2023 Conference Sessions

Sessions will be added here as they’re confirmed, so check back!
We’ll have more than forty sessions in all.

AI and Fundraising
Cameron Hall, University of South Carolina, Harold Williams, Old Dominion University

Join our moderators for an open forum on the ways AI is integrating into annual giving, advancement and more. Bring your already-implemented uses, your planned or potential uses, and all your questions for this open discussion.

The Annual Giving Pivot – From Participation to Pipeline
Yoon Van Hout, University of Florida

With U.S. News & World Report dropping alumni giving percentage from rankings, many of you may be wondering what’s next. During this session, learn about how you can pivot your signature strategies, like Giving Day, away from participation to focus on creating more opportunities to engage, solicit and steward alumni and donors in meaningful ways that build the major gift pipeline. Hear about how the University of Florida is reimagining Annual Giving to increase engagement, revenue and donor retention and maximizing ROI!

Annual Giving Stewardship: Collaboration and Coordination
Harold Williams, Old Dominion University

Join Harold for a session all about stewardship, and how to effectively partner with Donor Relations and the Alumni Association to streamline communications, prevent donor fatigue and uncover new donors.

Building a Better Donor Experience
James Barnard, BWF

Research tells us that the main reason donors renew their support (and don’t), boil down to the donor experience. With more tools than ever at our disposal, every advancement program can offer personal outreach at scale and create a valuable experience that keeps donors hooked. In this session we’ll talk about building your engagement-first fundraising program – from the team, tools, and tactics to audience development, marketing, and measuring success.

A ChatGPT Forum
Cameron Hall, University of South Carolina

Join Cameron for a small-group, how-to, deeper-dive into the practical uses of ChatGPT as a fundraising tool and time-saving resource in annual giving.

Curious about Coding? An introduction to Python for Annual Giving
Hannah Davis, Georgia State University

Python is quickly becoming one of the most used tools in our annual giving shop for all things data. Learn how to clean and segment large audiences using the Pandas and NumPy packages, easily code and analyze variables to predict donor churn and retention, or even create an alumni engagement score. Discover free resources to help you learn, implement, and start using Python to accelerate your program and save you precious hours.

Direct Mail: Identifying the Right Frequency to Optimize Results
Sara Pond and Colin Waite, MCR

A balanced approach yields results! Yet identifying that balance for each organization, audience group, solicitation channel and budget is different. Join Sara and Colin to discuss RFM tactics used to drive solicitation frequency, as well as explore a variety of direct mail examples thoughtfully packaged with other channels that prime audiences and yield results. Contribute to the discussion by sharing what your team considers when formulating its annual giving approach to what, how and when you should ask. This session showcases ways to balance your annual giving solicitation plan:
– LOTS of Direct Mail Samples!
– RFM Solicitation Strategies
– Audience Priming
– Donor Journeys

Doing More With Less in a Small Shop
Shelby Orlando, University of Mary Washington and Tyler Davidson, Stillman College

Session description to follow.

Gloria Goosby, The Obama Foundation and Raphael Walters, University of Miami

Whatever your alphabet, join Gloria and Raphael for a discussion forum on digital/philanthropy engagement officers. Who’s in your portfolio? How big is your portfolio? How do you measure success? And what digital/online tools are valuable in your work? Bring your questions and answers to this chat with two practitioners.

Empower the Future: Unleashing the Potential of Student Fundraisers
Ashley Devenport, University of South Florida and and Fiona Tibble, VanillaSoft

It’s time to challenge the notion that “phone is dead” and instead explore how Advancement shops & their student fundraisers can leverage the digital engagement center to meet alumni and donors where they want to be met. By crafting a strategy to create compelling content to captivate potential donors and placing a premium on the student employees themselves, USF has witnessed remarkable increases in alumni engagement and overall stronger relationships with their valued donors. Throughout their presentation, Andres and Fiona will delve into all details related to USF’s innovative approach to their work: everything from the creation of the Digital Engagement Center, exploring dynamic strategies that leverage technology, and leveling up the overall student fundraiser experience. It’s time for Advancement shops to move beyond generic outreach, evolve personalized strategies that resonate on a deeper level, and embrace the student fundraisers that help tie the puzzle pieces together.

From Disengaged to Donors: Using Digital Data to Unlock Affinity and Engagement
Kyle Vaughn, Vinyl Marketing

Your institution is sitting on a powerful wealth of data that has the power to transform the way your team fundraises, largely left untapped industry-wide. In this session, we’ll cover how to unlock the vast potential of your institution’s data and transform it into a powerful tool for donor engagement in and out of campaigns. Discover how to use digital metrics and funnel strategies to nurture the relationship between your institution and its alumni – from disengaged alum to major donors and beyond with a clearer picture of engagement and affinity than ever before. This session will be led by Kyle Vaughn, who used these strategies to help Ashland University close their most recent comprehensive campaign at 2X its campaign goal following a failed feasibility study in his former role as Executive Director of Institutional Advancement.

Fundraising BS: Leveraging Behavioral Science to Drive Donor Conversion Rates
Troy Steinmetz, GiveCampus

Making it easier for donors to give may just be the most effective strategy in the savvy fundraiser’s toolkit—and we’ve got the conversion metrics (and science!) to prove it. In this session, we’ll show you how applying classic principles of persuasion science to your everyday fundraising challenges can dramatically improve donor engagement and move the needle on dollars raised. Using the Fogg Behavior Model as a framework for understanding donor motivation and ability, Troy Steinmetz from GiveCampus will share the simple strategies his team has implemented to achieve impressive real-world results.

Gen Z in Advancement: Cultivating a Culture of Success for Next-Gen Professionals
Josh Privette, NC State

As the newest generation to enter the workforce, Gen Z brings fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and unparalleled digital fluency to the advancement profession. To harness the full potential of these dynamic individuals and foster a culture of success, it is crucial for organizations to understand and adapt to the unique needs and aspirations of Gen Z advancement professionals. The “Gen Z in Advancement: Cultivating a Culture of Success for Next-Gen Professionals” session is a forward-thinking exploration of strategies and best practices to engage, empower, and retain Gen Z talent within the philanthropic sector.

The Impact of Volunteers and Ambassadors for Giving Days and Crowdfunding
Brittany Staggers, University of South Carolina|

In this presentation, we’ll explore the dynamic role of Giving Day Ambassadors and Fundraising Volunteers in enhancing fundraising campaigns. Giving Days are pivotal for nonprofits and institutions, and harnessing the energy and connections of committed volunteers can be transformative. We’ll cover recruitment, training, and how they can leverage personal networks, personal stories, and more. These volunteers are a driving force for fundraising success and long-term organizational sustainability.

An Independent Schools Forum (Two Sessions)
Jessica Burns Fugate, PhD, CFRE, Academy of the Lakes, Brandy Miller, Pine Crest School, Juan Gomez and George Montez, Palmer Trinity School

Join Jessica, Brandy, Juan and George for two open Q&A session about all things independent schools. Parent (and grandparent!) fundraising, special events, project-based fundraising, giving days and more.

An Introduction to Annual Giving: Metrics, Methods, Messages and More
Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

It’s been twenty years since Bob wrote his first “Innovations in Annual Giving” book for CASE. Much has changed since, but much remains the same. Bob has provided an introduction to annual giving at CASE fundraising institutes for more than two decades. Come and get your annual giving overview — a great foundation for the conference sessions that will follow! Take-away learning outcomes from this session will include:
◾ An overview of an annual giving program’s role in engaging a broad base of support, prospect identification and segmentation, and subsequent donor relationship pipeline development;
◾ A discussion of traditional, new and emerging annual giving fundraising methods and channels, from the author of three CASE books on “innovations in annual giving;”
◾ A collection of examples of annual giving case-for-support messages that resonate (and why) with their audiences;
◾ Essential metrics for measuring and evaluating annual giving program success in a multi-channel world;
This annual giving orientation is ideal for new members of the team (or those in need of a refresher). What do pipelines, pyramids, “the wave,” Starbucks, Cheerios, and Michael Bloomberg all have to do with annual giving and a broad base of support?

Leadership Annual Giving
Nick Herman and Kathleen Howley, RNL, and Sharon Horinka, UNC Charlotte

Three years ago, UNC Charlotte set out to transform Leadership giving outreach. Today, they are working to identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership prospects at a scale that was previously impossible. In this session, select UNC Charlotte staff, along with RNL will talk about building the program, the challenges they had along the way, how they ultimately found success at scale, and engage participants in a lively discussion that will prepare them for building or refining their own leadership annual giving programs.

Multi-Channel Anniversary Campaigns
Hannah Davis and Ashley Watts, Georgia State University

Hear how gift anniversary campaigns have increased donor retention and helped increase direct mail revenue by 40% in two years at Georgia State University with a three-pronged approach: direct mail, email campaign, and texting. We’ll talk about successes and failures, how much segmentation is too much, how to leverage texting for Donor Experience Officer outreach, and what’s next on the horizon.

Other Duties As Assigned – The Secret Annual Giving Skillset
Justin Ferrell, Coker University

Have you ever looked at the line that was included in your job description and wondered what exactly those ‘other duties as assigned’ are? In this session, we’ll look at those job responsibilities that are rarely explicitly spelled out in job postings, and for which there is very little, if any, formalized training. Be it negotiating with vendors, reviewing contracts, communicating with advancement services in their language, or making friends with financial services, we’ll discuss some general, and specific, strategies for maximizing these ‘other duties’ and using them to enhance your career. Join Justin for a discussion about the hidden skills necessary to annual giving success.

“Our Gift, Our Legacy” A Story of Student Philanthropy
Danielle Williams, Spelman College

Session description to follow.

“Out of the Box” Appeal Ideas – What Worked. What Didn’t.
Shelia-Marie Stacy, Flagler College with Bob Burdenski

Flagler College had success offering a gift incentive of… old mailboxes? Name a place on campus in your honor… for two weeks? A university appeal that celebrated the demolition of an old residence hall? Make a gift of $100 and receive… a cafeteria tray in honor of the retiring dining hall manager? A Lego kit featuring the Dean? They all really happened, and there are many more where they came from. Join Shelia-Marie and Bob for a rundown of some actual “out of the box” appeal ideas and themes, and hear which ones worked (Flagler mailboxes!) and which ones… well… did not. Would they work at your institution?

Pairing Engagement and Tech: Polishing the Alumni Transition to Donor
Sharon Horinka, UNC Charlotte, Morgan McSweeney, and K.J. Moses, Mongoose

Join Sharon, Morgan and K.J. for this interactive session to learn more about utilizing texting as a key strategy for your Annual Giving shop, no matter the size. Learn how UNC Charlotte has utilized Mongoose’s Cadence Engagement Platform to boost fundraising initiatives, engage alumni, and steward donors. We will share tips, tricks, and best practices on pipeline development and how your team can capitalize on target segments to maximize technology platforms and boost donor count and philanthropic dollars!

Planning a Successful Giving Day
Shelby Orlando and Cadi Treviño Pinto
University of Mary Washington

Join Shelby and Cadi for an open and collaborative session on discussing the ins and outs of executing a successful Giving Day and Giving Tuesday. They will share their tips and tricks on securing challenges and matches, engaging alumni and students, and partnering with faculty and staff. They look forward to facilitating this discussion and hearing about your successes.

Racial Equity & Philanthropy: Identifying Initiatives Gaps
Maia McGill, Florida International University

Collaboration and boundary crossing research is critical to identifying initiatives gaps at the Institutional and College/Unit levels. This session will explore barriers related to Inclusive Philanthropy and strategic data gathering. We will also reflect on how racial inequities are built into your Institutions philanthropic/fundraising norms and the negative impact of using one-dimensional data in Inclusive Philanthropy.

A Student Giving Program Case Study
Caroline Smoak and Ellen Eigner, The Citadel Foundation

Session description to follow.

Using Alumni Engagement Data in Annual Giving
Heather Smith Junod, University of Central Florida

USF is an active participant in CASE’s annual Alumni Engagement Metrics (AEM) data sharing and benchmarking, and is finding synergies with alumni engagement and annual giving segmentation and strategy. Hear from Heather about the USF experience and the CASE AEMs, and join a discussion on integrated alumni engagement and annual giving.

What is Missing in Digital Fundraising: Unveiling Opportunities for Success
Josh Privette, NC State

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, fundraising professionals are continuously exploring innovative ways to engage donors, raise funds, and drive impactful campaigns. As technology becomes increasingly central to the fundraising process, it is essential to identify and address the gaps or missed opportunities that might be hindering organizations from maximizing their digital fundraising potential. The “What is Missing in Digital Fundraising” session aims to bring together gift officers to delve into the key challenges and untapped opportunities in the realm of digital fundraising. By exploring these gaps, the session will provide valuable insights to help attendees optimize their fundraising efforts, adapt to changing donor behaviors, and unlock new avenues for success.

What’s the Big Deal? Key Differences Between a Call Center & an Engagement Center
Jeff Pacini, David Wishart and Kindra Samons, LEGENDS

The future of the student call center continues to be a hot topic across the industry. The term “Engagement Center” has become a buzz word, but what does that really mean? How is it different from the traditional call center? During this session we dispel the myths, share insights, explore data and inspire your institution to evolve your call center from a “channel” to a coordinated “strategy.”

Writing for Annual Giving
Shannon Dale, Grand Valley State University

Our popular and veteran SEAGC wordsmith will lead a forum discussion on the annual giving writing process. What themes resonate? What voices do you use – including the voice of your institution’s leadership? What considerations do you make for different audiences? How do you use humor? Urgency? Guilt? Peer pressure? When do you write with brevity, when do you write an extended proposal, and when do you write for “however long it takes to tell the story?” Join us for some direction and some discussion on ways to approach your annual giving writing objectives.