Apra Connections Chapter Capture—Q4 2020

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 Carolinas

Apra Carolinas held our (virtual) fall conference in October 2020. We offered a different educational event each week throughout October, culminating in a coffee chat/networking event to reflect on lessons learned. Sessions covered leadership annual giving, diversity in fundraising, corporation and foundation research, and AI and machine learning. We had 76 unique attendees and received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the event, which raised over $400 from non-member registrations and an additional $300+ in new memberships.

In order to provide more value to our members, we also added all of our previously recorded webinars to our website’s member resources page.

We’d also like to congratulate our 2020 Chapter Award winners: Lauren Mullis of the University of South Carolina (Professional of the Year) and Merissa Lawson of Elon University (Distinguished Service).

Apra Greater Houston

Apra Greater Houston (Apra-GH) has continued with its end of year programming — all virtual — welcoming Dr. Anna Pruitt for our November Lunch & Learn to present the webinar “Trends in Philanthropy: What Giving USA 2020 Can Tell Us About Philanthropy’s Present and Future.”

Also in November, we kicked off the Apra-GH Book Club with our first selection, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” by Dr. Jennifer L. Eberhardt. Apra-GH plans to continue the book club in 2021 with quarterly selections and meetings. Our Q1 pick is “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance” by Edgar Villanueva.

In December, we have board elections and, looking ahead to 2021, we plan to continue to hold our events virtually.

Apra Indiana

In light of the continuing global pandemic, Apra Indiana has decided to make its 2021 membership free to anyone interested. This free membership provides access to our mentorship program, our list of research resources and discounts on all 2021 events. Visit our website to learn more.

Apra Metro DC

This fall, the Apra Metro DC Board decided to grant complementary 2021 chapter membership to anyone who was a chapter member at any time in 2020. We understand professional development budgets are tight, and we are committed to continuing to provide our members with high-quality programming and benefits. To that end, we are also in the process of upgrading our website, putting select content behind a members-only paywall. If your membership lapsed in 2019 or earlier and you want to get in on this, please re-join today!

We also strived to continue to host great events for our members this fall. Events included:

  • Front Porch Series: This quarter included a session on Raiser’s Edge with a Blackbaud expert to answer questions.
  • International Prospecting Tips and Tricks Webinar: Thomas Turner, regional director, business intelligence and analytics at the International Justice Mission; and Ted Wynne, officer, prospect research, advancement at the National Geographic Society, covered their best practices for international prospecting with and without an alumni base.
  • Chapter Book Club: In December, we held the first meeting of our chapter’s new book club. The first title was “Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits and Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships” by Jane Leu, Jessamyn Shams-Lau and Vu Le.

Looking ahead, we have begun planning the Apra Metro DC Annual Conference for March 2021 — more details coming soon!

The chapter is also 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 Anne Dean.

Apra New York

Greetings from blustery, upstate New York! As 2020 comes to a close, we reflect on a year filled with immense challenges but also well-earned achievements. This past March, like many of us, our chapter’s first robust multi-day conference evolved into our first virtual conference. We are proud to report that our rescheduled, free, full-day conference in October had 368 attendees from all around the globe.

Nearly 20% of conference attendees responded to our post-conference survey. Not surprisingly, the most common response about future programming was for our chapter to continue offering more top-notch programing for free.

With this in mind, we answered that request this past November by offering a free webinar presented by Fidelity Charitable on the topic of cryptocurrency. We had 89 registrants with folks logging on from as far away as London. As we look toward 2021, we are committed to continue offering a wide array of programming for free or at a discounted cost, including our upcoming half-day conference slated for March 2021 and multi-day in-person/hybrid conference in October 2021 in Utica, New York.

This fall we successfully managed an election with the most membership participation to date and transitioned new leadership into the roles of president, vice president and secretary, while also welcoming four members-at-large. The board is committed to growing membership in 2021 and is excited to close out 2020 by welcoming 38 new members (who joined in the past three months).

Additionally, for the past six months we have been averaging about 2,000 unique visits per month to our chapter’s website ― which is double the amount we were seeing this time last year. Our engagement efforts and unique programming is building our chapter’s reputation among the industry, and we hope to grow on this in the coming year.

Wishing all our fellow Apra chapters a happy holiday season and cheers to welcoming 2021!


 Learn how Apra chapter involvement reinvigorated one professional's passion for prospect development. View the latest chapter relations article from Jodi McLaughlin, MLIS, here.

Apra Northwest

In December, Apra Northwest (Apra-NW) hosted our second virtual Book-in-Common event of 2020, with a strong turnout from around the region. The book selected was “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance” by Edgar Villanueva. Our discussion was led by former Apra-NW president Krista Berg, who also facilitates the Advancement Equity Book Club at the University of Washington. After breaking out into small groups, we had a lively and engaging conversation, touching on steps prospect development professionals can take to toward decolonizing wealth in our field and our personal lives. Apra-NW was pleased to offer the book for free to our members who wished to participate, and we look forward to offering another Book-in-Common event in 2021.

Apra Pennsylvania

Apra Pennsylvania (Apra-PA) has had a busy year full of programming. Like the rest of the world, we’ve gone entirely virtual. While we miss meeting in person, it has been great to have people from outside of Pennsylvania join our programs. In 2020, we conducted 28 events, from diversity, equity and inclusion book discussions to virtual happy hours, webinars and roundtable discussions. We even collaborated with other mid-Atlantic Apra chapters for a great panel discussion and fun trivia night.

In 2021, expect more excellent programming coming your way. We plan to keep everything free for at least the first half of the year, but early registration is available to Apra-PA members. We encourage people to renew or join Apra-PA today to have priority registration.

As 2020 closes, Apra-PA has 156 members! This is the most members the organization has had in its history, and we cannot thank our members enough. We are eager to continue growing our membership base and making it more inclusive in 2021. Stay tuned for a special announcement in the next couple of weeks.

Lastly, in a year of significant challenges, the prospect development community has done a remarkable job of pulling together to support one another. Apra-PA extends our gratitude to our chapter and Apra International colleagues. We wish you a happy, healthy holiday season and we look forward to continuing our work with all of you in the new year.

Apra Southwest

Since forming in 2019, Apra Southwest (SWARO) has been building its board and membership. This month, we appointed a membership chair (Melanee Steadman, University of Arizona) and a regional chair for New Mexico (Karrie Swanson, CommonSpirit Health), and are excited to continue recruiting for our board of directors in the coming year.

In the new year, we’re looking forward to embarking on recruitment initiatives, solidifying our channels of communication with our members and collaborating with Apra International to connect our group with events, opportunities for professional growth and chances to network with fellow prospect development professionals nationwide.

New England Development Research Association (NEDRA)

The dates for our spring conference will be May 13-14, 2021. While the venue may be different, we are working hard to ensure the 2021 conference will have everything we cherish in our NEDRA community — learning, partnership, networking and, of course, laughs! We’re hopeful that the online conference will allow even more people in prospect development to experience all that NEDRA has to offer. We are now accepting proposals for presentations through Jan. 15. Early bird registration will be opening in the coming weeks.

We are also thrilled to announce our new NEDRA DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Scholarship. Since its inception, NEDRA’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee has spearheaded numerous efforts to share, educate and advocate within our community on issues pertaining to DEI in the workplace and in our field. The NEDRA board, along with our committee volunteers, has worked diligently on incorporating DEI initiatives into our organization, and this scholarship is the latest effort. The scholarship will provide support to individuals from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations and/or disabilities.

In 2021, three recipients will receive NEDRA DEI scholarships, which will cover the cost of registration for either a Research Basics Boot Camp (introducing new individuals to the field) or the 2021 Annual Conference (supporting professional growth of individuals with prior experience).

In addition to all the hard work each board member has contributed to this effort, 100% of the board made gifts in support of this scholarship, which is the reason we are able to offer three scholarships in the new year. Others who are interested in donating towards this or any other NEDRA scholarship may visit www.nedra.org/donate.

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