Strengthening the Relationship Between Development and Alumni Relations Teams


Improve fundraising success and alumni engagement through stronger partnerships.


Development and alumni relations teams make different yet equally important contributions to meeting institutional advancement goals. However, it can be difficult for these teams to focus on their relationships with one another when they are also focused on meeting different metrics and responding to the various needs of donors and alumni. Taking time to establish a communication plan or strategy for both alumni relations and development teams can be a real challenge amidst the day-to-day upkeep of meeting obligations and competing priorities. Additionally, knowing how to apply this communication strategy to working with other internal campus partners, like academic units, is just as important given their key roles in stewarding volunteers and donors for both units.

Join us for this one-day virtual event designed specifically for alumni relations and development teams who would like to strengthen their internal working relationships to improve their success with fundraising, alumni engagement, and other advancement initiatives.


Who Should Attend

This virtual conference is designed for leaders of development and alumni relations teams, as well as for those team members who regularly work with the other side of the shop or who have goals of doing so more readily. If you are looking for ways to better steward volunteers and donors, improve communication, and work with academic units as a united development and alumni relations team, then this virtual conference is for you.

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


December 9, 2022

11:00 – 5:00 p.m. ET


Welcome & Opening Remarks

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. ET


Overcoming Common Assumptions About Development and Alumni Relations
11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
This session will focus on reviewing some of the basic work components and responsibilities within development and alumni relations and will also address some of the misperceptions of each area (territorialism, perceptions about work rigor, friendraisers vs. fundraisers, party planners vs. money-makers, etc.).


Agreeing on a Communication Strategy
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET
Communication is an essential component of collaboration between these two areas, but it can often be overlooked or fall to the wayside. This session will focus on areas where alumni relations and development can improve their communication (regarding engaging donors, planning alumni events, partnering with other campus constituents, etc.) and will offer specific strategies for doing so.


Long Break
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET


Effectively Stewarding Volunteers and Donors
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET
The work of development and alumni relations teams should be symbiotic, with each constantly feeding the other. In this session, we will identify specific strategies through which alumni relations staff can help to create a pipeline of donors, and for development staff to better help identify volunteers for university engagement (i.e., alumni boards, mentoring opportunities).


Short Break
2:30 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. ET


Partnering Effectively with Academic Units
2:40 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. ET
Many institutions embed development and/or alumni relations work within schools/colleges/faculties. This session will review best practices for engaging deans, faculty, and other academic roles to enhance the work that development and alumni relations professionals complete so that the institution is maximizing its reach to donors and alumni.


Putting It into Practice: A Case Study
3:25 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. ET
In this session, alumni relations and development professionals will have the opportunity to join breakout sessions focused on a case study in which they will have the chance to create an action plan that incorporates communication, stewardship, and partnering with academic units. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of each other regarding how they approach their work and will walk away with some tangible ideas of how to approach and manage similar circumstances in their work in the future.


Short Break
3:55 p.m. – 4:05 p.m. ET


Identifying Common Goals to Improve Metrics
4:05 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. ET
This final session will focus on ways in which both alumni relations and development teams can partner together to be sure their defined common goals align with overall advancement metrics (i.e., for both individuals and teams). Additionally, we will discuss how to create common goals around supporting employee retention, learning, and leadership development.


Questions & Closing Remarks

4:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET


Headshot of Paulyne Becerra

Paulyne Becerra

Executive Director of Development, Student Success and Parent Programs, University of California San Diego

Paulyne Becerra has 15 years of experience in higher education advancement and currently serves as the Executive Director of Development, Student Success and Parent Programs at the University of California San Diego. In this role, Paulyne manages a team of frontline fundraisers and program directors who support student success initiatives and parent and family engagement.

Read Paulyne’s Full Bio.

Portrait of Michael Bumbry

Dr. Michael Bumbry

Senior Director of Alumni Outreach and Engagement, University of California San Diego

Dr. Michael Bumbry has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education administration including careers in both student affairs and advancement. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Alumni Outreach and Engagement at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). In his current role, Dr. Bumbry manages a team of alumni directors who support 17 academic units, with a focus on strategic engagement, prospect qualification, and pipeline development.

Read Michael’s Full Bio.

Image of Megan Stevens

Megan Stevens

Assistant Vice President for Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement, Stevens Institute of Technology

Megan Stevens is the Assistant Vice President for Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and the Executive Director and Executive Secretary of the Stevens Alumni Association. She and her team of seven direct the alumni engagement and annual giving opportunities for over 54,000 Stevens alumni.

Read Megan’s Full Bio.