Industry News
Virtual Resources Guide


Upcoming Webinars



Wednesday, January 20 @ 8 a.m. CST /2:00 p.m. GMT / 3:00 p.m. CET

Building a Fundraising Programme: A Nordic Example


  • Teppo Heiskanen, Director for Advancement and Corporate Engagement, Aalto University
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Description: Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Teppo Heiskanen, Director for Advancement and Corporate Engagement at Aalto University in Finland. In this webinar, Teppo and Suzanne will discuss Aalto’s approach to the creation of its first fundraising programme through the lens of Finnish culture surrounding philanthropy and higher education, as well as key lessons learned, which can be applied by new and emerging programmes throughout the world. Teppo will also share the story of a recent gift to the University – one of the biggest single gifts to any university in the Nordic region in recent history – and how he fostered collaboration across the University throughout the solicitation process.

Teppo Heiskanen

Teppo Heiskanen is Director for Advancement and Corporate Engagement at Aalto University in Finland. The integrated advancement unit at Aalto includes corporate relations, fundraising, alumni engagement, career design for students, as well as CRM development and analytics. Before joining Aalto in 2016, he was an independent consultant in fundraising and international cooperation for five years. From 2003 to 2011, he worked for the Nordic Council of Ministers in Lithuania and Denmark in governmental relations, as well as organizing international support for the European Humanities University, the Belarusian university-in-exile in Lithuania. He started his career in higher education management at the University of Helsinki in the 1990s in international relations. He also has experience in media and communications, and he has written six travel guidebooks. He has a master’s degree in theology from the University of Helsinki, and he has studied sociology and politics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Time: 30 min
Price: free
Registration: here

Past Webinars

Wednesday, January 13 @ 10 a.m. PST /12:00 p.m. CST / 1:00 p.m. EST



  • Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President
  • Shelby LaMar, Consulting Vice President
  • Jim McKey, Senior Vice President

Description:  What engagement and fundraising lessons have independent schools learned during COVID-19? What are the best strategies and tactics for continuing major gifts fundraising momentum as we emerge from the pandemic? How should school advancement teams involve Heads and trustees differently now? Join GG+A independent school experts Senior Vice President Elizabeth Kolb Farr, President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, Consulting Vice President Shelby LaMar, and Senior Vice President Jim McKey, for in an in-depth webinar dedicated to the challenges schools have grappled with and the opportunities schools have seized during the pandemic. In addition to a review of recent survey results collected from schools across the nation and globe, Liz, Suzanne, Shelby, and Jim will share their expertise, firsthand accounts, and practical advice to help you emerge from the pandemic with a stronger and more high-performing advancement program.

On behalf of GG+A, each panelist counsels independent school clients, and they have more than 50 years of combined experience as independent school advancement professionals. With clients currently engaged in campaigns ranging in size from $7 million to $150+ million, from California to the Carolinas, the GG+A Independent School Practice Area has its collective finger on the pulse of school fundraising.

Time: 30 min
Price: Free
Registration: Closed


Tuesday, Dec 8, 12:30 p.m. GMT

University of St Andrews Imagining the Future Post-COVID

University of St Andrews Principal, Prof Sally Mapstone, and Robert Fleming, Director of Development, join Pete Lasher, GG+A Senior Vice President and Managing Director, to discuss how the institution has pivoted from addressing the immediate urgency of the pandemic to a longer-term vision for the University. In doing so, we will explore how they have engaged their top prospective donors in discussion of the role philanthropy can play in realising the institutional vision.

Robert Fleming

Robert has been Director of Development at the University of St Andrews since 2012, with responsibility for worldwide alumni and philanthropy programmes. In June 2018 the University completed the 600th Anniversary Campaign to raise £100m. Previously, he held similar positions at the University of Edinburgh and Trinity College of Music, was a consulting Vice President for GG+A, and served three years on the CASE Commission for Philanthropy.




Professor Sally Mapstone

Professor Sally Mapstone FRSE is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, the second woman in succession to hold this role there. She directs the University’s Strategy and is responsible for the University’s day-to-day running. She is Vice-Convener for Universities Scotland and also leads on its widening access work. She is a board member of Universities UK, a trustee of UCAS, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and of the Europaeum, and a member of the advisory board of the Higher Education Policy Institute. She is chair of the international advisory board for the University of Helsinki. In 2017 she received the Foreign Policy Association of America medal for services to higher education. In 2019 she was elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. As an academic Sally is a medievalist, with expertise in the area of medieval and Renaissance Scottish literature. She is President of the Saltire Society, which champions Scottish culture.

The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first university, founded in 1413, and located on the East Coast of Scotland. Today, it is a vibrant academic town with a distinctively cosmopolitan feel where students and university staff account for more than half of the local population.

The University of St Andrews is a diverse and international community of almost 12,000 students and staff, typically of over 140 nationalities. Under the leadership of current Principal Professor Sally Mapstone, the University’s Strategy (2018-23) is to broaden its global influence, become more diverse, and consolidate its long-held position amongst the top five universities in the UK. St Andrews is consistently held to be one of the United Kingdom’s top universities in university league tables compiled by The Times and The Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.

Time: 30 min
Price: Free
Registration: Closed


Monday, Dec 7, 11 a.m. CST

Discovery Work – A Trek into the Unknown

While many of us believe that a fundraiser’s most difficult task is asking for a gift, GG+A has learned through decades of experience that discovery work is, in fact, a fundraiser’s greatest source of anxiety. Join GG+A’s expert panel, President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, Senior Vice President Pete Lasher, and Vice President Adrian Salmon, in an in-depth webinar dedicated to the prospect discovery process. Suzanne, Pete, and Adrian will share their expertise, perspectives, and practical advice to help you approach the discovery process differently – especially as this past year has prompted advancement professionals to reimagine the near- and long-term futures of their fundraising programs.

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, partners with GG+A clients around the globe to help them elevate their fundraising by offering more than 25 years of experience in advancement, program building, and campaign planning and implementation. Throughout her career, she has helped design, rebuild, and reimagine programs by applying her experience with a wide range of advancement programs and institutions. She has worked closely with her clients through their individual challenges and opportunities, including ambitious campaigns, changes in leadership, crises, and restructuring. She has focused her work in the higher education, healthcare, independent schools, and artistic and cultural sectors.

Suzanne joined GG+A in 2011 and was appointed to the firm’s executive committee in 2013. In 2016, she became the firm’s first woman president in its nearly 60-year history. In addition to her other responsibilities, she leads the firm’s Europe and U.K. practice.

Her extensive previous professional experience includes fundraising, communications, and marketing development, specifically admissions marketing, alumni relations, and press office management. She has developed and implemented individual major giving programs and designed training and support programs to engage executives, deans, and trustees in fundraising.

Pete Lasher

Pete Lasher, Senior Vice President, brings to the firm more than 25 years of successful fundraising experience, including leadership of five separate billion-dollar capital campaigns at both private and public institutions in the US. As a consultant, he currently advises universities in North America and the UK that are in or have successfully completed campaigns ranging from $300 million to $2.5 billion.

Throughout his career, Pete has specialized in driving fundraising performance by utilizing philanthropic analytics and performance metrics to achieve campaign goals. He has particular expertise in board and volunteer management, campaign operations, major and principal gift program management, performance analytics, and fundraising training of development staff and academic and volunteer leadership.

Pete most recently served as the Associate Vice President for University Development for Michigan State University’s Advancement team, where he directed campaign operations and managed a fundraising staff. Previously, Pete was Associate Vice President for University Development at Georgetown University and served as Associate Senior Vice President of Development at the University of Southern California.

Adrian Salmon

Adrian Salmon

Adrian Salmon, Vice President, GG+A Europe, brings 20 years of direct-marketing fundraising experience in the higher education, arts and culture, and wider nonprofit spheres.

His particular expertise includes direct mail fundraising, annual giving program management, and management of contributions from integrated mail and online appeals.Before joining GG+A in 2015, Adrian was Footsteps Fund Manager at the University of Leeds, where he dramatically increased the University’s number of donors, annual giving income, and contributions from integrated mail and online appeals.

Adrian also implemented an automated propensity scoring system, the first to be used by a university in the United Kingdom, and designed and implemented the University’s first dedicated 20-seat fundraising call center. Prior to joining the University of Leeds, Adrian served for more than nine years with The Phone Room Ltd. as Director of Client Services and as Head of TPR Education. He headed numerous awardwinning telephone campaigns for nonprofit clients, including the National Galleries of Scotland, Symphony Hall Birmingham, and the Southbank Centre. He also established successful telephone fundraising campaigns for University of Salford and Birkbeck, University of London.


Thursday, Nov 19, 12 p.m. CST

All Aboard the Qualification Express: Using Surveys and Other Tools to Find Prospects

Dan Lowman

Dan Lowman

Identifying and qualifying new prospects can be a key challenge area for fundraising institutions, and one that can feel even more difficult in this time of virtual connection. In this webinar, GG+A SurveyLab reviews their recent partnership with three different institutions to help them better understand, qualify, and prioritize their prospect pools. From better understanding an unfamiliar prospect base, to helping prioritize outreach in service of an upcoming campaign, a prospect survey offers a roadmap in these uncertain times and provides an opportunity for constituents to “raise their hands” for further engagement.


Monday, Nov 9, 12 p.m. CST

Music Moves Us – Rallying Support During COVID for the Sarasota Orchestra – Webinar

Years of focus on the patron experience has allowed the Sarasota Orchestra to achieve record fundraising results during the COVID-19 pandemic. President and CEO Joe McKenna will discuss how the Sarasota Orchestra staff builds community with patrons, and how that community has supported their orchestra during difficult days.

Joe Mckenna

An established leader and visionary non-profit administrator, Joseph McKenna, President and CEO, Sarasota Orchestra has lead organizations in the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast. During his tenure at the Orchestra, he has guided the organization through a period of unprecedented growth and change. During this period, there has been an artistic transformation of the Orchestra, an evolution of the organization’s governance structure, and an increase in the Orchestra’s endowment corpus by more than $10 million. Other successes include the Youth Orchestra’s debut at Carnegie Hall, the re-launch of the Orchestra’s brand and name change in 2008 and a reimagined development platform. In addition to successfully negotiating six labor contracts with the American Federation of Musicians, McKenna is recognized for his leadership in the governance field and his experience in public private partnerships. In 2013, he was a featured presenter at the Board Source National Conference in Los Angeles. Prior to coming to Sarasota, McKenna was Managing Director of the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, where he supervised the final stages of construction and successfully opened greater Milwaukee’s newest multi-million dollar performing arts venue. Prior to heading up the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center, McKenna served as Executive Director of the Great Woods Educational Forum in Mansfield, Massachusetts, while concurrently serving as a member of the music faculty at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts from 1990 to 1998. While in the Boston area, McKenna served as a volunteer music instructor for the SPES Program, an inner city youth program serving the Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston.


Thursday, Nov 5, 12 p.m. CST

The Advancement Leader’s Role in Interdisciplinary Initiatives

Within higher education, the solutions to society’s greatest challenges are coming from research teams collaborating across academic disciplines. Advancement leaders have an increasingly important role to play in securing resources for these large-scale interdisciplinary initiatives typically requiring philanthropy in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Join us to learn more about the essential skills which advancement leaders need in fostering these concepts, what the keys are to institutional success at this level of philanthropy, and how rethinking the role of the donor as an engaged partner is critical.

David Palmer

Since 2007, David Palmer has served as Vice President, Advancement for the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest research-intensive university.  The University of Toronto is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world.  In 2011, under David’s leadership, the University of Toronto launched it Boundless campaign, concluding in 2018 as the largest campaign in Canadian history with $2.64 billion raised.  In recent years, David and his colleagues at U of T have become exemplars across North America in securing several interdisciplinary, transformational gifts of $100 million or more.  David is a Trustee of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and is internationally recognized as a thought leader in advancement, particularly in the role that advancement leaders can play in securing resources for large-scale interdisciplinary initiatives.


Wednesday, Oct 29, 12 p.m. CST

Virtually Interactive Homecoming From Home

Join us to discuss Kutztown University’s 2020 Homecoming held in the KU Virtual World – hear how the University arranged week long virtual celebration culminating with a one-of-a-kind homecoming experience for their alumni, and their self-created avatars. See how guests experienced the weekend in virtual lecture halls, virtual affinity rooms, and even on the virtual beach with live music, dancing and more.

Mary Neuenschwander

Mary Neuenschwander became Director of Alumni Relations at Kutztown University in February 2018. She has over eight years of experience in alumni relations ranging from overseeing a student ambassador organization to restructuring an alumni board. Prior to coming to Kutztown University, Mary was an elementary and middle school teacher in Ohio and Illinois.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Kent State University and Masters from New York University, with a residency at Oxford University.


Leah Cassellia

Leah Cassellia is a student affairs professional with experience working in both public and private institutions.  She is a fierce advocate for student needs with experience in residence life, new student orientation, student activities, student union operations, and campus food pantry services.  Leah’s personal interests include listening to podcasts, sewing, working on Sudoku puzzles, and spending time with her family.


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