As a President, Apra Australia along with my fellow board members, we are focussed on progressing the Association’s vision and mission. I am pleased to share with you some of the exciting initiatives we have planned for the coming year. Our association has a modest budget surplus at the end of FY23 resulting from sound financial management, responsible conference budgeting, consistent membership renewals and unspent funds on initiatives and events (due in part to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021) and a consistent number of active members, and we are committed to providing you with the best value and service possible.
Below are the priorities of Apra Australia for the remainder of 2023 and into 2024, which were endorsed by the board on 17 March 2023.
(a) Stabilising and growing membership
We want to retain our current members and attract new ones by offering access to high-quality resources, events, networking and learning opportunities. We also want to increase our visibility and recognition in the philanthropic sector and beyond. To achieve this, we will continue to update our website, branding and resources/materials, and reaching out to potential partners and sponsors.
The annual conference is the flagship event of our association. It is a great opportunity to learn from experts, share best practices, network with peers and celebrate our achievements. The next conference will be hosted in person at the University of Melbourne on Friday 24 November 2023.
In addition to the conference, we are exploring ways to support or subsidise other types of events, such as meet-ups, professional networking, Zoom lunches, online presentations, webinars and international Q&As – all of which can contribute to and add value to your member experience. We would like to encourage more physical networking events for members at a local (city) level.
One of the benefits of being a member of Apra-Australia is having access to a wealth of resources that can help you in your daily work and professional development. Our board maintains a list of links to useful sources, such as databases, publications, podcasts, blogs and websites. We also have a library of past conference presentations and bonus materials available for purchase via our website. Areas in which members might require additional guidance include capacity ratings, prospect management, portfolio reviews, ‘managing up’, ethics and due diligence. We are looking into ways to provide more resources on these topics, such as creating webinars, articles or toolkits. We also aim to further leverage Apra University and other resources from Apra International, our parent organisation.
(d) Networking and learning
One of the most valuable aspects of being part of Apra-Australia is the opportunity to network and learn from other prospect development professionals across the country and beyond. We have a vibrant online community on LinkedIn, where you can ask questions, share insights, seek advice and offer support. We also have a mentoring program that pairs experienced members with those who are new or looking for guidance in their career. We encourage you to join or renew your membership today and take advantage of these networking and learning opportunities.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the future of Apra-Australia and the prospect development profession. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our events. Thank you for your continued support and involvement.
Associate Director, Prospect Development, University of Sydney