2024 Conference Sessions

Here are the confirmed sessions to-date for this year’s 2024 MMOTM conference – check back for the latest session announcements.  We will have more than thirty sessions! More information to follow about exact days and times for each session.


Opening Plenary Session:
Be Mindful:  All The Sessions You Don’t Want To Miss…
Welcome, Introductions and Conference Highlights
Bob Burdenski, John Taylor and Other Greeters TBA

We’ll launch the 2024 “Meeting of the Minds” Conference with a festive welcome and a rapid-fire rundown of the favorite advancement services and annual giving conference sessions and speakers to follow. Often in sync, lovingly in conflict, and always working in support of philanthropic goals, annual giving and advancement services offices play a critical role in advancement success. Join us as we provide a preview of the great conference sessions to come, and hear a special welcome from our sponsors.

Developing a Prospect Score & Other Prospecting Tips
John McBride, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Andrew Gutierrez, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

More session information to follow.

A Digital Fundraising Forum
Megan Karwacki, Loyola University Chicago

More session information to follow.

Direct Mail: Going Beyond the Envelope to Optimize Results
Sara Pond and Matt Sulzer, MCR

Is it time to spice up your approach? Direct mail is fundamental to building the donor pipeline, but with new channels in the mix it may be time to revisit your mail strategy. Join this conversation to discuss printing hallmarks that target the right people, grab donor attention, calendar the project, and integrate storytelling to optimize results. Attendees will receive free samples from other institutions and gain insights on:
✔ Audiences – segmenting, engagement, personalization
✔ Calendaring – channel integration, production, timing
✔ Design – photos, layout, color
✔ Packaging – envelopes, paper stocks, inserts

The Donor Lifecycle: How To Best Use Data & Analytics To Retain & Grow Your Donor Database
Chad Carpenter, Teuteberg, Inc.

This will be a deep-dive into the trends and best practices of how to use data to build successful Annual Giving Campaigns. With a focus on using segmentation, propensity scoring, and analytics, this session will highlight ways to “follow the data” in order to enhance your donor development efforts.

A Donor Relations & Stewardship Roundtable
Mary Weingartner, UNICEF and Melissa Mares Stambor, Catholic Charities Chicago

More session information to follow.

Email Fundraising + Digital Analytics Bootcamp
Beth Hatcher, Beth Interactive

You’ve overcome the “send sweats,” and your email is in inboxes! So what happens next? All about email fundraising, this interactive workshop will cover strategies to take your email communications to the next level—and how to leverage post-campaign engagement data to drive greater giving. We’ll walk you through the latest email fundraising best practices, advanced analytics and A/B testing. We’ll also present case studies on how emails can build a donor pipeline through acquisition and engagement. Finally, we’ll provide practical tools like an email send checklist and library of samples, so that you can begin implementing your new ideas right away. Participants can even get live feedback on their email campaigns, with guidance on copy, design and fundraising strategy! Just send your sample in advance to beth@bethinteractive.com. Join us for this instructive bootcamp—and walk away full of actionable and practical next steps to see real results with your next email campaign.

Favorites From the 24th Annual Giving Appeal and Idea Exchange
Bob Burdenski

For 24 years, Bob Burdenski has hosted an annual exchange where hundreds of institutions share thousands of annual giving innovations, ideas and success stories. Awesome appeals, terrific technologies, dynamic discoveries and marvelous messages. It was a great year of pushing the envelope in direct mail, digital and beyond. Come and see 3-time CASE Innovations in Annual Giving author Bob Burdenski dump out his bag of BOB (Best of the Bunch) favorites for some of the clever fundraising ideas of the year.

Filling the Funnel: Engagement Centers and DXO Strategies
Emily Etzkorn, VanillaSoft

From unaware to loyal giver, your constituents travel a journey to becoming a donor. It’s your role to make sure they land in a place that can answer their questions, support their connection to your institution, and nurture that relationship. Join VanillaSoft Fundraising Evangelist Emily Etzkorn for this session, and dive into the idea that your Engagement Center can and should be playing a crucial role in not just finding one-time donors, but also filling your DXO funnel and helping each and every donor land in the correct place at your organization. Discuss donor loyalty and pipeline development, strategies for leveraging your Engagement Center alongside your DXO program, and more!

Gift Administration When There Is No Gift Administration
Elizabeth Tavares and Kristine Buggenhagen, Loyola University of Chicago

More session information to follow.

Gift Processing 101
A Panel Discussion
John Taylor and panel TBA

This “audience participation” session will attempt to answer fundamental gift processing and entry questions that have raised concerns for decades! We will begin by asking the audience to list the gift processing issues rearing their ugly heads in day-to-day gift processing. The panel will try to suggest solutions to those conundrums and reflect on national best practices. The panel will also come prepared to discuss various topics, including gift dates, receipt requirements, gift processing metrics, copying/scanning requirements, and recurring giving issues, among others. You are encouraged to email your discussion topics ahead of time if you prefer to be anonymous!

A Giving Days Forum: Extended Days, Additional Days, Giving Tuesdays, Google Analytics, Multichannel Metrics, Dean Diplomacy and More
Moderators TBA

Many giving day fundraising programs are now ten years old or more – and the timing, the duration, the metrics, the purposes, methods and more have all changed and evolved over that time. Join us for a giving day check-in: How do you (continue to) define success? What about Giving Tuesday? How do you achieve campus cooperation? What if we did this more than once a year? And for more than 24 hours? Join us for a giving day forum.

A Healthcare Annual Giving Forum:
Patients, Physicians, Providers, Policies, and Pipelines
Alex Kwak, CommonSpirit Health Philanthropy, Andrew Gutierrez, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Others TBA

Healthcare institutions offer their own challenges (HIPAA) and opportunities (grateful patients, healthcare professionals, companies and the community) for annual giving fundraising. Join us for a special annual giving forum all about healthcare.

How NOT to Do a CRM Conversion
Chris Amherst, University of Chicago

More session information to follow.

Institutionalizing Data
John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting

We would not have our jobs if it were not for data. However, collecting data is not even the hard part. Collecting the right data can be elusive, especially when those data are the responsibility of another department. The departments external to the Advancement program may not see the value in the data nor care about its condition. And even if you win those other departments over, there are data standards, maintenance, integrity, and protection details. In this session, we will emphasize the importance of data. More importantly, we will discuss what constitutes essential data and what advancement services can do independently to collect and maintain that data. However, we cannot succeed in capturing critical data alone; therefore, we will focus on fostering an institutional approach to data improvement, including the use of a Data Governance structure and the establishment of institutional data standards. Finally, we will look at key components of a viable Data Acquisition and Use Policy.

A Leadership (and Digital) Gift Officer Forum
Heather Uzowolu, Carroll University, and Meredith Howell, University of Chicago School of Medicine

More session information to follow.

Leadership Annual Giving Prospect Management and Engagement
Lindsey Pearsey, Indiana University

More session information to follow.

Perk Up Your Annual Appeals with Personalization Strategies
Theresa Aide, and Kate Cominsky, Suttle-Straus

Data can be used to personalize your appeal campaigns using many variables. Let’s explore how you can use personalization to improve your fundraising results. Get 11 examples of personalized mail in this session!

Records Management 101 – A Panel Discussion
Panel TBA

Please join our group of industry experts prepared to discuss your records management concerns and conundrums! We will encourage audience participation as you are the experts, too! We will come prepared to discuss topics including data governance, deceasing best practices, common data entry errors, when – and when not – to create a spousal/partner record, matching gift company management, daily and weekly data integrity edits, and whether you really need to create a new record when you receive a gift from an existing donor’s estate. While we will be happy to discuss these topics with you, we also want to review what is most important to you! We will add your suggestions to our list at the session’s opening.

Teaching Giving on Giving Day – Inside Loyola’s Student Philanthropy Scavenger Hunt
Megan Karwacki, Loyola University Chicago

More session information to follow.

Using Data to Create a Snazzy Acknowledgment Program
Mary Weingartner, UNICEF

More session information to follow.

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.”

Why Data is the 4-Letter Word Savvy Fundraisers Swear By
Felicity Meu, GiveCampus

To fully flex your fundraising muscle you need buy-in from both the annual giving and advancement services sides of the house. How do you achieve the alignment necessary to drive meaningful results? The devil is in the data. GiveCampus analyzed aggregate data from 4,532 campaigns and 4,973 giving forms to identify what’s moving the proverbial needle in fundraising and what’s not. Find out from fellow fundraisers how they’re leveraging that data to drive decisions at key stages of the philanthropic lifecycle, and how they got everybody—including advancement services—to back their biggest bets. Upon completion, participants will understand how to:
• Maximize the results of their own fundraising efforts based on aggregate data
• Convince key stakeholders at their institution to take a chance on change
• Get more creative and launch bold initiatives that drive better outcomes