#ApraChat Recap: Relationship Mapping in the Time of COVID-19

On Monday, March 8, 2021, Apra members joined Charles Johnson (Columbia University), Sharise Harrison (Santa Clara University), and Lori Hood Lawson (UC Innovation) to talk about the art of Relationship Mapping. Monday’s #ApraChat created 2,300 impressions over 80 tweets. Highlights include:

How organizations approach Relationship Mapping:

  • Implemented as part of every screening for alumni in a major gift officers’ portfolio
  • Case-by-case and used when no prospects appear to exist for special initiatives
  • Hard-coded into an organization’s CRM coupled with reports that searches a data warehouse for connections
  • Incorporated into the standard research process

How COVID-19 has affected Relationship Mapping:

  • Highlighted the importance of corporate and foundation connections
  • Made relationship identification more nuanced
  • Coming up with engagement opportunities that could be done remotely and utilizing virtual events
  • Developing and strengthening relationships with faculty
  • Has highlighted how critical relationship mapping is in times like these

Relationship Mapping Software and databases – workarounds, additions and losses:

  • Using Excel in lieu of databases or software
  • Kept the software the organization had, but used other platforms like Power BI as a workaround for relationship mapping
  • Gaining subscriptions to software – and getting on a payment plan

How COVID-19 spurred new ways to approach Relationship Mapping:

  • Virtual meetings
  • Identifying relationships during virtual events – and encouraging prospects to attend them
  • Utilizing social media engagement for relationship mapping
  • Maintaining pre-COVID-19 relationships and making intentional, meaningful outreach for new prospects
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