Sessions & Presenters


Boost your Annual Giving revenue by 50%+ in one year

Louise Bleau - Université de Montréal

This presentation will reveal success tips from the University of Montreal's annual campaigns, including donor renewal and acquisition strategies, segmentation and results.

Louise Bleau will summarize aspects of the University of Montréal’s annual campaigns - 20 total, including 10 for specific Schools and Faculties - that saw 95% of tailored campaigns achieve or surpass objectives.

This session will cover best philanthropic practices including:

  • Linking annual giving to objectives of the strategic plan
  • How to reinforce the sense of belonging among alumni
  • Meeting the philanthropic needs of Faculties
  • Multi-channel strategies to engage alumni from 10 different faculties

As well as triumphs, the session will explore irritants, constraints and lessons learned for upcoming annual campaigns.


  1. Why and how to implement multi-channel strategies
  2. Crafting a solicitation strategy based on School- and Faculty-specific projects        
  3. How tailored strategies can have a major impact on Annual Giving results

Putting the Campaign in Annual Campaign - Turning Around Trent's Annual Fund

Dane Shumak - Development Officer of Annual Giving, Trent University

The session will describe how Trent University increased its annual giving revenue by 78% in a single year through optimization of its multi-channel efforts, treating its Annual Fund as a distinct campaign with a real investment of resources, and by implementing performance indicators and strategy in the implementation of the campaign.


  1. Provide ideas on optimization of Annual Giving programs with no increase in resources
  2. Provide context to treat your Annual Giving Campaign as a true "campaign" versus just a "program" or offshoot
  3. Give strategic recommendations that could apply to all schools across the province, and Canada, based on what Alumni want

How Seneca alumni paid it back by paying it forward

Shannon Gaskell and Mary Del Bianco - Seneca College

The Alumni Pay It Forward Challenge is an annual spring campaign whereby graduates are asked to make a gift in May in order to unlock a $30,000 gift from an anonymous supporter. The campaign has a clear goal, focuses on urgency and donor participation, rather than on gift amount. Since its launch in 2016, the Pay It Forward Challenge has increased participation by 29% and has decreased the required length of the campaign by 60%.


  1. Provide overview of a successful model used at Seneca for acquiring and renewing annual gifts
  2. Discuss three key concepts used to achieve campaign targets: urgency, unity, incentive
  3. Describe how an engagement activity in the ask increased participation, fostered engagement between graduates and professors and promoted the culture of philanthropy among Seneca faculty.

Friendship & Philanthropy: How class reunions and peer-to-peer asks can inspire alumni to give

Jana Miller and Tara McNeice - University of Guelph

Class reunions are a well-established tradition at the University of Guelph. For decades, our alumni have chosen to mark anniversary milestones by launching a class project and directing their collective giving to an area that is meaningful to them. Peer-to-peer asks through annual class appeals can successfully inspire alumni to support areas such as scholarships, bursaries, capital campaigns, and research equipment. This session will provide an overview of a successful class project model used at the University of Guelph, the tools used by our Alumni Advancement team to launch and support class projects, and how class projects support the annual giving and the major gift pipeline.


  1. Provide overview of a successful model used at U of G for cultivating reunion groups and launching class projects
  2. Provide overview of the “life cycle” of a successful class project at U of G
  3. Discuss how the class projects support the Annual Giving and Major Gift pipeline



Louise Bleau, Director of Annual Campaigns, Directrice des campagnes annuelles, Development and Alumni Relations Office, University of Montreal

After completing a Law degree at the University of Montréal, Louise joined the philanthropy world almost 30 years ago. She served as as Communications Director for the Jean Lapointe Foundation for eight years, where she was involved in production of the annual telethon. She later worked as Development Director / Executive Director for other provincial and national nonprofit organizations.
In 2000, Louise joined Tactic Direct, a direct-marketing agency specializing in fundraising campaigns for nonprofit organizations, as Account Director. For the next 16 years, she developed direct-marketing annual programs, created multi-channel campaigns for several nonprofit organizations, and implemented a call centre dedicated primarily to monthly conversion campaigns for the agency’s clients.

Over the years, Louise has been awarded a number of Golden Arrows from the Quebec-based Direct Marketing Association for her fundraising campaigns. In December 2016, she joined the University of Montréal’s Philanthropic Development Office as Director, Annual Giving.

Mary Del Bianco, Manager- Annual Programs & Advancement Services

Tara McNeice, Development Manager, University of Guelph

Jana Miller, Alumni Advancement Manager, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and College of Arts, University of Guelph

Shannon Gaskell, Development Officer- Annual Fund & Stewardship , Seneca College

Dane Shumak, Development Officer of Annual Giving, Trent University

National Partners