ProspectCon2020 Sessions

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

NYU Kimmel Center

60 Washington Square South, New York, NY



9:30 AM - 10:45 AM:


Prospect Research Track Image result for purple dot

Ready for a Capital Campaign? How to Use Your Data to Determine Campaign Readiness

Brian Dhaniram, LAPA Fundraising

Andrew Navarette, LAPA Fundraising


Presentation Summary: In this session, Brian and Andrew will test your campaign readiness, help you identify campaign leadership, and focus your attention on the right donors using donor data analysis.


Speaker Bios: Brian manages LAPA’s government grant program, and is involved in high level donor prospect research. Brian graduated from SUNY Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Binghamton, he was President and Chief Editor of the University’s undergraduate literary publication. After graduating, he began working in education. As an educator, he ran his own home-school program, creating and implementing a full-year high-school curriculum approved by New York State. In 2016, Brian co-founded Mission Flint, a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to distributing clean water to residents of Flint, Michigan amidst the ongoing water crisis. He also worked as a grant writer for AXS Lab, a nonprofit working in disability rights and accessibility. He has spoken at the United Nations regarding accessibility, universal design, and the applications of big data. 


As Director of Campaigns & Major Gifts, Andrew implements our clients’ major gift programs usually related to a defined annual plan or special campaign, managing and cultivating relationships with the client’s existing major gift prospects, as well as identifying new prospects. Andrew is a master of major gifts and capital campaigns. As a graduate of the Master of Science program in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management at Columbia (2016), Andrew knows the impact of strategic fundraising and is driven by the mission and vision of the nonprofits we serve. At LAPA, Andrew excels in finding the right balance between philanthropy as an ‘art and a science’, forming deep relationships with our client’s donors while being keenly aware of the research and data behind the ask. In his spare time Andrew enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with his family.


Data Analytics Track Image result for green dot

Feel the Churn! How to Implement Prospect Aging and Accelerate Pipeline Movement

Catherine Flaatten, George Washington University 

Lindsey Nadeau, UNICEF USA 


Presentation Summary: In recognition of the need for more consistent driving of and reporting on prospect movement through the pipeline, our prospect development team at GW developed definitions of and guidelines around key proxy measures to form the concept of “prospect aging.” Together, the combination of these variables provides a holistic picture of the pipeline progress a gift officer's assigned prospects are making, as viewed through the parallel lenses of stage aging and portfolio saturation. This session will describe the process of developing this concept, dive into sample micro and macro level reports, review outcomes to date, and provide attendees with a framework for establishing prospect aging at their own institutions.


Speaker Bios: Catherine is the Director, Research & Relationship Management at The George Washington University. Setting policy, procedure and protocol at the macro level for the division of Development and Alumni Relations, she works to optimize GW’s relationship management system and thereby enable fundraisers to reach new heights of success. Previously, Catherine served as the Manager of Prospect Research at Share Our Strength, a national organization working to end childhood hunger in the United States. Prior to that, she worked in prospect research at the BrightFocus Foundation and the National Psoriasis Foundation. A regular speaker and author within the local, national, and international prospect development communities, Catherine serves as President of Apra Metro DC, Chair of the Apra Membership Committee, and Chair of the AASP Best Practices in Prospect Development Committee. Residing in Northern Virginia with her partner and their spoiled cat, Catherine spends her free time singing in the Alexandria Choral Society, providing pro bono fundraising consulting to the Alexandria Kinderchoir, and contributing to the DC Liberating Structures working group. Catherine holds a BA in International Affairs and an MPH in Maternal and Child Health, both from The George Washington University.


Lindsey Nadeau is the Senior Director of Prospect Development at UNICEF USA. She guides Prospect Intelligence, Development Operations and Portfolio Strategy, and Donor Communications innovations, focusing on best practice adoption, lean process improvement, and strategic planning. Lindsey was previously the Director of Research and Relationship Management at GW. She was responsible for leading relationship management policy and protocol development and implementation and designing prospect intelligence efforts in support of GW's most visible, high-impact solicitations and engagement. She partnered with senior fundraising leadership to shape both high-level and prospect-specific strategy and onboard a new CDO and President. She previously led development operations at the Center for American Progress, was an assistant director of prospect research and management at American University, and held multiple roles (read: too many hats!) in development operations at Public Citizen. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from American University. Lindsey is the chair of Apra International’s 2020 Conference Planning Committee and manages a volunteer committee of 17. She has also served on Apra’s Nominations, Editorial Advisory, and Body of Knowledge Committees and served as the president and programming chair of Apra Metro DC. Lindsey co-chaired and was faculty for CASE's annual Prospect Development Conference and is a former chair of the AASP Prospect Development Best Practices Committee. Suffice it to say, Lindsey is a Prospect Development fan girl, who studies philanthropic trends for fun.

Personal Development Track Image result for blue dot

Breaking Barriers in Development

Erynn Sarno, Mount Sinai

Stephanie Rigione, Mount Sinai


Presentation Summary: In this session, Mount Sinai Health System's Prospect Development team leaders will discuss how they helped to clear away the barriers to fundraising and established the necessary infrastructure so that gift officers can get to the task at hand—raising money. Attendees will be able to adapt some of these techniques to their own shops to better position themselves as strategic partners with fundraisers.


Speaker Bios:

Erynn Sarno has more than a decade of experience in the prospect research and prospect development field. As the Senior Director of Prospect Research at Mount Sinai, Erynn and her team are responsible for building the pipeline for the health system’s $2 billion campaign.


Stephanie Rigione has combined her frontline fundraising and program building experiences to reimagine a revenue-focused, strategic moves management system. By applying data insights and thoughtful partnership, the Prospect Strategy & Management team enhances the fundraisers’ effectiveness.



11:00 AM - 12:15 PM:


Prospect Research Track Image result for purple dot

Where (in the world) to start?: Creating an international program

Myrna Ghorayeb, Marts & Lundy

Sharon Lin, Yale School of Management


Presentation Summary: Join Myrna and Sharon for a session on international prospect research, management, and advancement. Attendees will learn about how best to educate leadership and colleagues on differing cultures of philanthropy, set up due diligence and ethics practices in their own shops, and harness their network and resources to hone their international advancement skills!


Speaker Bios: Myrna joined Marts & Lundy as an Associate Consultant in 2016, bringing expertise in prospect management and research and process improvement. Prior to joining Marts & Lundy, Myrna worked as a Manager of Portfolio Services at the University of Houston for just over 2 years. Her focus was Corporations and Foundations as well as Healthcare Initiatives, which included College of Pharmacy, College of Optometry, Graduate College of Social Work and the new Medical School being built for UH. She also focused on top-level prospects and donors for the Vice Chancellor’s/Vice President’s office. Before joining University of Houston, Myrna was a Project Manager for General Electric in the Energy segment. She managed electrical distribution projects from manufacturing to installation in the Southwest and Texas region. As a project manager, she received her Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma. She first joined GE in 2010 as an Inside Sales Associate and while in that role, she completed her Masters in Healthcare Innovation from Arizona State University. Myrna has a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing and minor in Spanish, and International Business certificate from Arizona State University.


Sharon joined the Yale School of Management Office of Development and Alumni Relations in 2015 and currently works in prospect research, prospect management, and operations roles.  She began her development career in 2012 as a prospect researcher in Yale’s Office of Development.  She holds a B.S. in biology from Yale and an M.B.A. in finance and management from the University of Connecticut.


Data Analytics Track Image result for green dot

Integrating Data Analytics into Your Fundraising Department: A Primer

Steve Grimes, Jazz at Lincoln Center


Presentation Summary: Creating processes within your department where data analytics informs your fundraising decisions can seem daunting. This is particularly the case when you are unfamiliar with how data analytics can be integrated into the department’s day-to-day activities. And while fully incorporating data analytics can be a lengthy process, the first steps to creating that environment can be an accessible endeavor, and one that provides immediate benefits to any fundraising shop. Join Steve Grimes, Director of Development Analytics and Strategy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as he gives an overview of some approaches to implement the foundations of data analytics into any fundraising shop. He will specifically give an overview of how to use statistical methods to create efficiencies in your wealth screenings, how to segment prospects based on affinity, and how to use Open Data to gather further information on your constituents.


Speaker Bio: Steve is the Director of Development Analytics and Strategy at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He oversees all reporting and analysis needs for senior leadership to help drive decision making around fundraising activities. This role is coupled with ensuring new systems and business practices are implemented on par with leading industry standards to enable JALC’s fundraising goals to be efficiently and effectively met. Previously, he was the Prospect Research Analyst at the ACLU working with the Principal Gifts team in the national office. Steve began his development career in 2006 as a prospect researcher at St. John’s University. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from SUNY at Old Westbury, a master’s degree in sociology from St. John’s University, a 2nd master’s degree in media studies from CUNY at Brooklyn College, and completed doctoral courses at Rutgers University before deciding to focus solely on his development career.


Personal Development Track Image result for blue dot

Building Prospect Management

Elizabeth de Velasco, Memorial Sloan Kettering


Presentation Summary: Prospect Management has complex components, including policies, portfolio reviews, reporting, and adding names into portfolios for qualification. It takes a thoughtful strategy to implement prospect management among all stakeholders in a way that is not only scalable and sustainable, but also raises more money. This session include a case study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Speaker Bio: Elizabeth de Velasco is Director of Prospect Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Formerly, she led prospect development and was a major gifts officer at UNICEF USA and worked in the annual fund at Scripps College, liberal arts college in southern California. She has a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her spouse and children.



2:15 PM - 3:00 PM:


Prospect Research Track 
Image result for purple dot  

Planned Giving: Prospecting for Frontline Success

Elyse Leavy, National Resource Defense Council 


Workshop Summary: Many Planned Giving programs are marketing to the wrong people. In this session, we'll talk about how to prospect for a successful planned giving program and why it's important!


Speaker Bio: Elyse Leavy is the Eastern Region Planned Giving Officer at Natural Resources Defense Council. She manages a portfolio of Legacy Leaders, prospects, and works collaboratively on marketing strategies to grow and enhance the program. Formerly, Elyse built out the Planned Giving program at Planned Parenthood of New York City after working in Individual Giving both there and at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is the co-chair of the Philanthropy Committee of the Planned Giving Group of Greater New York. She holds a degree in Business Management with a minor in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Elyse lives in New Jersey with her husband, toddler, and four rescue cats.


Data Analytics Track Image result for green dot

Major Gift Prospecting: The Art and Science of Major Gift Scoring 

Sarah Wells, Stevens Institute of Technology

Mary Mulrenin, Stevens Institute of Technology


Workshop Summary: In this workshop we'll look at Major Gift prospect research and scoring from a fundraising prospective.


Speaker Bio: Sarah is the Director of Major Gifts at Stevens Institute of Technology. She oversees a team of gift officers, directs the major and principle gift strategies for Stevens, and carries a portfolio of 6- and 7-figure prospects. She has been in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade and relocated to New York nearly 2 years ago for her husband to attend a doctoral program. Before joining Stevens, Sarah was the Director of Development for Regional Programs for the University of South Carolina. In her prior roles, Sarah worked in annual, major, planned, and corporate fundraising, grant writing, and database management at the University of South Carolina, Columbia Museum of Art, and Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, South Carolina. She is pursuing her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at Columbia University and holds a B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina.


Mary Mulrenin is the Director of Research and Prospect Management at Stevens Institute of Technology. She oversees the data intelligence and moves management system for the division of Development and manages a research analyst and a team of student workers. Mary began her career as a research analyst at Northeastern University and has held research positions with increasing levels of responsibility at Boston University and CancerCare Inc. She is a certified Blackbaud professional and is a member of APRA and AASP. She holds a B.S. in Communication from Boston University and an M.A in History from Northeastern University.

Personal Development Track Image result for blue dot

Power Profiles for Power Researchers

Rannie McCants, The Public Theater

Sheela Sur, The Public Theater


Workshop Summary: Power Profiles - During this session, we will share our research reports and explain the process of integrating these profiles within our database. We will cover collaboration & communication - finding common ground with frontline fundraisers, building the report - using SSRS and your CRM, and skills & training - setting new standards for the organization.


Speaker Bios: Rannie McCants has served as the Development Research Associate at The Public Theater since 2018. She began her career in 2015 as a grant writer for Black Girls Smile and has since worked in various frontline and research roles at the YMCA of Greater New York, Make a Wish Foundation, and the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Presently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alumni Association for the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts, the Young Adult Board for the Riverside Church, and is an active member of the Fund Development Committee of the New York Urban League. Rannie studied Dramatic Writing at New York University and has a personal passion for philanthropy that combine arts with activism.


Sheela Sur is the Assistant Director of Information and Data Analytics at The Public Theater, where she has worked for 3 years. She previously held various fundraising, ticket sales, and database management roles, all using Tessitura, at the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. She has also worked at public libraries in Canada and New Zealand. Sheela received a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario. She is passionate about ensuring that arts, culture, and information are accessible to all.



3:05 PM - 3:50 PM:


Prospect Research Track Image result for purple dot

Prospecting on a Budget: From Resource-Rich to Resourceful Resourcing!

Jaclyn Kramer, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice

Workshop Summary: Having been a prospect researcher at a large fundraising shop, Jaclyn was used to having all the fancy and expensive research tools at her disposal. When she became the Development Director at a small nonprofit, she had to get creative in stretching her budget when it came to research. Jaclyn has developed tips to build research profiles for free (or cheap) and is eager to share her low-budget ideas with other small shops. Her goal is to help others build the tools they need to do substantive research that leads to transformative relationships and gifts.


Speakers Bio: Jaclyn is the Development Director at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, a civil legal services organization in Newark, New Jersey. She has worked in development for over a decade, with positions at Covenant House International, Human Rights First, New York Institute of Technology, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the West Point Association of Graduates. Jaclyn is the Co-Chair of Covenant House New Jersey’s Young Professional Board. She graduated from Providence College with a degree in Political Science and minors in Public and Community Service and Black Studies. Jaclyn is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement.


Data Analytics Track Image result for green dot

Actionable Data, How To Drive Your Mid-Level Program

Michael Mielcarek, Pursuant


Workshop Summary: Building a case to invest in your mid-level can be a challenge for many development directors. Having the right data and understanding of how to interpret the giving of your donors is a first step in making such a case.


Speaker Bio:Matthew Mielcarek serves as Vice President, Analytics & Insights Strategy at Pursuant. In his role, he works hand in hand with C-level nonprofit executives to unlock latent value in constituent and transaction data. He also engages with fundraisers to validate current strategies and identify untapped opportunities for growth. Matthew has deep integrated strategy and campaigning expertise, working for traditional and online advertising agencies since 1995. With experience leading over 100 nonprofit client engagements, he has addressed challenges faced by the smallest regional organizations to the largest multi-chapter, multi affiliate organizations across 15 nonprofit verticals. Matthew has a degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. Early in his career, he worked at GSD&M Advertising Kantar Millward Brown, a market research firm.


Personal Development Track Image result for blue dot

Don't Underestimate Me.

Cecilia Hogan, University of Puget Sound


Workshop summary: Is your research role everything you wish it to be? If your answer is anything other than "yes," let's chat. We'll brainstorm best skills, talents, and opportunities by glancing at the why of success for Jeopardy GOATs, Baby Yoda, and the best Monopoly players. We'll talk about large and small hurdles we face and outline paths to making a researcher's role all that it can be. The goal? You take away one idea that might actually change your journey.


Speaker Bio: Cecilia Hogan led the prospect research effort at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., for 25 years. She served on the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (Apra) board of directors from 1999-2002, where she primarily managed the production of ApraConnections, and she is a former president of Apra-NW. Right from the start, Cecilia loved to talk about prospect research and began giving presentations early in her career. Her venues have included big Apra and Apra chapters, fundraising certification programs, planned giving groups, local and regional fundraiser and grantwriter organizations, and the development of a pioneering online seminar for CASE. Cecilia has written articles about fundraising and prospect research and is the author of Prospect Research: A Primer for Growing Nonprofits (2008: Jones & Bartlett Learning, second edition). She retired from her prospect research position in late 2018. As she retired, the Apra-NW chapter named a scholarship for new researchers for Cecilia. In 2019, Cecilia was honored to join a group of six research colleagues who have received Apra's Visionary Award. 


Contact Us:

P.O. Box 1105

New York, NY 10113

apragny @ gmail.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software