February ’24 DAR Star: Nedra Newton-Jones

by Lindsay Tuck Morris

We work with absolutely incredible people—and we all have varied interests and experiences, which adds to the unique makeup of the University of Georgia. We’ll be regularly spotlighting a few rock stars from around the division so that even if you don’t cross paths with them in the break room or Zoom with them on a weekly basis, you can get to know colleagues who can enhance your work life and productivity.

Without further ado, please enjoy our Q&A with Nedra Newton-Jones …

Name: Nedra Newton-Jones

Title: Executive Director, Research & Prospect Management

  • As Executive Director of Research and Prospect Management, my job responsibility is setting the vision, goals, and strategies for a comprehensive research and prospect management program to support the frontline fundraisers in achieving their annual goals for dollars raised and other metrics. I continuously build and maintain strong relationships with leaders and fundraising teams across DAR. Additionally, ensuring our use of best practices and quality consistency across DAR by overseeing the research team in the timely production of detailed and accurate reports, including research profiles, briefings, wealth screenings, and other research projects as needed; overseeing prospect management activities, including regular meeting with frontline fundraisers, regular review of prospects and statues, analysis of portfolio metrics, and educating and assisting fundraisers concerning moves movement.
  • What might people not know about your job? As a prospect development professional, I am the business intelligence analyst of fundraising that looks carefully at specific data and trends to see how a donor or group of donors might fit into fulfilling UGA’s larger fundraising plans and goals. Prospect development is not invasive or creepy. Very strict ethical and legal guidelines guide my work. As a member of Apra, I have agreed to uphold the industry’s ethical standards and am up-to-date on data privacy laws and donor protections. I follow all rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the European Union, the Data Protection Act (DPA) for the UK, as well as HIPAA, FERPA, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and other U.S. privacy legislation. To get the best results from the RPM team, sharing anything you know about a possible prospect, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is helpful. Middle initials, hometown, a family member’s name, a company they may work for, a hobby–it all helps guide our work and provides the best information for you. It’s all about collaboration and teamwork, one part of the larger goal to make UGA fundraising a success.

Where can we find you?

  • Online: ude.agu@11arden
  • On Campus: 1 Press Place – First Floor
  • At Home: Loganville, Georgia

Time in DAR: Five years

What is your favorite reason for working for UGA/DAR? There are many advantages to working in development/nonprofit; at the core, it’s about making a difference in other people’s lives and remaining passionate about empowering people to use technology and information to make better decisions that have a greater impact on the university’s mission. Reflecting upon what keeps me excited about working for UGA/DAR, it is:

  1. Purpose-driven work: My work makes a lasting contribution not only to UGA but to society. It is a fantastic feeling to know that the impact of my work will extend beyond the span of my life.
  2. Collaborative environment: Much of my work is done in collaboration with other colleagues, from identifying donors to developing strategies for cultivation and solicitation. It is mainly collaborative and dependent on ongoing interactions with colleagues. These collaborations make my work more enjoyable.
  3. A supportive DAR team: At UGA, and in DAR, I have met many kind, generous, and supportive colleagues. Some connections were made by starting email conversations, responding, or assisting with RPM-related matters. Not to mention, I’m working with the best RPM team in the prospect development industry.

Work project you’ve been most proud participating in: Projects can be fun and exciting–a little something different to do! In the last year or two, I’ve been a huge proponent of celebrating the University Top Prospect (UTP) initiative. In collaboration with senior leadership, University Top Prospects were identified initially; I continue to work closely with frontline fundraisers to develop plans and strategies for the UTP donors with an inclination and capacity to make transformation gifts to UGA.

Where did you grow up: Atlanta, GA (Summerhill neighborhood in walking distance of Zoo Atlanta)

What is your favorite spot in Athens to grab lunch? Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe

Tell us about your family …I am an empty nester living with my husband, Steven. We have three adult children and one grandson, Josiah. We recently learned that we will have a granddaughter in Spring 2024, too!

On a typical Saturday evening, you can find me … Hanging out with family and friends or enjoying a relaxing evening with my husband.

No. 1 tip for someone just joining DAR … Spend time learning and embodying UGA’s mission–you represent the university at all times!

Outside of work, I’m passionate about … Volunteering in my church and community.

Favorite book or podcast: Rotten Mango (a true crime + all things spooky podcast)

A song that really pumps me up is … September by Earth, Wind & Fire.

My dream vacation (cost and time aside) is to visit … Spain.

We hope you learned something new about Nedra. We are lucky to have her on our DAR team! Feel free to reach out to her if you have questions about prospect management, or if you’d like to talk about true crime podcasts.