Apra Connections Chapter Capture — Q2 2021

All over, Apra chapters are organizing events that highlight industry innovation, information and connection. Check out what Apra chapters have been doing this quarter, and discover upcoming events you can pencil into your schedule. 

Apra Carolinas


We added new networking opportunities in 2021 including game night, topic-driven coffee chats and a quarterly book discussion. Join us for the next one!

Educational Content

In March, Katie Stanhagen from Western Carolina University took us through an extremely popular “Excel Wrestling 101” webinar. Participants asked to learn more about pivot tables, so Katie has agreed to return July 8 to host a “Pivoting to a New Level” workshop in which attendees will be able to create pivot tables and ask questions in real time.

In August, we will be hosting the interactive “Designing Metrics and KPIs” workshop in which participants can ask questions during this conversational presentation.

Onboarding a new researcher? Be sure to check out our blog to see a list of resources (many are free).

Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2021 (MARC)

In lieu of our annual spring conference, we were thrilled to collaborate with Apra Maryland, Metro DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania to offer a virtual MARC conference. You can expect to see more MARC content in the future!


We are thrilled to award the 2021 Professional Development Scholarship to Bridgette Holley from Hope International and our Road Trip Grant to Cathy McCracken of Thronwell, Inc.

Virtual Fall Conference 2021

Follow our LinkedIn page for programming announcements about our 2021 Virtual Fall Conference. It will take place throughout October, and we have some fantastic speakers lined up!

Apra Greater Houston (GH)

Apra Greater Houston kicked off Q2 with our first book club meeting of the year, discussing “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance” by Edgar Villanueva. The book made such an impact it inspired our June blog post by Apra GH President Brittani Williams. Our next book club selection, “Memorial” by Bryan Washington, was chosen in the spirit of summer reads and celebrating local authors and will be discussed in August. This is Mr. Washington’s debut novel and a follow-up to his collection of short stories, “Lot.”

In June, we cohosted a virtual Lunch & Learn with Apra North Texas (NT). Apra GH Vice President Ashley Estes and Apra NT board member Jennifer Vann presented on tips and tricks for having effective video meetings. The chapter plans to continue having virtual events for the remainder of the summer and into the fall. We’ll be sending a member survey soon for feedback on areas of interests and comfort levels for returning to in-person events for fall and winter programming.

Apra Illinois (Apra-IL)

Apra-IL had an excellent second quarter! We held a virtual panel moderated by Chapter President Kathryn Thomas which featured 12 prospect development professionals from Illinois. They represented organizations from higher education (large and small institutions), health care and arts/culture/society. The 90-minute event had more than 200 registrants from 35 states and three countries. The discussion was wide-ranging and fun, and resulted in several connections made between panelists and attendees. Apra-IL members have access to the recording and all past Apra-IL webinars.

Registrants who responded to our post-event survey were entered to receive a year-long Apra-IL membership and we were excited to give away five memberships to the winners. We also plan to award several Apra-IL memberships to attendees of the Apra Great Lakes Virtual Symposium in October.

This quarter also saw the launch of a new series: “Apra-IL Prospect Chat,” which serves as a time for a small group of interested parties to get together to talk about a specific topic and network. This month, the topic centered on research struggles. At our next chat on Wednesday, June 30, we’ll be sharing our approaches to DEI and offer resources. We would love to have you join us!

Apra Indiana

In June, Apra Indiana finished its five-month StrengthsFinder Workshop series. A total of 55 individuals participated from Indiana and other states, including Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Montana, Oregon, Georgia and Maine. We even had international representation from London and Israel! If any chapters are interested in offering a Strengths program, please contact Apra Indiana.

Apra Metro DC

Big happenings for Apra Metro DC this quarter! We welcomed Kristy Kowalski to the board of directors as our new secretary. Meet the current board of directors here.

We have continued offering virtual programming this spring and recently welcomed Roger Magnus of Roger Magnus Research to present the webinar “Tips and Tricks to Search the SEC.gov Website for the Prospect Researcher.” We also joined Apra Virginia, Carolinas, Maryland and Pennsylvania, to host the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. The conference had 189 registrants from all five states, and DC’s own Devon Villa Gessert and Ryan Allison of Stand Together presented “Aligning Vision with Professional Transformation.”

Additionally, we hosted another book club meeting which discussed "Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance" by Edgar Villanueva, two Front Porch events for colleagues to discuss HR tactics and goal setting, and the Apra Metro DC Annual Business Meeting.

During the annual business meeting, we announced we were accepting applications for the Daniel H. Greeley Memorial Scholarship. Named for the late, spirited Apra Metro DC board member and unyielding prospect development professional Daniel H. Greeley, this year’s scholarship opportunity is generously supported by our chapter sponsor, DonorSearch.

We were excited to provide two scholarships for the 2021 Prospect Development conference. This year the scholarships were awarded to Apra Metro DC members Anna Collins of the Humane Society and Kelly Trop of the Lupus Foundation.

 Did you know Apra has 29 chapters across the United States, Canada and Australia? To learn more about your local chapter and membership opportunities, visit our Apra Chapters page here.

Apra Minnesota (Apra-MN)

When you are not at the pool or beach, Apra-MN has a summer full of events! Each week, we continue our Apra-Midwest weekly coffee chats, which are a great means to network and socialize.

Lunch & Learn

Our Lunch & Learn events have been a success. In early June we hosted a session on returning to the office and on June 28 we hosted author Juli Geske-Peer for a session in which she shared concepts from her new book “5 Senses for Success: Strategies to Thrive in Any Arena.”

July’s Lunch & Learn is on cryptocurrency and we invite you to join us in learning about how this new currency interacts in the philanthropic sector.

We are finalizing the details on a Lunch & Learn on community foundations. More to come on this event soon!

Shout Out!

Former Apra-MN President Jo Theodosopoulos, MLIS, is the 2021 Margaret Fuhry Award recipient!

Save the Date

Apra-MN has teamed up with other chapters to host the Apra-Midwest Conference Sept. 13-14.

Apra New York (Apra-NY)

As the summer months approach, Apra-NY is just heating up. Our monthly webinars series continues to grow in popularity as we average more than 100+ participants and are committed to diving into a variety of relevant topics important to our members, such as Canadian research.

This summer the Apra-NY board is thrilled to launch its chapter book club with the selection of “Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts,” which includes a virtual event with author Kate Racculia in July.

The conference committee is busy putting the finishing touches on a robust, top-notch schedule for the chapter’s first multi-day conference in October at the Delta Hotel in Utica, New York, including keynotes from DonorSearch, the Prospect Research Institute, iWave and BWF. This multi-day conference is only $50 to attend. Click here for more information.

Additionally, we’ve welcomed 25+ new members into Apra-NY since Jan. 1 — a metric we are very proud of because we know as our chapter grows we have more opportunities to share our knowledge with each other. We are stronger together!

Apra Pennsylvania (Apra-PA)

Continued Successful Programming

Apra-PA recently hosted two webinars featuring highly relevant topics in prospect development. Thank you to Elisa Shoenberger from Aspire Research Group for her presentation “Due Diligence and You” and Eliana Fenyes from the National Audubon Society who presented “Walk, Run, Fly: Tools for DE&I in Fundraising.” Several hundred prospect development professionals were able to attend these programs as the chapter continues to offer free webinars during the pandemic. Visit the Apra PA events page for upcoming events.

More Than a Conference

This year’s Apra PA conference will be more than a conference — it will be a virtual user experience! In contrast to past conferences, where gatherings were used to distribute content and discussions were limited, this year’s event will emphasize live discussions around content submitted by attendees that is available on our conference website to view at your convenience.

Still Wondering How This Will Work?

Users can submit content to share with other attendees. Content can include recorded presentations, Excel workbooks, short papers, annotated PowerPoints, resource guides and anything else that might be of interest for our shared knowledge database. The months of August, September and October will each be dedicated to two industry topics, which include prospect research, prospect management, data analytics, industry tools, professional development and people/project management. The content will be available to all attendees at the beginning of each month and discussions will take place where users can ask questions, discuss ideas and most importantly, dream big.

As an added bonus, non-members who submit content will get a free conference registration ($20 value) and members will get a cool prize. Please submit questions or ideas for content to jherbert@fandm.edu.

Southwestern Advancement Research organization (SWARO)

On Friday, April 21, SWARO hosted our first annual Virtual Picnic. Open to both members and non-members, our goal was to get to know each other better and build stronger relationships with our professional community. We had a great lunchtime discussion, and hope to hold more events in the coming year.

At this year’s Apra Share the Knowledge, SWARO was represented by our board members Drew Krewer and Jess Channell-Iler, who hosted the roundtable discussion “Starting a New Chapter, or Revitalizing an Existing Chapter” with Timothy Wilson and Masha McFadden of Apra Utah.

In Q3, our goal is to increase and diversify our membership as much as possible. We also hope to grow our website and offer additional professional development and connection opportunities for members and non-members.

Apra Utah


Apra Utah held its first multi-Apra chapter conference in mid-April 2021. We were excited and pleased to welcome more than 30 friends from Apra Rocky Mountains, SWARO and Apra Utah to hear our keynote, Randall Hallett of Hallett Philanthropy, discuss how artificial intelligence is changing the philanthropy landscape. Randall also highlighted ways that prospect management and research staff can proactively partner in strategic ways with frontline fundraisers and senior leadership at their organizations. Our April conference gives the Apra Utah board energy and ideas for future conferences and other cross-chapter collaborations!

Two members of our board recently joined SWARO board members for the “How to Start a New Apra Chapter/Revitalize an Existing Chapter” roundtable discussion at Apra’s Share the Knowledge.

Chapter Happenings

Our chapter recently launched a revised website which features a job board, new chapter member spotlights and industry news. We’re also looking into creating sub-committees for marketing/content distribution and diversity, equity and inclusion to address needs, provide a forum for discussion and to build a bench of future chapter leaders. Lastly, as workplaces and society in general reopen, Apra Utah leadership hopes to create an in-person event later in 2021 for our chapter members across the Beehive State to meet and reconnect. All of these programs and ideas make us excited for the future of Apra Utah!  

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