Stewardship & Donor Relations Summit

All sessions now available on demand

Consistency, communication, and collaboration are key factors in building strong relationships with institution stakeholders. This summit program is designed to cover a variety of topics to demonstrate the unique ways professionals across Canada are working to engage donors, elevate relationships and share their campus stories.

Topics will range across disciplines and feature ample time for discussion and collaboration.

On-demand sessions

Single Session: $55 (access to the session of your choice)

Potential member:

Single Session: $75 (access to the session of your choice)

Purchase on-demand sessions

Get the most out of the discussion:




Tracey Bailey
Tracey Bailey

Innovating stewardship communications
Tracey Bailey - Special Advisor, Development, McMaster University

The simple definition of innovating: make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas and products. In the stewardship portfolio you are responsible for nourishing the donor’s experience of your institution’s promises through a variety of activities, events, publications and correspondence. At the moment we have too many communications channels to choose from and the rise of individualism which challenges our ability and resources to speak to all our donors personally and authentically. Add a pandemic into the mix and we are working hard to reinvent our practises. In this chaos, opportunities for stewardship innovation abound. Focusing on written communications (and yes, videos and visuals) we will explore both the technical and creative strategies to help you sustain deep, meaningful, emotional and personal relationships with your donors.

Learning Objectives
  • Build an ecosystem across your institution that will provide you with the rich content you share with your donors
  • Work with communications to make your correspondence, reports and stories more personal, intriguing and engaging
  • Develop and communicate about your strategic stewardship communications plan and share ideas for shaking up stewardship communications

Ashleigh ManktelowAshleigh Manktelow

Virginia RoeVirginia Roe

Stewarding the $200M Gift: The Case of John and Marcy McCall MacBain
Ashleigh Manktelow - Director of Donor and Volunteer Engagement, McGill University
Virginia Roe - Associate Director, Donor Relations, McGill University

On February 13, 2019, John and Marcy McCall MacBain announced that they were donating $200M to McGill University to create the McCall MacBain Scholarships at McGill, the single largest gift ever received by a Canadian organization. But visionary gifts like this one are not made overnight.

In this session, we will speak to the factors that led the McCall MacBains to make this transformational gift and explore the role of stewardship in leading donors to their full gift-giving potential.

Learning Objectives
  • Factors that contribute to making donor dreams a reality (and our University’s dreams too!) – hint: capacity of institution and collaboration are key
  • How Volunteerism plays an important role in creating purpose for donors
  • How Stewardship plays an important role in closing multimillion dollar gifts

John Davies

John Davies

Stewardship and the creation and maintenance of long-term relationships that lead to a continued flow of increasingly larger significant gifts
John Davies M.A. - Partner and Senior Consultant, Global Philanthropic Inc.

This session will serve to highlight the importance of stewardship in increasing the size and frequency of major gifts, including the key pitfalls to avoid and important cultural sensitivities that must be observed. Case studies will be presented and discussed.

Learning Objectives
  • An insight into trends that are shaping a new fundraising world
  • The importance of long-term planning and the critically important role of stewardship in the giving cycle
  • How accurate and constant research is playing an increasingly larger role in securing gifts that make a difference

Sarah Sims
Sarah Sims

Brace for Impact: Donor Reports that Resonate
Sarah Sims - Executive Director, Donor Relations, University of Florida, and Consultant, Donor Relations Guru Group

Donors want to know not only how their gifts are used, but also how their gifts have impacted your institution and furthered your mission. Whether you are generating annual endowment reports, communicating about a one-time project, or a donor's lifetime giving, stewardship reporting is an integral component in fundraising success. Join us as we explore not only the type of impact reports your organization should be generating, but how to strategize, execute, and track the ROI of your reporting program. (This will cover various types of impact reporting. Including; endowment, broad-based and high level)

Heather DyckHeather Dyck

Name of the Game
Heather Dyck - Stewardship Officer, Acknowledgement, University of Alberta

In the ever-expanding philanthropic naming game at educational institutions across Canada, we grapple with many questions from how to value physical spaces to what our naming policies should include. In this session, we’ll tackle some of the tricky questions related to naming and consider how we can best utilize naming to recognize the generosity of our donors while ensuring minimal risk for our institution.

Learning Objectives
  • One approach to naming valuation for physical spaces
  • How to mitigate risk with a dynamic and robust naming policy
  • How to approach unusual naming requests

Whitney MacLean
Whitney MacLean

Michelle Bussey
Michelle Bussey

Breaking all the ‘rules’: Fundraising, Stewardship and Donor Relations
Whitney MacLean, Development Officer, Nova Scotia Community College Foundation
Michelle Bussey, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Community College Foundation and Alumni Relations

Join us as we walk through NSCC’s approach to fundraising and stewardship. We will provide a framework for our non-traditional approaches and lessons learned along the way. The discussion will include how a focus on creating lasting relationships set us up for success.

We will build the case for outside the box thinking when it comes to donor stewardship and share our experiences with fundraising and stewardship in the College environment.

Learning Objectives
  • Learn from NSCC’s approach to fundraising and stewardship practices that can be adapted for any organization
  • How a non-traditional approach to stewardship and donor relations can be effective
  • Fundraising and stewardship in a distributed 13 campus College environment

Susan Wright

Susan Wright

Stewardship during Leadership Transition
Susan Wright - Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Transition is almost the new normal... people come and go at our institutions - Advancement staff, Deans and Senior Administrators, and Presidents and Principals. We know that stewardship is a long game. Our goal is to develop meaningful, life-long relationships with our donors, and this is all the more critical during times of transition. This session will explore key stewardship strategies to consider when engaging your principal level donors as transition can be a great opportunity if used effectively! Be prepared to bring your questions, ideas, and own experiences as we explore our discussion.

Learning Objectives
  • Develop tactics and strategies to effectively steward donors during transition periods at your institution. Focus of the discussion will be on Principal level donors
  • Prioritize roles for everyone involved in donor stewardship
  • Take steps to keep donors engaged during times of transition