2022 Thursday Sessions and Zoom Signup, July 21st

All times are Central.

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

Download an at-a-glance spreadsheet of the whole “Meeting of the Minds” conference schedule.

9:00-10:15 a.m. 

Relationship Management Models for Major and Leadership Annual Giving
Christina Pulawski, Zuri Group

Designing an effective relationship management model for your institution is already a balancing act – how then, do you then adapt the concepts to programs outside traditional major gifts work? We’ll discuss metrics, portfolios, and different models and approaches to applying relationship management principles to LAG, planned giving and other approaches across the giving continuum.

Cutting the (Phonathon) Cord: Things We Miss – and Don’t Miss
at the University of Iowa
Erin Allen, University of Iowa

The University of Iowa ended its calling program in the spring of 2019, just before the pandemic. Erin will share the decision behind the change, some of the benefits, and expected and unexpected challenges when this channel was removed from Iowa’s annual giving program.

LGBTQ+ Giving Motivations – Allies and Affiliations
Peter Robertson Ed.D, Fresno State

Why are people allies of the LGBTQ+ community? What motivates allies to donate to LGBTQ+ specific causes? In this discussion, Dr. Peter Robertson (he/his/him), Director of Alumni Connections at the Fresno State Alumni Association, will provide findings from his doctoral dissertation’s qualitative research study that address these questions.

10:30-11:45 a.m.

Building Content for Annual Giving & Engagement
Jeff Neal and  Greg Miller, Loyola University Chicago

As the fight for our donors’ attention gets more competitive, producing strong, relevant content is no longer an add-on; it’s a must. Hear how Loyola University Chicago has recently built a content and digital marketing team to team up with the Annual Giving team to better connect with alumni and increase donors & engagement.

A Stewardship Forum – Featuring UNICEF’s Brand-New Donor Journey
Mary Weingartner, UNICEF 

Meeting of the Minds
favorite Mary Weingartner is still new in her new role as Managing Director, Stewardship for UNICEF USA – and the first-ever in the position.  Hear some of her early thoughts and plans for bringing stewardship to one of the broadest donor bases-of-support of any organization ever, and bring your own stewardship questions and answers for a great stewardship discussion with one of Chicago’s greatest stewardship gurus. 

Your New Org Chart: Remote Work, Skill Sets, Outsourcing &
Staffing for Success
Ellen Rohwer Pappas, The Zuri Group
Timothy Pappas, Pappas Delaney LLC

A generation of annual giving fundraisers worked in the calling room as students and then were hired by the advancement office.  The advancement services team has watched its solutions, locations and processes evolve as well.  As desired skill sets have expanded, the career paths have become more varied. Where do you find digital fundraisers? What if YOUR skills are a little outdated? What if your best candidate wants to work remotely? When do you share skills among departments? And when do you outsource a job function to a third party? Join a group forum all about budgeting, hiring, recruiting, promoting and watching as the org chart quickly evolves to keep up with today’s challenges and opportunities.

11:45-1:00 p.m.

Lunch Break – On Your Own

1:00-1:50 p.m.

An Alumni Engagement Forum – Pandemics, Metrics, Fundraising and More
Jessica Mueller, Roosevelt University, Dirk Matthews, Columbia College Chicago, Jacqui Glasener, Fresno State, Maurice Willis, IIT Kent College of Law

How’s your alumni engagement?  What are your definitions of success?  What’s your current state of alumni engagement events?  Career services?  Alumni social media activity?  And how does it all connect with your annual giving and other fundraising?  Two alumni engagement practitioners will lead a discussion about all things engagement.  Bring your questions, your successes, your challenges and your wisdom.  

Digital Wallets: What We’ve Learned So Far
Felicity Meu, GiveCampus

Digital wallets like Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay have eclipsed Visa to become the most popular payment method among donors to educational institutions. Join Felicity Meu, Senior Director of Partner Success, as she highlights the incredible findings from GiveCampus’ study on who’s using them, which ones are most popular, and how it’s transforming the donor experience across education institutions everywhere.

Tips & Trends from Record-Breaking Giving Days
Kristi Pease, University of Nebraska Foundation
Colleen Cook, Vinyl Marketing

Giving Days are a tried and true way to engage and acquire donors, especially when it comes to young alumni. But what distinguishes the schools that are achieving record-breaking levels of donors and dollars from those that tread water year after year? In this session Kristi Pease, Senior Director, Marketing and Annual Campaign Operations and Director of Annual Campaigns at University of Nebraska Lincoln and Colleen Cook, Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing break down the strategies and tactics to make your Day of Giving a smashing success.

2:00-3:15 p.m.

Writing for Annual Giving 
Shannon Dale, Grand Valley State University
Carol Flanigan, Loyola University Chicago

Two returning “Meeting of the Minds” wordsmiths 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.

Leadership Annual Giving:
The Do-It-Yourself Digital Leadership Annual Giving Officer
Emily Berry, Miami University, Keelie Johnson, Roosevelt University, Bob Burdenski and Panel TBA

A Giving Day Forum
Heidi Hopewell, South Dakota State University
Ramona Maza, University of Illinois Chicago

UIC’s GivingTuesday campaign effectively engages all of its campus units each year, while SDSU has one of the most comprehensive and diverse giving days in the U.S., with a strong digital strategy, as well as on-campus and local community fundraising components.   Hear an update from Ramona and Heidi on how they pull it all off at their respective institutions, and bring your own giving day successes, challenges and questions for this open discussion. 

3:30-4:45 p.m.

The Great Appeal Reveal:  Favorite Annual Giving Ideas From the 23rd Annual Giving Appeal and Idea Exchange
Bob Burdenski

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 CASE Innovations in Annual Giving author Bob Burdenski dump out his bag of BOB awards for some of the clever fundraising ideas of the year – both pre-virus and post-virus.

Women & Philanthropy: Collaborative Leadership Annual Giving
Adrianne Penney and Kelly Brault, Oakland University

In this session, we’ll introduce the Women & Philanthropy program at Oakland University, a collective giving society created in 2018 with the goal of funding meaningful projects on campus while providing members with opportunities for engagement and networking. We’ll discuss how we started, how this process works, things we learned along the way and other applications (young alumni, diversity initiatives, etc). We’ll also talk about audiences, marketing and committees to keep this group engaged, as well as stewardship.

Donor Fatigue – What It Is and How to Combat It
Emily Etzkorn, VanillaSoft

Donor Fatigue – we have heard the term as a vague part of the pandemic’s impact. But what is it? And why does it feel so relevant now? Let’s ignite some new energy into fundraising strategies to be more exciting, effective, and defeat the fatigue.