Professional Learning Archives


2021-2022 Summits

Development for Deans with Lorna Somers: November 2021


2021-22 CCAeLearning Webinars

September 23rd @1 p.m. ET: Neighbours Helping Neighbours - Strengthening Student, Alumni and Community Relations During a Pandemic

Last Summer, StFX made the decision to have in person classes, resulting in community members becoming understandably nervous about the potential importation of COVID-19. The University needed to create a program to support students quarantining and reassure the community. Neighbours Helping Neighbours was born, with over 100 Community members supporting students by delivering groceries, prescriptions, and other essentials. Other alumni volunteered to call students, forging connections and relationships that simply would not have occurred in a regular year. The community’s became part of the solution and by working together, there was no community spread of COVID-19 during the fall semester.

Learning Objectives

  • Creating a community-based volunteer program
  • Mitigating fears of Community by having them part of the solution for a safe return
  • Volunteer Database - Where do we go from here?

Janine Linthorne, Special Events Coordinator, St. Francis Xavier University
Shanna Hopkins, Director of Alumni Affairs, St. Francis Xavier University

October 7th @ 1 p.m. ET: If you build it, will they come? How collaboration was a game changer for UVic's Giving Tuesday campaign

While it began as a volunteer driven, grassroots fundraiser in 2016, UVic’s Giving Tuesday campaign has grown into a beloved community tradition that raises more than $145,000 and engages more than 4,000 individuals each year. The creative and inclusive campaign showcases over 20 critically important programs and initiatives - ranging from student supports, mental health and wellness, research and outreach programs - and brings the spirit of philanthropy to the UVic community through innovative activities that educate and inspire community members. Learn how the team’s ability to engage and collaborate effectively with stakeholders has led to their overall success.

Learning Objectives

  • Share some of the new and innovate ideas implemented within UVic's Giving Tuesday campaign.
  • Examples of successes and challenges that arise during collaboration.
  • Practical ideas and tips on how to engage stakeholders (faculty, staff, students and donors) in your campaigns.

Danielle Mulligan, Campus Community Annual Giving Officer, University of Victoria

November 4 @1 p.m. ET: 3 sessions x20 min from 2021 Prix d’Excellence Best Indigenous Relations Initiative Recipients

Session 1
Celebrating Indigenous Scholars

Ruth Shead, Director, Indigenous Engagement and Communications, University of Manitoba

This presentation will explore how the Indigenous Scholars Profile and Speaker Series highlights the academic journeys, expertise and research of Indigenous Scholars working at the University of Manitoba. Through digital storytelling and an accompanying speaker series, audiences are introduced to the many ways Indigenous Scholars are producing and sharing knowledge(s) on matters that impact Indigenous communities while changing the landscape of learning at UM and transforming the lives of Indigenous and all peoples and communities.

Learning Objectives

  • How moving to a virtual delivery of the Speaker Series made space for a larger audience, especially from communities outside of the UM, to attend
  • The significance of Indigenous knowledge(s), leadership and contributions throughout the pandemic
  • The importance of Indigenous-led storytelling

Session 2
māmowi āsohtētān Internal Truth and Reconciliation Forum

Matthew Dunn, Senior Strategic Officer, Indigenous Engagement, Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, University of Saskatchewan

This presentation will highlight the objectives of the 3rd annual māmowi āsohtētān Internal Truth and Reconciliation Forum, and will provide details on the planning, implementation, and outcomes of the forum. Lessons learned will be shared, as well as how feedback was incorporated into the 4th annual forum.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide an overview and the objectives for the internal truth and reconciliation forum
  • Describe the planning and implementation of the forum
  • Discuss lessons learned and outcomes of the forum

Session 3
Collaborative Reconciliation in a working environment

Stephen J. Augustine, Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs and Unama'ki College, Cape Breton University

In the process of putting together this project and program, Learning About the L’nu Way, Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees at Cape Breton University learned about what reconciliation really means. Technicians, writers, researchers, and eventually the targeted audience learned about Indigenous voices and experiences first-hand in the telling and recording the history of our collective past.

Learning Objectives

  • Reconciliation takes place in a collaborative working environment where diversity matters.
  • Researching our collective history in a collaborative approach brings about new learning.
  • Celebrating collective achievement and recognizing a winning approach in reconciliation with awards and certificates.
December 9 @1 p.m. ET: Building a community culture of philanthropy: a tried and tested annual giving cycle for staff and faculty giving

Staff and faculty fundraising campaigns can elevate your annual giving program, build your leadership and major giving pathways, and deepen your colleagues’ sense of community within your institution. At Laurier, we benefit from the interconnected nature of our campus communities, and we lean into that strength by finding numerous ways to celebrate a sense of #LaurierLove. We do this through Our Laurier: the community campaign, a multi-channeled, community-focused, internal fundraising campaign that sees 1/5 staff and faculty members participating. Themes our presentation will include: Connecting with new hires; Upgrading payroll giving; Awareness building through storytelling; Acquisition and stewardship wins and learnings.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn strategies and tactics for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding staff and faculty en masse
  • Discover components to building a strong culture of philanthropy on campus
  • Feel equipped to advocate for staff and faculty giving campaign resources at your institution

Charlotte Clarke, Communications Officer, Donor Engagement, Wilfrid Laurier University
Sabrina Yorke, Development Officer, Annual Giving, Wilfrid Laurier University

February 24, 2022 @1 p.m. ET: Opening a new building in a pandemic? How Concordians’ delivered a celebration in under 20 working days and thrived

Discover how academic, advancement, communications, events, facilities and government relations leaders at Concordia University came together to produce a hybrid event, featuring live and pre-recorded speakers, such as government officials, amid a public health crisis.

Learning Objectives

  • What to plan and anticipate;
  • how to creatively reduce roadblocks;
  • how much work you can expect for a hybrid launch.

Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins, Project Lead and Director of Communications, Advancement, Concordia University

March 3 2022 @1 p.m. ET: 2 sessions x30 min from 2021 Prix d’Excellence Best Use of Social Media Recipients

Session 1: Achieving Social Media Success Through Authenticity

Jill Ellsworth, Digital Communications Specialist, Cape Breton University

Cape Breton University has taken its social media presence from underwhelming to over performing by focusing on three important steps. In this presentation you will learn about the importance of authenticity in social media, cultivating your brand identity, and the effort it takes to strategize social. Learn about audience insights, expectations, and how you can adapt your social media strategy in small ways for big wins.

Learning Objectives

  • The importance of authenticity in social media success
  • Cultivating your brand identity through tone and voice
  • Dedicating resources to ensure high quality content

Session 2: Algonquin College’s Online Convocation – Personalizing a virtual connection

Christopher Carroll, Content Manager at Keypath Education, (formerly at Algonquin College)

With the pandemic forcing Algonquin College’s convocation ceremonies to take place in a virtual space, the Communications team had to find a way to capture the spirit and excitement of these celebrations and translate them for an entirely digital audience. The campaign turned out to be a rousing success, thanks to customized messages sent out to grads, social media contests, celebrity shout-outs and more. Learn how AC was able to capture the spirit of the College’s largest annual event in a virtual setting.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn a variety of techniques for increasing social engagement during virtual events
  • Pinpoint key aspects of an in-person event that need to be translated for its online counterpart
  • Determine key metrics that can be used to measure the success of a virtual event
March 17 2022 @1 p.m. ET: 2 sessions x30 min from 2021 Prix d’Excellence Best Use of Multi-Media Recipients

Session 1: Developing a podcast from the ground up: what worked, what didn't, and lessons learned along the way

Haweya Fadal, Alumni Relations Officer, University Advancement, Ryerson University

Launching a university podcast can provide a new avenue to engage alumni and keep them informed about what’s happening within your institution. Ryerson University alumni are time-starved but still hungry for intelligent, informative discourse about the issues that affect their lives. We tapped into our network of researchers, experts and collaborators to provide valuable insight, context, and perspective on the significant issues facing our alumni and friends' community—regardless of their circumstances, life stage, or physical location. This presentation will delve into the process of developing our podcast, key insights, and lessons learned.

Learning Objectives

  • Discover strategies to create a new and compelling avenue of content for alumni
  • Learn how to leverage university resources and engage campus partners
  • Feel prepared to develop an educational and engaging podcast that will provide value for alumni

Session 2: Lights… Camera…Action: How McGill University positioned itself as a leader in Covid information

Derek Cassoff, Managing Director, Communications, University Advancement, McGill University

When Covid-19 first arrived in North America, and the pandemic shuttered our schools and communities, the world sought answers. Learn how McGill University’s advancement office quickly responded to the call with a timely series of alumni webcasts that would attract nearly 200,000 viewers over the course of the following months.

Learning Objectives

  • How to create meaningful alumni engagement experiences that intersect with institutional priorities and showcase your organization’s expertise
  • Why building a nimble and agile work environment can enable you to quickly respond to changing landscapes
  • When making decisions on the fly, it’s sometimes better to trust your gut while you wait for the data to emerge


2020-2021 Summits

Development for Deans with Lorna Somers: November 2020


2020-21 CCAeLearning Webinars

October 15, 2020, @1 p.m. ET: A Circle of Abundance: A Decade of Learning with Indigenous Women Leaders

In November 2019, Coady fulfilled a commitment to Indigenous women leaders to hold a graduate-led Indigenous Women in Community Leadership (IWCL) Gathering. Since 2011, the IWCL program has already benefited more than 150 emerging Indigenous women leaders from First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. It is the only program in the country for Indigenous women that provides the opportunity to undertake community analysis and to stimulate community-driven development initiatives during their learning period, as well as receive one-on-one Indigenous leadership mentoring.

The Gathering re-affirmed the importance of Coady's programming in support of Indigenous women and focused on the key successes graduates have had as community leaders, highlighting the concept of asset-based community development. This session will share some of the learning about what went into the planning of the Gathering, important lessons learned and outcomes. In particular, the session will elaborate on how the Gathering has helped to shape the Institute’s expected graduate connections moving forward in ways that further reconciliation and partnership, focusing on the concept of abundance for all.

Learning Objectives
  1. To highlight some of the innovative design aspects of the Gathering, focusing on Indigenous ways of knowing and doing
  2. To discuss key lessons learned, of relevance to non-Indigenous academic Institutions
  3. To share key principles for educational partnerships with Indigenous peoples

Eileen Alma, Director, Centre for Women's Leadership, Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University
Karri-Lynn Paul, Program Lead, Indigenous Programs, Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University

November 26, 2020, @1 p.m. ET: How can I help? Volunteer Management in an Alumni Relations shop

Launching, leveraging and loving volunteerism in your alumni relations department. Learn about the steps to take to ensure you develop a healthy, ethical volunteer program that your alumni, donors and community will want to be involved in and help promote. Grow your alumni engagement and connect prospects and donors to your institution.

Learning Objectives
  1. How to get a full volunteer management program off the ground
  2. Best practises in volunteer management and guidelines
  3. Evaluating your volunteer program's effectiveness and adjusting as necessary

Patti Lauzon, Director, Alumni Relations, University of Windsor
Twitter: @LauzonPatti Instagram: @patti_lauzon

Rob Janisse, Alumni Coordinator, Special Projects, University of Windsor
Twitter: @robjanisse Instagram: @robj_9

December 3, 2020, @1 p.m. ET: Making Your Board Your Biggest Fundraising Ally

Boards really make a difference to an organization's ability to raise funds, engage donors and volunteers and raise sights. Learn how to make that case to board members, how to build a culture of philanthropy on the board and get members actively working on the organization. And find out what board members are looking for in their staff partners.

Learning Objectives
  1. Understand the Boards' crucial role in fundraising success and how to communicate and support that success.
  2. How to build and engage a philanthropically minded Board
  3. Building meaningful, strong and mutually beneficial relationships with Board members

Alison Holt, Managing Director, Senior Consultant & Principal, Offord Group
Cathy Yanosik, President, Foundation, Toronto French School

December 8, 2020, @1 p.m. ET: The pivot to virtual for signature events in a COVID world

PIVOT – a word that, for many of us, has been used more in 2020 than ever before. While the pandemic has changed the way that we work and live, it has also had an enormous impact on the way that we celebrate and come together. For the University of Calgary, 2020 was meant to be a year of celebration and gratitude – we closed the third largest campaign in Canadian history - with a grand total of $1.41B on June 30 and were planning the 36th Annual Arch Awards to recognize some of our most visionary alumni on September 10. Both of these celebrations began with a vision of bringing our community together physically and engaging our alumni, donors and friends in high touch social gatherings where the best of UCalgary was right in front of them; however this was not to be. COVID-19 has challenged programming and event specialists all over the world to rethink their work and create virtual experiences that still leave audiences feeling connected. In this webinar, learn how UCalgary transformed two high profile in-person celebrations into high impact virtual experiences.

Learning Objectives
  1. Identifying new and reimagining existing tactics to achieve project goals
  2. What makes virtual events a success
  3. Considerations for the future of donor and alumni engagement

Caitlin Lamont, Director, Strategic Events, University of Calgary
Audrey Taylor-Bereznicki, Associate Director, Alumni Leadership Engagement & Recognition, University of Calgary

February 18, 2021, @1 p.m. ET: Students and Donors Benefit When Silos Disappear: How to break down barriers between the Student Financial Aid and Philanthropy functions at your institution

Canadian post-secondary philanthropy departments play an important role in helping to fund many of the projects that their institutions undertake. One major component is the solicitation of funding from donors to help establish scholarships, bursaries and awards. In many cases the responsible departments are silos, understanding only their work, and the lack of communication can result in frustrated employees and donors. Over the past 5 years, Lakehead University has started to break down our interoffice barriers, communicate, and develop an internal methodology that can help other siloed institutions to develop synergies and create an open dialogue and understanding of processes.

Learning Objectives
  1. Demonstration of best practice in procedures and communication between departments
  2. Development of Student Financial Aid Policy
  3. Demonstration of benefits to students and donors when silos are broken down

Kathryn Davidson, Philanthropy Director, Lakehead University
Josh Levac, Associate Registrar, Student Awards and Financial Aid, Lakehead University

March 11, 2021, @1 p.m. ET: Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation Thankathon: How to thank your donors for $300

On Valentine’s Day in 2019 & 2020, the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation held its Thankathon - a multi-pronged donor relations initiative intended to show some love to its donors. Find out how this small shop expressed gratitude to thousands of donors in just one day... without "thasking," and on a shoestring budget.

Learning Objectives
  1. One approach to engaging and building a culture of gratitude among your board members, colleagues and funding recipients
  2. Avoiding the “Thask” - sometimes, you just need to say thank you, with no strings attached
  3. Get over your fear of the phone: Not everyone is allergic to receiving an old school phone calls!

Jon Bruhm, Donor Relation, Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
Twitter: @dmrf1979 | Instagram: @dmrf79


CCAE COVID-19 Webinar Series

Sessions held from March - May, 2020


2019-2020 Summits

Annual Giving Summit: October 23-24, 2019
Development for Deans with Lorna Somers: October 30, 2019
Advancement Services Summit: November 25-26, 2019
Leaders in Advancement Summit: January 21, 2020
Marketing and Communications Summit: January 27-28, 2020
Independent School Summit: January 29-31, 2020
Alumni Leaders' Summit: February 19-20, 2020


2019-20 CCAeLearning Webinars

May 27, 2020 @1 p.m. EDT: Donor-centric Proposal Writing in a Post-Pandemic World

When communicating with prospective donors, success hinges on your ability to articulate a compelling vision that meshes with the donor’s needs, interests, and passions. This is especially true when writing a proposal.

Understanding the donor’s needs – and communicating that understanding – will be even more important in the post-pandemic world, when shifting realities and competing priorities will create new challenges in donor communication.

In this webinar, you will learn how to write a proposal that maximizes both your ability to inspire the donor on a personal level and your chances for success.

Topics include:
  1. Guiding principles of donor-centricity
  2. Centering questions to put you in the donor-centric mood
  3. A few simple focus shifts to make your language more donor-centric
  4. Putting it all together: The components of a successful proposal and how to create them
Deborah Melman-Clement, Senior Development Writer, Queen’s University

Deborah Melman-Clement has spent the last three decades working as a writer, editor, communications consultant, and writing coach.

For the last five years, she’s been coordinating the Development Writing Service for Queen’s University’s Office of Advancement, where she writes proposals, cases for support, and other donor-centric materials that have raised more than $100 million for the university.

When she’s not behind her desk, you can usually find Deborah chasing after a ball, either on the tennis court or the soccer pitch.

April 23, 2020 @1 p.m. EDT: How the University of Alberta quadrupled the amount of pageviews of its news stories in three years

The presentation will examine the strategy and tactics used to achieve these results. Specifically, I will discuss the following; the ever changing media landscape that has made it increasingly difficult over time to deliver the institution’s story to a wide audience; the opportunity the Internet and social media provide us to reach a much wider audience directly; an overview of our brand journalism program, including the journalistic tactics used; the strategy and tactics used to successfully implement the change management strategy; how we use brand journalism to manage issues and influence the narrative by external media; and the lessons we learned along the way.

Learning Objectives
  1. How to make an effective business case for brand journalism
  2. The strategies and tactics used to implement the brand journalism model
  3. The components that go into a change management strategy to implement this model
Michel Proulx, Executive Director, News and Media Relations, University of Alberta

Michel has more than 25 years’ experience in communications, journalism and public relations. After completing a B.A. in political science and a diploma in print journalism, he worked primarily as a print reporter and editor for a decade. He has spent the last 15+ years in a variety of communications roles, working primarily in strategic communication planning, media relations, issues management and government relations. Most recently, he developed and launched, the U of A’s brand journalism site.

February 27, 2020 @1 p.m. EDT: Talent Management in Advancement

The Advancement Talent Management Team at the University of Toronto supports the professional success of advancement staff across the University through onboarding and orientation to our culture and values, professional development to build key skills and competencies, and supporting career aspirations in advancement.

This session will provide an overview of the Talent Management programs at the University of Toronto, current trends in Talent Management, and provide attendees with scalable strategies to support current and future organizational objectives by leveraging talent.

Learning Objectives
  1. What Talent Management related programs have been implemented at U of T.
  2. Trends in Talent Management and key components of effective programs.
  3. Examples of scalable initiatives that teams can incorporate to increase organizational objectives related by leveraging talent.
Mark Seymour, CHRL, CEBS, Director, Advancement Talent Management, University of Toronto

Mark is an experienced Human Resources Manager with a specialization in Total Rewards.

Tania John Pihl, MA Leadership, Associate Director, Advancement Talent Management, University of Toronto

Tania is an experienced Talent Management and Advancement professional with a background in Fundraising in Higher Education.

January 30, 2020 @1 p.m. EDT: From Refugee to BCIT: working with an outstanding leader

In 2019, BCIT won a CCAE Prix d’Excellence award for their use of video/ film in bringing to life, the story of alumni Moshtagh Mohammadi. Hear about how that video came to be, and how BCIT found success by focusing on building authentic relationships with bursary winners, and young alumni. BCIT will also share some insight on where they go from here as they continue to build out their programming and engagement strategies.

Learning Objectives
  1. Attendees will learn about the intentionality of connecting with students of different backgrounds & celebrating them
  2. The ongoing story of engaged alumni
  3. An authentic learning experience of working with a story as presented
Ali Siemens, Manager, Alumni Relations, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT)

Ali Siemens is the Manager of Alumni Relations at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. With a passion for building relationships and community, Ali spends her free time volunteering as the Chair of her own alma mater alumni association.

December 5, 2019 @1 p.m. EDT: The practical guide to developing, implementing, evaluating and maintaining a job shadow program that works

UofA Job shadow Week launched in 2009 with a selection of 30 hosts, now 10 years later, over 400 job shadows are offered annually. In 10 years we have learned how to mitigate risks in running the program and empowering students to engage in reflection.

Attendees of this session will learn how Google applications can act as a free online tool for the backbone of program infrastructure.

We will share blueprints for evaluating your program and tactics to overcome expected and unexpected challenges.

Learning Objectives
  1. Strategies for recruiting host and students into your program.
  2. Secrets to making good matches that are win-win-win for hosts, students and the institution.
  3. Methods for preparing students for their job shadow by delivering engaging training programs.
Amy Roy Gratton, Career Advisor, University of Alberta

Amy Roy Gratton is a career advisor at the University of Alberta specializing in planning and delivering impactful experiential learning and career development programs. Program learning objectives include how to provide students and alumni with the skills, knowledge, attitudes and connections they need to thrive in their careers. Amy graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management with Distinction and a bilingual Business Administration Diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Amy has delivered many training sessions locally and nationally on career development, the value of mentoring and writing performance reviews.

November 21, 2019 @1 p.m. EDT: The Essential Effect: Developing a collaborative milestone project to celebrate donors

Learning how NAIT’s departments of Advancement and Marketing and Communications collaborated on a milestone project to celebrate the largest fundraising campaigns in the institutions’ history. The project, branded as The Essential Effect: 100 Reasons to Celebrate, harnessed strategic digital storytelling, content marketing and donor stewardship.

Learning Objectives
  1. How advancement, marketing and communication professionals can work together to deliver strategic digital storytelling.
  2. How to identify common goals and ways to measure the project’s success.
  3. How to develop a systematic plan and process- and identify opportunities to adapt along the way.
Shawna Greer, Communications Specialist, NAIT

Shawna Greer has worked as the Communication Specialist for NAIT’s Department of Advancement for nearly four years. She has more than a decade of experience eworking with advancement in roles supporting prospect research, events, donor elations, alumni relations, annual giving and development.


Bryan Alary, Team Lead, External Communications, NAIT

Bryan Alary has worked in the post-secondary sector for eight years in strategic communications, storytelling and issues management. He’s been NAIT’s Team Lead of External Communications since 2017. Prior to his career in communications, he was a print journalist.

October 10, 2019 @1 p.m. EST: Alumnew: Revitalizing the alumni brand and engagement for new graduates

How do you breathe new life into a word that’s very definition describes a connection with the past? How do you show your newest grads that they’re special? Sheridan College's answer to those questions is Alumnew – a communications campaign that tackled those questions, boosted engagement at our convocation ceremonies, and drove people to our social media channels.

In this session, learn how the Alumnew campaign successfully engaged with new graduates across a variety of communications platforms. You’ll also learn about the challenges we faced when communicating with a diverse population of international students; how we kept Alumnew aligned with Sheridan’s existing branding; and how we capitalized on Alumnew to celebrate our young alumni’s achievements.

Learning Objectives
  1. Challenges the Sheridan Alumni team faced to try and engage our graduating students and young alumni.
  2. How the Sheridan Alumni team used Alumnew to highlight our content that celebrates the accomplishments of our young alumni who are already achieving success.
  3. How to keep young alumni branding consistent with the institution’s existing and overarching alumni branding.
Jill Scarrow, Manager Advancement Communications, Sheridan College

During the launch of the Alumnew campaign, Jill was Manager, Alumni. Prior to joining Sheridan, she spent nearly a decade working in health-care communications, and as a freelance writer and editor. She holds an MA in Journalism from Western University.

Lesley Dean, Alumni Outreach Coordinator, Sheridan College

Lesley joined Sheridan in 2017; she previously worked at the Toronto Zoo in the Public Relations & Events department for over nine years. She attended Brock University and earned a BA in Recreation and Leisure, and Humber College where she obtained a certificate in Event Management.

September 26, 2019 @1 p.m. EST: The Great Walk to Curve Lake: Joint planning as relationship building

Using the planning process for the Great Walk, a 1735 KM journey form Trent’s Peterborough campus to Curve Lake First Nation, we share tips for relationship building with local First National communities, and ways to meaningfully incorporate indigenous culture and ceremony into events.

Learning Objectives
  1. Tips to approach Elders and community to build relationships
  2. Respectful space-making for ceremony and First National Cultures in events
  3. Event planning with multiple partners (students, administration, alumni, First Nationals partners)
Alison Scholl, Manager of Community Relations and University Events, Trent University

Alison is the lead on event planning and Indigenous community relations at Trent University.

Tina Fridgen, Principal, Champlain College

Tina is responsible for academic and community development for Champlain College students, staff/faculty fellows and alumni.



2018-2019 Summits

Annual Giving Summit: October 17-18, 2018
Major Gift Summit: October 17-18, 2018
Stewardship & Donor Relations Summit: November 7-8, 2018
Development for Deans with Lorna Somers: November 22, 2018
Senior Advancement Leaders' Summit: January 15, 2019
Independent School Summit: January 23-35, 2019
Alumni Leaders' Summit: February 5-6, 2019
Development Leaders' Summit: February 5-6, 2019
Integrated Advancement Summit: February 20, 2019


2018-19 CCAeLearning Webinars

October 4th @1 p.m. EST: Frontline Student Engagement Officers

This session will provide an in-depth look at the University of Toronto's Student Engagement Officer (SEO) program including its strategic mandate and innovative approach to alumni discovery calls.

The SEO Program provides the University with an effective and efficient means of engaging cold prospects. This session will demonstrate how a well-structured discovery program, utilizing highly trained students, can create a pipeline of promising leads for advancement staff.

Learn how this lean and customizable alumni discovery call platform can be used for any target market and can be scaled to fit the size of your institution.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Provide advice on how to structure, scale and build a discovery program
  2. Demonstrate how trained student advancement staff can effectively contribute to the reengagement of cold prospects
  3. Show how U of T tracks and measures the success of its SEO program

Annual Giving, Alumni Relations, Advancement staff tasked with managing volunteers, committees and boards.

Michael Page, Director of Leadership Annual Giving, University of Toronto

Michael Page has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade for both performing arts organizations as well as educational institutions. Combining his skills as a frontline call officer and interest in marketing and communications, he has managed annual giving and mid-level giving programs at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Trinity College and the University of Toronto.

In 2014, Michael returned to his alma mater, the University of Toronto, as the Director of Leadership Annual Giving. In 2016, he successfully launched the Student Engagement Officer program, which was recognized with a silver prix d’excellence from CCAE in June 2017.

November 22th 2018, 1 p.m. EST: Walking the Path of Reconciliation

In October 2017, SFU welcomed in a new era in university-Indigenous relations and cultural sharing and understanding, hosting a Kwis Ns7eyx (Witnessing) Ceremony at which the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (ARC) ceremoniously presented their report and calls to action to SFU’s President. This ceremony was done in accordance with age-old Coast Salish protocol and oral tradition (which itself demonstrated the values of reconciliation).  The event provided a unique opportunity for SFU’s Ceremonies and Events team and others to work closely with local Indigenous cultural and knowledge keepers, to produce an event that truly honoured the spirit of reconciliation and respect. Key to its success was an extensive consultation process which upheld the principles and actions of “two-eyed seeing and walking in two worlds,” where all involved worked closely together to enact and reconcile the important teachings that are at the heart of truth and reconciliation and understanding.

In this session we’ll share some of the challenges, barriers, opportunities and lessons learned   as we moved forward on our reconciliation journey. We sincerely hope that this will inspire other organizations to support Indigenization of their events and their institutions in their own unique ways and will provide them with some innovative ideas to do so.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Creative ways to support aboriginal reconciliation on campuses
  2. How to identify opportunities to share Indigenous practices, perspectives and pedagogy in a post-secondary learning environment (not only in events, but in classes, ceremonies, conferences, etc.)
  3. How to approach events as an opportunity for collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, communities, and organizations, as well as post-secondary faculty/staff/students and departments, knowing when to lead and when to follow

Post-secondary educators, university event planners, professors, staff, and marketers: anyone interested in using creative means to bring Indigenous teachings, understanding, ceremony, protocol, pedagogy, and practice to advance Indigenization and reconciliation in a post-secondary environment

Sue Porter, Senior Associate Director | Ceremonies and Events, Simon Fraser University.

Sue Porter has been with Simon Fraser University as the Senior Associate Director of the Ceremonies & Events department for the last 7 years and has been responsible for the production and management of some of the University’s highest profile and award-winning events.

Ron Johnston, Pro-Tem Director of Simon Fraser University’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples.

Ron Johnston is a member of the Squamish Nation, is an SFU alumnus, and is the Pro-Tem Director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples. Ron has worked at SFU for the past 6 years and has been an Aboriginal Educator in various capacities for the past 20 years .

December 6th, 2018 – 1p.m. EST: When your new path is a bumpy road: The challenges and rewards of trying a different direction

Mount Allison University’s 2017 Giving Report was a bold departure from its previous reports to donors. The new approach was widely praised and well received by alumni and friends of the University and garnered a CCAE Bronze Prix d’Excellence.

But there were a number of points along the way when it seemed the project might never come to fruition. This session will explore why Mount Allison decided to take a new direction with its Giving Report, how it developed a new approach, and what kind of positive impact it had, as well as the challenges faced along the way.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Time to rethink: reviewing the case for a change in direction.
  2. Review of resources: describing internal and external resources required for this project.
  3. Assessing success: how MtA tracked and measured the project’s impact.
  4. Lessons learned: reflecting on the benefits of the process.

Post-secondary staff working in donor relations, stewardship, development, annual giving, and communications.

Aloma Jardine, Communications Officer, Mount Allison University

Aloma Jardine has worked in journalism and communications for more than 20 years, joining Mount Allison University’s Marketing and Communications team seven years ago. Her current role provides opportunities to work on a wide variety of responsibilities, including writing, issues management, web content development, and emergency planning, with occasional forays into media relations, project management, and event planning. She project-managed Mount Allison’s 2017 Giving Report, which won a 2018 CCAE Bronze Prix d’Excellence, and was part of the team that produced the Share your story annual giving materials, which earned a 2018 CCAE Gold Prix d’Excellence.

January 17th 2019 - 1p.m. EST: Putting students first: Communicating honestly, accurately and quickly to relieve anxiety during a prolonged academic strike

On October 16, 2017, the longest academic strike in Ontario college history began. This case study will share Sheridan’s blueprint for real-time, two-way communication during a five-week long academic strike that cancelled classes for 23,000 students, before switching gears to help ease our community’s transition back to class and work.

Learning Objectives:
  1. The membership and responsibilities of our contingency planning and communications teams, and the best practices and guiding principles we used to ensure fairness, consistency and timeliness in our decision making and response protocol, in the face of rapidly changing circumstances;
  2. What our audience analysis determined and how this helped to shape our key messages and the many tactics we employed (including 3 dedicated web properties, 2 strike hotlines, social media channels, live open forums, print materials and videos).
  3. The SMART objectives we set and the metrics we used to prove that our campaign was a success.

Christine Szustaczek (MCM, APR), AVP, Communications, Public Affairs and Marketing at Sheridan College.

Prior to Sheridan, she ran her own communications consultancy for ten years, helping colleges, universities, hospitals and social services agencies to communicate their impact. She has also worked as a Communications Director at the University of Toronto. In addition to being an award-winning, in-house communications specialist, Christine is a board member at CPRS Hamilton, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, and the Alice and Murray Maitland Charitable Foundation. She’s passionate about research, public relations and higher education and is an eternal optimist who is always up for hearing a good story.

February 14th 2019 - 1p.m. EST: Flow-through shares, a Selwyn House advancement story

What if you could offer your major donors a way to achieve their philanthropic goals much sooner than they thought?

Learn how Selwyn House School and many other charitable organizations in Canada are using the Pear Tree Canada’s Flow Through Donation Format to enable their donors to make significantly larger gifts not only to your organization but to many others as well.

This session will start with a simple explanation of what flow through shares are and how the Pear Tree Canada Flow Through Donation Format works. This will be followed by a presentation of how Selwyn House School first learned about flow through shares eight years ago and proceeded to involve its board members and other key donors to participate and then inform their friends and associates to participate and, of course, increase their capability to make larger gifts to the school.

The session will have time at the end for questions and discussion.

James McMillan, Director of Advancement, Selwyn House School

Jamie has been the Director of Advancement at Selwyn House School since 1987. He is part of a highly successful Advancement Team that has been responsible for raising significant capital and endowment funds for Selwyn House. The use of Flow Through Shares has been instrumental in the school's last two campaigns to encourage donors to realize their philanthropic goals not only to Selwyn House but to many other charities as well.

James was a member of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools’ Advancement Professionals (CAISAP) since 1987; a member of the Board of CAISAP since 1995; and President of CAISAP in 1997 and continues now as a member of ISAP Canada. He is currently on the Board of CCAE representing Independent Schools and is a member of CAGP and AFP.

Marilyn Anthony, Managing Director, Business Development, PearTree Canada

Marilyn brings over 20 years of major gift fundraising success to her role as Managing Director, Business Development at PearTree Canada, the leading provider of Flow Through Share Donations. Her capital campaign experience within organizations across Canada including CAMH, UW of Greater Victoria & Greater Toronto, Kids Help Phone, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, University of Calgary, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and the Ontario College of Art & Design has been benefit to her role with PearTree, managing client relationships, charity outreach, marketing and government relations for the firm.

February 21st 2019 - 1p.m. EST: Life After Your Degree (LifeAYD): Engaging Alumni in Student Future-Readiness Programs

In the face of an increasingly "disrupting" job market, millennials are choosing universities that, in addition to a stellar education, provide the resources needed to prepare them for the world beyond the classroom. Spearheaded by McGill's Alumni Relation unit in University Advancement, in partnership with a variety of campus units, Life After Your Degree, or LifeAYD incorporates both existing and original career exploration, job preparedness and life transition activities and events that are delivered to students by career professionals and alumni, on campus, in key regions and virtually. Learn how students, alumni, and - your engagement metrics! – can reap the benefits of alumni contributions to your student-future-readiness programs.

Learning Objectives:
  1. How to build effective and complementary working relationships with campus partners and student groups
  2. How to build meaningful experiential opportunities for students that satisfy the University's co-curricular requirement, while ensuring alumni satisfaction
  3. How to leverage your alumni network to amplify experiential learning opportunities for students

Alumni Engagement professionals, student and young alumni program developers, other campus professionals with student career planning portfolios

Kay Dass, Student and Young Alumni Program Officer, Alumni Relations, McGill University

Kay has over ten years' experience working in University Advancement at McGill, from event coordination and volunteer management, to implementing programs for students, young alumni and parents. To strengthen the culture of philanthropy on campus, Kay engages students, young alumni and others to bolster recruitment/yield efforts, mentoring/job shadowing programs, LifeAYS and affinity group activities, and more.

Chelsea Bell, Student and Young Alumni Programs Associate, Alumni Relations, McGill University Advancement

Chelsea has over five years' experience in University Advancement at McGill. In her current role, she develops engagement programs that connect students to alumni through mentoring/job shadowing, LifeAYD and online chat-based events, and financial support for student-run and student-focused projects and more.

April 18th 2019 - 1 p.m. EST: Varsity Engagement Strategy

In 2018, Lakehead University won a Prix d’Excellence in the category for Best Alumni Initiative for their varsity engagement program. Learn about a tried and proven new strategy to engage alumni (and potential donors!) using distance to your advantage!

Learning Objectives:
  1. How to find new & innovative ways collaborate with internal colleagues
  2. Overcome the barriers related to distance and create opportunities to engage with alumni who have moved away since graduation
  3. Turn engagement into dollars for your fundraising needs or objectives

Annual Giving, Alumni Relations, Advancement staff tasked with managing volunteers, committees and boards.

Mark Tilbury, Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement Director, Lakehead University

Mark Tilbury believes that you get out of something what you put into it. Following this philosophy has made him an exceptional Lakehead supporter for 27 years. A graduate of the school’s Faculty of Business, he became Lakehead’s director of alumni and community relations and he’s been busy engaging with grads across the world ever since. In 2017 his title changed to annual fund and alumni engagement director, and he continues to serve as Executive Director of the Alumni Association.

April 25th 2019 - 1 p.m. EST: Planning and winning a Mini Campaign

The webinar will cover the elements required to successfully win a Mini Campaign.

Topics covered will be: prospect identification, volunteer recruitment and training, solicitation and stewardship.

Learning Objectives:
  1. How to identify qualified prospects
  2. How to recruit effective volunteers
  3. How to make a successful solicitation
  4. Effective stewardship

Iain Boyd, Chief Campaign Officer, Xaverian Fund, St Francis Xavier University

Iain Boyd, Chief Campaign Officer, Xaverian Fund at St Francis Xavier University has had twenty-seven years of fundraising experience.

Iain is a seasoned fundraising professional with wide experience covering annual giving, planned giving, campaign planning, capital campaigns, stewardship and event planning.

Over those years, he has held the positions of Development Officer, Director of Development, Director of Advancement Relations and Acting Director of Alumni Affairs.




2017 CCAeLearning Webinars



Knowing, growing, building our significance: Using strategic engagement to advance a culture of giving April 26, 2018
Running a campaign out of a small advancement office April 19, 2018
Leadership Giving Development February 15, 2018
Young alumni engagement: Harnessing Generation #ShowMe January 25, 2018
Indigenous Communications & Marketing at Sask Polytech December 7, 2017
Community Engagement: 26 years of Grandparents’ Day November 30 , 2017
Developing an effective Chair reporting program October 19, 2017
Successfully updating your ‘traditional’ event September 28, 2017
Setting your sights on alumni of the last decade May 25, 2017
Engaging faculty, students and donors through images and story May 11, 2017
Pipelines & Reporting: Collaborate to gather clear, reliable data April 20, 2017
Create tools that suit students and build on-campus engagement February 23, 2017


2017-2018 Workshops



2018 Advancement Services Workshop March 5-6, 2018 
Integrated Advancement Workshop February 22, 2018 
Alumni Leaders Summit February 2-3, 2018 
2018 CCAE Independent Schools Summit January 17-19, 2018 
CCAE - CASE Talent Management and Leadership Development Seminar January 11, 2018
Advancement for Academics November 16, 2017
2017 Annual Giving Congress October 18-19, 2017


2016-17 Workshops



Young Alumni & Student Engagement Workshop April 20 - 21, 2017
Harnessing the Power of Marketing & Communications Workshop April 6 - 7, 2017
Alumni Leaders Summit February 2 - 3, 2017
2017 CCAE Independent Schools Summit Program January 26 – 27, 2017
Francophone Giving Culture Workshop Friday December 2, 2016
Annual Giving Congress October 20 – 21, 2016
Alumni Leaders Summit Tuesday April 19, 2016


CCAeLearning webinars, 2016



Is Print dead? Not if you ask us. Friday, October 28, 2016
A Fresh take on Giving Days Thursday, September 22, 2016
Celebration of Life Thursday, May 12, 2016
#RoadToRyerson Thursday, April 14, 2016
Engaging Students in Leadership and the Community Wednesday, February 17. 2016
Trent University Alumni & Friends Reunion Weekend Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Developing a Unique In-House Solution: Fund Ledger/Awards Management Thursday, January 28, 2016