APRA’s Body of Knowledge for Prospect Development Professionals

    APRA is excited to announce a new resource for professional development – the Body of Knowledge – that defines standard competencies for those in the functional areas of Prospect Research, Data Analytics and Prospect Management

    Developed by APRA volunteers in each area, this comprehensive tool helps individuals and their managers identify growth opportunities and ensure they have the knowledge and resources needed to excel in their current positions or assume new responsibilities at their organizations. This tool also helps prospect development professionals demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge to those who are less familiar with their role.

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    Your feedback is very valuable to the future development of the APRA Body of Knowledge.  If you have suggestions, updates or ideas for future versions of the Body of Knowledge click here to provide feedback online.

    Who Should Use APRA’s Body of Knowledge?
    Prospect development professionals at every stage of their career, their supervisors and the teams that recruit those professionals can all use APRA’s Body of Knowledge:

    • New and aspiring prospect development professionals: Determine the skills needed to advance your career or change roles within your organization, as well as upcoming opportunities to enhance or acquire those skills
    • Senior prospect development professionals: Identify knowledge gaps, training goals and learning opportunities for your team; enhance the performance review process; and better develop and prioritize training budgets
    • Human resource departments and hiring managers: Recruit successful new prospect development professionals for your organization

    Competency Levels

    Each Competency now has level definitions to help you understand where you fall in the spectrum. 

    Level I:  Focus is on learning; developing through on-the-job experience; and/or applying and enhancing knowledge or skills.  

    • You have knowledge or understanding of basic techniques and concepts.
    • You have limited experience gained in a classroom and/or as a trainee on-the-job.
    • You are able to complete the skill but help or review from an expert may be required.

    Level II: Focus is on demonstrating expertise and strategic insight; applying knowledge to broad organizational/professional issues; demonstrating consistent excellence in applying knowledge or skills.

    • You can perform the actions associated with the skill without assistance or oversight.
    • You are capable of coaching and/or managing others and communicating complex nuances in the application of the competency.
    • You are known as an expert in this area. You can provide strategy, troubleshoot and answer questions, make decisions, and influence change related to this area of expertise and the field where the skill is used.

    Current Body of Knowledge Domains:

    Prospect Research
    Prospect Research.png

    The Prospect Research domain outlines the skills, knowledge and ethical standards required to identify donor prospects, and prospective donor capacity and relationships to inform and support an organization’s fundraising strategies and outreach efforts. It includes information management, utilizing research resources, financial capacity and wealth indicators, prospect interests and relationships, screenings, and fundraising knowledge – both at intermediate and advanced levels. 


    Data Analytics
    Data Analytics.png

    The Data Analytics domain outlines the skills, techniques and competencies required to derive conclusions from information in data to support an information-driven decision culture. It includes project management, data manipulation, statistical techniques, visualization/reporting techniques, communication, fundraising knowledge and strategic thinking – both at intermediate and advanced levels.



    Relationship Management
    Relationship management.png

    The Relationship Management domain outlines the skills and knowledge required to manage, track, report on an organization’s constituent and prospect pools, and make recommendations to positively influence fundraiser and campaign activity. It includes relationship management policy, database management and reporting; prospect pool/base analysis; prospect strategy; campaign and pipeline management; volunteer management, and fundraiser performance – both at intermediate and advanced levels




    The Campaigns domain outlines the skills and competencies required to plan, support, and analyze campaigns. It includes demonstrating understanding and expertise around campaign infrastructure and design, goal setting and management, prospect identification and pipeline, portfolio management, analytics, collaboration and relationship building, and constituent engagement. – both at intermediate and advanced levels.




    Need a little help with using and understanding the Body of Knowledge?

    View our Body of Knowledge webcast on-demand to learn how the Body of Knowledge can help you establish and enhance your skills within each competency.

    Presenters include:

    • Devon Villa Gessert, Director, Research and Prospect Management Office of Development and Alumni Relations, American University
    • Lisa Howley, Director, Relationship Management Developmental & Alumni Relations, John Hopkins Institutions
    • Jason Boley, Senior Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner