2021 National Conference Sessions

As the Program Committee works to finalize the National Conference program, keep watching this page as more sessions are confirmed.


Professional Learning Sessions Week of May 10 - 14, 2021


Tanya Hannah Rumble
Tanya Hannah Rumble

Mariya Yurukova
Mariya Yurukova

May 13, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Strategies for developing inclusive fundraising and alumni engagement practices
Tanya Hannah Rumble, CFRE, Director of Development, Faculty of Arts, Ryerson University
Mariya Yurukova, MBA, CFRE, Senior Development Officer, Arts, Queen’s University

The donors of today and tomorrow are different. In higher education, the increasing diversity of our student population has not translated into diversity among our engaged alumni and major gift donors. Before we request, we need to invest in building relationships with BIPOC, LGBTQ2S and differently abled alumni. This session will explore critical considerations and strategies to inclusive advancement practices. From hiring and supporting diverse advancement professionals to leadership and volunteer engagement to major gifts strategies and collecting the data to inform decisions and establish benchmarks.

Learning Objectives
  • Deepen understanding of the barriers experienced by BIPOC alumni and reasons for disengagement with alumni and annual giving programs
  • Understand strategies to begin collecting and measuring diversity in your alumni database and increasing the diversity within those alumni who are also donors
  • Identify strategies to meaningfully appeal to diverse alumni and engage them in alumni programming, events, and philanthropy.

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May 13, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Stewardship & Donor Relations Session

Details coming soon - stay-tuned!


Professional Learning Sessions Week of May 24 - 28, 2021


Jeff Hulan
Jeff Hulan

May 25, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
I Need An Ad: Wholistic strategic planning & the marketers’ toolbox
Jeff Hulan, Associate Director, Marketing, Memorial University

Memorial University experienced a decline in its older residences’ occupancy rate from 90% to 80%. The residence director felt an ad campaign would resolve the problem. MarComm reviewed all obstacles to increasing occupancy including the rental marketplace, perceptions, operational, communications and the users’ experience on the residence website. Oh yeah, and we also executed a campaign that resulted in a 4% increase in occupancy.

Learning Objectives
  • Explain how to identify the true problem
  • Reveal how we solved it
  • Results and Q&A

Emily Aalbers
Emily Aalbers

May 25, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Building relationships through research storytelling
Emily Aalbers, Manager, Faculty Development, External Relations, University of Ottawa

Based on a study of research storytelling, this session explores how storytellers can increase reputation, improve affinity and build relationships through telling the story of research. Communicators, fundraisers, and alumni officers are all storytellers, and this session looks at; tactics for building the character of the institutions, the researchers and their research; strategies that can be used to appeal to a reader’s emotions; and how the style of an approach can enhance the impact of stories. While this session is based on findings from research storytelling at Canadian research-intensive institutions, learnings can be translated across disciplines, mediums, and institutions.

Learning Objectives
  • An understanding of specific tactics that can be incorporated to improve reputation, emotions, and impact of storytelling
  • Strategies on how to incorporate learnings into written and in-person storytelling opportunities
  • Tips on how to find and select stories to that will enhance relationships

Vanessa Welz
Vanessa Welz

May 27, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
How Alumni Volunteers are Supporting Student Mental Health at the University of Alberta
Vanessa Welz, Volunteer Coordinator, Office of Alumni Relations, University of Alberta

The Alumni Student Support & Engagement Team (ASSET) at the University of Alberta consists of over 30 alumni volunteers who are passionate about supporting students. These volunteers have specialized training in mental health first aid, helping skills, and suicide prevention, and volunteer directly with students to support their mental health and well-being. This presentation will outline how and why we created this volunteer initiative, how we collaborate with other campus support services, what our impact has been, how we responded to the challenges of Covid-19, and our future goals for the program.

Learning Objectives
  • Discover how alumni can support student mental health through volunteering
  • Learn how alumni can fill a missing gap in current campus support services and programming
  • See how the program adapts to current campus needs

Alesia Rudnitskaya
Alesia Rudnitskaya

May 27, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Data in Annual Giving: Analyze, Segment, Personalize, Optimize, Repeat
Alesia Rudnitskaya, Senior Annual Giving Officer, McGill University

Are you looking to tame the annual giving fundraising fury with a more data-driven approach and better data handling? The topic covers four elements of the annual giving data cycle and best practices in using donor data assets: from analysis, through segmentation and personalization, to better data leverage and automation. It provides the most impactful highlights of data usage in Annual Giving at McGill University Advancement, applied to various cohorts and throughout different solicitation channels and programs.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn about techniques and tools to run a health check on your programs, identify gold nuggets, set the right goal and measure your performance.
  • Discover how to effectively segment your pool by using attributes that have predictive power and leverage personalization tricks for tailored donor experiences.
  • Find out how to maximize the use of data through the automation of repetitive business activities.

Professional Learning Sessions Week of May 31 - June 4, 2021


Christine Szustaczek
Christine Szustaczek

June 1, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Netflix Series Partnership Promotes Glassblowing Education
Christine Szustaczek, Vice President, External Relations, Sheridan College

While Sheridan has taught glassblowing for 50 years, our program was experiencing declining enrolment. To boost our visibility and reach new markets, we partnered with marblemedia - a television production company, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, to create a first-of-its-kind, competition-based TV series about glassblowing called Blown Away that aired globally on Netflix. The partnership dramatically expanded our reach and generated significant excitement with prospective students. This session shares our integrated marketing and communications blueprint for a novel approach to demonstrating academic reputation and enhancing traditional program marketing efforts.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn about techniques and tools to run a health check on your programs, identify gold nuggets, set the right goal and measure your perfUnderstand how we gained executive buy-in for this investment
  • Learn how we decreased costs and boosted results through our partnership with the production company
  • Recognize the core components of an integrated marketing and communications campaign and how to recognize and ignore distractions that abound

Michelle Fuko
Michelle Fuko

Katherine Millen-Worre
Katherine Millen-Worre

June 1, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Creating cultures of shared accountability and ownership through metrics
Michelle Fuko, Associate Vice-Principal, Development, Queen’s University
Katherine Millen-Worre, Assistant Dean, School of Public Health, Joint appointment: (Interim) Director, Faculty Development- Health Sciences, University of Alberta

As leaders, we know that establishing goals and measuring performance adds rigor and discipline to the profession of fundraising. Without it, teams and people often engage in busy work, which does not necessarily move the organization forward in achieving its objectives. A few years ago, The University of Alberta began to experiment with a new way of setting metrics that involves a “sliding scale” or range. As leaders piloting this new system, we have found that this creates a sense of shared ownership in setting metrics, increases personal accountability, and facilitates more strategic conversations about pipeline development. This session will discuss this approach, along with the culture building tactics to help them take root.

Learning Objectives
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to connect tactics like metrics to a strategy for culture change.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to think critically about an alternative way of measuring performance.
  • Upon completion, participants will have the tools and resources needed to adopt this model into their own practice.

Professional Learning Sessions Week of June 7-11, 2021


holly greatrex
Holly Greatrex

June 8, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
My Precious Legacy Giving Marketing Plan
Holly Greatrex, Associate Director, Planned Giving, Carleton University

Do you ever feel like people aren’t willing to share their marketing material, strategies or ideas? Well, you don’t have to battle orcs and dragons to create your own “precious” marketing strategy – all you need to do is attend this session. Attendees will walk through a proven, strategic and proactive marketing and outreach approach to legacy giving, and leave with valuable tools, techniques and ideas they can use.

Learning Objectives
  • Review a successful legacy giving marketing plan
  • Understand why a marketing plan is important/imperative
  • Walk away with tools you can use at your own institution

Christian Bolduc
Christian Bolduc

Yves Bourget
Yves Bourget

George Stanois
George Stanois

June 8, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Tomorrow’s leaders : How do they want to get involved in your cause?
Christian Bolduc, CEO, BNP Philanthropic Performance-BNP Goldie Canada
Yves Bourget, Senior consultant (CEO Laval University Foundation, 2011-2018), BNP Philanthropic Performance
George Stanois, Senior Vice-president, BNP Goldie Canada

We want to present results from a study conducted at the beginning of 2021 on the vision young leaders have of philanthropy. We will present how they see volunteer and philanthropic involvement, how they can be convinced to engage with a cause or an organization, how they want charities communicate with them, how they want to give in the future. A panel of discussions with some young leaders would follow results presentation.

Learning Objectives
  • Discover how future leaders see their volunteer and philanthropic involvement
  • Prepare organizations on how they can adapt to convince young leaders to be involved as volunteer and major donors
  • Prepare organizations on strategies and technologies they can develop to attract supports and involvement from young leaders

Sarah McKinnon
Sarah McKinnon

June 10, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Recent Grad Refresh: Starting off on the right foot
Sarah McKinnon, Annual Giving Officer, Carleton University

Given the trend with the number of alumni donors declining among many post-secondary institutions, devoting resources and energy to welcoming new alumni and cultivating these philanthropic relationships is essential. Following consultation with recent grads, a refreshed strategy was developed to guide Advancement’s communications and engagement with this segment. Since putting this renewed plan in place, Carleton has seen an increase in the number of new donors and engagement rates, and a cultural shift in our approach to building these relationships. This session will offer a look into our lessons learned with practical tips you can take back to your organization.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn about the consultative process Carleton undertook to get feedback from recent grads and how this informed a refreshed approach with new alumni
  • Sharing lessons learned from implementing the refreshed strategy, including our tactics for onboarding and soliciting recent grads
  • Evaluating and measuring our success along the way

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June 10, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Development Session

Details coming soon - stay-tuned!


Professional Learning Sessions Week of June 14-18, 2021


Eli Clarke
Eli Clarke

Adam Fox
Adam Fox

June 15, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Prospect Research and Frontline Fundraising: Communication and Collaboration
Eli Clarke, Senior Development Officer, Gift Planning, University of Toronto
Adam Fox, Senior Advancement Research Officer, University of Toronto

The important relationship between prospect research and frontline fundraising can easily be lost in spreadsheets, research profiles, and wild goose chases for hidden millionaires. Join Adam Fox and Eli Clarke from the University of Toronto, to learn how they collaborate to engage donors and secure annual, major, and planned gifts. This session will demonstrate how prospect researchers and frontline fundraisers can work together to identify prospects and donors for discovery, cultivation, and stewardship. The session will also explore working across faculties and divisions to foster a donor-centric approach and relationship.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn to collaborate and communicate effectively between frontline fundraisers and prospect researchers
  • Create a relationship to achieve individual and collective goals
  • Turn prospects into engaged alumni and donors

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June 15, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Take it to the Floor: CCAE Visionary Round Tables

Details coming soon - stay-tuned!

Mary Catherine Kropinski
Prof. Dr. Mary Catherine Kropinski

Cheryl Bosley
Cheryl Bosley

Theresa Blancaflor
Theresa Blancaflor

Tracy London
Tracy London

June 17, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Lessons learned from our first year fundraising for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Sciences
Prof. Dr. Mary Catherine Kropinski, Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion & Professor of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University
Cheryl Bosley, Director of Advancement, Dean of Science office, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University
Theresa Blancaflor, Associate Director of Advancement, Dean of Science office, Faculty of Science, Simon Fraser University
Tracy London, Executive Director, Foundation and Alumni Relations, Douglas College

Simon Fraser University’s new President identified Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as one of her priorities at the beginning of her Presidency. SFU’s Dean of Science appointed a new Associate Dean of EDI to champion EDI as a priority for the Faculty of Science. The Associate Dean of EDI and the Dean of Science advancement team will share their experiences and lessons learned in the first year of their partnership, highlighting the importance of collaboration in EDI. The former SFU Executive Director of Campaigns will compare her experience starting her role at Douglas College, newly introducing EDI as a fundraising priority to advance Douglas' Strategic Plan.

Learning Objectives
  • Promote a growth mindset in EDI in the Canadian higher education fundraising sector
  • Share experiences around fundraising for academic EDI priorities to inform fundraisers of all experience levels
  • Inspire fundraisers on how they can partner with academic leadership on EDI initiatives

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Hacking virtual events (two 30 minute presentations):

June 17, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Details coming soon - stay-tuned!


Professional Learning Sessions Week of June 21-28, 2021


Mirko Widenhorn
Mirko Widenhorn

June 22, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Growing Alumni Engagement through Data-Driven Strategies
Mirko Widenhorn, Senior Director of Engagement Strategy, Anthology

In an ideal world, all of our graduates would engage with us. While that may not be realistic, the more personalized an engagement journey feels, the more likely that you’ll grow your alumni engagement. In this roundtable, we’ll cover engagement communications, approaches to alumni events, both virtual and in-person, and recruiting volunteers, among much more. In each area, panelists will highlight how their institutions use data to inform strategies, to be more efficient, and to personalize the constituent experience.

Learning Objectives
  • Provide an understanding of where data can help foster engagement
  • Hear examples of what has worked and hasn't worked from a mix of institutions
  • Identify ways to increase team efficiency by using data while improving the constituent experience

Isabelle Brasseur
Isabelle Brasseur

Elizabeth Perez
Elizabeth Perez

Samuel Rainville
Samuel Rainville

June 22, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Celebrate the Achievements of First Peoples Students
Note: This session will be presented entirely in French
Isabelle Brasseur, Director, Welcome and Integration, Student Services, Univeristy of Montréal
Elizabeth Perez, Director, Socio-Economic Resources, Student Services, Univeristy of Montréal
Samuel Rainville, Coordinator, First Peoples Student Centre, Student Services, Univeristy of Montréal

"For the First Peoples, success is not necessarily measured by a degree or a scholarship, it can also mean the start of the school year or the continuation of studies," says Samuel Rainville, Student Services Coordinator and one of the organizers of this award-winning event in the Best Aboriginal Relations Initiative category at CCAE. Discover the secret to the success of this touching and unifying event, the workings of its organization, its impacts, and share best practices in supporting Aboriginal student retention and success.

Learning Objectives
  • Present the objectives and details of the Aboriginal Success Stories Ceremony.
  • Present the conditions to be met to ensure the success of the event.
  • Exchange on innovative practices to support the perseverance and success of First Nations student communities.

Sandra Rincon
Sandra Rincon

June 23, 2021, 12:00 p.m. ET
Harnessing the Power of International Alumni Networks
Sandra Rincon, Founder and President, NL alumni network-Netherlands and Senior Expert for EU ALUMNI

Session details coming soon - stay-tuned!

Mike Logue
Mike Logue

Tom Meadus
Tom Meadus

Rob Zuback
Rob Zuback

June 23, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Calling All Colleges - An Affinity Session for Community College Advancement Professionals
Mike Logue, Partner, KCI
Tom Meadus, Director of Advancement, New Brunswick Community College
Rob Zuback, Director, Advancement, Communications and External Relations, Confederation College

Some say, College Advancement is merely University Advancement with fewer zeros; well it isn't, and it has unique challenges and opportunities. Challenges like, building affinity with students who are only campus for only 1-2 years before moving on and engaging alumni in campaign when participation rates hover under 1%.

This session is a calling to all college folks to connect and discuss college advancement. An open session with submitted topics for discussion. Topping it off would be a virtual business card and collateral swap to build connections beyond the conference.

Learning Objectives
  • Hold an open meaningful discussion on issues and realities of community College Advancement
  • Make peer connections from the College Advancement System that can continue post conference
  • Facilitate a collateral exchange or tools of the trade used by other organizations

Professional Learning Sessions Week of June 28-July 2, 2021


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June 29, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Take it to the Floor: CCAE Visionary Round Tables

Details coming soon - stay-tuned!

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June 29, 2021, 2:30 p.m. ET
Advancement Services Session

Details coming soon - stay-tuned!