Thursday Sessions

Schedule for Thursday, March 24, 2022.  All times are Pacific Time.  If you’re a member of an institution that’s Zoom registered for the MOTM Conference, use the Zoom Session Signup page to RSVP for the sessions you’d like to attend. (Contact the main registration contact at your institution for the password, or contact us.) Note that recordings for all sessions (except in-person-only sessions as noted) will be available for viewing after the conference.  Registered in-person attendees do not need to RSVP for individual sessions.

8:00-8:50 a.m. Breakfast Breakout Sessions

Forum on The New Annual Giving Org Chart: Staffing, Sharing, Sourcing and Skill Sets
Daniel Scarpelli, City of Hope, and Bob Burdenski

A generation of fundraisers worked in the calling room as students and then were hired by the advancement office. It still happens, but as desired skill sets have expanded, the career paths have become more varied. Where do you find digital fundraisers? What if YOUR skills are a little outdated? What if your best candidate wants to work remotely? When do you share skills among departments? And when do you outsource a job function to a third party? Hear from a group that’s actively budgeting, hiring, recruiting, promoting and watching as the org chart quickly evolves to keep up with today’s challenges and opportunities.

The Advancement Services Help Desk
Karen Latora, UC Innovations

Dashboards, pronouns, cryptocurrency, remote work and more. Want some ideas answers and solutions from your peers? Or maybe just some therapy? Get your morning cup and join us for a rundown of advancement services discussion topics – and add your own. It’s such a great way to start your advancement services day.

9:00-10:15 a.m.

The Tenth Giving Day – Re-Energizing, Rejuvenating and Recalibrating Goals, Plans, Methods and Outcomes
John Barnhill, Elon University, Ryan Lawrence, UC Berkeley

We have solved many giving day riddles over the years: How to incorporate engagement as a goal and a metric? How to differentiate the case for support on a day saturated with other giving messages? How to maximize efficiency with the right online tools and time-saving solutions? Join us for a discussion about giving days 2.0 – growing your giving day beyond the basics.

The Changing Advancement Services Structure –
What Models Work (or Don’t)?
John Taylor, moderator, with Anita Lawson and Panel TBA

Join a panel to discuss the evolving org chart of advancement services. Some units deal only with gifts and data, while others may include prospect development, communications, IT — and even annual giving. Bring your model and your insights as we discuss what works well, what doesn’t, and where (we think) the future lies!

The Memory Book Goes Digital
Samantha Varner, CSU Northridge
David Birkinshaw, BrightCrowd

For years, paper-bound memory books have been a valuable emotional touchstone for our audiences as well as identifiers of who has continuing affinity for our institutions. (They are also an immensely useful prospect research window.) Yet, the model has evolved. The use of paper-driven biographical surveys has struggled even as on-demand printing of books has thrived. Take a look at two successful new digital models – one using interviews with prospects that are compiled into an “oral history” transcribed into book form, the other using digital sharing of photos and web-based surveys combined into a printed book as well. Are we finally seeing the digital version of an old engagement idea?


10:30-11:45 a.m.

The Case For (Gulp!) Multiple Giving Days
Ryan Lawrence and Becca Lizarraga, UC Berkeley

You’ve perfected the giving day model — great marketing plan, enthusiastic donors, engaged campus partners. What now? How do we reach into new donor audiences? Keep the content fresh? Perennial Meeting of the Minds stellar speaker Ryan Lawrence, head of the digital team at UC Berkeley, and newcomer-turned giving day expert Becca Lizarraga will make the case for “thematic” giving days — hybrid crowdfunding/giving day events with specific missions and targeted audiences. They’ll be sharing strategies on how to plan and prepare your campus partners and student groups for success, and also touch on Berkeley’s increasing use of giving day strategies for quick response fundraising needs.

The Climb: Career Pathways in Advancement
Shalonda Martin EdD, USC

How do you get to that next step? What is the next step? Is a pivot possible? These are just some of the questions that riddle us as we evaluate our career journey. Some may think of the great resignation as a means for career advancement, but there are a variety of career advancement options within Advancement. The important work we do can be more than just a job; it can be a career that provides us with tremendous growth opportunity. Join Shalonda for a discussion about traditional and non-traditional career pathways, techniques to advance, and how to identify resources to aid your career trajectory.

Segments of One” – The Art of Personalized Communication
Kristine Barker, La Sierra University
Jonathan Van Oss, Pledgemine

Picture this: Donor communication as personal as a living room conversation. Pieces whose stories resonate, convey a genuine thank you, congratulate milestones, and ultimately increase giving. Join Kristine Barker from the La Sierra University and Jonathan Van Oss of Pledgemine as they show you how you can treat your donors as “Segments of One”.

Lunch – 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
In-person luncheon at Kellogg West, or Zoom lunch on your own

1:00-2:15 p.m.

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.

Data Analytics & Prospect Research Utilizing Student Experience Data
Kevin DeckerSan Diego State University

Our institutions sit on a treasure trove of student experience information, and prospect development and fundraising analytics teams are gaining access to new and exciting data sources. What activities were alumni most involved in as students (1,2,3,4)? Who were their favorite instructors? Who completed your senior survey on the day they graduated and said they “planned to stay connected?” Are there correlations between types of activities and future affinity? A satisfying student experience and future giving? Learn how SDSU has discovered some relationships between past (student) experience and present (and future) affinity. What if any use does this new data have in predicting donor behavior? This session will explore an analytics project conducted using data from CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 to determine if data points from a student’s experience are relevant in identifying alumni donors within a larger constituent population.

Elevate your Giving Days with P2P texting
Ryan Lawrence, UC Berkeley and Rachel Cleary, GetThru

Tis the season for giving days! You’ve got your email and social copy prepared, your match challenges and crowdfunding campaigns are ready to roll, and your campus stakeholders are engaged and ready to support…but there’s one extra step you want to make sure to take to ensure your donors see and engage with your messaging. Texting! Join Ryan Lawrence (UC Berkeley) and Rachel Cleary (GetThru) for a discussion on the hows and whys of taking your giving days to the next level with texting. We’ll start with an overview of how to build the foundation for your texting program, and then take a deep dive into how Ryan’s team weaves P2P texting into giving days and fundraising communications throughout the year. If you’ve ever hoped to learn how it’s possible to raise six figures via text campaigns, this is your chance to find out!

2:30-3:45 p.m.

Showing Annual Giving Donors the Love:
Where Stewardship Meets Scale
Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving and Lucy Moore, Queensland University of Technology (Australia)

It’s a session that spans two hemispheres, as Lucy joins Bob live from “Down Under” to discuss the challenges and opportunities of annual giving donor stewardship. Annual giving “appreciation” used to mean a prompt thank you letter and “see-you-next-year.” But giving data have confirmed the importance of retaining the donors you already have, and our multi-channel world has opened new cost-effective methods of showing appreciation and giving donors hugs throughout the year. Bob and Lucy will share a global collection of effective giving pages, personal thank you videos, digital impact reports, online satisfaction surveys and more, and will show how institutions are successfully turning high-volume gift transactions into philanthropic relationships – without exhausting the team and breaking the budget. Crikey!

Data Security as Service: A UC Davis Case Study
Becky Frantz PhD and Simon Nim, UC Davis

After recent system-wide policy changes, UC Davis Advancement Services had to undertake some significant changes to their data security processes and protocols. Join Becky Frantz PhD and Simon Nim as they discuss how they solved urgent data security issues across multiple systems and the important role that Advancement Services plays in keeping fundraising data safe and secure. They will offer their risk mitigation strategies and solutions and share how a service mindset can foster data security best practices.

Tips & Trends from Record-Breaking Giving Days
Colleen Cook, Vinyl Marketing and 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.

4:00-5:15 p.m.

The Prospect’s View and Lens in Fundraising
Marina Tan Harper PhD, University of California, Davis
Watch a preview video of this session!

As you go about your work in relationship-building, face-to-face meetings, segmentation, copywriting, materials design, and solicitations, are you thinking about these things from the eyes and minds of the potential donor? In this session, you learn about presenting your institutional priorities and areas of excellence in the context of what’s on the ground, i.e., telling the story from the donor/prospects’ eyes. You will also learn how to show respect for norms in a different cultural heritage, including the nuances that bridge the “heart” over “head” in your solicitations to constituencies where relationship before business. Dr. Marina Harper was a stellar first-time speaker at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds Conference, and she returns with some new insights about mindfulness in fundraising.

Making Sense of Events – How to Pay Attention to Who’s Attending
Anthony R. Williams and Amanda Garvin-Adicoff, UC Davis

Do you struggle to find meaning in your events and activity data? Are you trying to track event impact without getting lost in a sea of RSVPs? Join Anthony R. Williams and Amanda Garvin-Adicoff as they discuss how they helped the Cal Aggie Alumni Association make sense of their event data and create a dashboard that provides accurate, timely, and actionable insights at a glance. During this session, we will cover the customer’s impetus for requesting this project, and what key indicators we decided to track and why. We will demo the Power BI dashboard we built on Ellucian Advance data, providing not only technical insights into how to build one of your own, but also a recap of what we learned about our data from this project. You’ll walk away from this session inspired to put your events data to work for you, with an understanding of how to structure your data to provide the most meaningful insights, and with the tools you need to build your own events dashboard in Power BI.

Mid-Level Donor Migration:
Robin Savoian, LA Zoo, Elizabeth Hersh-Tucker, National Park Foundation and Annamaria Ahern, CHOC Foundation

Three fundraisers from three different types of not-for-profit organizations will talk about the progression from annual donors to major donors at their institutions, and the nature of relationship-building as donors progress up the “giving pyramid.”