Advancement Officers Conference

Conference Sponsor

With Grateful Appreciation


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Conference Pricing

Early Bird Deadline: September 1, 2020

Members & Affiliates (On-Site): $450 per person ($400 Early Bird)
Members & Affiliates (Virtual Via Zoom): $150
Non-Members (On-Site): $650 per person ($600 Early Bird)
Non-Members (Virtual Via Zoom): $300


Virtual Pricing Includes:

Full engagement in two-day program, including Q&A
Access to video recordings of presentations post-conference
Access to all conference resources


On-Site Pricing Includes:

Full engagement in two-day program, including Q&A
Networking/Fellowship with attendees & presenters
Access to video recordings of presentations post-conference
Three night’s lodging at the nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott
7 meals & refreshments
Access to all conference resources

Program Overview


Download Program Schedule

The Power of Presidential Vision and Fundraising Engagement
Presenter: Mark Smith, President — Columbia International University (SC)
Overview: How could you adequately measure the profound impact of a compelling vision for institutional resource development? And no one leads this process like the president. Hear the inspiring insights from one of ABHE’s most successful resource development presidents who is fully engaged in the fundraising effort of his school:

  • Grasping the contagion of a compelling vision
  • Understanding how vision connects with the heart of donors
  • Empowering the president’s role in fundraising
  • Presidential synergy with the advancement team

Learning How to Make a Virtual Ask
: Brad Layland, President — The Focus Group (FL)
Overview: Overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many institutional functions into the virtual arena. This included donor relations and major donor solicitation. But what does this new virtual reality look like in the crucial exchange of making the ask? Consider practical insights from a distinguished advancement leader and keep asking — virtually.

  • Re-thinking the principles of donor solicitation for the virtual engagement
  • Knowing practical steps to set up an effective virtual ask
  • Remembering vital perspectives for respecting your donors
  • Cultivating key relationships with effective communications

The Heart & Joy of a Steward Fundraising Leader
Presenter: Scott Rodin, President — Rodin Consulting (WA)
Overview: The highest calling of biblical advancement leaders is not just to raise money but to advance the purposes of God’s kingdom through the ministry of development. From our core motivation to partner relations and invitation — this makes all the difference. Consider the wise counsel and thoughtful insights of a distinguished steward leader:

  • Understanding our calling as a steward leader — motivation
  • Seeing fundraising through the eyes of a steward leader — perspective
  • Cultivating steward leader habits — distinctive disciplines
  • Changing partner relationships to Kingdom engagements — paradigm shift

Effective and Meaningful Donor Appreciation
Presenter: Clark Vandeventer, Head Fundraising Coach – Major Gifts Fundraiser, Inc. (CA)
Overview: Beyond the premiums, gifts and certificates, what is really meaningful to donors as an appropriate expression of appreciation? How do distinguished advancement officers treat donor relationships with honor and respect, especially in the art of expressing gratitude that is not trite or perfunctory? Consider insights from a major donor guru with a passion for healthy donor relationships, including:

  • Considering appreciation through the eyes of the donor
  • Caring enough to make appreciation meaningful
  • Listening to our donors, even beyond words, about what matters

Taking Time To Care for Your Donors
: Peter Teague, President Emeritus — Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School (PA)
Overview: Is there any reason major donors should expect you to care as much for them as you do their money? Do we? How does this value proposition play out in a well-crafted resource development strategy? Consider keen insights from the donor relations journey of one of our most distinguished presidents, including:

  • Owning the responsibility to care — heart engagement
  • Organizing for effectiveness — it takes a team
  • Tapping creative and meaningful ideas — symbols and experiences of value
  • Knowing some relationships are for life — commitment

Conducting Personal & Virtual Major Donor Research & Campaign Feasibility Study
Pat McLaughlin, CEO – The Timothy Group (MI)
Overview: In our new normal pandemic world where so much is done virtually . . . what does this look like for advancement leaders as they do major donor research and interviews as part of their feasibility studies? What are insights and best practices being identified that should guide our virtual relations with donors? Consider the counsel of a distinguish professional including:

  • Making virtual donor research and visits part of your advancement strategy
  • Learning to make virtual donor visits — the art and science
  • Knowing the distinctives of virtual conversations — virtual etiquette
  • Choosing to be proactive — staying engaged virtually

Making Your CRM An Effective Communication Platform
Presenter: Blackbaud (SC)
Overview: Every effective fundraising strategy includes a well-crafted communications plan. Strong advancement teams have a powerful CRM at the center of this plan. Do you? Consider how a good CRM should work for you and what it takes to make it happen. Learn from a professional CRM expert and take your communications strategy to the next level, including:

  • Understanding the basics of CRM technology
  • Choosing wisely the CRM that’s right for you
  • Weaving a communications strategy into your CRM data base
  • Training the team to keep data current, accurate, and actionable

Tapping Today’s Unprecedented Wealth Transfer
Presenter: Terry Munday, Retired VP for University Advancement  — Indiana Wesleyan University (IN)
Perhaps the most untapped potential for every institution is the unprecedented transfer of wealth. Regardless of the economic turbulence or pandemic, we are witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. So — are you aware and engaged as a Kingdom steward — helping your older friends make wise decisions about their planned giving to preferred charities? Catch the passion of one of our distinguished veteran fundraisers.

  • Grasping the magnitude of the wealth transfer
  • Understanding what this means for your advancement strategy
  • Assessing & prioritizing your donor pool for planned giving initiatives
  • Taking practical steps — starting now 

Conference Faculty

Brad Layland


The Focus Group

Pat McLaughlin


The Timothy Group

Terry Munday


Retired VP for
University Advancement
Indiana Wesleyan University

Scott Rodin


Rodin Consulting

Mark Smith


Columbia International University

Peter Teague


President Emeritus
Lancaster Bible College
Capital Seminary &
Graduate School

Clark Vandeventer


Head Fundraising Coach
Major Gifts, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lodging included in the registration fee?
YES, for on-site attendees3 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.
Can I request for additional hotel nights?
YES The ABHE group rate is $115/night.  You can qualify for our group rate three days prior and three days post conference.  You can request and pay for your additional hotel nights during the registration process.  All reservations must be made and managed by the ABHE office as it is part of a group reservation.  This includes changes to existing reservations.  Email with any questions or updates to existing reservations.
Is airport shuttle service available?
YES! Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites. To request the complimentary shuttle from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – 407-816-5533
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup
Where is the hotel located in relation to the ABHE Conference Center?
The ABHE Weber Center is located in the Citadel I Building, less than a mile away from the Orlando International Airport and a short walk from the SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Complimentary shuttle service is available from the hotel to the conference center.
Are meals included in the registration fee?
YES for on-site attendees, including 7 meals and all snacks/beverages.
Are scholarships available?
YES for on-site attendees – limited scholarships are available.  Please email your request to with an explanation of your financial need.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
In the event of either virtual or on-site registration cancellation, fees paid in advance are refundable – less a $50.00 service charge per person, provided written notice is received by ABHE no later than three weeks prior to the event. No refunds will be granted after that date. E-mail notification will suffice. Please e-mail to request a refund. There are no refunds provided for no-shows.
How do I CANCEL a person on my registration?
You may log back into your registration form at any time with your confirmation number to make any cancellations, or contact to have your registration cancelled.

Executive Leadership Training Logo

Growing institutions are led by growing leaders. Consider engaging in the Executive Training Program specifically designed for advancement leaders in ABHE. Delivered over two years including over 36 workshop presentations in seven areas of leadership competency and capacity. You can review the certification program details HERE. Enroll in the program today!

Questions regarding the certification program can be directed to David Medders, Executive Vice President.

SpringHill SuitesFor those attending the Enrollment Conference On-Site, the ABHE staff will make a hotel reservation for you. SpringHill Suites by Marriott – Orlando Airport 5828 Hazeltine National Dr, Orlando, FL 32822 (407) 816-5533     SpringHill Suites Orlando Airport is an all-suite hotel offering you first class service, located minutes away from the Orlando International Airport (MCO), and features amenities, including free Internet access and on-site dining. The ABHE staff will make your hotel reservations for you.  Please indicate your room type/preference when you register for the conference. Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites. To request the complimentary shuttle from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the SpringHill Suites:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – 407-816-5533
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup

Conference Staff

David Medders Executive Vice President     Carol Dibble Director of Communications & Events