Senior Forum

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Saturday, Jan. 21 • 1:45-6:15 PM
Sunday, Jan. 22 • 8:30-11:30 AM

Join your peers at a special preconference Senior Forum designed for independent school advancement professionals with 10 or more years' experience and/or individuals with significant experience who are currently serving in a senior management role. Separate registration fee required.


Saturday, Jan. 21

1:45 PM
Welcome and introductions

Performance Characteristics for Advancement Professionals

Advancement integrates your admission, development and marketing communications programs at the service of your school's mission. Each specialty area—within the advancement area—has particular performance characteristics needed to carry out the function with great effectiveness. Identifying the characteristics most pertinent to each role in your advancement area will guide your school in hiring outstanding professionals. Identify those characteristics and demonstrate how they help you in coaching, mentoring and supporting those already at your school toward their greatest effectiveness and impact.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess and evaluate your school's total advancement program with clear understandable metrics.
  • Create a plan for program improvement that will maximize your advancement team's potential.
  • Provide a structure complete with individual responsibilities and goals for each team member.
  • Better develop, direct and supervise your programs to improved effectiveness and efficiency.

Paula Schwartz, Senior Consultant, Independent School Management; and Herbert Soles, Assistant Headmaster for Development, Norfolk Academy


Philanthropy Outlook

While memories of the Great Recession linger, the only thing certain about the economy is that nothing is certain. Economic growth has been steady but is lagging behind historic post-recession trends. Similarly, job growth has benefitted some workers at some education and income levels, but not others. The Philanthropy Outlook study, written and researched by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, examines hundreds of economic indicators, compares how those indicators affected philanthropy in previous years, and then forecasts how expected economic trends in 2017 and 2018 are likely to influence your fundraising.

Sarah K. Nathan, Associate Director, The Fund Raising School

Joint networking reception with preconference forums


Sunday, Jan. 22

8:30-10:00 AM
Strategic Decision Making

In today's fast-moving world with enormous volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, every organization has difficulty making effective decisions. This session presents the common decision barriers seen in humans and organizations. Explore cognitive biases and behaviors that often contribute to a poor outcome, and learn leadership practices to improve decision making. Discuss the importance of experimentation to test and learn and the identify the role of analytics, judgment and critical thinking in the decision process.

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

Trends in High Net Worth Philanthropy

Philanthropy is changing rapidly in response to economic and societal issues. In order to be successful, schools need to be aware of institutional characteristics that attract million dollar gifts as well as differences in motivations and behavior of high net worth donors. The session highlights the 2016 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy while providing insight into the dynamic landscape of philanthropy based on research conducted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Sarah K. Nathan, Associate Director, The Fund Raising School


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