Twitter Chat Recap: Know It All: Tips and Tricks for the New Professional

On Thursday, March 7, Apra members joined Anne Brownlee, Director of Prospect Research, New York University (@annie_beenie), Kelly Riutta, Director of Prospect Research, University of Washington (@kriutta), Caroline Oblack, Director, Research, Prospect Management & Analytics, Oregon Health and Science University Foundation (@cgoblack), and Elizabeth McHugh, President, EMcHugh Consulting (@Beadqueen54) as they led a discussion tailored to new researchers. This Twitter Chat (#aprachats) reached over 9,700 accounts with 100+ tweets.

Some highlights from the conversation include:

  • Top items every new staff person needs to do in their first year:
    • Get out there! Introduce yourself to as many people within the organization as possible
    • Ask for all the documentation your organization has on file and dig in
    • Get a mentor
    • At the 6 month mark, review your training materials now that you have some context
    • Brush up on your Microsoft Excel skills – Pivot Tables are crucial
    • Create a 30-60-90 day plan with management
  • The experts also discussed ways in which you can move your potential prospects in front of your gift officers:
    • Dig into RelSci for offering connections between board members and other constituents
    • Code prospects so fundraisers can find them on their own and send along the most interesting/highest rated ones
    • Make sure to sell the story. Be sure to answer why this prospect, why now, and what action is needed on behalf of the Gift Officer (GO) based on the information
    • Add an attribute to potential prospects for the area of interest. This, in turn, populates into a prospect report that GO’s can review
    • Hold a monthly meeting to recommend new prospects
  • Valuable pieces of information to provide gift officers:
    • Giving history (first, last, largest gift)
    • Engagement level
    • Ties to an organization (alumni, patient, member)
    • Wealth Capacity
    • Latest news on the prospect
    • Connections - who do your prospects know!
    • Sometimes prospect development professionals want to provide as much info as possible when really a few details might be all they need
  • Weaving your relationship management and your fundraisers together:
    • Be a part of the on-boarding process so you can setup fundraisers with all processes when they start
    • Set up regular meetings to ensure prospects are moving through the various stages
    • Research and liaison-focused orientation
  • Ways to win over an unresponsive or skeptical fundraiser:
    • Sharing the impact and the “why” often will get them to turn the corner and become a strategic partner
    • Utilize different communications training opportunities (i.e. StrengthsFinder and DiSC)
    • Be a fundraiser! Take your colleagues out for a coffee – build trust at a personal level

Search #aprachats to read more about working as a new researcher in the industry. Stay tuned to @Apra_HQ for future Twitter Chats.


Recent Stories
Listen to the Newest Episode of Beyond Prospecting: The Apra Podcast

Join Us for Our Annual Business Meeting June 7!

Listen to the Newest Episode of Beyond Prospecting: The Apra Podcast