Conference Schedule

Big 12 Development Conference Schedule — Tuesday

Tuesday, May 23

7:15-8:15 a.m. | Working Breakfast Sessions (Optional) | KU Memorial Union

CEO & Development Executive Leadership Breakfast (Invitation Only) | Malott Room, Level 6, KU Memorial Union

A Relationship Business? Exploring the Value of Enhancing the Donor Experience

In this executive conversation, we’ll explore new data on gift officer outreach that — for the first time — highlights gaps in the experience of major gift and leadership-level prospects. Are the best prospects assigned? If they are assigned, does that mean they’re being cultivated via consistent, personal outreach? And what’s the value of doing so? We’ll look at this data, talk through its implications and highlight ways teams in the Big 12 (and beyond) are taking action to enhance the donor experience, leading to increased giving and new major gift pipeline development.

Brent Grinna – CEO & Founder, EverTrue

Mid-level Managers Breakfast Big 12 Room, Level 5, KU Memorial Union

Post-pandemic Discussion: What are the Challenges and Opportunities Advancement Leaders are Facing Today?

Coming out of the pandemic, what issues are hiring managers facing in today’s workplace? What are we seeing around hybrid/remote work, issues of recruitment, retention and promotion? In short, what are the topics that keep you up at night? This an opportunity for honest and open dialogue about the challenges and opportunities you as leaders are facing every day.

Anne Johnson – Senior Vice President and Senior Search Consultant, Aspen Leadership Group

Newcomers to Development Breakfast Jayhawk Room, Level 5, KU Memorial Union

Rookie of the Year

Are you new to higher education advancement? Are you craving connection with other new professionals? Do you have burning questions about this unique, somewhat mysterious industry? This ask-anything session is for you! Join experienced fundraising coaches and fellow newbies for the advice, troubleshooting and clarity you’ve been looking for.

Nancy Jackson — Co-founder, Generous Change
Jenna Goodman — Co-founder, Generous Change

8:00 a.m. | Breakfast Opens | Ballroom, Level 5, KU Memorial Union

8:30-8:50 a.m. | Opening Welcome | Ballroom, Level 5, KU Memorial Union

8:50-9:50 a.m. | Keynote | Ballroom, Level 5, KU Memorial Union

Joel Zeff — National keynote speaker, workplace expert, humorist and author

The Spirit of TA DA: Watch What Happens When Work Becomes Play

How do your employees and managers embrace the Spirit of TA DA? We all must take ownership of our work environment and create a foundation of opportunity and positive support. We can choose to be patient, supportive and more flexible to change. We can choose to have fun in the workplace and still be productive. Joel teaches us how easy it is to make these choices.

In The Spirit of TA DA, Joel shares his experience and insight on creativity, communication, teamwork, passion and fun. With wit, a sharp observational eye, and playful irreverence, he discusses the choices we all encounter in our careers. We each have the ability to take initiative and make the right choice to live a more creative, passionate, effective and productive life.

He connects to his audience with humor that has them laughing so uncontrollably that their mascara runs, their cheeks hurt and their bellies ache.

And he doesn’t do it alone. Volunteers from the audience join him on stage and play an integral role in an improvisation game in front of hundreds or thousands of people —something the audience members have never done. He expects nothing less than their success. He expects the volunteers to focus and work together as a team; communicate effectively; positively support each other; and take responsibility.

Joel makes his audience laugh so hard that they forget about the corporate nonsense of conference calls, “strategic deliverables,” PowerPoint presentations with upside-down triangles, or “paradigm shifts in a cross-functional organization.” Yes, Joel will make you laugh, but he’ll also make you think. This presentation delivers a combination of inspiration, essential business knowledge and significant ideas to help audience members reconnect with their own passion, creativity and success.

Seven Lessons Learned:

    1. How to celebrate work and create a positive environment.
    2. How to improve teamwork and help all partners find success.
    3. The three keys to leading change: be prepared; be focused; be open and flexible.
    4. The key to success: staying in the game and keeping your passion.
    5. How to promote ownership and accountability.
    6. How to encourage innovation by creating opportunity.
    7. How to enhance communication.

9:50-10:15 a.m. | Walk to Jayhawk Welcome Center

10:15-10:55 a.m. | Breakout Sessions | Jayhawk Welcome Center

Become the MVP of Effective Communication: Learn to Tackle Difficult Conversations Across a Spectrum of Relationships, Dynamics and Audiences | Large Berkley Family Presentation Room, Level 2

Our personal and institutional values may not always align with those of donors, colleagues and campus partners. This can create tension when cultivating relationships and make difficult conversations daunting. Strategic communications expert Karla Leeper will offer tips and suggestions for navigating situations where we encounter other perspectives on difficult topics.

Karla Leeper — Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, University of Kansas

Magic Words for the Big Three Gifts
| Bruckmiller Room, Level 2

This session will take a close look at the big three gift types for nonprofits when it comes to Gift Planning and effective statements to use with donors throughout the donor gift cycle of identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

We will also look at why these gift types are important to nonprofits as well as donors, how to fully document them, how to market them and how to steward the donors.

The Big Three Gifts:

    1. Wills/trusts
    2. Beneficiary designations
    3. Appreciated assets

Nathan Rice, CFRE — Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Gift Planning, Texas Tech University System

Rediscover Discovery: How to Get in the Door With New Donors
| Summerfield Room, Level 1

The #1 way to ensure your university’s success and your future success as a fundraiser is ambitious, consistent discovery now. But, discovery is one of the hardest parts of fundraising! When you’re getting in the door with amazing new potential donors, discovery can feel like an adventure. When you’re slogging through endless names in your database and getting zero responses, discovery can feel overwhelming and oppressive. Join this session for a discovery refresher and five simple steps to make it less painful and more successful.

Nancy Jackson — Co-founder, Generous Change
Jenna Goodman — Co-founder, Generous Change

Google, Amazon and Your Local Bank Branch are all Doing it, so Why Aren’t You?: Fundraising in the Era of Advanced Analytics | Medium Berkley Family Presentation Room, Level 2

Screenings, ratings and modeling are now old hat in higher education development shops. However, the landscape is shifting so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up. Artificial intelligence, custom model builds and other new approaches are reshaping the way we assign prospects, manage portfolios, generate research and predict giving. This session will cover the things you need to be doing, the things you ought to be doing and what might be around the bend.

Dan Lowman — Senior Data Analytics Consultant, Washburn & McGoldrick, LLC; Solutions Architect, DonorSearch Ai

Relational Fundraising and Advisory Boards: Projects and Productivity | Paul Adam Lounge, Level 1

We believe the best relational fundraising is when we bring alumni to campus and have them interact with students. In this session we’ll be taking a deep dive into the ways the Texas Christian University Honors program instituted Honors Alumni Connections, a process for moving from qualification to a cultivation setting for an ask, all during the height of the pandemic. You’ll learn about ways we increase engagement, urgency and multiple points of contact with key prospective donors, and our efforts to recruit alumni and students around a theme: region/career/major to be part of our coordinated outreach.

Shelly Frank — Director of Development for John V. Roach Honors College, Texas Christian University
Adam B. Baggs — Asst. Vice Chancellor for School and College Development, Texas Christian University

10:55-11:10 a.m. | Break / Vendor VisitsJayhawk Welcome Center

11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m. | Kaleidoscope Group Roundtables | Jayhawk Welcome Center

Kaleidoscope Group roundtables are your opportunity to connect and network with Big 12 peers who share similar roles and responsibilities. This is your chance to share successes and challenges, workshop ideas and build valuable connections! Location information is available here.

CEO Kaleidoscope Group (Invitation Only) | Adams Board Room, Level 2

Reimagining Advancement for 2030: 10 Trends that Will Define the Future
Technology, a changing labor force, evolving philanthropic landscape are accelerating change and requiring advancement leaders to think creatively and quickly to provide what is needed to continue to increase engagement and philanthropy. This session will start with a short presentation about these trends and then open the floor discussion. 

Speaker: Don Hasseltine – Senior Vice President and Senior Search Consultant, Aspen Leadership Group

12:15 p.m. | Shuttles to DeBruce Center

12:30-1:30 p.m. | Lunch | DeBruce Center

1:30-2:00 p.m. | Keynote DeBruce Center

Bill Self — Head Coach, Kansas Men’s Basketball

High-Performing Teams

2:00-2:30 p.m. | Tour of Rules of Basketball / Allen Fieldhouse

2:35 p.m. | Shuttles to Jayhawk Welcome Center

2:50-3:30 p.m. | Breakout Sessions | Jayhawk Welcome Center

Donor-centric Approach to Pipeline Development | Large Berkley Family Presentation Room, Level 2

At the KSU Foundation, we have a donor continuum structure that allows us to engage more of our constituency than ever before. Key elements include identifying major gift prospects early and taking time to develop relationships with prospects even before they’re ready to make a major gift. We have entire teams whose work is devoted to feeding the major gift and principal gift pipeline.

Eric Holderness — Senior Assoc. VP of Development, KSU Foundation
Susan Berhow — VP of Marketing Communications, KSU Foundation
Michael Porter — Student Development Program Manager, KSU Foundation
Emily Dye — Digital Development Officer, KSU Foundation
Scott Jensen — Asst. Director of Development, KSU Foundation
Grant Topjon — Development Officer, KSU Foundation
Erin Moore — Director of Principal Gift Operations, KSU Foundation

Cultivating a Growth Mindset Culture
Bruckmiller Room, Level 2

In a professional practice that is often described as an “art and a science,” how do we measure and cultivate behaviors that reflect the art of fundraising and go beyond those outcomes that are quantifiable? Historically, higher education development teams have utilized annual goals/metrics as the primary instrument for determining a development officer’s performance.

This session will look to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s seminal work on the “growth mindset” to help inform how our profession can consider adopting goals that leverage individual strengths and reinforces behaviors that are more innovative and collaborative.

Tylerr Ropp — AVP for Central Development, Oklahoma State University Foundation
Jenna Goodman — Co-founder, Generous Change

The TA DA of Teamwork and Communication: Succeeding During Change and Disruption
| Summerfield Room, Level 1
(Offered Twice – 1 of 2)

We are all improvising. We face challenges, disruption, change and obstacles without a script or rehearsal. To find success, we need to work together, build trust and create opportunity. During this session, Joel Zeff will discuss how the tenets of improvisation create successful teams during change and disruption. Joel has spent the past 30 years performing and teaching the lessons of improvisation. This interactive, engaging and hilarious session will focus on staying in the game, facing fear, building trust and asking the important question, “How do I help the people around me be successful?” Joel will also bring his famous TA DA energy as he discusses the importance of opportunity, positive support and active listening in collaboration. Yes, you will have fun and laugh during this session. You will also learn how to collaborate more successfully as a team and navigate change. Are you ready for the TA DA?

This session will focus on:

    1. Creating opportunity and positive support for your team.
    2. Making the choice to “be in the moment.”
    3. Staying in the Game when faced with challenges, change and disruption.
    4. Thriving during change by making the choice to be prepared, open and flexible.
    5. Fueling your passion and reducing stress.

Joel Zeff — National keynote speaker, workplace expert, humorist and author

Planning, Launching, Celebrating (and Surviving) Successful Capital Campaigns
| Medium Berkley Family Presentation Room, Level 2

Capital campaigns are a vital initiative for higher education institutions to execute their missions effectively. If done correctly, capital campaigns raise funds to support organizational goals and can have tremendous benefits for the future of a college or university. As recent announcements have revealed, multiple universities have launched aspirational comprehensive campaigns. This is yet another indication that despite some strong economic headwinds, institutions of higher learning — both public and private — are continuing to pursue ever-more ambitious fundraising goals. Hear and learn from these seasoned executives what has worked (and hasn’t) for their teams over the years.

Jerome Davies — Executive Vice President for Development, KU Endowment
Rod Grabowski — Senior Vice President for Advancement, University of Central Florida; CEO, UCF Foundation
Patrick Kramer — Vice Chancellor, Texas Tech University System Institutional Advancement; CEO, Texas Tech Foundation
Amy Noah — Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, University of Oklahoma Foundation
Moderator: Kristen Lazalier — Senior Director of Principal Gifts, University of Oklahoma Foundation

But it Actually is Rocket Science! How to Work with Academic Leaders to Translate the Impact of Research for Donors
| Paul Adam Lounge, Level 1

Do you have an initiative right now that isn’t quite singing to donors? What if it could? Join us as we ask a KU expert strategic questions to uncover and describe the impact of their work — and connect it to the interests of a particular donor. Together, we will workshop a magnetic case for support. Then we will share a template for you to do the same with your academic leaders.

Nancy Jackson — Co-founder, Generous Change
Jay Kalbas — Director, Kansas Geological Survey

3:30-4:30 p.m. | Kaleidoscope Group Roundtables | Jayhawk Welcome Center

Kaleidoscope Group roundtables are your opportunity to connect and network with Big 12 peers who share similar roles and responsibilities. This is your chance to share successes and challenges, workshop ideas and build valuable connections! Location information is available here.

4:30-5:30 p.m. | Vendor Visits

Optional Activities: Jayhawk Welcome Center Tour with Dimensional Innovations, Recharge with RNL or Live Like a Local Downtown Tour

5:30-6:30 p.m. | Return to Hotel / Free Time

6:00 p.m. | Shuttles to Dinner

6:30-9:30 p.m. | Dinner Activities | Abe & Jake’s Landing, 8 E. 6th Street

A printable version of the full schedule is available here.