Developing a Strategic Plan for Student Philanthropy: Educating Students from Acceptance Letter to New Alum

Developing a Strategic Plan for Student Philanthropy: Educating Students from Acceptance Letter to New Alum

July 22 - 24, 2019 | Baltimore, MD



Craft a comprehensive, multi-year plan to educate your students about philanthropy and increase their participation in giving.

Student philanthropy is becoming a top priority for an increasing number of advancement shops—for good reason. Institutions that actively invest in education and programming around student fundraising have a tendency to raise more money per capita and be more successful at filling their long-term donor pipeline with alumni.

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 how to craft a comprehensive plan to educate students about philanthropy throughout their full lifecycle with your institution—from before they step foot on campus all the way through their first years as alumni.

You will leave this program with a collection of tangible resources that will guide your institution toward implementing a comprehensive multi-year strategy to build affinity and educate students about philanthropy:

  • 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 plan


Who Should Attend

A strong student philanthropy program requires an institutional commitment and buy-in from a wide range of individuals, so we encourage advancement professionals, especially those in alumni relations and annual giving charged with building a program, to invite their executive champions and other campus partners.


A networking reception will be hosted and included in conference registration on Monday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday, as well as refreshments and snacks throughout the program. Post-Conference Workshop attendees will also recieve lunch on Wednesday with their full conference pass.

Day 1 | July 22, 2019


Registration, Welcome, and Opening Remarks



Vision and Strategy: Developing a Multi-Year Education Plan

We will share a vision and strategy for creating a culture of philanthropy on campus throughout the student experience and will discuss how higher education’s current context requires institutions to invest in student philanthropy programs. You will be introduced to student philanthropy as a strategic issue that will help you frame your goals, build your case for a comprehensive multi-year program, and get buy-in from the highest levels at your institution.



Intentional Student Philanthropy: A Proven Model

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. This session 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.



Group Exercise



Gap Analysis: Evaluating Student Philanthropy at Your Institution

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.



Day 1 Closing and Q&A



Networking Reception


Day 2 | July 23, 2019


Creating Awareness

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.



Developing Gratitude: Venues for Exhibiting Gratitude

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 that gratitude throughout their campus life cycle.



Cultivating Student Giving

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.



Stewarding Student Donors: Transcending Transactional Giving

Learn how to move past transactional tactics to create meaningful stewardship experiences for these new donors. Learn how to follow up and demonstrate impact.



Group Sharing Exercise



Developing Your Multi-Year Strategy

In this session, you will revisit the core components in the student philanthropy model. Then, 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.


Day 3 | July 24, 2019


Cultivating and Leveraging Campus Partnerships

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.


Budget Implications and Gaining Buy-in for Student Philanthropy

How will a new or re-energized student philanthropy program affect your budget? Which areas of your program will require the most resources? Who can you partner with on campus to shift some costs around? How can you make the case for additional funds? Our faculty will address these questions and offer suggestions on how to get more bang for your buck as you launch your program. During this final afternoon session, you will review the budget for your student philanthropy initiative and start to assess and reorganize your budget to align with the new programming you would like to implement.


Final Q&A and Wrap Up



Post-Conference Workshop:
Strengthening the Student-to-Alumni Transition with a Robust Student Volunteer Structure

Lunch will be provided for conference attendees who have purchased this workshop, as well as refreshments and snacks for the afternoon available to all workshop attendees.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Join us to learn about TCU’s “super” volunteer program that train students starting as early as their first year on campus and call on them throughout their young alumni years. Through these alumni ambassador programs, highly trained students are given significant leadership and solicitation training and 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.

July 22 - 24, 2019 | Baltimore, MD

Conference Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Baltimore
300 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Room Rate: $159, plus applicable tax.

Room Block Dates: nights of July 21, 22 and 23, 2019.

Rate Available Until: June 30, 2019.

Reserve Your Room: Call 410.528.1234 to make your reservations and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate. Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.



Elise M. Betz

Executive Director of 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 Elise's full bio here.


Harmonie Farrow

Director of the Office of Loyalty Giving, Texas Christian University

In her current role, Harmonie oversees phonathon, student and young alumni philanthropy and digital philanthropy efforts. While at TCU, Harmonie developed and implemented the University’s first online day of giving, TCU Gives Day, and the Count Me In! student philanthropy program, a 2014 CASE gold award winner for both Annual Giving Programs and Best Practices in Fundraising.

Read Harmonie's full bio here.


Kat Walsh

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives and Student Engagement, University of Michigan

Ms. Walsh leads student philanthropy initiatives on her campus, by developing a culture of giving among Michigan students through outreach, education, and fundraising initiatives. She also designed and oversees the award-winning program designer for the Development Summer Internship Program (D-SIP) aimed at creating a pipeline of young, diverse talent into the fundraising profession.

Read Kat's full bio here.

Main Conference Only

$1,495 through July 5$1,495

Craft a comprehensive, multi-year plan to educate your students about philanthropy and increase their participation in giving.


Post-Conference Workshop Only

$395 through July 5$495

Learn about UPenn and TCU’s “super” volunteer programs that train students starting as early as their first year on campus and call on them throughout their young alumni years.

Can't Attend? Buy the
Conference Binder

Purchase the conference binder, which includes all presentation slides, worksheets, action plans, and additional resources.

Note: Conference attendees do not need to purchase materials separately.

Questions About the Event?


Whitney Egstad
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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