2019 National Conference Sessions

Professional Learning Sessions A - June 5, 9:40am - 10:40am

Discovering Your Potential: Strategies for Major Donor Qualification
John Greenhoe  - Principal Gifts Director, Western Michigan University

Colleges and universities throughout North America possess a huge resource that remains largely untapped. Many midsize to large institutions of higher learning have literally thousands of prospects in their databases who could be major gift supporters. Yet they often struggle in their methods to connect with this critical audience. John Greenhoe, author of a best-selling book on gaining first visits with prospective major donors, will lead a fast-paced workshop that provides solutions to this challenge.

The session will begin with a discussion of discovery call strategy to help determine which prospects to see first. Participants will then learn methods to set the appointment by showing value to the prospective donor. They will also tackle the in-person interview as well as next steps to move the relationship forward toward a major gift.

Participants should come ready to get their “hands dirty” through active role playing that will help them become more adept and confident in gaining access to prospective benefactors. Don’t miss this opportunity to join the higher learning cohort that is leaping philanthropy forward through Greenhoe’s groundbreaking strategies.

  • Specific takeaways that will increase confidence in making initial contact
  • Strategies for conducting discovery meetings that are both casual and purposeful
  • Methods for moving the prospect from discovery to cultivation


Who Owns Advancement? Big collaboration on a small campus
Note: This presentation will be bilingual
Mireille Millette - CFRE, Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations, York University
Jennifer Sipos - Course Director/ Director of Business Development & Corporate Relations, York University

Wondering how to inspire partners on your campus? Two years into a bold experiment, a Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations and a Course Director / Director of Business Development come to Ottawa to tell the tale of a path less chosen: collaboration. Global business trends already challenge alumni and advancement leaders to explore and create innovative strategies for organizational success, data collection, talent development and effective communication. This session offers emerging and established leaders’ key tools, small campus experiences and the pitfalls and unexpected delights that only a collaborative can approach bring.

  • In this bilingual session, we will explore how collaboration opens up new opportunities for data collection, team building, prospect pipeline development, cultivation, stewardship as well as building the culture of philanthropy on campus.
  • Focusing on talents not role and seizing opportunities, Advancement leaders can expand the group who will take ownership of Advancement.
  • Small teams must cross train, support each other and find synergies to compete with larger institutions. This presentation will offer a road map for small faculties in large Universities and/or small shops outright.


Engaging diverse alumni communities
Fred Lee  - Director, Alumni Engagement, University of British Columbia

Students on campus are a diverse and unique bunch, with very different needs. As alumni, the diverse student group has now become one that alumni UBC look to serve in meaningful and engaging ways. Whether it be around culture, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or special needs, learn about the different ways alumni UBC has been making strides to developing strategic programs to address the ever-changing alumni demographic and interests.

  • UBC's Value Proposition for Alumni Engagement
  • Alumni UBC's collaborative approach to reach, inspire and engage alumni
  • The groups of alumni that UBC is currently serving and looking to serve in the future


Viewing All That You Do Through Lean Six Sigma
Jeff Chuchman - Associate Director, Advancement Services, McMaster University

Lean and Six Sigma are two methods of process improvement that, together, make up Lean Six Sigma theory. Together, Lean Six Sigma principles enhance problem solving and process improvement by making them faster and more efficient. Recently Advancement Services substantially increased the types of services that we offered. We applied the Lean Six Sigma principles to those new tasks with the goal of improving efficiency and enhancing our service delivery. It was so successful that other teams have asked us to review their processes through the Lean Six Sigma lenses.

  • Show how to improve your team's deliverables by walking through the Lean Six Sigma process.
  • How to add value to other teams by offering process review services.
  • Tackle the "Where do we start?" conundrum of process and projects


Cultivating marketing excellence on a decentralized campus
Mona Csada - Associate Director, Marketing, University of Calgary

Marketing at the University of Calgary has historically been a dispersed function, a "wild west" of faculties, offices and business units each approaching marketing in their own way. The size and expertise of marketing teams varies across campus; some units have large, seasoned teams while others employ a single person attempting to do the job off the side of a desk. Join this session to learn how UCalgary is nurturing a community of high-functioning, next-in-class marketers across a decentralized campus through micro-credentialing and a community of practice. Get practical advice for implementing marketing professional development programs on your own campus.

  • Learn strategies for nurturing a community of high-functioning, next-in-class higher education marketers.
  • Get practical advice for implementing marketing professional development programs.
  • Learn what worked (and what didn’t) in UCalgary’s quest to unite subject matter experts in a decentralized environment.


Professional Learning Sessions B - June 5, 11:10am - 12:10pm

Ch-ch-changes: Leading Change for Campaign Success
Jennifer Conley - Chief Advancement Officer, Carleton University
Nathan Grasse - Associate Professor, Carleton University

Contrary to the adage “change is the only constant,” there’s another immovable constant during a fundraising campaign: the financial goal. Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night (nor organizational change) can distract a campaign team. Through constant change, leaders must keep staff and donors focused on financial targets. The trick? Smart and effective change leadership. Despite significant change since public launch in 2015, Carleton’s $300M Campaign has recenty surpassed its goal. The team focused on the main tenets of change leadership, informed by research from Carleton’s Master of Philanthropy and Non-profit Leadership Program. This “pracademic” approach allowed the Campaign to strategically – but also organically – manage change and achieve unprecedented results.

  • How to successfully apply change management theory to a practical project such as Campaign management and execution
  • How to keep Campaign leadership, staff and donors engaged during organizational change


A new name for a new start!
Note: This session will be presented entirely in French
Maryève Tassot - Director of Faculty Affairs, Alumni Relations, Alumni and Donor Community, University of Montreal

To change a name is to assess one's whole identity. A look the process that created the University of Montreal’s Alumni and Donor Network, formerly known as BDRD, and identify the reasoning (or not so good reasoning) that let to this change.

From the identifying the need to change, to the mobilization of key individuals, discover the important steps needed to rally stakeholders to your cause and shine your new brand!

  • Identifying when change is needed and how to begin
  • Identify the key steps need to go through the process
  • Share lessons learned


Networking in the Digital Age: Panel Discussion
Chloe Chalmers - Manager, Alumni Career Services, University of Alberta
Shana Szikman - Associate Director, Student & Young Alumni Programs, McGill University Advancement

Increasingly, post-secondary institutions are adopting, or considering adopting online networking platforms to expand their reach into new regions, to facilitate alumni-to-alumni connections, and scale up their career services. With so many new online networking platforms available, as well as reliable free options like LinkedIn and Facebook, how does an institution choose the platform that will work best for their constituents? Hear from a panel of alumni relations professionals on how they made that decision, and if, and how it's paid off.

  • Share advice, best practices, and cautionary tales about adopting online networking platforms such as 10,000 Coffees, Switchboard, Graduway and Firsthand
  • Discus the rationale behind selecting a particular online networking platform
  • Discuss the relative merits of different platforms: which platforms work best for which kind of engagement?


Bringing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to life: working within the gray
Andre O'Bonsawin - Manager of Indigenous Initiatives, Algonquin College

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report challenged Canadian Institutions to improve access to education and incorporate indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into the curriculum for all students. Institutions across Canada have been working to respond to the challenge, and continue to struggle with ways to ensure the connection stays meaningful within its execution and its implementation. There is no quick-fix or blanket solution and often, strategies change on a weekly-basis. How does one keep up? How do you celebrate the wins, as small as they may be?

Andre O'Bonsawin, Manager of Indigenous Initiatives at Algonquin College will share with attendees of the session, some strategies behind the work his team does with various entities on and off campus, including the advancement and alumni teams. Attendees of the session are encouraged to come with questions and to be ready to share some of their own experiences.

  • Attendees of this session will have an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion on ways to incorporate Indigenous programming into their campus and Institution culture
  • Attendees of this session will hear about the different things Algonquin College has tried and tested in their efforts to support their Indigenous students, both academically and financially.


Behind the numbers; findings from the CASE-CCAE Survey of Charitable Giving to Higher Education in Canada
David Bass - Senior Director of Research, CASE

In 2018 CCAE & CASE conducted a benchmarking survey of charitable giving to higher education in Canada. Forty-eight universities, colleges and polytechnics from across Canada participated. This session will share key findings and takeaways from the survey. Analyses of the data has been informed by insights from CCAE’s board, the survey advisory group, and data from similar CASE surveys conducted by CASE in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Now is the time, to learn about the data and what it means for you, Canadian Advancement and the road ahead.

  • Explore ways insights from this survey can inform advancement strategy and decision making
  • Identify the unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities of your fundraising programs relative to peer institutions
  • Share feedback and suggestions for ways to enhance the value of the survey going forward


Professional Learning Sessions C - June 5, 1:45pm - 2:45pm

Investing in your soft skills - as a fundraiser
Kathleen A. Provost - CFRE, Campaign Director, St. Francis Xavier University

We will review key appeal strategies with a lens from Greenfield’s fundraising approach through the pyramid of giving. Informed by scholars' perspective, we will look at the process of lifelong and informal learning in our profession. This talks to the professional - to the fundraiser. I conclude with a description of possible way to acquire soft skills to help in our profession. I will provide a tool to review soft and hard skills to better prepare for the next ask.

  • Overview of hard skills needed as per Greenfield's pyramid of giving
  • Understanding the role of soft skills and why you need them in fundraising
  • The many options to consider in the acquisition of soft skills


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.


Behind the numbers; findings from the CASE-CCAE Survey of Charitable Giving to Higher Education in Canada
David Bass - Senior Director of Research, CASE

In 2018 CCAE & CASE conducted a benchmarking survey of charitable giving to higher education in Canada. Forty-eight universities, colleges and polytechnics from across Canada participated. This session will share key findings and takeaways from the survey. Analyses of the data has been informed by insights from CCAE’s board, the survey advisory group, and data from similar CASE surveys conducted by CASE in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Now is the time, to learn about the data and what it means for you, Canadian Advancement and the road ahead.

  • Explore ways insights from this survey can inform advancement strategy and decision making
  • Identify the unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities of your fundraising programs relative to peer institutions
  • Share feedback and suggestions for ways to enhance the value of the survey going forward


Leveraging LinkedIn to connect and engage alumni
Catherine Riggins - AVP Marketing and Alumni Relations, Royal Roads University
Graeme Owens - Account Executive, Higher Education, Linkedin Marketing Solutions

The rise of digital and social media platforms has enabled alumni to connect with each other and support meaningful causes and institutions. In this new environment, schools must engage their alumni to create inspiration, relevant support and genuine connections.

However, schools face siloed communication channels, tight resources and long-standing processes that can make getting started seem daunting. Catherine Riggins, AVP Marketing and Alumni Relations at Royal Roads University and Graeme Owens, Higher Education Lead for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Canada partnered together in 2018 to address this challenge and better connect RRU alumni.

In this co-presented session, Catherine will share lessons and best practices from RRU’s alumni engagement initiatives and Graeme will lead attendees through how other Canadian schools leverage LinkedIn’s tools and resources for alumni and advancement initiatives. You’ll leave this presentation with an action plan that you can take back to your campus and leverage across your channels (both on LinkedIn and off).

  • What worked and what didn’t work from the Royal Roads Lost Alumni Campaign
  • How to apply best practices from other Canadian schools
  • How to use LinkedIn effectively for alumni and advancement initiatives


The Story of a Year: Leveraging your Impact Report to connect and Inspire
Catriona Moore - Communications Officer, McGill University

It’s been quite a year at your institution! But how to even begin to capture it all within the confines of an annual report-let alone create a compelling story that connects with and inspires your donors? Hear how McGill’s advancement communications team reinvented their annual reporting strategy and created a new product: a high-impact Report on Giving with a unified narrative built on campaign-ready themes. Storytelling is crucial to donor communications; from storyboard to leveraging social for wider reach, hear concrete tips on how to frame your school’s mission in stories and maximize the stewardship potential of your product.

  • Learn how to cut through the noise and streamline your annual impact report to express thanks and impact clearly
  • Manage competing priorities while keeping your annual report impact - focused and donor – centered
  • Hear concrete tips on aligning storytelling with your institution’s strategic priorities


Professional Learning Sessions D - June 5, 3:15pm - 4:10pm

An Illustrated Journey to Some Sort of Point About Marketing
Brian Kachur - Creative Services Specialist, University of Saskatchewan

A hilarious tragic comedic tale, fully illustrated and animated in crayon, of an in-house graphic designer. Interjected with impressive real-life case studies covering branding, campus retail/apparel, donor recognition, sports marketing and creating new campus traditions. Creativity and inspiration spills into all branches of university advancement, with enough twists and turns along the way to keep everyone thinking and laughing. Presented at the Government of Saskatchewan’s communications for post-secondary conference, session-goers remarked, “Phenomenal!”, “You blew us away!” and “I didn’t see that final point coming at all, it really made me think, and start implementing what I learned immediately.”

  • Champion your in-house strengths, knowledge and skills
  • Inspire creativity
  • Elevate quality and standards of branding, marketing and graphic design


The Future of Young Alumni Engagement in Canada
Brian Gawor - CFRE, Vice President – Fundraising Research, Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Young alumni engagement is a key part of your advancement strategy, both today and for the long term. As college costs in Canada have risen, and other charities have increasingly captured donor attention, many institutions struggle to keep young alumni engaged and giving. Social media, online giving and new communications methods are changing the game. In this interactive presentation you’ll hear results of a recent survey of hundreds of CCAE members for this year’s conference on efforts to engage young alumni donors and boost participation. And we’ll discuss what’s next for growing giving by the next generation of alumni.

  • Attendees will learn the results of a comprehensive survey of Canadian fundraisers regarding their engagement, solicitation and stewardship of Millennial alumni donors, allowing them to benchmark their efforts and results
  • Attendees will learn about key Millennial consumer and philanthropic behavior patterns, from recent respected research, allowing for insight into potential new engagement strategies.
  • Attendees will receive an opportunity to exchange ideas for best practices in young alumni engagement from peers in attendance, and accelerate their efforts


When There Is No Recipe; Tips on Stewarding Complex Gifts
David Palmer - Vice President, Advancement, University of Toronto
Rod Kirsch - Senior Vice President Emeritus for Development & Alumni Relations, Pennsylvania State University and Consulting Vice President, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

Complex gifts bring tremendous opportunities to institutions: opportunities to achieve incredible impact; to bring a donor’s vision to life; to advance knowledge; and to find solutions to pressing issues. They also bring challenges: including how to coordinate across multiple teams within an institution; how best to engage a donor in the implementation of the gift; and how to address the bumps along the road which inevitably appear. Add to this mix that most complex gifts require a bespoke approach to stewardship, and you are working without a recipe!

This session will provide tips for navigating and succeeding when there is no recipe, and strategies for anticipating and managing the challenges while maximizing the opportunities these gifts bring.

  • Learn how to craft a strategy that addresses both gift implementation and donor stewardship
  • Identify the institutional stakeholders for the gift and how to engage them effectively
  • Understand the donor’s expectations, the role of their advisors and how to communicate with them meaningfully
  • Recognize how to avoid over-complication and scope creep


Friendship and Philanthropy: How class reunions and peer to peer asks inspire alumni to give
Tara McNeice  - Associate Director, Annual Fund, University of Guelph
Jana Miller  - Alumni Advancement Manager, University of Guelph

Peer to peer fundraising at UofG has help shift our engagement levels at UofG with our alumni. We help them with their reunion planning and bring them back to campus, and through this process also engage their philanthropy side, to ensure the class who returns also gives back. This giving back supports our annual fund pipeline, alumni engagement numbers and fulfills needs and priorities.

  • Showcase how UofG uses reunions as a way to engage alumni
  • How UofG moves that engagement to philantrhopy through class projects
  • How class projects impact our pipeline


“Les Cent-Associés” Program
How the history of New France inspired the development of a culture of giving in Québec City

Note: This session will be presented entirely in French
Marc Deschênes  - Director, Planned Giving Programs, Université Laval (Québec City)

As the Fondation de l’Université Laval wound up the biggest fundraising campaign of its history, entitled “Laisser une empreinte durable | 350 ans d’excellence” (2010-2017), little did it dream what an important role the history of French colonization in America would prove to have played in philanthropic development. Late in 2014, the Fondation launched a unique planned giving program called “Les Cent-Associés”, whose aim was to assemble 100 donors, each willing to give $1 million or more to the Fondation de l’Université Laval. These noteworthy financial commitments are honoured by equally impressive tangible recognition on the university campus. Discover how Marc Deschênes revisits history, harking back to 1627 and the “Compagnie des Cent-Associés”. See how, nearly four centuries later, the “Company of One Hundred Associates” concept has inspired the creation of this ambitious program which revolves around the notion of a culture of giving. All phases of the philanthropic cycle – from the identification and qualification of high-level prospects, through the communication strategy, to solicitation (the “ask”) – are reviewed to depict the innovative face of this program, which has literally rocketed planned giving to heights never before attained in the 53-year history of the Fondation de l’Université Laval.

  • Identify high-level prospects characterized by maximum affinity and financial capacity indicators
  • Choose the best planned giving development strategies in a context of short-term maturity and limited resources
  • Correctly analyze data from information systems and surveys to extract the best guidance regarding your philanthropic potential
  • Understand how innovation can be a key driver in philanthropic development
  • Shift the philanthropy paradigm


CCAE Discussion Session - June 6, 9:40am - 10:40am

This Hour Has 52 Minutes: CCAE Discussion Session 

The National Conference offers unique and engaging opportunities for Canadian Advancement professionals by creating forward thinking content, life-long connections and peer-peer networking.

The National Conference Committee is excited to announce the return of the highly regarded “Birds of a Feather” discussions this year. The program will feature a full hour devoted to unfiltered, “safe zone”, free flowing conversation, where attendees will benefit from feedback and experience of colleagues with open and candid conversations.

Committee members will be onsite to help guide the conversation(s), as well as “stop/start” the session to keep folks on track and timing in mind.

Delegates will select one of six rooms to attend and take part in the discussions that suite them best. A number of topics for consideration will be provided, but discussion can flow in any direction, based on the desires of attendees.

  1. Alumni
  2. Advancement Services
  3. Marketing/Communications
  4. Development/Campaign
  5. Stewardship/Donor Relations
  • Share successes and ask guidance on roadblocks with professionals in your specific discipline
  • Discuss a burning topic, not covered in Conference programming
  • Discuss “edge of the bed” items immediately facing your discipline, and get feedback and insight from others in the same situation.


Professional Learning Sessions E - June 6, 11:10am - 12:10pm

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


Donor survey: an inspiring, effective and cost-friendly approach
Sylvain Ladouceur  - Manager, Planned Giving Program, University of Ottawa
Claude Drouin  - Manager, Planned Giving Program, University of Ottawa

A presentation of the University of Ottawa 2016-2017 planned giving donor survey. Claude and Sylvain will share the creative process they’ve used to implement this strategy and achieve greater and better results, at a low cost. Learn how the global process of conceptualizing and conducting such a survey can help you identify new prospects, build stronger relationships while stewarding actual donors and provide quality data to your development, alumni and advancement divisions.

  • Identify new planned giving prospects and evaluate their interest to potentially include a gift in their will to the University.
  • Provide a better understanding of donor’s motivation to give and their level of satisfaction with recognition/communications.
  • Obtain demographic & financial information to help prospect identification for all levels of gifts.


Advancing Your Volunteer Vision
Dan Keyworth - Director of Customer Success (International Markets Group), Blackbaud

As universities are challenged to do more with less and budgets tighten, volunteers are an often-overlooked resource. Studies have shown that one hour of volunteer time is worth an estimated $27.001 and that volunteers give 10 times more than other donors2. Thus, it is critical that your institutions continue to create compelling volunteer opportunities to engage alumni, students, donors and the wider community to enable them to make meaningful contributions of their time and talent. A recent survey of the Blackbaud network of higher education institutions, has served to identify established processes, past experiments and new programs being put in place to engage, manage and track volunteerism.

Join Dan Keyworth, Blackbaud’s Director of Customer Success (International Markets) and a former member of the Executive Team in the University of Oxford Development Office, for a look at the results, trends, best practices and peer case studies from around the globe that you don’t want to miss.

  • Discover best practices and peer examples related to tracking volunteer engagement, and how this underpins your wider advancement strategy
  • Learn how to engage, manage and report on different types of volunteers and their value to your institution
  • Receive guidance and a framework for designing and implementing more effective volunteer program engagement strategies


Developing diverse programming and marketing for Alumni Reunion - a Case Study
Susan Fine  - Manager, Signature and Established Alumni Programs, University of Toronto
Emma Nguyen  - Director, Digital Marketing and Communications, University of Toronto
Rachel Chochinov  - Integrated Marketing Communications Manager, University of Toronto
Kimberly Lyn  - Digital Editor & Community Manager, University of Toronto

U of T Alumni Reunion is the largest alumni event of the year, attracting nearly 9000 people. This case study dives deep into Alumni Reunion, illustrating how the programming and marketing of this signature initiative has evolved to effectively engage a diverse audience representative of our alumni base. Learn how to build programs that provide value to your key audiences and how to market those programs to achieve your business objectives. Learnings from this session can be applied to events of any size. You will be introduced to programs and communications developed for young alumni, families, LGBTQ+ alumni, and more.

  • Developing strong programs that attract a diverse alumni audience
  • How to choose marketing channels that will reach your audience
  • How to deepen engagement with your audience through marketing and communications


Capturing the Potential of International Alumni and Donors
Joanne Shoveller - Vice-President, Advancement, University Waterloo

If your institution has a critical mass of international students and alumni, they represent a tremendous opportunity as ambassadors, advisors, employers, recruiters, volunteers and funders. This session will cover a basic framework for engaging international stakeholders, referring to several examples in various areas of the world.

  • Learn how to develop a comprehensive framework for engaging your international students
  • Learn how to develop and use the framework for engaging your international alumni through associations and ambassadors, and for understanding the general importance of international outreach at your institution
  • Determine your personal role in executing a successful strategy pertaining to International Alumni & Donors


Sponsor Showcase Session - June 6, 1:20p.m. - 2:20p.m.

Sponsor Showcase

What is new and ground-breaking for the educational advancement sector? Join the 2019 CCAE National Conference Partners and Sponsors as they showcase ideas and services that facilitate innovation and solutions for advancement professionals.


Professional Learning Sessions F - June 6, 2:50pm - 3:50pm

The ‘Power of One’ – A unifying campaign platform
Catherine Riggins - Associate Vice President, Marketing and Alumni Relations, Royal Roads University

What’s the one thing that made a difference for you? Think back to a time when one idea, one experience, one new perspective or one person that you learned something significant from or completely transformed your life in ways you could never have imagined. That is the power of one.

This session will explore how Royal Roads University developed a unified approach to their advancement initiatives in 2018 and are now extending the ‘Power of One’ platform to their first alumni appeal campaign.

  • Learn how to streamline and extend a campaign idea across multiple touchpoints
  • Learn how to build off from your alumni engagement strategies to develop a campaign led appeal for donations targeted to alumni
  • Explore how to translate traditional storytelling into a digital marketing campaign


From Pipeline Audit to E-survey: A Case Study in Research-driven Prospect Prioritization and Qualification
Betsy Schuurman - Research Officer, Carleton University
Lisa Bullock - Research Officer, Carleton University
Mingxia Liu - Manager, Prospect Research and Management, Carleton University

Is your pipeline about to burst? Is it clogged with suspects waiting to be qualified? This presentation will take you on a journey demonstrating how Carleton’s research team collaborated with development officers to restructure our prospect pipeline to be more active and dynamic through a comprehensive pipeline review and subsequently to expedite prospect qualification through a pilot e-survey project. We will discuss the planning and execution of both projects, approaches taken to prioritize and optimize prospect portfolios, and changes made to prospect qualification process to increase efficiency and unclog portfolio buildup.

  • How to plan and conduct a comprehensive pipeline audit
  • How to use e-survey to expedite prospect qualification
  • How to build a partnership with development officers through data-driven research


Engagement Scoring: What to Consider and How to Use the Results to Drive Change
Karen McQuigge  - Director, Alumni Advancement (Alumni Relations & Annual Giving), Office of Alumni Advancement, McMaster Alumni Association
Mirko Widenhorn  - Strategic Consultant & Senior Account Manager, iModules Software

Are you considering engagement scoring to assess your efforts and make adjustments to programming and communications? Hear more about engagement scoring and how to benefit from it to change your engagement approach. This session will cover how engagement scoring can help you move forward, including perspectives on how to better understand constituencies and adjust the focus of communications and programming. See how engagement scoring can help you change strategies related to these areas and also to annual fund solicitations and prospect research.

  • Better understand how engagement scoring can help an institution garner insightful, constituent-specific data for benchmarking and targeting, all to help make data-driven decisions.
  • Participants will leave the session with more knowledge about the type of data points that can/should be used to create an engagement score.
  • To show how engagement scoring can inform and change strategy as it relates to alumni engagement to better and more efficiently use resources.


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.


Pot or no pot? Let’s talk about whether accepting a sponsorship or a philanthropic gift from a cannabis company is right for your organization
Sam Laprade - Director, Gryphon Fundraising

On October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis became legal in Canada. The legalization of marijuana opened up an interesting dialogue in every sized non-profit organization. Many staff and board members are asking themselves:
"Can we engage with cannabis companies for the sponsorship of our annual event? Are we able to accept a philanthropic gift?”

During this interactive session, we will talk about the implications of accepting a gift from a company selling recreational cannabis, as well as, medical cannabis. There are many stakeholders that will have an opinion for and against and our session will help prepare you for the ever evolving issue. We will dive into all of the angles including gift acceptance policies, public relations and communications. So what will you do, take the gift or let it go up in smoke?

  • Participants will learn what to keep on their radar including gift acceptance policies and PR
  • Participants will learn how to engage in this delicate conversation with the cannabis companies and your stakeholders
  • Participants will learn firsthand about some of the successes and failures in working with cannabis companies