Essentials for New Professionals Workshop

Tuesday June 9, 2015

Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel, Montréal, Québec


8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Welcome, Introduction, the CCAE Story (Mark Hazlett & Jason Moreton)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

The Many Roles Of Advancement

Rob Donelson, Vice-President, Development & Alumni, Wilfrid Laurier University

In this session, participants will receive a thorough overview of the Advancement field, including a look at key trends and issues. The integral link between Advancement and an institution’s mission and vision, as well as the importance of relationship building and accountability, will be highlighted. We’ll explore the key traits of successful advancement professionals and look at how best to manage your own career. Some helpful advice gleaned from colleagues cross the country will round out the presentation.

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Getting to Know Each Other – various networking games
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 p.m.

Incorporating Social Media into Advancement” – Sharing, Engaging, Curating: Be a Better Advancement Pro by embracing it all.
How does social media fit into fundraising and alumni engagement?

Jerry Brens, Manager, Alumni Marketing & Communications and Mike Onesi, Social Media Coordinator, Office of Advancement, Queen’s University

Jerry Brens and Mike Onesi, from the Office of Advancement at Queen’s University, offer insights and examples on where to start and how to sustain your presence on social media. This session will highlight introductory strategies and tactics employed by Queen’s University and other institutions, that aid stewardship, engage alumni and extend your communications network.

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Stewardship – It is Everyone’s Job

Susan Rankin, 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 engage our partners in strategic donor relations.

3:45 p.m. Wrap-Up and Conclusion


Jerry Brens
Jerry is the Manager of Alumni, Marketing and Communications at Queen’s University, with a focus on engaging and fundraising with alumni. Prior to joining the Queen’s community, Jerry worked in the advertising and marketing industry on brands including, Bombardier, Nike, Workopolis, and Bell.

Connect with Jerry: LinkedIn ( | Email: (

Mike Onesi
Mike is the Alumni Communications Officer at Queen’s University, and the designated social media coordinator for the university’s Advancement Office. Mike has frontline experience handling the successes and challenges of creating a social following with alumni. Before joining Queen’s five years ago, the Ryerson University graduate spent 13 years as a daily newspaper reporter/editor/columnist for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, and Kingston Whig-Standard.

Connect with Mike: LinkedIn ( | Twitter (@mikeonesi) | Email (

rankinSusan Rankin
Susan Rankin is the Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive stewardship and donor relations program as part of the University Advancement team.

Susan has presented at numerous conferences for CCAE (Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education), CASE (Council for the Advancement & Support of Education) and ADRP (Association of Donor Relations Professionals) on topics including Stewardship Today: Managing & Exceeding Expectations; Pro-Active Stewardship; Stewardship: It’s everyone’s Job; Engaging alumni at a distance; Managing your advancement career; and Effective event and volunteer management. Susan is a past board member of CCAE and co-chaired the 2009 National Conference. In addition, Susan was President of CCAE-Ontario and chaired the CCAE National Awards, Prix d’Excellence from 2009-2012.

ROB DONELSON, Vice-President, Development & Alumni Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University

Rob Donelson brings over thirty years’ professional experience leading award-winning advancement programs of four non-profit organizations in higher education and healthcare. He currently serves as Vice-President, Development & Alumni Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Prior to this, he served as President, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation in Hamilton, and as Executive Director, St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation in Kitchener. He began his career in university advancement at St. Jerome's College, University of Waterloo, following a year at Queen's Park as a Legislative Intern.

He is a member of the Ethical Code Committee of Imagine Canada and led the first registered charity in Canada to earn the Ethical Fundraising License, and the first university to earn the Standards Program accreditation from Imagine Canada. He is currently a member of the CCAE Board of Directors, and received the 2013 AFP Fundraising professional award. Rob enjoys family activities, reading, gardening, hockey and running. He has successfully completed five marathons, including the 2006 Boston Marathon.