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Panel: What Makes a Good Prospect?


Registration is closed

Keep an eye out for more information on our panelists as we get it!

Panel: What Makes a Good Prospect?

Friday, May 7th @ 12:00-1:30 CST

This free panel 90-minute of higher ed (small and large), healthcare, and arts/culture/environmental organizations will discuss what makes a good prospect.

Discussion will focus on prospecting efforts, tools, and definitions of "good" in prospecting for their fundraisers.

If you have questions for our panelists, please send a note to ApraIllinois@gmail.com. We will try to include as many registrant questions as possible.

Higher Education Panelists

Elaine Hooker, Development Research Specialist at Wheaton College, found her vocation via librarianship. She has a BA in English from Furman University and an MS in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before landing happily in Prospect Research at Wheaton in 2019, she worked as a professional librarian in every type of library there. She is passionately curious and enjoys helping others connect in meaningful ways to strengthen higher education. Feel free to reach out if you would enjoy connecting on LinkedIn.

Katie Ingrao is Director of Portfolio Management at the University of Illinois Chicago and has been a passionate prospect management advocate and leader for over 8 years. She has worked in the development operations for healthcare, higher education, and environmental organizations but has a true passion for healthcare philanthropy. Katie is past president and an active volunteer with her local Apra Illinois chapter and is the founding co-chair of the Apra Great Lakes Symposium. She holds a M.S. and M.A. from Simmons University in Library and Information Sciences and History and holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Wayne State University.

Anthony Monk is the Prospect Research Coordinator at North Park University in Chicago where he has worked for close to two years. Prior to working in higher education, he worked in event planning, database administration, with a social service organization, and at a membership organization. In addition to his primary work, his side-gig is coaching volleyball which he started as a freshman in college. This year, he took over as the Head Coach of a high school program and the team just ended their season in IL. Anthony lives in Lakeview, recently got engaged, and enjoys skiing, biking, karaoke, and cooking. 

Trent Nichols has served as the Associate Director of Prospect Research and Management at Wheaton College (IL) since 2015. He oversees the College's prospect research and management work, two research staff, and serves on a Principal Gift team of three. He also contributes to the College's comprehensive capital campaign planning activities. Trent has worked in Prospect Development for over twenty years, including stints in the arts and culture, social services, and higher education sectors. He has a BA in Art History and an MA in Historic Preservation.

Amanda Ramsey serves as a Prospect Research Consultant at Northwestern University where she works with Kellogg School of Management, Athletics, and the New York Regional office. Prior to Northwestern University, she worked as a Prospect and Research Coordinator at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Amanda earned a bachelor's degree in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master's degree in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Connect to her on LinkedIn.

Healthcare Panelists

Julia Dimick serves as a Senior Prospect Development Analyst at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation and is the Director of Marketing on the Apra-IL board. Prior to working in healthcare, she spent several years in higher education prospect development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University. Julia began her career as an attorney,  practicing immigration law and corporate litigation. She has a BA in political science from Boston College and a JD from Marquette University Law School. In her free time, Julia likes to exercise, read, and inhale every true crime documentary on Netflix. Feel free to connect on LinkedIn!

Martha Rowe is currently the Program Director: Prospect Research & Development at Northwestern Memorial Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Northwestern Medicine. While at NMF Martha has developed a dynamic Prospect Research & Development program supporting Principal, Major, Mid-Level, and Corporate and Foundation giving programs. With over nine years of progressive experience and leadership within healthcare, education, and the nonprofit sector, she has a passion for developing new programs and fostering growth through best practices in data, analytics, and constituent relationships. Connect with her via LinkedIn.

Grace Vigilante currently serves as the Manager of Donor Development at JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. She has spent the past 20 years working in Development and Fundraising Operations, mostly as a Prospect Researcher. At JDRF, Grace partners with national leadership giving level fundraisers ($100K) and local chapter staff to identify, qualify, and cultivate prospects at JDRF. Prior to joining JDRF, Grace worked as the Development Services Manager for Make-A-Wish Illinois where she oversaw prospect research, donor stewardship, and development operations. She has also worked at Feeding America, IES Abroad, and CARE. Grace obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago and serves as a volunteer for Make-A-Wish Illinois.

Arts/Culture/Environment Panelists

Vicki Anton is currently the Assistant Director of Development at the University of Chicago Library. Previously, she worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago. Vicki earned her BA from St. Olaf College and MA in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys biking and running outside and continues to explore her own artistic practices through weaving, photography, and painting. 

Kelly Cronin is an analyst who is experienced at turning data into action for the performing arts. She has been at Lyric Opera of Chicago since 2015 where she is currently responsible for the fundraising department's data initiatives and reporting. Kelly leads the Development Services team at Lyric, which oversees gift processing, inter-departmental budgeting, operations, new-hire onboarding, reporting, and analytics. Kelly’s professional interests include data storytelling, expanding data literacy, and using data to craft fundraising strategies. Few things are as satisfying to her as deploying a clear and insightful dashboard. She is a member of the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). Kelly earned a Master's degree in Business Analytics from the Mendoza College of Business, and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Music/Vocal Performance, all from the University of Notre Dame. Kelly is an amiable nerd who has transformed her balcony into a miniature garden and enjoys cross-stitching Star Wars characters. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Teresa Liu is the Associate Director, Relationship Management at the Art Institute of Chicago. In her role, Teresa facilitates the movement of prospects, monitors the pipeline of proposals, and delivers forecasting and data insights to leadership. Prior to AIC, she worked in marketing analytics and community economic development. In her free time, Teresa enjoys rock climbing, biking, traveling, and cooking. She is a proud Taiwanese-American and speaks conversational Mandarin Chinese. Teresa is the Director of Membership at Apra-IL.

Karin McDowell is the manager of Major Gift Portfolio Strategy at UNICEF USA. Before joining the world of philanthropy, Karin spent over 15 years in the insurance industry in a host of different roles, from online content editor to executive speech writer to Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. In 2016, Karin left the private sector to learn all things Prospect Development at Illinois State University (ISU) before joining The George Washington University as a Senior Research Analyst in 2019. In The Before Times, she spent her time shuffling her kids to All the Activities. Now, she teaches algebra and learns Zoom hacks from her middle schooler. When she has a minute to herself, Karin's sewing, tackling yet another old house project, riding one of her bikes, or has her nose in a book. Karin earned a degree in English (Writing) from Illinois Wesleyan University and is slowly working on her Masters of Science in Quality Management & Analytics from ISU.


Kathryn Thomas is the Senior Prospect Identification Analyst at the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association. Prior to finding prospect research, she worked as a digital archivist.  Kathryn earned a bachelor's degree from Vassar College in Geography and a Master's of Library and Information Sciences from Simmons University. She is the President of Apra-IL, Programming Chair for Apra Great Lakes, and is excited to bring this discussion to everyone! Head on over and connect with her via LinkedIn.

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