Advancement Roundtable: A Cohort-Based Series for Development Leaders


Advancement Roundtable

September 16 – October 28, 2022
Individual Dates: September 16, 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, 2022

Engage with a cohort of other advancement leaders to explore common issues you face and share current practices that will help you to build your leadership capacity as you expand your network.


Assistant/Associate Vice Presidents of Development often have no peers at their institutions. Charged with overseeing major gifts fundraising and supervising teams, they play critically important roles on campus. Charged with leading campaigns, setting fundraising goals and metrics, and attending to overall donor engagement, they must constantly focus on the big picture. However, they must also dive into such details as navigating the issues surrounding institutional namings or misalignments between donor and institutional ideologies. It’s not an easy job, and many do all of this with a lean staff and even leaner budgets.

In facing these challenges, advancement leaders deserve the ongoing support and community that can only be provided by others who serve in similar roles. Discover this sense of community and vital support by joining our cohort of advancement leaders across higher education for a roundtable series to discuss common challenges, get support from experienced peers, and build your network. You will:

  • Engage in discussion focused on timely topics and challenges you’re facing in a small, cohort-based, and confidential environment.
  • Build community with other advancement leaders and expand your professional network.
  • Learn from peers and exchange institution-specific practices and strategies.
  • Come away with a crowd-sourced repository of templates, sample language, and other resources that you can refer back to and use to inform your future work.

To preserve an intimate and productive experience, this roundtable will be capped at 10 attendees.


Who Should Attend

This group engagement is specifically designed for advancement leaders who:

  • Have development responsibilities (AVP of Advancement, AVP of Development/Major Gifts or similar)
  • Serve at the central, institutional level
  • Have a reporting line to the VP of Advancement or Dean

AVPs of Advancement/Development/Major Gifts from all institutional types and sizes are invited to attend.


How Roundtables Work

The goal of our roundtables is to bring together a small cohort of peers for a comprehensive learning and networking experience. Through short, regular live meetings, you will come together with a maximum of nine other peers and our two experts in order to:

  • Build strong connections and expand your network.
  • Try new tactics and approaches to improve your leadership.
  • Share your own best practices and listen to those of others.
  • Carve out time for reflection.
  • Be part of a cohort-based support community.
  • Contribute to the conversation with your own thought leadership.

What is the time commitment?

The cohort will meet seven times on Fridays from September through October. Each meeting runs one hour. Participants may be asked to read light, relevant materials in advance of some sessions.

Can’t attend all sessions?

No problem. We recommend participating in at least six sessions to get the most value out of this experience.


September 16 – October 28, 2022

Fridays from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Eastern time. Sessions are hosted weekly.

Session 1: September 16, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 2: September 23, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 3: September 30, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 4: October 7, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 5: October 14, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 6: October 21, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

Session 7: October 28, 2022 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET

During this series of roundtable sessions, you and your fellow attendees will get to drive the agenda based on common challenges such as the following:

Staffing and Team Culture
  • Effectively recruiting and retaining gift officers
  • Managing team morale through times of change
  • Hybrid workforce considerations
Creating University and Donor Alignment
  • Identifying university non-negotiables when working with alumni and donors
  • Articulating donor priorities and how you have made a match
Portfolio Management
  • Identifying with and understanding your institutional portfolio
  • Best practices for size of portfolio
  • Effectively planning, kicking off, and wrapping up campaigns
  • Keeping momentum during the campaign lifecycle
  • Mini and Bridge Campaigns
  • Adjusting fundraising metrics to reflect the current times
  • Identifying the most important metrics to focus on: what counts? What doesn’t?
Non-Cash Giving
  • Real estate
  • Gifts-in-kind
  • Crypto Currency & NFTs
Managing Up
  • Navigating leadership transitions
  • Supporting staff while simultaneously carrying out vision
  • Working with Presidents, Deans and other Senior Leaders


Portrait of Brent Pieper

Brent Pieper, Ed.D., CFRE

Associate Vice President for Campaign & Major Gifts, University of Kentucky

In his current role, Brent oversees the University’s $2.1 billion campaign. With nearly two decades of fundraising experience on campaigns totaling more than four billion dollars, he previously held the position Assistant Vice President and Director of Campaign Operations at Cleveland State University. Brent has also led major gifts and campaign leadership positions for Indiana University and Ohio University. Prior to that, he was on the executive team at United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for four campaigns. His first major responsibility in volunteer management was with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta where he oversaw a seventy-member team for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Read Brent's Full Bio.

portrait of Kevin Noller

Kevin Noller, MBA

Associate Vice President, Major Gifts, Villanova University

Specializing in higher education fundraising/development, Kevin lives in Villanova, PA where he serves as the Associate Vice President for Major Gifts at Villanova University. In this role, he oversees the major gift fundraising team and the directors of planned giving, family philanthropy, athletics, six schools/colleges, and five regional offices. In over 11 years in advancement at Villanova, the teams Kevin has managed have raised over $400 million in support of scholarship, research, newly created faculty/staff positions, capital projects, and student programs.

Read Kevin's Full Bio.



September 16 – October 28, 2022


per person

Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Learning & Development Manager,
Academic Impressions

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