Keys to a Successful Relationship Between Deans and Development Officers

June 27, 2023 | 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern


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Refine your approach as an academic fundraising partnership to achieve your philanthropic goals.


Philanthropy is critical to helping institutions meet their academic missions, and at its core, it is all about building and maintaining relationships. Although fundraising is just one of the myriad responsibilities overseen by an academic dean, the development officer is a key partner in assisting the dean in achieving those fundraising goals. To find success in academic fundraising, the relationship between an academic dean and a development officer must be one built on mutual respect, trust, and clear communication. Successful fundraising teams develop complementary skills that, when combined, are more effective than the skills of one individual.

Through this three-hour virtual training, you will be able to better prioritize fundraising goals as a dean and development officer team. You will learn how to build trust and set expectations with mutual fundraising goals in mind, establish a process to effectively move donors through your pipeline, and practice essential skills such as making an ask.


Who Should Attend

Deans and development officer teams are encouraged to attend together!
Resources will be provided for teams to implement key takeaways discussed in the training.

This virtual training is designed for academic deans who oversee a school or college, and for development officers who work in conjunction with them through their academic unit or central advancement office. Provosts and advancement leaders looking to enhance their teams’ fundraising efforts may also benefit from this training. Whether you are navigating a new relationship due to turnover in your dean or development officer roles, or you are looking to strengthen your existing relationships to better meet strategic and campaign goals, this program is for you.

Enhance your learning about fundraising skills as a dean with James M. Langley’s book, Fundraising for Deans: A Guide. This book offers foundational fundraising knowledge for deans—including the dos and don’ts of engaging with a donor, working with your President and central advancement team, and managing your donor portfolio—while attending this companion virtual training will also help you to actualize some of these concepts within your own unique campus context.

Recording available 10 business days after the live training.

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


June 27, 2023

12:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET


Establish the Working Foundation

Deans and development officers balance several responsibilities, but there should always be a mutual understanding of the importance of philanthropy. Before getting in front of donors, you must consider how you will work together. You will reflect on ways in which you can build trust, set expectations, understand and respond to metrics, and approach your work from a donor-centric lens.


Build Meaningful Relationships with Donors

Once you have a clear understanding of your own working relationship, you can begin to consider how to approach current and prospective donors. Here, you will consider the roles deans and development officers play in donor qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. You will discuss how to respond to difficult donors as well as how to work with donors who have multiple philanthropic interests at your institution. You will also learn about building a portfolio from scratch and gain tips on how to manage and build upon an existing portfolio.


Make Your Proposal a Success

For some deans, asking a donor to give may seem like a daunting task, but when earlier steps in the donor relationship are taken with care and consideration, the proposal and ask should be relatively easy. Here, you will learn how deans and development officers can each contribute to the proposal process and practice how to have this conversation with a donor.


Professional portrait of Wade Weast

Wade Weast

Dean of the College of the Arts, Georgia State University

Bringing a wide range of experience in various areas of the music industry, Dr. Wade Weast became Dean of the College of the Arts at Georgia State University on July 1, 2016. Prior to his arrival at Georgia State University, he was Dean of the School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Director of the School of Music at the University of South Florida. He holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University with additional study at the Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Fredonia, and Tanglewood Institute.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Brent Pieper

Brent Pieper, Ed.D., CFRE

Associate Vice President for Campaign & Major Gifts, University of Kentucky

In his current role, Brent oversees the University’s $2.1 billion campaign. With nearly two decades of fundraising experience on campaigns totaling more than four billion dollars, he previously held the position of Assistant Vice President and Director of Campaign Operations at Cleveland State University. Brent has also led major gifts and campaign leadership positions for Indiana University and Ohio University. Prior to that, he was on the executive team at United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for four campaigns.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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