Student Philanthropy: Educating Students from Acceptance Letter to New Alum

Student Philanthropy: Educating Students from Acceptance Letter to New Alum

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Educate your students about philanthropy in order to increase their participation in giving.


Student philanthropy was upended last year when in-person events were suspended, forcing institutions to either quickly adjust their philanthropy education programming or stop student philanthropy efforts all together. However, student philanthropy remains a top priority for advancement shops, and for good reason. Institutions that actively invest in education and programming around student fundraising can raise more money per capita and be more successful at filling their long-term donor pipeline. As a result, to maximize consistent engagement and giving, students must have a continuous progression in their philanthropic education and, consequently, giving participation.

Join us for a holistic learning experience and discover the variety of approaches your shop can take to reinvent your student philanthropy program. By focusing on a plan to educate students about philanthropy throughout their full lifecycle with your institution, you will leave this program with a collection of tangible resources that will guide your institution toward implementing a comprehensive strategy to build affinity and educate students about philanthropy. You will walk away with a:

  • Portfolio of engagement ideas
  • Completed gap analysis on your current offerings
  • Plan of action to secure buy-in from institutional leaders and implement a multi-year strategy


Who Should Attend

This virtual conference is designed for advancement professionals, especially those in alumni relations and annual giving, who are charged with building a student philanthropy program. Executive champions who want to see student philanthropy flourish on their campus are also encouraged to join their team and attend.


Follow Through With Success Coaching

Have you ever gone to a training only to find that you came back with great ideas but don’t have the time, support, or skills needed to make the changes?

Academic Impressions has produced thousands of trainings and we have learned that utilizing a coach after attending a conference helps provide accountability and bridges the training with the on-the-ground work of getting the job done.

As a result, we are now offering success coaching on select conferences.

  • Purchase this training + 3 one hour follow up success coaching calls
  • Work with an assigned coach who has extensive experience in higher ed.
  • Get individualized support to help you follow through on what you’ve learned.
  • Workshop your plans, run your ideas by someone and get additional help/practice.

To get success coaching, simply purchase the Conference + Success Coaching product below.

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The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

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
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts

See What Our Attendees are Saying

“The virtual design of this conference coupled with the amazing work of our program manager promoted a high level of engagement and sense of community among attendees. The speakers were knowledgeable and enthusiastic to share their experiences. It was a refreshing shift from long days of traditional meetings on Zoom!”

“This is the first time I’ve ever attended a virtual conference, and to be honest, I had low expectations. Well, I was wrong. I am very impressed with the platform used and the quality of the content shared. Oftentimes, these conferences only talk about ideas and what could work, but at this event, actual pathways and practical next steps were shared. Academic Impressions did a great job featuring quality speakers who were willing to share what they know.”

“Although the workshop was online, it felt as if the presenters were right there with us. All presenters were knowledgeable and really related the content to real work experiences. They were so willing to answer questions and offer assistance—I learned so much that I can apply.”

“Many conferences leave you with learning but not always sure how to turn that into action for your organization. There were actionable tips shared throughout the two days and tools provided to help move the learning into action. I am always impressed with Academic Impressions conferences and this virtual one did not disappoint.”

"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 – August 17, 2021


Welcome and Introductions
11:00 - 11:30 a.m. ET



Vision and Strategy: Developing a Multi-Year Education Plan
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. ET
A strong student philanthropy program is built upon a shared vision and strategy for how to create a culture of giving throughout the student experience. We will discuss how higher education's current context requires institutions to create a strategic vision for and invest in student philanthropy.



12:15 - 12:30 p.m. ET



Intentional Student Philanthropy: A Proven Model
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. ET
A successful student philanthropy program is dependent on three core components: awareness, gratitude, and giving. Each program should include these components, although their individual prominence will vary depending on the stage of your initiative. We will walk you through our model for student philanthropy, outlining the core components and how they come together to guide a holistic and progressive approach over the student experience.



Long Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET



Gap Analysis: Evaluating Student Philanthropy at Your Institution
2:00 - 2:15 p.m. ET
Before you can consider opportunities for improving your student philanthropy program, you need to understand where your current program has gaps. In this working session, you will consider:

  • Your institution’s student population
  • The level of awareness, gratitude, and giving of your current students in each year
  • Where you should focus your new efforts the most

You will take away a completed gap analysis that will help you prioritize your efforts moving forward.



Creating Awareness
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. ET
Having students become aware of your institution’s mission, its resources, and where it derives its money is essential to cultivating philanthropic alumni. Our faculty will cover communication, traditions, and events that effectively educate students—from their first day on campus—on the importance of philanthropy and will provide suggestions for how to grow student awareness each year.



3:15 - 3:30 p.m. ET



Developing Gratitude: Venues for Exhibiting Gratitude
3:30 - 4:15 p.m. ET
Once students become aware that tuition only covers a portion of an institution’s operating costs, they can begin to appreciate those donors who have graciously contributed the other portion. Gratitude can be developed in students by connecting them with alumni and the institution and by offering them programming to convey their gratitude. We will look at communication and events, including more subtle types of programming, which will develop gratitude in students and sustain it throughout their campus life cycle.



Cultivating Student Giving
4:15 - 5:00 p.m. ET
Students who understand how an institution gains its resources and are grateful to the donors who have provided them are ready to give. We will look at how to develop mission-based giving, when to solicit your students, and how to create a habit of giving in students that will continue long after graduation.


Day 2 - August 18, 2021


Reflections on Reinventing Student Philanthropy
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET
The previous academic year forced institutions to rethink their student philanthropy programming and plans. This experience will lead to another year of reinventing how they approach it on their campus. In this networking session, you will have the opportunity to share your story with attendees of how your shop is planning for student philanthropy this year.



Stewarding Student Donors: Transcending Transactional Giving
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET
Meaningful stewardship experiences for new donors allows you to move beyond transactional tactics. By following up with your new donors and demonstrating to them their impact, you can best ensure that they give throughout their life.



Developing Your Multi-Year Strategy
12:15 - 12:30 p.m. ET
In this session, you will revisit the core components in the student philanthropy model. By using the findings from your gap analysis, you will create an initial plan to create awareness, develop gratitude, and cultivate giving through additional programming you want to implement—or changes you’d like to make—at your institution.



Cultivating and Leveraging Campus Partnerships
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET
Partnering across your institution is critical to successfully developing a culture of student philanthropy on campus. However, as you develop your strategy and programming, you may struggle to answer the following: how do I shift campus partners from a mentality of “gaining buy-in” to actively engaging in the development of key messages and educational programming? How do I work through moments of tension? Our experts will focus on best practices and existing student research, lessons learned throughout the process, and examples of collaborative and award-winning programming.



Long Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET



Strengthening the Student to Alumni Transition with A Robust Student Volunteer Structure
2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET
Volunteer programs that train students starting as early as their first year on campus and call on them throughout their young alumni years can lead to giving as an alumnus. Through alumni ambassador programs, for example, highly trained students are given significant leadership and solicitation training used for planning events, admissions panels, social media ambassadors, etc. Our faculty will explain how to integrate such a program into your efforts and leverage existing campus leadership and governance programs—expanding on your transition efforts and strengthening your volunteer program



3:00 – 3:15 p.m. ET



Budget Implications and Considerations for Student Philanthropy
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. ET
With the tightening of budgets negatively affecting student philanthropy efforts, it is essential to understand how a new or re-energized student philanthropy program will be impacted your limited budget, while considering which areas of your program will require the most resources. By knowing who you can partner with on campus to shift costs around and how you can make the case for additional funds, our faculty will address how to get the best “bang for your buck” as you launch your program. During this final session, you will begin to assess and reorganize your budget to align with the new programming you would like to implement.


portrait of Elise Betz

Elise M. Betz

Executive Director, Alumni Relations, University of Pennsylvania

Elise founded and manages “Penn Traditions: Building Our Community,” a comprehensive student advancement program at University of Pennsylvania. Elise’s work in this area helped increase senior gift participation from 18% in 2001 to over 68% in 2008 and earned her a 2006 UPenn Model of Excellence Award.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Megan Doud

Megan Doud

Assistant Vice President for Strategic Resource Development, University of Michigan

In the Office of University Development at U-M, Megan is responsible for strategic planning and resource management, finance and administration, leading the development of new digital fundraising strategies and overseeing annual giving and pipeline development programs including student philanthropy.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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Questions About the Event?

Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions