Meaningful Donor Engagement: A Q&A with Plug In Speaker Paul Wiklanski

Plug In to Relationship Management, Apra's virtual event focused on all-things relationship management, is fast approaching. Held November 1-2, this educational event will hone in on one of the most important pillars of prospect development. Attendees will learn from and interact with some of the industry's foremost relationship management experts, all from the convenience of their office or home.

Paul Wiklanski headshotWe spoke to one of these experts, Paul Wiklanski (Senior Associate Director, Prospect Management, University of Michigan Office of Development), who will be one of several speakers leading the session "Prospect Management: Enabling Ongoing and Meaningful Donor Engagement." Read on to learn more about what Paul and his team have in store for the session, then secure your seat at Plug In.

What are a couple of takeaways attendees will receive from your session?

PW: We hope that attendees come away with a sense of the importance of analyzing a gift officer's request to manage a prospect in a donor-centric way. We also hope that they are able to embrace a strategy focused on ongoing donor engagement so that donors and prospects aren't forgotten.

Why did you choose to stress the word “meaningful” with regards to donor engagement in your session title?

PW: We live in a world where the superficial is too often celebrated. We believe that by genuinely engaging a prospect in an authentic way, by knowing and appreciating their perspective and interests, we are able to assist a donor in realizing their philanthropic ambitions and goals. This becomes meaningful. This type of relationship and engagement brings value and satisfaction to the donor; our relationship becomes, well, meaningful.

This year’s event is focused on relationship management. Why is this so important in the world of prospect development?

PW: While we strongly believe in the power of information and analytics, we recognize that there is no replacement for a genuine and meaningful relationship with our donors. We believe in valuing both the art and science of prospect development.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

PW: We look forward to sharing our practices and ideas and hope that we can create an online opportunity for a conversation about other ideas, suggestions and successes.

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