Executive Leadership Cohort 2018

Friday, August 10 | 11:00am - 5:00pm

Please note: at this time, the Executive Leadership Cohort is at full capacity. If you are interested in attending, please email speakers@aprahome.org and submit your name to the wait list here

Individuals who have been accepted into the cohort will be notified in early July. 

Learn More About Apra's Executive Leadership Cohort

The Executive Leadership Cohort is a “track within a track,” intended for those individuals who are senior leaders in Prospect Development and who have been working in the field for ten years or more. This targeted group will meet during Prospect Development 2018 and will have the option of participating in a set of closed-door discussions that will focus on the issues that Prospect Development and philanthropy face today, as well as the challenges leaders deal with both in the workplace and in their own careers.

Rather than a set of presentations, these will be open conversations facilitated by Apra members and career professionals. This attendee-driven program will be highly interactive, with topics determined by the attendees themselves! Topics will include:

Leadership Today

What does it mean to be a leader in our field today? We’ve seen this area change significantly, and it continues to do so. How do we be good leaders/mentors/managers through change? Some organizations still struggle with “forward thinking” efforts – how can we push that forward? How do we lead across shifting generations?


How do you best navigate challenging cultures within your organization? How can you best use your knowledge to leverage influence within the organization? We’ll discuss ways to utilize our influence and knowledge to ensure our vision is realized.

Advanced Career Growth

For those of us at senior levels in our organizations, what are the options available to us for growth and professional development? Let’s have a frank conversation about whether there is enough “there” to keep us in the industry. What other ideas/options are there for those who may be seeking other paths?

The Future of Prospect Development

With automation, direct feeds into systems, machine learning, self-service reporting, etcetera, we are seeing the landscape of ‘research’ as we have known it changing. As opposed to taking a stance of “raging against the dying of the light” how do we embrace this change, reposition and in some cases retrain ourselves and staff, and ultimately change our roles and value to the organization.

All About Analytics

In 2015, Gartner listed self-service analytics at the top of its “Peak of Inflated Expectations;” now it’s in the “Trough of Despair.” There are no shortage of techniques, vendors, and people to help “spin straw into gold” however adoption has been slow and ROI on said services are difficult to measure and questionable at best. This is an organizational challenge, not simply a research one. With that said, what can we do within our organizations to ensure analytics are demystified and democratized within our organizations?

Working with C-Suite

How can we as leaders facilitate partnerships between our teams and leadership? We talk about collaboration, communication, and engaging at high levels – what does that mean? How can we work to align development needs with the needs of the greater organization?

Is this cohort right for you? Consider signing up for the Executive Leadership Cohort if you…

  • Are a senior leader within Prospect Development. This includes: Senior Directors, AVPs and VPs and other professionals at the highest levels of our field. 
  • Have worked within Prospect Development or Development for ten years or more.
  • Manage others within prospect development, advancement services, or advancement operations. 

Participation in this Cohort is contingent on committee approval. 

The Executive Leadership Cohort has been shaped by the following advisers. Contact speakers@aprahome.org with questions. 

Emily Walsh, Associate Vice President, Development Research & Resources, University of Arizona Foundation
Misa Lobato, Assistant Vice President of Advancement Strategy, University of Colorado