Summit for University Presidents and Advancement Vice Presidents 

Denver, CO | September 19, 2024 8:00 am MT - September 20, 2024 4:00 pm MT

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Summit for University Presidents and Advancement Vice Presidents 

Denver, CO | September 19, 2024 8:00 am MT - September 20, 2024 4:00 pm MT

Develop a common purpose and sense of shared philanthropic responsibility as institutional leaders.


As a president, you play a critical role in creating the institutional conditions that attract significant and sustained philanthropic investments. Some of the questions you may be asking as you seek to define your unique institutional narrative for donors are: 

  • What distinguishes our institution from others on a local, regional, and national level? 
  • How can we amplify these features with additional funding to make a lasting impact on society?  
  • What objective-specific projects can we develop and partner on with donors to achieve these purposes?  

It’s easiest to answer these questions when you have established a clear delineation of responsibilities with other key leaders at your institution, so that you can work toward achieving both long-term and short-term advancement objectives even in the face of competing, persistent responsibilities. 

Join us at this summit with your board chair and chief advancement officer to understand how changing philanthropic realities are impacting your alumni and donor engagement. You will learn how to use this information to articulate priorities that resonate with donors, improve your interactions with them, and engage your campus community in generating projects that solve critical problems—and in which philanthropically inclined donors will be keen to invest. 

Whether you, your board chair, or your chief advancement officer are new to your roles, or whether you are an established team thinking about developing an institutional strategic plan or comprehensive campaign, this summit will give you the tools to optimize your fundraising potential and create a lasting philanthropic impact at your institution. 

Our Approach   

We have intentionally designed our program to explore how presidents, board chairs, and vice presidents of advancement, and foundation presidents can work together to develop a forward-thinking vision that will resonate with donors. Our approaches use a combination of facilitation techniques to deliver an experiential learning environment that will allow you to walk away with new data, best practices, and a customized action plan for how you can use this information at your own institution. You’ll also have the chance to learn from and network with leaders from across the country who are facing similar realities, and who are looking for inspiration to strengthen the culture of philanthropy at their own institutions. 

To help preserve a practical and interactive environment, attendance for this program is capped at 30 participants. 

Who should attend?

This summit is designed for university presidents and their chief advancement officers who are looking to develop and communicate a strategic vision for their institution to secure philanthropic investment. We strongly recommend attending together. Registering two people for this training gets you a special price of $2,000 per registration. To purchase registrations with this deal, please email

Want to include your board chair and register three or more for additional discounts?
Add your registrations to your cart for an automatic discount or purchase our conference 3-packs.


Day One | Thursday, September 19, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)
Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



Welcome and Introductions
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Addressing Our Changing Philanthropic Landscape
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Higher education today is facing a range of challenges, such as financial imbalance, increased competition, and enrollment declines, to name a few. In this interactive session, you will consider current and future philanthropic opportunities and challenges in higher education, and we will discuss how these relate to changes in the philanthropic landscape that are emerging now. You will begin to identify how these trends relate to your own institution.



Morning Break
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Understanding Your Philanthropic Vital Signs
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Donors give to institutions for four main reasons—appreciation, affiliation, agency, and accountability. These also constitute the philanthropic vital signs of your fundraising operation. This session will give you the opportunity to analyze sample vital signs assessment data via case studies. Through this exercise, you will understand how these vital signs can lead you to engage in specific actions with your alumni, volunteers, and donors to improve your fundraising vigor in the short, mid, and long term.



Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.



Setting Strategic Vision to Attract Philanthropic Investment
1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
What do your existing strategic plan and fundraising priorities indicate about your vision? How well do your goals demonstrate how you will use your strengths to move the institution toward higher aspirations? In this session, you will learn how to articulate clear priorities that resonate with donors and will engage in a group workshop to identify ways to improve how you communicate your current and future priorities.



Afternoon Break
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Engaging Self-Awareness in Philanthropic Facilitation
2:45 – 4:15 p.m.
It can be difficult to effectively engage within and beyond your triangle of common purpose if you don’t understand your own leadership tendencies and styles. In this session, you’ll learn about the Five Paths to Leadership℠ Self-Assessment and identify how you can improve your overall effectiveness as a leader. Whether you’re interacting with internal stakeholders, alumni, donors, or other constituents, you’ll reflect on how your self-awareness can influence your ability to move philanthropic conversations forward.



Day One Wrap-Up & Questions
4:15 – 4:30 p.m.



Networking Reception
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This casual reception will give you the chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections.



Day Two | Friday, September 20, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. MT (local time in Denver, CO)
Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Strengthening the Relationships Among the President, Board Chair, and Vice President of Advancement
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Moving the institution toward realizing your strategic vision requires the president, board chair, and vice president of advancement to create an unbreakable triangle of common purpose and shared responsibility. During this session, you will learn how to foster a productive relationship among these three roles, define which responsibilities lie with each party, and set ground rules to maintain your focus and momentum.



Morning Break
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.



Activating Idea Generation on Campus
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Meaningful philanthropic facilitation requires access to big ideas. These captivating ideas should align with the institution’s strategic plan and lead to a strong partnership with donors who want to invest in portals of purpose that can have a lasting impact. In this interactive session, you will practice how you can engage your campus community in this level of idea generation and consider how to overcome barriers to innovative thinking.



Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.



Developing Concept Papers That Invite Donor Investment
1:15 – 2:30 p.m.
One of the most meaningful ways you can engage a donor as a true partner is by presenting them with a concept paper that seeks their expertise and input on how to address a need in community or society. In this session, you will learn how answers to six key questions can be turned into compelling concept papers. You will identify an idea that you have for a concept paper, practice drafting it, and receive feedback on your draft from fellow attendees and the facilitators.



Afternoon Break
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.



Rotating Panels: Action Plan Sharing
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
One of the most powerful takeaways from this program is the community of practice that we build with institutional leaders who are doing this work every day. We’ll create dedicated and structured time for sharing your action plan based on what you’ve learned and how you can lead with a clear philanthropic strategy into the future. You’ll be able to strategize with your own team members, consult with other attendees, and ask questions of the speaker panel to help round out your next steps from this experience.



Final Questions & Closing Remarks
3:45 – 4:00 p.m.


Academic Impressions Office

5299 DTC Blvd, Suite 1400

Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Nearby hotel suggestions:

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center – 3-star hotel
8300 E Crescent Pkwy, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Distance from office: 0.5 miles if driving, 0.3 miles if walking

A room rate of $154/night is available if you book your room using this link.

This reduced rate and room availability are subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!


Denver Marriott Tech Center – 4-star hotel
4900 S Syracuse St, Denver, CO 80237
Distance from office: 0.9-1.2 miles, depending on route

A 10% discount is available if you book your room using this link.

This discount is subject to general hotel availability and not guaranteed. So, we recommend booking as soon as possible!