Katie Ingrao, assistant director of prospect management at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, is this year’s winner of the Margaret Fuhry Grant. The award recognizes her leadership, mentoring, volunteer spirit and dedication to professional development.
Ingrao joined our profession around six years ago. In January 2010, while a graduate student in library science and history, she landed a part-time prospect research internship in Harvard Medical School’s development office. After finishing her master’s degree, she discovered there were more job opportunities in philanthropy than as a librarian. So she worked as a prospect researcher at Benedictine University from July 2011 through March 2013, then joined the Rush team in April 2013.
At Rush, Ingrao manages 10 prospect portfolios and assists in planning campaign initiatives, generating reports and ensuring quality control of their data. She also is the key staff resource for portfolio policy questions and day-to-day use of their database. Ingrao said she is particularly proud of the collaborative design and implementation of “a system that brings all of the services of prospect management to the desktop of each development officer.” This has brought new efficiency to a range of core processes such as screening, assigning or disqualifying prospects; requesting quarterly reports; and accessing training materials.
Ingrao shows similar drive and dedication outside the office. She has served as president of Apra’s Illinois chapter since January 2015. Previously, she was the group’s co-director of programming and professional advancement and was instrumental in updating its approach to events. Ingrao was also the chair of the planning committee for Apra’s first annual regional conference, held in Chicago in June 2016.
Ingrao said she is very grateful to Apra for providing a sense of community and for helping boost her confidence as a researcher, research advocate and chapter leader. And she is thrilled to have been selected for the Fuhry Grant, which she said is a great honor and reminds her of the amazing opportunities she has had to contribute to the profession at every level.
Jeffrey A. Walker is director of research in the development and alumni relations office at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He started working as a philanthropy researcher and writer in 1998 and prior to that was a college English instructor. Walker, who was the Fuhry Grant recipient in 2004, also is a member of Apra’s editorial advisory committee.