Previous Sessions/ Examples

-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

DEI and the Profession of Advancement
College of Engineering – University of Washington

As engineering advancement professionals, our focus on diversity is often framed in the context of our students and faculty, but how truly diverse are our own fundraising teams? Is our team culture really welcoming and nurturing of all staff? This session will explore talent acquisition and retention of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) front-line fundraisers on UW College of Engineering’s individual giving team. We will also discuss the bigger picture of current major university advancement and college-wide DEI initiatives designed to encourage and promote inclusive culture shifts across the organization. 

Bridging the Gap: Recruiting and Supporting URMs at Cornell Engineering
College of Engineering – Cornell University

The Seven Bridges program comprises developing relationships with seven historically African American high schools in order to recruit and support students coming to Cornell. We have a lead donor for the program, and may also invite him to speak.

Lighting the Way: 50 Years of Engineering Diversity Programs on Rocky Top
Tickle College of Engineering – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Sparked in 1973 with an aspiration to increase minorities studying engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Minority Engineering Program welcomed 17 members in its inaugural cohort. Evolving over the years, the Engineering Diversity Program (EDP) has led pre-college programming for academic exploration and preparation as well as strategic recruitment and retention efforts aimed at producing successful graduation outcomes for underrepresented minority students. Today’s EDP provides a welcoming, supportive, and success-oriented learning community. Its legacy of success and impact is embodied in alumni who advance the Volunteer community through their own service and philanthropy.

-Future of Advancement Post-COVID

Connecting, Cultivating, and Celebrating: A Retrospective on Virtual Major Gifts Management
Carnegie Mellon University, University of Washington, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

2020 changed the way we approach major gift fundraising and stretched our creativity. This session focuses on some of the lessons learned, strategies employed, big disappointments, and the creative practices that allowed fundraisers to survive and thrive in a pandemic year. Featuring speakers from universities and development shops of all sizes, this session will highlight the successes and challenges of identifying and qualifying new major gift prospects without the ability to travel or meet in-person; creating and implementing meaningful cultivation touch points while working remotely; and stewarding donors in new and inspired ways to demonstrate their impact during a time when some of the standard practices are out of reach. Join us to learn about what worked, what didn’t, and what we’ll be keeping as part of our ongoing advancement practices as we all migrate out of the pandemic.

Life of a Development Officer During COVID Working From Home
Tickle College of Engineering – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Roundtable discussion of the pros & cons of working from home. An opportunity to share stories of navigating kids, pets, spouses and random disruptions. How people have acclimated their spaces into working stations. Natalia will share pics of various set ups. Fun look at life in the past year. What routines will we keep when things go back to “normal”.

Best Practices With Virtual Events

Texas A&M University & University of Tennessee, Knoxville

How to put on virtual engagement events for alumni and share the latest news from the College. How we had researchers share expertise, student design teams present their work, and virtual building tours.

Redefining Success: How Change and Crisis Can Strengthen a Campaign
College of Engineering – Cornell University

We’ve recently completed a $500M campaign planning process that is grounded in a bold approach leveraging hybrid work, travel and regional fundraising team members, principal and major gifts. We are forging ahead in uncertain times (Last year we onboarded a new dean, and were able to achieve all of our dollar goals)
-Skills Based-

Discovery Work in the COVID era and Beyond
Cornell University

We have instituted a structured and intentional discovery program in the College which has resulted in substantial gifts, including two $1M+ gifts. Additionally, Cornell’s central AAD office has just put in place a team of discovery-focused gift officers.

Tips for Success When Staffing Academic Leaders
University of Maryland, College Park

Academic leaders (Deans, Department Chairs, Institute Directors) are a crucial part of our fundraising teams. Meeting with leaders always makes donors, prospects, and alumni feel special, knowing that they’re getting an “insider’s take” on happenings at the school and a vision for the future. As Development Officers, we can strategically utilize our academic leaders to cultivate—and close—major gifts. Learn a few tips in this session, which you’re encouraged to share with your academic partners.

How to Create an Effective Development Retreat on a Shoe-string Budget
Tennessee Tech

Nothing is worse than having a boring professional development retreat. What do you talk about that you haven’t already discussed in update meetings? What about doing our visit quotas? I don’t want to stay overnight with our colleagues! We have no budget to do a retreat. In this presentation, we will discuss how we developed our agenda, activities, and ways to keep the meeting engaging on a shoe string budget. In this session, I will go over how we went from the idea to implement a full day and a half retreat. How we received buy-in and ideas from our colleagues, who from outside the unit needs to present, and what would keep the day flowing. Attendees will be able to take-away effective ways of receiving buy-in for the retreat, creating a safe space for open communication, how to structure the event and how to work with a limited to no budget.

Why Your Donor’s IRA Is Your University’s Best Friend
South Dakota State University

The SDSU Foundation had a record fundraising year in 2020. Part of the reason for this success was strong integration between MGOs and PGOs (planned giving) and how this matched well with where our donors were. One positive thing about COVID was that it did get people thinking about the impact they want to have with their giving. This session includes elements of both current and deferred giving and updates on some of the recent rule changes.

Reflections and Projections: Collaborative Legacy Gift Building with Your Constituents
University of California – San Diego

The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego has exceeded their campaign goal by more than 15% with one more year before the official closure of the campaign. The development team has strengthened their partnership with the Office of Planned Giving which has led to significant increases in planned gifts as well as complimentary annual gifts. This session will explore best practices for a unit and planned giving office partnership, unique examples of planned gifts closed, and how to continue the legacy discussion in the midst of the pandemic and beyond.