Professional researchers and prospect managers seem to have a knack for curiosity and a desire to learn more…about anything that gets us to that next donor and gift. And let’s be honest – that’s what makes us good at what we do!
We have all come to this big world of prospecting in different ways and we’ve all learned different things that have lead us to the roles we have. Have you considered growing your knowledge base? Continuing education can give new insight into old ways of doing things. It can also open our eyes to different ways we can manage our daily tasks in a much more efficient and effective way.
One of my favorite local educational resources is the Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rice University. I took the “Prospect Research and Analysis” class as soon as I could and soon I will be taking “Fundraising Analytics: Leveraging the Power of Data.” They have so many options and also have a few certificate programs to choose from.
Another tool is APRA. They have year-round opportunities through podcasts, webinars and their Body of Knowledge. Also, in February, they have the APRA Week of Knowledge which has actually turned into a two-week event. During this time, they feature prospect researchers throughout the country who speak on a topic that they’re experts in. It’s a great way to get your eyes opened to new ideas.
One last resource I will mention is AFP. Sure, it’s an organization more for gift officers. But, I’ve found that what they share and the events they host give me insight into a gift officer’s mind and the way they think. This allows me to adapt my approach with GOs when necessary.
If you have some favorite educational opportunities you’ve used, let us know and we’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post. And be sure to always use your local resource, APRA Greater Houston! We’ll have some educational and social events coming up, so keep an eye on your calendar and like our Facebook page to stay up-to-date!
Treasurer, APRA Greater Houston