Reassess Your Language and Processes to Build Better Gift Agreements

Reassess Your Language and Processes to Build Better Gift Agreements

October 14 - 15, 2020 | Eastern Time

Revisit your gift agreements and improve your processes to help protect your institution and donors.


As COVID-19 forces institutions to move their fundraising operations to virtual platforms while the economic uncertainty affecting donors increases, now is the time to reexamine your gift agreement language and processes. With these sweeping changes, institutions have seen an increase in amendment requests, changes to naming agreements, adding of morality clauses, and several other items for you to consider as a part of your gift agreements and processes.

Join us online to gain insights from our experts and your peers on how gift agreement strategies have shifted this year. Armed with tools and templates, you will walk away with the best resources to help you reshape your gift agreements and associated processes. Our experienced faculty will discuss how to:

  • Draft sound gift agreements that protect your institution
  • Incorporate legal and pragmatic best practices
  • Improve your gift agreement documentation process
  • Compose donor-centered agreements
  • Mitigate risks and threats


What You Will Get

Attendees will take away a collection of tools and resources, such as:

  • A Toolkit to Train Your Gift Officers
  • New Commitment Process Flow
  • Gift Documentation Form
  • Sample Legal Whitepaper
  • Gift Documentation Handbook Template
  • Laws and Regulations Affecting Scholarship Programs


Who Should Attend

This conference is designed for those responsible for developing and maintaining successful gift agreements and is ideal for anyone who needs to reassess or improve their gift agreement process. Professionals in advancement services or donor relations who manage gift agreements are encouraged to attend, either individually or as a team.

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds nationally, it is so important to keep connecting and networking with your peers - at a “social distance” - and to keep learning and developing as higher-ed leaders and professionals. Don’t let social distancing and quarantines prevent you from setting aside time for professional development. Everything is changing so fast; more than ever, we need to be pooling our resources and knowledge and finding the best ways to develop our capacity, connect and share with each other, and move forward during a challenging time.

The Academic Impressions Virtual Conference Experience

Our virtual conferences go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these new programs are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. As higher education strives to adapt rapidly to the shifting crisis, connecting with your peers who are experiencing similar challenges can be the best use of your professional development time.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions
  • Access to an online conference hub — one-stop shop for presentation materials, attendee introductions, worksheets, supplemental reading, videos, and other resources

See What Our Attendees are Saying

"At first, I was skeptical that a virtual conference was capable of being both engaging and informational - but Academic Impressions has mastered it! The 3-day online event was structured in a creative way that all participants had multiple opportunities to interact with each other and the presenters. No one's questions went unheard or unanswered. Thank you for this great experience, it has changed my view of virtual conferences and I look forward to attending more in the future."

- Desiree Ford, Digital Communications Manager, Binghamton University

“The virtual conference has been amazing. The presenters have all been great and the information they’ve provided is going to help us better use our social media. Even though this conference had to be virtualized due to COVID-19, the online format has been set up in a way that we can all collaborate and share ideas. I’m very eager to take what I’ve learned back to campus and start implementing new ideas.”

- Chris Forde, Coordinator of Marketing & Public Information, Lincoln Trail College


DAY 1 |  October 14, 2020
All times are Eastern


Welcome and Introductions
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
We will begin the program by getting to know one another and understanding the knowledge and expertise in the virtual room through a self-assessment exercise.



The Foundations of Gift Documentation
12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
In this opening session, our faculty will outline the fundamentals of successful gift documentation by defining their common terms, legal implications, and whether they are even necessary.



1:00 – 1:15 p.m.



Developing the Baseline
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Every gift agreement must include essential information about the donor, the fund, and the agreement itself. Learn what you need to document and view samples of the language in various agreements.



Long Break
2:15 – 2:45 p.m.



Improving Your Gift Agreement Processes
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
Due to stark economic changes, coupled with the new digital world we have entered, gift agreement processes have transformed. You will have the opportunity to share the changes you have experienced recently, and our experts will help identify the best practices that have been applied. You’ll discuss where your processes can be improved upon your return to work.



3:45 – 4:00 p.m.



Developments in Gift Agreement Trends
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Beyond the standard gift agreement language and processes, you will need to respond to certain scenarios with new donors. For example, how are you handling new scholarships for underrepresented groups or evaluating and considering the removal of names from buildings? Through group discussion, you’ll identify the common challenges you’re facing and our experts will help recommend solutions for them.


Day 2 |  October 15, 2020


Social Networking
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



Managing Donor Restrictions and Preferences: Legal Considerations
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
This session will cover the legal considerations around donors’ potential preferences and restrictions. You will learn best practices to avoid legal consequences as well as how and when to involve legal counsel in the gift documentation process.



Long Break
12:30 – 1:00 p.m.



Managing Donor Restrictions and Preferences: Practical Considerations
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Beyond legal considerations, shops must also decide if a gift is practical and if it will ultimately serve the institution’s mission. Our faculty will share examples of practical matters to consider and tips for how to respond to impractical requests.



2:00 – 2:15 p.m.



Donor-Friendly Gift Documentation
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Perhaps the trickiest part of composing gift agreements is adding touches of warmth to an otherwise frigid document. Our faculty will share ways to keep the donor at the heart of this process and enhance the donor’s experience, even during this time of great challenges.



3:15 – 3:30 p.m.



Building a Toolkit and Educating Gift Officers
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Having a toolkit of resources to draw from and share with your partners helps ensure successful gift documentation. You will break out into small groups and evaluate some sample gift language using the tools presented. You will then learn how to educate and empower the development officers with these tools in order to ensure a smooth donor experience.



Speaker Q&A Panel
4:30 – 5:00 p.m.


Portrait of Kathleen Diemer

Kathleen Diemer

Associate Vice President, Advancement Relations, George Mason University

Kathleen Diemer, CFRE, currently serves as Associate Vice President of Advancement Relations at George Mason University. In her role at Mason, she oversees the donor relations, advancement communications, prospect research and management, and information technology and reporting teams. In addition, she played a key role in helping to steer the success of the university’s $500 million Faster Farther campaign.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Debbie Meyers

Debbie Meyers

Assistant Vice President for Advancement Operations, Chautauqua Institution

Debbie Meyers has worked in advancement for more than 30 years, much of that time in higher education. Recently, she began her new role at Chautauqua Institution, heading their foundation’s advancement operations. In addition to creating or enhancing donor relations and stewardship programs at the University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Florida, she has built communications and development programs for a Catholic high school, an art museum and a health center development office.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



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through Oct 7, 2020

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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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