2024 Wednesday, February 7th Sessions

9:30-11:30 a.m. Pre-Conference Workshop

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

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.

12:00-1:00 p.m. Registration Open

Registration and Networking in the Sponsor Lounge

1:00-1:45 p.m. Opening Session

Be Mindful: All The Sessions You Don’t Want To Miss… Welcome, Introductions and the Beginning of the 2024 Meeting of the Minds
Bob Burdenski and John Taylor, Conference co-Chairs
Auditorium Room

Well-known Crystal Apple teachers, CASE Laureates, authors, listserv moderators, and fundraising curmudgeons Bob Burdenski and John Taylor launch the 2024 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. And let’s see what they misspelled this year!

1:45-2:30 p.m. Plenary Session

Annual Giving and Advancement Services, Mutual Admiration and Affection Always
Rodger Devine, Pomona College, Mark Casey, Caltech and Panel TBA
Auditorium Room

The conference’s “Meeting of the Minds” name originated in appreciation of the synergy – and the occasional contretemps – between annual giving and advancement services fundraisers. This plenary session will review the state of the relationship today, the continually-increasing and evolving integration of data, engagement, relationship building and fundraising — and the ever-changing org chart to manage all of it.

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Extended Break in the Sponsor Lounge

Featuring a gourmet popcorn buffet and a great opportunity to get your sponsor bingo cards stamped!

2:45-3:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions

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

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?

Gift Processing 101 – A Panel Discussion
Moderator: Wendy Johnson, CalArts
Panelists: Valerie Nguyen, Chris Meneses, Tod Davis, and Nicole Forrest Boggs

Mountain Vista Room

Join us for a discussion session about all things gift processing. We’ll ask the audience to share their questions, and the panel will do our best to answer them. We’ll talk about best practices and discuss some of the important topics surrounding gift processing: receipt dates, legal requirements, metrics, gift records, etc. If you’d like to submit your questions beforehand, you’re welcome to do so by sending them to wjohnson@calarts.edu.

Prospect Development and Advancement Services Go Together like Peas and Carrots
Carrick Davis, UC Davis
Campus Vista Room

In this session, Carrick will discuss how advancement services and prospect development are similar and where they have unique diverging needs. Whether PD is within advancement services or development in your organization, understanding these perspectives will help you work better with your colleagues. Carrick will close with examples of projects that further the goals of both groups to consider for your next collaboration.

Direct Mail: Going Beyond the Envelope to Optimize Results
Sara Pond and Matt Sulzer, MCR
Valley Vista Room

This session goes beyond the envelope to showcase ways to balance your annual giving solicitation plan. Explore a variety of direct mail examples thoughtfully packaged with other channels. And, be ready to join in a lively discussion of creative ways to prime your audience and formulate the right solicitation frequency that optimizes results.
This session is packed with:
✔ LOTS of Direct Mail Samples!
✔ Audience Priming Ideas
✔ Donor Journeys

4:15-5:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions

AI Strategies for Annual Giving and Advancement Services
Rodger Devine, Pomona College and Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving
Auditorium Room

Draft letter copy, draft everything copy, long Excel formulas, graphic designs, and a whole lot more. AI won’t replace you, but some of its time-saving shortcuts can help make your annual giving work more efficient. Join Bob and Rodger for a run-down of some of their favorite AI hacks for annual giving and advancement services.

A Donor Stewardship Forum
Jennifer Dunn Greenspan, Pomona College
Mountain Vista Room

Donor retention and relationship development are critical to long-term fundraising success and growth, and are also the validation of giving days and other donor acquisition fundraising. Join a discussion about some of the ideas and strategies that are succeeding in donor stewardship today.

Advancement Services Staffing in a Post-COVID World: Issues and Insights
Jessica LaBorde, MBA, CFRE, UC Davis and Wayne Combs, MBA, EdD, CHOC Children’s Foundation
Valley Vista Room

Has your advancement services staff turnover increased dramatically over the last three years? Are you searching for ways to compete with recruiters who can offer salaries well above what your budget would allow? Wondering about what really matters to your advancement services employees? Join Jessica and Wayne as they discuss the results of aasp’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey. In this session the speakers will offer tried and true retention practices, and share their thoughts on the future of advancement services staffing.

Why Data is the 4-Letter Word Savvy Fundraisers Swear By
Cori Gacad, GiveCampus
Campus Vista Room

To fully flex your fundraising muscle you need buy-in from both the annual giving and advancement services sides of the house. How do you achieve the alignment necessary to drive meaningful results? The devil is in the data. GiveCampus analyzed aggregate data from 4,532 campaigns and 4,973 giving forms to identify what’s moving the proverbial needle in fundraising and what’s not. Find out how fundraisers are leveraging that data to drive decisions at key stages of the philanthropic lifecycle, and how they got everybody—including advancement services—to back their biggest bets. In this session, participants will learn how to:
✔ Maximize the results of their own fundraising efforts based on aggregate data
✔ Convince key stakeholders at their institution to take a chance on change
✔ Get more creative and launch bold initiatives that drive better outcomes

5:15-6:30 p.m. Conference Opening Reception

Join your fellow Minds for some complimentary nibbles and drinks on the patio just outside the sponsor lounge area. Sponsored by MCR!