Message From the President: Gearing Up for #PDVE2020 and Looking to the Fall


By Bond Lammey, Apra President

Hello and happy August, Apra Peeps! This week is bittersweet, as it was originally when we would be in Washington, D.C. for PD 2020. As a resident of the District, it would have been lovely to see you and show off our amazing town. However, with cases in the District and other parts of the United States on the rise, the Apra Board knows we made the right decision for the health and safety of our members in moving to a virtual format.

I’d like to provide an update on new developments from the last few months, specifically financial resources and tools for our membership, #PDVE2020 updates and what to expect from Apra this fall.

Apra Foundation and Chapter Partnership

The Apra Foundation embarked on an exciting new fundraising initiative this year by inviting submissions for Apra’s first-ever cookbook! We received more than 75 recipes, with an enthusiastic online Twitter following (search #PDBakes). A team of dedicated volunteers are reviewing cookbook submissions, and it will launch as a PDF download for sale later this month. All proceeds go toward providing professional development opportunities for individuals who have been impacted financially due to COVID-19 and other factors. If you want to contribute financially before the cookbook comes out, you can donate here.

Many chapters are also providing scholarships to attend #PDVE2020, with a discounted registration rate for chapter scholarship recipients provided by the Apra Foundation. This ensures chapters can provide value to as many local members as possible in terms of professional development resources. Please inquire with your local chapter if funds for a scholarship are still available. 

Advance Tomorrow: The Prospect Development Virtual Experience (#PDVE2020)

Thanks to everyone for your patience and feedback as we moved our in-person conference to a virtual event. We have been working diligently to transition essential elements of the conference online, and we are confirming participation among our incredible lineup of speakers and volunteers. We’ve seen a tremendous interest in early bird registration and are excited to offer a special discount for readers of this message for a limited time — see the conclusion below for more info!

Here are a few highlights for #PDVE2020:

Conference Guide Pilot Program: Apra’s membership and conference planning committees have partnered to provide a program that will aid first-time attendees in learning how to maximize their online conference experience and increase their opportunities to network with individuals who have been in the field longer. This is an important program, as at least one-third of our conference participants tend to be first-time attendees. If you are a first-time attendee, please click the appropriate box when you register. If you are interested in serving as a guide for first-time attendees, please let us know.

Plenary Sessions: Every day of the conference will begin with a plenary session for all attendees. We begin on Monday, Aug. 24, with our keynote session featuring journalist Frank Sesno. On Tuesday, Aug. 25, a panel discussion with the leaders of aasp, AFP, AHP and Apra will take place on what the next decade of philanthropy holds. Wednesday, Aug. 26 promises to provide lively discussion with our ever-popular Apra Talks. Finally, on Thursday, Aug. 27, our general session will cover lessons learned. These sessions are an opportunity to dive into topics that have been particularly relevant and prescient for our field in 2020. They are not to be missed.

Educational Content: Apra would not be the remarkable association it is without our incredible volunteers. Speakers have been trained to conduct sessions online and have been asked to update content based on current trends. We are excited to experience interactive opportunities in these sessions, too. A huge thanks to our conference planning committee and speakers for their willingness to innovate and make this year’s conference immediately useful and engaging. The full educational grid is available online.

Please follow #PDVE2020 on social media to stay up-to-date on all conference happenings.

Fall Educational Offerings

Due to this year’s unique circumstances, we have uncoupled some of the traditional pre-conference content from the conference itself, which makes for a busy fall. We realize that budgets are tight, so we’ve endeavored to provide affordable opportunities, allowing you to attend what is economically feasible and of interest based on your organization’s needs and your role. Look out for more information on these exciting virtual events:

Data Science Now: Taking place Tuesday, Oct. 6 and Wednesday, Oct. 7, this event will be an interactive, hands-on opportunity to dive into the world of data science. Real time practitioners will serve as the faculty and walk attendees through fundamentals such as project definition, stakeholder buy-in and implementation strategies, as well as details on designing methodologies and using analytical tools and resources. As I mentioned in my May update, the Apra Board approved the purchase of an online learning management system which will hopefully debut for some of the interactive pieces of this virtual event.

Apra Fundamentals: Back by popular demand, the interactive portion of this event will take place Monday, Oct. 19 through Friday, Oct. 23, with attendees completing online training modules in advance of the virtual meeting of the Fall 2020 cohort. Formerly known as the New Researchers Symposium, Apra moved this to a cohort model in 2018 and re-branded to Apra Fundamentals in 2019, to better describe the content that is offered for first-time prospect development professionals. In a time of economic and professional uncertainty, Apra Fundamentals is a great option for high-value, detailed content for experienced development professionals. These courses allow such professionals to gain expertise in areas of prospect development in which they have not previously worked. If you are new to some details of prospect development or if you have a new colleague who has not previously worked in prospect development, Apra Fundamentals is a great option to consider.

Plug In to Campaigns: Apra is pleased to announce the fourth installment of our ongoing virtual fall Plug In event: Plug In to Campaigns. Based on the current economic and fundraising climate, campaigns are a topic of much discussion in the Apra community. This virtual event is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 and will provide practitioners a chance to discuss campaign innovations with colleagues. Keep an eye out for more information regarding speakers and event lineup this fall.

This year continues to test our resilience and present unexpected obstacles. Apra is proud of the innovation, collaboration and genuine care we’ve seen our community exhibit during this challenging time. As a way of saying thank you for making it all the way through my missive, you will receive a 5% discount off #PDVE2020 conference attendance if you register by August 14, 2020 using code DB50.

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