The Birthplace of Apra

The APRA Fall Conference - a view from scholarship winner Angela Bernhardt

28 Oct 2014 9:10 AM | Shanna Ames

Receiving the 2014 Fall APRA conference scholarship was a great opportunity to pause during the year-end fundraising push to reflect, focus and recalibrate my professional efforts.

Hammer Residences is a small non-profit with limited resources. I am one of two full time staff on our development team with a fundraising goal of $930,000 for 2014 – double our 2009 goal. Like many providers of services, Hammer is experiencing major changes in rate settings. These changes, combined with shrinking government budgets, are creating a funding gap unlike any that Hammer has seen in our 91-year history of serving individuals with developmental disabilities. Fundraised dollars are is more important now than ever before.

I have the role of doing my own prospect research for my major donor visits, as well as preparing reports for our CEO and our Chief Development Officer. Thanks to the Fall 2014 APRA session, I will strive to include a “zippy bit” in each report I prepare, a fun fact that will make the person memorable, in addition to including a photo of the individual and perhaps even a photo of their home.

There was discussion about what the Good Buildings (GB) in New York City are, how organizations are segmenting based on zip codes, and using this information as potential wealth indicators. This got me thinking…. What are the “good” zip codes in the Twin Cities? According to Forbes the wealthiest zip codes in the Twin Cities are: 55391, 55403, and 55424. Although I’m not sure how I will use this information yet, it’s a good potential tool and I’ve already queried our RE database.

Another session, Living in the Gray Area: Understanding Wealth That Isn’t Black and White discussed using regular research tools differently. For example, the 990 report is something that I look at regularly, mainly to find out the balance in the foundation and what nonprofits they support and at what levels. I’ve never thought to focus on “Line 1” and how much the individual is contributing to their foundation and compare that for the past three years to see how they were doing, and feeling, financially. As we prepare for year-end major donor meetings, having a new glimpse into a donor’s psyche will be useful.

As always, my favorite part of any APRA conference is the opportunity to meet others. I was honored to hear a farewell speech from Fran Corcoran and to sit with a group of interesting and engaging researchers. Thank you APRA-MN!

Angela Bernhardt


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