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Saturday, Jan. 21

1:45-5:15 PM
Senior Forum (Separate registration required)

Preconference Advancement Workshops (Separate registration required)

Sunday, Jan. 22

8:30-11:30 AM
Senior Forum (Separate registration required)

Preconference Advancement Workshops (Separate registration required)



Focus Areas

AM   Advancement Management

AS   Advancement Services

AR   Alumni Relations

AG   Annual Giving

CP   Campaigns

CM   Communications

HD   Heads of School

MG   Major Gifts

MB   Marketing/Branding

PP   Parent Programs

PD   Personal Development

SS   Small Shops

SM   Social Media

SE   Special Events

SW   Stewardship

SP   Strategic Planning

TM   Talent Management

TS   Trustees

VM   Volunteer Management

Main Conference Program


Sunday, Jan. 22


Welcome and Opening Key Session

Every Conversation Counts

We need to build meaningful relationships to be successful. To build meaningful relationships, we need to have meaningful conversations. Riaz Meghji documents the memorable conversations that some of the world's most fascinating figures have engaged in to achieve success and—more importantly—realize their true sense of purpose. Through intimate interviews, he uncovers what makes for great, life-changing social intercourse. And, he explains how simple conversation rules—learn something new, let someone know he or she matters, introduce an idea–can change everything. Meghji takes a candid and far-ranging look at how creative conversations have the potential to reinvent your business, reenergize your brand and further develop your career. A conversation can change everything or nothing. It's up to you.

Riaz Meghji, Host, "Breakfast Television Vancouver"

Break in the Marketplace

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Ready, Action! Making Video the Best Tool in Your Kit
    CM SM
    Images elicit seven times the online engagement that text does, and video does seven times that. The tools have gotten easier and more accessible, but many schools still struggle to produce quality videos that draw viewers in. Learn what to buy, how to use it and basic principles of film craft that will take your video game to a new level. Whether drawing new applicants, loosening donors' wallets, or generating media buzz, video is the linchpin to winning viewers' hearts and bringing their minds along for the ride.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to structure a video so the audience will watch to the end.
    • Discover how to make it look professional.
    • Find out what to do with that great video once it's made.
    Adam Olenn, Director of Communications and Community Engagement, Moses Brown School; and Ryan Vemmer, Producer for Digital Media, Moses Brown school

  • Take Your Advancement to the Next Level with DASL by NAIS
    Having accurate and timely data is of critical importance to leading advancement efforts for your school. DASL (Data and Analysis for School Leadership) provides data from more than 1,800 schools, as well as tools for accessing and configuring reports to answer your key questions. Whether it is a report on your regional advancement trends or benchmarking against a group of schools you select, DASL offers an intuitive and efficient way to get comparative data. 
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn more about the tools in DASL.
    • Determine what data you wish the system would capture to inform your decisions.
    Joy Bodycomb, Director of Data Strategy and Operations; and Hilary LaMonte, Vice President, Data and Analysis for School Leadership, NAIS

  • 80-20 Rules: Prioritizing with Clarity
    SS SW
    The advancement portfolio is wide and deep; distractions are endless and interruptions are constant. The most effective way to focus your resources is applying the 80-20 rule. Considering donors, alumni and volunteers; appeals, asks and stewardship; time, budget and personnel all against this lens will change the way you structure your program. Consider a fresh way to allocate your resources to maximize engagement and secure gifts. Make the 20 percent your priority.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn to look at your appeal more critically. Are you sending out generic asks to the masses when you should be identifying key individuals to connect with personally?
    • Allocate your time more effectively. Are you getting distracted by minor issues that take a lot of time but make little difference to deliverables?
    • Confidently proceed with important initiatives. Do you fear offending prospects?
    Angela Dudek, Executive Director for Advancement, St. John's School; and Ben Fitch, Director of Advancement, Little Flower Academy

  • Building Your International Fundraising Program in Asia
    MG SP VM

    Building an international fundraising program in Asia is resource-intensive. Results can only be realized and sustained through critical evaluation of strategic questions. How do you enter the market? What ROI can you expect and how soon? How do you set reasonable priorities, objectives and goals? Are you resourced appropriately? How do you coordinate various school functions to realize optimal results? This panel addresses key strategies including developing a multiyear plan with administrative buy-in, engagement of international parents and alumni in these plans and establishing relationships with in-country and allied partners.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Set realistic priorities and goals for a fundraising program in Asia.
    • Build a strong plan for building and growing your fundraising program in Asia.
    • Identify the risks and opportunities for fundraising in Asia.
    Marianne Briscoe, President, Brakeley Briscoe; Bob Markley, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Region, Duke University; and Anne Storch, Vice President Institutional Advancement, St. Edward's School

  • Converting the Reluctant Solicitor
    AM VM
    How many times have we heard school leaders, both professional and volunteers, declare their aversion to fundraising? A successful fundraising coach and trainer demonstrates how to convert your most reluctant supporters into champion solicitors. Discover proven techniques that will improve both yours and your volunteers' ability "to ask."
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn to inspire, coach and train volunteers and staff members to be dynamic fundraisers.
    • Become more confident in your individual role as a front line gift officer.
    • Discover how to maximize the capacity of your donor base.
    Herbert Soles, Assistant Headmaster for Development, Norfolk Academy

  • Creating a Culture of Student Engagement and Philanthropy
    AG MB SW
    Learn how to build a comprehensive student philanthropy program that cultivates awareness, gratitude and giving. Many institutions have these student programs, but most lack a cohesive and strategic outline. Peddie School has effectively established a student ambassador organization which directly supports our alumni and development initiatives. Join us to learn the core components of our successful program. We will cover the initiatives of the program, annual thank-a-donor campaigns, incorporating multimedia and how best to partner with students to share the message of gratitude and impact.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Get the tools necessary to successfully build and market a thriving student philanthropy program at your institution.
    • Identify ways in which students can work together with the alumni and development team to best share the message of gratitude and impact.
    Deanna Harkel, Assistant Director of Development Communications and Student Engagement; and Jennifer Harris, Director of Stewardship, Peddie School

  • Building Board Consensus and Campaign Commitment
    AM CT TS
    A campaign is a transformational moment for your school. By effectively engaging your board of trustees, you empower some of your most important friends and donors to help you succeed. When you engage your board and leadership, your campaign galvanizes your school's community, connects your volunteer leadership, builds a culture of philanthropy, motivates your donors and implements your vision for the future. Malvern's Christian Talbot and CCS's Greg Hagin share their strategies for success in encouraging board members to fulfill their full potential as critical fundraising partners.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to effectively engage and excite your board during a campaign.
    • Find out how to galvanize your school's community and inspire and motivate donors.
    • Discover how to build a culture of philanthropy within your school and board.
    Gregory Hagin, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, CCS Fundraising; and Christian Talbot, Head of School, Malvern Preparatory School

  • Recruiting and Retaining Great People: The Keys to Strategic Talent Management
    AM TM
    Your people are your greatest asset. Explore the growing industry of strategic talent management, discuss strategies for identifying and recruiting talent to ensure a high-performing team, and illustrate opportunities for keeping your staff connected, engaged and challenged throughout their employment at your institution. From professional development and compensation strategies to creating an environment that inspires, a talent management philosophy is relevant for any institution—whether you have a staff of five or 500.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand the multiple components of strategic talent management and the importance of employing these strategies at your institution.
    • Define the key elements of a "simply irresistible environment," and list the attributes of an attractive workplace that retains top talent.
    • List and describe members of your own team who are "platinum performers," and begin to understand the types of opportunities and incentives required to keep them.
    Emilie Henry, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, The Westminster Schools

  • Small Changes in Your Annual Fund Can Make a Big Difference
    AG SW VM
    Two annual fund directors with 20+ years of experience share their ideas, and many of them require only small tweaks to your current program. Discuss tracking data points to inform your strategies, building a gift chart to know where your outstanding prospects are, utilizing tracking systems to determine what communications are working best, and simple stewardship tips so your donors know their value to your school.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn about small changes that can be implemented, no matter the size of your office or annual fund, in terms of dollars raised.
    • Use various (and easy to access) data points to drive your annual fund strategy and help your program soar.
    Brooke Buchanan, Director of Annual Giving, George School; and Christine Kitzmiller, Director of the Annual Fund, Flint Hill School

  • Spinning Straw into Gold: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
    CM HS SS
    News travels fast when an independent school community faces a tragedy, a legal issue or a financial setback. A thoughtful response by the head of school is crucial to the future of the institution—and the relationships that have been carefully cultivated with its alumni, friends and donors. This session features stories of real-life issues faced by independent school leadership, the dos and don'ts of handling such situations and strategies for moving the institution forward—both in the court of public opinion and in the hearts of donors.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to tailor appropriate communication of a negative event to a wide range of constituencies, including students, parents, alumni, faculty, donors and the community at large.
    • Develop strategies to preempt the fallout of a negative event and instead create new opportunities for cultivation and relationship building.
    Joseph Angeletti, President, The Angeletti Group; and Benjamin Powers, Headmaster, Eagle Hill Southport School

  • Board Governance at Its Best: The Big Three
    AM HS TS
    Increasingly, board governance is recognized as critical to the overall effectiveness of a school's ability to fulfill its mission, vision and priorities. The leadership of the board chair, the head of school and the chief advancement officer play important roles in ensuring such effectiveness. Learn steps in governance and principles that power exceptional boards. Participate in candid and valuable lessons learned in board development, while gaining further information related to best practices that will garner success.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify the nine-step cycle of board development and the 10 principles that power board effectiveness.
    • Learn from panel members, including a board chair, a head of school and a chief advancement officer, who share board effectiveness strategies.
    • Share your own perspectives and lessons learned.
    Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, Newark Academy; Sean Murphy, Head of School, St. Andrews Episcopal School; Ellen Ray, Executive Chair, St. Stephen's Episcopal School Board of Trustees and Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives Still Water Foundation; and Cynthia Woolbright, President, The Woolbright Group

  • Strategic Idea Generation: Affinity Groups for Giving and Engagement

    Phil Higginson, Assistant Head for Institutional Advancement, Ravenscroft School

Break in the Marketplace

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Lessons from an Endowment Campaign
    AM CP MG
    The Latin School of Chicago recently completed a $50M campaign focused solely on endowment. Latin's director of development and lead consultant share lessons learned through the process of planning, structuring and implementing the campaign. Explore best practices around community education regarding endowment, institutional readiness for growing endowment, spending and gift acceptance policies, overcoming barriers to endowment as a funding opportunity and communicating the impact and appeal of giving to endowment. Presenters share real-life examples and a checklist for participants contemplating pursuing endowment initiatives.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand what pitfalls to avoid in planning for and implementing an endowment campaign.
    • Employ key message points for motivating donors to support endowment at your school.
    Anne Hobbs, Director of Development, Latin School of Chicago; and Adam Wilhelm, Vice President, Campbell & Company

  • Putting the Pieces Together: Planning and Executing a Comprehensive Campaign
    CP CM HS
    The board just agreed to move forward with a campaign and there are many moving parts. Where to start? Whom to include? How do we put it all together? This panel discussion includes the staff and the volunteer who developed and executed a successful multimillion dollar comprehensive campaign initiative. Each member of the panel speaks from his/her vantage point.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Define the differences between capital, endowment, annual and comprehensive campaigns.
    • Assign roles and create job descriptions for successful execution of a campaign for a small to medium-sized advancement shop.
    Sandy Diamond, Director of Advancement; Jennifer Karol, Campaign Chair; and Ed Ritenour, Director of Communications and Marketing, The Lamplighter School

  • Challenges and Opportunities for Engaging Millennial Parents
    PP VM
    Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation in America. Many of them are becoming parents and adding their voices to the parenting dialogue. What is it about these young parents that make them so unique? Research shows that millennial parents have a different parenting style. They connect, give and get involved with the issues that matter to them in a different way. Identify the characteristics of millennial parents and discuss their attitudes as donors. Understanding these traits will help independent schools in their efforts to attract millennial parents and engage them in school fundraising activities.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Create awareness of key characteristics of millennial parents and identify their differences with previous generations.
    • Determine the ways millennial parents behave as donors.
    • Explore ways to communicate and engage the new parent generation.
    Amada Torres, Vice President of Research, NAIS

  • Alumnae Networking: The Power Tool for Engagement
    AR AG
    Networking has been happening organically among your alumni community for years. Formalizing the process through the creation of a networking program can prove beneficial to your alumni, your advancement office and your school. Alumni explore career options often times before graduation. Tapping into the power of the alumni network by taking a proactive role as an alumni office allows you to begin building relationships early. Once established, a networking program keeps alumni of all ages engaged through social media, giving, events and more.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to establish a networking program and review the do's and don'ts for running a successful one.
    • Find out how to turn networking success into increased engagement.
    • Understand how to conduct follow-up, the key to keeping relationships alive.
    • Discover how to measure your network's success through alumni giving and other metrics.
    Carolyn Russell, Director of the Annual Fund; Jocelyn Sherman-Avidan, Associate Director of Alumnae; and Megan Tyre, Director of Alumnae, Greenwich Academy

  • Board Philanthropic Trends and Performance in Independent Schools
    AM HS TS
    In recent years, Marts and Lundy has experienced a marked increase in independent school interest surrounding the role of boards in fundraising. This session reviews key findings from a 2016 research project conducted by Marts and Lundy and 36 participating independent schools, including key characteristics, giving trends and performance of boards in independent day and boarding schools. Leave with data-driven information surrounding board philanthropy that can help shape board engagement strategies for your particular circumstances.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify the best way to share data-based information with school leadership about the board's fundraising role in independent schools.
    • Learn how to use this data to begin to craft board and school leadership fundraising education and training programs based on your school's circumstances.
    Rachel Connell, Senior Consultant, Marts & Lundy; and Sarah Williams, Senior Consultant & Principal, Leader Analytical Solutions, Marts and Lundy

  • Can One Differentiator Be the Catalyst to School-wide Advancement?
    CM MB SP
    Your school has a mission. Your head has a vision. Your board has a strategic plan. Now what? Schools have such a multitude of plans, programs, benchmarks and aspirations that it is challenging to rally the community around a single strategic initiative. In an ever-increasing competitive landscape for students, faculty and fundraising dollars it is essential for schools to use their solitary differentiator to crystallize the vision and catalyze forward momentum. Berwick's Strategic Brand Council transformed Maine's "best kept secret" and propelled it to the national stage via innovation. Learn how they did it.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to align head of school, admission, advancement and communication to identify and capitalize on an institutional differentiator.
    • Find out how to create a communications plan that unifies your school's brand and messaging goals around a differentiator.
    • Understand how the creation of a Strategic Brand Council can focus limited administrative time, resources and brain power in order to collectively meet challenging goals.
    Amy Smucker, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs, Berwick Academy; and Naamah Jarnot, Assistant Director of Communications, Berwick Academy

  • Social Media Changed Our School Culture: Make It Work for Yours
    SM MB SM
    Social media is the future landscape of interactive school engagement. Learn how curating and intentionally creating content can transform your school community and voice from the inside, out. Far beyond marketing and communications, see how the teacher, student and parent experiences were enriched through campus interconnectivity, which led to increased applications through word-of-mouth promotion. Learn more about how the powerful impact of telling our stories in a digital age impacts the initiatives of advancement, admission, alumni relations, giving and beyond.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Develop a social media strategy.
    • Empower teachers, staff and administration to tell their stories and share their experiences (through the use of multimedia) to capture school culture in an authentic, impactful way.
    • Leverage and maximize digital communication tactics and campaigns (social media, newsletter, blog, etc.) to achieve admissions and advancement goals.
    • Develop and deepen both internal and external community engagement, understanding and enjoyment of school culture and identity to increase word-of-mouth recognition, PR awareness, and parent satisfaction.
    Joe Connolly, Chief Advancement and Enrollment Officer; and Erin Schwartz, Director of Communications and Community Engagement, Hillbrook School

  • Someone Save Our Database! How to Clean Up the Wreckage
    AM AS SS
    Growing your funding programs without a relatively clean database is about as simple as running a marathon on your hands. Join this session for practical advice on clean-up projects from the large to the small, including overviews and a step-by-step example. While the session is primarily geared for Blackbaud Raiser's Edge users, we will also cover cleanup using Microsoft Excel.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify the most common "problem areas" of a database and learn practical tips for cleaning up these areas.
    • Learn how to maintain consistency after completing clean-up projects.
    Kerry Johnston, Director of Development; and Andy Rutledge, Development Database Manager, Calvert School

  • The Main Event: Reunions as an Effective Fund- and Friend-Raising Strategy
    AR AG
    Strong reunions can reengage alumni, connecting them with the life of the school and creating new opportunities for meaningful support. Learn how one school shifted its reunion program from class parties at Homecoming to an event weekend that draws nearly 1,000 alumni to campus every year, serving as a key component of its alumni giving program.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Come away with a model for a reunion weekend, ideas for cross-departmental collaboration and tools for growing alumni giving during milestone years.
    • Apply reunion event and fundraising strategies to your own alumni community.
    Anne Murphy, Director of The Westminster Fund, The Westminster Schools

  • We Need to Add a Couple of Zeros to That...
    CM MG AG
    In October 2013, Mercersburg Academy announced a $300M campaign, including a $100M lead gift. From the annual fund to major gifts, sights shifted dramatically as the board and school leadership asserted Mercersburg's vision for itself and sought to fund its priorities in a new way. This session gives insight into the planning for the campaign, details how the team rallied to raise expectations internally and externally, and examines lessons learned along the way.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how Mercersburg Academy raised expectations internally and externally.
    • Find out why the school hitched much of its major gift success to a robust annual fund.
    Jenn Bradley, Director of the Mercersburg Annual Fund; Tim Crouch, Associate Director of Capital Giving; and Brian Hargrove, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, Mercersburg Academy

  • Working with the Next Generation of Volunteer Leadership: Campaign Edition
    CP MG VM
    Discuss recruiting, engaging and retaining "next generation" volunteer leaders for fundraising campaigns. Explore the challenges and opportunities of working with volunteers who are leading their first campaign, changing expectations of volunteer leaders and the evolving role of staff, and practical considerations that need to be weighed in designing campaign leadership structures.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify ways for engaging volunteers effectively for campaigns at your institution.
    • Employ strategies for overcoming challenges in working with new or inexperienced volunteer leaders.
    Lauren Batten, Director of Advancement, Charlotte Country Day School; and Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

  • Strategic Idea Generation: Getting a Grip on Athletic Fundraising

    A professional athlete who is an alum and not giving, a revered coach doing his own fundraising, alums giving directly to coaches, Athletic Hall of Fame athletes not supporting the annual fund. Any of these sound familiar? By working together athletic fundraising can be a huge benefit to any school if managed properly.

    Craig Hall, Chief Advancement Officer, Blair Academy; and Pamela Winthrop, Director of Institutional Advancement, Chinese American International School

Marketplace Closes for the Day

Welcome to Austin Reception

Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater (ACL Live), home to Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American History Television. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd.


Monday, Jan. 23


7:30-9:15 AM
Continental Breakfast/Roundtables

Key Session

The Need for Strategic Agility

Every organization, whether publicly traded or privately held, whether large or small, must balance the need for positive short-term results and positive long-term results. Fundamentally, the management behaviors and practices for meeting short-term objectives are vastly different than those necessary to meet long-term objectives, and often senior leaders must excel in both areas. Using research and real-world examples from industry to validate the concepts, Kathy Pearson outlines the challenges in managing the uncertainty of the future and the need for agility and adaptability.

Kathy Pearson, President, Enterprise Learning Solutions and Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Break in the Marketplace

11:00 AM-12:15 PM
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Metrics Based Decision-Making for Major Gift Success
    AM MG SP
    With the time and effort you put into major gifts, you want to make sure you're getting the right information to make decisions. The RIGHT metrics help you understand what is and isn't working and support prioritization. Too often, decisions are dictated by gut feelings and assumptions. A thoughtful metrics plan can have significant impact on major gift success and provides the ability to monitor progress and make necessary course corrections. Join us for an information and strategy-packed session on what to measure and to learn how to use data effectively.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand the importance of creating a data-driven culture and review strategies for implementing one.
    • Identify and define the key metrics in tracking major gift progress.
    • Develop strategies for determining the most relevant metrics for your own major gift program and learn how to use them for program improvement.
    Laurel McCombs, Senior Philanthropy Advisor, The Osborne Group

  • Leadership Perceptions of Succession Planning at Independent Schools
    HS SP TS
    Learn the extent to which leaders at independent schools are engaging in succession planning and discover how this practice is critical in ensuring the long-term viability of our schools. Review first-hand research about components of a succession plan and the conditions that contribute or inhibit this critical practice within the independent school setting.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Review the components of a deliberate succession plan.
    • Learn to what extent independent school leaders are engaging in the succession planning process.
    • Discover conditions that contribute or inhibit succession planning.
    Peter Mason, Director of Marketing and Communications, The Governor's Academy

  • Putting the Culture of Philanthropy Under a Microscope
    AG CP
    What does a culture of philanthropy look and feel like? How can you assess a school's culture when you're considering it as a prospective workplace? Is it possible to change a school's culture? We'll draw on 20 years of experience working in varied independent school and college settings to examine the culture of philanthropy.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to assess your school's culture of philanthropy.
    • Review a Field Guide to identify what it takes for a culture of philanthropy to thrive.
    • Get the tools to dissect the messages that indicate a culture's health.
    • Review tested techniques to grow the culture of philanthropy at your institution.
    Timothy Reitz, Director of Communications; and Pamela Winthrop, Director of Institutional Advancement, Chinese American International School

  • They Don't Give: Myth-Busting On Major Gift Constituencies
    Bias, particularly ethnic/cultural bias, often seeps into discussions about major gift prospects. This session identifies myths and provides examples of successful approaches to major gift constituents who may be overlooked due to cultural bias. The primary presenter facilitates a panel discussion-type session that includes donors as well as advancement colleagues who have particular experience in working in diverse and nontraditional donor settings.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Move beyond cultural or institutional bias toward specific constituent groups in your donor base.
    • Expand on traditional major gift best practices to reach nontraditional donors.
    • Develop strategies for reaching major gift constituents who may have been overlooked in your donor base.
    Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, Newark Academy

  • Endowment Campaigns: Securing the Future
    CP CM SW
    Many schools are seriously looking at their financial models and realizing, in order to sustain the school into the future, endowment campaigns are becoming a necessity. Donors who support the work of a school want to make sure the school carries out the mission forever. This session outlines distinctive characteristics, critical components, marketing plans, donor base and board of trustees' commitments, and stewardship for endowment campaigns.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand the need for an endowment campaign and define the components of one.
    • Conduct a thorough marketing and communications plan for an endowment campaign.
    • Learn how to identify endowment donors.
    • Create a clear plan for stewarding endowment donors.
    Anne Storch, Vice President Institutional Advancement, St. Edward's School

  • What I Learned On the Way to Giving Day
    AR AG VM
    Two New England independent schools sat up and took notice of this new vehicle: a dedicated day of giving. Each gathered intel, set a strategy and went for it! One chose February, one chose April, both reaped the benefits in spades. Come hear how two seasoned professionals embraced this new vehicle and gained big in alumni participation, revenue and unexpected outcomes. What war of decades has been spurred? Who did they hear from? What were the initial obstacles, success stories and, most importantly, failures?
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to plan your own Giving Day, or how to fine-tune strategies already in place.
    • Determine what methodologies are necessary to launch a Giving Day initiative at your school.
    • Discover strategies to try on as you tackle this unique fundraising vehicle.
    • Evaluate what resources are in place, or will be needed, to successfully implement a Giving Day at your school.
    Diana Mathey, Director, Pingree Fund and Leadership Giving, Pingree School; and Lisa Zopatti, Director of Annual Giving, Brooks School

  • Tidying Up: The Magic of Decluttering Your Brand
    CM MB
    When your house is in order, you can focus on what's really important. The same is true for your institution's brand. To be successful in admissions and fundraising, you must present a clear, consistent and confident message, both internally and externally. But unless you know who your institution is at its core, what its inherent strengths are, and where its challenges lie, you can't confidently communicate it. Focus on the hows and whys of decluttering your institution's brand and find out why "tidying up" will bring marketing and fundraising success.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand the value of presenting a consistent, clear verbal and visual brand in all marketing and fundraising communications.
    • Employ the most successful methods for uncovering, articulating and sharing your institution's unique brand, both internally and externally.
    Melissa DePino, Principal, Leapfrog Group, LLC; Nancy McDonald, Principal, Leapfrog Group, LLC; and Elizabeth Thompson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Saint Mary's Hall

  • Parent Giving Participation: Best Practices to Reach 100 Percent
    AG PP VM
    Learn best practices for enhancing your parent giving program from a diverse panel of independent school development officers. Hear from well-established shops to newly developed programs about how to engage and steward parent giving volunteers and create targeted appeals through social media, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer campaigns to reach 100 percent parent giving participation.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Implement an action plan to secure parent giving volunteers.
    • Create strong giving appeals targeting parents; including social media, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer marketing campaigns.
    • Enhance or create events to encompass parent participation.
    Lynette Gioffre, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, Rye Country Day School; and Sarah Latimer, Senior Director of Parent and Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Francis Parker School

  • Reimaging Annual Giving with Sidwell Friends School
    AM AR AG
    Find out how Sidwell Friends School is improving their "annual giving funnel" by leveraging an enhanced online giving page combined with robust analytics to efficiently retarget constituents. Sidwell Friends is capitalizing on innovative social segmentation and prioritization tactics by harnessing insights from LinkedIn and Facebook. This is enabling Sidwell Friends to create more targeted and personalized asks while retargeting their most likely donors.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Assess the potential for using real-time data to create targeted and personalized alumni marketing campaigns.
    • Learn how to use data-driven insights to drive giving conversions at scale.
    • Take away strategies for increasing annual giving participation through a donor-centric approach to alumni giving.

    Mary Carrasco, Director of Institutional Advancement, Sidwell Friends School; and Mike Palladino, Partner, Development Manager

  • Think Before You Thank: Strategic Stewardship for Deeper Donor Engagement
    MG SW
    Stewardship efforts that demonstrate personalized appreciation and appropriate gift administration is critical when economic uncertainty increases cultivation periods and donor hesitation. Having a solid program of donor identification, cultivation and solicitation becomes a constant process of renewal if stewardship is not the linchpin in your program. Begin with the end in mind! Review real examples of how independent schools are successfully focusing their efforts and maximizing opportunities for personalized attention that strengthens donor engagement.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify and understand donor motivations and learn how to craft highly personalized stewardship approaches.
    • Build individual stewardship action plans for donors and overarching stewardship plans for annual giving, major gifts and endowment programs.
    • Review strategies for maximum effectiveness, deepened donor engagement, strengthened donor retention and increased donor upgrades.
    Ingrid Healy, Principal, Independent School Advancement

  • Zero to 100 Percent in less than 365 Days: Successful Alumni Giving Via a Strong Advancement Model
    AG AR TM
    Castilleja is a school with a strong academic reputation, increasing admissions demand and 100 percent parent participation in the annual fund each year.  Despite raising more than $3 million annually, alumnae participation in the annual fund was quite low. During the school's centennial celebration, many alumnae were inspired to engage with the school and give a gift in honor of the school's milestone, but for many, it was only a one-time gift. After the most recent accreditation visit, it was recommended the school increase participation from alumnae in the annual fund and other school initiatives.  Simultaneously, the Advancement Office was being restructured to solidify its four functional areas by creating teams for each. By building up the structure of the Advancement Office, Castilleja was able to respond to the recommendation to increase alumnae giving.  We went from no senior gift to a senior gift with 100 percent participation and a processes established to repeat this for years to come. 

    Julie Odelowo, Director of Alumnae Engagement; and Tesha Poe, Chief Advancement Officer, Castilleja School

  • Strategic Idea Generation: Making the Most of Your Communications Office

    Whether you are a communications office of one or 10, whether you report to the head of school or an advancement officer, whether you are a school of 100 students or 2,000—this session is for you. With the help of your colleagues, you will have an exciting opportunity to think through new, strategic ways to approach your work. Annual reports, social media, internal communications, annual fund appeals—you and your table mates will set the agenda for this session. Bring a notepad and an open mind!

    Facilitators: Susie Cain, Director of Communications, Sterne School; Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communication, The Harker School; Alex Perez, Communications Director, Menlo School; Dana Rakoczy, Director of Strategic Communications, Sacred Heart Schools; and Jill Shaw, Director of Strategic Communications, Viewpoint School

Networking Luncheon

Dessert Reception in the Marketplace

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Wall Street 101
    AG AS
    This workshop, led by managing director of Monticello Associates and CFO of the Peddie School, is designed to help you improve your financial acumen and to better understand how donors in the finance sector are compensated. Carla Beal and Mike McKitish review investment firm structures and terms such as hedge funds, derivatives, distressed assets, private equity, Long/Short Equity Funds, J Curve and other terms that will help you improve your financial literacy and better understand the gift potential with leadership prospects. They will review creative ways that development and business officers can work together to design structures for gift acceptance and pledge fulfillment.

    Mike McKitish
    , CFO, Peddie School; and Carla Beal, Managing Director, Monticello Associates

  • Generational Wealth in the United States
    SP CM
    The distribution of wealth in the United States over the next decade will affect both giving and enrollments at our schools. Review the forecasted changes, discuss potential impacts and outline communication strategies for making your case.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Acquire research-based knowledge on how wealth will be distributed over the next decade.
    • Using a design-thinking approach, learn how to design strategies for maximizing effectiveness with all generations.
    Donna Orem, Chief Operating Officer, NAIS

  • Grandparents Club: It's More than Just One Day a Year
    AG SE SW
    Grandparents are key constituents in independent schools—financially sound and able to make significant gifts. Many schools have grandparent club programs in place. Grandparents Day can be one of the largest on-campus events of the year and a major opportunity to engage this key constituency. Hear how the Howard School successfully expanded Grandparents Day into Grandparents Club—resulting in a 71 percent increase in giving from this constituency.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Review best practices for soliciting grandparents and determine the best time to solicit.
    • Define event planning within your school and determine how to involve entities like Parents Association.
    • Learn how the head of school and students can be involved in GP Club.
    • Explore ideas for extended grandparent programming/stewardship throughout the school year.
    Melissa Bishop, Director of Development, The Howard School

  • Going Social: Using Social Media to Boost Annual Giving
    AG CM SM
    Everyone is on Facebook, but are you using it to reach your supporters? Robust, strategic social media content is a valuable tool for increasing philanthropic engagement. Learn how one school's social media strategy cut through the information overload, helped build the case for support, engaged volunteers and enhanced annual giving campaigns.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Grow your school's social media content and strategy on multiple platforms and use metrics to determine what works for your audience.
    • Learn how to coordinate social media efforts with annual giving campaigns and review examples of what has worked at Westminster.
    • Hear about tools for enhancing volunteer engagement with social media to support annual giving campaigns.
    Erin Dentmon, Creative Services and Publications Manager; and Anne Murphy, Director of The Westminster Fund, The Westminster Schools

  • Moving the Needle On Alumni Engagement
    AM AR SW
    Independent schools with a strong alumni program recognize the vital roles their graduates have in building a positive awareness of the institution, supporting admission efforts, creating internship/job opportunities, serving as volunteers and giving to annual/capital campaigns. Do you struggle to engage and keep in touch with your alumni population? Learn how Detroit Country Day School strategically transformed their alumni program for immediate increased engagement and participation. Leave with ideas, both big and small, that will change how you communicate and engage with your alumni for the better.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Review basic elements of alumni engagement.
    • Understand effective approaches and best practices for creating an alumni engagement plan.
    • Discuss how alumni engagement relates to alumni giving.
    • Align the purpose, principles and processes of your alumni engagement program with the needs of your alumni and your institution.
    Doug Adolph, Assistant Vice President, CCS Fundraising; Stefanie Smith, Alumni Relations Manager, Detroit Country Day School; and Dawn Vassel, Alumna, Detroit Country Day School

  • Annual Fund and Capital Campaign: The Ultimate Allies
    AG CP MG
    Desperation to meet fundraising goals can compromise relationships within a team. With so much pressure to succeed, the emphasis can be on efficiency at the expense of collaboration. This case study explores the dynamic between a $4M annual fund and an $84M capital campaign. Advancement colleagues from Brentwood School share how being supportive and community-focused can keep you on track, sanity intact. After all, what fun is meeting the goal if no one is there to share a triumphant high-five when it happens?
    Learning Objectives:
    • Define steps you can take toward building a collaborative relationship with colleagues.
    • Review best practices for annual fund, capital campaign and a general culture of philanthropy.
    • Understand the difference between two distinct efforts and know where the best intersections occur.
    Alyssa Brakey, Director of Major Gifts; Candace Johnson, Director of Annual Fund; and Gennifer Yoshimaru, Assistant Head of School for Advancement, Brentwood School

  • Getting the Big Three Talking: Integration and Your SIS, LMS and Website
    CM SP
    At their essence, every 21st century school requires a website, a learning management system (LMS) and a student information system (SIS). Presenters from Trinity Prep share their experience—from a tech perspective—about what it means to replace two of these in the same year and how they (mostly) got them all to integrate. How can three very different species talk when they're determined to ignore each other?
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to overcome some of the myriad issues that occur in integrating an independent school's largest information systems.
    • Discuss the challenges in getting multiple separate software programs to work together.
    Jason Marshall, Database Coordinator, Trinity Preparatory School

  • Growing Your Annual Fund: Tips for Small (and Not So Small) Shops
    AG ES SS
    Building an annual fund and developing a culture of giving can be difficult for a school, especially with a new, or small, development team. How do you engage volunteers, educate your constituents, manage expectations and raise more money year after year? This session tells the story of how Calvert School grew their annual fund from $350,000 to $1M in 10 years and offers ideas for how you can do the same.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Explore practical tips for setting up and structuring a year-long annual fund program.
    • Find out how and why to involve volunteers, and identify strategies for increasing major gifts to the annual fund.
    • Learn how to manage time and meet goals with a small/limited staff.
    Kerry Johnston, Director of Development, Calvert School

  • Implementing a Crowdfunding Platform Into Your Development Strategy
    AG CP SM
    Crowdfunding, a donor-centric method of attracting a large amount of online supporters to give to a specific cause, has recently gained more popularity as a development tool for nonprofits, including colleges, universities and independent schools. By connecting donors with giving opportunities that align with their affinity, crowdfunding allows development programs to engage with new and lapsed donors—and provides tangible results when stewarding these donors.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Develop a comprehensive plan to implement crowdfunding at your institution.
    • Understand the value of providing restricted-giving projects to attract donors with specific affinity groups.
    • Create a list of giving opportunities at your institution that could be marketed as crowdfunding projects.
    • Collaborate with your boards of directors and administrative staff to determine untapped markets for which a crowdfunding program could benefit by attracting new or lapsed donors.
    Thomas Mayo, Director of the Culver Fund; and Katie Taylor, Culver Fund Officer, Culver Academies

  • Maneuvering Through Milestones: How to Celebrate a Major Anniversary
    AR SS SE
    Is there a major milestone on your school's horizon? Engage all your constituents in planning and executing a unique, memorable celebration. Based on both theory and practice (a school with a small advancement office celebrating its centennial), this session examines the elements required to recognize a significant anniversary or other major step in your school's history. From vision to implementation, volunteer recruitment to alumni involvement, learn tested strategies for creating a milestone celebration that will strengthen your school's mission and be remembered far into the future.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Develop appropriate visions and strategies for your milestone celebrations.
    • Engage alumni, parent and faculty constituencies in the planning and execution of a milestone celebration.
    • Discover how to achieve a successful milestone celebration, regardless of shop size or budget, which integrates new concepts and existing school priorities.
    Laura Falk, Director of Communications, Community School; and Mark Palmer, Director of Development, Forsyth Country Day School

  • The Growing Role of Major Gift Officers at Day Schools
    AM MG TM
    More and more day schools are hiring individuals devoted to the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts. These gift officers manage portfolios of both alumni/ae and parents and often travel extensively while building relationships in pursuit of major gifts. Get the inside scoop from major gift officers about the skills they've developed to navigate and build ongoing relationships with donors that lead to successful solicitations and continued engagement with your school.

    What are the national trends in staffing and how does a development director decide when to devote resources to a major gift officer? How are portfolios created and managed? What metrics are used to measure effectiveness? How do you manage expectations from both the Head, Development Director and Major Gifts Officer perspective? What kind of background and personal characteristics are needed for success in the role? Find out at this session.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand what skills and organizational structure contribute to the success of a major gift officer.
    • Determine if your school is a candidate for the creation of a major gifts position.
    • Find out why two schools decided to invest in a dedicated major gifts officer.
    Stephanie Ball, Director of Major Gifts, The William Penn Charter School; James McKey, Vice President, Grenzebach, Glier and Associates; and Helen Snyder, Director of Capital Gifts, The Bryn Mawr School

  • Strategic Idea Generation: Donor Relations: Know When to Hold 'Em and Know When to Fold 'Em

    While settling into your new job, you are reviewing prospect lists and your eye lands on the name of a very wealthy, very well-known family. As you dig deeper into their donor file, you learn that this alumnus hasn't made an annual fund gift since the school became co-educational 20 years ago. They come to reunions, and write into the magazine, but they aren't giving. You pick up the phone and...

    Craig Hall, Chief Advancement Officer, Blair Academy; and Pamela Winthrop, Director of Institutional Advancement, Chinese American International School
    Facilitator: Katherine Precht, Director of Institutional Advancement at Friends Seminary

Break in the Marketplace

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • One Word. One Gift. One Successful Annual Fund Marketing Program
    AC CM MB
    From failure to success. Learn how Cheshire Academy developed a comprehensive marketing strategy that built off a flawed year-long effort to create an award-winning annual fund program. Hear about how the marketing and development offices worked together to create simple yet effective messaging for both print and digital formats that reengaged alumni with the school, resulting in nearly 30 percent of new donors. Find out what helped them increase both online gifts and overall annual fund giving in just one year, and how you can implement similar strategies at your school.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how marketing and development can work together to maximize success.
    • Get actionable tips for improving your annual fund marketing strategies, including print, email and social media.
    • Develop a clear understanding of how print and digital marketing relate.
    • Find out how to improve your online giving form to increase online gifts.
    Caitlin Garzi, Associate Director of Digital Marketing and Communications; and Stacy Jagodowski, Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications, Cheshire Academy

  • Go Far, Go Together: Board, Alumnae and Staff Partnering On a Successful Campaign
    AR MG TS
    Learn how Miss Hall's School, a girls boarding and day high school in Western Massachusetts, structured its successful "Go Far, Go Together" campaign. Discuss the subsequent three-year capital drive to raise more than $50M using nontraditional giving circles as the basis for building lasting partnerships with trustees, major gift donors and alumnae volunteers.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Get ideas for strengthening volunteer structures for successful annual and capital fundraising campaigns.
    • Learn how to strengthen ongoing communication with key donors and volunteers.
    • Identify ways to partner with the board of trustees, development committee and alumnae to engage volunteers in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of capital gift and annual leadership donors.
    Becca Hajjar, Board of Trustees Member and former President of the Alumnae Council; Charles Platt, Board of Trustees Member and Development Committee Chair; Lynelle Weaver, Manager of Alumnae Relations and Advancement Partnerships; and Diane Wortis, Director of Development and Alumnae Relations, Miss Hall's School

  • Leveraging an Anniversary to Build a Campaign and Galvanize Your Community
    CP CM MB
    What's a 175th anniversary year without announcing a comprehensive campaign with a goal of $175M? An anniversary is an important milestone that may be used to build community, focus aspirations and generate support. This session highlights lessons learned about creating understanding of a comprehensive campaign among parent, faculty and staff, alumni, trustee and donor constituencies through highly intentional engagement. Discuss differentiated messaging and communication, and learn how to launch a campaign during an anniversary year and maintain fundraising momentum post anniversary.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Take away ideas to apply at your own institution.
    • Enhance your own campaign or anniversary planning and experience.
    • Build greater constituent engagement.
    Noelehua Archambault, Senior Director of Development; Catherine Black, Director of Campaign Communications; and Kathryn Nelson, Vice President for Advancement, Punahou School

  • Engagement Leads to Giving: Lessons from a Newly Created Alumni Advisory Board
    VM AR SW
    As a follow up to "Engagement Leads to Giving: The Importance of Creating Effective Adjunct Boards" from the 2015 CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference in New Orleans, Peddie School shares their experience in launching their highly successful leadership council. They discuss lessons learned, the impact on giving and their plans for the group's future. The panel offers participants practical information and advice on do's and don'ts from the trenches.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Understand how to plan, recruit, launch and manage a highly functioning group of brand ambassadors.
    • Discover how a successful advisory council can further engage members and have an impact across your institution.
    Ray Cabot, Assistant Head for Strategic Planning; and Amy Cross, Director of Major Gifts, Peddie School

  • The Chicken and the Egg: Long-Range Master Planning, Community Engagement and Fundraising
    VM SP SW
    Is your campus about to embark on growth or site improvements? Do you wonder where to start and how to engage the community? A carefully designed process generates positive energy for long-range planning, community engagement and fundraising. Presenters from the Fountain Valley School present a case study of their master planning process completed in 2015. Review the process and discuss challenges faced and lessons learned along the way.  
    Learning Objectives:
    • Get an overview of the community engagement process, and understand various means of involving stakeholders in the process.
    • Review the challenges faced and lessons learned from Fountain Valley School so you can apply these lessons to current or future planning.
    • Analyze the costs versus benefits of involving stakeholders.
    • Discuss the interaction between the planning process and the development of fundraising materials.
    Julia Alling, Director of Advancement, Fountain Valley School of Colorado; and Jane Sedonaen, Principal, Integrated Design Studio

  • A New Normal: Implications for Comprehensive Fundraising Planning
    CP SP
    We operate today in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) environment, a circumstance requiring new approaches as we adjust to a new normal. Others are using VUCA as an opportunity to reframe their thinking and instead focus on Vision, Understanding, Clarity and Adaptability. An example is employing new methods to comprehensive campaign planning by using a project approach, one that is more responsive and adaptive to rapidly changing needs and priorities. Learn how this can be done and identify the implications for your future fundraising endeavors.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Define and implement a campaign readiness strategy in a way that acknowledges the need to adjust to a new normal by learning how a VUCA-savvy leader would respond.
    • Apply a nimble and adaptive strategic thinking and planning process to achieve short- and long-term goals, while maintaining discipline around a core vision.
    Michael Cooper, Senior Consultant, Washburn and McGoldrick, LLC; and Kristy Kerin, Director of Institutional Advancement, Brewster Academy

  • The Six (or Eight) Week Parent Fund Campaign
    PP AG
    Two New England independent schools took a leap of faith and shortened their parent annual fund campaigns to mere weeks. Results? Parent participation rates and dollars raised soared. Outcomes? Annual fund and major gift officers used the remaining year for stewarding parents and turned their sights to alumni giving. Presenters share what they learned along the way, what worked, what didn't, and why they are staunch advocates for this change.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to increase parent participation.
    • Develop and implement your own shortened parent giving program.
    Diana Mathey, Director, Pingree Fund and Leadership Giving, Pingree School; and Lisa Zopatti, Director of Annual Giving, Brooks School

  • Capital Campaigns in a Jiffy: Strategies for Success in the Small to Mid-sized Shop
    CP MG SS
    Have you been asked to raise money for a capital campaign...and fast? We've all been there. For small to mid-sized shops these can be challenging and exhilarating times. How can you best leverage the short time frame for success while keeping sane? This panel shares practical how-to strategies for success. Join us as we talk about our personal experience with campaigns in a jiffy and offer sound advice for those in various stages of their school's capital campaign.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify key ingredients for a successful campaign in a short time frame.
    • List common pitfalls and learn how to avoid them.
    • Learn how to manage your board's expectations.
    • Define and identify your prospect base to maximize giving.
    Casey Hassenstein, Senior Major Gifts Office, Noble and Greenough School; Ki Perry, Director of Institutional Advancement, The Fessenden School; and Rebecca Schultzberg, Director of Development, The Cambridge School of Weston

  • Fundraising for the School Head: Living and Leveraging the School Mission
    AM HS SW
    A headmaster shares his wisdom from 25 years of leading a competitive independent school that also has heart. Having leveraged the school's best asset—the mission—to raise both engagement and philanthropy among parents and alumni, Peter Bachmann understands that leadership is personal work. Discover how to make your school's mission a personal priority so that you can go from being the narrator of your school's story to being its lead protagonist.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Identify the passions that drew you to school leadership and use those passions as a foundation for a strategic stewardship program.
    • Tie your authentic experience to your school's mission statement to increase philanthropic engagement.
    • Approach your role as a school leader with a renewed vigor, focusing on work that serves relationships, the school mission, and ultimately, the school's fundraising goals.
    Peter Bachmann, Headmaster, Flintridge Preparatory School

  • Putting the Fun in Fund: Teaching Philanthropy to Your Students
    AG CM VM
    Every year, we were told to "teach the kids philanthropy." But lectures and a half-hearted senior giving effort didn't produce long-term results. After talking to independent school colleagues, we launched Williston Northampton Fund Week, a four-day class competition to inspire giving. Led by a team of student volunteers—the Ambassadors—and supported by creative communications, we put the "fun" in fund. When the dust settled, 93 percent of students made a gift, we raised almost $2,000, and the campus understood what it meant to give and to volunteer.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how to create a student giving program that is fun and informative and that produces real results.
    • Find out how to inspire philanthropy across constituents by sharing the results and commitment of today's students.
    Jill Stern, Director of Alumni Engagement, Williston Northampton School; and Traci Wolfe, Director of Constituent Relations and Giving, Williston Northampton School

  • Starting All Over: Managing a Major Initiative On the Heels of a Major Campaign
    CP MB SP
    After years of planning and implementation, you've finally closed your successful capital campaign. But what if you need to begin another campaign right away? After identifying essential, but costly, needs not covered in their prior campaign, learn how one independent school leveraged its forward momentum to create a unique post-campaign initiative. Learn how to craft the strategic message around post-campaign efforts, how to develop a targeted case for support, and how development leaders handled return visits to the same top donors who had recently made stretch campaign gifts.
    Learning Objectives:
    • Learn how a post-campaign initiative can help lay the foundation for your fundraising program.
    • Find out how to message your post-campaign needs effectively.
    • Develop a post-campaign case and learn how to sell it to the community.
    • Determine how to tactfully reengage the top donors to your campaign for a second big ask.
    Raymond Happy, Principal and Managing Director, CCS Fundraising; and Carrie Hinrichs, Director of Advancement, The Spence School

  • Strategic Idea Generation: Are the Right People On the Bus?

    The question is a little like the chicken and the egg. Do you start by asking, "Are all of my team members fully deployed on priority tasks? And if so, are we still leaving money and relationships on the table?" Or, do you start by assessing your opportunity and then asking, "Do I have the right team?" A well-practiced consultant who balances fundraising with business plans every day shares some of the best ways to figure out the answers. Hear from your peers about how they have evaluated plans and staff, made a successful case for investment or restructuring, and came out the other side better for the effort.

    Victoria Jones, Executive Vice President, Development Guild

Taste of Texas Reception



Tuesday, Jan. 24


7:30-8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast and Roundtables

Key Session

A Garden of Leaders

Every school and college wants to claim that it prepares its students for leadership, and your school probably has good evidence—from the careers of your graduates—to support the claim. But, aside from military schools, few give much thought to what they are actually doing in the classroom to yield such results—or out of it. A good school helps every kind of student grow toward leadership by giving every student a chance to lead, and by hiring people who set good examples of leadership. In good schools, classroom activities foster leadership. Outside the classroom, teams and student organizations develop leadership under the fine mentoring good schools provide. Independent schools are especially well adapted for these roles because they typically allow students a high degree of independence in and out of the classroom. In addition, such schools are especially good at teaching the communication skills that leaders need, along with the values that make leaders trustworthy. Paul Woodruff draws on his experience as a student and as a teacher to demonstrate how top schools inspire as they educate, sending leaders out into the real world.

Paul Woodruff, Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Break in the Marketplace

Featured Sessions

  • Women in the Philanthropic Driver's Seat: How to Steer Funds to Your School
    Women are driving philanthropy in unprecedented ways. With higher levels of education and $5.15 trillion in earnings and assets—and the equal or greater amount they are inheriting due to the intergenerational transfer of wealth—women are in an increasingly powerful position to make and influence philanthropic decisions as never before. And yet, independent schools routinely fall down the list of giving priorities. What do advancement and development teams need to do differently to encourage women to thrive as donors to our institutions? In this workshop, several industry experts offer their perspectives on women's philanthropy globally and share research findings that account for various trends in this field. Participants have the opportunity to hear how all-girls schools in particular are blazing new trails in women's philanthropy and will come away with practical action steps to implement at their own institutions.

    Kathleen Loehr, Chief Executive, Kathleen Loehr and Associates; Megan Murphy, Executive Director, The National Coalition of Girls' Schools; Andrea Pactor, Associate Director, Women's Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Elizabeth Zeigler, President, Graham-Pelton Consulting

  • Creating Powerful Presentations that Work
    Michael Baldwin has spent the last eight years working with CEOs and senior managers from Fortune 50 companies, and has witnessed the frustration, confusion and fear that so many have about speaking and presenting. He has seen these same clients transformed over the course of his training—and the joy and empowerment they feel as a result—and authored his first book on the topic, Just Add Water. This presentation outlines the key fundamentals for creating, organizing and delivering effective presentations. With easy-to-remember concepts, it will give you the techniques you need to save time and energy in your preparation process. Discover how to create simple, powerful, presentations that work.

    Michael Baldwin, Founder and CEO, Michael Baldwin, Inc.

  • Managing Your Career
    PD TM
    Career choices are too important to leave to chance. You may feel you're ready for a move, or you may want to position yourself to be competitive when the right position comes along. Having clear goals about what you want to do and what you're good at in your professional life are all-important elements that enter into the formula for a successful and rewarding job. Two veteran advancement professionals share decision points on their career paths and join with a leading search consultant to help you think through the steps you should be planning now to maximize your career opportunities.

    Charlie Brown, Director of Advancement, The Pennington School; and Doug Cooney, President, Deerfield Associations Executive Search, Inc.; and Melissa von Stade, Assistant Head for Development, Peddie School

  • Advancement Shark Tank
    This interactive session is modeled on the hit ABC TV show. In the "Advancement Shark Tank" you pitch your most innovative advancement program idea to a panel of fundraising experts to win a chance for three free conference registrations to the 2018 CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference in Anaheim, California. All participants will receive live, on-the-spot feedback from the panel and the audience. A great learning experience for all, participants and attendees will hear how successful professionals approach new projects. They will also hear some of the best new ideas in advancement. Entry instructions. Submit your pitch!
    Judges: Harold Brown, Director of Development, Salisbury School; Susan Moll, Director of Advancement, The Harpeth School; and Libby Roberts, Vice President, Lois L. Lindauer Searches

11:45 AM
Book signing
"Just Add Water" by Michael Baldwin

Conference Adjourns



Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


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