2019 National Conference Sessions

Big or small, don’t take your eye off the legacy ball.
Alexis Gaiptman - CFRE, Associate Director, Major Gifts - Advancement, Mcgill University
Brock Warner - Director of Community Giving and Innovation, War Child

Planned giving donors are special. Some may even say that they're the everyday 'heroes' living amongst us while planning for a better future. They are bridging the gaps between today's needs and those of the future, so we should invest in connecting with these heroes, their stories, and their reasons for giving. Not a single charity in Canada can afford to take their eye off the ball when it comes to creating, managing or expanding your charity’s legacy fundraising program. Alexis and Brock will provide two unique perspectives on what this means in practice for a small shop generalist and for a big shop specialist. Now is the time to be proactive, consistent and creative with our planned giving messaging so that our donors know and understand we are here to collaborate through our commitment to them and their legacy. Together we will explore ways to be proactive, creative and examine opportunities to collaborate in order to ensure your planned giving program is built on a solid foundation.

  • An understanding of what, from your donor’s perspective will strengthen your charity’s ability to secure planned giving commitments. E.g., developing a compelling case for planned gifts, stewardship and relationship management at all stages.
  • An understanding of what, from within your charity will ensure your planned giving program is built on a solid foundation of effective and ethical best practice. E.g., what to measure and why, prospecting for new planned giving donors, influencing organizational culture, prioritizing your time and working with partners and allied professionals.
  • An understanding of how, in the public’s eyes planned giving is understood, considered and where the best opportunities exist for your charity to expand its planned giving revenue.


Design Thinking: New Innovative Thinking to re-define Homecoming
Note: This session will be presented entirely in French
Lucie Gendron - Director, Alumni Relations, University of Ottawa

Design thinking is an iterative process that helps teams creatively solve problems. It uses empathy, experimentation and ideation as its core foundation. Problem to solve: at uOttawa, we offered the same Homecoming format for a number of years and we felt the need to refresh our programming. Using Design Thinking as the approach, we were able to transform this unique signature event into a Homecoming experience that brings generations of alumni together with the entire uOttawa and Ottawa community to celebrate their time and their contribution to the fabric of our university. Our journey in using Design Thinking is explained from start to end.

  • uOttawa Case scenario: why Homecoming at uOttawa needed a refresh and why Design Thinking was the right approach to re-define the event.
  • Design Thinking explain: this is an iterative process that helps teams creatively solve problems. It uses empathy, experimentation and ideation as its core foundation. Basic Design Thinking steps will be explained. The process can be used by a great diversity of organizations including academic institutions
  • From Design Thinking to Prototyping: how we took all ideas together and made them a tangible refreshed Homecoming at uOttawa.


From First Meeting to Making the Ask... and everything in between! An introduction to Major Gifts Fundraising
Amanda Fritz - CFRE, Senior Philanthropy Officer, Primary Gifts, McGill University
Alexis Gaiptman - CFRE, Associate Director, Major Gifts - Advancement, McGill University

As McGill University prepares for its bicentennial celebration and gets ready for its corresponding campaign, we ask ourselves - how do we strengthen the relationships with our donors, colleagues and volunteers in order to raise money more efficiently and collaboratively? Regardless of this size of your shop and/or team, we will provide tips and tools that can help your major gift program yield success. This interactive session, which is relevant to all academic fundraising professionals in all roles, will encourage participants to use similar strategies and inspire creativity. Together, Amanda and Alexis will motivate you to embrace the unique challenges of developing a strong major program and explore adaptable solutions that make University fundraising successful from beginning to end.

  • How to build a collaborative cultivation work plan
  • How to identify and implement effective fundraising policies and procedures
  • How to measure and understand success beyond dollars