Independent School Summit

Independent School professionals face unique challenges. Whether you need assistance with fundraising tactics, parent relations, or data driven strategies, it’s time to come together with your colleagues for the first in-person Summit since 2019. Programming details are being finalized and will include a variety of presentation, panel and special speaker sessions

In collaboration with
ISAP Canada
Gold Sponsor
Global Philanthropic Canada
Supported by
Funding matters inc.

Event Information

Start Date

February 07, 2023

End Date

February 08, 2023

Venue Address

Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, 116 King Street West, Hamilton, L8P 4V3, Ontario, Canada

CFRE Approved

By attending the 2023 Summit, you can earn up to 8 CFRE points.

18:30 ET9:10 ETBreakfast
29:10 ET9:15 ETWelcome & Summit Opening
39:15 ET10:15 ETChallenging Conversations and Difficult Discussions: Fundraising and EDIAnnette Paul, Havergal CollegeBallroom East
410:15 ET10:30 ETBreak
510:45 ET11:30 ETBuild Avi’s Classroom!Martha Drake & Carole Zamroutian, University of Toronto Schools (UTS)Ballroom Centre
12Planned Giving at Independent Schools – It is worth it!Laura Byl, St. Andrew’s CollegeBallroom East
1311:30 ET11:45 ETBreak
1411:45 ET12:30 ETTesting IS Winning, optimizing your digital marketing and fundraisingJosh Adler, Queen’s UniversityBallroom East
1512:30 ET13:30 ETLunch: Supported by FUNDING matters inc. & GIFTABULATOR
1613:30 ET14:30 ETBut what’s in it for my child? Tuition assistance as a fundraising priorityMohamed Dostmohamed, Toronto Waldorf School Foundation & Jon Brandt, Global PhilanthropicBallroom East
1714:30 ET14:45 ETBreak
1914:45 ET15:45 ETGamify your Annual Giving – The Secret to SuccessKatie Kostiuk, The StudyBallroom East
2015:45 ET16:00 ETDay 1 debrief
2118:30 ETISAP Canada Social EventLoft Lounge within hotel
18:30 ET9:00 ETBreakfast
29:00 ET10:00 ETKeynote PresentationCatherine Connelly, Professor, Human Resources & Management, McMaster UniversityBallroom East
310:00 ET10:15 ETBreak
410:15 ET11:00 ETRaising Funds using Community Bonds: A Case StudyHallie McClelland, Kingsway College School & Jennifer Bryan, Tapestry CapitalBallroom Centre
5Milestone CelebrationsRonith Cogswell, Vancouver CollegeBallroom East
1211:00 ET11:15 ETBreak
1311:15 ET12:15 ETAgreements, Naming and Recognition - Do's, Don'ts, Ideas & Examples!Brent Johnston, The Country Day School & Greg Reid, St. Andrew's CollegeBallroom East
1412:15 ET12:50 ETSummit Close, boxed lunches provided by CCAE
16Optional School Tour
1713:00 ETBus departs for HSC from SheratonMeet in the Hotel Lobby
1814:45 ETBus departs from HSC to Sheraton


Annette Paul

Annette Paul

Challenging Conversations and Difficult Discussions : Fundraising and EDI

Annette Paul, Executive Director, Advancement, Havergal College

A discussion-style session about how equity, diversity, and inclusion might manifest in fundraising, development and advancement programs, teams, and situations.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand better what peers have experienced and solutions that they might have tested.
  • Find insight into challenges through community and industry practices.
  • Consider opportunities to lead in this space within your organization.
Martha Drake

Martha Drake

Carole Zamroutian

Carole Zamroutian

Build Avi’s Classroom! – How we extended our capital campaign to raise an extra $2 million in one year

Martha Drake, CFRE, Executive Director, Advancement, University of Toronto Schools (UTS)
Carole Zamroutian, Associate Director, Advancement, University of Toronto Schools (UTS)

UTS completed an historic, hugely successful $60 million Building the Future capital campaign in 2020. Later that year it was determined another $2 million was needed to equip and outfit the new building with 3D printers, bookshelves, desks and chairs, science and athletic equipment, and more! While still collecting pledges and deep into a world-wide pandemic, the Advancement staff had to plan and execute a campaign to increase giving and motivate new donors to the Building Fund in a community who had stretched to donate funds for a successful building project.


Learning Objectives:

  • Participants can learn how to create a multi-level and inclusive fundraising plan consisting of Annual Fund, Giving Days, major gifts, group projects and matching incentives to achieve their fundraising goal.
  • Participants can learn strategies to increase giving participation.
  • Participants can learn strategies to increase the number of new donors.
Laura Byl

Laura Byl

Planned Giving at Independent Schools – It is worth it!

Laura Byl, Stewardship and Planned Giving Officer, St. Andrew’s College

In this session, attendees will hear about everyday ways to make planned giving a priority, no matter how much time is available.

Examples will be shared, specifically around one on one communications, as well as other marketing tools and alumni initiatives.

In addition to examples, attendees will dive deeper into how St.Andrew’s College building their life insurance program and incorporating digital tools.   


Learning Objectives:

  • To encourage incorporating planned giving initiatives into advancement, especially if there is a not a planned giving team.
  • To explore the unique life insurance program at SAC.
  • To identify the ideal planned giving donor.
Josh Adler

Josh Adler

Testing IS Winning, optimizing your digital marketing and fundraising

Josh Adler, Associate Director, Digital Engagement, Queen’s University

This session explores how a culture of testing, trial & error, and pilot programs can help teams easily optimize their work and make data-informed decisions. Testing can enhance the performance of digital marketing and digital fundraising, and even improve relationships and engagement with students, alumni, donors, and internal employees. Even tests that ‘fail’, yield meaningful insights. In this session, examples of real pilots will be shared; from the initial question a team set out to explore, the test (and creative) the team ran, and the results and learnings. This session will inspire all teams to win through testing.


Learning Objectives:

  • To teach how data-informed decision-making can improve digital channels, digital fundraising, and marketing communications.
  • To show how to build a culture that isn’t afraid to ‘fail fast’ and where testing, trial & error, and pilot programs are part of how we operate.
  • To inspire teams to think creatively and strategically about how to increase the performance of their digital marketing, digital fundraising, and internal communications.
Mohamed Dostmohamed

Mohamed Dostmohamed

Jon Brandt

Jon Brandt

But what’s in it for my child? – Tuition assistance as a fundraising priority

Mohamed Dostmohamed, Board Chair, Toronto Waldorf School Foundation
Jon Brandt, Associate Vice President Ontario and Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic

This session will be an exploration of beginnings, with all of the fits and stops that come with the new.
Toronto Waldorf School doesn’t have a culture of philanthropy or strong tradition of fundraising. Over the past year the foundation has been working to develop a pattern of giving with parents and alumni. They brought in a consultant to help with the structure and implementation. It has been a rough year but we are seeing signs of progress and engagement.


Learning Objectives:

  • Important first steps in building a development function from scratch.
  • Building a healthy relationship between school and foundation.
  • Engaging parents, creating a class fund.
Katie Kostiuk

Katie Kostiuk

Gamify your Annual Giving – The Secret to Success

Katie Kostiuk, Director of Advancement, The Study

Together, we will explore what it means to put ‘fun’ back into annual giving by using gaming techniques that are sure to help you raise participation levels and more money, immediately!

Learn how to create a sense of urgency to give, develop deeper connections with your community, and galvanize even the most diverse constituents with this approach.

This presentation will apply The Study’s annual Give Week as a case study.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to create a sense of urgency and why it can be beneficial when driving participation and giving in annual giving.
  • Explore how a gamification approach to annual giving can help galvanise diverse communities.
  • Review next steps towards implementing your first Giving Day/Week.
Catherine Connelly

Catherine Connelly

Keynote Presentation
Managing knowledge hiding within your organization

Catherine Connelly, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University

Although many organizations assume that employees will share all their best ideas with their coworkers, this is often not the case. Most people have experienced “knowledge hiding” firsthand – moments where they have asked a colleague for help, only to be ignored, strung along, or turned down. 

Prof. Catherine Connelly will explain the three main strategies that knowledge hiders use (i.e., playing dumb, evasive hiding, rationalized hiding), and discuss the circumstances that make someone more or less likely to hide their knowledge. She will also explain the personal and professional consequences of knowledge hiding for the people who hide as well as their targets. Prof. Connelly will also identify how leaders can take action to reduce knowledge hiding among their team members or in their organizations.


Hallie McClelland

Hallie McClelland

Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan

Raising Funds using Community Bonds: A Case Study

Hallie McClelland, CFRE, Director of Advancement, Kingsway College School
Jennifer Bryan, Senior Campaign Manager, Tapestry Capital

Through an ambitious financing campaign that paired traditional fundraising with Community Bonds, Kingsway College School (KCS) was able to open our doors to a breathtaking new Senior School campus. Learn more about why and how KCS chose to incorporate Community Bonds into the funding mix for the Senior School campus, how KCS marketed this comprehensive campaign to families and the community and what we learned from the experience. Hear more about how community bonds are helping non-profits raise funds for their organizations and how KCS and Tapestry Community Capital worked together on this campaign.


Learning Objectives:

  • Provide information on why and how KCS raised funds in a short period of time through community bonds.
  • Provide information on how KCS was able to market a comprehensive campaign that included donations.
  • Share SWOT analysis on using community bonds to raise funds.
Ronith Cogswell

Ronith Cogswell

Milestone Celebrations

Ronith Cogswell, Director of Advancement, Vancouver College

100 years is a great cause to reflect and celebrate. To mark the occasion Vancouver College has worked to create a series of opportunities to bring back alumni and mark important moments in the history of the school.

This presentation will o over the planning and executing community events that engage stakeholders in celebration of our school’s centenary. Items which include  homecoming and kick-off party (see video recap), a 100-year timeline (physical installation and online) and 100 stories to commemorate 100 years.


Learning Objectives:

  • A time for every purpose – determine when to steward and when to ask.
  • Coordinating and working with different volunteer groups (parents, alumni, students, and staff).
  • Different ways to celebrate and leave a lasting legacy/tribute .
Brent Johnston

Brent Johnston

Greg Reid

Greg Reid

Agreements, Naming and Recognition – Do’s, Don’ts, Ideas & Examples!

Brent Johnston, Executive Director of Advancement, The Country Day School

Greg Reid, Executive Director of Advancement, St. Andrew’s College

In this interactive session, participants will discuss the importance of agreements or memorandums of understanding along with the do’s and don’ts of naming and recognition policies and practices at independent schools. 


Attendees will learn:

  • the key components of a Naming and Recognition Policy;
  • important elements to include in an agreement or memorandum of understanding;
  • specifics regarding naming and recognition to be included in gift agreements;
  • examples of unique situations, mistakes, and solutions with naming and recognition.

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