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DAY 1: Wednesday, June 19
1 pm to 6:30 pm

Location: Rackham Graduate School Assembly Hall

unless otherwise noted

OPTIONAL: Philanthropic Campus Tour

Join us for a guided tour of how philanthropy has shaped the U-M Campus. 

Meeting place: Rackham Graduate School front entrance. 

We recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing your own beverage if you'd like one.

10:15 a.m.

Check In

1 p.m.

Rackham Graduate School, Assembly Hall

Welcome & Expectations

1:30 p.m.

Show & Tell

2:15 p.m.

  • Road Trippin'
    Kristin Gill, University of Michigan; Emily Kelley, The Ohio State University and Candace Olley, University of Cincinnati

    In 2023, with conference budgets still in limbo the U-M Prospect Management team decided to take professional development in to our own hands. For roughly the same cost as sending one team member to a national conference, 3 team members packed into a University Vehicle and road-tripped down to Columbus to spend 3 days with some of our favorite FORUM colleagues. We'll share how we did it so you can do it, too!

  • FORUM DEI Cohort: A Model for Collaboration 
    Kelli North, University of Michigan and John Hermans, University of Toronto
    After 2023's Forum, a group of colleagues from institutions across the country (and Canada!) decided to keep the conversation going around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The group shared best practices, benchmarked progress, had deep-dive conversations around DEI in prospect development, and workshopped project and policy ideas. In this session, we will share how this model has been helpful and could be adapted for any topic.


3:15 p.m.

Get to know your FORUM colleagues better through a tiny bit of forced fun. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Happy Hour

4:30 p.m.

Dominick's, 812 Monroe St, Ann Arbor, MI

DAY 2: Thursday, June 20
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Rackham Graduate School Assembly Hall

unless otherwise noted

Breakfast & Networking

Light breakfast will be provided. 

8:30 a.m.

Welcome & Overview

9 a.m.

Show & Tell

9:15 to 10:15 a.m.

  • Resources for Nonprofits: Giving Back to the Prospect Development Community 
    Tesha Pittenger, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association

    In September 2022, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)’s Research and Prospect Management (RPM) DEIB Task Force partnered with its local Apra chapter, Apra-Wisconsin, to offer a virtual presentation, “Resources for Nonprofits.” The presentation aimed to foster collaboration within the Prospect Development space; provide a list of free and subscription resources for prospect identification, development, and research; and describe how these resources can be used for more effective fundraising and engagement. This short presentation will briefly outline the background and results of this presentation. The list of resources will also be shared with FORUM attendees.

  • Next Level Qualification
    Chris Adams and Grace Long, Penn State University 
    With a new CRM system on the horizon and a powerhouse data science team in play, we are rewriting the rules of prospecting. Join us for a presentation where we highlight our streamlined donor identification process implemented last June. Discover how our team of analysts harness the power of new tools, prioritize their work, and deliver critical information directly into the hands of frontline fundraisers.

  • You Have People for That: How Prospect Development Helps Gift Officers Keep Their Eyes on the Horizon
    Cindy Teron and Chelsie Bolt, Purdue for Life Foundation
    Prospect Development knows engaged portfolios, realistic plans for solicitation, and disciplined decision-making on the part of fundraisers are the keys to major gift fundraising success. We also know gift officers need help managing this work and can often veer off course if they are driven by fear, old habits, and a false perception that if they don’t do it, it just won’t get done. Purdue for Life Foundation will share how we help gift officers stay focused on their fundraising goals through a visible leads program, leading regular portfolio conversations, and recommending alternative pathways for prospects that don’t belong in major gift portfolios.

Guest Speaker:
Scott Rick

10:30 a.m.

Scott Rick is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Rick received his PhD in Behavioral Decision Research from Carnegie Mellon in 2007, and he then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Wharton. Rick's research focuses on understanding the emotional causes and consequences of consumer financial decision-making, with a particular interest in the behavior of tightwads and spendthrifts. The overarching goal of his work is to understand when and why consumers behave differently than they should behave (defined by an economically rational benchmark, a happiness-maximizing benchmark, or by how people think they should behave), and to develop marketing and policy interventions to improve consumers' decision making and well-being.


11:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch not provided. Use this time to explore Ann Arbor and connect with colleagues! Check out some of our favorite spots!

NEW THIS YEAR: We will be hosting several themed lunches! Groups will be limited to 10 participants. Sign ups will be available at the registration table. 

  • FORUM First-timers/Early Career Professionals 
    Hosted by Jess Santi, University of Michigan

    @ HopCat (creative pub fare, vegetarian friendly)

  • Managing a Team
    Hosted by Kristin Gill & Katelin Newman, University of Michigan
    @ Sava's (brunch & Mediterranean, vegetarian friendly)

  • Healthcare PD & Grateful Patient Programs
    Hosted by Carl Burhop, Michigan Medicine
    @ Pizza House (Italian, vegetarian friendly)


  • Capacity Ratings
    Hosted by Candace Olley, University of Cincinnati and  Hans Fruechtenicht & Ginger Derrow, University of Michigan
    @ Condado Tacos (Mexican, vegetarian friendly)


  • Professional Impact of Today's Political Climate
    Hosted by John Hermans, University of Toronto
    @ Knight's Steakhouse (American steakhouse)

Breakout Sessions

1:30 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

3:45 p.m.

4:00 p.m.

​Session 1: Choose one of the following

  • Fundraiser Goal Setting, Assembly Hall
    Craig Leonard, University of Michigan and Alexandria Cerveny Sandall & Ben Storck, University of Nebraska
    Two organizations share how their PD teams are actively involved in setting fundraiser production goals, both in preparation for a capital campaign and as part of their annual planning process

  • Taking the Pulse: Fundraiser Metrics, East Room
    Kristin Gill and Danilyn Wilce, University of Michigan
    Fundraiser Metrics. Everybody's got 'em, but are the effective? Join Kristin and Danilyn for an interactive benchmarking activity and discussion.

  • Big Picture Advancement, West Room
    Viv Chappell, Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association
    How can research and prospect management teams help their institutions identify and engage with constituents to meet institutional objectives above and beyond short-term fundraising results? How can technology and cross-department collaborations create more fertile ground for the seeds of transformational philanthropy to grow? For example, cultivating longer-term prospects like "Next Gen" entrepreneurs, building affinity and brand strength through inclusive alum engagement, selecting institutional award nominees, etc. Participants will discuss successes, challenges, and ideas for facilitating constituent engagement as part of a holistic advancement approach.


​Session 2: Choose one of the following

  • Healthcare & Grateful Patient, East Room
    Carl Burhop, Michigan Medicine
    Conversation will be centered around common themes within the healthcare space. It will mostly be a thinktank session in which more established institutions will be paired with newer programs to talk through specific topics (CRM integration, managing patient data, leadership buy in, etc.)

  • The Principal Gifts Partnership Continuum, Assembly Hall
    Heather McPhail, University of Michigan
    Are you new to supporting a principal gifts fundraiser or team?  Have you been partnering with a principal gifts team for years and looking to reinvigorate your work?  If either of these rings true, this conversation is for you.  We will explore the variety of ways we can partner with principal gifts, from the basic to the involved.  This will include UHNW prospects, strategy sessions, and top prospect strategy.

  • AI for Interest Based Prospecting, West Room
    Drew Wham, Penn State University

    This session will explore the transformative potential of open-source Large Language Models (LLMs) in enhancing fundraising initiatives. We will focus on Penn State's use of LLMs to automate the creation of donor interest tags and summary statements by parsing a variety of unstructured texts, including reports of contact (ROCs) from frontline fundraisers and open-ended questionnaire responses. The discussion will begin by outlining the practical benefits of utilizing open-source LLMs, such as their ability to process sensitive information securely within the university’s data infrastructure while remaining adaptable to specific analytical objectives. I will present real-text examples alongside the keywords and donor interest summaries generated by the LLM, illustrating applications that range from straightforward to those requiring nuanced, abstract interpretation. 


           Optional: Gentle Yoga with Harper Lee, Assembly Hall
Take a brain and body break with this guided session. Appropriate for all fitness levels.
No prior experience necessary. 

Session 3: Choose one of the following

  • CRM Conversions, East Room
    Brent Laskowski, Penn State University and Adrian Miller, University of Iowa
    Whether you're in deep in the weeds of a conversion, recent veteran or just curious about new products and processes, come swap stories and tips with your FORUM colleagues.

  • Donor Advised Funds, Assembly Hall
    Randy Ross, VP, Philanthropic Services, Community Foundation for SE Michigan
    Hans Fruectenicht, University of Michigan

    A longtime leader within the Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Services department, Randy has been committed to helping donors accomplish what they are passionate about and helping nonprofit organizations to build capital through permanent endowment. Randy also works closely with professional advisors, individuals, families, and businesses in developing their charitable giving to help them make their impact on our region to be felt today and for generations to come. Randy will lead a discussion on Donor Advised Funds and their continued impact on the development landscape. 

  • Expanding Our Reach of Untapped Prospects, West Room
    Lane White, University of Nebraska
    Learn more about how UNF built a systematized pipeline to provide warmer leads to all advancement teams on a monthly basis. We use data from the results of the efforts to analyze effectiveness of the pipeline "triggers" and the various development teams.

Happy Hour

5 p.m.

DAY 3: Friday, June 21
8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Rackham Graduate School Assembly Hall

unless otherwise noted

FORUM Check-in & Networking

Light breakfast will be provided. 

8:30 a.m.

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Lindy Greer

9:00 a.m.

Building and Managing High Performing, Inclusive Teams

Dr. Lindy Greer is a Professor for Management & Organizations at the U-M Ross School of Business and is the Faculty Director of the Sanger Leadership Center. 

Her research focuses on how to lead high-performing teams. Lindy has published in management and psychology research outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She has received awards for her research from the Academy of Management  and American Psychological Association. She is Deputy Editor at Organization Science, has served as an Associate/Senior Editor at the Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science, on the boards of six of the top management and psychology journals, and on the boards of professional associations such as the International Association of Conflict Management and the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management. 

Lindy received her B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She joined the team at Ross in 2019.

Table Discussion Follow-up

11:15 a.m.

FORUM Closing

11:45 p.m.

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