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Roundtable – Major Gifts: Using National Conferences to Your Advantage

Roundtable Discussion
Major Gifts: Using National Conferences to Your Advantage
Notes provided by: Andrew Dame

Are they effective for Major Gift work?

–          Best for Discovery, Cultivation and Stewardship. Not a good vehicle or opportunity to make direct solicitations (even in a meeting outside of a reception).

–          Great to establish future connections

How do you show supervisors ROI?

–          Try to indicate the number of discovery, cultivation and stewardship opportunities.

–          Show how many people you were able to get in front of in one-shot vs. the travel cost to see them all individually.

Have you ever considered dropping a conference or two?

–          Has been tried, but pressure from alumni and other colleges was too strong.

–          It would have to take 10 or more schools to drop out before considering.

How to do you cut costs?

–          Partner with other universities.

–          Try to find sponsorships.

–          Move event off-site.

  • Different time, setting and atmosphere than usual

–          Be specific about what you are hosting

  • Dinner, Dessert, Drinks (etc)

Have you ever tried tables in the Exhibition Halls?

–          Only if it was free…

–          More one-on-one time with alumni is a plus

How do you increase Young Alumni attendance?

–          Not determined to be a huge problem, younger alumni have been attending.

–          Can market more as a networking opportunity.

Day-of-Event Tricks:

–          Use donor ribbons on nametags

–          Use students as volunteers

–          Present Alumni Awards

–          Rolling Power Point in background for information/entertainment

–          Use nametags and a sign in sheet for tracking purposes

–          Open Bar is Bad Idea (costly)

–          Seek out assistance from University Alumni Association if plausible

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