A Professional Development Challenge for Advancement Professionals:

Build Stronger Relationships in the New Year

Complete this Professional Development Challenge and get a FREE Conference Registration (a $2,500 value*)!

A Professional Development Challenge for Advancement Professionals

Relationships are the currency of Advancement. Whether you’re a donor relations professional or development officer stewarding and building relationships with donors, an alumni relations professional forging meaningful connections with alumni, or a prospect researcher seeking to collaborate more seamlessly with other parts of the shop, your work depends on your ability to forge and deepen connection with others.

We invite you and your team to participate in our inaugural Relationship Challenge, a professional development challenge designed to help Advancement professionals hone and improve their relational and interpersonal skills heading into the new year. Complete the requirements below to earn a free in-person conference seat to any of our upcoming 2024 events!


Watch 3 On-Demand Trainings

Start Watching ⟶


Read 2 Articles

Start Reading ⟶


Do 1 Activity

Start Activities ⟶


Complete a Reflection

Complete Reflection ⟶

On-Demand Trainings


Navigate Challenging Conversations with Donors

Watch Video ⟶

Engaging in Empathy: Balance the Emotional Demands

Watch Video ⟶

Engaging Deans and Academic Leaders in Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving

Watch Video ⟶

Increasing Emotional Intelligence by Identifying Your Triggers

Watch Video ⟶

Create Meaningful Volunteer Opportunities for Your Major Donors

Watch Video ⟶

Crafting Personalized Stewardship Plans for Top Donors

Watch Video ⟶

Cultural Humility: A Framework to Mitigate Personal Bias

Watch Video ⟶

Developing a Strategy for Equity-Based Fundraising

Watch Video ⟶

How to Maintain Trust in Teams During Transitions

Watch Video ⟶

Strategic Stewardship to Improve Donor Retention

Watch Video ⟶

Growing Women’s Engagement and Philanthropic Interest

Watch Video ⟶

Uncomfortable Conversations Are Necessary, Not Unkind

Watch Video ⟶

Engaging Faculty to Improve Corporate Relations

Watch Video ⟶

Honoring Names: A Simple Way to Promote Belonging

Watch Video ⟶

Keys to a Successful Relationship Between Deans and Development Officers

Watch Video ⟶



Donor Conversations: What’s Often Missing (and Needn’t Be)

Read Article ⟶

What Development Teams Get Wrong about Donor Relations

Read Article ⟶

Marginality and Mattering: A Framework for Diverse Alumni Engagement

Read Article ⟶

Retention Through Onboarding: How Hiring Managers Foster a Sense of Belonging

Read Article ⟶

Stay Conversations as a Retention Tool. Have the Conversations Now. 

Read Article ⟶



At your next meeting with your supervisor, share 2 or 3 new strategies that you learned from these resources to strengthen your relationships with colleagues, alumni, or donors. Share what you learned after applying the strategies.

At your next meeting with colleagues, spend 15 minutes to recap what you learned by viewing or reading one of these resources. Lead a discussion to help apply the learning in your context.

Maintain a written or typed journal of at least three of your favorite resources from this challenge. Share reflections with a trusted colleague and how it will help improve your work.

Schedule a meeting with your on-campus AI membership coordinator and AI Account Manager to coordinate a community learning event (video + discussion) on one of these resources for your shop. (Actual facilitation can take place after challenge ends.)

Forward at least two of these resources to your colleagues who are not currently participating in this challenge. Schedule a meeting to share your learning together.

*To earn a free conference registration voucher you must complete the challenge and submit the Challenge PDF document by February 16, 2024. Once reviewed, we will email you with a promo code for a Conference registrations must be used in 2024. Registration vouchers are nontransferable and have no cash value.