Sessions & Presenters


Boost your Annual Giving revenue by 50%+ in one year

Louise Bleau - Université de Montréal

This presentation will reveal success tips from the University of Montreal's annual campaigns, including donor renewal and acquisition strategies, segmentation and results.

Louise Bleau will summarize aspects of the University of Montréal’s annual campaigns - 20 total, including 10 for specific Schools and Faculties - that saw 95% of tailored campaigns achieve or surpass objectives.

This session will cover best philanthropic practices including:

  • Linking annual giving to objectives of the strategic plan
  • How to reinforce the sense of belonging among alumni
  • Meeting the philanthropic needs of Faculties
  • Multi-channel strategies to engage alumni from 10 different faculties

As well as triumphs, the session will explore irritants, constraints and lessons learned for upcoming annual campaigns.


  1. Why and how to implement multi-channel strategies
  2. Crafting a solicitation strategy based on School- and Faculty-specific projects        
  3. How tailored strategies can have a major impact on Annual Giving results

Putting the Campaign in Annual Campaign - Turning Around Trent's Annual Fund

Dane Shumak - Development Officer of Annual Giving, Trent University

The session will describe how Trent University increased its annual giving revenue by 78% in a single year through optimization of its multi-channel efforts, treating its Annual Fund as a distinct campaign with a real investment of resources, and by implementing performance indicators and strategy in the implementation of the campaign.


  1. Provide ideas on optimization of Annual Giving programs with no increase in resources
  2. Provide context to treat your Annual Giving Campaign as a true "campaign" versus just a "program" or offshoot
  3. Give strategic recommendations that could apply to all schools across the province, and Canada, based on what Alumni want

How Seneca alumni paid it back by paying it forward

Shannon Gaskell - Seneca College

The Alumni Pay It Forward Challenge is an annual spring campaign whereby graduates are asked to make a gift in May in order to unlock a $30,000 gift from an anonymous supporter. The campaign has a clear goal, focuses on urgency and donor participation, rather than on gift amount. Since its launch in 2016, the Pay It Forward Challenge has increased participation by 29% and has decreased the required length of the campaign by 60%.


  1. Provide overview of a successful model used at Seneca for acquiring and renewing annual gifts
  2. Discuss three key concepts used to achieve campaign targets: urgency, unity, incentive
  3. Describe how an engagement activity in the ask increased participation, fostered engagement between graduates and professors and promoted the culture of philanthropy among Seneca faculty.

Friendship & Philanthropy: How class reunions and peer-to-peer asks can inspire alumni to give

Jana Miller and Tara McNeice - University of Guelph

Class reunions are a well-established tradition at the University of Guelph. For decades, our alumni have chosen to mark anniversary milestones by launching a class project and directing their collective giving to an area that is meaningful to them. Peer-to-peer asks through annual class appeals can successfully inspire alumni to support areas such as scholarships, bursaries, capital campaigns, and research equipment. This session will provide an overview of a successful class project model used at the University of Guelph, the tools used by our Alumni Advancement team to launch and support class projects, and how class projects support the annual giving and the major gift pipeline.


  1. Provide overview of a successful model used at U of G for cultivating reunion groups and launching class projects
  2. Provide overview of the “life cycle” of a successful class project at U of G
  3. Discuss how the class projects support the Annual Giving and Major Gift pipeline

Giving Circles: Empowered Philanthropy  

Joy Gooding, Senior Development Officer, Seneca College

In this session you will learn what a Giving Circle is and how to incorporate this tool in your Annual program. Using the example of Seneca’s King Township Women of Influence Giving Circle, discover how you can encourage a community or group of like-minded individuals to collectively support your cause. Increase your fundraising income and build loyalty by engaging donors in a fun, social and thoughtful way. Learn how to get faculty and staff on board as partners and how to choose great projects for funding. This session will also cover how to show members the impact of their philanthropy. 


  • Defining the objectives of a Giving Circle & Recruiting and retaining members   
  • Building partnerships with faculty and staff. You've raised the money, now how you do deploy the funds?         
  • Demonstrating the impact of the Giving Circle's philanthropy

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Faculty Staff Campaign

Jacqueline Watty, Senior Relationship Manager, Advancement, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Faculty and staff campaigns can be challenging at any institution. Encouraging staff and faculty to consider supporting their workplace requires time, strategic engagement and champions to assist you with your goal.

In this session we will discuss the importance of relationships, targeted engagement, how to break down barriers and how to get your campaign set up for success. We will also have time to discuss what some of your challenges have been, to brainstorm and share as a group. It won't be a session with a 'talking head'!" 


  • Determine what a 'successsful' campaign would like at your institution    
  • Complete a pre-plan for your campaign      
  • Share experiences with colleagues about 'what's worked' and 'what hasn't worked' for them

10 Free or Cheap Resources to Help you Fundraise Better!

Brock Warner

Regardless the size of your shop or budget, everyone loves free stuff. There are more tools, services and resources available that ever before and most them at little or no cost to you. Brock will share his top ten free or very cheap resources and discuss how he uses each to improve or expand War Child’s fundraising program.           


  • Learn where to find free or very cheap resources you’ll use on a daily basis.       
  • Understand how and why free or very cheap resources can feed innovation in your organization.          
  • Increase your value within the organization, as someone with an eye on ROI and efficiency.

CCAE Snap Sessions- Collaboration & Co-Operation

Advancement staff work hard to build relationships and manage portfolios. Constituents and donors often make a move from one portfolio to another. What does portfolio overlap look like? How do advancement professionals ensure a seamless experience from the donor perspective? 

There is no right away, but there are different ways that are working.

5 Institutions will have 10 minutes each to share, their secrets and best practises on breaking down silos and creating seamless experiences for their constituents and donors.

Learning objectives:

  1. Hear how different advancement teams are working to ensure donor movement is covered in an efficient and seamless way.
  2. Learn how some shops take a holistic approach to donors and work as a team to steward and support their needs.
  3. Identify with some areas of different models and apply them to one’s own practices.


Louise Bleau, Director of Annual Campaigns, Directrice des campagnes annuelles, Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Montreal

After completing a Law degree at the University of Montréal, Louise joined the philanthropy world almost 30 years ago. She served as as Communications Director for the Jean Lapointe Foundation for eight years, where she was involved in production of the annual telethon. She later worked as Development Director / Executive Director for other provincial and national nonprofit organizations.
In 2000, Louise joined Tactic Direct, a direct-marketing agency specializing in fundraising campaigns for nonprofit organizations, as Account Director. For the next 16 years, she developed direct-marketing annual programs, created multi-channel campaigns for several nonprofit organizations, and implemented a call centre dedicated primarily to monthly conversion campaigns for the agency’s clients.

Over the years, Louise has been awarded a number of Golden Arrows from the Quebec-based Direct Marketing Association for her fundraising campaigns. In December 2016, she joined the University of Montréal’s Philanthropic Development Office as Director, Annual Giving.

Penelope BurkPenelope Burk

President, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

Author, Donor-Centered Fundraising and Donor-Centered Leadership

Penelope Burk’s career in the not-for-profit sector began in communications and market research in the arts in the early 1970’s and expanded into fundraising and senior management for prominent human services organizations over the next decade. She founded Burk & Associates Ltd. in 1990 and Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. in 2003.

Penelope is the author of the best-selling industry standard, Donor-Centered Fundraising. First published in 2003, the book is currently in its tenth printing. In 2013, Penelope published the companion book, Donor-Centered Leadership, a critical resource for Boards of Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Advancement Directors on how to implement Donor-Centered Fundraising and manage fundraising staff for optimum results.

Penelope Burk understands donors and what they want more deeply than any consultant in the fundraising industry. In the last twenty years, she and her innovative firm, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., have conducted surveys and research studies with more than a quarter million American donors. She has reached back into their lives to find out about the first time they gave, what motivates their philanthropy now, what their greatest and most frustrating experiences in giving are, and what their dreams are for their philanthropic future.

Shannon Gaskell, Development Officer- Annual Fund & Stewardship , Seneca College

Shannon Gaskell is a Montreal native with development and special events experience from both the healthcare and arts & culture sectors. She began her non-profit career as an Event Coordinator at the Lakeshore General Hospital Foundation in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.  Shannon then worked in progressive roles at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, first as a development officer moving onto become the Director of Development overseeing the library’s fund development plan.

Shannon has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Philosophy from Concordia University in Montreal and a graduate certificate in Event Management from Niagara College. In her current role as the Development Officer- Annual Fund and Stewardship at Seneca College, she is responsible for all annual appeals including employee giving, alumni campaigns and stewardship activities.

Joy Gooding, Senior Development Officer, Seneca College

Joy Gooding currently works at Seneca College, and is responsible for securing major gifts for programming, capital initiatives, sponsorships and financial aid. She has held senior fundraising positions at The Next 36, Toronto International Film Festival and JAZZ.FM91. Her experience includes annual and major gifts fundraising, donor relations, project management, event planning, and volunteer management. Throughout her career Joy oversaw a variety of annual programs including direct mail, telemarketing, on-air campaigns, on-line and special event fundraising. Joy graduated with honours from both Radio and Television Broadcasting at Seneca and Fundraising and Volunteer Management at George Brown College. Joy sees her role as a facilitator, helping organizations achieve their marketing and social responsibility goals and inspiring individuals to realize their philanthropic priorities.

Tara McNeice, Development Manager, University of Guelph

Tara McNeice, Acting Associate Director, Annual Giving at the University of Guelph (UofG).  Tara is responsible for the strategic annual solicitation of alumni, parents, and friends of the University, raising approximately $5M annually. Prior to coming to Guelph, Tara managed the We Schools in Action program with Free the Children/Me to We (now

With a degree in Political Science and a Masters degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Guelph, Tara is a dedicated Guelph grad. With over a decade of experience in relationship building and engagement, Tara’s ability to support and cultivate philanthropic dreams remains her passion.

Jana Miller, Alumni Advancement Manager, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and College of Arts, University of Guelph

Jana Miller is an Alumni Advancement Manager at the University of Guelph. She has a diverse role that combines alumni engagement and fundraising. For the past three years, she has had the privelege of working closely with classes to plan their reunions and launch class projects. Last year, the U of G Alumni Affairs and Annual Giving team supported more than 45 class and group fundraising initiatives, which raised over $170,000.  She is continuously inspired by the unity of reunion classes and their motivation to continue supporting the University of Guelph.

Jana is a proud double alumna, completing both an undergraduate and graduate arts degree at U of G. She began her career in alumni advancement in 2008 at the University of Guelph-Humber and has developed a passion for building relationships with alumni and friends of U of G and advocates for education.

Dane Shumak, Development Officer of Annual Giving, Trent University

Brock Warner

Brock is Director of Community Giving and Innovation at War Child, a humanitarian charity known for innovative online fundraising and engagement. He oversees the annual and monthly giving program, donor stewardship, and donor systems management. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), is a former professor of ePhilanthropy at Humber College and regularly presents across Canada about War Child, philanthropy and international development issues.

Jacqueline Watty, Senior Relationship Manager, Advancement, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

Jacqueline Watty is the Senior Relationship Manager, Advancement at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo Region and previously worked at the University of Guelph. Her 13+ years working in the Advancement world provides a broad perspective of everything from call centre metrics, major gifts, volunteer management and of course, annual giving. Jacqueline has worked collaboratively with faculty and staff to drive philanthropic results and believes a successful campaign always starts with the relationship.

In addition to Jacqueline's role at Perimeter Institute, she is the Chair of the Development Committee and Vice-President for The Humane Society of Kitchener-Waterloo and Stratford-Perth. She holds an undergraduate degree in Adult Education from Brock University and a masters degree in Leadership from the University of Guelph.

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