2022 – Tuesday Sessions

Here are NEAGC’s sessions for Tuesday, April 26th. All times are Eastern.

Download the at-a-glance conference schedule.

Note that recordings for all sessions (except in-person-only sessions as noted) will be available for viewing after the conference. 

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Opening Conference Welcome
Andy Bernstein, NEAGC President
Rodney M. Grabowski, MBA, CFRE, Vice President, University at Buffalo

Stephanie Rasamny, MainSpring Media Communications – Platinum Sponsor
Opening Keynote Session
Future Philanthropy – The Tech, Trends and Talent Defining New Civic Leadership 
Ryan Ginard, The Australian National University

Ryan Ginard is a civic connector and fundraiser with over 15 years of experience in government, higher education, nonprofits, and organized philanthropy.  An active writer and thinker about future directions in philanthropy, Ryan has had his work highlighted in numerous national publications and has been a speaker at internationally renowned conferences such as South By South West (SXSW), the Public Relations Society of America’s International Conference (PRSA ICON), Good Tech Fest and Social Media Week, on themes focused on civic technology and immersive storytelling. His new book, Future Philanthropy – The Tech, Trends and Talent Defining New Civic Leadership is out now through Wise Ink Publishing and has reached the #1 new release spot across a number of nonprofit, philanthropy & charity categories in both the U.S. and Australia.

10:30-11:45 a.m.

“Segments of One” – The Art of Personalized Communication
Charlene Culler, Hunter College
Jonathan Van Oss, Pledgemine

Picture this: Donor communication as personal as a living room conversation. Pieces whose stories resonate, convey a genuine thank you, congratulate milestones, and ultimately increase giving. Join Charlene Culler from Hunter College and Jonathan Van Oss of Pledgemine as they show you how you can treat your donors as “Segments of One”.

Future-Proof Your Fundraising
Ryan Ginard, The Australian National University

If we’ve learned anything over the past two years, it’s that the world can change faster than we ever imagined. Staying current is no longer enough so we must be prepared for whatever comes next. Building on the themes of his keynote, Ryan Ginard will discuss how future focused thinking, strategic phasing and the adoption of new tech processes can set your organization up for success. Whether you are a frontline fundraiser, donor or board member looking to drive new impact, this session will provide you with insight into the skills, techniques and outside the box thinking to make your organization thrive in the future (heck, we might even look at a totally different box all together!).

High Society: Let’s Talk Gift Clubs
Nicole Shepherd and Jennifer Silverman-Van Treese, University at Buffalo

There are many different theories about gift clubs or recognition societies. Countless hours can be spent talking in circles about a gift club for this and a gift club for that. What if we started over? What if we streamline our efforts? What does that look like? In this session we’ll explore how the University at Buffalo has built one noteworthy university-wide gift club for all annual donors through the Loyal Blues, and how they recently launched a university-wide gift club for lifetime donors, the University Founders.

Incorporating Athletic Fundraising Into the Annual Giving Plan
Meaghan Connolly, Bryant University

Learn creative strategies and initiatives centered around athletic fundraising through crowdfunding projects, Giving Days with sport specific challenges, and leveraging milestone events and celebrations to increase participation and raise dollars.

Noon-1:00 p.m.

Managing Your Career
Charlie Brown and Melissa von Stade, The Pennington School

Career choices are too important to leave to chance. You may feel ready to make the next move or you may want to ensure you are ready when the right position comes along. Knowing what you are good at and how to best market yourself is key to professional advancement. Achieving work-life balance is also essential for a successful and rewarding career. Two advancement professionals with decades of combined leadership and management experience will help you think through the key elements of managing your career opportunities.

Try Something: Don’t Let Perfection Stand in the Way of Progress
Kara Getkin, University of Pittsburgh

We’ve all been there–you just saw someone else’s award-winning appeal and now you’re dreaming of the day when your appeal will look that fantastic and be segmented that thoughtfully. We all have big ideas that we just know would be amazing if only we had the time to sit down and work out all the details. Because we don’t have that luxury, too often we don’t try anything new. But you don’t have to choose between perfection and progress. In fact, if you wait for perfection, you’ll never make any progress at all! This session will walk through tips for incorporating iterative changes into your everyday workflow, so that one day your elusive dream appeal becomes a reality… or pretty darn close, which is close enough!

The Strategic Response of Nonprofits to Institutional Pressure
Mario Hicks, YMCA Buffalo Niagara

Nonprofit organizations often lack the critical resources needed to operate and remain sustainable. Institutional pressures such as government policy, community need, and competition, strain the operations of nonprofits. Additional pressures come from stakeholders and donors who have high expectations of NPOs to make significant mission impact, while remaining viable, efficient, with minimal expenses. When institutional pressure occurs, NPOs may not be able to strategically respond due to the lack of access to resources.  A presentation of the research is provided from a fundraising perspective and the role intellectual capital plays in the competitive advantage of nonprofits.

Direct Mail Recipes – Add Spice to All Your Channels
Christina Brandel, CFRE, Marketing Communication Resource, Inc.

Stuck in an appeal rut? Want to spice things up but can’t seem to find the right recipe that pulls in all your favorite channels? Join in a conversation about how to use your favorite “ingredients” to spice up all your appeals.

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Lunch Break – In-Person Luncheon in Buffalo

2:00-3:15 p.m.

Marketing and Development: Building the Outrageously Successful, Rewarding Partnership You Always Wanted
Melissa Meehan and Mark Norris, Buffalo State College

Marketing and development are aligned differently at every organization. Don’t let an org chart dictate how effectively these key areas collaborate at your institution. In this interactive session, we’ll discuss how to get the most out of your collaborations with marketing and communications and leverage this vital partnership. Topics covered: working with marketing; development’s critical role in storytelling; cultivating a climate of trust and transparency; creating a shared vision of success; establishing SMART goals; and more.

Recruiting and Training Reunion Volunteers for Success
Carolyn Garibaldi, Fairfield University

The success of any reunion weekend starts months in advance with a strong group of dedicated alumni volunteers. In this session learn how to recruit and manage volunteers to leverage their connections to their class and achieve the fundraising and attendance goals for your institution. Presented through the lens of a mid-level institution with oversight to 10 annual Reunions classes, this session will cover tips for recruiting, managing, training, and stewarding volunteers in whatever size your shop is.

Rethinking Retention at Boston College High School
Michael O’Brien, Boston College High School

In spring 2020, the average donor churn at Boston College High School was 36%. That’s higher than the K-12 average of ~25-30%, and much higher than the <10% churn that we shoot for in the for-profit world. Mike O’Brien, Senior Director of Alumni/Family Engagement & Annual Giving, knew that the team could improve donor churn and build relationships in pursuit of a more sustainable future for BC High. Mike knew that retaining existing donors would help the team of fundraisers raise more money. But more importantly, he wanted donors to feel like part of the BC High family. Fast forward to April, 2022. Powered by new tech and a clear strategy, all six of BC High’s frontline fundraisers began working to deliver high-volume, personalized outreach to more donors. Their goals were to reach over 85% retention of managed donors and reactivate over 100 lapsed donors. By using cadence-based outreach, fundraisers began to strategically target LYBUNTs, SYBUNTs, and non-donors to book meetings and have continued, intentional conversations throughout the year. The goal was to reinforce relationships through multiple touchpoints, rather than relying on an annual solicitation. Tune in to learn the ins-and-outs of this exciting program, takeaways from two years, and what’s next for BC High.

The Case For (Gulp!) Multiple Giving Days
Nora Hudec, Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland)

You’ve become a Jedi master at conducting your giving day, and your campus colleagues are a textbook example of everyone “rowing in the right direction.” But, are you reaching your full fundraising potential only running your “giving day playbook” once a year?   St. Ignatius successfully added an athletics giving day this past year, and plans to add a third giving day as well.    Join Nora Hudec and learn how they are strategically replicating the giving day cycle at St. Ignatius.

3:30-4:45 p.m.

Off-the-Chain Email Strategies and Tips
Ashley Budd and Coreen Robinson, Cornell University

Each of us (easily) receives over one hundred emails each day. With all of this competition, how can you ensure your communication is cutting through the noise and getting in front of your readers? In this session, you’ll see email examples from Cornell University’s advancement communication team, which boasts unique open rates of 46.4% and unique click rates reaching 11%. Learn how to curate quality content for your newsletter and boost engagement for each of your constituent emails.

Where Does–and Where Will–Annual Giving Belong?
Ramy Rahal, Franklin and Marshall College

The question of where within Advancement Annual Giving belongs has long been debated and mulled over by Annual Giving professionals, with as many opinions as there are options and prevailing theories shifting frequently.  In reality, while there is probably no right answer, what is right for your program depends on the culture of your program and what your institution wants from its Annual Giving program.  In this session, Ramy will lead a discussion during which he will share some thoughts on the history of this question, the implications that decisions that were made have had on the Annual Giving field, and the factors you should be considering in deciding where best to house your Annual Giving program.

Leveraging Data to Inform Authentic, Personalized Outreach at Scale
Danielle (Yellen) Manriquez, VanillaSoft

The use of more sophisticated data analytics in the context of philanthropy is a hot topic right now; but what does this really involve, and, more importantly, how does it actually help? Can data actually drive and facilitate truly authentic engagement? How can we leverage it to inspire our constituents to not only give a gift, but also lend us their time, talents and ties?  Data is there to progress your mission in a way that is both effective and efficient, yet many of us view diving deep into data as tedious and time consuming. Join me to discuss how data can feed a healthier pipeline, improve overall engagement, and build the culture of philanthropy your institution has long been striving for.

The Franciscan Faceoff: Leveraging Rivalries to Grow Your Giving Day
Alan Riddle, Saint Bonaventure University and Michael Utzig, Siena College

After conducting separate, successful giving days at their respective institutions (Saint Bonaventure University and Siena College), Alan and Michael decided to make it interesting –  a giving day challenge between the two rivals.  Now in its second year, they’ll tell the story of the (many) successes and (some) challenges of a giving day competition between rival institutions.