The Birthplace of Apra

  • 18 Nov 2020 1:56 PM | Ryan Marshall (Administrator)

    Julia Mikula

    Prospect Management Analyst
    Mayo Clinic

    Apra-MN
    Programming Committee member





    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. I've been an Apra-MN member since 2018, when I joined Mayo Clinic. My first Apra experience was attending the conference in May 2019. Shortly thereafter, I joined the Mentoring Program.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. Apra-MN has helped me make connections in the field. I really value my relationship with my past mentor through the Mentoring Program. She's given me so many ideas for how to improve my work, along with ideas for new projects I can pursue. Getting involved with the Programming Committee has helped me build a larger network of people to bounce ideas off and hear how other shops are approaching their work.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. We're surrounded by stories of gratitude.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A.  Foster your curiosity and truly listen to others. Assume everyone you meet knows something you don't.


  • 02 Sep 2020 10:00 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Sarah Price
    BWF
    Research Associate

    Apra-MN
    Mentor and Programming Committee Member




    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. I joined Apra-MN in 2008 when the organization I worked for was started to prepare for a feasibility study. My first experience was attending an Apra-MN conference, where I found my people and have stuck with prospect development and the awesome nerds associated with PD and research ever since!

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. The really great professional development opportunities and amazing community of prospect development professionals who support each other.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. The best things about my career have been the people that I have met along the way! Folks in the fundraising and prospect development fields are really interesting! I also love the variety of people we get to research, the different jobs and lives I get to learn about, and the variety of organizations that I have and currently work with.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. At my first Apra International conference, Jodi Kohrs told me that I should join the Apra-MN board - it sounded way out of my comfort zone, and it was - but I eventually did and was on the board for 4 years. I got great experience serving on a board, and it made me get out of that comfort zone and meet a lot of new people who I am still friends and colleagues with today!


  • 20 Aug 2020 9:19 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Janna Lee

    Associate Director of Philanthropy Operations

    The Trust for Public Land






    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. Ooh boy....I think I went to my first Apra MN event in 2009, and it was a session about identifying planned giving prospects.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. The support and camaraderie. This is a group that will share any resource, answer any question, and help with any project if you just ask.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. I've always loved the puzzle of prospect management. You have a pool of prospects, and a group of relationship managers, and I get to figure out how to get all the right prospects into the right portfolios at the right time, keeping things balanced and equitable.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. You have to speak up for what you need and want. You're your own best advocate.


  • 05 Aug 2020 11:31 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Aimee Fisher
    Prospect Research Officer
    Carleton College





    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. I think sometime since 2013. I attended a Fall Conference for Apra-MN at Macalester and really loved the sense of a community in my field. I came back to my office and really pushed to do more Prospect Research. It led me to get a full time research job at Carleton.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. I love the sense of support among peers and also being able to ask questions or learn new methods for what we do.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. I love knowing that we are helping to fund raise for worthy causes, whether it's education or healthcare or nonprofits.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. Be a problem solver, not a complainer! I love to tackle a project that solves a problem!


  • 21 Jul 2020 10:05 PM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Andrea Dowd
    Seeking Employment







    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. I have been a member of Apra-MN since moving back to Minnesota from the East Coast in 2015. My first experience with the Chapter was reaching out to the board to inquire if they were doing any programming aside from the Conference...that then led to me stepping into a committee member role not long after!

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. The community of researchers is astounding! Having a group of people who understand the special differences in our organizations and donors in Minnesota and the Mid-West is invaluable. I have never met a more dedicated group of people ready to lend a helping hand when it is most needed in both professional and personal spheres!

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. I learn something new all the time. My college self would have been amazed that I understand how SEC filings work or what a Form 4 is!

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. Ask for help from the Apra community---someone always has an answer, a suggestion, or knows a person who can help with whatever you might need.

  • 06 Jul 2020 10:46 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

     Sara Buesing
     
    Prospect Development Associate
     Catholic Charities of St. Paul & Minneapolis







    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. Five years -- I attended my first spring conference just a few months after taking my first job as a prospect researcher.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. I love that our chapter is always looking for new ways to engage and educate our members.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. It's never boring! Every day brings a new question to answer -- and usually a new way of answering it.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. Listen.


  • 22 Jun 2020 3:10 PM | Webmaster (Administrator)

     Christen Tarantino 
     Director of Advancement Research
     Saint Paul Academy and Summit  School




    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member and what was your first Apra experience?

    A. I've been a member of Apra-MN since moving to Minnesota in 2012, and first joined Apra International and NEDRA as a brand-new prospect researcher at Amherst College in 2006.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A.The members! This is such a supportive community of brilliant and creative thinkers, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. I like how much the profession has grown and changed with the times while still sticking to the fundamentals of using data to build relationships and advance our organizations' missions. When I first started out in the field, I used to describe my job as a cross between a reference librarian and a technical writer. Now I'd say it's more like a cross between a reference librarian and a technical writer...and a data scientist...and a project manager...and a business analyst...and an armchair psychologist. I'm excited to have a career where I can continue to grow and learn new skills, and where no two days are ever quite the same.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. "Be kind. Everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden."

  • 28 May 2020 11:30 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Adri Viswanatha

    Donor Development and Analytics Manager
    Children's Cancer Research Fund




    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member?

    A. I have been a member since 2017. My predecessor introduced me to her mentor, who in turn made sure I was able to become a mentee. One of my first experiences was attending the Apra-MN spring conference and learning what a large community Apra is, and how important prospect research is as a career. (An actual quote from me in 2017: "Wait, this is a job that people do? Wait, there's like a hundred people here who all do this job?!")

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. Apra-MN is such a welcoming community and a great place to go for guidance when questions arise in my job. I inherited the bones of a prospect management program, and conferences, webinars and the Apra online community had a huge impact on helping me learn the ropes and build my organization's program into something robust and effective. I joined the mentorship program as a mentee very soon after starting my job, and I give my mentor a lot of credit for helping me learn how to be successful in my work.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. Prospect research is like having a bunch of puzzle pieces in front of you that you piece together; data analytics is finally seeing the pattern of the puzzle emerge. As I have grown my role at my organization, I get to combine all parts of my field into something coherent, and help strategize for success with my development team.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. Prospect research isn't just a support role - it is an integral part of the fundraising world. Know that and advocate for recognition of your contributions and accomplishments to your fundraising team!


  • 28 May 2020 11:11 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Ryan Marshall

    Prospect Development Analyst
    Concordia University, St. Paul





    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member?

    A. Five years. The colleague I replaced encouraged me to become a member. However, my first experience with Apra was before I joined. I attended a workshop on advanced wealth management techniques which jump started my interest in prospect development.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A. I really enjoy the community. I don't have to explain the passion I have for my career because it is shared by those around me.

    Q. What do you like most about your career?

    A. I like that I get to integrate technology into my career. Software platforms have to adapt to stay competitive. I get to innovate along with them as new options are made available.

    Prospect management was my least favorite task until we migrated it to a new platform. The end result is a far more efficient process, but the project from the start was challenging and engaging.

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received?

    A. Invest in the tools that are needed for a project. Over time, you'll amass the wisdom and confidence to approach new challenges and have the tools to overcome them.

  • 28 May 2020 11:00 AM | Webmaster (Administrator)

    Alisa Lamont 

    Assistant Director of Prospect Management and Research

    University of St. Thomas

    Q. How long have you been an Apra-MN member? 

    A: I joined Apra-MN three years ago, when I returned to MN after 16 years living and working in NYC. Apra-MN members were welcoming and helped me develop my professional network in the local community. Several Apra-MN members have become personal friends.

    Q. What do you enjoy most about Apra-MN?

    A: The members! Apra-MN is made up of over 100 talented, knowledgeable (and fun!) individuals. I sincerely enjoy learning and sharing with other members at our board and committee meetings, events, and annual conference. Our programming committee has created some fantastic, relevant virtual events to keep us connected during this uncertain time.

    Q. What do you like most about your career? What is a typical day like for you?

    A: Like all of you, my typical day has changed dramatically over the past month! I’m grateful that prospect development work lends itself well to a remote environment. I’m able to continue partnering with eight major gift officers here at University of St. Thomas. My focus is on prospect/pipeline management, proposal tracking and portfolio optimization. We accomplish this via Zoom meetings, phone calls and emails (with the occasional pause to help my three kids with distance learning).

    Q. Best piece of advice you've received? 

    A: My mom, who is from Thailand, told me, “You cannot clap with one hand.” I have taken it to mean that we must work together to reach our goals. Professionally and personally, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate with others, and I respect their perspectives.


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