Sessions & Presenters

Everything is connected: building a holistic stewardship strategy for principal gift donors.

Jessica Kamphorst, Executive Director, Stewardship, University of Toronto

Stewarding transformational donors is a team sport. At U of T, we are in the process of building a new strategy and system for demonstrating impact and building relationships with our most generous benefactors. Doing this well will require balancing and understanding the needs of many stakeholders, while championing the goals and needs of our donors.

Learning Objectives:

  1. A model for principal gift stewardship strategy integrating multiple stakeholders in your institution
  2. When to customize and when to programatize
  3. Where stewardship and cultivation plans connect
  4. Segmentation and prioritizing within the major donor group

The Good, the Bad and (dare we say?!) the Ugly side of Stewardship

Jenny Thomson, Senior Development Officer, Annual Giving, McMaster University

Susan Wright, Director, Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Sometimes our ideas are a great success, and then at times, we falter a little, learn some great lessons and move on! Whether it’s annual fund strategies, or stewardship implementation for principal level donors, Jenny and Susan will share some lessons they have learned from their many years in the field. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn from McMaster's practices and identify opportunities that can be scaled to fit your own Institution
  2. Recognize you are not alone and that EVERY idea, may not be a good one!
  3. Identify some news and perhaps different ideas for your own shop

Stewarding the Inner Circle

Elizabeth DiSabato, Stewardship Specialist, Carleton University

Mark Savenkoff, Director, Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University

Relationships are complex. And never is this truer than when we ask our staff, faculty, senior administration and board members to donate, and they do. We encourage 100% participation in our fundraising campaigns, but then what does it mean for our stewardship processes when our colleagues, bosses and leadership teams become prospects and donors? How do things need to change when we steward our inner circle. What happens when the team members who would typically be involved in stewarding donors need stewarding themselves?

This impacts everything from policies and strategy to gift agreements and event invitations.  Does the dean attend a donor event as a thank you, or to be recognized for the generosity to their faculty? Who writes the agreement when the gift agreement officer makes their own major gift? How do acceptance and naming policies get approved by those affected? When people leave their paid positions, how does the donor-relationship change?

Join a facilitated conversation with Elizabeth DiSabato, Stewardship Specialist, Carleton University, and Mark Savenkoff, Director, Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University, as they unpack how personalized stewardship strategies are influenced by the unique (and numerous) affiliations our donors have with our institutions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identifying non-donor-related affiliations that influence the relationship an individual has with an institution
  2. Exploring how stewardship changes when relationship factors change, and the impractical nature of business as usual
  3. Evaluating the risks of over/under stewarding the inner circle, and the potential for conflicts of interest

The Art & Science of Donor Relations Reporting

Jodi Snowdon, Director, Stewardship & Benefactor Relations, Queen’s University

This Session will focus on donor relations reporting with emphasis on customize impact reports followed by a group discussion about endowed fund reports. Learn to how to create highly personal, deeply meaningful impact reports that celebrate your donors and highlight the difference they have made on campus. We will cover the process from start to finish- from establishing criteria to prioritizing reports, collaborating with faculties and relationship managers, to the moment of delivery. We will also cover how to use this model for mass group impact reporting. Then, we will open the floor for discussion and questions about endowed fund reporting. Samples welcome and encouraged!

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to create custom impact reports for key donors
  2. What criteria to consider to help prioritize and manage reports
  3. How to partner with faculties and relationship managers on this initiative

Penelope BurkPenelope Burk
President, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.
Author, Donor-Centered Fundraising and Donor-Centered Leadership

Penelope Burk’s career in the not-for-profit sector began in communications and market research in the arts in the early 1970’s and expanded into fundraising and senior management for prominent human services organizations over the next decade. She founded Burk & Associates Ltd. in 1990 and Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. in 2003.

Penelope is the author of the best-selling industry standard, Donor-Centered Fundraising. First published in 2003, the book is currently in its tenth printing. In 2013, Penelope published the companion book, Donor-Centered Leadership, a critical resource for Boards of Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Advancement Directors on how to implement Donor-Centered Fundraising and manage fundraising staff for optimum results.

Penelope Burk understands donors and what they want more deeply than any consultant in the fundraising industry. In the last twenty years, she and her innovative firm, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., have conducted surveys and research studies with more than a quarter million American donors. She has reached back into their lives to find out about the first time they gave, what motivates their philanthropy now, what their greatest and most frustrating experiences in giving are, and what their dreams are for their philanthropic future.

Elizabeth DiSabato
Stewardship Specialist, Carleton University

Elizabeth DiSabato has worked in university advancement for over 28 years. Elizabeth herself is a proud alumna of Carleton earning BAs in English and Law. She is also a major gift donor who has pledged a significant bequest to the university, endowed three named awards to support students in Law and Legal Studies, Industrial Design and History, and recently pledged to name a room in the university library to commemorate an upcoming milestone birthday.

Jessica Kamphorst, Executive Director, Stewardship, University of Toronto

Jessica Kamphorst is an advancement leader with more than 20 years of experience leading campaigns and advancement teams. She joined the University of Toronto as Executive Director, Stewardship in September 2017, where she leads the University’s central stewardship programs and services, with a particular emphasis on deepening relationships with principal gift donors. Prior to joining U of T, Jessica served as Senior Director, Advancement at CIFAR, President of the OCAD Foundation, Director of Development for Soulpepper Theatre Company, and Director of Sponsorship at TIFF.

Mark Savenkoff
Director, Alumni and Donor Relations, Carleton University

With over 15 years’ experience in post-secondary education, Mark oversees alumni engagement, donor stewardship and community partnerships at Carleton University. He serves as the primary liaison to the Carleton University Alumni Association, and he and his team focus on managing relationships with key stakeholders. Mark earned this Bachelor of Commerce degree (with Great Distinction) from the University of Saskatchewan, and he completed the Public Executive Management Program and Executive Leadership Program from Queen's University. In 2016, he was honored with a Top Forty Under 40 Award by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal. He sits on the CASE District II Venture Capital Fund Committee, serves as co-chair of the 2019 Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education National Conference, and regularly guest lecturers for the Master's of Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership Program at Carleton University.

Jodi Snowdon
Director, Stewardship & Benefactor Relations, Queen’s University

Jodi Snowdon began her advancement career on the phone as a student caller at Queen’s University. She has almost 20 years of full-time experience in annual giving and donor relations. She currently serves as the Director, Stewardship and Benefactor Relations at Queen’s University. In her spare time, she is an avid Disney fan and a runner powered by pixie dust.
“If you can dream it, you can do it” – Walt Disney.

Jenny Thomson
Senior Development Officer, Annual Giving, McMaster University

Jenny Thomson started her career at the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada 14 years ago as an event planner and fundraising coordinator for the MS Walk Program. Since then, she has spent her career at McMaster University in various roles coordinating reunions, faculty and staff giving, and annual giving campaigns. In her current role – Senior Development Officer in Annual Giving – she oversees stewardship efforts working to inspire, delight, and communicate gratitude to Mac’s annual donors through a multi-channel approach. Jenny received her B.A. in Communications from Brock University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College.

Susan Wright
Director, Stewardship & Donor Relations, McMaster University

Susan Wright leads the development of a comprehensive stewardship and donor relations program for McMaster.

Previously, Susan was the Director, Alumni Affairs at the University of Guelph where she was responsible for the overall management of the Alumni Affairs program. Susan has held other positions at McMaster University in the areas of Alumni Advancement and Campaign Donor Relations.

Susan has presented at numerous ADRP, CCAE and CASE conferences on topics including Pro-Active Stewardship; Stewardship: It’s Everyone’s Job; and Principal Donor Stewardship. Susan was a member of the ADRP organizing committee for the first-ever Canadian Workshop and is on the Program Committee for the 2016 ADRP International Conference. She is Co-Chair for the 2017 CCAE National Conference and is a past member of the CCAE Board of Directors.

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