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System Seminar 2016

Education Sessions

Education Sessions

Note: All sessions are held at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

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Click here for full conference agenda (PDF)



Sunday, Feb. 23 || Monday, Feb. 24 || Tuesday, Feb. 25

Sunday, February 23
4– 6 p.m.
Working Group Meetings

(Endowment Compliance, Planned Giving) Location: Level 1

4 – 6 p.m.
Newcomer's Program

Location: Level 1
Audience: Those new to the profession or the UT System
Consider this interactive session a prerequisite for System Seminar and your career within the UT System. Designed to introduce new professionals to the many facets of external relations (alumni relations, development, communications, advancement services, special events, etc.), as well as UT System resources available to you.

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Monday, February 24

9 – 10 a.m.

Opening Session and Keynote Speaker

Location: Grand Ballroom, Level 3

Higher Ed Next: Innovations that Will Change the Face of Public Higher Ed by 2015

Dr. Steven Mintz
Executive Director, Institute for Transformational Learning, UT System

Public higher education is on the verge of far-reaching transformations, which will occur far more quickly than most anticipate. At a time when public attention fixates on MOOCs, the truly transformational changes will occur in program design, pedagogy, delivery models, certification models, assessment techniques, and business models. Catch a glimpse of the transformations that will fundamentally alter public higher education over the next 24 months.

10:15 –
11:30 a.m.
Breakout #1 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 2

The Basic Principles for Fundraising Success
Jerri Lynn Schooley

Associate Vice President for Development, UT Arlington

This session explores the basic principles of fundraising as well as the characteristics and skills needed to be a successful development officer. In addition to competency, development officers must have an understanding of the basic principles for identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding prospective donors. These principles never change and are valid regardless the size of the institution. This program covers the role of development utilizing the Pyramid of Giving: annual, major and deferred giving. Learn the purpose for each level of giving and how it relates to the Donors Cultivation Lifecycle: identification, information, interest, involvement and investment.

Creating a Pipeline for Testamentary Gifts
Laura Hansen Dean
Executive Director of Gift Planning, UT Austin
Kent Hamilton
Senior Director, Planned Giving & Gift Administration, UT Health Science Center - San Antonio
Creating a pipeline of testamentary gifts that eventually produces regular distributions requires strategic and consistent efforts. This session will discuss the elements of such plans based on recent research about testamentary donors.

Measuring Philanthropy: Are We All Counting the Same Way?
Ann Kaplan
Director, Voluntary Support of Education Survey, Council for Aid to Education (CAE)
Attend this session to better understand VSE and CASE reporting standards. Why measure? What is the importance of uniform standards? What do you need to know about using the Voluntary Support of Education Survey (VSE)? This is your opportunity to hear directly from Ann Kaplan and raise your questions.

Ding Dong the Press Release is Dead: The Evolved Story Pitch
Josh Hinkle
Political Reporter, KXAN News

Reeve Hamilton
Reporter, The Texas Tribune

Katherine Mangan
Senior Reporter, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Step out of the dark ages and into the light! Traditional press releases alone just aren’t sufficient to stand alone as the sole method for organizational story pitching. Attend this panel discussion of expert journalists as they discuss how they decide what to cover and what universities can do to improve and expand their coverage.

Leadership is (Still) Not Management
Susan Franzen
Director of Shared Services Innovations, UT System
Someone once said, "I completed a 360 review and was told I have no leadership skills. That must be wrong, because I've been managing for over 30 years!" Leadership and management are not the same. The distinction is simple, but the application of that distinction may not be. In this session you'll learn about that distinction, which skill sets are required for each role, and how to assess your management and leadership skills.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Breakout #2 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 2

Donor-Centered Fundraising
Penelope Burk
President, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.
Today’s fundraising practices and beliefs were developed at a time when donors were less demanding, competition was less severe, and fundraisers could rely on an unlimited supply of people willing to give. But as wealth shifts to a more independently-minded donor, one who is more questioning and harder to reach, fundraisers need to know what donors want and how to provide it. Donor-Centered Fundraising is Penelope’s breakthrough strategy that sustains donor loyalty and raises more generous gifts by bringing fundraising in line with donors’ modern-day requirements. Defined by a decade of research with thousands of donors and fundraisers, Donor-Centered Fundraising is the only statistically-supported fundraising philosophy with the power to bring donors and not-for-profits together to achieve substantial growth.

The Alumni Participation Quandary
Kevin Foyle
Vice President for Development, UT Health
Dixie Mullins
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations, UTMB Galveston
Within educational fundraising programs, the philosophical discussion of whether or not to focus staff time and financial resources to increase alumni participation rates occurs with relative frequency. Leadership is often hesitant to redirect attention away from more immediately fruitful major and principal gifts to chase smaller participation gifts. In this session, we will discuss the value of understanding your data, the ongoing need to create innovative pilot programs to expand your reach into new alumni populations and how to best seize the power of annual giving to enhance your overall fundraising efforts.

Be Your Own Newsroom
Tracy Hamilton

Project Manager and Chief Blogging Officer, CPS Energy
Robert Rivard
Founder, The Rivard Report
Lisa Marie Baroc
Founder, LMG Communications

Take control of your organization’s message and tell your own story. Attend this panel session to discover tools and strategies to create your own virtual newsroom.

Creating an Engaging Website and Uncovering the Heart of Your Brand
Brad Lawton

Founder, BradfordLawton Branding
Tom Cuthbert
Managing Director, BradfordLawton Branding
Andrew Leverenz
Director of Online Communications, UT Arlington
Noelle Heinze
Online Communications Editor, UT System

Creating and maintaining an engaging website presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. UT Arlington’s Director of Online Communications Andrew Leverenz will discuss content strategy and management, developing a dynamic homepage and how to tell your story. Bradford Lawton and Tom Cuthbert of award-winning San Antonio firm BradfordLawton Branding will discuss overall branding strategy using a process called Connective Thinking™ to carefully define a brand and its intent to ensure that every form of communication is done in an accurate, consistent and cohesive manner and is carried through every touch point of an organization, company, product or service. The panel will be moderated by UT System Online Communications Editor Noelle Heinze.

Business and Tech Etiquette
Sharon Schweitzer
Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide
Wondering how to respond to an awkward hug? Whether you are interacting in the boardroom, at the table, or online, research shows that your success depends more heavily on "soft skills" rather than on technical knowledge. During this fun, interactive and informative session, etiquette and protocol expert Sharon Schweitzer will help you navigate through some of today's most challenging situations.

2:45 –
3:45 p.m.
Breakout #3 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 2

Donor-Centered Leadership: How to Build a High Performance Fundraising Team
Penelope Burk
President, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.
In this provocative session, Penelope tackles one of the most frustrating and costly problems – the high turnover rate of fundraisers. Backed by four years of research with more than 16,000 professional fundraisers, CEOs, Board members and donors, Donor-Centered Leadership offers surprising statistical evidence about why good fundraisers – both professional and volunteer – move on prematurely and what it will take to keep them on the job longer and working productively. In plain language, Penelope shows employers how they can easily measure the real cost of premature staff turnover and the financial benefits of bringing this pressing problem under control. Highlights: why fundraisers leave; what makes a great boss; how to hire for long term loyalty; which employee benefits and working conditions really influence staff retention and which simply drain the budget; how to “hire” board members who will raise money; how to use your CEO more effectively; how staff turnover affects donors; what fundraisers need to know before they move from one job to the next.

Unlocking the "Perfect Gift": Planned Giving's Role in Major Giving Success
Kelsey Evans
Assistant Dean for Development, College of Natural Sciences, UT Austin
Kevin Pickett
Executive Director for Development, MD Anderson
This session will discuss donor centered gift planning strategies for both current and deferred major gifts. How to initiate gift planning conversations, overcoming donor objections, and review of most commonly used strategies and when best to use them will be covered.

Crowdfunding in Higher Education
Shad Hanselman

Senior Director of Annual Giving, Arizona State University
Crowdfunding has become an exciting new topic in the fundraising field and can be a powerful tool for engagement, education, and philanthropy when incorporated into an advancement program. This session will review key facts about crowdfunding and discuss how Arizona State University implemented a comprehensive program in 2013.

Social Media Playbook
Debi Pfitzenmaier

Founder and Strategist, PfitzPR

In football, a playbook is the notebook that contains the descriptions and diagrams of the plays the team may run during a game. It's defined, tactical, and puts everybody on the same page. In social media, a playbook can accomplish the very same thing whether you're a team of two or twenty. In this session, we'll define what a playbook is; what goes into creating one; what you need to consider for internal and external processes; as well as discussing the who, what and why of conversations. This is not Social Media tips and tactics 101. This is about defining the strategy of how we listen and engage.

Prepare and Present an Effective Presentation
Joe Serio
Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Joe Serio Enterprises
Presentations can make or break your work reqardless of subject matter. Join Joe as he walks you through preparing for and presenting an engaging presentation.

4 - 5 p.m.
Breakout #4 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 2

A Holistic Approach to Corporate Relations
Stella T. Wixom
Executive Director, Business Engagement Center, University of Michigan
Discover a proven one stop shopping model for corporate America and your institution. Learn the University of Michigan’s innovative strategy that enables corporations to easily engage the many facets of a leading research university. What did the university do internally to make this happen? Fundraising and communications professionals won’t want to miss this presentation.

"Friendraiser" to Fundraiser: Harness the Passion (and Power) of Your Constituents
Jeff Melton
Executive Director of Development, McCombs School of Business, UT Austin
Keary Kinch
Alumni Director, McCombs School of Business, UT Austin

Peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising has become the gold standard in charity fundraising for donor acquisition. Recent studies have shown P2P-acquired donors have a higher retention rate than traditionally-acquired donors and give more over time. Learn how the UT-Austin McCombs School of Business applied some of these practices, drastically increasing both alumni participation and annual giving revenue. Get practical tips to increase engagement and support from your own constituents.

Cornucopia of Advancement Services Challenges
Stan Ledbetter
Assistant Vice President, UTMB Galveston
Brian Willey
Assistant Director of Development, UT Austin
Jan Hopson
Director of Gift Planning Services, UT System
Chandra McTyre
Senior Development Specialist - Gift Acceptance, UT System
Laurie Osman
Business Analyst, UT System
Join our panel of seasoned advancement services professionals for a conversation on complex gift administration scenarios. Topics will include, but will not be limited to, a discussion of acceptable endowment restrictions, primer on naming policy, how to accept and enter gifts not conforming to policy, what’s the buzz about crowdfunding, etc. Feel free to bring your own questions and try and stump the panel.

Producing Engaging In-House Videos: A "How to" Guide
Charlie Palafox
Video Production Coordinator, UT System
Spencer Peeples
Director of Photography/Editor, Media, TX
A beginner's guide to shooting and editing engaging video content. Attend this session and take a step forward into the often uncharted waters of video production for dummies.

Simple Strategies for Better Event Marketing
Debi Pfitzenmaier

Founder and Strategist, PfitzPR

Are events at the heart of your university or department? Do you regularly bring your students, alumni or donors together for events? Are you looking for some simple strategies that you can use to run a successful event? If so, this session is for you. In it we’ll review “the basics” and some time-tested insights that will help you make the most of your next event.

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Tuesday, February 25

7:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Working Group Meetings and Roundtable Discussions by Topic

(Database/RE Working Group and Advancement Services Working Group) Location: Level 3
Those not attending a breakfast working group meeting can join us in the Ballroom for roundtable topics by subject and profession.

9 – 10:15 a.m.
Breakout #5 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 3

Tips and Tricks: Taking Raiser's Edge to the Next Level
Tiffany Crumpton
Director of Solution Management and Business Strategy, Blackbaud
The Raiser’s Edge is a very powerful tool to help organizations manage constituent relationships, increase fundraising effectiveness and provide all of the donor management and fundraising capabilities you need to connect with constituents and raise money anytime, anywhere. In this session, Tiffany will take you through how to utilize best practices and proven tips and tricks to help you take your use of The Raiser’s Edge to the next level. From recommendations about how to best navigate RE to how to best harness the power of Query- Tiffany guarantees there is something for everyone to learn in this session!

Driving High Performance: The Factors Affecting Gift Officer Productivity
Josh Keniston
Data Solutions Manager, Eduventures, Inc.
Drawing on past research and a forthcoming study on the topic, Eduventures will explore what it really takes to ensure high-performance for gift officers. We will first take a quick look at the most recent benchmarks emerging from the study revealing the metrics, goals, and targets that are driving major gifts success. From there, we will reveal the goal-setting and management practices that help foster this success.

Planned Giving - Who Needs to know?
Laura Hansen Dean
Executive Director of Gift Planning, UT Austin
Jeffrey Steed
Senior Director of Gift Planning, UT Arlington
Lucy Garcia
Director of Gift Planning, UT El Paso

Shelley Robson
Senior Director of Gift Planning, MD Anderson
Planned Giving has become an important gift strategy. How do I best market my planned giving program? You are invited to a panel discussion that explores helpful ways to advance planned giving.

Roadmapping Communications: Creating and Implementing a Strategic Communications Plan

Lisa Marie Barocas
Founder, LMG Communications

Jennifer Harris
Owner, JWH Communications
Developing a strategic communications plan can be a daunting task. Join communications guru and founder of LMG Communications, Lisa Marie Gomez, as she discusses the ins and outs of developing and implementing a strategy for your communications.

Innovative Approaches to Career Path Planning
Jean Grove
Director of Employee Services, UT System
Betsy Clardy
Vice President and Chief Development Officer, UTMB Galveston
In the past, people selected a focus area for their career and they usually remained in that area of work for their entire career. Today the average person changes jobs about 11 times spanning multiple careers over their working years. This session will look at using creative thinking to identify good candidates. People can truly re-invent themselves for a new career.

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Breakout #6 - Concurrent Sessions

Location: Levels 1, 3

Make Your Move: Building a Relationship Management Program from the Ground Up
Kelley Atwood
Development Applications Administrator, UT Southwestern
Amanda Billings
Interim Vice President for Development, UT Southwestern
Mary Gulledge
Director of Annual Giving, UT Southwestern
Krishna Kelley
Associate Director of Prospect Research and Management, UT Southwestern
Caren McGratty
Director of Leadership Giving, UT Southwestern
Laurie Osman
Business Analyst, UT System
What makes an effective relationship manager? For our team at UT Southwestern, it has been something very familiar to our department and probably yours: collaboration. Through meetings, feedback, reports, more feedback, and a donor-centric approach, we have designed a relationship management program and tracking system to meet our needs. Whether you are just starting out or looking for ideas to refresh your existing program, join us for an interactive presentation and discussion about using teamwork to build a system from the ground up. You’ll also learn how The Raiser’s Edge can make your relationship management program more efficient by segmenting your database, tracking your research findings and staff activity, and monitoring success. The Raiser’s Edge will help you build a culture of stewardship through the use of actions and action tracks.

Effective Messaging in Your Stewardship: Why Your Marketing Team Should be Fundraisers (or Learn to Think Like Them)
Aaron Conley
Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, UT Dallas
Sara Mancuso
Director of Development Communications, UT Dallas
UT Dallas is nearing completion of the first campaign in its history, achieving a $200 million goal nearly a year ahead of schedule. New stewardship tools developed for the campaign have not only acknowledged donors, but inspired others to give. This session will provide a look at the thought that goes into content development of some of the award-winning print and web-based campaign communication tools from UT Dallas.

Trends in Young Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy
Josh Keniston
Data Solutions Manager, Eduventures, Inc.
Using their survey of over 90,000 alumni nationwide, Eduventures will highlight the trends affecting higher education philanthropy today with a special focus on how younger alumni compare to older generations.

The Shades of Philanthropy: Engaging Diverse Communities
Jackie Pierce
Major Gift Officer for Diverse Constituencies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Robiaun Charles
Executive Director of Development, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, UT Austin
Priscilla Cortez
Director of Development, Center for Enhancing Philanthropy, UT System
Texas has experienced rapid population growth with significant increases in ethnically and racially diverse communities, a trend which will continue for the foreseeable future. The impact of this can be seen in higher education, as the UT System now serves a majority-minority student population. Naturally, as our student population becomes more diverse so, too will our alumni base. Learning how to use diversity as a strategic opportunity to better engage and cultivate alumni of color will be critical to your institution’s philanthropic success. Panelists will share practices of philanthropy within and across diverse communities as well as specific outreach, marketing, and professional recruitment activities that can be implemented at your campuses.

Social Media: Building Your Brand and Attracting Fans
Megan Maisel

Director of Integrated Media Communications, MD Anderson

When it comes to creating a successful social media campaign, a consistent brand is key. Without a distinct brand and clear voice, you’re merely just another face in the crowd. Success in the social realm doesn’t happen overnight though! Check out this session to get a glimpse of how MD Anderson has applied social media tools to grow and engage their following.

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