Meredith College hosted the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) annual development conference January 23-24, 2018. Ninety-five development professionals from 24 institutions of higher education attended the conference to hear speakers’ expertise on major fundraising, annual giving, and alumni relations.
The conference aimed to give advancement staffs perspectives about the entire giving process including cultivation, giving, and stewardship.
“The advantage of having colleagues from 24 other colleges on campus is tremendous because it allowed us to share ideas and truly learn from each other,” said Lennie Barton, vice president for institutional advancement.
The first day of the conference focused on donor engagement and techniques gift officers could use with all donors. Barton presented “Obstacles Major Gift Officers Face and How to Overcome Them.” Other talks included “Authentic Engagement: Re-Discovering Our Purpose in Development” by Jason McNeal with Gonser Gerber and “The Psychology of Philanthropy” by Jeff Hill with UNC-Chapel Hill.
This year more focus was added on how alumni relations and current student involvement in fundraising is important in building a giving foundation for years to come. Breakout sessions on the second day allowed attendees to pick an annual giving track or alumni relations track.
Talks included: “Engaging the Engaged” by Anthony Tang with Wake Forest University and Chandler Thompson with Elon University; “Faculty and Staff Giving Strategies” by Jean Gambrill with Meredith College; “Giving Day: Tips and Tools” by Erin Cleghorn with Meredith College; “Zero to 500: Building a Student-Alumni Association from the Ground Up” by Savannah Phillips and Alexis Trell with Meredith College; and “Go, Grow, Give: Building a Program to Capture Alumni Value” by Glenda Lee and Ann Thurston with Duke University.
In addition to these talks, senior leadership had a special session to discuss best practices within their institutions.
Meredith College was a key partner in helping plan the two-day conference with NCICU. Meredith leaders were pleased the advancement staffs had the opportunity to network and learn best practices to engage donors no matter where their giving level is within the organization.
Thirty-six nonprofit, private liberal arts, research and comprehensive colleges and universities across North Carolina are members of NCICU. These independent colleges and universities educate 68,000 undergraduate students and 21,000 graduate and professional students and award 30% of the bachelor’s degrees in the state.