Prospect Profiles at APRA 2014

Improve your Profile Techniques at APRA 2014

Posted by Jen Filla

I had the thrill of co-presenting a workshop on profiles at the APRA 2014 conference with Michelle Macchiavello from the University of South Florida.

Knowing that not all interested parties could make it to the APRA conference, I created The Profile Collection, but we wanted to share key takeaways from the session with everyone. But how?

We asked for a volunteer and the ever generous Robert Birk from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, stepped up and agreed to take on the role of scribe. He chose information he thought you would like to know. Here’s what he came up with:

  • Profiles are not dead, but they are changing.
  • The vehicle for delivering profile information is evolving.
  • And yet, paper profiles are still very popular; many varieties and some are more dynamic than others.
  • Be sure you know what the heck the profile’s purpose is; this helps you know when to stop researching.
  • Prospect profiles: talk in the language of the end-user.
  • Search strategies: go big to small (use subscriptions first then on to details) and inside to outside (your org info then the wide world).
  • Stop answering questions! Develop better questioning strategies to find out what your MGO needs in profiles.
  • Don’t “scare” fundraisers with prospect research jargon and detail. It’s not okay!
  • Many prospect research pros report they are partners with MGOs.
  • Prospect research pros are beginning to break the profile and rebuild it with MGOs. Partners we are!

But Robert wasn’t the only one taking notes. There were live Tweeters lurking in the seats! (Well, two of them anyhow!) Below are the conference Tweets for the session.