Fundraising for Deans

Fundraising for Deans

October 28 - 29, 2019 | St. Louis, MO



Be more equipped to raise money for your school, college, or department.

Fundraising has increasingly become a larger component of every dean’s responsibilities, but many feel less equipped to handle this important part of the role. This day and a half conference will equip academic leaders with the skills necessary to be most effective in their fundraising efforts.

During this conference, you will learn to:

  • Strategically manage the intense challenges of fundraising while leading your academic departments
  • Practice essential fundraising skills, such as donor cultivation, stewardship, and making an ask
  • Effectively collaborate and communicate with your advancement counterparts
  • Troubleshoot advisory board challenges to make those interactions more effective
  • Develop and communicate your fundraising vision and priorities

Academic leaders will leave this conference better prepared to raise funds for their school, college, or department.


Who Should Attend

Academic leaders will leave this event with a framework to more effectively fundraise. This training will be especially beneficial to:

  • New deans who are looking to develop their fundraising knowledge and skills
  • Experienced deans who have had limited exposure to fundraising
  • Deans who have a donor in mind but aren’t sure how best to approach the cultivation and solicitation process
  • Deans looking to improve their relationships and partnerships with university advancement
  • Chairs or associate deans who are looking to become a dean


Bring Your Team

Would any of your academic leaders find this event helpful? Bring your development officer along with them. Sending a team of people together will get everyone on the same page and will strengthen your overall fundraising efforts. Tiered pricing is available. See the registration row below for details.

“This workshop is extremely useful for Deans in all types of schools and colleges to learn more about effective fundraising strategy and approaches.”
- Chung-Shing Lee, Assistant to the Dean, Pacific Lutheran University

Read what past attendees have said about this event.

“Raising money is a key part of Dean-craft; like everything else, knowing what to do and how to do it is part of a Dean's professional development. This conference is a superb way to learn how.”
- Keith Williamson, Dean, Fitchburg State University

“This was an excellent and inspiring program!”
- Henry Fadamiro, Associate Dean, Auburn University

“Great input from experienced professionals. Very interactive with great resource materials. Both strategic and tactical topics were presented very well.”
- Jim Demary, Director of Development, Utah Valley University




Registration, Opening Comments, and Introductions



Understanding Philanthropy and Preparing for the Upcoming Challenges in Higher Ed

With the billion-dollar campaign increasingly becoming the norm in higher education fundraising, many institutions have met these ambitious goals by turning to a shrinking pool of high-wealth donors. However, these transactional interactions only increase the percentage of alumni who feel the relationship with their alma mater has been undervalued or forgotten. You will leave this session with a better understanding of this phenomenon and similar issues that frame the challenge of the future of fundraising success.



Building a Stronger Philanthropic Culture with Your Team

Building on the content of the previous discussion, this session will dig into the specifics of how deans can foster a culture of philanthropy at their institution. We will highlight three key building blocks: appreciation, affiliation, and agency. We will also take an in-depth look at what has worked well over time and allow you to identify where there are opportunities for improvement within your existing structures.



Partnerships with Advancement: Understanding Their Role in Fundraising

Your advancement team is going to be your greatest support in your philanthropic efforts and interactions with donors. Having a clear understanding of what advancement does, and where their obligations begin and end, will go a long way to build this critical relationship. We will discuss the portfolios that gift officers manage and how they utilize prospect research. You will learn to what capacity your advancement colleagues can support you and what tools they have to offer in the cultivation and solicitation process.



Cultivation and Solicitation: Identifying and Interacting with Potential Donors – Role Plays

From former students to other alumni and even parent connections, faculty and academic leaders have unique connections to an institution’s external stakeholders. It is imperative you keep advancement staff apprised of these connections to keep development officers operating at peak performance; the more disciplined the communication, the greater the potential for institutional growth. You will leave this hour equipped with methods of ensuring that these interactions are communicated, tracked, and responded to as needed.



Articulating Clear Priorities to Allow for Fundraising Success – Working Session

Fundraising success—already difficult in this philanthropic climate—is only more complicated when donors are presented with numerous giving opportunities. Our experts will provide insights on how to crystallize your vision and help unify your external message across development staffers. You will leave this session equipped with a draft of fundraising priorities for you to share with your development officer and faculty members.



Day 1 Wrap-Up and Q & A



Networking Reception




Using Whitepapers and Projects to Maximize Prospect Interest

Approaching a prospect with a whitepaper draft can provide a substantive, early-stage connection to a project and allow you to build a focused, results-based relationship without social cultivation. Highlighting a variety of samples, we will show you how to develop whitepapers that motivate prospects to give.



Improving Advisory Board Performance

Advisory boards can be helpful entities, but they often fail to reach their full potential. Their obstacles include: an ill-defined mission, unclear or poorly defined membership responsibilities, ineffective group interaction, or uninspired leadership. This session will help you troubleshoot your challenging advisory board situations and leave you equipped with tactics to make your advisory board more effective.



Debrief and Wrap-Up

October 28 - 29, 2019

St. Louis, MO

Conference Hotel Information:

St. Louis Union Station Hotel
1820 Market St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Room Rate: $189, plus applicable tax.
Room Block Dates: October 27 and 28, 2019
Rate Available until: October 6, 2019

Please book early - rooms are limited and subject to availability.

Reserve Your Room: Please call 314-231-1234. Please provide booking code: FFD and indicate that you are with the Academic Impressions group to receive the group rate.



Chester Gillis, Ph.D.

Provost, Saint Louis University

Appointed dean in April 2009, Chet previously served Georgetown University as Dean for Georgetown College and chair of the Department of Theology, then as interim dean, where he and his development team raised 172 million dollars. He is an expert on the U.S. Catholic Church, the history of Catholicism, the papacy, interfaith dialogue, and religious pluralism. Chet received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Liberal Studies Program in 2005, and, as a member of the American Theological Society, he served on the Academic Relations Task Force of the American Academy of Religion.

Read Chet's full bio here.

James M. Langley

Founder and President, Langley Innovations

Before forming his own comprehensive advancement consulting firm, Jim served as vice president for advancement at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, he led the institution’s offices of alumni affairs, strategic communications and marketing, development, medical center development, and advancement services. During his tenure, he produced record numbers in new commitments and dollars, despite a difficult economy. He also launched a number of innovative programs, including the acclaimed Student Discovery Initiative.

Read Jim's full bio here.

Conference Only

$1,495 through Oct 11$1,595

Be more equipped to raise money for your school, college, or department.

  • 1-2 registrations: full price
  • 3-4 registrations: 15% off each registration
  • 5-7 registrations: 20% off each registration
  • 8 + registrations: 25% off each registration


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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