Last Year’s Conference (2023)

Topics and speakers are unlikely to change, but they might. We’re constructing the program with an emphasis on annual giving, advancement services, campaigns, digital, data and stewardship.
We’re going to have more than 30 sessions at this year’s MOTM Conference, so check back as we update the content…

Opening Plenary Session:
Be Mindful: All The Sessions You Don’t Want To Miss…
Welcome, Introductions and Conference Highlights
Bob Burdenski and John Taylor, Conference co-Chairs with
Dan Montplaisir, Vice President for Advancement, Cal Poly Pomona

Well-known Crystal Apple teachers, CASE authors, listserv moderators, and fundraising curmudgeons Bob Burdenski and John Taylor launch the 2023 Meeting of the Minds Conference with a festive welcome and a rapid-fire rundown of their favorite advancement services and annual giving conference sessions and speakers to follow. Often in sync, lovingly in conflict,  and always working in support of philanthropic goals, annual giving and advancement services offices play a critical role in advancement success.  Join Bob and John as they provide a preview of the great conference sessions to come, and hear a special welcome from our sponsors.

An Introduction to Annual Giving and the “Meeting of the Minds” Conference
Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

New to the profession? New to the conference? Join CASE Laureate and long-time MOTM host Bob Burdenski for an overview of today’s annual giving fundraising. We’ll talk about the evolving goals, methods, channels, messages, metrics — and the very idea of “annual giving” itself. Ideal for “newbies” (or you “oldbies” in need of a refresh) and also get some ideas for maximizing your “Minds” conference experience in Pomona.

AI and the Opportunities for Annual Giving
Rachel Crosbie and Mark Hobbs, Fundmetric

Annual Giving is about to enter a golden age. Artificial intelligence (AI) runs on data, and the necessity of data capture will see annual giving teams play lynchpin roles in their organizations. The talk will dive into the unlikely marriage between AI and Annual Giving and the impact AI can have on all facets of your fundraising program.

Alumni Relations and Annual Giving – Ideas for Collaboration
Kathleen LaManna and Mariam Khwajazada, Mount Saint Mary’s University

The Institutional Advancement team at Mount Saint Mary’s University recently reconfigured its organizational structure so the Directors of Alumnae Relations and Annual Giving could work side-by-side to activate alumnae and build a donor pipeline. In this session, we will highlight opportunities for collaboration between these two departments, including student philanthropy, young alumni engagement and establishing a “Traditions” framework. Come and share success stories, struggles and goals for a successful partnership between your engagement and fundraising teams.

An Annual Giving Directors’ Discussion
Rachel Robertson, University of Utah, Sean Briner, CSU San Marcos, Jessica Pfahler, University of Redlands, Moderators

Join an executive-level conversation for those running annual giving programs at their institution. How’s your organizational chart these days? What skills are you looking for in your team members, and where do you find them? In the office or remote? In-house or outsourced? And what if you’re running the program yourself? Get some ideas, solutions, tips and therapy from your peers at this directors’ dialogue.

Best Job on Campus: Why Students Belong in Annual Giving
Emily Etzkorn, VanillaSoft

Student employees are a critical piece of education annual giving programs. In this session, Emily Etzkorn, Fundraising Evangelist with VanillaSoft, will look at the benefits of having students as part of the annual giving office – even if you don’t have an engagement center. She’ll look at the importance of recruiting, training, and coaching of students to make them an effective and integral part of the annual giving team.

CASE Alumni Engagement Metrics – What Are They & How Do You Track Them?
John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC, Elissa San Juan and CPP Student Interns, Cal Poly Pomona, Rodger Devine, Pomona College

John will begin the conversation by reviewing CASE’s 3-year-old Alumni Engagement Metrics (AEM) survey and the types of information it’s tracking. Rodger will provide an overview of the dashboards created at Pomona College to track its AEMs. Elissa will then discuss how CPP is collecting the new AEM survey data. Then, she’ll introduce a group of CPP students who will present on the data collection solution they mapped for one CPP college.

A Community College Fundraising Forum
Bill Lambert, Mt. San Antonio College

Join a group of community college (and other small-shop) fundraisers for a discussion about fundraising with limited resources, important tools, shortcuts and “hacks,” outsourcing essentials, the particular community college case for support and prospect audiences. (Also join us for the pre-conference community college program and reception on Tuesday night, February 7th at Mt. San Antonio College.)

Creative Funding Models for Advancement
Laurie Ogg, Sonoma State University and John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC

Educational institutions, healthcare and other nonprofit organizations all face a similar fundraising challenge: How do you invest in advancement program growth on the front end while you wait for the increased gift revenue on the back end?. Planning your next capital campaign will highlight the specifics, with readiness planning likely identifying the need for increased staff, technology, stewardship, marketing and more. “It takes money to raise money,” but how do you manage while you’re in the middle of it? This session will discuss a variety of fundraising funding models and the pros and cons of each. Then, the panel will share how their own institutions manage program funding – with some lessons learned for those considering funding solutions.

Data Collection, Maintenance, & Integrity Fundamentals
Dr. Shalonda Martin, Pomona College, Jennifer Garcia-Do, CHLA, and John Taylor

Data is our greatest resource; it is widely used and highly valuable. It is imperative that we approach data with strategy to ensure we are meeting our organizational goals. Join us as we discuss best practices, common challenges, and the future of Data Collection, Maintenance, & Integrity.

Developing Your Leadership Annual Giving & Major/Planned Gift Prospect Pipeline
Laurent “Lo” DeJanvry, Meeting of the Minds Laureate

Join perennially-popular MOTM presenter Lo DeJanvry for a discussion about leadership annual giving prospect identification ideas and engagement strategies — and developing a healthy prospect pipeline up through major gift fundraising.

Direct Mail – Tips, Tricks and Tactics
Sara Pond and Matt Sulzer, MCR, Inc.

Is it time to spice up your approach? Direct mail is fundamental to building the donor pipeline, but with new channels in the mix it may be time to revisit your mail strategy. Join this conversation to discuss printing hallmarks that target the right people, grab donor attention, calendar the project, and integrate storytelling to optimize results. Attendees will receive free samples from other institutions and gain insights on:
✔ Audiences – segmenting, engagement, personalization
✔ Calendaring – channel integration, production, timing
✔ Design – photos, layout, color
✔ Packaging – envelopes, paper stocks, inserts

A Donor Wants to Give us What? Accepting Non-Standard Gifts
Mallory Wiswell, City of Hope, John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC

We will attempt to demystify the mysterious when accepting the “weird and bizarre.” We will begin the discussion by reviewing the importance of gift acceptance committees and policies. And then we will dive into areas of specific concern these days, including:
• Gifts-In-Kind, including the need to distinguish between related and unrelated-use gifts of property
✔ Cryptocurrency and NFTs
✔ Certain forms of planned gifts, including CGAs funded by property
✔ Gifts you should think twice about before accepting, like timeshares, life insurance, closely held stock, and certain bequests.

Forum for Young Professionals in Advancement
Kalyn Rose Miller, Pomona College, Gizel Avina, Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Panel TBA

Today’s young professionals in advancement face a whole range of (often new) challenges. How to manage within a remote/in-person advancement team? How to build relationships with colleagues, mentors, donors and prospects you may rarely interact with in person? How to handle rapidly-changing skills and organizational charts? What advice would your senior colleagues tell you if they had the opportunity? Join a panel for some insights, advice and therapy!

Fundraising BS: Leveraging Behavioral Science to Drive Donor Conversion Rates
Felicity Meu, GiveCampus

Making it easier for donors to give may just be the most effective strategy in the savvy fundraiser’s toolkit—and we’ve got the conversion metrics (and science!) to prove it. In this session, we’ll show you how applying classic principles of persuasion science to your everyday fundraising challenges can dramatically improve donor engagement and move the needle on dollars raised. Using the Fogg Behavior Model as a framework for understanding donor motivation and ability, Felicity Meu will share the simple strategies you can implement to achieve impressive real-world results.

Gift Processing 101 – Dates, Receipts, Metrics, Copying, Scanning
Mallory Wiswell, City of Hope, Jennifer Garcia-Do, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Anita Lawson, Southwestern Law and Erin Gale, UC Davis

This “audience participation” session will attempt to answer fundamental gift processing and entry questions that have raised concerns for decades! We will begin by asking the audience to list the gift processing issues rearing their ugly heads in day-to-day gift processing. The panel will try to suggest solutions to those conundrums and reflect on national best practices. The panel will also come prepared to discuss various topics, including gift dates, receipt requirements, gift processing metrics, copying/scanning requirements, and recurring giving issues, among others. You are encouraged to email your discussion topics ahead of time if you prefer to be anonymous!

A Healthcare Fundraising Forum
Andrew Kaufteil, JD, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Wayne Combs, CHLA and Melissa MacRae, UCLA Health

Join a group of healthcare fundraising practitioners to talk about the annual giving and advancement services opportunities and challenges particular to healthcare institutions. Grateful patients and families, HIPAA, community prospect audiences and appeal channels, sponsorships, memorial gifts, and more.

IRS (and State) Sticky Wickets
John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC and Wayne Combs, CHOC

This session will focus on the complex legal issues that can impact gift solicitation and gift acceptance by your organization. We will cover the following:
✔ State Fundraising Registration Requirements
✔ Binding & Non-Binding Pledges
✔ Donor-Advised Fund and Family Foundation Issues
✔ Quid Pro Quo
✔ Corporate Sponsorships
✔ Raffles & Auctions

Leadership Annual Giving – Fundamentals of Personal Solicitation and (More-or-Less)
Face-to-Face Fundraising 

Ray Watts, Claremont McKenna College

Annual Giving is a dynamic and changing field, no longer solely focused on mass marketing through direct mail and student phonathons.  The “new normal” for annual giving is a team-centered approach with a group of individuals who have personal prospect portfolios and expectations of much more face-to-face identification, cultivation and solicitation work.  This workshop will be structured in an interactive format, with a focus on real-time learning and specific coaching.  Come prepared to share experiences and learn strategies and tactics to make you a better development professional as you get on the road and work with donors one-on-one.

A Leadership and Digital Giving Officer (DXO) Forum
Ray Watts and Panel TBA

As a sequel to Ray Watts’ session on “An Introduction to (More-or-Less) Face-to-Face Fundraising,” we’ll have a forum on all things personal engagement and gift solicitation. Leadership annual giving has been infused with a digital engagement set of strategies, solutions, tools and metrics. We’ll talk about the progression from annual donors to major donors, and the nature of relationship-building as donors progress up through the “muddle in the middle” on your giving pyramid. Some specific forum topics:
✔ What is “leadership annual giving” and why is it the same – and different – everywhere?
✔ How has the pandemic changed leadership annual giving, in some ways for the better?
✔ How do you identify prospects, and with what tools and resources?
✔ How has LinkedIn become a particularly good leadership annual giving resource?
✔ How do you approach prospects? What channels are most effective?
✔ What role does direct marketing have in leadership annual giving?
✔ What do you talk about with prospects?
✔ How do you effectively use Zoom, and when and how?
✔ How has Zoom elevated prospect visits in some ways?
✔ What materials/collateral do you use, if any?
✔ What contact reporting process does your institution have?
✔ What’s the new business etiquette in a Zoom and pandemic world?
✔ What stewardship and subsequent engagement strategies are effective?
✔ What’s the right role for the use of personal texting and video?
✔ What leadership annual giving tools, tips, and “hacks” help you to do your job?
✔ And how do you define success for leadership annual giving?

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Dashboards (and Reports) for Dummies
Mark Longo, Caltech, Jeff Callaghan, Loyola Marymount University, and Laurie Ogg, Sonoma State University

Join your hosts “Joel,” “Tom,” and “Crow” for this week’s episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as they are forced to watch the best and worst dashboards and reports found in the fundraising industry. This no-holds-barred experience is not for the faint of heart. Pull up a chair, eat your popcorn, and learn what it takes to create an out-of-this-world dashboard.

Non-Traditional Roles of Advancement Services Managers
Philip Garland, University of San Diego, Laurie Ogg, Sonoma State University, Shalonda Martin, Pomona College, John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC

“What have I gotten myself into?” You will often hear this cry from the office – or cubicle – of many advancement services professionals! It seems the longer we are in our jobs, the more the job changes from what we were first hired to do. And while our primary focus continues to be on “traditional” advancement services functions, we now must find time to add additional duties to our plates – some requiring just as much, if not more, time and attention. Join this group of advancement services leaders who have “been there and done that.” In addition to their “day jobs,” they have been responsible for campaign planning, talent management, committee/council administration, campaign management, MGO support staff management, and assumption of “central” IT roles. We’ll also want to hear about your “add-ons.” But we’ll also discuss how you make room for these extra assignments and what leverage you have to enhance your compensation package – and your career path.

The Recurring Riddle of Regular Giving Programs
Rachel Robertson, University of Utah, Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

We’ve chased the elusive, effective recurring giving program for years. We’re proud that we can set up a recurring gift, but most educational institutions (and other not-for-profits) still struggle to attract significant numbers of recurring gift (monthly or otherwise) donors. There are successes to be found in other sectors (PBS) and even other countries (UK). What are the obstacles – and solutions – here in the U.S.? Come and see a collection of recurring giving strategies for promoting, stewarding, recognizing and sustaining a recurring donor base. Rachel will talk about the University of Utah’s successful recurring gift program — with more than 800 donors, and Bob will share a range of samples from other institutions.

Social Media Advertising and Email Segmentation for Giving Day… or Any Day
Sean Briner and Noelle Reed, CSU San Marcos

CSU San Marcos effectively integrated social media advertising and advanced email audience segmentation into its most recent Giving Day 2022 this past November 29th. Learn what strategies they used, their measures of success, and their results.

Staying Remote – Permanent Off-Site Management of Advancement Staff
Jeff Callaghan and Christiana Simpson, Loyola Marymount U.

At the height of the pandemic, organizations pivoted to full-time remote work as a necessary solution to a temporary problem. Though most staff returned to the office in some capacity, Loyola Marymount University embraced the opportunity and reclassified several Advancement Services positions as permanently remote, including the entirety of the Analytics & Reporting team. With a year of this formal arrangement under our belts, Jeff will review the day-to-day of managing and motivating a remote Advancement Services shop, and Christiana will discuss the HR components. Both will share their experiences as once-upon-a-time-fully-in-person-and-now-fully-remote staff members, including the benefits and challenges of LMU’s new normal.

Student Philanthropy Programs
Catherine Quirk-Hanneke, CFRE, Cal Poly Pomona

We often invest nothing in teaching a philanthropic culture to our students, and yet we’re surprised when they don’t respond as donors after they graduate. What are some smart strategies for teaching students about philanthropy in ways they will reflect as generous alumni?

Tips & Trends from Record-Breaking Giving Days
Colleen Cook, Vinyl Marketing & Kristi Pease, University of Nebraska Foundation

Giving Days are a tried and true way to engage and acquire donors, especially when it comes to young alumni. But what distinguishes the schools that are achieving record-breaking levels of donors and dollars from those that tread water year after year? In this session Kristi Pease, Senior Director, Marketing and Annual Campaign Operations and Director of Annual Campaigns at University of Nebraska Lincoln and Colleen Cook, Director of Operations at Vinyl Marketing break down the strategies and tactics to make your Day of Giving a smashing success.

To Benchmark or Not to Benchmark? Benefits and Pitfalls
Jessica LaBorde, UC Davis, Mark Longo, Caltech and Jessica Channell-Iler, UNLV

Join us for this panel discussion to learn how to be a good benchmarking partner while avoiding common pitfalls. We will share stories and tools to determine what, how, and when to benchmark (and when not to). We will also talk about both metrics and operational benchmarking, and how you might be able to leverage data from existing resources.

Using Analytics to Identify, Engage, and Cultivate New Prospects
Elissa San Juan, Cal Poly Pomona, Jeff Callaghan, Loyola Marymount University, and Jessica Channell-Iler, UNLV

In the spring of 2022, Cal Poly Pomona, equipped with a new database, new prospect ratings (tons of them!), and a charge from above to put the new tools to use in finding our best prospects. Loyola Marymount University and UNLV have also delivered similar successes. Learn about the journeys, teamwork, analysis, and leadership that resulted in a strategic and comprehensive implementation plan for identifying, engaging, and cultivating new prospects. Share in our recent successes and challenges on this journey.

What I Learned Before Arriving in Advancement – Insights From the “For-Profit” World
Andrew Kaufteil, JD, Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and Laurent DeJanvry, “Meeting of the Minds” Laureate

Andrew and Lo both spent time in the business world prior to their foray into fundraising and philanthropy, and both have insights about marketing and business fundamentals that are essential in the “for-profit” world, but often are lacking in the not-for-profit world. What corporate lessons can be transferred to our work in advancement, and what advice do Andrew and Lo have about our work?

Women in Leadership in Advancement
Kalyn Rose Miller, Pomona College, Gizel Avina, Drucker School of Management, Claremont Graduate University, and Panel TBA

Women make up the majority of nonprofit employees, yet they are underrepresented in leadership positions across nonprofit organizations. In this panel, we bring together women leaders and aspiring women leaders of nonprofits to engage in discussion about relevant issues and foster meaningful relationships. How can we understand both the challenges and the opportunities presented by women’s leadership? How do issues like gender roles, work-life balance, and mentorship shape women’s leadership?