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2018 Full Programming Schedule

Pre-FORUM Sessions: Wednesday June 20th, 8:30 AM-11:30 AM

 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Pre-FORUM Check-In, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall, Room 1560 (except health care)
 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM Pre-FORUM Sessions:
  • Analytics: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall, Room 1570
  • Health Care: Mott Children’s Hospital, 1540 E Hospital Drive, 12th Floor, Room F
    • Check-in will be at Mott Children's Hospital
  • Prospect Management: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall, Room 0570
  • Research: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall, Room 0560
 11:30 AM  Break for Lunch*

Day 1: Wednesday June 20th, 1 PM-4 PM

LOCATION: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall, Room 1560

 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM     Conference Check-In
 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM Welcome and Introductions
 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Keynote Speaker: Helen Brown
 3:00 PM - 3:15 PM Break
 3:15 PM - 4:00 PM Creating High Quality Connections
 4:00 PM Happy Hour, Pizza House Garage Bar*

Day 2: Thursday June 21st, 9 AM-5:15 PM

LOCATION: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue, Blau Hall (see rooms below)

 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Round 1
  • Onboarding Gift Officers and What to Do When They Leave: Room 3570 
    • Kari Stokosa, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
This session will share best practices related to systems you have in place to ensure quality and timely onboarding of new Development staff. Do you perform in-person trainings? Have you created training videos or helpful resource documents? And what processes have you developed to ensure a donor-centric transition of prospects from an exiting Development Officer’s portfolio?
  • Event Research: Pre- and Post-Event: Room 0560
    • Jane Owsley, University of Cincinnati
Does your team spend a lot of time on event research? What are the best practices and efficient methods you have for completing this work? How do you work differently for your university leadership versus non-leadership events? Are you collecting information from frontline fundraisers to aid in this research? And how do you connect that work to ROI following the event? This session will discuss tips and tricks for making event research targeted on the right leaders, the right attendees, and the right actions – and ideas for streamlining this work for the research team.
  • Goal Setting and Pipeline Forecasting: Providing Insights for Campaigns: Room 1570
    • Paul Wiklanski, University of Michigan
Where do we begin? As we plan for a campaign, it’s easy to think that we have to find all new prospects, but before we do that we owe it to ourselves to understand our existing prospects and strategically determine our fundraising gaps. How are you examining your existing prospect base to understand these gaps? What tools are you relying on develop informed goals? What techniques work best for you to understand where your prospects are along the continuum from annual donors to principal gift prospects? How are you using information to strategically meet your campaign goals?
  • Portfolio Standards that Work: Room 0570
    • Brent Laskowski, Pennsylvania State University
We will discuss ways to work with your gift officers to support active management of prospect portfolios. What portfolio management metrics are currently being tracked? If metrics are being tracked, are they informational or part of a gift officer’s evaluation? How can we improve moves management with timely data and analysis? Come prepared to discuss what your teams are currently doing in this area and what has/hasn’t worked. These topics and many more stories from attendees will be explored in our session.

  • Political Climate Impact on Prospect Development: Room 3580
    • Elizabeth Goodman and Sam Johnson, University of Chicago
The political climate is changing around the world, sometimes even from one day to the next. Recent global events have led to debate and change in all areas of American culture, and philanthropy is no exception. Come discuss how we can adapt and build relationships in politically fraught times:
  • How has your organization been impacted by heightened political awareness and activism (Black Lives Matter, freedom of speech, #metoo)?
  • How is your organization responding to new regulation (tax reform, GDPR, net neutrality)?
  • Are you approaching prospect development differently because of the political change (increased scrutiny of donors’ sources of wealth and political leanings)?
 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Round 2
  • Strategy Sessions: Room 1570
    • Michael London, Cleveland Clinic
This session will share best practices related to creation and implementation of department and group strategy. Have you successfully implemented strategic changes in your area? Are you planning on changing strategy? Are you somewhere in between?
  • Employment Data Enrichment: Room 3580
    • Heather McPhail, University of Michigan
This session will focus on our favorite and highly sought-after information - employment data! We will talk about the ways in which each of us acquire and keep this data current and actionable. We will also talk about ways we have enriched the data and used it for specific purposes and initiatives. Please bring your examples and questions to make this a lively discussion.
  • Relationship Mapping: Room 0560
    • Meredith Shapiro, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
Relationship mapping—the process of describing, quantifying, and/or visualizing the inter-connectedness of constituents—is of interest for analytics and research. How does your organization approach this from a quantitative or qualitative standpoint? How do you obtain relationship information? Once you know who is connected to whom and in what way(s), what do you do with this information? Have you found that certain types of relationships, or a particular level of connectedness, is useful for identifying new prospects? 
  • Vendor Evaluation and Management: Room 0570
    • Ashley Selmon, University of Chicago
Outside vendors help us keep our data updated and explore new solutions to support our fundraisers, but choosing the right vendor for you can be a challenge. Join our discussion to share your experience with vendors and to ask questions of your colleagues. How do you choose which vendor is best for your project? Which tools do you use and how do you interact with their staff? How do you balance the relationship with vendors as being both the paying client and a partner?
  • Initiatives Prospecting: Room 3570
    • Kelli North, University of Michigan
Philanthropists these days are looking to solve the world's "big" problems: poverty, sustainability, precision health, etc. We as prospect development professionals will need to adapt to prospect for these interests, which call for increased cross-organization collaboration and interest-based prospecting. In this session, we will be discussing: 
  • How "big idea" initiatives are changing the traditional campaign structure
  • Tools and resources your team may be using or developing to aid in interest-based prospecting
  • Ideas about how to promote cross-organization collaboration and multi-school/college/unit prospecting
 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Breakout Sessions: Round 3
  • Brainstorming RPM Metrics: Room 3580
    • Becky Fullmer, University of Cincinnati
Do you ever wonder how to best capture the impact of your prospect development team? Is your work truly aligned with institutional priorities? And can that impact be converted into tangible goals for your team members? Are those results – or at least some of them – something that can or should be shared more broadly across your organization? This session will cover ideas and methods for connecting our work to larger institutional strategies, and describing the impact we have on our institutions, both at the team and individual levels.
  • Likelihood vs. Engagement vs. Readiness: Room 3570
    • Daniel Griffith, Pennsylvania State University
In this session we will discuss ways that likelihood, engagement, and readiness are used to support fundraising efforts. How are different organizations using likelihood scores? What are the different ways engagement scores are used? What common factors can be used to gauge readiness, and how can this score be operationalized?
  • Incentives Beyond Pay: Room 0570
    • Angie Stapelton, The Helen Brown Group
In years past, motivating employees was limited to pay raises and promotions. These days, the opportunity to reward and incentivize employees goes far beyond those traditional methods. How does your organization recognize and retain outstanding employees? Has your team been able to offer perks that lead to better work-life balance while still increasing performance and productivity? Or, do you have some ideas you wish your team would implement? In this session, we’ll discuss the types of incentives that attract top-notch talent, create better working environments, and lead to more productive research shops.
  • Supporting Corporate and Foundation Relations: Room 0560
    • Kelly Snyder, Pennsylvania State University
Does your team support CFR? Do you have dedicated staff for this area? Are you using any kind of analytics to support either Corporate or Foundation fundraising? What are your top resources? In what way do you provide support in this area? Do you function more in a project-based or prospect-based manner? Do you provide proactive support to CFR? Do you proactively identify potential foundation funders? How do you manage individual prospects who also have a corporate crossover? These and other fun questions might be part of a discussion as to how your shops support the CFR function.
  • Partnering with Annual Giving: Room 1570
    • Chelsey Bunderson, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
This session will be focused on best practice sharing related to partnering with annual giving teams. Does your shop feed major gift officers’ pipelines and portfolios by analyzing annual giving donors? What thresholds need to be met to investigate an annual giving donor? What position on your team does this work, and how much time is spent on it? Do your medical/patient-based prospects get treated the same way?

 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Lunch Break*
 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM     Poster Session: Room 1570
 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM Break
 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Tools and Processes Show & Tell - Projects to Identify and Distribute New Prospects: Room 1570
  • $100M Rated Prospects Goal, University of Michigan
  • Scores-Based ID, Assignment, and Visit Incentives, Pennsylvania State University
  • Lead Generation-From Concept to Reality, Cleveland Clinic
  • Developing a Principal Gifts Pipeline, University of Minnesota
  • Data, Delivered, University of Chicago
 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM Break
 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Tools and Processes Show & Tell - Ratings of All Kinds: Room 1570
  • Custom Model Data Scores, University of Chicago
  • Automated Ratings Hierarchy, University of Cincinnati 
  • Automated Donor Rating System, Cleveland Clinic
  • Ratings Hierarchy, University of Michigan
 Networking Event Ann Arbor Summer Festival*

Day 3: Friday June 22nd, 8 AM-12 PM

LOCATION: Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Ave, Blau Hall, Room 1570

 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Breakfast
 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Capstone Challenge: Group Work Time
 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Capstone Challenge: Action Plan Presentation
 Judged by Helen Brown, Dondi Cupp, and Vikki Hamilton 

Note: All FORUM attendees will be expected to participate in the capstone challenge event. If you are unable to stay through the event on Friday, please notify Heather McPhail at

*Meal not provided. Please see our Hotel & Travel page for ideas on some great places to eat. There are a variety of food and drink options available at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, where Thursday's networking event will take place. 

Jun 6, 2018, 1:57 PM
Jun 25, 2018, 3:01 PM
Rachel Brandell Mayers,
Jun 25, 2018, 1:20 PM