Serving fundraising professionals in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming


  • 05 Aug 2020 12:00 PM | Mackenzie Wipf (Administrator)

    As conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion remain top of mind in America, addressing these issues has become increasingly important for school advancement programs. Organizational leaders need to prepare their staff and volunteers to work effectively, while remaining sensitive to the realities faced by underrepresented alumni and donors. To explore this issue, Dan Allenby led a discussion with Peter Hayashida (UC Riverside), Brooke Hendrickson (UC Berkeley), and Brian Thomas (Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School - MICDS).


    • Perspectives for understanding experiences of underrepresented students and alumni
    • Guidelines for appreciating how negative experiences can influence one’s interest in being engaged and giving back
    • Tips for talking with underrepresented alumni and donors and responding to their concerns
    • Methods for structuring advancement programs in a way that keep these groups engaged and supportive
    • And more!

  • 27 Jul 2020 1:00 PM | Mackenzie Wipf (Administrator)

    Whether you are a new or seasoned prospect researcher it is likely you have come into the sector without a background in financial analysis. You make do by learning bits 'here and there' but largely you rely on inherited practices passed down from researcher to researcher. These practices often go uncontested. But what if some of our core assumptions mean we've been undervaluing prospects for decades? Ever relied on Net Assets to value a prospects company? Ever discounted a prospect because their company doesn’t make a profit? Ever taken stock options at face value?

    Upgrade your research skills with Jason Briggs and Jonathan Jeffery, co-founders of a new organisation called PyroTalks CIC, which is dedicated to improving not-for-profits access to specialist knowledge, as well as launching their flagship NanoConference.

    Key Takeaways:
    • Why Net Assets are unreliable when evaluating the potential of companies?
    • Why profits are a lie: how to really evaluate how much cash a company is making?
    • How to better understand a prospects stock options & compensation?

    Jason Briggs, Co-Founder, PyroTalks CIC; Consulting Partner, BWF Europe; Fellow, Halpin Partnership.
    Jonathan Jeffery, Co-Founder, PyroTalks CIC; Senior Finance Lecturer, The University of Sheffield.

  • 07 Jul 2020 11:00 AM | Anonymous member

    This list will be updated as webinars and other resources are shared with the Apra-NW board. If you have a submission, please email


    July 8th 1pm CDT - Webinar - Risks, Opportunities, and Resilience: Lessons Learned from the Great Recession to Take Action Now

    Recorded: Apra Chapter Office Hours - Covid-19 and Employment Challenges


    Apra Minnesota - Regular Programming and Networking Events

    Apra Pennsylvania - Regular Programming and Networking Events

    August 6th 9am-12pm CDT - Apra Greater Houston 2020 Conference ($20 for non-members)

    September 24, 1pm EST, Apra Maryland - Beyond Capacity: Wrangling Ratings for Fundraising Success

    October 15, 8am-6pm - Apra NY 2020 Conference ($25 for non-members)


    July 8th, 11am CST, GG+A - Digital Donor Engagement: Chart Your A-to-Z Course

    July 13th, 3pm EST, DonorSearch - Prospect Screening: Purpose Preparation, Processing

    July 14th, 3pm EST, DonorSearch - Identifying Major Gift Prospects

    July 17th, 3pm EST, DonorSearch - The Power of Data Segmentation

    July 21st, 6pm PST, WVDO - Pivot...Don't Panic! With New York Times Bestselling Author, Jon Acuff

    Recorded Webinars/Other Resources:

    DonorSearch - Covid-19 Fundraising Success Stories with Steven Shattuck

    DonorSearch - The Covid-19 Impact on Campaign Planning

    DonorSearch - The Art of Nonprofit Innovation with Cherian Koshy

    DonorSearch - Lessons We've Learned: Adapting to the New Normal

    AGN Webinar - Navigating Your Annual Fund Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

    AGN Webinar - Communicating with Alumni and Donors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    AGN Webinar - Increasing Support for Students Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Pursuant, Podcast Series: Fundraising Amidst Uncertainty

    GG+A Webinar - Giving Appeals in the time of Coronavirus

    GG+A Webinar, Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19

    GG+A Webinar, How Arts and Cultural Institutions Can Navigate the Economic Impact of COVID-19

    GG+A - Fundraising for NorthShore University HealthSystem's COVID-19 Response

    GG+A - Managing a Campaign During the COVID-19 Crisis: Made by McGill Responds

    GG+A - Independent schools and COVID-19: How institutions can navigate the economic impact

    GG+A - Fundraising for the Nation's Museums: Planning for an Uncertain Future webinar

    GG+A - Making Relationships Matter: UCLA Advancement's response to COVID-19 webinar

    GG+A - Stewardship During the Pandemic and Beyond

    Article - GG+A - Talking to Donors About the Hard Stuff

    Variety of resources - AGN - Responding to COVID-19

  • 20 Feb 2019 3:38 PM | Kim Palumbarit (Administrator)

    These best practices came out of the webinar that Apra-NW hosted as part of Apra Chapters Share the Knowledge in February 2019. The webinar panel featured the following speakers:

    • Rachel Du, Prospect Management Analyst, Oregon Health & Sciences University; Apra-NW Programming Director

    • Krista Berg, Prospect Management Strategist, University of Washington; Apra-NW President

    • Kim Palumbarit, Prospect Development Analyst, Seattle University; Apra-NW Webmaster

    • Kim Ositis, Development Database and Research Analyst, Seattle Opera; Apra-NW Secretary

    It was moderated by Alexa Makhani, Prospect Research Analyst, Washington State University and Apra-NW Communications Director.

    Development Officer Onboarding

    General Training:

    • Have a checklist or guide for the onboarding process that you can work through so that you can make sure you are not missing steps (access to the database, contact reports, etc.). This creates a smoother onboarding experience for your new fundraiser

    • Train one-on-one so that fundraiser can ask you questions and gets to know you

    • Schedule a follow-up training 1 month to 6 weeks after the DO starts. This allows them time to get started and learn the basics, giving them time to figure out what questions and guidance they need from Prospect Development

    • Consider weekly check-ins until the fundraiser is fully trained

    • Partner fundraiser with a more junior MGO

    • Teach new fundraisers to be thinking about the person after them – will this contact report or strategy be useful if I leave? This helps with the offboarding process, as well as onboarding the next fundraiser

    Preparing a portfolio:

    • Portfolios should be shaped by the role the fundraiser is entering. Junior MGO’s will often have a portfolio more heavily focused on disqualification, a more senior MGO will have higher rated prospects

    • Work with managers to determine the best prospects for a portfolio – should they be above a certain capacity, in a certain geographic region, etc.


    • Consider when in the fiscal year a fundraiser is starting – if they are starting mid-fiscal year, reduce the metrics by 50%

    • Track everything a new fundraiser does, but don’t report against their metrics in the first year – this will help them understand how metrics work without feeling the pressure of having to perform against them

    • Create 30/60/90 day goals – these can be a mix of donor focused (a certain number of visits or phone calls) and new job logistics (set up retirement fund, learn how to navigate the building)

    • Create calendar of metrics system for the fiscal year – include review periods, data deadlines for reporting, etc.

    Development Officer Offboarding

    • Reach out to fundraiser for exit portfolio review as soon as you hear they are leaving

    • At exit portfolio review, discuss:

      • Proposals so that need closing or updating

      • Contact reports that still need to be filed

      • Recommendations for who to move prospects to

      • Prospects that can be disqualified or moved back into the pool

    • Most important question for exiting fundraiser: can this wait for the next fundraiser assigned to this prospect or does it need immediate attention?

    Prospect Development Staff


    • Create one central place for storing all policies and processes

      • One Note

      • Confluence

      • Shared folders

    • Any time you have documentation or an email explaining a process or policy, add it to the shared folder

    • Building out documentation helps you review your entire onboarding process and make sure it’s logical and clear


    • Often very similar to training DOs – a good starting place for training new Prospect Development staff

    • Start with basic projects such as reviewing contact reports or doing simple ratings to help them learn processes and policies

  • 24 Jan 2019 8:45 AM | Kim Palumbarit (Administrator)

    Before Kim Ositis joined the Development Department at Seattle Opera, she worked as a reference librarian at a busy urban public law library in Seattle for 15 years. During this time, Kim curated a significant collection of free and low-cost resources for doing open source intelligence searching, or OSINT. With these resources, she taught a popular series of OSINT classes to hundreds of lawyers, clerks, judges and the general public.

    Kim has updated her list of resources to share with Apra-NW members on the Apra-NW Member Resources Page here.

    The guide has four sections: Creating a Personal Profile, Criminal History & Court Records, Professionals & Businesses, and Social Media & Web Presence. The majority of the government resources listed are King County, Washington State or United States (federal) focused.

    Kim’s favorite sites include the Washington State Voter Database,, and the King County Parcel Viewer. The OSINT collection is always changing to include new sites and remove bad links. If you have a favorite OSINT site that’s not listed, please send it along to Kim at

  • 24 Oct 2018 12:32 PM | Kim Palumbarit (Administrator)

    In July of this year, Krista Berg and Cynthia Lee wrote a two-part article for Apra Connections, “Mary, Mary, How Does Your Data Grow?” all about building and maintaining data audits. You can access the full article here (part 1, part 2), but they've written up a few highlights/excerpts to share with Apra-NW.


    We in prospect development can agree that the bedrock of our work is trust in our expertise and our data. Bad data will stick out and data needs to be tended and weeded to grow. But how to manage this? How do we preserve our data integrity and not lose the good opinion of our development officers? Here at the University of Washington (UW), we know our data cannot properly flourish without careful monitoring. Thus, data audits were born.

    Our prospect management team has been running audits for more than 10 years. Our audits are based in an Access database using queries. We run audits daily, monthly, quarterly, and semi-annually. The most recent update to our audit process is maintaining proper documentation. We now have a manual that lays out for each audit both the purpose and instructions for cleaning up results, as well as an archival process for audits we no longer need or use. We have examples of the different audit categories in our full article.

    We would argue that everyone needs data audits, even if they are only run once a year. We suggest formatting your argument around your organization’s core: its values. Values lead to policy, policy leads to procedures, and procedures lead to business rules. One of the best tools for making sure these business rules are being followed is audits. Our leadership shares these values, so they support our choice to audit. In addition to leadership buy-in, you may have to convince your team (or yourself) that audits are feasible. Audits are necessary and doable. You will quickly discover that you can invest as little or as much time as you want in audits and there will be a huge return on your time investment.

    Once you have leadership buy-in to build a robust data auditing process, the next step is figuring out what exactly to audit. We suggest thinking about things like:

         What are your most common data entry errors?

         Is there a notification you like to provide to your fundraisers, but pulling it manually is tedious?

         Do you have processes that could benefit from automation?

         What stands out most to your leadership?


    All of these are things you can build audits for whether you are savvy in SQL or just starting out in Excel.

    You also have to start thinking about how you access your data. Our audits are built in Access using our CRM’s base tables. If you are among the lucky few who have similar access to your database, Access is an easy tool to use for digging into your prospect records and portfolios. Your database may also have mass change capability and/or a query tool, both of which could be used for auditing. If you do not have direct access or mass change capabilities, you can still query your data either by using the filters in your database or by exporting information to Excel. We have an example of a query you could write yourself in Excel in our full article.

    Audits do not have to be a huge time or technology investment. We truly believe anyone can do this – you can do this. There is no wrong way to audit; if the end data is cleaner than it was before you began, it is a win.

    Remember, data audits…

    1.       Are critical to establish trust in your data.

    2.       Can be flexible. They can be run on any schedule, with any criteria.

    3.       Do not require advanced technical tools. They can be simple.


    Krista Berg is a prospect management strategist at the University of Washington. She has been working in development for over 10 years, starting as a student caller at the UW. She is also the current president of Apra-NW.

    Cynthia Lee is a prospect management strategist at the University of Washington. She has been working in development for over 10 years and in prospect management since 2011.

    If you have follow up questions about this article or about creating your own data audits, feel free to reach out to Krista or Cynthia.

Call for Blog Submissions

If you have content you would like to submit to this Apra-NW blog on prospect management, research, or any related subject, please send it to our Communications Director, Alexa Makhani


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