Institute for Annual Giving

Institute for Annual Giving

January 21 – 22, 2021 | Eastern Time

Hear the latest and best thinking for keeping your annual giving strategy competitive, nimble, and relevant to the current times.


Stagnant or underperforming annual giving programs have been a norm in many advancement shops. Annual giving teams are grappling with the logistics and adjustments to tactics and strategy in the move to remote work during the pandemic. Though the need to stay ahead of the curve is more important than ever right now, the same strategic approach is being used without being refreshed with new and relevant ideas.

Join us for this two-day virtual conference that will showcase the most successful tactics in annual giving and help you develop a comprehensive plan to improve your shop’s efforts. Through a unique blend of individual and group activities, our expert faculty will share key strategies that underpin the strongest annual giving programs in higher education and provide innovative solutions to your most difficult challenges within solicitation, channel integration, and segmentation.

You will have the opportunity to exchange best practices and browse the best solicitations submitted by your fellow attendees in order to gain a solid overview of what your peer institutions are doing.


Who Should Attend

If you’re an annual giving manager or director, or a team member who wants to learn how to target your giving populations more efficiently, this conference is for you.

This training assumes a general knowledge of annual giving; however, if you’re new to annual giving, or want to better understand how the fundraising climate has changed recently, you and your team will benefit from attending.

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
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions

See What Our Attendees are Saying

"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 One | All Times Eastern


Welcome and Introductions
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



The Landscape of Annual Giving
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Knowing how giving trends and donor behavior have shifted this past year will provide you with the context to understand what annual giving currently looks like and what assumptions you can build into your strategic plan.



12:15 – 12:30 p.m.



Data-Driven Strategy
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
To have a strong annual giving program, you must be able to strategically analyze your data in order to continue to increase funds raised in the current giving climate. After learning basic data analysis techniques for essential reporting, segmenting, and tactical decision making, you will discuss the key metrics and benchmarking figures for your program, as well as for various solicitation tools. We’ll finish this session with a SOAR analysis to help you identify where you aspire to take your data and what measurable results you want to achieve.



Long Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m.



Annual Giving as a Communications Strategy
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
In this session, we will discuss how to leverage annual giving as an intentional communications tool, demonstrate how to reinforce key messages, and explore how you can leverage your voice to position your shop for future resources and support.



3:00 – 3:15 p.m.



Digital Solicitations: Effective Fundraising in a New Era
3:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Leveraging digital media for solicitations is a primary component of any annual-giving strategy that, when utilized productively, will move the needle toward greater engagement and fundraising from your constituents.



Sharing Solicitations
4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
During this activity-based networking session, you will be able to browse your peers’ solicitations and share to gather new ideas for your own shop.


Day Two | All Times Eastern


Reflections and Networking
11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



Crowdfunding and Micro-Campaigns
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Crowdfunding and micro-campaigns continue to grow as a meaningful part of an annual giving strategy. Since the pandemic, however, these fundraising tools have become more ubiquitous as institutions shift to more short-term campaigns in response to the variety of societal developments affecting their students’ personal lives, and higher education in general. In this session, we will cover best practices for how to integrate these approaches into your overall fundraising strategy.



12:15 – 12:30 p.m.



Days of Giving
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
What strategies have you employed in the pandemic to create maximum impact on giving days? Learn how to harness the urgency required for pivoting your approach by applying innovative and nimble techniques and following best practices that unite and engage your donors in fast-paced philanthropy.



Longer Break
1:30 – 2:00 p.m.



The Future of Phonathon
2:00 – 2:45 p.m.
While some shops have seen an increase in their contact rates due to more alumni working from home and being readily available for calls, others continue to see a decrease. In either case, the new reality of managing remote call centers while still striving to produce successful fundraising outcomes is an added layer on top of the traditional challenges call centers face. In this session, you will learn what adjustments you can make to your scripts depending on the segment, how to better plan calls in tandem with your solicitation schedules, and what institutional partnerships with your call center look like now that we have gone remote.



Key Metrics to Track Progress and Report to Leadership
2:45 – 3:30 p.m.
Leveraging your metrics to make decisions and course correct is fundamental to knowing how successful you are in progressing your goals. Utilizing your metrics when reporting results to leadership will help you secure buy-in for your annual giving strategic initiatives.



3:30 – 3:45 p.m.



Annual Giving Stewardship
3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
Stewarding annual fund donors is notoriously difficult but vital for the retention of this population. We will show you how to use existing resources and opportunities to maximize your time, budget, and stewardship efforts.



Action Planning
4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
You will come away from this program with actionable steps you can take to develop or make adjustments to your annual-giving strategic plan.


Portrait of Brian Daugherty

Brian Daugherty

Senior Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer, San Diego Humane Society

With more than twenty years of experience in development with a focus on annual giving and major gifts, Brian has worked for a variety of organizations in the nonprofit arena, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, the University of Baltimore, the University of California, San Diego San Diego State University and the University of San Diego.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Dan Frezza

Dan Frezza

Associate Vice President for Lifetime Philanthropic Engagement & Annual at William & Mary

In his current role, Dan Frezza oversees the strategic leadership and execution of a comprehensive annual giving approach that includes fundraising priorities for 13 school and units.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

portrait of Mel Rowan

Melissa Rowan

Assistant Vice President – Strategic Initiatives, Iowa State University

Melissa staffs the ISU Foundation’s board of directors, oversees operational implementation of the Foundation’s strategic plan and serves as the public information officer. Melissa has nearly twenty years in annual giving, with fifteen of those years in director, senior director, and executive director roles.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



$1,495 $0


$1,495 $1,395

through Jan. 14, 2021

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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Nick Pettet

Nick Pettet
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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