History of ApaFirm
ApaFirm started in 2002 as a staffing network for political campaigns. The network became ApaFirm Fundraising in 2010 when the firm’s primary focus turned to raising money for the progressive campaigns and causes it serves. ApaFirm also serves non-profit, and small-business organizations.
ApaFirm Fundraising’s philosophy is based on the techniques developed by Anastasia Apa on the campaign trail, over eight election cycles. Apa specialized in managing races and raising money, and built a reputation for breaking fundraisings records for Democrats in tough-to-win, Republican-leaning districts, by working with first-time candidates who had little or no name recognition, and in races where there was no historical fundraising base.
Apa later brought the techniques and processes of successful fundraising in those challenging circumstances to the ApaFirm Fundraising System. We connect the long-term planning and relationship building fundamentals of non-profit fundraising to the fast-paced, frugal attitudes of political fundraising.
About Anastasia Apa
Apa started in politics in 2001 as an intern in the office of Congresswoman Carrie Pittman Meek in her hometown of Miami, Florida. As an intern, she worked on HIV/AIDS education projects as well the first Early Vote Campaign Initiatives, which Rep. Meek spearheaded in Florida. After completing her internship, she was recommended to manage a Miami-Dade countywide race for the ACLU of Florida's "Say NO to Discrimination" Campaign. The 2002 ballot initiative victory and the lessons learned about managing a political campaign were just the beginning for the ambitious Apa.
After the campaign, Williams, Stern & Associates (WSA), a heath policy and evaluation firm, hired Apa to work as a Special Assistant to the company’s President. Apa was responsible to help with grant writing and assembly, committee management and staffing, and client relations. “Some of the most important skills and tools I used out on the road as a campaign manager I learned working for my boss at a firm in Miami early on. She remains one of my greatest mentors, and she motivated me so much back then, I can still hear her words of encouragement now on rough days,” recalled Apa.
Her boss, an EMILY’s List supporter encouraged Apa to apply to EMILY’s List Campaign Corp in late 2003. The competitive program provides recent college grads with an intense weeklong campaign management training program before shipping them off to work on a campaign in the heat of the election. Apa was selected and traveled to Washington, DC in 2004.
After training, Apa was sent to Philadelphia to work on a US Senate race. As the Deputy Scheduler, Apa’s desk was located the office that served as the “brain” of the large, professional operation, where the campaign manager and other decision makers on the race worked. Apa was also greatly influenced by the campaign’s political director who later helped her return to Philadelphia to pursue her management and fundraising career. Watching campaign strategy develop and learning logistics, planning, timeline management, and candidate management inspired Apa. She decided right then that she would be a campaign manager.
Since then, Apa has traveled the country working as a political campaign manager and fundraiser. She spent more than 10 years on the ground managing races and raising money for 15+ campaigns living and working in more than twenty states, ranging from Chicago, IL to Selma, Alabama.
She has also worked as contractual hire for unions and outreach consulting firms.
Anastasia Apa served as a national Trainer for Democracy for America starting in 2008 and believes that training the next generation of fundraisers is critical. She said, “Success for progressive campaigns and causes is directly tied to the money. It takes money to get a message out. Without the money, we are powerless, at the mercy of those with the opposite message and all the money.”
Apa has a special passion for fundraising and has trained and built a strong coalition of professional fundraisers. She is currently working to develop a fundraising mobile application and several workbooks to help fundraisers at every level strengthen organization and planning skills, master the "common-sense" core principles and think beyond conventional fundraising methods. Learn more about the #ApaFirmApp.