ProspectCon2021 Sessions

All Sessions will be held over ZOOM



Wednesday, January 27 12:00 PM

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.



Wednesday, January 27, 1 PM

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

Myrna Ghorayeb, CCS Fundraising

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 has been hooked to fundraising since her role as a prospect researcher with the University of Houston during its historic $1 billion campaign. Since then, she’s been a consultant for over 4 years helping organizations fundraise internationally and sharing knowledge on international giving trends and prospecting. 


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.



Wednesday, February 24, 12 PM

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

Jaclyn Kramer, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice


Presentation 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.

Speaker 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.


Wednesday, February 24, 1 PM

Capacity Predictor: a Machine Learning Approach to Ratings

David Schemitsch, Columbia University

Adam Bradford, Columbia University


Presentation SummaryTraditionally, capacity formulas have trouble conveying uncertainty in the estimate as well as incorporating conflicting wealth indicators into a coherent ratings framework. To resolve both of these issues, we use publicly available survey data from the Federal Reserve to create a machine learning model of capacity as a function of identified assets. This framework can be utilized by prospect researchers in the form of an app, or it can be used to screen your database. The presentation will cover the traditional way of rating prospects; thinking about ratings as probabilities;  an exploratory data analysis of the Federal Reserve's survey data; what went into creating our machine learning rating system; and a demonstration of the rating app.


Wednesday, March 24, 12 PM

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.


Wednesday, March 24, 1 PM

Building a Prospect Management Program

Elizabeth De Velasco, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Presentation Summary: Prospect Management has complex components, including policies, portfolio reviews, database design, 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.


Speaker Bio: Elizabeth de Velasco’s love of systems and strategy led her to prospect development. Before joining Memorial Sloan Kettering, she led prospect development and was a major gifts officer at UNICEF USA and worked in annual giving and events at Scripps College.



Wednesday, April 28, 12 PM

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

Catherine Flaatten, George Washington University 


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 Bio: 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.



Wednesday, April 28, 1 PM

Choosing the right prospects for Planned Giving

Elyse Leavy, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Presentation Summary: It's all about meeting donors where they are -- but first you have to figure out where exactly that is. This session will help you determine where your Planned Giving donors are and how to build a successful PG program that gets them engaged and excited to give. 


Speaker Bio: Elyse fell in love with fundraising at a young age and held various positions in Development before discovering her passion for Planned Giving. She is always excited to talk about the relationship between prospecting and real, dynamic donor interactions.




Contact Us:

P.O. Box 1105

New York, NY 10113

apragny @ gmail.com

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