We had the good fortune of connecting with Regina Alhassan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Regina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was tired of “Working While Black.” I felt stuck. After nearly two decades, I realized that no matter how much I excelled, no matter how innovative I was or how much I leaned in, I would never be the right fit to continue to grow in my profession as a traditional employee. It wasn’t just a glass ceiling; I’d hit a concrete wall. It was depressing and demoralizing. I craved genuine opportunities for advancement and leadership. I wanted better, more authentic team dynamics. And, I dreamed of taking control of my own earning potential.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
ResearchPRO is a prospect development consulting firm. My total charitable dollars identified for non-profit organizations is in the billions. I didn’t plan on it but I’ve spent my entire career in major gift fundraising, specializing in building and managing multi-million dollar donor pipelines. Prospect development is a niche industry under the larger umbrella of philanthropy, or fundraising. The industry itself sets me apart from so many other small businesses. This field is never listed in a dropdown menu of business categories. Additionally, my research, data analysis and knowledge management expertise creates a lane for me that complements more traditional fundraising consulting firms. Rather than competing, I often partner with other firms who provide campaign strategy. Those firms build the plan and help set fundraising goals for non-profit leaders. My firm brings the analysis to identify the best donors and the systems to properly manage those donor relationships. That means fundraisers reach their goals and communities benefit.
I take great pride in knowing that my work has played some part in making the world a better place. My research and donor identification has resulted in endowed scholarships at a major university, medical research, a women’s shelter, a women’s healing group, mobile dentistry program, beautiful gardens, research facilities, books for children, veterinary services; the list goes on. That’s thrilling. I, like many others, want to leave the world better than I found it. I like big gifts and enjoy helping fundraisers reach their highest goals. It’s exciting to think about working with people who are passionate about their organization’s mission. I’m a big softie when it comes to non-profits and joining motivated, high caliber teams is deeply rewarding.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m in Columbus, Ohio and there’s so much to explore here. We’d definitely hit up the North Market near downtown. It’s an amazing historic market featuring all sorts of eateries and specialty shops. We would probably visit North Market at least twice. Must haves are Willowbeez Soulveg, Hoyo’s Kitchen and Jeni’s Ice Cream. While in the area, you can explore the Arena District, Short North, COSI and Scioto Mile. Head east to check out King Lincoln Bronzeville where you’ll find the Lincoln Theatre, a landmark in African-American and jazz history; the Long Street Cultural Wall and other historic sites. If art, yoga and community is your thing, don’t miss the Maroon Arts Group Box Park for programming through out the week including the Bronzeville Growers Market. My favorite nearby eats are Lifestyle Cafe for vegan and Feed Me Sandwich Kings when I’m feeling more carnivorous. If you’re a plant lover, you definitely want to check out Stems & Stone in Polaris Mall. For more shopping, Easton Town Center is your destination for the ultimate in retail therapy, noshing with friends and people watching in style.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe the success of my consulting firm to so many family members, friends, colleagues, coaches, clients and personal cheerleaders. It’s a privilege and joy to shout out my own daughter, Marie Morgan who is currently working as Digital Marketing Strategist with TJE Communications — and also exploring entrepreneurship with her own firm, iMorgan. Marie encourages me to define and pursue my version of happy, in life and work. She listens as I talk through wild business ideas late into the night. I’m one lucky Mom! But, Marie is not just my babygirl. She is the brilliant creative who built my website and has managed social media design and communication strategy for my business. I routinely get compliments on my site, or my content. And, I owe that to her. I’ve gotten much better at using IG and all the other things but it’s because of Marie doing it for me and teaching me along the way. I joke that she’s my secret weapon. Huge shout out to Marie!
TEDxKingLincolnBronzeville; Central Ohio AFP; Ira Graham III