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Research Basics Bootcamp (Full Day):

Research Basics Bootcamp is a full day of instruction in the essentials of prospect research. This training is a must for those new to research or those who have had research added to their roles. No experience in the field is necessary to begin learning how to apply professional research methodologies. This full day of learning will cover a variety of topics including:

  • The Strategic Role of Advancement Research
  • Prospect Research Fundamentals
  • The Ethical Researcher
  • Advancement Research Sources and Methodology
  • Assessing Gift Capacity
  • Presenting Research

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:00am-4:30pm


Amy Begg

Amy Begg is managing director of prospect management at Harvard University’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Development.  Prior to joining Harvard in 2003, Amy was the director of research at the YMCA of Greater New York in Manhattan. Amy is a trustee and secretary for the University System of New Hampshire, where she serves on the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee on Investments and the Governance Committee. She is a former board member for the New England Development Research Association and served as president from 2016-2018. Previously, Amy served as a board member for the Plymouth State Alumni Association, including a term as chair of the association.


Amber Countis

Since December 2018, Amber W. Countis haserved as the director of donor relations for Texas A&M University-Commerce where she oversees Advancement Services including prospect management and research, gift processing, reporting and analytics, and donor relations and stewardship. She previously served as senior director of advancement services at Norwich University in central Vermont. She joined the Norwich development office in October 2012. She was previously director of prospect development and research at Tufts University (2005 to 2012) during its successful $1.2 billion Beyond Boundaries campaign. Amber began her career in nonprofit development and prospect research at Loyola University (2003 to 2005) and Ochsner Clinic Foundation (2001 to 2003) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Tulane University with a BA in political science and environmental studies and earned a certificate in management of nonprofit organizations and a master of public policy from Tufts University. She served two terms as president (2012 to 2014) of the New England Development Research Association (NEDRA) and was on the board from 2009 to 2015. She currently serves as a member of NEDRA’s Heather Reisz Memorial Scholarship Committee and has previously been involved with NEDRA’s Social Media and Nominating Committees. She haserved as a member of Apra’s curriculum planning committee for the 2019 Prospect Development conference in Phoenix and the 2018 Prospect Development conference in Pittsburgh and previously served as president and board member for the Central Vermont Humane Society (2014 to 2018).   


Lisa Foster

Lisa Foster is the Director of Prospect Development at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where she is also an alumna, past parent and current parent.  Lisa recently completed her six-year term as member of the Board of Directors of NEDRA.  Over the course of her term, she served as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Conference Co-Chair for two NEDRA Conferences, Secretary of the Board, and Co-Chair of various committees.  Lisa continues to serve on the NEDRA Programming Committee.   Lisa recently stepped down as a Director of the Haverhill Foundation for Excellence in Education after serving as a director for over twenty years and has also served as a director of the Discovery Club Program.

Beginner/Intermediate Fundraising Data Science Workshop (Full Day):

Organizations of any size can benefit from applying the fundamentals of data science to understand their donors and improve their fundraising. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to use Microsoft Excel to manipulate and analyze data, build and evaluate predictive models, and communicate insights to gift officers and senior leadership. In this session, participants will learn to: 

  • Translate fundraising needs into data questions
  • Manipulate and analyze a sample donor dataset
  • Create and format a portfolio dashboard
  • Build a major gift model using the Data Analysis Toolpak
  • Use charts and pivot tables to visualize results
Please note that to get the most out of this session, attendees should feel comfortable performing basic tasks with Excel, such as copy, paste, formatting text, formatting and aligning cells, sorting and filtering, inserting and hiding columns. Experience with basic functions (e.g. SUM, COUNT, MAX) would also be helpful.

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and powercord.

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:00am-4:30pm


Lindsay Brown

Lindsay Brown is the Associate Director of Analytics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She previously held roles in prospect development at Babson College, London School of Economics, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. She earned a master’s degree in business intelligence and analytics from the University of Westminster.


Jolene Crosby-Jones

Jolene Crosby-Jones is the Associate Director of Prospect Management and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to joining MGH in 2017, she was a Senior Research Analyst at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Jolene also previously held roles at Teach For America and Facing History and Ourselves. She graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology.

Advanced Fundraising Data Science Workshop (Half Day):

Learn to scale your impact using reproducible and automated workflows in R to create:

  • Interactive dashboards and visualizations
  • Dynamic predictive models 
  • Prescriptive email notifications

This workshop will introduce attendees to the process of constructing reproducible, scalable, and automated analyses in RStudio using projects, rmarkdown, and shiny. The workshop will then work on a progressive hands-on case study in which students will build an interactive exploratory data analysis, a predictive model, and a notification system that alerts individuals when a prospect surpasses a threshold specified by the model.

Attendees will need to bring their own laptop and powercord.

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:30 pm-4:30pm


Rich Majerus

Rich Majerus is the Assistant Vice President of Donor Relations and Advancement Strategy at Colby College. At Colby, he oversees the Advancement Operations, Prospect Research, and Donor Relations teams and develops new approaches to modeling and visualizing fundraising data. He regularly presents at national conferences, teaches R programming workshops, and blogs about data science at www.richmajerus.com Additionally, Rich is an instructor on DataCamp and a data science mentor with San Francisco based start-up SpringBoard. Prior to his work at Colby, Rich was a founder of Third Coast Analytics (TCA), a data science consulting firm (TCA’s IP was acquired by Capture Higher Ed in 2016). Rich earned his B.A. summa cum laude in sociology and anthropology at Carleton College and an M.A. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied in the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity.

Guiding the Way: Concepts in Wealth Analysis and Gift Capacity Ratings (Half Day)

Have you heard of the Crabtree Method? Have you wondered what it is or how it’s changed over the years? Now is your chance!  


This popular program on capacity ratings first debuted at NEDRA in 2004 and has become one of the profession’s leading and definitive systems on gift capacity ratings. Join this half-day program by the creator of the method to learn fundamental and advanced techniques for understanding and evaluating wealth indicators to estimate the potential for philanthropic giving.  


Topics covered will include:

  • How to research wealth indicators and apply financial analysis strategies
  • How to use the Crabtree Method and customize your gift capacity rating system
  • How to provide evidence-based research analysis and strategic commentary
  • How to present financial and rating information using strong report designs and technical writing principles. 

This program will conclude with interactive case studies and group exercises focusing on how financial analysis and ratings impact donor cultivation and solicitation strategies.

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:30 pm-4:30pm


Elizabeth Crabtree

Elizabeth Crabtree is the Vice President for Administration and Operations for Institutional Advancement at Brandeis University where she serves on the senior leadership team as a key advisor to and partner with the Senior Vice President and is effectively the CFO/COO for the Division.  Her primary responsibilities include overseeing the Division’s administrative, financial and technology systems, talent management, prospect development, business intelligence, reporting and operational support services, as well playing a leadership role in the planning and management of major fundraising campaigns.


Elizabeth is also the Founder and President of Crabtree Lane LLC, a nonprofit management and consultancy practice. She has over 20 years of senior management experience in fundraising and has been a successful nonprofit consultant since 2007. Recognized as a visionary leader and change agent with demonstrated team-building and problem-solving skills, Elizabeth’s leadership and guidance has helped organizations raise billions of dollars, increase donor participation and volunteer engagement levels, identify new prospects, and develop best-in-class systems and practices for nonprofit administration and fundraising operations. 


Before starting her own consulting firm, Elizabeth was Assistant Vice President for Strategy and Resource Development at Brown University where she served for 13 years as a member of the senior leadership team and managed a 50-member professional staff. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Elizabeth was a marketing director and senior analyst in the consumer products industry and was a talent manager/music agent in her early professional career.



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