Conferences & Training
Gift Processing and Donor Records Workshop: Fall Session


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 1, Wednesday, Oct. 24

Noon - 1:00 PM

1:00 - 1:15
Welcome and Introductions

1:15 - 2:15
Faculty TEN Talks
Join the faculty as each gives a ten-minute TED style talk to kick off the conference with thought provoking and creative ideas.

2:30 - 3:30
Do You Have an Image Problem?
Do your colleagues think of gifts and records processing as nothing more than data entry? Are decisions made "upstream" with little awareness or consideration of the impact these decisions have when it comes time to process gifts? If you find that you are frequently excluded from decision making processes that directly impact your work or that your processing teams are not valued as more than a data entry group, you may have an image problem.

In this session, we will review strategies and ideas that create awareness and understanding that gifts and records management is much more than data entry and that "data" colleagues can and should be engaged as strategic partners in all fundraising activities.

3:45 - 5:00
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Data Governance
    You know how finance and HR exist to protect and best use the business value derived from our financial and people assets? Well, data is another important asset that without a data governance program can result in poor data quality, decreased level of trust, lost opportunities, higher risk of fines and a bad reputation, and much more. So data governance is needed, but it can be a daunting program to undertake all at once. What if you have very few (or zero) extra resources to commit to it from the start? What should your initial focus be? What foundational blocks should you put in place to build a data governance program and start managing your data as an asset? This session provides potential solutions to all these questions.
  • CASE Standards
    Do you know the CASE Standards and Management Guidelines are for reporting, including campaign reporting? Learn the basic framework, with highlights of best practices and decision factors. Explore topics ranging from the differences between the Voluntary Support of Education Survey (VSE) and the CASE Campaign Survey to counting special types of gifts like deferred gifts and gifts in kind, to the ever-popular topic of calculating alumni participation. Bring the questions that bedevil you at your institution.
  • Managing Up: How to Bridge the Gap Between You and Your Boss
    Let's face it: you rarely (if ever) get to choose your supervisor. Philosophical differences, personality clashes, power struggles and interoffice drama can all contribute to a detrimental relationship between an employee and his or her boss. Maybe you and your boss aren't quite seeing eye to eye. You can change that! Managing up is better for you, better for your boss and better for your organization. Learn valuable techniques to turn your relationship—and your career— into a great success story.

5:00 - 6:00
Networking Reception
Join conference speakers and your colleagues to network and socialize after the first day of the conference.

Conference Adjourns for the Day
Dinner on your own. Group dine-arounds available.

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Day 2, Thursday, Oct. 25

8:00 - 9:00 AM
Join your peers for optional small group discussions during breakfast. Share your biggest challenges, review hot topics and discuss solutions with your peers. 

9:00 - 10:15
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Keep It Clean: Take an Active Approach to Data Hygiene
    Learn how to set and achieve data hygiene goals. This session covers data entry standards, audits and appends (data purchases). Find out how to use your data hygiene metrics to promote your advancement services team within your advancement team.
  • Privacy Standards and Advancement: GDPR, FERPA, HIPAA, and Getting the Job Done
    Advancement professionals at educational institutions need access to information from student and alumni records that are protected by FERPA. Grateful patient programs at healthcare organizations need access to healthcare records that fall under HIPAA. And now GDPR has added new rules that affect how we use or even maintain data about European Union data subjects. Look at these privacy laws from a distinctively advancement-focused perspective, looking at the GDPR, FERPA, and HIPAA provisions that provide us the access that we need to do our jobs while maintaining the highest standards of compliance.
  • Matching Gift Magic
    Matching gifts can be an excellent way to add to your fundraising totals, but is often an area that is overlooked, reduced due to complexity and work load, or just plain loathed. This session provides ideas, tools and techniques to help with managing matching gifts. Explore portal management, verification follow up, donor follow up, new tools on tracking, gift information and donor claim management to help make matching management easier. Review matching gift recording and reporting, fee calculation macros and much more. There will be something for everyone no matter where you are in the spectrum of matching gifts management (if you are curious about matching gifts but someone else handles it in your office, or you are an expert and you can share your tips and tricks with the group.)

10:30 - 11:45
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Data Enhancement Practices
    Maintaining and enhancing constituent data is a continual process for records management teams, whether that's getting a new address after a move, finding a phone number to support a calling program, or identifying a potential prospect in a database. What are nonprofit institutions doing to enhance their data? In 2016 the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Advancement conducted a detailed survey about 20 data quality/data enhancement practices, from basic NCOA processing to employment appends to wealth screenings to social media appends. In this session we'll look at what the survey respondents said about the data enhancement practices are being conducted, the use of vendors, how results are reviewed and applied, and how satisfied the nonprofits are with the results. We'll also look at a number of the specific enhancements to provide advice about how to make those projects as successful as possible. Come prepared to share your successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
  • Gifts and Records Entry: The Foundation of Analytics
    As a records and/or gifts professional, you possess information that is critical to the success of any fundraising data analytics project undertaken by your team. Look at how analytics projects rely on the data you manage, your potential role in an analytics project and career paths to analytics. Identidy a few fun projects you can do in just a few hours if you're ready to try some analytics back at your office.
  • More than Just a Measurement: Making Your Bio and Gift Metrics Work Harder So You Can Work Smarter
    Metrics are all the rage in advancement services shops these days, but when we talk metrics do we know exactly what we are measuring and why? Explore ways to involve your whole team and drive the behavior and performance you are looking for in a positive way. At the end of the session you will leave with resources, tools and techniques to develop and/or refine your metrics program for gift and/or biographic data.

11:45 AM- 1:15 PM
Lunch on Your Own

1:15 - 2:30
Organizational Change Management: Key Principles, Methods and Tools to Turn the Pain of Change into Gains and Bring Lasting Change
Are you on the threshold of a major system change, upgrade or migration? Have you recently undergone a reorganization? Has anyone ever said to you, "This takes too much time" or "Why can't we go back to the old system?" If so, then this session is for you. Join us as we illustrate key concepts and tools of organizational change management within the context of advancement services. Drawing upon real-world experience, we address the process people go through when they are faced with change and how to work resistance into an opportunity. During the second half, we encourage you to engage with our panel of been-there-done-that experts who share real-word examples of how to implement organizational change management methods based the results of our pre-session survey and address questions posed by workshop attendees, like you.

2:45 - 4:00
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Electronic Gift Transmittals and Adjustments
    Eliminate duplicate (and triplicate) data entry error, increase turnaround time, and improve accuracy by ditching all that paper and switching to electronic transmittal logs for your new gifts, pledges, as well as adjustments. Particularly beneficial for institutions with offices in different locations, learn how to adopt and adapt your existing systems to become an even better well-oiled machine.
  • Integrating Gift Processing and FASB Accounting Standards
    Philanthropic gifts have a double life, equally vital to the advancement team that raises them and to the finance office that accounts for them. Good communication between these offices is essential. That communication can, however, be complicated, because advancement and finance look at these transactions a little differently. This session will help advancement professionals understand what gift revenue looks like from the finance side, identify specific types of gifts that require special attention, and generally equip advancement staff to be the best possible partners for their colleagues in the finance office. (It will also help anyone from finance understand why advancement looks at gifts the way that we do.)
  • Business Glossary Workshop
    It's estimated that any employee using data spends 9.5 hours a week searching for information while using wrong information at least once a week. Why? Mostly because not everyone refers to the same thing when certain business terms are used, and finding the right information is like a treasure hunt. How many times did you get multiple different totals for your donor count or contactable constituents? Are planned gifts and expectancies the same thing? What is an anonymous donor? These are all questions a business glossary can help with. Participate in this workshop to learn:
    • The value of business glossaries and why you should have one,
    • How to start and develop one yourself,
    • How to create unambiguous and consistent definitions,
    • What tools you can use and
    • Best practices for term names and definitions.

4:15 - 5:00
Faculty Panel Q&A
End day two with a discussion with our faculty panel. Come prepared with your questions.

Conference adjourns for the day


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Day 3, Friday, Oct. 26

7:45 - 9:00 AM
Breakfast and Faculty Office Hours
Join your peers for optional small group discussions during breakfast. Sign-ups for faculty office hours are available at the registration desk. 

9:00 - 10:15
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Small (but Mighty) Shops Workshop
    Discuss the most exciting solutions you've learned here at the conference...which you are pretty sure will never work in your shop because of your size. We will use our collective brainpower to solve problems and share ideas that will work in small shops, from scaling down large-shop solutions to abandoning some tropes of advancement services. Bring questions, current challenges and creative solutions that have worked for your shop.
  • Gift Processing and Bio Records Working Together
    Gift processing and biographical records have often been viewed as two separate functions, sometimes in entirely different departments. By cross-training staff and breaking down the barriers that organizational structure may impose, much greater overall capacity can be achieved. Explore various ways to achieve this, which will only become more important in times of shrinking budgets.

10:30 - 11:30
Effective Customer Service in Advancement Services: A Brave Approach to Best Practice
At its core, an advancement services shop is a service-based organization—one that ultimately measures its success by how effectively it can deliver quality customer service to a diverse set of internal and external customers. Yet this can often feel like walking a tightrope between conflicting needs. So, if you are looking for ways to strike that ideal balance, then join us to review best practices in the delivery of customer service to advancement services' diverse and unique customer base. Learn how to better manage the customer experiences through mindful intentions as well as how to conquer the fear of customer-satisfaction-survey highs and lows once and for all.

11:30 AM- Noon
Closing Remarks

Conference Adjourns

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