Advancement Officers Leadership Development Conference

Advancement Officers
Leadership Development Conference

October 23-24, 2017
$399 per person

  • Location: ABHE Weber Center for Leadership Development, Orlando, FL
  • Full two-day program
  • Includes 3 night’s lodging
  • 7 meals, all snacks and beverages
  • Program costs


Download Program Schedule

Learn from high-capacity veteran advancement leaders who can help you expand your capacity for fundraising results. Network with other leaders who share you same passion and calling. Sharpen your competency for an enduring legacy of growing resources for your institution.

Consider these key presentations on areas that are essential to your success. Engage with these distinguished presenters.

  • Crafting the Blueprint for a Highly Effective Annual Fund – John Savage, President, Savage Consulting
    Overview: An effective annual fund is the bread and butter for a strong advancement strategy. Learn to build and lead a growing and effective annual fund campaign – from setting goals to solid achievement.

    •  Mapping out the essential elements of every effective annual fund campaign
    • Building your blueprint; braking apart the basics and building the plan that’s right for you
    • Choosing faith-based but realistic annual fund goals and knowing how to achieve them
    • Setting the calendar of events, crafting communications, assigning responsibilities, reporting evaluation
  • Developing the Power of Execution – John Savage
    Overview: Enjoy the power of execution on your advancement strategy. Close the gap between lofty plans and results. Understand the secret of under-promise and over-deliver. Move past low performance.

    • Building the linkage between planning and execution
    • Expanding your leadership capacity to execute – turning plans into actions, every day
    • Choosing and leading the right action-oriented advancement team
    • Harnessing the power of the president for big results
  • Caring – Donor Relationship Cultivation – Terry Munday, Retired VP Advancement, Indiana Wesleyan University
    Overview:  Learn some of the secrets of cultivating meaningful and lasting relationships with your donors. Expand your capacity for relationship development. It’s about people, not the money

    • Fundamentals of donor calls and visits
    • Caring about your donors . . . it’s not about the money
    • Building lasting donor relationships
    • Listening to your donors – what to listen for
    • Donor visits follow up
  • Learning the Art & Science of an Effective Donor Ask – Terry Munday
    Don’t expect to receive if you don’t ask. How do highly effective advancement officers make an ask? What is the art of graceful asking, from setting up appointments to follow up communications.

    • Setting up the donor visit for solicitation, being well-prepared
    • Making a major donor appointment – risks and rules
    • Knowing the essentials of every ask
    • Closing an ask, beyond the no
    • Following up with the right communication
  • Seizing the Power of Project-Focused Fundraising – Pat McLaughlin, President, The Timothy Group
    Overview:  Strong advancement teams always have a menu of special projects. Well-balanced with the annual fund, well suited for the range of donor interests and capacity. Learn how to excel and grow your results.

    • Fundraising essentials for capital projects
    • Getting ready for a mini-campaign
    • Interweaving capital projects with the annual fund
    • Scholarship fundraising
    • The risks and rewards of naming gifts
  • Enjoying Advancement Synergy Between the President & CDO – Pat McLaughlin
    Teamwork is not just a clever idea. A strong partnership between the president and CDO has exponential potential. Understand the secrets of this synergy and grow your dream team.

    • Clarifying the roles, building the relationship
    • Donor assignments, cultivation, and creativity
    • Setting goals . . . with faith, prayer and action
    • Leveraging the position and person of the president
    • Advancement engagement with the board
  • Stretching Your Advancement Net – Paul Virts, Advocace
    Overview:  Is your donor base growing or shrinking? Explore donor acquisition, reactivation and cultivation. Consider special markets and stretch your advancement net

    • Acquiring new donors
    • Appealing to Gen Xers, Millennials & businesses
    • Retaining current donors
    • Reactivating lapsed donors
  • Knowing the Grace of Stewardship Ministry – David Medders, ABHE
    Overview: Resource development is a stewardship ministry. Fundraising is a spiritual enterprise. Explore the biblical principles that will grow your faith and renew your spirit for Kingdom stewardship ministry

    • The unshakable foundation of generosity
    • Stewardship ministry principles that will change your life
    • The heart of an effective stewardship leader
    • The compelling Christ-like character required for effective advancement ministry

A warm welcome awaits you in beautiful Orlando for two full days of encouragement and practical ideas that will work. By God’s grace, your hard work, and professional training . . . let’s grow our institutions to the glory of God.

Pat McLaughlin

McLaughlin-Pat-80x80Pat McLaughlin has assisted over 1,600 Christian organizations around the world. His expertise is in the field of major donor development, and capital campaigns. He has authored three books: Major Donor Game Plan, The C Factor, and Haggai & Friends. He still makes over two hundred major donor visits annually and has capital campaigns underway in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

David Medders

Medders-Dave80x80David Medders serves as Executive VP of ABHE. His responsibilities include initiatives for institutional leadership development along with serving as the chief advancement officer. For 19 years, David served as president of Kingswood University in New Brunswick, Canada. This service included significant experience in fundraising and the creation of special programs for student leadership development through which he personally mentored high capacity, spiritually focused student leaders. David worked for The Wesleyan Church in Evangelism and Church Growth following 11 years of local church ministry as pastor, youth pastor and church planter in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Terry Munday

After serving as a high school principal and school superintendent for over a decade, he accepted the position of VP for Advancement at Indiana Wesleyan University where he led the development department for almost 20 years including several successful capital campaigns and over $200 million dollars raised for annual, capital, scholarship, and endowment funds. Now semi-retired, Terry assists many colleges and non-profit organizations with major donor development strategy and campaign planning including current campaigns for over $150 million dollars. A seasoned advancement veteran, Terry will help you build a highly effective advancement strategy for your institution.

John Savage

John B. Savage, EMBA, is a seasoned consultant and coach. For over thirty years, his big ideas have been helping nonprofits develop the organizational health, capacity, and capital they need to make the world a better place. John’s creative solutions have benefited agencies from entrepreneurial startups to organizations celebrating their hundredth anniversaries.  He is most often retained to help clients grow their revenue, build their board, and transition through changes in leadership. He can be found teaching fundraising, leadership, stewardship and board development at various national conferences and events throughout North America, including Christian Leadership Alliance, Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, Association of Gospel Rescue Mission, Association of Biblical Higher Education, Christian Camping and Conference Association,  and the Association of Christian Schools International, among others. John is an avid sailor and outdoorsman often found enjoying new ports and people wherever his travels take him!

Paul Virts

Paul Virts helps ministries grow through his research and strategy insight. His keen eye for growing audiences and revenue for Christian ministries and nonprofits helps their vision become a reality.  Paul has a Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in communication from Wheaton College, Ill., an undergraduate degree in journalism/education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a diploma in Bible and Missions from Prairie Bible College. He most recently joined Advocace from the media group owned by University of Northwestern at St. Paul. While under his care, this network grew in audience, revenue and breadth. Dr. Virts has a long career in helping ministries move forward. He has also held positions in a variety of other Christian ministries and higher education institutes, including Executive VP/COO of Leading the Way Ministries, Senior Consultant for KMA & Associates, and Development Vice President for The Kings College.  He and his wife Viola have been married for 45 years. They have three adult children and eight grandchildren.


SpringHill Suites by Marriott – Orlando Airport
5828 Hazeltine National Drive
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

Stacey Greene
Communications & Events Assistant



Frequently Asked Questions


Is lodging included in the registration fee?
YES, 3 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.
Are meals included in the registration fee?
YES, including 7 meals and all snacks/beverages.
Can my spouse participate in some or all of the conference?
Participation in the conference by spouses requires their own separate registration.  In light of shared housing, there is a $200 discount for spousal registration.  If a spouse does not attend the conference, they may join in the evening meals for $25 per meal paid in advance through your registration.
Are scholarships available?
YES, limited scholarships are available.  Please email your request to with an explanation of your financial need.
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.
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, etc.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
In the event of 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.