Sessions & Presenters

Building a strong prospect pipeline and creating great habits

Jennifer Williams - CFRE, Director of Advancement Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.

Have you ever been a list of ‘your prospects’? Perhaps on your first day or with staffing changes. What do you do with the list? Who else should you talk to? How do you move people forward? This session will engage you in conversations about maximizing giving on your existing list and identifying and qualifying new prospects. We will also spend sometime discussing good habits to consider adopting as you manage the day-to-day activities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how to identify and qualify prospects in a variety of ways, from a variety of sources.
  2. Learn about when to take someone off your list – and what to do with them.
  3. Discuss some key habits to consider for day-to-day success.

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.

Learning objectives:

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

Blurring the lines between major and planned giving

Heather Colwell, CFRE, Manager, Development, Faculty of Science, University Advancement, McMaster University.

Erin Matthews, CFRE, Manager, Development, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University.

Gifts of securities, life insurance, RRSP’s and RIF’s. These are all terms you typically hear in a planned giving shop. However, in our experience, it’s not that black and white. There are many opportunities in cultivating current major gifts to weave in techniques that often live in gift planning departments. Through real-life examples we will share tips and tricks on how these techniques can be effective in helping your donors maximize their philanthropic impact while raising more for your institution.

Learning objectives:

  1. Techniques for maximizing total giving.
  2. Basic understanding of giving vehicles.
  3. Strategies to integrate major and planned giving together in donor conversations.

Reinvigorating and Integrating Planned Giving in a small shop environment

Michelle Kerr - CFRE, Director of Development at Brock University

By making small changes and smart investments, Brock University doubled their planned giving inquiries and commitments over a two year period. This presentation will share details of work done to reimagine stewardship activity for Planned Giving donors and how Brock has taken the next steps in their involvement with CAGP and estate advisors to further grow this important area of philanthropy. Brock will also share how they managed this work and the staff and financial resources that were required. Attendees will leave the session with the ability to devise a short term (and longer term!) action plan to increase estate gifts to their organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how Brock University doubled their planned giving inquiries and commitments over a two year period.
  2. You will learn how a small investment in advertising and marketing helped increase discussions with donors about leaving a gift in their will.
  3. Learn how Planned Giving was integrated into each major gifts officers portfolio as well as into the daily activity of the Development and Alumni Office.

From First Meeting to Making the Ask and Everything in Between

Amanda Fritz - CFRE, Senior Philanthropy Officer, Primary Gifts, McGill University.

Alexis Gaiptman - Alexis Gaiptman, CFRE, Associate Director, Major Gifts – Advancement, The Montreal Neurological Institute (McGill University).

As McGill University prepares for its bicentennial celebration and gets ready for its corresponding campaign, we ask ourselves - how do we strengthen the relationships with our donors, colleagues and volunteers in order to raise money more efficiently and collaboratively? Regardless of this size of your shop and/or team, we will provide tips and tools that can help your major gift program yield success. This interactive session, which is relevant to all academic fundraising professionals in all roles, will encourage participants to use similar strategies and inspire creativity. Together, Amanda and Alexis will motivate you to embrace the unique challenges of developing a strong major program and explore adaptable solutions that make University fundraising successful from beginning to end.

Learning objectives:

  1. How to build a collaborative cultivation work plan.
  2. How to identify and implement effective fundraising policies and procedures.
  3. How to measure and understand success beyond dollars.

CCAE Snap Sessions- Collaboration & Co-Operation

Mini-Campaigns: One Approach to Integrating Major Giving and Annual Giving

Sarah Clarke - Director, Annual Giving & Advancement Services, Carleton University.

Carleton uses a continuum of giving models to allocate resources and responsibility for various levels of fundraising. The mini-campaign approach integrates major giving and annual giving efforts and clearly defines the responsibilities of each area. This clarity has provided more structure and increased cooperation between the fundraisers.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The five giving levels used by Carleton.
  2. The systems put into place for each level.
  3. How this is smoothed annual giving and major giving overlap.

Small Shop Reality Check: Re-aligning Alumni Engagement and Fundraising

Anne Thibodeau - Manager, Philanthropy, Mount Saint Vincent University.

The Advancement Department at Mount Saint Vincent University has recently realigned roles, responsibilities, and developed a more focused strategy on addressing gaps in its alumni donor base. Aligning alumni engagement with an integrated relationship management process is expected to ultimately support and enhance alumni philanthropy.

Learning objectives:

  1. Marrying alumni engagement and fundraising.
  2. Small shop opportunities and challenges .
  3. Alumni fundraising strategies (or execution) working with limited staff and budget resources.

Collaboration is Everything

Linda Flynn - Associate Vice-President, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and President, Durham College Foundation.

Collaboration is Everything This presentation shows how Durham College has integrated its Development and Alumni portfolios for seamless relationship management within their department as well as with the broader institution. It will demonstrate the importance of building trust, giving back and use of technology impacted results at Durham College.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Importance of integrating Development and Alumni portfolios.
  2. How DC elevated profile of Development and Alumni Relations for collaboration throughout the broader institution.
  3. That the best way to gain support is to give support.

University of Guelph- a focus on being donor centered

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

Tara McNeice - Acting Associate Director, Annual Giving at the University of Guelph.

The University of Guelph has a developed guideline for annual and major giving, however we focus on the relationship first and what is best for the donor when moving gifts from annual to major giving. It is not uncommon for a gift to move relationships, but for the most part, the gift will remain with the relationship manager. Coaching and cooperation happens a lot in our department between our annual and major giving teams. Is this the best way we should pursue this donor transition is a question we often ask ourselves. While we want the growth opportunity for our annual giving fundraisers, and the exposure to major giving, we know supporting a donor in making a large contribution takes a lot of time and energy that should otherwise be focused on their annual giving priorities- it’s a balance for sure!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how focusing on donors first, helps guide strategy and decisions.
  2. Discover how coaching and cooperation is an integral part of our day to day activities.
  3. Learn ways to balance priorities to maximize time, donor capacity and officer efficiency

Streamlining the Annual Giving- Major Gift Connection

Trizana Parillo - Development Officer in Leadership Annual Giving, Concordia University.

Take a look at how Concordia is strengthening the connection between its Annual Giving and Major Gift officers, and maximizing leadership level donations across the university while continuing to support Major Gift and Planned Giving ambitions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How Concordia identified opportunities for more synergies between Annual Giving and Major Gifts.
  2. What support and resources Annual Giving offers to Major Gifts.
  3. What support and resources Major Gifts offers to 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.

Sarah Clarke
Director, Annual Giving & Advancement Services, Carleton University

Amanda is responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting $5M+ donations for McGill University’s top priorities. Working in fundraising since 2008, she has experience working in numerous fundraising roles – including prospect research, communications, event management, annual giving and major gifts.

Sarah Clarke began working as a student caller nearly 25 years ago. Upon graduation from McMaster University, she joined Mac’s team as an Annual Giving Officer and later moved on to Trinity College at the University of Toronto to run its Annual Giving program.

In 2002, Sarah came to Carleton University to revive Carleton’s annual giving efforts and initiate comprehensive, multi-channel giving programs for all constituents. In the following year, records, reporting, prospect research, advancement operations and gifts administration were added to her portfolio.

Since then, the team’s primary focus has been on growing annual giving, increasing efficiency in all processes and better integrating advancement services’ efforts across campus.

Heather Colwell, CFRE, Manager of Development for the Faculty of Science at McMaster University

Heather Colwell is the Manager of Development for the Faculty of Science at McMaster University where she is responsible for leading the enhancement of the Faculty’s development program, building relationships with internal and external stakeholders and managing a portfolio of the University’s top Science supporters. While working to strategically achieve the Faculty’s goals Heather’s previous experience as a gift planning specialist at McMaster has been instrumental.

Prior to McMaster, Heather has worked at Havergal College, Hillfield Strathallan College and Selwyn House School in a variety of roles related to major gifts, planned giving, event management, volunteer management and alumni relations. She obtained her CFRE in 2014 and has almost completed her Master of Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership. Heather has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo where she was captain of the varsity swim team.

Amanda Fritz
Senior Philanthropy Officer, Primary Gifts, McGill University

Amanda is responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting $5M+ donations for McGill University’s top priorities. Working in fundraising since 2008, she has experience working in numerous fundraising roles – including prospect research, communications, event management, annual giving and major gifts.

In addition to her professional responsibilities, Ms. Fritz volunteers with local organizations dedicated to child literacy and with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In March 2018, the Governor General awarded Ms. Fritz the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for her exceptional volunteer achievements, sustained dedication, and commitment.

Linda Flynn
Associate Vice-President, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and President, Durham College Foundation

As the associate vice -president, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, and president, Durham College Foundation since 2015, Linda brings more than 18 years of fundraising and not-for-profit management experience, at both the community and national levels.

Prior to joining DC, Linda was the director of advancement for the Lakeridge Health Foundation. Under her guidance, development programs including major gifts, third-party events and direct response campaigns generated an annual revenue of over $3.5 million. In addition she successfully implemented a new visual identity for the foundation and hospital, along with developing a 10-year comprehensive campaign to raise $50 million for the redevelopment of Lakeridge Health.

Linda has also served as the director of fund development for Scientists in School, where she created the organization’s inaugural fund development plan, and attracted new corporate donors. Other roles include director, funds development, for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and director of development for the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Linda holds a Public Relations diploma from Durham College and a Fundraising Management Certificate from Ryerson University. She has also achieved her Canadian Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) accreditation.

Linda is currently working on her Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Alexis Gaiptman
Associate Director, Major Gifts – Advancement. The Montreal Neurological Institute (McGill University)

Alexis Gaiptman is a proven leader with over 12 years of fundraising experience leading special events, planned giving and major gifts programs. Her background is in Political Science, Women's Studies and Community Economic Development. She is driven by her passion for growth, ability to embrace new challenges and desire to better our local communities. She is a Director on the board of AFP Quebec, volunteer with AFP GTA, AFP International as well as part of the Executive for the local Montreal CAGP Chapter. 

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.

Shaun Keister
Ph.D., Vice Chancellor, Development & Alumni Relations, President, UC Davis Foundation, UC Davis.

Shaun Keister became UC Davis’ first vice chancellor for development and alumni relations in 2011 and functions as the campus’s chief development officer, leading a team of over 220, and president of the UC Davis Foundation. He led UC Davis in completing its first comprehensive campaign raising more than $1.13 billion from 110,000 donors. He leads the planning for the second, larger campaign.

Previously, Keister served in leadership development roles at Penn State, Florida State, and Iowa State.

Keister has a bachelor's degree in political science from Penn State and a master's and doctoral degree in sociology from Iowa State.

Michelle Kerr
CFRE, Director of Development at Brock University

Michelle joined Brock in 2009 at the launch of the Campaign for a Bold New Brock. Previously held the role of Director of Operations at the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation (Now Michael Garron Hospital). With over 15 years of fundraising experience she provides leadership and overall strategic guidance for the Major Gift fundraising team and Planned Giving program at Brock University. Michelle has her BAA from Ryerson University (1989), is married and has three children, ages 20, 21 and 25. In her free time actively competes in masters rowing, is the President of the St. Catharines Rowing Club and is on the Board of Directors for St. Catharines World Rowing.a

Erin Matthews
CFRE, Manager, Development, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University.

Erin Matthews began as the Manager of Development with the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in May 2017. Through a donor-centered approach, Erin focuses on developing relationships on behalf of DSB and McMaster to enhance reputation, grow revenue, and generate meaningful support in priority areas. Joining McMaster in 2014, Erin previously held roles solely dedicated to the gift planning as well as with blended major and planned giving responsibilities.

Prior to Mac, Erin has worked with the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton, Hillfield Strathallan College and the Richard Ivey School of Business in roles related to alumni relations, volunteer management, legacy giving and major gifts. She obtained her CFRE in 2014, was an Executive on the CAGP Golden Horseshoe Roundtable and is a member of the Estate Planners Council of Hamilton. With a degree in Sport Management from Brock University, Erin has a passion for sport, beginning her career with Canada Basketball, and now in her community as a coach and volunteer.

Tara McNeice
Acting Associate Director, Annual Giving at the 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.

Trizana Parillo
Development Officer in Leadership Annual Giving, Concordia University.

Trizana has worked as an experienced fundraiser for over 12 years, including three years exclusively in Planned Giving. After receiving her BA in Political Science at Carleton University, Trizana also completed her Certificate in Fundraising Management at Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology. Trizana has worked in both fields of higher education and international aid and has a background in marketing and public relations.

Anne Thibodeau
Manager, Philanthropy, Mount Saint University

Anne Thibodeau is Manager, Philanthropy at Mount Saint University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Joining the Mount’s small advancement team in 2011, Anne has played a key role in all of the University’s fundraising initiatives including the annual, major and planned giving programs.

Anne’s first foray into university advancement was as student caller for the 150th Anniversary Alumni Fund Campaign at her alma mater, Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB.

Throughout her 28 year career in the not-for-profit sector, Anne has successfully led and collaborated with volunteer and staff teams across various areas of fundraising, including capital campaigns and community fundraising initiatives with the Canadian Cancer Society, Acadia University and CNIB.

Jennifer Williams
CFRE, Director of Advancement, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto.

Jennifer Williams is a seasoned fundraiser with more than a decade of experience in Healthcare and University fundraising. As the Director of Advancement at Bloomberg Nursing, University of Toronto, Jen plays an integral role in all aspects of development and alumni relations. Prior to her work with Bloomberg Nursing, Jen was with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation achieving major and planned gift targets. A strong leader, collaborator and problem-solver, Jen provides insightful relationship management, helping to build a stronger philanthropic environment at the University of Toronto.

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