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Aspire Research Group helps you leverage fundraising intelligence to change the world

We are your donor prospect strategy partner. With the right information, we believe nonprofit fundraising professionals can connect more deeply with donors, include more donors, and fulfill their mission.

We are committed to helping organizations around the world connect with the right prospects—whether they are individuals, foundations, or corporations— to meet their fundraising goals. We help nonprofits to get to know their constituents better and work to strategize ways to cultivate and solicit them.

We help clients with their campaigns, identifying prospects and working to develop plans and approaches to develop relationships with prospects to help meet those campaign goals.

We also work with organizations that know  they need to use prospect research, but aren’t sure how to get started. We walk them through the steps to use research effectively and efficiently to benefit their fundraising practices.

Our clients include local, national, and international organizations that are making a difference in the world. We also support fundraising consultant firms that want to provide their clients with high quality prospect research.

We partner with nonprofits to make sure you get exactly the information and support you need, when you need it.

Our Team

Jen Filla, Founder + CEO                                                                       Researcher, consultant, author, speaker and trainer, Jennifer Filla is on a mission to perform research with distinction and to provide other prospect research professionals with the power to perform their work with excellence, lead with research, and make a difference! 

 A long time ago in a far-away career, Jen got hooked on research as a legal secretary. Now she leads Aspire Research Group LLC, a prospect research firm assisting fundraisers across the country who are concerned about finding the right prospects, worried about what size gift to ask for, or struggling to meet major gift goals.  

A popular speaker and trainer, Jen co-wrote the book, Prospect Research for Fundraisers: The Essential Handbook, She launched the Prospect Research Institute to provide rigorous online courses. No more hidden gaps in knowledge affecting fundraising success! The Institute is on a mission to create opportunities for learning and provide an outlet for new ideas in the field of fundraising research. 

Deeply committed to advancing philanthropy and the fundraising profession, Jen has served as a volunteer and trustee for numerous organizations over the years including The Center Foundation and Habitat for Humanity of Delaware County, PA. 

She is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She received a B.S. from Neumann University.

Email Jen | 727 202 3405 x700 | LinkedIn
View Jen’s Speaking Engagement Calendar

Elisa Shoenberger, Research Consultant is the profile lead at Aspire. She is a researcher and writer in Chicago with over 8 years of experience in the fundraising sector. Prior to Aspire, she served as prospect researcher at Loyola University Chicago and benchmarking analyst at Grenzebach Glier and Associates.

Elisa earned her MBA in marketing and operations management from Loyola, a MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and a BA in history from the University of Chicago.

She has written for over 100 publications on a variety of topics including philanthropy, science, food, and books. She has spoken at several fundraising conferences for both international and local chapters of APRA and others. She has published with the Boston Globe, Wired, Slate, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and many others. She has written In Good Company: A Guide to Corporate Fundraising (2021); Disruptive Philanthropy: A Guide to Donor Advised Funds (2022); Volatile Opportunity: A Guide to Cryptocurrency and Fundraising (2023). 

Email Elisa | 727 202 3405 x703 | LinkedIn
View Elisa’s Speaking Engagement Calendar

Julia Bojarcik | Research ConsultantJulia Bojarcik, Research Consultant is the data analysis lead at Aspire. A researcher with over 25 years in the field of Advancement. She started her career in fundraising with the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Dallas doing everything from events to annual fund mailings to writing grant proposals. She entered the world of research when she became the Assistant Director of Research and Donor Relations for Wilkes University. Most recently she was the Director of Advancement Research for King’s College.  

Julia earned her B.M. in Music Education from Misericordia University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from King’s College. She just completed her two-year term as Membership Director for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (Apra PA). She is also the Secretary for the Child Development Council of NEPA Board.  

In her free time, Julia enjoys creating customized handbags, reading historical fiction novels, and volunteering in the music ministry for her parish. 

Email Julia | LinkedIn

Jacob Jose, Research Consultant is prospecting lead at Aspire.  He was introduced to prospect researching when he was volunteering with Oxfam while in college. After graduating, he joined a global educational organization as a prospect researcher conducting research on donors in 8 different countries. He has over 7 years of experience in prospect researching.

Jacob earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College. He enjoys cycling and listening to audiobooks in his spare time.

Email Jacob | LinkedIn

Crystal Dutton | Executive Assistant

Crystal Dutton, Operations Manager keeps operations running smoothly at Aspire. A local Florida native with over 7 years of experience in administrative work, her background includes work in customer relations, training and development assistance, and office management support. She found a passion when she stumbled into the accounting field in 2017, overseeing 200+ accounts as AP/AR lead.

Crystal earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of South Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, exploring local trails and spending time with her husband and sons.

Email Crystal | 727 202 3405 x705 | LinkedIn

Our Core Values

1. Think like a fundraiser

    • Prospect research aims to create mutually satisfying life-long relationships between a nonprofit and its donors. Our work changes the world through the missions of our clients. We strategize with fundraisers to ensure that the research we provide helps them with their end goal.

2. Build open and honest relationships with communication

    • Communication is key to fundraising at all levels, whether it is between a donor and the nonprofit or between staff within the nonprofit. We work to maintain open communications on research and questions with our clients, working together to answer questions and overcome challenges.

3. Do more with less

    • Nonprofit organizations of every size face extreme pressure to raise funds using the least amount of resources, sometimes nearly starving themselves. Aspire Research Group recognizes and provides right-sized solutions that deliver maximized results. Guerrilla tactics are often required.

4. Embrace and drive change

    • The fundraising  world is constantly changing whether it’s the economy or the needs of a nonprofit. We work to stay abreast of wealth industries, new technologies, economic factors, to help drive the strategy to get to know your prospects. This kind of expertise requires constant learning and accepting challenges to our personal bias and perspectives.

5. Center ethics in our work

    • With so much data in the world and so many technologies, it’s important to place ethics at the center of what we do. We work carefully with sensitive data and maintain data security practices that help to ensure the integrity of the information.

6. Be adventurous, creative, and open-minded

    • We take our unique perspective working in the fundraising field for over 20 years and find new innovative ways to answer your questions.

7. Be passionate and determined

    • We want to see our clients succeed in meeting their goals, whether it is a campaign or an annual fundraising goal. But research can be also challenging, fascinating and filled with people, numbers and incredible needs. We bring our passion for you and our love of research to help find and evaluate the best prospects for your organizations.