy Suther with President Joanna Schofield at the Apra Maryland Fall Conference in 2019.
Apra Northwest (Apra NW) had to cancel our annual conference, but have instead moved to various online programming, including two happy hours that were very well attended. It was nice to see everyone and share a virtual “cheers.” It was also very valuable to learn how different organizations are handling COVID-19 and the challenges of fundraising while being socially distant.
June is board election season for us, and we’re very excited that we’ll have five new board members to welcome in July. We’ve already started planning more virtual programming such as roundtables, webinars and another Book in Common event.
OPRN, the APRA Ohio Chapter, has been sending bi-weekly emails with all the current webinars gathered in one place. We also added a section to our website for diversity and inclusion resources. OPRN also hosted a free webinar with iWave to share an exclusive first look at new iWave features. OPRN is truly grateful for board members Jennifer Nettles, Beth Havens and Megan Tope for stepping up and helping during these difficult times.
Apra Rocky Mountains
The pandemic has certainly ramped up our chapter’s outreach efforts. Since stay-at-home orders went into effect, we’ve held several free events, including two discussion and networking opportunities and a virtual spring conference featuring John P. Gough from the University of Texas at Austin, and Mary Ellen Bates of Bates Information Services, Inc.
In his capacity as an analytics guru, John gave a high level overview of AI and discussed modeling and machine learning techniques for enhanced prospecting. In her capacity as a research expert, Mary Ellen provided training on grey literature and deep web research techniques.
We were so excited to see such an amazing turnout from both members and non-members that we dove right into planning for our next conference this fall. If you or someone you know might be interested in being a featured speaker, please contact us. Also in service to our membership, we will be awarding scholarships to attend this year’s Apra conference, “Advance Tomorrow: The Prospect Development Virtual Experience.” Details on the application process are forthcoming. Stay tuned!
Apra Virginia was excited to host our first ever webinar series in the spring. The series featured seven presentations by local and national speakers with topics ranging from stepping up Excel skills to leveraging personal strengths and those of coworkers to build a stronger team. It was made possible by a partnership with our neighboring chapters, Apra DC and Apra Maryland, so a very special thank you to them for helping to make the webinar series possible!