It’s March, one of my favorite months of the year. The NCAA tournament is getting ready to tip off, spring is in the air (sort of – if you ignore the 20 degree temps we’ve had in MO for the past few days) and it’s Research Pride! Last year I kicked off this blog and shared my journey to the wonderful world of prospect development. Although I haven’t been a very consistent blogger, my passion for our profession has not waned, so of course I had to pick up the pen again for Research Pride month and add my voice.
Here are just a few of my pride points from the last year.
- Working with our development officers and campus partners. This is the heart of what I do. My role is to create and facilitate a system that allows us to maximize our relationships with prospects to attain the best gifts of time, talent and treasure. It brings me great joy to help a development officer craft a plan to move a prospect toward that major gift ask. I delight in creating prospect pools for our campus partner’s project and hashing out the strategy to reach the end goal. I know my work is valued because people are seeking me out as a resource – and that is the biggest pride point I can have as a prospect development professional.
- Strategic proactive prospecting. I’ll be talking more about this with our AVP at Prospect Development 2017. I can’t wait to share! Although my focus is relationship management, I do a lot of proactive research to help us identify the best prospects not only for gifts, but for engagement opportunities. Over this last year I’ve helped us find new Foundation Board members, Advisory Board members and am currently working on volunteer leaders for our alumni chapters. Finding a great volunteer who contributes to our mission is just as rewarding as finding a new major gift prospect.
- Sharing my passion with others. I have been privileged to present at a few conferences over the last year. Although I would not put public speaking in my top ten list of favorite things to do, talking about prospect development in front of a crowd is actually really exciting. I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else. Helping other professionals by talking about things that have worked in my shop, as well as things that haven’t, allows me to give back to this profession that has given me so much. I never get tired of talking about prospect development, so if you see me at a conference this year or in the Twittersphere don’t be afraid to chat me up!
I could go on and on now but I won’t. I’ll hopefully do a better job of sharing than I have over the last few months. I truly do love being a part of this professional group, and am forever grateful to my last VP for sending me to my first Apra conference. That decision changed my life’s course for the better and I look forward to showing my Research Pride for many years to come!