Session Descriptions

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2016 APRA Canada Conference Session Descriptions

Day 1

10:45am - 12:00pm

1:45pm - 3:00 pm

3:15pm - 4:30pm


Day 2

9:00am - 10:15am

1:30pm - 2:45pm

3:30pm - 4:45pm


Day 3

9:00am - 10:15am



Day 1: Wednesday October 12

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

1A & 2A: Beginners Boot Camp: 2-session development research essentials (Beginner)

Amy McKinnon, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and Tracey Church, Consultant 

Please note that this session will run from 10:45am-3:00pm

Learn how to walk before you can run (into trouble) from veteran researchers Amy McKinnon and Tracey Church. This beginner’s boot camp will run over 2 sessions back-to-back to kick off the start of the conference and will teach new researchers all the needed essentials to research foundations, corporations, and individuals with the resources to run an efficient shop. New researchers will learn how to work with their fundraising teams to determine time efficient reactive research methods and how they can work proactive research into their busy schedules. Working within single person to full team research shops will be discussed.

1B: “So, what do you do?” Educating and Advocating for Prospect Research at Work and at Play (General Interest/Beginner)

Maria Cheung, Tawnia Daughton, Rena Liviniuk and Carly Koshman, University of Alberta
So, what do you do? A discussion on promoting the Prospect Research professional within the fundraising community and in social settings. An overview of initiatives at the University of Alberta as well as personal experiences. There will be an opportunity for attendees to discuss their experiences with advocacy for Prospect Research.

1C: Data to insights to action: a data analytics journey (Advanced)

Tracey Carmichael, UBC

Researchers at UBC have a proud history of incorporating data analytic techniques into their work beginning with our first model in 2002. After years executing projects off the corner of our desks and plucking the low hanging fruit, we set-up a Data Analytics Program to deliver data-driven insights and modelling for development and alumni engagement in 2013. Learn about our successes, failures and the surprising lessons we learned along the way. Whether you work with vendors to create models, surveys and screenings or want to do it in-house, this presentation will show you that creating great insights is just the beginning – successful data analytic programs need to foster behaviour changes so that people work smarter to get better results.


1:45pm - 3:00pm:

2B: Flying Solo: Working with fundraisers, demonstrating your value, and keeping your cool in a solo shop (Beginner)

Katherine Scott, Freelancer
Prospect Researchers working independently and in solo research shops face a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Without a team of like-minded researchers to provide support, solo researchers are responsible for developing strong relationships and managing expectations with their fundraisers and leadership, building a case for accessing paid resources and demonstrating the value of their work to the fund development process. Solo researchers are also uniquely positioned to have significant control over the priorities, processes and special projects in their research shops. This session explores ways to make the most of this experience.

2C: Developing Your Prospect Research Leadership Road Map (Intermediate/Advanced)

Barbara Fanning, SickKids
This practical session, led by a prospect research veteran, will encourage participants to contemplate and envision their personal leadership road map. A little bit lessons learned, a little bit research tough love, and a lot of actionable techniques all combine to enhance the current skills and expertise of participants. The conversation promises to engage, provoke and invigorate your prospect research perspective.


3:15pm - 4:30 pm

3A: Research Profiles - A "Disruptive" Approach (General Interest)

Jaime Semple and Kiersten Hutchinson, Queen's University
This presentation will focus on an initiative - undertaken by the Prospect Research Group at Queen's University - to fundamentally alter the way in which research profiles are prepared and distributed in an Advancement setting.  The presentation will focus on the shift from a "no stone unturned" traditional profile approach to an on-demand, system-generated model that is tailored to the specific information needs of a fundraiser.  The new SRP (standard research profile) model was launched in 2014 and has resulted in significant efficiencies and positive fundraiser feedback.  We will describe how the project got its start, the challenges we encountered and will use KPI's to show the impact of the SRP format on Research and Development.

3B: The Role of Prospect Research in the Fundraising Cycle (Beginner)

Nancy Parker, Parker Fundraising Strategies

The fundraising cycle, sometimes referred to as the “donor cultivation cycle”, identifies the five stages of major gift fundraising: Identification, Qualification, Cultivation, Solicitation and Stewardship.  The prospect researcher’s role is often seen as being only that of someone who does the research to create the profiles needed prior to the solicitation call.  However, the role of the prospect researcher should be an integral role at every stage of the cycle.  This workshop will illustrate and discuss the vital role of a prospect researcher throughout the cycle and how prospect research can greatly improve the relationship building process.

3C: Dare to Innovate: Take Risks, Survive Failure, and Learn From It (Advanced)

Janice Cunning and Elena Khomenko, Leadership Coaches

The charitable sector is shifting as the call for innovation grows.  Today’s social issues require us to think differently.  The worlds of arts and competitive sports teach us that for innovation to happen we must take risks and embrace failure.  For those working in research there is a high professional standard around accuracy and “getting things right”.  There is a tension between the desire for innovation and fear of failure.  We must face this tension if we are to blaze a new trail.  This experiential workshop will allow participants to explore their views on risk and failure and learn when to take risks.  We will explore the neuroscience behind growing from failure.  Participants will leave inspired with a clear first step toward innovation.  


Day 2 - Thursday, October 13 

9:00am - 10:15am

4A: Prospect Research isn't creepy (General Interest)

Liz Rejman, Pathways to Education

Researchers are good, honest people, but there are many situations that possess a gray area that can trip up the best and brightest professionals. How do we navigate these areas with confidence? How can we ensure that the work we do is ethical and not perceived as creepy?

In this interactive session, attendees will review the ethical challenges that prospect development professionals face, along with the strategies to address these challenges.

4B: Moves Management 101 (General Interest/Beginner/Intermediate) 

Kat Carson, University of Calgary

Based on APRA Canada's upcoming book An Essential Guide to Prospect Research in Canada, this session will present moves management as a critical activity involving strategic planning and tracking engagement as philanthropic prospects advance through the donor cycle.

Depending on the complexity of the organization, front line fundraisers may be solely accountable for moves management.  In larger organizations, however, moves management may involve a partnership between fundraising staff and Prospect Research or Prospect Management: front line fundraisers engage prospects in the community while Prospect Research and Prospect Management assist with the

discovery, capture, and maintenance of prospect data. No matter the size or complexity of your organization, join us and learn how Prospect Research and Prospect Management can provide invaluable support to front line fundraising staff by targeting research and prospect management activities. Attendees will developing a robust understanding of the prospect pipeline, pipeline phases, key activities that take place during each stage, and the essential data required to provide accurate reports and support overall institutional prospect strategy.

4C: Reactive to Proactive: The Qualification Process (Intermediate/Advanced)

Joanne Souaid, University of Ottawa

How many Prospect Researchers have identified someone (a “suspect”) as having huge potential to be a Major Gift Prospect? Keep your hand up if you’ve jumped up and down urging a fundraiser to meet this suspect only to have your advice (and excitement) go unnoticed? This session will share the story of how a Prospect Research team went from being reactive (ie: filling out last-minute Research Profiles for Fundraisers) to proactive (assigning suspects to fundraisers in order to qualify their Prospect potential). The session will provide details on the qualification process from Identification to Qualification Assignment to Strategy along with the conversion rate from Suspect to Prospect.

What you will learn from this session:

·         How to identify strong suspects to qualify for the Pipeline

·         The secret ingredient needed to get a fundraiser to take notice

·         The Qualification Process from identification to assignment to strategy


10:30am - 11:45am

5A: I See What You Mean: Prospect Research & Visualization (Intermediate)

Erin Moffatt, University of Alberta and Liz Murray, Sunnybrook Foundation

Certain information is more effectively presented in a graphic format. It enables decision makers to see your research visually, so they can better grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. In particular, visualizations can help better communicate complex relationships, strategies, and workflows. This session will introduce the benefits of visualizing research, provide examples as to how and when visualizations can be used in prospect research (including family trees, relationship and data mapping, and workflow diagrams), as well as provide some introductory tools to get you started (including both paid and free resources).

5B: Foundations for Beginners - Reading Between the Lines (What do they support and how much will they give?) (Beginner)

Jana Wilde, University of Calgary

With 5,148 public foundations and 5,376 private foundation in Canada in 2015, how does a prospect researcher identify potential prospects? This presentation will offer suggestions for building a prospect list focused on foundations through a review of: how to look for linkages; confirming interests; reviewing past giving history; options for different types of foundations; and the importance of reviewing giving restrictions. This presentation will review financial statements as reported to the CRA and examine key indicators of giving capacity. In some situations, no financial information is publicly-available and indicators of potential capacity will be examined.

5C: Brick by brick: rebuilding a prospect management system (General Interest/Intermediate/Advanced)

Gregory Duke, Rochester Institute of Technology

Most fundraising offices are aware that a strong prospect management office can make development officer portfolios more efficient, and can improve the fundraising ability of everyone within the office. However, many offices have struggled to implement a prospect management system that can work together with development officers, prospect research, and fundraising leadership.
In this presentation, Dr. Gregory Duke discusses how Rochester Institute of Technology rebuilt its prospect management system to prepare for its capital campaign.  Subjects to be discussed will include moves management structures, personnel management ideas, and identification of techniques which add value to portfolios and prospect cultivation strategies.


1:30pm - 2:45pm

6A:  How To Use Competitive Intelligence to assist in Leadership Development for Prospect Researchers (Intermediate/Advanced)

Zelda Applebaum, Bennett Jones LLP

Prospect research and competitive intelligence are very similar in many ways. Both draw on research and analysis skills, both require strong negotiation and communications.   This session will explore the similarities and differences between the disciplines, while providing tips and tricks for prospect researchers on how to increase their leadership capabilities within their organizations (and outside) through the harnessing those skills. 

6B: Stock Options, Common Shares…What Does it All Mean?  Understanding Public Company Filings and Using Them to Determine Personal Wealth (Intermediate)

Crystal Leochko Johnston, Freelancer
Stocks are a useful tool in determining a prospect’s personal wealth.  This information can be freely found on sites such as SEDAR and SEC, however the information can be confusing for those not familiar with the multitude of filings. This presentation will show where the public company filings can be found and which filings this information can be found in; examine the filings and explore what the different stocks are and how to calculate options; and finally will show how that information can be used in a wealth assessment.

6C: Charting Our Own Course:  Relationship Mapping & Lessons Learned (General Interest)

Timothy Wowk and Amber Palmer, Queen's University
In 2011 the Research & Analytics Group at Queen’s University built and implemented a relationship mapping /data visualization program to support the work of the Office of Advancement.   With the end of our Capital Campaign (April 2016), and a full 5 years since receiving a CASE Gold Medal for the RM program,  it is a good time to reflect on the successful and not-so-successful aspects of mapping and to share our findings with other institutions. Specifically, we will look at:

·         Charting the Course (How & Why  We Got Started)

·         Challenges to Implementation

·         Relationship Mapping Success - What Does It Look Like?

·         The Power of a Picture (Online Demonstration)

·         What Lies Ahead


3:30pm - 4:45pm

7A: The Delicate Dance: "Managing" Relationship Managers without Managing Relationship Managers (Advanced)

Shelly Steenhorst-Baker, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Advanced discussion about fundraiser metrics and how to use prospect management, reports and collaborative techniques to contribute towards your fundraiser's success and measure how successful fundraising efforts are. You will learn how to report on fundraising success, why, when and which fundraiser metrics should be public (vs. private to the fundraiser and their manager), and how to have difficult conversations with fundraisers and fundraising managers about performance issues. Become a driver of organizational fundraising success!

7B: International Prospects and changing Canadian demographics (General Interest/Intermediate/Advanced)

Ibrahim Inayatali, Global Philanthropic Inc.

As expectations of Canadian charities for philanthropic support rise, researchers are seeking new prospecting avenues. International fundraising is a norm in many countries, driven by the same imperatives but also because of the ease of connecting with distant communities. Canadian institutions have a unique advantage due to our pluralistic societies created through immigration and attracting people from around the world. These communities could be cultivated to give back, if approached in a strategic and culturally sensitive manner. This presentation provides strategies that Canadian organizations could incorporate within their operations that enable successful prospecting internationally and among diverse Canadian communities.


Day 3 - Friday, October 14

9:00 am - 10:15am

8A: It Takes a Village to Raise a Prospect: Data Mining Within a Large Institution (Beginner/General Interest)

Steven Sorensen, University of Alberta
This presentation will discuss the various challenges to and fundamentals for more effective data mining of an internal database within a large institution. Topics covered will include the establishing the fundamentals for more effective datamining, various datamining tips, regular data audits, and the importance collaboration between different institutional units/departments play in more effective internal datamining.

8B: Bulls, Bears and Philanthropists: Charitable giving in Canada and the Influence of Economic and Industry Trends (General Interest) 

Celeste Bannon Waterman, KCI and Arno Bangert, BC Children's Hospital

Join Celeste Bannon Waterman of KCI in this discussion of the macro- and micro-economic trends that impact philanthropy in Canada from all types of donors. Drawing on available data from diverse sources as well as KCI's history of supporting philanthropy in Canada, Celeste will present insights from the past that can help you better support your organization in identifying potential prospects, and planning for the future.

8C: Prospect Research and Strategic Campaign Planning (Advanced)

Gillian Morrison, University of Toronto
This session will examine how Prospect Research can play a vital role in planning for a capital campaign.  It will explore strategies on how prospect research, analytics and information services can best support an organization’s campaign efforts.  Topics will include: assessing campaign readiness/capacity, building gift pyramids, constructing prospect portfolios, creating campaign development plans, supporting/partnering with senior leadership, presenting information to secure buy-in and confidence, and evaluating your success.