Alumni Relations and Institutional Giving

Finnish Higher Education Experts USA Study Tour 2012: "Alumni Relations and Institutional Giving”

March 25th - 30th, 2012
Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia

The Study Tour material is available on this page.

Study Tour Report

Read the study tour report here







Study Tour Report (PDF)


This delegation from Finnish higher education institutions searches for best-practices in alumni cooperation, fundraising and donor relations. Specifically, participants will visit institutions in the state of Virginia and in Maryland to discuss alumni affairs and alumni cooperation, fundraising and donor relations. The group will learn about the American system from expert speakers and through direct observation at private and public universities. The seminar will focus on comparing U.S. as well as current and emerging Finnish strategies in the area and identifying possible applications of the American practice to the Finnish system. There are 13 members in the delegation.


Participants will travel to Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia for a five-day higher education leadership seminar. The program will consist of a day-long introductory workshop in Washington, DC, and fours site visits to public and private universities (one in Maryland and three in Virginia), and two debriefing meetings.

Sunday, March 25

Evening: Pre-seminar briefing and casual group dinner.

5:00pm Introductory Meeting
• Terhi Mölsä, Executive Director, Fulbright Center Finland
• Suzanne Louis, Project Consultant, Fulbright Center, Retired 2006 from the International Studies Office, University of Virginia
• Svet Trocheva, Program Manager, Institute of International Education
6:30pm Informal Opening Dinner, Old Ebbitt Grill Restaurant

DAY 1: Monday, March 26

Full-day opening workshop at the Institute of International Education

8:00am Breakfast, Welcome and Introductions
• Terhi Mölsä, Executive Director, Fulbright Center Finland
• Svet Trocheva, Program Manager, Institute of International Education
9:00am Alumni Relations, Communications, Development & Marketing: Best Practices
Amir Pasic, Vice President of International Operations, Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE)

- Brief introduction to CASE
- How do universities find stakeholders that provide funding?
- How do they do fundraising?
- Importance of community
- Raising friends before raising funds
- Structure and function of the Development and Alumni Offices
- Best practices for working with alumni
- Best practices for soliciting grants & obtaining funding from outside sources

10:30am Coffee Break
10:45am The Evolution of Development and Alumni Fundraising Initiatives in the U.S.
Andrew Shaindlin, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, Carnegie Mellon University

- How alumni affairs & institutional giving have developed in the U.S. in the past 20 years
- Case studies of institutions that made big strides in the field
- Best practices in institutional giving and alumni initiatives
- Next steps for institutional giving

12:00 Working Lunch with Allan Goodman, President & CEO, Institute of International Education (IIE) and Karin Fischer, Senior Reporter, Chronicle of Higher Education
1:15pm Identifying University Supporters: Alumni, Students, Parents and Friends
Margaret Frondorf, Director of Alumni Relations, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

- Prioritizing your constituent base
- Developing communities
- Identifying leaders
- Supporting local initiative
- Broadcasting opportunities
- Getting students connected

2:30pm Coffee Break
Afternoon workshop: Cost Effective Strategies for Reaching Out to Alumni
2:45pm Using Technology to Reach Out to Alumni
• Andrew Shaindlin, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, Carnegie Mellon University
4:00pm Alumni Relations on a Shoe String
Mark Thaden, Director of Alumni Relations, University of Mary Washington

- Implementing an outreach strategy
- Best practices for using social media
- When to spend money on cultivating alumni development

6:30pm Opening Buffet Dinner
Hosted by Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Embassy of Finland
8:00pm Friends of Fulbright Finland Reception Honoring the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Fulbright Agreement between Finland and the United States
Hosted by Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Embassy of Finland

DAY 2: Tuesday, March 27

Morning site visit to University of Maryland, afternoon travel to Richmond.

8:30am Casual Breakfast with University of Maryland Staff
9:00am Welcome
Culture of Philanthropy at Maryland
• Brodie Remington, Vice President for University Relations

Fear the Turtle: Messaging and Positioning through Marketing and Communications
• Brian Ullman, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications

10:00am A Brief History of Maryland/The Great Expectations Campaign for Maryland
• Leslie Coleman, Senior Director of Leadership Gifts
• Patricia Wang, Director of Gift Planning and Estate Administration

- The Land Grant institution legacy
- The rise of the University of Maryland
- Proximity and connections
- Maryland Day and other presidential initiatives
- The giving pyramid and donor cycle
- Donor motivation and passion
- Transactional versus transformational gifts & Donor-Centered Fundraising
- The great expectations campaign for Maryland
- - The university’s strategic plan and objectives
- - Identifying campaign priorities, campaign plan and timeline

10:45am PANEL – Development: Thinking Strategically About Prospects
• Carla Andrews O’Hara, Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
• Gina Callahan, Associate Director of Leadership Gifts
• Leslie Coleman, Senior Director of Leadership Gifts
• Kathleen Diemer, Director of Donor Relations
• Pernell Watson, Director of Research

- Leadership gifts and donor relations
- Useful research resources and tools to identify prospects
- Building and managing the pipeline
- Positioning the President
- Garnering partnerships with corporations and foundations

12:00 The Alumni Association and Alumni Programs: Trends and Best Practices
• Beth Morgan, Chief Administrative Officer, Alumni Association
• Mario Peraza, Director of Alumni Volunteer Programs

- Becoming a terp for life
- Alumni programs overview
- Alumni participation and engagement: join and give

1:00pm Lunch with Colleagues at the University of Maryland
2:00pm Informal Driving Tour of University of Maryland Campus in Group Bus
2:00pm Travel to Richmond
  Free evening
Optional program: Historic walk and dinner by the James River

 DAY 3: Wednesday, March 28

Morning site visit to University of Richmond, afternoon midway debriefing at the University of Richmond.


Uliana Gabara,
Dean, International Education


Overview: Alumni Relations and Institutional Giving at UR
Thomas C. Gutenberger, Vice President for Advancement


Data Management
Kerri Chapman, Director, Advancement Systems


Alumni Relations:  Engaging Alumni
Kristin Woods, Assistant Vice President for Alumni & Career Services
• Laura Krajewski, Director, Alumni Events
• Kathryn Bell, Assistant Director, Regional Initiatives
• Erin Richardson, Assistant Director, Regional Initiatives


Giving & Capital Campaigns
Julie Solomon, Assistant Vice President for Development
Heather Krajewski, Director of Development
Scott Peters, Director of Annual Giving
Aaron McClung, Director of Gift Planning
Shawn Morrison, Director of Prospect Research


Donor Relations and Stewardship
Laurel Hayward, Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship
Beth King, Director of Events Management

Event Planning Checklist

Events Checklist

More online resources on event planning at SlideShare


Meet the University of Richmond’s Global Team

Afternoon seminar and Midway Debriefing
University of Richmond


Best Practices for Managing Alumni Associations: A Case Study of the University of Virginia
Wayne Cozart, Vice President of Development, Director of the Jefferson Trust for the UVA Alumni Association


International alumni--Think about the future!
Suzanne Louis, Project Consultant, Fulbright Center, Retired 2006 from the International Studies Office, University of Virginia

- practical suggestions based on experiences from the University of Virginia
- international alumni cooperation and the Friends of Fulbright Finland Network


Midway Debriefing and Group Discussion
Terhi Mölsä, Executive Director, Fulbright Center Finland


Informal Driving Tour of University of Richmond Campus in Group Bus


Free evening

DAY 4: Thursday, March 29

Morning site visit to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, afternoon travel to Williamsburg and meeting with W&M students..


John Blohm, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations


Development and Alumni Affairs at VCU: Paradigm Shift
Samantha Marrs, Sr Associate Vice President for Development
• Gordon McDougall, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations


PANEL: Engaging Non-Alumni Stakeholders
Ken Blaisdell,
Senior Philanthropic Advisor
Scott Rash, Vice President, School of Engineering Foundation
Tom Burke, Executive Director, VCU Foundation
Bill Kotti, President, MCV Foundation


PANEL: Building the Operations to Support Institutional Fundraising
Lauren Shiver, Assistant Vice President for Advancement Services
• Blake MacIver, Director of Research and Campaign Analysis


Box Lunches at VCU Scott House
Casual lunch with VCU development team


Informal Tour of VCU Campus lead by a VCU student tour guide

1:15pm Travel to Williamsburg, VA

Future Alumni: the Student View
Informal coffee with students from William & Mary serving on Student Alumni Council (SAC) and Development Ambassadors (DA).

- Student role in Alumni Development (student volunteers, leadership, etc.)
- How does William & Mary Alumni Association reach out to students?


Campus tour, led by a student tour guide from the admission office


Free evening. Optional program: walk through colonial Williamsburg led by Ilja Orre, Fulbright Center undergraduate grantee senior at William & Mary, and Suzanne Louis, W&M Class of 1971 and dinner at one of the colonial restaurants.

DAY 5: Friday, March 30

Morning site visit to College of William &Mary. Final debriefing in William & Mary Alumni House and closing lunch at the Williamsburg Hospitality House.


Breakfast at College of William & Mary
Hosted by Stephen Hanson, Vice Provost for International Affairs
Welcome by Taylor Reveley, President
Location: William & Mary Alumni House


PANEL: Creating Lifelong Relationships: Life Cycle for Engagement
• Sean Pieri, Vice President for University Development
• Henry Broaddus, Associate Provost for Enrollment/Dean of Admission
• Virginia Ambler, Vice-President for Student Affairs
• Karen Cottrell, Executive Vice President for Alumni Association
• Earl Granger, III, Associate Vice President for Development


PANEL: Giving Along the Continuum
• Dan Frezza, Senior Associate Director, Annual Giving Programs
• Lee Walsh, Director of Gift Planning


Use of Technology to Engage Stakeholders
• James Golden, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives


Final Debrief and Group Discussion
• Terhi Mölsä, Executive Director, Fulbright Center Finland


Closing Lunch in Williamsburg
Williamsburg Hospitality House

2:30pm Transport to Richmond Airport (arrive Richmond around 3:30pm)