Ohio Prospect Research Network
Established 1987 - Apra Ohio Chapter

  • September 27, 2022 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jenny Thacker, Manager of Prospect Research, Xavier University

    What was your first job?

    My first job was working at a library helping out with cataloging. I ended up moving to shelving and front desk check out. I think librarians are the smartest people. If they don’t know an answer they certainly know how to find the answer.

    Do you have any side hustles?

    I have several. I am a pet sitter for many clients and their pets. I specialize in geriatric pets. I am currently sidelined since I fell and have/had 8 broken bones. I also volunteer at a cat shelter and help out doing TNR (Trap, Neuter and Release).

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

    I love a challenge. I have been doing Prospect Research for 30 years and what I love the most is everything is always changing. I remember having to do research by physically going to the library and using their resources to do reports. I love that I can combine my critical thinking skills with my love of gathering data and a little bit of intuition into raising funds that make a difference.

    What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

    Since I just spent a ton of money to buy a ticket to go see Duran Duran in Columbus I am going to say any of their songs. I am such a product of 1980’s music.

    What are you reading now?

    I read a lot. I am in several mystery book clubs. But I am currently reading The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and my book club book of Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews.

  • September 06, 2022 10:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At a recent OPRN roundtable on Data Visualization, members recommended these resources:

    Apra Body of Knowledge - Data Science resource list
    • Common Tools: Excel, R, SAS, Tableau (Public Tableau), Advizor, DataDesk, Rapid Insight
    • Recommended Books (general fundraising analytics focus):
      • "Baseball, Fundraising, and the 80/20 Rule: Studies in Data Mining" by Peter B. Wylie

      • “Building Your Analytics Shop: A Workbook for Nonprofits,” by Marianne Pelletier
      • "Fundraising Analytics" by Joshua Birkholz
      • “Data Science for Fundraising” by Ashutosh Nandeshwar and Rodger Devine
      • "Major Donors: Finding Big Gifts in Your Database and Online" by Hart, et. al. (2006)
      • "Data Mining for Fund Raisers" by Peter B. Wylie
      • “Score” by Peter Wylie and Kevin MacDonnell

    Other books/resources


    What resources have been helpful to you? Let us know in the comments.

  • August 23, 2022 8:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tim Bucher, Director Philanthropic Services Division, BWF 

    What piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career? 

    I have considered myself as a jack of all trades for most of my career which has its benefits. I would tell myself to own your jack of all trades moniker but carve out enough space to become an expert in a specific area.  

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

    Never bring your boss a dead possum without the shovel. OK, that may be a little morbid but it was memorable. BTW – he actually used “cat” but there are way too many cat lovers in the prospect research field, so I am taking the liberty to make that change. Apologies to possum lovers. 

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

    Leveraging your CRM to automate moves management and donor journeys. 

    What are you reading now? 

    The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

    What skill would you like to master? 


  • August 23, 2022 7:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jessica Quittenton, Director Prospect Management and Research, Bowling Green State University

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

    I got into fundraising through my two-years of AmeriCorps service. I served with City Year Cleveland, an education nonprofit dedicated to helping students and schools succeed. I primarily tutored in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and at after school programs, but we also did a work with small community organizations. We often fundraised and looked for in-kind gifts to support our programs. It was a life changing experience for me and led me to first job as a membership and annual fund manager at an environmental nonprofit.

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

    My favorite thing about where I work is that it is at my alma mater. I started my new position at Bowling Green State University last month. After graduation I moved to the Cleveland area for 16 years. It’s so exciting to be back on campus and share everything I love about BG with my family.

    What are you reading now?

    From a professional standpoint, I just started reading David Lawson and Lori Hood Lawson’s Big Good: Philanthropy in the Age of Big Data. I am also reading the Bridgerton series. I just started book number five, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. I love historical fiction.

    What song always gets you out on the dance floor?

    No one could stop me from dancing if Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches and Herb started playing.

    Do you think iced coffee should only be consumed in the summer or all year round?

    Only in the summer. However, to flip the question around, hot coffee can be consumed all year round. I don’t care if its 110 degrees outside I will have a hot coffee.

  • August 23, 2022 7:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Qaya Thompson, Development Research Manager, The Cleveland Orchestra

    What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it?

    When I was a child I always wanted to be a lawyer.  I would watch L.A. Law with my grandparents and I always loved to argue.  Even though I didn’t become a lawyer, my sister did!

    Do you have any side hustles?

    I work on the weekends as a Crisis Assistant at Counseling Center in Wooster, OH.  I like helping people and it is an opportunity to give back to the community.

    When/where was your first Apra conference?

    My first APRA Conference was Anaheim, CA in 2010.  It was really exciting to be in California for the 1st time.  I still remember that the weather was PERFECT and I met some wonderful people.  It started my love for the conference and eventually I started doing presentations for them.

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

    I would most likely still do what I do because I love it.  I would probably do it part-time or as a consultant so I had time to travel and relax.  I think work would be more fun if you can take the necessity out of it.

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

    Personal Chauffeur definitely!  I absolutely hate driving with every fiber of my being and would probably go more places and do more things if I did not have to drive.

  • August 22, 2022 8:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sarah Starr Zechman, Associate Director, Advancement Systems and Research, Sierra Club

    What was your first job?

    I was a waitress at Ponderosa in high school. (Yikes, is that giving away my age?)

    What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it?

    I wanted to be the person who trained Shamu and the dolphins at Sea World.  Needless to say, I am not not doing that (and am glad I am not, they belong in the wild!)

    What piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your career?

    Don't be afraid to ask questions.  It's not a sign of weakness, it's one of the best ways to learn.  Plus, it will help you become better personally and professionally.

    Is pineapple an acceptable pizza topping?

    Absolutely!  It's one of my favorites, can't beat pineapple and green peppers!

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

    Without a doubt, housekeeper!!!!  I enjoy cooking, but hate doing the dishes.  I also enjoy driving, and since I work remotely, I rarely have to drive in rush hour traffic.

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