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KKeynotes and General Sessions

  • July 23
  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Hintz Alumni Center

Welcome Address

  • Matthew W. Schuyler, Vice Chairman, Penn State Board of Trustees
  • July 25
  • 8:45–9:45 a.m.
  • The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center | Dean’s Hall

Gender Matters: A Practical Approach to Grow Women’s Philanthropy

  • Kathleen Loehr, Senior Consultant, Aspen Leadership Group

We all are looking for new sources of support for our missions. What if we knew that our deeply engrained “best practices” either turn women off or only gain minimal support from them when so much more is possible? This new source of funding is right in front of us, yet we may not be paying attention. We finally have deep and quantifiable research showing how women give differently. What are the practical practices, behaviors, and processes we must adapt in order to more successfully engage female donors and prospects?

This presentation is designed to grow the awareness of gender differences in charitable giving behavior, explore the significant growth in support that can happen when there is intentional focus placed on women, and provide examples of how to adapt fundraising behaviors to meet women as they prefer.

  • July 25
  • 10–11 a.m.
  • The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center | Dean’s Hall

Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Prevention in Higher Ed Fundraising

  • Kat Walsh, Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives & Student Engagement, University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Office of Development, 11 peer institutions, and the president of Sepler & Associates gathered in Ann Arbor on May 3rd to identify the infrastructure, training, and tools necessary to advance a safe and respectful fundraising environment. The work of this Higher Education Fundraising Collaborative focused on the interactions between front-facing staff and external constituents. In this interactive session, we want to gather feedback from the Big Ten Community to inform the direction and content of this work.

AAnnual Giving Track

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Giving Days

  • Geoff Hallet, Associate Director of Annual Giving, Penn State

From #GivingTuesday to organization-specific events, giving days have become an institution within the annual giving landscape. This session will offer conversation about giving days within the Big Ten: what has worked, what has not, and where we’re going from here.

July 24
11:05–11:55 a.m.
Penn State HUB

It’s Not Always Sunshine and Rainbows

  • Jenny Daigle Benoit, Executive Director of Annual Giving, Penn State

The unfortunate reality is that our organizations will all face trying times, from natural disasters, scandals, and polarizing decisions to public relations challenges. Join this session to learn how to mend relationships and manage donor concerns during difficult times.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
Penn State HUB

The Evolution of an Annual Leadership Gifts Program

  • Joe Scialabba, Manager of Annual Leadership Gifts, Annual Giving, Penn State

Building the major gift pipeline is a balancing act: How can we simultaneously develop authentic relationships with our most loyal annual donors, encourage higher levels of giving, introduce a wider range of philanthropic opportunities, and assess true donor interests and desired outcomes for giving? These are the goals of Penn State’s Annual Leadership Gift Office, and in this session, we will explore how the program has progressed since its inception in 2014. Material will cover the victories and challenges of the past five years and how the team is positioned to support the last half of the University’s current fundraising campaign.

July 24
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Donor Retention and Infamous Leaking Buckets

  • Jenny Daigle Benoit, Executive Director of Annual Giving, Penn State

Donor retention is a key metric for every annual giving program. How are you measuring up? Are you plugging the holes in the leaking bucket? Join this open discussion where we will share tips and tricks being used at Penn State to keep our donors coming back. Please bring samples of your team’s successful appeals (mail, email, digital, etc.)

CCommunications Track

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Communication Best Practices

  • Panelists to be announced.

Join an open discussion where communication staff from attending schools can find a guided forum for addressing high-priority questions with their colleagues.

July 24
11:05–11:55 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Evolving Media: Reaching Young Alumni on Their Terms

  • Virginia Harrison, Doctoral Candidate, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State
  • Kaitlin Hedberg, Director of Engagement Strategy, Office of Development Communications, Penn State
  • Todd Lineburger, Associate Vice President for Strategic Advancement Communications, Rutgers University
  • J. Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor of Marketing, Smeal College of Business, Penn State
  • Kindra Samons, Engagement Center Manager, Legends, The Ohio State University Alumni Association

How do today’s young alumni and students communicate? What social media and digital platforms are most commonly used or, conversely, passé? How can we create better strategies to engage students and young alumni in our development efforts? This panel discussion will explore research on the topic as well as some of the practices being implemented and ideas for innovative new programs.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
Penn State HUB

The Future of the Written Proposal

  • Cathy Carlson, Director of Leadership Communications and Creative Strategy, Office of Development Communications, Penn State

In the era of “tl;dr” (“too long; didn’t read”), is the written proposal still the best way to communicate philanthropic opportunities and help donors to make decisions about major gifts? Can new formats and media allow us to engage prospects and accomplish the persuasive and informative functions of a proposal? And is there a still a place for traditional, longer documents in the solicitation process? Bring your favorite examples of innovative proposals or just your thoughts about the evolving role of these documents to a roundtable discussion, open to communicators and fundraisers alike.

MMajor Gifts

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
11:05–11:55 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Development Leadership Session (VPs only)

  • O. Richard Bundy III, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, Penn State

This session is reserved for vice president attendees only.

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Managing Fundraisers

  • Tina Hennessey, Executive Director of Development, Penn State

The best fundraisers secure big gifts and work collaboratively. And they are looking to advance their careers. For a manager, maximizing fundraising staff retention and dollars-raised all while encouraging collaboration that facilitates both personal and institutional growth can be a big challenge. This session will explore how managers can lengthen their staff’s tenure with large prospects, build institutional loyalty, and position their fundraisers for long-term success.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Perfecting the Partnership: Reimagining the Academy’s Role in Advancement Initiatives

  • Dena Schwartz, Consultant for Research Development, EAB

Today’s donors are driven by impact. They want to understand the need for and see the difference made by their gifts. Academic leaders are the natural experts at identifying impact-driven opportunities and are increasingly tasked with raising money as traditional funding sources grow tight—but they may not be natural experts at fundraising. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities of partnering with faculty and academic leadership in pursuit of transformative philanthropy and increased donor engagement.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Time, Talent, and Treasure: How to Make Volunteer Relations a Priority

  • Lee Beard, Campaign Executive Committee for A Greater Penn State, Penn State
  • Haley Staub, Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs, Penn State
  • Brenda Walker, Director of Volunteer Programs, Penn State
  • Stephen Watts, Office Manager of Volunteer Programs, Penn State

Penn State volunteers play a meaningful role in the University’s fundraising success. But managing 50 fundraising volunteer committees and 700 volunteers requires considerable investment. In 2018, the Office of Volunteer Programs was created to provide advancement and oversight of volunteer recruitment, onboarding, engagement, education, evaluation, and recognition practices. This session will detail that journey—including offering a look at how the office is structured and what’s next for the team. Presenters will share current projects, best practices, and online engagement tools that have been impactful in their first year.

July 24
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Redesigning the Corporate Engagement Experience

  • Melissa Erekson, Assistant Vice President for Corporate Engagement, Penn State
  • Jeff Fortin, Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships, Penn State

It’s time to rethink the traditional approach to corporate philanthropy. This session will explore the recently established Corporate Engagement Center at Penn State, a partnership between the Office of University Development and the Office of the Vice President for Research that aims to create a streamlined experience for the University’s corporate partners.

July 24
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Portfolio Optimization – Positioning Gift Officers for Success

  • Kelly Snyder, Executive Director, Research and Analytics, Development and Alumni Relations, Penn State

Research analytics can power measurable improvement in fundraising success—and this session will look at how. Discussions will feature a Penn State case study where frontline fundraisers used strategic, research-driven information and incentives to churn their prospect portfolios in order to spend more time in front of highly rated prospects.

RRecruitment and Talent Management

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Internships in Advancement: A Key Strategy for Building Your Talent Pipeline

  • Cheryl Kaplan, Director of Talent Management, Penn State
  • Geoff Halberstadt, Senior Director of Development, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State
  • Sarah Salomon, Director of Recruitment and Human Resources, University of Michigan

For more than a decade, recruiting experienced fundraisers has been extremely challenging. As demand continues to outpace supply, universities have had to become more savvy and creative in order to recruit and retain fundraisers. At the same time, these institutions have been challenged to build alternative and sustainable approaches to developing internal ‘talent pipelines’ to offset the lack of existing talent in the marketplace. Join us for a panel discussion with seasoned talent management and acquisition professionals who will share their current approaches and lessons learned to recruiting talent externally and building and retaining talent internally.

July 24
11:05–11:55 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Rethinking Recruiting: LinkedIn and Beyond

  • Cheryl Kaplan, Director of Talent Management, Penn State
  • Stephanie Mizer, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition and Management and Chief Diversity Officer, The Ohio State University
  • Drew Kovacs, Associate Director of Talent Acquisition, Penn State
  • Kim Van Lue , Vice President, Talent Management and Human Resources, Indiana University Foundation

Every person and organization has a unique brand. What’s more, your brand connects to and reflects the mission and values of your organization. LinkedIn is a critical tool for educational advancement and effectively building both your personal brand as well as your organization’s. Your presence and profile on this social media platform can make the difference between attracting and losing fundraising or engagement opportunities. Join this workshop to learn the key strategies to focus on in order to maximize your profile presentation on LinkedIn and ensure your digital presence reflects and promotes your professional and organizational objectives.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into an Advancement Function

  • Charleon Jeffries, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Division of Development and Alumni Relations, Penn State

This session will offer an overview of Penn State’s inaugural year of an embedded diversity, equity, and inclusion function within the Division of Development and Alumni Relations. From preparing a more culturally agile workforce and creating a culture of inclusion, to recruiting and onboarding a more diverse workforce, the best practices and driving goals covered in this session will help participants understand how to educate and increase awareness of these issues within key stakeholders, build and sustain organizational buy-in, and develop and launch impactful initiatives.

July 24
4:20–5:10 p.m.
Penn State HUB

Driving Performance with an Incentive Program: Current Perspectives

  • McQuillin Murphy, Program Assistant to the Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, Penn State

Join us for a discussion on developing comprehensive, performance-based, incentive bonus programs for advancement operations. What are the challenges of implementing these programs for all development and alumni relations staff? What questions are critical to address when moving from a “blank slate” to a final product? What’s essential from a buy-in and communication perspective? What, if any, current research exists in this area? Are there best practices to help guide the way? Penn State will share its experience—start to finish—in researching, building, launching, and evaluating such a plan.

SStewardship

July 24
10–10:50 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Stewardship Best Practices

  • Panelists to be announced.

A panel of stewardship professionals across the Big Ten will be ready to field participant questions in an open mic setting. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose best-practice questions covering topics such as customized stewardship planning, impact reporting, endowment spending, and more. This session will be early in the conference so that participants have time during their stay in Happy Valley to network with stewardship colleagues and further discuss questions and best practices.

July 24
11:05–11:55 a.m.
Penn State HUB

Metrics for Success: Creating a University-Wide Stewardship Plan

  • Kate Emmick, Director of Donor Relations, Smeal College of Business, Penn State
  • Kelly Nguyen, Associate Director of Stewardship, Office of Donor Relations and Special Events, Penn State
  • Roxanne Zoschg, Alumni Relations and Stewardship Officer, Office of Donor Relations and Special Events, Penn State

Stewardship is key to growing relationships with donors and it has a direct impact on the likelihood of future giving. How do we know if we are successfully stewarding donors throughout the university? How do we quantify success? Which metrics matter most and how do we track them? Presenters in this session will share Penn State’s process for the creation and implementation of a university-wise stewardship plan, key metrics for success, and how the plan guides foundational stewardship at the unit level.

July 24
3:15–4:05 p.m.
Penn State HUB

eSteward: Portal to Stewardship Success

  • Gail Driban, Associate Director of Stewardship, Office of Donor Relations and Special Events, Penn State

Penn State’s eSteward system was launched in 2007 and has since been an invaluable tool for awarding scholarships, tracking spending, and measuring gift acknowledgments in a way that ensures transparency and accountability. eSteward brings together data from several different university systems, allowing the user to view information in a timely manner, improve endowment management, and record proper stewardship of donors. This session will cover the evolution of eSteward, including current enhanced functionality being used at Penn State to measure success with the University-wide stewardship plan.