The following article originally appeared in the Q4 2016 issue of Connections.
My brother likes to tell a story about the time we found the end of the rainbow.
A storm had passed, and a brilliant rainbow touched down in our backyard. “See if you can find the pot of gold," said our dad.
We ran to the rainbow’s end, but all we found was cool, wet grass. “It’s not here!” we cried. “Ah,” said Dad. “Must be at the other end.” And of course we believed him.
Three decades ago, groups of smart, dedicated researchers gathered to form communities around the country to share what they were learning and define a newly emerging profession.
Much has changed from the days when giving was tracked on 3x5 cards and the public library was a major source of information. To better understand one person’s firsthand experience over a lifetime as a researcher, see our interview with Kathleen Graff elsewhere on this site.
Our role in our organizations has also changed in fundamental ways, based on our ability to seize the power of data. We need new kinds of knowledge from our colleagues, and new kinds of support from our peers and this community.
Apra is responding with new initiatives and new programs. That includes a new online platform for Connections, which we believe will give you better access to articles and ideas, more interconnection with other resources and tools, and just plain more good stuff.
It took imagination and energy to create the organization we value today — enough imagination to conceive of and believe in treasure at the end of the rainbow, and an unending stream of energy to keep pursuing it. Congratulations, Apra, on our 30th anniversary, and best wishes for the next three decades!
Susan H. Faraone
Apra Editorial Advisory Committee Chair
Susan Faraone is a senior consultant at Aspen Leadership Group, as well as the editor of Connections. She has worked in higher education institutions for much of her 35-year career in a wide variety of roles, leading strategic and campaign planning, front-line fundraising teams, prospect development (research, analytics and prospect management), advancement operations, donor relations and stewardship.