Brenda Mitchell—Executive Director of Institutional Advancement
Prince George’s Community College—Largo, Md.
United States
Conferences & Training
Summer Institute in Advancement Services
Program


Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

 

Day 1, Sunday, Aug. 3

1:00-3:00 PM
Registration

3:00-3:45
Welcome and Introductions
Meet the faculty and your fellow institute particpants as we prepare for a week of discovery together.

3:45-4:30
Advancement Services Primer
Did you know that advancement services is the backbone for all fundraising and development? Do you know where you fit within the advancement services department? What you do every day has an impact on your institution's ability to raise funds and engage constituents. This session will help you get a lay of the land, and prepare you for all the institute has to offer.

4:30-5:00
Group Assignment 1 

5:00-7:00
Networking Reception

7:00
Institute Adjourns for the Day

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Day 2, Monday, Aug. 4

7:30-8:15 AM
Breakfast

8:15-8:30
Announcements and Session Notes

8:30-9:15
Advancement Services Management: Policies and Procedures are the Road Map for Consistency, Competence and Compliance
A clearly articulated (and easily implemented) set of policies and procedures supports every advancement operation's long-term ability to maintain data accurately and comply with government requirements. Discuss the difference between policy and procedures and learn why you should have a good set of both. Identify the most important policies and procedures to have on the books and gain ideas for writing, format and distribution.

9:20-10:20
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Fundraising Database Systems and Reporting: System Selection and Implementation
    Few words can strike as much terror into the heart of an advancement services professional as "conversion." Whether this change is for better or worse, is something that you, as a key member of the conversion team, can help to determine. The selection and implementation of a new information system, while requiring a considerable financial and human commitment, can revolutionize the way your organization does business. You will come away from this session with knowledge of the essential steps for a successful implementation, as well as ideas on how to be a catalyst in building an effective implementation team.
  • Prospect Research and Management: Philanthropic Capacity Rating and Screening Methodologies
    Segmenting your constituents by their philanthropic capacity is a key step in developing your fundraising program and focusing the efforts of your front-line fundraisers. We'll cover the process of defining what you need in a wealth rating, screening methodologies, working with vendors and putting the information to good use. We'll also discuss how to keep those ratings up-to-date between screenings.

10:30-11:30
Elective Sessions (choose one) 

  • Documentation and Enforcement of Data Standards: May I See Your Manual, Please?
    Finding time to establish proper data entry standards and produce accurate documentation is not always a high priority, but it should be. We will discuss the thought process behind defining standards, who to involve in this process and how to communicate these decisions to your colleagues. The data and documentation police will examine the reasons for data standardization and documentation and discuss mechanisms to enforce compliance.
  • Stewardship: The Color of Money—Gift Acknowledgements
    Donors expect a lot of things, but a prompt and appropriate thank you is at the top of the list. What does it take to put together an effective acknowledgement process? What makes a particular thank you appropriate for one donor, but highly inappropriate for another? How can we balance large scale with intimate personalization? Learn the essentials and separate the "must-have" elements from those that are simply "nice-to-have."

11:30 AM-1:10 PM
Lunch and Faculty Office Hours
Consult with faculty for scheduling times and locations.

1:15-2:15
Open Discussion Distinguished by System
Get to know your fellow participants who have the same database system. You can share your knowledge, ask questions, get answers, review challenges and yes, even identify pain points.

2:30-3:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Prospect Research and Management: Prospect Identification and Rating
    The advancement mission, in most, if not all cases, is to build lasting philanthropic relationships with the organization's constituents. The underlying objective is to identify the best, most likely prospective donors in terms of wealth (read: gift capacity), philanthropic inclination and interests, and then prioritize them in a way that your fundraisers are connecting with the right folks, at the right time, for the right amount, and for the right thing. In this session, we will talk about
              • Figuring out how many prospects you need, and assessing the overall gift potential of your constituent base,
              • Sifting through the data in order to come up with a group of potential prospects to investigate further and
              • Prospecting/research techniques to apply in identifying the "keepers" —linkage, ability/capacity, and interest.
  • Gift Processing: Fundamentals of Gift Processing
    Are you just getting started in gift processing, or do you want to brush up on skills acquired over a number of years in the profession? Do you have specific questions about the odd gift? Review the basics of gift processing and learn about the importance of relationships, mergers, stocks, streamlining and more.

3:45-4:45 

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Advancement Services Management: Effective Budget Management
    Whether managing a budget is part of your job description or not, knowing how to navigate the budgeting process is key to ensuring funding for advancement services functions. We will walk through the budgeting process from knowing your resources to involving the right people in discussions to performing budget analysis. And, while we may hope that you don't need this skill at your institution, we'll discuss ways to navigate the political front.
  • Stewardship: Welcome to the Jungle—Recognition Programs
    Since no two donors are alike, it can be difficult to recognize them in a standardized, scalable fashion. Yet, over the years many approaches to donor recognition have evolved into what are now considered standard practices. Recognition societies, donor walls and annual donor rosters are a few such examples. Learn the basics of these practices and understand how advancement services supports them. We'll also peek into the future of donor recognition via a brief look at some of the new ideas and trends seeking to further evolve our standard practices.

4:45-5:30
Group Assignment 2

 5:30
Institute Adjourns for the Day 

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Day 3, Tuesday, Aug. 5

7:30-8:15 AM
Breakfast

8:15-8:30
Announcements and Session Notes

8:30-9:15
Advancement Services at the Senior Table: key Trends and What the Future Holds

9:20-10:20
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Advancement Services Management: Project Management Skills
    Good project management, simply put, aims to get the right people working on the right tasks at the right time to ensure successful outcomes. Many of your existing advancement services staff members likely have that mix of attention to detail and interest in process and outcomes that make them good project managers. In this session you'll gain an understanding of how to deploy those skills to best benefit your department and your organization.
  • Fundraising Database Systems and Reporting: Introduction to Analytics
    Collecting and storing information is a key function of advancement services. By taking the next step to make sense of the ocean of information and turn it into actionable information, we can provide more benefit to our organizations. Learn the fundamentals on putting in place analytics to drive your organization forward.

10:30-11:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Advancement Services Management: Gift Acceptance
    Does your institution have a gift acceptance policy? If you have one, how good is it? If you don't have one, why should you have one? What are the elements of a good gift acceptance policy? How does gift acceptance affect gift processing and stewardship? Answers to these questions and more will be revealed at this session.
  • Bio-Demographic Entry: Data Integrity Approaches—Keeping the Data Clean and Accurate
    The central store of information is the most important resource to the advancement mission of engaging and cultivating our constituents for all time. The responsibility for maintaining accurate and complete data is both critical and thankless, requiring tedious and technical work. In this session, we will talk about assessing the current state of your data, what you can expect to find and what you should aspire to in order to use it with confidence. We will demonstrate that data maintenance measures you take should be in alignment with the realities of your organization's environment, constituent base and resources.

11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Lunch and Faculty Office Hours
Consult with faculty for scheduling times and locations.

1:15-2:15
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Advancement Services Management: The Role of Advancement Services in Campaign Planning
    So your institution wants to do a campaign. How is advancement services involved? How can you help with the planning? Is your advancement services team ready for the challenge? Discuss what campaign planning means for your advancement services organization.
  • Fundraising Database Systems and Reporting: Integrating and Utilizing Data from External Systems
    Getting important constituent information into the central fundraising system is a crucial yet onerous effort. It is a unique problem at every institution and can span constituencies such as students, alumni, faculty, events, athletics, parents, grateful patients and memberships. Different departments have different systems and often these systems can't communicate with each other. We will talk about the strategic considerations to be made in whether or not to pursue information, identifying stakeholders, negotiating to get access to the data and importing it into your central system.

2:30-3:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Advancement Services Management: Building an Advancement Services Staff
  • Gift Processing: Advanced Gift Processing
    A follow-up session to Gift Processing Fundamentals, discuss the more complicated topics facing gift processing. Bring your sticky situations and questions, and let's work through all the angles to help you be better equipped for whatever comes your way.

3:30-5:30
Group Assignment 3

5:30
Institute Adjourns for the Day

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Day 4, Wednesday, Aug. 6

 

7:30-8:30 AM
Breakfast and Group Presentations

8:30-9:15
Advancement Services Best Practices: Will They Work at <insert your institution here>?
Is "best practice" merely a buzzword, or is it a concept you can use to build quality into your department's processes? The Association of Advancement Services Professionals (AASP) has published numerous best practice standards. Are these aspirational or achievable? We will discuss approaches to implementing best-practice solutions while avoiding the pitfalls of reaching for a one-size-fits-all answer.

9:20-10:20
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Bio-Demographic Entry: Topics in Demographic Information
    As the constituent population grows, so does the enormity of the data we must keep current if we are to fulfill our mission of lifelong meaningful engagement. It is common today for database constituent counts to number in the hundreds of thousands with biographical sources ranging from disparate sources such as registration, finance, membership and many others. A continuing part of our mission is to have good maintenance practices in order to keep this data updated. In this session, we talk about strategies for acquiring demographic data and techniques for maintaining demographic data using both broad and finely honed techniques. We will also discuss how this information plays in increasingly important role in organizations beyond traditional communication.
  • Gift Processing: Planned Giving: The Interaction Between Planned Giving and Advancement Services
    This session provides an introduction to the types of planned gifts available to donors and information on how to credit these gifts. Discuss documentation requirements for accurate recording and options for tracking information related to planned gifts. Communication between advancement services and planned giving is critical to the success of this process.

10:30-11:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Stewardship: Follow the Money—Compliance and Fiduciary Responsibility
    Heard stories about people buying curtains with money from the scholarship fund? Do you have unspent funds languishing in your gift budgets? If not, it's highly likely you will at some point. You can take steps, however, to avoid such regulatory and public/donor relations nightmares. We'll cover several key steps you can, and should, take to help safeguard your organization's reputation including promoting a culture of compliance, shared responsibility and open information.
  • Gift Processing: Fundraising Reporting Standards
    This session will include a review of the CASE Management and Reporting Standards, 4th edition. Does your institution follow the standards? Why or why not? What are the dangers and pitfalls of not following the standards? Are there pitfalls? Does your institution report "creatively"? Does your institution's reporting make you nervous? If you had all the control, what standards would you follow? Come hear about the standards and how they might be implemented.

11:30 AM-1:10 PM
Lunch

1:15-2:15
Fundraising Database Systems and Reporting: Data Integrity and Database Health
Ensuring the health of the database and data within is a cornerstone of the success of your fundraising database system. You will come away from this session with some best practices for maintaining and enhancing the quality of your data and the health of your database, strategies for engaging others in understanding the importance of data, and an understanding of how to implement policies and procedures to support quality data and a healthy database. 

2:20-3:20
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Fundraising Database Systems and Reporting: Empowering Users via Self-Service Reporting
    Too many people need information too quickly to live in a centralized/IT delivered reporting model. Learn how to have your users get the information they need, when they need it, and in the format they need it!
  • Prospect Research and Management: Portfolio and Moves Management
    Fundraising staff come and go, so it's important to have a moves management system that provides the relationship history and the planned moves with your most important donors. We'll define moves management and portfolio management. We'll discuss how to create buy-in from the top down, how to maintain the system and how to measure its effectiveness.

3:30-4:30
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Gift Processing: Working with Other Areas of the Organization (e.g. Finance, Payroll)
    Getting a gift recorded correctly means marshaling details from different areas of your organization. How do you maintain key relationships and negotiate differences in opinion about designations, allocation, restrictions or even who the donor is? Learn helpful approaches and practices that will serve you and your team well.
  • Stewardship: Show Me the Money-Impact Reporting
    Is your organization missing out because it can't—or won't—tell the great stories of impact and benefit derived from a gift? When an organization fully commits itself to communicating the impact of specific philanthropy, it can contribute greatly to the transformation of the organization itself. We can transform from simply being the beneficiaries of philanthropy to sources of inspiration that engender confidence. Such confidence leads to lifelong relationships between donor and organization; relationships that maximize philanthropic giving. We'll explore the role of advancement services in the collective effort to tell great impact stories.

5:45
Buses leave from residence halls for Spirit of Ethan Allen

6:30-9:00
Lake Champlain Dinner Cruise
Spirit of Ethan Allen
Spend your last evening in Burlington on the famous Spirit of Ethan Allen. Enjoy dinner, dancing and a beautiful sunset during this cruise on Lake Champlain.

9:00
Shuttles return to residence halls

 

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Day 5, Thursday, Aug. 7

7:30-9:15 AM
Breakfast and Group Presentations

9:30-10:45
Career Paths in Advancement Services
Very few people, if any, dreamt of a career in advancement services as a child, yet many of us have found our passion in this profession. This session explores how our profession has developed over time and how you can have a meaningful and rewarding career in the future of advancement services.

11:00 AM-NOON
Advice from the Panel/Commencement
The institute is coming to a close. This is your chance to ask any final questions. The faculty will share their words of wisdom culled from the week and their many years in the industry.  

NOON
Institute Adjourns

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Day 4
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