Tuesday Sessions on Zoom – December 7

All times are Pacific Time.  If you’re a member of an institution that’s already registered for the PNW Engage Conference, use this page to RSVP for the sessions you’d like to attend.  You’ll receive an email confirmation with joining instructions for each session.  You must use your personal institution email address (No Gmail, etc.) to be approved and checked in. Also, do not use generic office email addresses. (development@, etc.). Do not register yourself for more than one session scheduled at the same time.  Note that video recordings will be available for several weeks after the conference for any sessions that you miss and still want to watch.

Session signup will be closed the night before a session is scheduled – please do not wait to signup for the sessions you want to attend.


9:00-10:15 a.m.

Things I Wish I’d Known as an Annual Giving Director:
Five Omni Channel Marketing Lessons Learned
Rick Ericson, Holt International
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Back in his university days he talked about integrated marketing across direct mail, phone and email. Now, in his current gig with Holt International (a faith-based humanitarian organization and adoption agency), he talks about omni channel marketing across those channels plus Facebook, Google ads, SMS, search traffic (organic and paid), YouTube content – as well as conversion funnels, increasing single-gift frequency and its effect on retention, digitally-assisted conversions, and a lot more. Hear his report on what he’s learned, and what we need to know in education fundraising.

What We’ve Learned in Three Years of Measuring Alumni Engagement
Jenny Cooke Smith, CASE
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Now it its third year, CASE’s Alumni Engagement Metrics (AEM) survey can provide your institution with benchmarks and insights to help shape strategies and set goals. By collecting counts of alumni engaged philanthropically, as volunteers, experientially, and through communication, the survey provides a framework for measuring engagement consistently across the globe. In this session, you’ll learn which alumni are most likely to engage, how to discuss the pipeline between engagement and giving, and tips for replacing participation with engagement as a proxy for alumni affinity. This session will provide you with a path forward, whether you are just beginning to make the case for capturing data and collaborating beyond the advancement office, or setting strategies using engagement benchmarking results.

Everything Has Changed: A Revolutionary New Approach to Advancement
Scott Williams and Colleen Cook, Vinyl Marketing
Watch a video preview of this session!
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What if you woke up one day and discovered that your home was sitting on an oil well large enough that, once tapped, would provide for you and your family for generations. Would you drill?  Of course you would. It would be unthinkable not to.  Your institution is currently sitting on a wealth of data. It’s just sitting there, unused, untapped, collecting dust. And we want to invite you to learn how to drill into this resource that will change the trajectory of your institution, no matter its size.


10:30-11:45 a.m.

Crowdfunding 2.0 – Beyond the Basics
Shaina Spencer, University of Iowa Foundation
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You’ve done a good job addressing the needs of student groups on your campus – where does your crowdfunding program go next? Since the pandemic, the University of Iowa has seen a big shift in crowdfunding, from mostly student/faculty-led to donor-led projects. Partnerships with development officers, repeatable year-over-year projects , and a newly-kicked off “Champions” program this fall have led to greater donor involvement in the projects and causes they care about the most.

An Alumni Engagement Forum
Danielle Dougherty Durham, The College of Idaho
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In-person, online, or hybrid? We may be entering the most complicated period of engagement in the history of our institutions. Bring your engagement questions, ideas, and solutions to this discussion about what’s next in alumni engagement.

Direct Mail Recipes – Add Spice to All Your Channels
Christina Brandel, CFRE, Marketing Communication Resource, Inc.
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Stuck in an appeal rut? Want to spice things up but can’t seem to find the right recipe that pulls in all your favorite channels? Join in a conversation about how to use your favorite “ingredients” to spice up all your appeals.


1:00-2:15 p.m.

An Annual Giving Writing Roundtable
Bob Burdenski, Moderator
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A group of wordsmiths will lead a forum discussion on the annual giving writing process. What themes resonate? What voices do you use – including the voice of your institution’s leadership? What considerations do you make for different audiences? How do you use humor? Urgency? Guilt? Peer pressure? When do you write with brevity, when do you write an extended proposal, and when do you write for “however long it takes to tell the story?” Join us for some direction and some discussion on ways to approach your annual giving writing objectives.

Seven Texting Strategies That Hit Fundraising Goals & Engage Alumni
Lauren Jaeger & Mike Kochczynski, Mongoose
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Tired of using the same outreach strategy every year? In this session, our experts will reveal seven new texting ideas that will level up your next fundraising campaign and engage alumni.


2:30-3:45 p.m.

The Data-Driven Leadership Annual Giving Program
Cynthia Cohn, Whitman College
Watch a video preview of this session!
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Prospect research resources like LinkedIn, a world that’s now Zoom-equipped, and our continuing need to engage leadership annual giving prospects have all collided in a world of new opportunities to think about “the muddle in the middle” in our giving pyramid. Learn how to be smart and strategic as you develop the right goals and objectives for your leadership annual giving audiences.

An Engagement Center
Innovations Forum
Nicholas Harvey, Western Washington University
Hayley Kindall,

The College of Idaho


Watch a video preview of this session from Nick!
Watch a video preview of this session from Hayley!
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They’re not phonathon callers any more – they’re student engagement team members, and they’ve got new goals and new tools as well. Learn how two institutions have diversified the work of their student teams, created a more meaningful (and skilled) work experience in the process, and how text, video, prospect research and other tools. Join this open forum and share your own student team tips and experiences.

Alternative Payments
Felicity Meu, GiveCampus
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Six months is a long time! It’s half a fiscal year, exactly as long as the NFL season, and the amount of time we’ll have to wait until the next season of Ted Lasso.  In the last six months, 350+ partner schools have been using GiveCampus’s first-of-its-kind digital wallet integration for educational fundraisers. Our team crunched the numbers and put together the largest-ever study in educational fundraising. Did you know that 40% of donors prefer to pay with digital payment options like Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay, schools who use these giving options see donor conversion rates 2.5 percentage points higher than schools who don’t, and the average crypto gift on GiveCampus in 2021 has been $7,766. Join Senior Director of Partner Success Felicity Meu as she walks you through the incredible results schools are seeing with Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay, crypto and more.”


4:00-5:15 p.m.

From Passion to Mission: Creating Work that has Meaning 
Alan Pesky, Andrea Sanders, and Julianne Masser, PhD,
Lee Pesky Learning Centers
with Kiki Keating, JD, KikiNetwork (Moderator)
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After Alan Pesky lost his 30-year-old son Lee to brain cancer, he turned his grief into action. Ambitious, successful, and always striving for more, Alan had a hard time relating to Lee, who struggled with learning disabilities at a time when there was little understanding of this problem. Alan founded the Lee Pesky Learning Center to help young people like his son and recently wrote a book about the experience, More to Life than More. In this Q-and-A session, learn how to turn passion into mission. Topics to be covered include founding a nonprofit, the importance of a clear mission, the similarities and differences between running a for-profit and not-for-profit, and engaging all constituents. The session will be facilitated by Kiki Keating, the former Director of Public and Media Relations at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and will also include LPLC’s Advancement Director Andrea Sanders and Dr. Julianne Masser, formerly an LPLC student and now PhD.

Engaging With Institutional Partners to Institutionalize Data
John Taylor, John H. Taylor Consulting LLC
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Gathering advancement-important data across a campus (or campuses) can be complicated. Other department may not value the data (or its condition), and then there are data standards, maintenance, integrity, and protection. This session will discuss “essential data” and what advancement services can do to collect and maintain it. We’ll talk about engaging our institutional partners to foster a comprehensive approach to collecting advancement data. In addition, we will talk about the importance of an institutional data governance structure, data standards, and key components of “data acquisition and use” policies.

The Power of Storytelling
Pam Davis, PCI
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There’s an African proverb that says, “When someone dies, a library burns to the ground”. As human beings: our need to connect, tell stories, to share our oral history runs deep. Right now, there are millions of untold stories lying dormant in the hearts and minds of your alumni about extraordinary college experiences, great classes, caring professors, and degrees that set them up for success. Every website has pretty pictures, every social post has a clever headline, but nothing engages alumni quite like asking them about their time at school. Former Oklahoma State University Vice President and current PCI Director, Pam Davis, will share the importance of collecting, storing, and leveraging alumni stories. Please join us to hear best practices for you to get started.