Essentials for New Professionals in Advancement

Tuesday June 5, 2018

Westin Nova Scotian, Harbour B

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.          Registration and Lunch
12:15 – 4:00 p.m.                    Program


Stewardship – It’s Everyone’s Job!

Susan Wright, Director, Stewardship and Donor Relations, McMaster University

Proper stewardship of the gifts our institutions receive takes careful consideration and becomes an essential component of any successful fundraising and advancement program. In this session, we will discuss the critical importance of engaging the entire campus community to effectively steward gifts, and how you can help create a culture of stewardship at your institution.



10 Things I Learned in 10 Years Working in University Advancement

Derek Cassoff, Managing Director, Communications and Donor Relations, McGill University

How does one fit 10 years of experience into 60 minutes? Seasoned communications veteran Derek Cassoff can do it. As he celebrates 10 years with McGill University, Derek will share 10 things he has learned along the way. How do you learn the language of your Institution? What best practices should every new professional master? How in the world can a new professional learn what everything means as quickly as possible? Combined with his 10 tips, a Q&A and discussion will take place. 



What’s up with the CCAE Institutional Ambassadors?

Who are the CCAE Institutional Ambassadors? A group of individuals representing member Institutions from across Canada. They have varied backgrounds, years of experience and roles within their shops, and they assist CCAE with promoting activities and professional learning opportunities. The Ambassadors close out this workshop by sharing some valuable insights and leading a group activity.


Presenter profiles

Susan Wright, Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Susan Wright leads the development of a comprehensive stewardship and donor relations program for McMaster.

Previously, Susan was the Director, Alumni Affairs at the University of Guelph where she was responsible for the overall management of the Alumni Affairs program. Susan has held other positions at McMaster University in the areas of Alumni Advancement and Campaign Donor Relations.

Susan has presented at numerous ADRP, CCAE and CASE conferences on topics including Pro-Active Stewardship; Stewardship: It’s Everyone’s Job; and Principal Donor Stewardship. Susan was a member of the ADRP organizing committee for the first-ever Canadian Workshop and is on the Program Committee for the 2016 ADRP International Conference. She is Co-Chair for the 2017 CCAE National Conference and is a past member of the CCAE Board of Directors.


Derek Cassoff, Managing Director of Communications and Donor Relations, Office of University Advancement, McGill University

Derek Cassoff oversees a team of writers, editors, graphic designers and digital communicators, as well as the donor relations and stewardship portfolios. His team is tasked with producing print and online communications tools to engage the university’s vast network of alumni and friends, and building programming that engages donors in the life of the university. His teams have won several awards for their work in national and international competitions, and played a pivotal role in providing a full range of marketing strategies and materials that were instrumental in helping McGill raise more than $1-billion during Campaign McGill.

Derek has a B.A. in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal and more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, including a five-year stint at Concordia, where he managed the communications portfolio for the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Derek devotes much of his spare time to a number of community and educational organizations. He was a member and Chair of the Marketing and PR Committee of Federation CJA – West Island for several years, and currently represents the parent body on the Governing Board of Beechwood Elementary School in Pierrefonds, QC. When he is not working or volunteering, he spends his time reading, traveling, playing fantasy baseball and convincing his two daughters that they don’t need a puppy.

National Partners