About the Speakers: How to Research Emerging Philanthropists
Associate Vice President, Development & Alumni Relations
University of Waterloo
Jason Coolman oversees annual giving, leadership giving, planned giving, and alumni relations at Waterloo. In this role, he directs the “StartUp Pledge,” a program focused on students and alumni with the potential to give big gifts in the future. Since its launch in 2016, the effort has secured two large gifts: one for $500,000 and another for $10,000. Coolman has held a variety of leadership roles since joining Waterloo’s development office in 2000. As part of his master’s degree coursework, he developed a new strategy for measuring alumni engagement, which has been adopted by Waterloo.
President, Aspire Research Group; CEO, Prospect Research Institute
Jennifer Filla is a veteran fundraiser with a focus on prospect research. As president of Aspire Research Group, she helps organizations find and connect with their best donor prospects. Filla also is CEO of the Prospect Research Institute, which trains fundraisers to conduct research on potential donors. She is co-author of “Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook”and has served as a volunteer and trustee for many organizations.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Senior editor Drew Lindsay is a longtime magazine writer and editor who joined the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2014. He previously worked at Washingtonianmagazine and was a principal editor for Teacher and MHQ, which were both selected as finalists for a National Magazine Award for general excellence. In 2005, he was one of 18 journalists selected for a yearlong Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan.