2017 Advancement Conference

  • The Evolution of Advancement Conference word markThanks for attending our conference! It was our pleasure to host you. Please access the Postconference Resources tab below to access a conference roster and more speaker information. 


    It used to be that alumni relations work was just about keeping graduates connected to the university. It used to be that fundraising was about replenishing the coffers by sending a letter addressed to dear alumnus/alumna. It used to be that we had a staff who kept records but who wasn’t expected to crunch data and create forecasts. 

    Those days are long gone.

    Advancement work has evolved, and success now depends on the entire team working together, with each team member understanding everyone else’s role.

    We at IUP have planned this year’s State System of Higher Education Advancement Conference accordingly. You’ll experience a series of high-impact workshops that will take place in three tracks: Management and Leadership, Communication: Art and Science, and Innovation in Fundraising and Technology. No matter what your role may be on the advancement team, you’ll find something relevant in each and every one of these presentations. Mix it up and get something from each track!

    And, in the tradition of this biennial conference, it won’t be all work and no play. 

    Join your colleagues at IUP as we host the Evolution of Advancement, Sunday evening through Tuesday at noon, June 4-6, 2017.

    Download a copy of the conference schedule (.pdf). (Note that the Pennsylvania Foundation Association meeting now takes place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4.)

    The fee is just $175 per person, plus the cost of your lodging.

    Read on to see a taste of what's available for the return on your $175 investment. 


    Kindly contact the Office of Conference Services at 724-357-2227 if you have trouble with the online registration process.

  • Keynote Speakers

    After a cocktail reception and before dinner on Sunday, Buddy Hobart will share his insights on the differences between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. Founder and president of Solutions 21, he is a consultant, entrepreneur, author, speaker, radio host, and internationally recognized expert on generational leadership.

    She is the Donor Relations Guru. Benefit from the insights of Lynne Wester first thing Monday morning. She is the author of The Four Pillars of Donor Relations, Advancement Services: Enhancing Fundraising Success, and T-Rexes and Kangaroos: Improving Your Fundraising and Donor Relations. You may already use her Donor Relations Guru website. 

    Advancement’s future offers striking, wondrous potential, but professionals will be required to think smarter, work harder, plan more boldly. Monday’s luncheon keynote speaker is Jerold Panas, founding partner and principal of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners. He is the author of the best-selling book Asking. His keynote talk is The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be.

    Advancement is all about relationships, but how perceptive are you in face-to-face meetings? Tuesday’s breakfast keynote speaker is Amy Herman, whose professional development course, The Art of Perception, has become a favorite at conferences across the country. Amy is the author of Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your Perception, Change Your Life.


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    The Fun

    Show how much you know about nothing important! Every year, Beth Israel Synagogue in Indiana holds a trivia contest as a fundraiser. It has become one of the hottest events in our community, and we want to share it with you. The contest includes audio and video rounds, prizes, and snacks and drinks. The contest is operated by IUP employee and trivia aficianado Gerry Pfeffer, who has taken it on the road to help a variety of nonprofit organizations. The event takes place after dinner on Sunday. Participants and nonparticipants will have access to a beverage and dessert bar. When you register for the conference, please give us an idea about your plans for participating. We won't hold you to your answer--we just want to have a sense of what to expect. Thanks!

    After Monday’s busy workshop schedule, come to IUP’s scenic Oak Grove for a carnival planned exclusively for the conference. Indiana County is home to two microbreweries and a distillery, and you’ll have the chance to sample their wares and fill up on fare that includes Pittsburgh Strip-style sandwiches, pierogis, a shrimp boil, funnel cakes, ice cream, and much more. You can take a chance on a carnival game or just relax and enjoy the music. You’ll end the evening with a few laughs, courtesy of comedian Rachel McDowell, an Indiana native and Clarion University graduate. The Laugh Factory has said, “Her comedy will blow you away.”


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    Management, Leadership

    You don’t have to be a CEO or vice president to be a leader. The best organizations nurture cultures in which everyone thinks through a leadership lense. On Monday morning, the vice chancellor for University Advancement at University of California Riverside, Peter Hayashida, will present Leading from Where You Are,which will help you understand organizational politics and develop the courage to lead from where you are in the hierarchy.

    Alumni engagement metrics is a hot topic in the alumni relations industry.  It is important to understand how to define engagement, how to measure it, what different scoring models look like, and how these models are applied to your program. Join Chris Marshall from GG+A as he presents  different scoring models and explains how they were developed, what you can learn from their implementation, and what is considered a good score.  This session will also include an overview of the work of the CASE Alumni Engagement Metrics Task Force and the latest news on where the industry is headed on this topic. You can catch his afternoon-long workshop on Monday.

    On Tuesday morning after roundtable discussions, Sophie Penney, who teaches Penn State World Campus’s Philanthropic Leadership Certificate program, will cover strategies for effective fundraising practices. She is a consultant and fundraising coach and has facilitated workshops for the Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as published articles in Advancing Philanthropy. 

    A representative from Blackbaud will present the Donor-Centrics Research Report (High-Touch Donor Fundraising). Takes place Monday afternoon.

    On Tuesday morning, a representative from EAB will describe professional development opportunities through the new contract with the CEO/CAO group. 

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    Postconference Resources

    Conference Roster

    PDF roster of all who registered, so that you can catch up with your new connections.

    More from the Presenters

    Amy Herman [.pdf] [website]

    Buddy Hobart [website]

    Mike Long [.pdf]  [website]

    Chris Marshall [website]

    Jerry Panas [.pdf] [website]

    Mike Powers [.pdf]

    Lynne Wester [website]




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    Communication: Art & Science

    Whether you write gift proposals, solicitations, invitations, letters, remarks, or website copy, you need to be able to communicate in a clear, concise, and compelling way. Sharpen your writing skills by spending half a day with Mike Long, the Professional Speechwriters Association’s resident writing coach and award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He is a former director of the White House Writers Group and a lecturer at Georgetown University, where he served as the director of writing for the graduate program in PR. On Monday, Mike will present his workshop in the morning and then repeat it in the afternoon.

    Websites, social media, e-mail: online content is crucial for any advancement campaign. But how do you know if your content is any good? How do you make it better? Measure it! Mike Powers, IUP’s director of electronic communications, will show you how to measure your online content’s quality, both before and after you send it out—and how to use what you’ve learned to make your content better. Mike has presented at many national conferences, including eduWeb and Confab, and online for Higher Ed Experts. You can catch his presentation on Tuesday morning.

    Monday afternoon, Bill McHugh, president of mslDirect, will how discuss direct mail can affect higher education development and enrollment.

    On Tuesday morning, a representative from ThankView will demonstrate how video messaging can help you build better relationships with your constituents.

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    Contact the Committee

    Have a question about any aspect of the conference? Contact a member of the conference planning team. Or, call 724-357-5661.

    Workshops, Keynote Speakers
    Evan Bohnen, Associate Vice President for Development, ebohnen@iup.edu
    Debra Valentine-Gray, Pittsburgh Regional Advancement Officer, debravg@iup.edu

    Betsy Lauber, Executive Director of the Foundation for IUP, blauber@iup.edu
    Mary Morgan, Director of Alumni Relations, morgan@iup.edu

    Fun, Conference Communications
    Regan Houser, Director of Advancement Communications, rphouser@iup.edu
    Emily Smeltz, Director of Annual Giving, esmeltz@iup.edu

    Bill Speidel, Vice President for University Advancement, speidel@iup.edu 
    Anthony Cancro, Development Officer, acancro@iup.edu

    General Coordination
    Jackie Greene, Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement, jegreene@iup.edu
    Heather Andring, Director of Advancement Services, handring@iup.edu

    Special thanks to Kathy Evanko from the Office of Conference Services, Mary Greb from the University Events Office, Jessie Groll from the Web Team, Meghan Strittmatter from the Design Studio, University Printing, and the entire University Advancement crew--from Donor Relations, Alumni Relations, and Advancement Services to the Foundation for IUP. It takes a team! 

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    Innovation in Fundraising, Technology

    Billed as the simplest and most contrarian workshop you’ve ever seen, Fundraising on a Napkin summarizes 30 years of fundraising achievement into simple, bold, and actionable ideas for everyone. Presented by the Suddes Group, this workshop, which includes creating strategic clarity, communicating vision and message, building champions, and building an effective culture, will take place on Monday morning.

    Author of the book Making the Case: The No-Nonsense Guide to Writing the Perfect Case Statement, Jerold Panas also wrote the books Making a Case Your Donors Will Love and Asking. He is the chairman of the Institute for Charitable Giving, and he will share his expertise in a Monday afternoon workshop.

    Numbers don’t lie. This three-hour workshop on Tuesday morning will walk you through all aspects of a prospect analytics project—from building a plan to examining results, and you’ll do some practice exercises to reinforce all that you learn. Marianne Pelletier from Staupell Analytics Group will present Analytics on a Shoestring. 

    Monday afternoon, benefit from the insights of investment experts during a panel discussion: Investment Outlook in a New Political Environment.

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    Thanks to the Sponsors

    Thanks to these sponsors, who have supported this conference and the continuing education of advancement professionals from across Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education.

    Sponsorships remain available. Contact Anthony Cancro for more information. Call 724-357-2324 or e-mail acancro@iup.edu.

    Presenting Sponsor
    Raymond James

    Gold Sponsors
    Stewart Capital Advisors

    Silver Sponsors
    BNY Mellon
    BilkeyKatz Investment Consultants
    MSL Direct

    Bronze Sponsor
    Nationwide Insurance
    Fast Times Screenprinting and Sign Co.
    Enterprise Rent-A-Car

    Meal Sponsors
    Utica Insurance
    Reschini Insurance

    In-Kind Sponsors
    Hilton Garden Inn at IUP
    Red Oak Advertising

    We acknowledge with gratitude Shippensburg University Foundation's advancing the carryover from the 2015 conference to the 2017 conference.

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