CCAE Thought Leaders’ Discussion Forum

Supported by:



Monthly, 2 p.m. Eastern
July 14th - December 8th

The CCAE Thought Leaders’ Discussion Forum will provide Advancement Leaders from across Canada an opportunity to contribute their knowledge, experience, and insights through a formalized process. The participants for the Forum are proven leaders with expertise in specific topics relevant to each Thought Leader Forum agenda.

The Forum will be hosted monthly and consist of a mix of presentation topics with open discussion.


Registration Packages (available for CCAE members only)

Members : 
Full Summit Package: $399 (access to all sessions)
Single Session: $100 (access to the session of your choice)


Get the most out of the discussion:




Discussion led by Mark Hazlett, President & CEO, CCAE & Derek Cassoff, McGill University, (Chair of the CCAE Board)

Derek Cassoff
Derek Cassoff

Mark Hazlett
Mark Hazlett

Topics include

  • The new CCAE story – a strong, focussed strategic plan for the future
  • How CCAE is positioning itself as the educational advancement sector leader
  • Trends and insights from the 2nd edition of the CASE-CCAE Support of Education Survey and the launch of the 3rd edition

Webinar recording available on demand with registration
Continuous Innovation During a Time of Constraint
Melinda Church, Senior Vice President and Managing Partner, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

melinda churchMelinda Church

In early March, the rules of the road changed—suddenly and dramatically. Campuses sent students home. Events were cancelled. The horizon was uncertain. Seemingly overnight, the engagement of alumni, donors, and friends flipped to “socially distant” tools and tactics. For many teams, this was a swing-the-bat moment, freeing them to innovate quickly and to partner in new ways with others in their organizations. Canadian schools, colleges, and universities embraced the opportunity, and have much impressive work to show for it.

In this session, Melinda Church of Grenzebach Glier and Associates will showcase several innovative approaches undertaken by Canadian institutions this spring and summer. She will break down some of the principles behind this progressive work and lead a conversation about what comes next. With a near-term that looks much like today, how can alumni and development teams continue to innovate in their engagement and communications? The session is designed for collaborative ideation and problem-solving, all to develop actionable insights.

Learning Objectives

  • Common principles of innovation
  • Ways to collaborate across organizations for shared benefit
  • How to engage key alumni and friends in next-gen virtual programming

Webinar recording available on demand with registration
COVID-19 6-month check-in panel discussion: What Impact has the COVID-19 Pandemic had on Advancement Strategies
Penny Blackwood, Executive Director, Office of Development, Memorial University of Newfoundland  
Greg Dick, Executive Director, Advancement and Senior Director, Public Engagement, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Kirsten Eastwood, Executive Director, Community Development, TMS
Chris Horbachewski, Vice-President, External Relations, University of Victoria

As member institutions start a new version of the return of the Fall semester what are the effects, impact and strategies that are being used by institutions and advancement leaders?

Learning Objectives

  • Program strategies and action plans for fundraisers, alumni relations, communications and advancement services.
  • The impact on your staff and talent management strategies.
  • The overall financial health of institutions and its relation to advancement department.

Penny Blackwood
Penny Blackwood

Greg Dick
Greg Dick

Kirsten Eastwood
Kirsten Eastwood

Chris Horbachewski
Chris Horbachewski

Webinar recording available on demand with registration
That hurts - how leaders cope with hostile criticism
Julie Davis, Vice President External Relations & Advancement, Trent University

Julie DavisJulie Davis

The ability to cope with criticism is an important competence for leaders, who face criticism as a normal reaction to their role and the decisions they make. Hostile criticism and personal attacks are a source of stress for leaders. If unmanaged, this stress affects their physical and mental health, job performance, and their employees. Accepting that criticism is normal, developing emotional regulation skills, accessing social support, and engaging in proactive planning are all proven approaches to coping with the stress of hostile criticism. The session will review and help participants develop these skills. Given the normalization of personal attacks and public criticism in our society, leaders at all levels will benefit from this session.

Learning Objectives

  • Help leaders develop

Stewardship & Donor Relations Summit

January 26 - March 9, 2021
Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. Eastern

Originally intended to be delivered in-person, in March 2020, the 2021 Stewardship & Donor Relations Summit will now be offered in an online format.

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.

Registration Packages

Full Summit Package: $225 (access to all sessions)
Package of 3 sessions: $120 (access to 3 sessions of your choice)
Single Session: $55 (access to the session of your choice)

Potential member:

Full Summit Package: $335 (access to all sessions)
Package of 3 sessions: $180 (access to 3 sessions of your choice)
Single Session: $75 (access to the session of your choice)


Top value for your team! (applies to members only)
Take advantage of the CCAE Group Package by registering 5 or more team members from your school and save $50.
To access the group package rate, enter in discount code SDR5PLUS.
NOTE: the discount is only applicable to the Full Summit Package & CCAE members only.
For questions, contact *Discounts cannot be combined.

Get the most out of the discussion:




Tracey Bailey
Tracey Bailey

January 26, 2 p.m. Eastern 
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

February 2, 2 p.m. Eastern 
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

February 9, 2 p.m. Eastern 
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

February 16, 2 p.m. Eastern 
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