Customize your Global Leadership Forum learning experience by joining an elective session presented by peers from successful advancement shops and partnering organizations. These pre-recorded sessions will be broadcasted with the opportunity to engage with the presenters live via online chat.
*Tentative schedule below is confirmed as of 28 August 2020. More sessions, speakers and details to be listed in early September. Current listing is in alphabetic order by title name.
- A Bumper Crop of Moonshots: Storytelling in the Era of Megagifts
In 2019, donors made 178 gifts of $10 million or more to a university or college—that’s once every two days. Every time your prospects, alumni, students, and faculty see news of a megagift, they take away impressions about how transformative change happens and who has the power to make a difference. Can stories of intent, approach, and impact help all donors and prospects feel their own gifts matter more—not less—in the era of megagifts? We’ll share storytelling examples that echo brand values, invite others in, and inspire wide audiences to think differently about giving. California Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and Lipman Hearne will share collective insights from a multi-year analysis of performative language used by Giving Pledge signatories—the words high-profile donors use when they hope to inspire others.
Diane Binney, Assistant Vice President for Campaigns, California Institute of Technology; Diane MacGillivray, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Northeastern University; Colleen O'Grady, Senior Philanthropic Strategist, Lipman Hearne; and Sara Stern, Executive Vice President, Lipman Hearne
- Addressing the Gap between Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy Among Diverse Communities
According to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the percentage of donors of color will increase from 27% today to 47% by 2030, and students' institutional experience shapes donors. Higher education is grappling with establishing diversity and inclusion strategic plans that 1) addresses access of marginalized populations to their institutions, and 2) create spaces where diverse students feel welcomed. Yet, the research continues to depict the frustrations and isolation these communities continue to experience during their undergraduate experiences. Unfortunately, these circumstances have led to unengaged alumni that do not have a philanthropic affinity for their alma mater. However, according to the "Diversity in Giving" study, every racial and ethnic group has a rich charitable tradition. There is value in institutions moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to more customized fundraising approaches that will resonate with diverse alumni.
This session invites senior leaders into a robust conversation addressing the gap between engagement and philanthropy among alumni of color; and ways their institution can establish campus partnerships that will foster alumni and student advocates.
Alyssia Coates, Director, Academic Initiatives, Diversity and Inclusion, Brown University; and Matthew Brandon, Chief Advancement Officer for Inclusion and Diversity, Virginia Tech
- Alumni Engagement Metrics: A Discussion from Two Participating Institutions
In her editorial in the fall of 2018, Sue Cunningham challenged the use of alumni giving rates by U.S. News and World Report calling it “somewhere between meaningless and harmful.” Citing the work of the Alumni Metrics Task Force and their white paper, she illustrated four key measures to assess alumni involvement. This effort laid the groundwork for the CASE Global Alumni Engagement Metrics Survey in 2019. In this panel, Christy Moss, of the University of Illinois in the US, and Robert Wayman, of Solent University in the UK, apply their perspectives to alumni engagement metrics demonstrating the impact to programs in marketing and communications, annual giving, stewardship and donor relations, alumni relations and events, as well as data and analytics. The panelists will demonstrate how their expertise is contributing to the conversation around engagement metrics with in their own organizations.
Jenny Cooke Smith, Senior Strategic Consultant, AMAtlas, CASE; Christy Moss, Executive Director of Strategic Engagement, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Robert Wayman, Senior Advancement and Civic Engagement Manager, Solent University
- Challenging the Norm in Advancement
We have more data than ever on our potential donors and new technologies arriving daily that promise to harness this data to change the way we reach supporters. This is important because our donors are flooded with messages, they expect a certain type of interaction and are treated as individuals by their favorite sellers and content providers. Higher education advancement has been slow to adopt 21st century engagement techniques and innovation seems like a tough hill to climb for many institutions. It’s time to get in the game. Leveraging AI-based personalization, targeting using accurate and validated predictive analytics, and producing omnichannel campaigns that hit donors where they spend their time really work. How about using predictive analytics to triple response rates? Or serving up AI-driven personalized content in every communication, causing open and click rates to skyrocket? All of this is possible when we challenge the norm of “business as usual” and use the data available to us in strategic, donor-centric ways. Rod and Sumit will share their experiences across numerous institutions in overcoming internal barriers and harnessing new technologies to transform donor engagement. It’s time to challenge the norm - and transform donor engagement.
Sumit Nijhawan, CEO, Ruffalo Noel Levitz; and Rodney Grabowski, Vice President for University Advancement, University at Buffalo
- Developing Staff and Foundation Board Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committees
The Development and Alumni Relations (DEVAR) department at UC Davis is committed to upholding and living the UC Davis Principles of Community and strives to continually identify ways to integrate these Principles while nurturing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture and workplace. We know that the conversations and subsequent actions regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion must be ongoing, and that the discussions and focus will shift in response to global, national, and regional efforts and activities, UC Davis initiatives, and DEVAR staff needs. Given this, DEVAR leadership launched an initiative to form a staff-led DEVAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to lead the effort in addressing these ongoing issues, challenges and opportunities. Similarly, the UC Davis Foundation Board of Trustees has also begun work to form a sub-committee of the Board to focus on DEI in the work that they do as Trustees and volunteers.
This session will address the process for identifying and selecting committee leadership and membership, developing committee charges, committee member terms, and committee succession plans for both leadership and members. In addition, we will cover the partnership between the committees and senior DEVAR leadership and campus leadership, as well as strategic communication plans. We will also share early thoughts on sub-committees and the development of actionable next steps, including training opportunities.
Sam Alavi, Director of Strategic Programs and Initiatives, University Development; Craig Jackson, Jr., Senior Director of Development for the College of Engineering; and Shaun Keister, Vice Chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations, President, UC Davis Foundation, University of California, Davis
- Initiating Innovation: How a Strategic Initiatives Role Can Transform Your Advancement Shop
Today's advancement operations are increasingly pressured to do more with less. To be effective, institutions need to benchmark with peers, prioritize strategic planning, implement best practices, and skillfully execute projects by leveraging data and analytics to make better decisions. We will discuss the function of strategic initiatives along with the skills needed to be successful for an incumbent, and share examples from a number of institutions. A growing number of advancement shops are achieving the benefits of having an office of strategic initiatives to address these issues and realizing that having a function dedicated to cross-team, innovation-oriented projects can promote the use of data to inform decisions. Come and learn how you might transform your advancement operation like we have done at Caltech and Stony Brook University.
A.J. Nagaraj, Assistant Vice President for Advancement Strategy, Stony Brook University; and Mark Longo, Director of Strategic Initiatives, California Institute of Technology
- Managing Advancement Through Institutional Leadership Transitions
Change is the new normal. If you spend any amount of time as a leader in advancement, you’ll inevitably experience institutional leadership transition. Although it can feel disruptive, it’s not necessarily a time to panic – but it’s also too late to effectively prepare once it’s upon you. This interactive session will explore issues and factors to consider as a senior leader in advancement to ensure that you and your team thrive as the torch passes above you. Managing the departure of one CEO and arrival of another requires understanding context, being intentional about your strategy, and thoughtfully articulating advancement’s value proposition. None of this can happen without deliberate planning, so start now. Bring your own reflections, experiences, or war stories of leadership transition to discuss with other session attendees as we engage in an open, honest conversation about what can go wrong – and right – amid change. The arrival of a new president, chancellor, or head of school represents a potential opportunity that is unparalleled in an institution’s evolution. Whether or not we can (or want to be) part of that next iteration depends heavily on the pre-work we’ve done with ourselves and our teams and striking the right balance of humility and positioning to maximize a positive outcome, even if one can never be absolutely guaranteed.
Peter Hayashida, Vice Chancellor, University Advancement, University of California, Riverside
- Multiculturalism and Civility in Leadership
Consider the microregional implications of diversifying your institutional advancement leadership in fundraising, constituent engagement, advancement services, and communications. Now, reflect on the sociological implications that race and ethnicity have on today's intergenerational society, particularly for your staff and your donors. How are you personally prepared to lead your organization with an increasingly diverse donor and human capital base on the horizon? How are you planning to recruit, socialize, and support your current or future deputies?
This session will explore research in underrepresented cultural minorities and provide an application of leadership theory towards the end of preparing leaders to diversify their leadership and strengthen the outcomes of their advancement shops. Topics such as multicultural(ism), authenticity, tokenism, situational leadership, and access as it relates to external affairs officers will be explored.
Isaac Thweatt, Executive Director, Individual Giving, Columbia University
- New Survey: Changing Priorities and Values in Charitable Giving During COVID-19 This session will unveil the latest wave of Brodeur Partners’ Relevance Research, which began nearly ten years ago in 2011. In this Qualtrics survey, the focus was on gaining insight into how people were coping with challenges posed both by the recent COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest.
For senior advancement officers, there is new data (benchmarked over the years) of priorities and choices in charitable causes. There is also an updated perspective and data on the value and factors important in pursuing a higher education degree.
The data also shows the changing patterns and priorities of lives and careers in the last six months. Andrea Coville, CEO of Brodeur, and author of a leading book on Relevance, will explain the values that Americans expect and need in their relationships and organization engagement. The quantitative assessment covers and ranks the importance of family, health, reliable information, financial security and friends.
The information compares the generational attitudinal differences among Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and Silent cohorts.
Andrea Coville, CEO; and John Brodeur, Chairman, Brodeur Partners
- Our Brave New World: Engagement Strategies and Virtual Events in the Time of COVID (and Beyond)
Virtual engagement events and digital donor relations strategies are here to stay, and they represent exciting opportunities to improve on what we were all doing prior to COVID. Why? Because they are a great solution to break through the barriers of engagement with your most important audiences, not only for now, but forever.
Engaging your alumni, donors, and prospects has never been more important, and the challenges you are facing have rarely been so significant. As your fundraising, engagement, and event strategies continue to evolve this fall and into 2021, we can’t lose sight of the fundamentals of connecting with our most important constituents as we translate what we used to do in person to virtual and digital with a continued sense of community and urgency.
This session will provide an overview of emerging strategies for your virtual events and digital engagement activities and engage in a lively and candid discussion about what’s working, what’s not, what’s surprised us, and where we go from here as we work to support our organizations’ missions by connecting with more of and more often with our audiences in this new landscape.
Scott Mory, Vice President for University Advancement, Carnegie Mellon University; and Mark Terranova, Principal, Terranova Advising
- What happens when you cross a higher education institution with an internet start up - and then decide to fundraise?
What would you do if presented with the opportunity to build an advancement shop from the ground up? You get to choose the staff, build your board, and develop your strategies, from scratch. The catch is that you must do this for the largest university in the United States, all of your students and alumni engage online, you are starting more than 20 years after the university began, and the entire institution is in a constant state of change. What would you do and how would you do it? Join me and members of my team during my first year as President of WGU Advancement and I'll share what I've learned, the mistakes I've made, and broader implications for the future of Advancement from my unique perspective.
Annalisa Holcombe, President WGU Advancement, Western Governors University
- Your Alumni Base is Changing. If You Wait to Adapt, They’ll Leave You Behind
At a time when 45 percent of students enrolling in degree-granting higher education institutions are non-white, less/fewer than 10 percent of all fundraising positions are held by non-white professionals. In order to engage the largest number of volunteers, advocates, and donors from our current and future alumni, parent, and friend populations, advancement leaders must pay more attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Closing the representation gap on advancement teams, as well as increasing representation in senior-most roles, is the first step to engaging all of the populations who will be essential to our future success. But we must move beyond just diversifying our head counts and give equal, if not more, attention to “making heads count”. When we prioritize inclusion to support and retain professionals from diverse backgrounds –including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and ability – and invest in cultural competency in our interactions with stakeholders, we can harness the full power of our constituents’ time, talent, advocacy, and financial resources.
Presenters Angelique Grant, Ph.D. and Ron Schiller of Aspen Leadership Group will share insight from their forthcoming CASE book on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in advancement, which details why DEI is a critical, non-negotiable element in a healthy culture of philanthropy. They will convene a panel of senior alumni relations and development leaders who will offer specific examples from their own institutions.
Lisa Cardoza, Vice President, University Advancement, California State University, Sacramento; Angelique Grant, Senior Consultant & Vice President, Aspen Leadership Group; Paul Rucker, Vice President, Alumni and Stakeholder Engagement at University of Washington; Executive Director, UW Alumni Association; Ron Schiller, Founding Partner, Aspen Leadership Group; and Matthew Winston, Senior Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Virginia Tech