Ohio Prospect Research Network
Established 1987 - Apra Ohio Chapter

  • June 29, 2022 8:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nancy Sowders, Prospect Research Analyst, Kenyon College

    What was your first job?

    I worked summers during college at Star Island Conference Center, which is located on an island 7 miles off the coast of NH and Maine. Around 90 college kids staff the hotel and other buildings with jobs ranging from housekeeping to carpentry workers. Each week staffers entertain the conferees with a talent show. 

    What’s your favorite thing about what you do or where you work? 

    I like discovering and bringing information to our development officers that help them make a connection with a possible donor or volunteer. It's a whole team effort and it's great to know I had an important part when the team gets a WIN!

    What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? 

    Budgeting and saving money by running your home like a business. We are so busy these days that we forget to take the time to plan a household budget – and stick to it! If we implement routine maintenance for our homes (appliances, HVAC, roof, etc.) and our vehicles we're not constantly playing $$ defense when a disaster hits. So many people don't save or save enough, for retirement, too. We need to bring the goal-setting tools, tips, and tricks we use to streamline our work lives into our home lives.  (Hmmm, apparently I could go on and on and on.)

    Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why? 

    I want to visit all the lighthouses on the eastern seaboard. I plan to climb to the top of the lighthouse observation decks in as many as possible.  I climbed the 219 steps of the St. Augustine lighthouse last year – whew! America's early maritime history is found in the stories of our many lighthouses. And, well, they're all by the ocean – who doesn't love that?!

  • June 21, 2022 8:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Steve Blankenship, Donor Research and Database Manager, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

    What was your first job?

    For a Bookkeeping Service company that handled small businesses and partnerships.

    How did you get into fundraising and/or prospect research?

    Landed a computer programming position at the U.C. Foundation.

    What's the best career advice you've ever received?

    Always arrive early.

    Is pineapple an acceptable pizza topping?

    Only if it is included with Banana Peppers, Ham and Bacon.

    What’s always in your refrigerator or freezer at home?

    Bottles of water.

  • June 13, 2022 8:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cheryll McCarty, Prospect Management Analyst, Cleveland State University

    What was your first nonprofit job? 

    Cleveland Metropark Zoo- Event planner

    How did you get into fundraising and/or prospect research? 

    I have always been a fundraiser at heart. Every organization, whether it was for personal or work related, I was the first one to spear-head any fundraising needs of the organization. But my true passion is prospect research- I just love the prep work and strategy that goes into preparing a prospect for an ask by one of our professional fundraisers.

    What’s a random fact you recently learned? 

    That Cleveland, OH has the same amount of rainfall as Seattle, WA: 38 inches of rainfall per year.

    Favorite guilty pleasure?

    Scrolling on Tik-Tok

    What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation? 

    How to Plan an Event

    What skill would you like to master? 

    Learn to play the cello (and to read music)

    Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to? 

    Grateful Dead

    Where’s the next place on your travel bucket list and why? 

    Finland- b/c my great grandmother was from there and I want to see the town she was born in.

  • June 06, 2022 12:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kim Rodstrom, Executive Director, Prospect Research & Portfolio Development, Kent State University

    How did you get into fundraising and/or prospect research?

    Honestly….a bit by accident. I worked in a marketing department for the first three years out of college and had the desire to work for my alma mater. Reaching out, I was connected with the VP of Advancement and my career in advancement was born, have worked in both prospect research and as a fundraiser.

    When/where was your first Apra conference?

    I have been in higher ed fundraising for 20 years in various capacities. However, I started in prospect research and learned so much from the professionals in the industry through APRA in the early 2000s. It was right around then that I attended my first conference. 

    How many hours do you get to the airport before a flight?

    I suppose it depends on the airport but typically about 90 minutes early.

    What is your favorite dessert?

    Chocolate… in most any form  but preferably in the form of multi-layer chocolate cake.

    Would you rather have a personal chef, personal housekeeper, or personal chauffeur?

    Personal housekeeper….I am a mom to teenagers…any help I can get would be great!

  • May 31, 2022 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Juliana Saneholtz, Prospect Research Analyst, Northern Kentucky University

    How did you get into fundraising and/or prospect research? 

    I majored in music (viola performance) in undergrad. I was planning on being a professional orchestral musician, but soon realized that wasn’t for me. I also worked in the admissions office as a student worker and really enjoyed it. After graduation, I was trying to figure out where I would go from there and based on my interests, I figured working for either an arts organization or a university would be a good fit. Turns out, 2007 wasn’t a great time to be looking for a job, so I took a temp job working at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) as a department assistant for the biochemistry department. I was eventually hired as a full time employee which opened a lot of doors to employment opportunities at CWRU. I was able to land a job working in the development office for the College of Arts and Sciences which happened to coincide with starting the Master’s of Non-profit Organizations program there. It was an incredible experience being able to directly apply what I was learning to my work. The rest, as they say, is history.

    What do you listen to on your commute? 

    Almost exclusively NPR. It’s one of the only ways I can absorb the news without wanting to tear my hair out.

    Would you rather have your dishes or clothes be magically clean? 

    Dishes. Hands down. It’s like they are never ending.

    If you were so wealthy you didn’t need to work, what would you do with your time?

    Grow an incredible native plant garden and vegetables/herbs, join a rowing club, go on long bike rides, take my daughter all over the country to see/ride on old trains, pick up the viola and piano again and maybe join a community orchestra or chamber group, volunteer for some of the local parks and environmental organizations, become active with the local arts center and work on a bunch of community art projects

    What’s a random fact you recently learned? 

    Frogs shed their skin and then eat it. (Thanks, Ranger Rick!)

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