Noon – 1:00 PM Workshop Check-In Welcome to Denver! Stop by the registration desk any time before 1:00 to check in and pick up your conference materials.
1:00 – 1:30 Introductions and Welcome This is your conference, let’s start it out right! Join conference faculty to kick off the program, meet your fellow attendees, and set the stage to make the most of our time together.
1:30 – 2:15 Finding Your Institutional Voice All Faculty Whether you’re new to your institution or you’ve been there for decades finding your voice and learning how to talk about the impact of annual giving on your campus is a must. In this session, each faculty member will talk about how they learned the ethos, culture, and narrative of their institutions and how they leverage that knowledge to produce results. Storytelling is an important part of the annual giving framework, and each campus has a uniquely special story to tell -- what’s your story?
2:15 – 2:30 Refreshment Break
2:30 – 3:45 Countdown clocks, challenge matches, and big numbers: All things Giving Day Giving Days have taken the advancement world by storm in recent years. Whether you have one, plan to add one, or continue to be asked about it by leadership, donors, or colleagues, Giving Days are a topic that keeps coming up. In this session, we’ll review the benefits, struggles, planning process, and scalability of giving days, so you can decide if adding this tactic is right for your institution and most importantly, your donors.
3:45 – 4:00 Stretch Break
4:00 – 5:00 Lightning Round with the Faculty: 10-minute mini-presentations followed by Q&A
How to make a career in Annual Giving
How to talk about U.S. News and World Report rankings
Quick appeal checklist
Excel formulas we love
Wildcard: audience choice
5:00 – 6:00 Networking Reception
6:00 PM Conference adjourns for the day Dinner on your own.
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions Join your peers for optional small group discussions during breakfast.
9:00 – 10:15 Elective Sessions (choose one):
Weathering the Waves: All things Phonathon Once an anchor for many annual giving programs, call centers are facing turbulent tides. Is it ‘program overboard,’ or can we ‘right the ship’? It depends. But how do you know whether phonathon is still right for your institution? Or what if you plan to weather the storm, but you’re looking for a few more buoys? This session is for you.
We will engage in a candid discussion about all things phonathon. Starting from the dock by reviewing the basic techniques, we’ll venture out to discuss and tackle the storms we’ve faced along the way. Then we’ll explore deeper waters with emerging trends and new ideas. Come prepared to explore fresh ways to redefine call center success for the next century – or at least until the next major wave.
Open Me / Read Me: Getting Results from Direct Mail! In a busy world of multi-channel communications, direct mail continues to be a tried-and-true vehicle for Annual Giving. When competing for attention, what makes your mail piece stand out and get noticed? We will talk about what makes for a compelling mail piece and how different types of institutions, both big and small, can get big results from direct mail.
Digital and Social Media Engagement The world has gone digital. Are you ready? In this session, we will discuss how to integrate digital tools, social media, and evocative storytelling into your annual giving plan. As we fight for the attention of our donors and constituents, annual giving programs need to consider the multiple ways our communities interact with the organizations that they hold most dear. The creative use of digital marketing and social campaigns can help to fortify existing multi-channel marketing, solicitation, and stewardship efforts.
10:15 – 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:45 Small Tweaks – Big Improvements Speakers: All Faculty In this session, we harness the collective brain trust of the faculty to share some of the little things you can do for your program to yield big results. This collaborative session takes advantage of the decades of annual giving experience represented by the faculty and touches on topics relevant to small schools, big schools, public, private, secondary schools, and even non-profit organizations. Think of this as the punch list of what to do now to show immediate ROI.
11:45 AM – 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 – 2:30 Elective Sessions (choose one):
How to Get Nerdy with Numbers: Basic Annual Giving Reporting The concept of a data-driven program can feel overwhelming or like you need a background in statistics. Not very many of us bring that to the table, and yet data is the lifeblood of any annual giving program. We use it to report on results, evaluate our success, build our plans, and improve performance. In this session, we’ll talk about how to effectively track your key performance indicators for each channel, segment, and project. Learn how to use data to help manage your decision-making and planning processes. Discover how to report results internally and externally effectively. And, because it’s fun, we’ll get nerdy with some equations (no math degree necessary).
The Virtual Gift Officer Revolution
Elective Session Rerun Are you feeling a little FOMO (fear of missing out) because you attended the phonathon session with Astria but wanted to join Colin’s Direct Mail session or Elizabeth’s digital marketing talk? Fear not! We know you’re here to learn and grow your toolkit, and sometimes the two sessions you want to take are stacked right on top of each other. We hear you! We will take a poll and rerun an elective based on audience demand. Use your voice and tell us which session we should ‘rerun’ by popular vote.
2:30 – 2:45 Refreshment Break
2:45 – 4:00 Interactive Group Workshop Get the blood flowing with a series of interactive group activities focused on real-world annual giving conundrums. The faculty has curated scenarios from their campus experiences over decades of active annual giving leadership. Come prepared to meet new people, exchange ideas, and work together to solve annual giving problems – you might just find your lunch group too
4:00 – 4:15 Stretch Break
4:15 – 5:30 Electives (choose one):
Engaged Volunteers, Engaging Events Is your reunion program on repeat? Does your affinity group programming need an upgrade? Or, are the gatherings great, but recently you’ve noticed a “disconnect” between the party and the purpose?
Participants in this interactive session will engage in brainstorming activities that generate fresh ideas to boost these vital programs and build volunteer structures that help fuel their success. Take away tangible resources that inspire buy-in, engage volunteers, and help you do more with less. Then, explore techniques to integrate these programs in ways that help shape the engagement and giving lifecycle for participants.
The Rise and (Pit)Falls of Incentives “Give a gift, get a gift” has been used worldwide to attract donors. Through acquisition, renewal, or re-hooking the long lapsed, these tools are often talked about in small circles. Whether it be socks, a calendar, PJ pants, or a reusable straw – these carrots have a point of activation for our donors who are both philanthropic in nature and those who perhaps like rewards for that behavior. But when is the best time to use them? What are some potential wins and risks in offering them to your donor base? How do you fulfill those, and how successful are they YOY? Join Colin and Elizabeth for a conversation detailing their secrets and experience using incentives.
Elective Rerun We’re wrapping up day two, and maybe you’re wishing you could’ve spent time with Jake getting nerdy with numbers, but you also wanted to hear from John about how he leveraged digital giving experience officers to build his pipeline. You’re in luck because we are giving you the power to pick the second elective rerun. We’ll post a list of options, and you’ll decide who presents twice.
5:30 PM Conference adjourns for the day Dinner on your own
8:00 – 9:00 AM Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions and Faculty Office Hours Join your peers for optional small group discussions during breakfast. Individuals who signed up for faculty one-on-one sessions will have their appointments during this time.
9:00 – 10:00 Lightning Round #2 with the Faculty: 10-minute mini presentations followed by Q&A
Time to say goodbye: how to break up with a volunteer.
How to stay informed
Finding creative inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
How to share what your boss needs to know when
Wildcard: audience choice.
10:15 – 11:30 The power, purpose, and future of annual giving In a philanthropic landscape that is increasingly crowded annual giving is the key to building a strong and healthy donor pipeline. In this session, we’ll wrap up the entire conference hitting on key points regarding stewardship, donor delight, metrics, segmentation, working smart, managing up, volunteerism, and the important of you. This feel-good session is sure to inspire and serves as a great capstone to the conference.
11:30 AM – Noon Final Faculty Q&A and Wrap Up All Faculty