2022 Conference Sessions

Dates and Times TBA, and Full Session Descriptions To Come.
We’ll have thirty sessions in all, so check back!

Opening and Conference Welcome
Jennifer Nathan Simoneaux, Tulane University, the SEAGC Conference Committee, and SEAGC Conference Sponsors

Tulane Director of Annual Giving Jenny Simoneaux will welcome you to the Big Easy!
Then we’ll launch the 2022 Southeast Annual Giving Conference with a festive welcome from our sponsors and a rapid-fire rundown of the fabulous conference sessions and speakers to follow.

Closing Faculty Q&A Session
Moderated by Cameron Hall, University of South Carolina

Join us for a send-off with a stage full of conference speakers and get all of your remaining questions answered. They’ll look into the crystal ball about what’s next for annual giving fundraising.

AI and The Opportunity Annual Giving
Rachel Crosbie and Mark Hobbs, Fundmetric

Annual Giving is about to enter a golden age. AI runs on data and the necessity of data capture will see annual giving teams play lynch pin roles in their organizations. The talk will dive into the unlikely marriage between AI and Annual Giving and the impact AI can have on participation rates and retention rates with real world examples. Discover how AI can support and boost results for annual giving teams through an organization’s digital transformation.

Annual Giving Stewardship: Collaboration and Coordination
Harold Williams, Old Dominion University

Join Harold Williams for a session all about stewardship, and how to effectively
partner with Donor Relations and the Alumni Association to streamline communications, prevent donor fatigue and uncover new donors.

An Annual Giving Writing Forum
Elise Amacker, The National Comedy Center
Jaclyn Day, University of North Carolina School of Arts

Join some wordsmiths for a forum discussion on the annual giving writing process. What themes resonate? What voices do you use – including the voice of your institution’s leadership? What considerations do you make for different audiences? How do you use stories? Humor? Urgency? Guilt? Peer pressure? When do you write with brevity, when do you write an extended proposal, and when do you write for “however long it takes to tell the story?” Join us for some direction and some discussion on ways to approach your annual giving writing objectives.

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.

Creating and Stewarding a Sustainable Family Giving Program
Erica Burrroughs Vernon

Whether a family is gives $25 or $25 million, ensuring that they feel included, heard and are a valued part of your success is critical to their continued investment in your institution. During this session, you’ll learn about best practices to help you engage families through your annual and major gift programming and create a sustaining fundraising pipeline for your university.

A Digital Fundraising Forum
Harold Williams, Old Dominion University
Sean Gilbert, LSU Foundation
Justin Ferrell, Coker University

Bring your digital fundraising topics to this catch-all conversation. Alternative payment options? Facebook? LinkedIn? Social media advertising? Multi-channel integration? Digital fundraising hacks?

Digital Wallets: What We’ve Learned So Far
Felicity Meu, GiveCampus

Digital wallets like Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay have eclipsed Visa to become the most popular payment method among donors to educational institutions. Join Felicity Meu, Senior Director of Partner Success, as she highlights the incredible findings from GiveCampus’ study on who’s using them, which ones are most popular, and how it’s transforming the donor experience across education institutions everywhere.

Direct Mail: Planning the Work and Working the Plan
Colin Waite, MCR, Inc.

Stuck in an appeal rut? Want to spice things up but can’t seem to find the right recipe that pulls in all your favorite channels? Join in a conversation about how to use your favorite “ingredients” to spice up all your appeals.

A Directors’ Discussion
Jenny Simoneaux, Tulane University

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.

Donor Fatigue – What It Is and How to Combat It
Emily Etzkorn, VanillaSoft

Donor Fatigue – we have heard the term as a vague part of the pandemic’s impact. But what is it? And why does it feel so relevant now? Let’s ignite some new energy into fundraising strategies to be more exciting, effective, and defeat the fatigue.

A Forum for the Mature Giving Day
Shayna Long , UNC Charlotte
Lecrecia Jones, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
Danielle Ivey Buchanan, Birmingham Southern College

You successfully built your campus collaborations, you’re a social media star and you’ve mastered your giving day. What now? Join a group chat about what giving days 2.0 look like. Multiple days? Special audiences? Different goals? And how well did you retain those giving day donors? Join the group for a discussion on “the day after your giving day.”

An Introduction to Annual Giving and the Southeast Annual Giving Conference
Bob Burdenski, Robert Burdenski Annual Giving

New to the profession? New to the conference? Join CASE Laureate and long-time SEAGC committee co-conspirator 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 conference experience in New Orleans.

Lapsed Donor Reactivation
Alison Mercer, Georgia State University

You do a good job of attracting new donors into your front door, and then most institutions watch more than half walk out the back door the next year! The best prospect is usually the donor you already had, but how do we get them back in the building? Join Alison for some reactivation exploration as she looks at specific strategies for bringing your SYBUNTS back to life and back into the “current donor” fold.

A Leadership Annual Giving Half-Day Forum
***Special Wednesday Morning Workshop
Bob Burdenski
Matthew Busby, CFRE, Del Mar College
Jennifer Nathan Simoneaux, Tulane University

It’s an all-morning workshop on all things leadership annual giving. We’ll talk about the progression from annual donors to major donors, and the nature of relationship-building as donors progress up the “giving pyramid.” How do you identify prospects, and with what tools and resources? How do you approach them? What do you talk about? And how do you define success? Come prepared to share experiences and learn strategies and tactics to make you a better development professional – whether you’re a digital gift officer or getting back on the road to engage with donors one-on-one.

Leadership is Key—Getting Your Trustees More Engaged & Involved
Ray Witkowski, Cathedral Corporation

Are you challenged with engaging your board and increasing their support in your annual appeal or campaign? You’re not alone! According to Raise Funds, boards should account for 20-30% of your total annual gifts. Yet, many trustees underappreciate the significant impact that their support and leadership can have on an institution’s fundraising success. In this session, we will address this challenge and provide keen insights and steps for engaging your board and, ultimately, helping them become more active members of your advancement team. Join us for a spirited panel session to share successes and challenges, and provide inspiration for your board engagement and development work ahead!

LinkedIn: Why & How to Use It
Matthew Busby, CFRE, Del Mar College
***Part of the Wednesday Morning Leadership Annual Giving Workshop

With more than 740 million users internationally (many in your community and school), LinkedIn is the top professional networking site in the world. Learn why this free resource is important (not just for job seeking!) and how to use as fundraising professionals, foundations and schools to find human talent, alumni, donors and volunteers/board members. Will include practical ways to create a stellar profile and methods to use that will benefit you, your foundation and school.

The Recurring Riddle of Regular Giving Programs
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 still struggle to attract significant numbers of recurring gift (monthly or otherwise) donor. There are successes to be found in other sectors (PBS) and even other countries (UK). Come and see a collection of recurring giving strategies for promoting, stewarding, recognizing and sustaining a recurring donor base.

A Schools Fundraising Forum
Monica Gelé, Stuart Hall School for Boys
Daniel Abbott, North Carolina School of Math and Sciences
Lacrecia Jones, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)

Schools bring their own fundraising and engagement opportunities and challenges.  Join a discussion about parent giving, event and benefit fundraising, “wish list” and project-specific fundraising and all things distinctive to schools. 

Student Engagement Strategies
Danielle Ivey Buchanan, Birmingham Southern College

Top Tips For 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.

The Tortoise or The Hare: Finding the Right Cadence with On-Demand
Jonathan Van Oss, Pledgemine

Some donors move fast. They hear a moving message and immediately give. Others are more deliberate and need multiple touchpoints before writing a check. Time your communication to fit the unique needs of your donors using smart data and on-demand ordering. Join Jonathan Van Oss from Pledgemine as he shares best practices in “on-demand” communications from fellow SEAGC institutions as well as colleges and universities across the country.