Learn how to revitalize your donor relations strategy to improve the effectiveness of your institution’s stewardship efforts.
Develop a comprehensive donor relations strategy for every segment of your donors to improve the effectiveness of your engagement and cultivation efforts. This conference will allow you to explore the four pillars of a sound donor relations strategy and help you:
- Assess strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy
- Combat challenges faced when writing to donors
- Leverage data and reports to inform stewardship activities
- Develop a plan that is scaled to your institution
This program is facilitated by donor relations experts Angela Joens (University of California Davis), Sarah Sims (University of Florida), and Lynne Wester (Donor Relations Guru).
One of Our Best Rated Events
This program remains one of Academic Impressions’ highest rated events. Here’s what 2016’s attendees had to say:
“An excellent overview of best practices in donor relations”
“Provided me tools and strategies I can apply immediately”
“I liked the smaller group size—the instructors were accessible”
“Actual, actionable steps to implement to make my program better”
“The energy, content, and presenters were top notch”
“So much incredible content—breadth & depth”
“I have a strong direction to get things going”
This event is designed for those who need to breathe new life into their donor relations programs. Come learn from our expert instructors and walk away with actionable items that can be implemented immediately.
Who Should Attend
Advancement professionals and teams looking to build or revamp their donor relations program cannot miss this conference. Our expert instructors will provide useful advice, whether you are new to the field or have worked in advancement for several years. When you register two attendees, a third registration is 50% off!
Full-Day Pre-Conference Workshop: The Foundations of Donor Relations
If you are new to donor relations, we strongly encourage you to attend this full-day workshop. You will learn the foundations for a successful donor relations program and examine the four key pillars of donor relations:
- Stewardship and impact reporting
- Donor recognition
- Events and engagement
You will leave this pre-conference workshop equipped with best practices to leverage in your everyday work.
The donor relations field has grown and evolved tremendously over the last five years. If you are new to the field, this one-day pre-conference workshop will provide you with the foundations of a sound donor relations program. Highlighting the four key pillars of donor relations, there will be sessions covering:
- Stewardship and Impact Reporting
- Donor Recognition
- Events and Engagement
You will leave this pre-conference workshop equipped with best practices to leverage in your everyday work and the foundational knowledge to get the most out of the following two days.
This working session will allow you to work through the strengths and weaknesses of your existing stewardship strategy. Considering your relationships with your entire advancement shop and the four pillars of a sound donor relations program, you will evaluate the strengths through an audit of your current donor relations practices to assess what you are doing well and identify where you can improve. Resources:
- Donor Relations Program Audit
- Donor Relations Fund Audit
In a combination of lecture and working time, this session will give you examples of successful strategies to combat the common challenges that donor relations professionals face when writing to donors, such as:
- Writing in someone else’s voice (president, vice president, etc.)
- Multiple acknowledgment letters to the same donor from different people
- Working with institutions’ communications groups
This morning will focus exclusively on donor relations strategy for your institution’s top donors. These donors represent less than 10% of your supporters, but contribute to more than 90% of your gifts. Our expert facilitators will share a framework for:
- Engaging top donors through events
- Communicating with these top donors
- Developing an ongoing engagement strategy
- Creating customized engagement plans
Angela has extensive management, development and stewardship experience. In her current role, she supervises annual giving, donor relations, research and prospect management, proposal services, marketing and communications, and development recruitment.
Prior to UC Davis, Joens was Vice President of Development Operations for the Mercy Medical Center Foundation. She also served as the Senior Director of Donor Relations for the Iowa State University Foundation and worked for RuffaloCODY, a for-profit company that assists the non-profits with fundraising. Her career began as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Joens is also a non-profit consultant, an executive coach, and speaks nationally on topics related to stewardship, development and leadership. She has been featured in CASE Currents Magazine and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Joens earned her BA from the University of Iowa, her MPA from Iowa State University, and her Professional Life and Work Coach Certificate from UC Davis.
Sarah E. Sims, CFRE
Sarah has been responsible for building new and innovative donor relations programs from the ground up at three different higher education institutions and now heads the donor relations team at the University of Florida as they embark on the University’s first $3B capital campaign.
With more than ten years of experience in donor relations and frontline fundraising in a variety of higher education and non-profit settings, Sarah focuses on building strategic donor relationships while forwarding the mission of the organization. Her specialty areas include top donor strategy, program development, fund stewardship and major gift development.
Sarah is a non-profit consultant and active industry volunteer with positions held on the CASE IV Board of Directors and with the Association of Donor Relations Professionals. Sarah earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2013 and is a frequent presenter for CASE, ADRP, DRG, and Academic Impressions.
Lynne is a frequent conference speaker and a well-known resource for donor relations and fundraising. She has been featured in The Washington Post, CURRENTS magazine, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and other industry publications. Lynne also created the website and blog www.donorrelationsguru.com where she shares her expertise, opinions, and collections of samples on a variety of topics to the greater development world and hosts a monthly webinar series.
Using her hands-on approach, Lynne works with many organizations to help them keep their focus donor driven, technology savvy, strategic, and always with a splash of good humor. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and is a loyal gamecock alumna, donor, and fan, and holds a master's in strategic fundraising and philanthropy with an emphasis in higher education.
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?
Gwen Doyle Herbert
Program Manager, Academic Impressions