Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders 

Baltimore, MD | October 22, 2024 8:00 am ET - October 23, 2024 12:00 pm ET

Registrant Access Only

This training will not be available asynchronously.

Fundraising for Deans and Academic Leaders 

Baltimore, MD | October 22, 2024 8:00 am ET - October 23, 2024 12:00 pm ET

Learn to meet your philanthropic goals by partnering effectively with purpose-driven donors.


As a dean, you hold numerous responsibilities, and fundraising is likely a critical part of your portfolio. You are probably also finding the philanthropic landscape more competitive than ever, as donors are becoming more selective with their giving. To be a successful fundraiser, it is important to understand how to align your interests with those of donors seeking to make significant societal differences. 

Join us for this one-and-a-half-day interactive conference, led by renowned university advancement consultant Jim Langley. Jim will help you to learn how to more effectively listen to prospective donors and align their personal values with the goals of your academic unit. Through group discussions and activities, you will: 

  • Reflect on your leadership and vision.  
  • Discuss the fundraising challenges you face in your unit, and identify how to overcome existing barriers to advance the culture of philanthropy in your school or college.  
  • Evaluate the philanthropic health of your academic unit. 
  • Identify how your academic priorities speak to societal need and align with donor interests. 
  • Gain valuable insight from your peers to further inform your fundraising approach. 

Join us at this conference to unlock new philanthropic strategies within your academic unit! 

Who should attend?

If you are a new dean looking to develop your fundraising knowledge and skills, an experienced dean with limited exposure to fundraising looking to enhance your skills, or an academic leader looking to increase philanthropic facilitation with donors aligned with your academic unit, this conference is for you. Development officers who can attend with their academic leader(s) will also benefit from this opportunity to strategically design your fundraising approaches together.


Set Yourself up for Success

Set yourself up for success at this conference by attending this program that is designed to serve as a foundation for this experience. Learn More



Day 1: Tuesday, October 22, 2024
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time (Local time in Baltimore, MD)

Registration and Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.



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



Acknowledging Current and Emerging Challenges in Higher Education
9:00 – 10:00 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 identify current and emerging challenges for your institution or academic unit, and we will discuss how these challenges relate to the philanthropic realities higher education is facing both today and into the future.



Morning Break
10:00 – 10:15 a.m.



Connecting Self-Awareness to Philanthropic Facilitation
10:15 – 11:00 a.m.
Academic leaders have different personalities, value systems, and communication styles. The question is, how effectively can you bring them to bear in fundraising? In this session, you will consider how your self-awareness and authenticity as a dean or academic leader influence how you approach your relationships with prospective donors.



Assessing Your Philanthropic Vital Signs
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Donors give to institutions for four main reasons—appreciation, affiliation, agency, and accountability. These also constitute the philanthropic vital signs of the fundraising operation of your academic unit. This session will give you the opportunity to assess what you currently know about your vital signs, learn how you can capitalize on the strengths among them, and identify about which vital signs you may need to learn more.



Lunch (included in registration fee)
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.



Articulating Clear Priorities That Resonate with Donors
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
Having clear priorities for your academic unit and being able to communicate them is vital to successful relationships with donors. In this session, you will review your priorities and learn how to share them with donors in ways that align with their values and passions. You will also consider how others can support you in advancing your priorities through philanthropic facilitation with engaged donors.



Afternoon Break
2:15 – 2:30 p.m.



Engaging Prospects to Develop True Partnerships
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Once you have assessed your philanthropic vital signs and defined your priorities, you are ready to engage meaningfully with donors who are willing to give through your academic unit to make a significant institutional or societal impact that is aligned with their passions. In this session, you will learn how to ask your donor questions to identify how they can best serve as a partner and move toward making an investment through your academic unit.



Demonstrating Institutional Accountability to Donors
3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Once a donor has decided to give through your academic unit, your communication with them becomes even more important, and transparency is crucial to maintain donor trust. In this session, you will learn how to treat your donor like a stakeholder, show them how their gift is having an impact, and offer meaningful ways for them to stay involved with your unit.



Networking Reception 
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
This informal reception is your chance to decompress, have some refreshments on us, and expand your network of connections. Our programs are intentionally designed for smaller groups, so this is a great time to catch up with attendees and speakers with whom you may not have connected yet.



Day 2: Wednesday, October 23, 2024
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (Local time in Baltimore, MD)

Continental Breakfast (included in registration fee)
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.



Debrief and Questions from Day One
9:00 – 9:15 a.m.



Developing Concept Papers
9:15 –11:45 a.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. By providing the opportunity to engage in the concept paper process, a donor feels like a true collaborator and makes them more likely to give through your academic unit to achieve this greater purpose. In this final session, you will identify an idea that you have for a concept paper and then practice drafting it using six key questions. You will also receive feedback on your draft from peers and the facilitators.



Final Q&A and Closing Remarks
11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.



The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

550 Light Street

Baltimore, MD 21202

A discounted room rate of $199/night is available if you use this link to book your room.

Book by Monday, September 30th to receive the discounted rate. 


“As a development officer, this conference helped build understanding between my Dean and I for the importance of development work to advance the college. This training makes us a stronger team as she better understands her role in development, in the relationships she builds, as she leads the college forward.”
— Matt Johnson, University of Idaho

“Academic Impressions’ conference provided tangible examples, that allow projects to take shape immediately.”
— Vern Gagnon, Montana State University Billings