Frontline Fundraisers and Prospect Research: Strategies to Forge a Productive Partnership

Frontline Fundraisers and Prospect Research: Strategies to Forge a Productive Partnership

November 6 - 7, 2019 | Chicago, IL



Start forming a more constructive partnership between frontline fundraisers and prospect research.

The best advancement shops know that fundraising is both an art and a science. Frontline fundraisers and prospect researchers each bring vital information to the table, but we often lack the strategies to form a synergistic partnership between the two, which means we risk leaving money on the table. If we fail to align our goals from the outset and establish touch points with two-way communication, we fail to optimize our fundraising results. A trusted and strategic partnership is key to a balanced and productive approach to increasing dollars. 

Join us to learn how frontline fundraisers and prospect research can meet more institutional goals together. Teams will gain strategies to work together to prioritize large portfolios, clean up a portfolio that has not yielded results, gather information for more productive donor visits, move donors along the pipeline, and better manage each team’s time and processes. 

This conference celebrates and amplifies the value of each team. You will leave with tools, strategies, and resources to support the partnership and meet more strategic goals:

  • Portfolio maintenance worksheet
  • Sample prospect management policy
  • A list of key metrics to track
  • Models for successful meetings between prospect researchers and frontline fundraisers


Who Should Attend

Teams of frontline fundraisers and prospect researchers or managers are highly encouraged to attend together. Managers responsible for building strong strategies, prospect management professionals or researchers looking to enhance relationships with fundraisers to grow institutional portfolio goals, and anyone in operations responsible for elevating portfolio goals and fundraising performance indicators will also benefit from the content of this program. Those who manage either team will leave with new tools to build valuable partnerships within the shop and assist staff in using their portfolio as a tool for success.

Even if you do not come with a team member, frontline fundraisers and prospect researchers will gain new strategies to build more productive partnerships.


Bring your team and save!

Save over 15% when you register three or more colleagues.


Your registration fee includes full access to all conference sessions and materials, breakfast, lunch, and access to the networking reception on Wednesday, breakfast on Thursday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the conference.

Day One

8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.


The Value of Partnership: Balancing the Art and Science of Fundraising

In this session, we will start unpacking the benefits of an effective partnership and answer the following questions:

  • What do frontline fundraisers and prospect researchers each bring to the table?
  • Why is partnership is key to institutional portfolio health?
  • How does my portfolio fit into the institutional goals?



Sharing and Aligning Goals

No matter how your shop is structured, you will learn strategies for how to best align goals and expectations:

  • Goal setting and alignment
  • Creating/assigning portfolios
  • Latest thinking on portfolio size
  • Who decides who is moving prospects in and out
  • Qualification

You will also be armed with the information necessary to make the case for downsizing and shrinking your portfolio or keeping a smaller portfolio.



Moves Management

Too often, gift officers get stuck in donor transitions—unable to smoothly move prospects through cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, and subsequently upgrade them to the next giving level. How can prospect research help provide the right information at the right moment and help solve specific challenges? We will focus on:

  • Considerations for using data to guide strategy
  • Partnering to focus on the most critical parts of your portfolio 
  • The right questions to ask and when to ask them
  • Identifying prospects who need to be upgraded or downgraded
  • Tactics for moving donors through each stage of the solicitation cycle



Developing a Prospect and Donor Strategy

Here we will talk through how to collaboratively build a strategy and timeline for your best donors and prospects. There will be time to work on plans for a few of your current prospects.



Networking Reception

This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch-up with attendees and speakers whom you may not have connected with yet.


Day Two

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Routine Maintenance and Ongoing Portfolio Assessment

In this session, you will learn key strategies for better prioritizing each team’s time, gain tips on developing a regular portfolio maintenance schedule and routine together, and learn to set realistic goals. You’ll receive:

  • Tactics for handling check-ins 
  • Models for successful shared meetings



Developing Successful Partnerships

Frontline fundraisers will learn how prospect research and prospect management teams can be the finest partners in organizing a frontline fundraiser’s portfolio and managing leads. Prospect researchers will learn how to gain their colleagues’ confidence in the data and effective reporting techniques that will serve their cause and drive solicitations. 



Action Planning

In this working session, you will audit your current relationship and identify gaps and strengths to build on:

  • Identify gaps or weaknesses in your current partnership and create an action plan
  • Work together to plan (if you come with a team) 
  • Create an action plan to forge a meaningful partnership 

November 6 - 7, 2019
Chicago, IL

Conference Hotel Information:

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront
71 East Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601

Room Rate: $189 + tax
Room Block Dates: Nights of November 5 and 6, 2019.
Rate Available Until: October 15, 2019.

Reserve Your Room: Call 312-346-7100 to reserve your hotel room. Please indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.


Kathy Duff

Kathy Drucquer Duff

Coach, Consultant, and Optimizer, KDD Philanthropy

Kathy is an executive advancement officer with over 20 years of experience helping non-profits and institutions transform the way they practice philanthropy. Kathy provides this expertise from her experience in higher education, where she developed fundraising plans that have secured gifts of up to nine figures.

Read Kathy's full bio here.


James Vermillion

Director of Donor Strategy, UC San Diego

James is a member of the University Development (UD) leadership team at UC San Diego. In his role, he helps ensure significant levels of philanthropic support for the eight academic divisions that comprise general campus by managing and driving UD's $1M+ gift pipeline and helping inform strategic direction in partnership with key Advancement partners.

Read James' full bio here.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?

Brittany Iwaszkiw

Whitney Egstad
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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