Apra Connections Chapter Capture—Q4 2019

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 Arkansas 

Apra Arkansas will host its spring meeting on March 13, 2020. Gwen Moritz will be speaking to the group about the benefits and practical applications of Arkansas Business Magazine.

Apra Australia 

In November, Apra Australia held its annual conference at Monash University, in Melbourne, Victoria. Presentations included a unique insight into the world of rich lists, featuring the long-time editor of these in-demand publications, John Stensholt, in an entertaining and insightful Q&A. We also heard about campaign reflections, family wealth in Australia and Asia, the parallels between military intelligence collection and prospect research, database refinements, industry trends, prospect management handbooks, and relationship mapping. Special thanks to Holly Weimer from the University of Georgia for her video call to present on meaningful conversations with fundraisers. Holly continued from where Vanessa and Christy of CalTech left off last year — a happy trend of international colleagues spending time (remotely) with us Down Under.

Apra Carolinas

Fall 2019 Conference

Apra Carolinas enjoyed the start of the autumn colors in the mountains at the Fall Conference hosted by Western Carolina University in October. This conference was a little different, as it included free professional headshots for all members, as well as a drawing for free registration to our Spring Conference in March 2020. We did not receive any applicants for our Professional Development Scholarship, so we decided to hold a second drawing for a free entry to Apra PD in 2020. These three additions proved to be a very popular benefits for our members (yes, even those who did not win). A big thank you goes out to all the attendees and presenters!

Spring 2020 Conference

Apra Carolinas will be hosting our Spring Conference on March 20, 2020, at Trident Technical College in Charleston, South Carolina. We will be hosting a happy hour the night before at Blackbaud HQ on Daniel’s Island. Programming for the conference will include sessions focusing on career advancement, parent giving programs, H-1B visas and more. Please save the date and plan to join us in the spring!


We hosted two webinars in 2019 and plan to offer at least two in 2020. These webinars are free for Apra Carolinas members, but are open to anyone. Our first webinar was led by one of our sponsors, iWave, and it walked us through its services, described what a “hidden gem” means to them, and showed us how to find them in its screening. Our second webinar was led by Steve Grimes of Apra Greater New York and focused on the important aspects to consider when creating an engagement score. He then showed us how to use Excel to create the score for any organization.

Chapter Updates

We are excited to close out 2019 with a membership count of over 100 — a first for our chapter! The end of 2019 is bittersweet, however, as we bid farewell to Kathy Mills, our treasurer extraordinaire. Kathy has served on the Apra Carolinas board as our treasurer for six years, and we will miss her dearly. We will be holding our annual Board Retreat at Elon University in January, where we intend to welcome new board members, overhaul our website and plan for the year ahead. It’s been a great year for Apra Carolinas and we’re looking forward to an even greater year in 2020! 

Apra Greater New York 

On Monday, Nov. 4, Apra Greater New York hosted a panel and collaborative happy hour with Women In Development, New York (WID, NY), one of the largest women-focused member organizations for development professionals. 

Nearly 50 members from both Apra Greater New York and WID, NY met in midtown Manhattan to hear panelists discuss the importance of regular and strategic communications between prospect research teams and frontline fundraising teams. Founder and Principal of Donorly Sandra Davis moderated the conversation between Director of Prospect Research at New York University Anne Brownlee; Executive Director for Development for the Northeast Corridor for Cornell University Erin Dodd; and Associate Director of Prospect Research at Planned Parenthood Federation of America Erika Yanez. Guests were then treated to cheese boards and beverages as they networked in a beautiful space provided by Apra Greater New York partner Donorly.  


ProspectCon2020 & Programming

Apra Greater New York is excited to announce our annual conference, ProspectCon, which will be held on March 17, 2020 (St. Patrick's Day)! Click here to take advantage of early-bird registration prices for New York City's only prospect research-focused conference and a keynote with Apra's Visionary Award winner Cecilia Hogan! For other exciting programming, including a panel on health care, happy hours with Association Fundraising Professionals and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, (and a zoo visit!), see our 2020 events 

Apra Indiana 

Apra Indiana had a sellout audience of over 75 attendees at its 2019 Fall Conference in November. For the first time, Apra Indiana invited fundraisers to join the conference, which specifically focused on building better relationships between researchers and fundraisers. Highlights included a six-person panel consisting of fundraising and research professionals who talked about what it was like in their roles and a lively event etiquette and networking presentation by Anthony Cawdron, events coordinator for Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. Apra Indiana also honored Sue Bonneau for 30 years of service with the organization and at her current job at Ball State University and celebrated Ralph Rohrer’s retirement from prospect research after 35 years in the industry. At the conference, Apra Indiana launched its brand new professional development fund, which will allow members to seek additional funds for professional development opportunities in 2020. 

Apra Metro D.C. 

Big happenings for Apra Metro D.C. this quarter! We welcomed three new members to the Board of Directors: Secretary Caitlin Gilmore, Programming Director Rachel Barclay, and External Relations Director Evan Williams! Meet the current Board of Directors here.

Apra Metro D.C. hit the ground running with several great events in the fall:

  • October: Barett Christensen (director of digital, Bentz Whaley Flessner) presented on using digital prospecting to discover new major gift prospects outside one's database, reach prospects without contact information, and prioritize and warm highly rated qualification pools.
  • November: Liz Corney (content marketing manager, iWave) hosted a webinar on running a wealth screening and segmenting donors to uncover hidden gems in record time.
  • December: The Board of Directors welcomed a new crew of enthusiastic volunteers with a meet-and-greet coffee hour.

Looking ahead, we're planning a panel discussion on the challenges of internal versus external prospecting for January. And, most exciting of all, the Apra Metro D.C. Annual Conference has been scheduled for March 12 — more details coming soon! 

Want to get in on the fun? The chapter is seeking volunteers to support specific membership, programming and communications efforts. All levels of experience and availability are welcome — we're looking for individuals who are passionate about philanthropy and want to get more involved with our community! For more information, contact Catherine Flaatten at president@aprametrodc.net

Apra Northwest 

Apra Northwest is very excited to announce that our annual conference will be on May 15 at the Fox Theatre in Spokane, Washington. We’re looking forward to seeing all our members from that side of the state! We’ll soon be holding a call for speakers, as well as a keynote.

In other programming news, we’re having our very first Book in Common event, an online discussion of the book “Prediction Machines,” hosted by Ashutosh Nandeshware. Registration will be opening in December. We’re hoping that this will be the first of many of these types of book discussions. 

Apra Pennsylvania 

Upcoming Programs

The chapter will host a webinar, "Who's at the Top of Your List?" with iWave on Thursday, Jan. 16 at noon EDT. Registration and details are available here (free for members and $10 for non-members).

2019 Accomplishments

The chapter welcomes two new board members who have been elected/appointed for the 2020-2021 term:

  • Vice President and Conference Director Justin Herbert of Franklin & Marshall College
  • Communications/Website Director Carolyn Moatz of Independence Mission Schools

In 2019, the chapter reached 115 members — a recent record!

Distinguished Service Award: The Apra Pennsylvania Board announced the establishment of the Apra Pennsylvania Distinguished Service Award, which will be awarded annually at the chapter conference to individuals whose work provides exemplary service to the chapter and/or field of prospect development.

  • The inaugural awardees were Kim Braun (current chapter president), Chris Connors (current chapter vice president) and Dianna Heim (former chapter treasurer), who were instrumental in the re-engagement of the chapter, including the development of statewide involvement. Dianna rotated off the Apra Pennsylvania Board last year, and Kim and Chris will be ending their terms at the end of 2019.

Previous Programs

  • Apra Pennsylvania held its 2019 Chapter Conference on Oct. 22 at Susquehanna University with keynote presenter Helen Brown. The chapter also hosted a pre-conference happy hour and gathering. 

  • The chapter hosted a successful webinar, "Empower Yourself to Improve Gift Officer Relationships" with Kelli North of the University of Michigan on Nov. 18.
  • The Science History Institute in Philadelphia hosted a roundtable on "Research for the Solo Researcher" on Nov. 19, followed by a happy hour.
  • Villanova University hosted a prospect development roundtable on Dec. 4, followed by a happy hour.
  • Carnegie Mellon University hosted a prospect development roundtable on Dec. 5.

California Advancement Researchers Association (CARA) 

CARA hosts two Fall Seminar Days annually as a way to bring together prospect development professionals around the state. November brought us two successful events:

The CARA Northern California Seminar Day was hosted at the Google Community Space in San Francisco and brought in CARA members from all over the bay area, including a special guest speaker all the way from Washington, Jessica Balsam. Presentation topics included qualification engagement, navigating career advancement; scores for campaign success; and data analysis and artificial intelligence. The 40 attendees also enjoyed a networking lunch and post-event happy hour.

The CARA Southern California Seminar Day was graciously hosted by AMN Healthcare in its boardroom. CARA members from San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles gathered to hear a unique perspective on how community foundations utilized prospect development to grow their endowments and drive the strategy of their organization. The group also engaged in lively and insightful discussion around ethics including current high-profile news stories, prospect development best practices and social media policies.

To see more about the events check out Twitter #CARASeminarDay | @CARA_org

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