Virtual Resources Guide


Upcoming webinars


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.


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.


Wednesday, Nov 19, 12 p.m. CST

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.

Past webinars


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.


Friday, Oct 9, 12 p.m. CST

Choose your own adventure: pivoting from traditional Gala to a reimagined Experience

Lyric Opera of Chicago recently conducted a virtual experience unlike any in its history. Lyric pivoted from a beloved 65- year tradition of a post-opening night performance gala to a completely reimagined digital experience tailored to the tastes of each sponsor. The result: net revenue was two times higher than previous years with many thrilled new and previous attendees.

Kate Later

Kate Later is the Senior Director of Board Management and Special Events at Lyric Opera of Chicago, managing the company’s six volunteer boards, fundraising galas, donor travel, and stewardship and cultivation events. Prior to Lyric, Kate worked in similar roles at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab), High Jump, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. She has a BA in linguistics and psychology from Smith College.


Thursday, Oct 8, 12 p.m. CST

What 2020 Might Tell Us about the Future of Advancement

John looks forward to exploring several topics with Bob including Bob’s role in principal gifts over many years, across the arts and in higher education as well as examine the critical role that leadership volunteers have played in the many campaigns that Bob has worked with over the years.  They will also discuss how campaigns have evolved over the years and organized themselves around institutional brands, attracted talent, and built stronger, more sustainable, fundraising structures. Additionally, John and Bob will explore the “arc” of Bob’s career – what higher education has to learn from the arts, and vice versa.  Finally, they will touch on this past year and what the health and economic crisis around COVID taught us about fundraising across America in terms of what has changed, what we have learned and where are we headed.

Bob Lasher

Bob Lasher helps passionate teams realize their full potential and purpose. He believes that committed talent and creative thinking can best advance the goals of ambitious, mission-driven institutions.

As the Senior Vice President for Advancement at Dartmouth, Bob has led Dartmouth’s global alumni relations and development organization since 2013. In this position, he mobilizes Dartmouth’s external-facing teams of staff and volunteers to advance institutional strategy and promote inclusive constituent engagement. Bob reports directly to Dartmouth’s president and is a member of the university’s senior leadership team. He is the chief staff member for “The Call to Lead,” Dartmouth’s $3 billion campaign.

Bob works with emerging and established philanthropists to translate their goals into real solutions that benefit the community, the nation, and the world. As a strategist and program innovator, Bob has held leadership roles at a diverse array of higher education and cultural institutions including SFMOMA, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Geographic Society, and the University of Virginia. Bob holds an undergraduate degree in history from Dartmouth and pursues time in the back country at every opportunity.


Wednesday, Sep 30, 12 p.m. CST

A Conversation with Sasha Gerritson, Chair of DePaul University’s: “Now we Must” Campaign.

Sasha Gerritson

Sasha Gerritson

Martin and Sasha will explore the challenges of being a lead volunteer in a pandemic and why it is more important now than ever before.

Sasha Gerritson, campaign chair for DePaul University’s 2020-21 “Now We Must” campaign for DePaul’s students, serves on the DePaul Board of Trustees, where she is vice chair of the Philanthropy Committee and Co-chair of the Diversity Subcommittee of Trusteeship. Sasha holds degrees in Vocal Performance/French, (BM) Vocal Pedagogy (MA) from Northeastern Illinois University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Vocal Performance, Opera and Romance Languages from DePaul University. In addition to her career in opera singing, stage direction and choral conducting, she has worked in various roles in management for multiple non profit arts organizations including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Children’s Choir, Merit School of Music, L’Opera PIccola, among others. These days she is a part time instructor for the Northeastern Illinois University Department of Music, where she is the opera director and the scholarship coordinator. Additionally, she serves as the Director of Music MInistries for the Park Ridge Community Church.  In addition to her work on the DePaul Board of Trustees, Sasha also serves on the board of Brookfield Zoo (Women’s Board president), and the USA Karate National Board of Directors, and as a member of the World Karate Federation Para Karate Committee. Sasha lives in Glenview with her husband, Eugene Jarvis, video game designer, and their two sons.


Monday, Sep 21, 12 p.m. CST

A Predictive Analytics Journey: How NorthShore University HealthSystem Turned Their Hopes and Dreams into Reality

Please join Senior Director of Annual Giving Nicole Brennan, CFRE and Program Manager of Annual Giving Mic Reich from NorthShore University HealthSystem, along with GG+A’s Vice President of Analytics Paul Mateo, as they share their team’s journey to use predictive analytics.

They will discuss how they took their hope and dream of one day using predictive modeling to find the best grateful patient prospects for the five-hospital system in the Chicago metro region and turned it into a reality. Learn about their preparation and implementation process, and how creating internal buy-in was integral to their success. Learn how the team is starting to apply modeling in their strategy and how they are leveraging predictive modeling even further to engage and retain COVID-19 crisis donors. Share your questions ahead of time for an interactive Q & A session.

Nicole Brennan

Nicole Brennan, CFRE has 15+ years of fundraising and marketing experience in higher education, arts and healthcare sectors. Nicole views the development profession as both an art and a science, which is a perfect match for her skill set. She has an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Dayton and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. As Senior Director of Annual Giving at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Nicole is responsible for the grateful patient program, integrated mass appeals, mid-level donor cultivation along with physician and employee giving. In addition to working in healthcare, she enjoys healthy activities such as urban hiking with her husband and son on the Chicago lakefront as well as sunset yoga.

Mic Reich

As a Nonprofit strategist and self-proclaimed “data nerd,” Mic Reich does more than wrangle spreadsheets and segmentation lists. Bringing a passion for philanthropy fueled by more than ten years of experience as a development professional, Mic has worked with a wide range of organizations. Leveraging her background in market research and voter targeting, Mic uses data as a tool to center programs, appeals, and campaigns around people, therefore empowering organizations to meet their mission and goals. After studying Political Science at American University, Mic is now pursuing her Master’s in Public Ministry, Organizational Change and Racial Justice at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is currently completing research on board engagement as a tool for social change.


Friday, Sep 18, 12 p.m. CST

Falling off the ladder: The way donors see recognition societies

Dan Lowman

Dan Lowman

Giving societies can be difficult to manage even in the best of times. In this webinar, GG+A SurveyLab reviews donors’ awareness and understanding of giving societies at a prominent higher education institution. The findings explore donor awareness levels, understanding of benefits, and the extent to which advancing in levels motivates giving. At a time when many fundraising offices are operating with reduced resources, we’ll discuss strategies to streamline giving societies and augment existing benefits with an impact-oriented donor experience.


Tuesday, Aug 25, 12:00 p.m. CST

Terrence Sawyer

The implications of University reopenings through the lens of an advancement leader

In addition to lead at the advancement program at Loyola Maryland, Terry Sawyer was tapped to oversee the University’s re-opening efforts. We will examine the challenges of that undertaking and its implications for Loyola communications and fundraising efforts.

Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., was named senior vice president on June 1, 2017, having previously served as vice president president for advancement since July 2015.  Previously he served as vice president for administration, starting in 2004, and prior to that served for six years as special assistant to the president for government and community relations and trustee affairs.  Sawyer also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the department of law and social responsibility.  Prior to joining Loyola, Sawyer served as a director at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Sawyer earned a B.A. in government and politics from the University of Maryland College Park and a J.D. from Widener University Commonwealth Law School.


Jennifer Howe

Wednesday, Aug 19, 12:00 p.m. CST

Leading a Growing Advancement Program and Campaign in the time of Covid-19

Hear from an experienced advancement leader how she and her team are navigating ever-changing circumstances to keep a program growing and a campaign going. Learn about how budget cuts have affected staffing and program investment. And discover the planning and execution challenges and opportunities of working with campus leaders and volunteers.
Jennifer Howe joined the University of Dayton (UD) as Vice President, University Advancement in July 2016 after having helped to lead a $1.93B fundraising campaign for Vanderbilt University.


Friday, Aug 7, 12:30 p.m. CST

Kate Azizi

Building An Advancement Career in Academic Medicine

Join GG+A’s Chairman John Glier and Kate Azizi, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the Medical University of South Carolina, as she shares how she built her career in the rapidly evolving field of academic medicine advancement.   Health care has been uniquely challenged by COVID-19,  and leadership is confronted with unexpected obstacles and opportunities. Learn how Katie and her team are pivoting their work to keep pace with the rapid developments and escalating demands on their university and academic medicine.


Wednesday, Aug 5, 12 p.m. CST
Creative Approaches to Fundraising for Cultural Institutions

Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Rehana Abbas, chief philanthropy officer at the Oakland Museum of California, and Abbey Fagin, chief advancement officer at the Folger Shakespeare Library. In this webinar, we will examine how these two leading cultural institutions with small fundraising staffs have responded to recent world events to drive philanthropy and donor engagement.

Rehana Abbas

Rehana Abbas has over 15 years of experience in museums, specifically in fundraising and communications. Rehana is the Director of Philanthropy at the Oakland Museum of California where she leads the Museum’s $85 million comprehensive campaign. Prior to OMCA, Rehana was an integral part of the fundraising team at SFMOMA during their $665M campaign and expansion. Rehana is experienced with leadership gifts, managing change, and organizational leadership. She is a former co-president of the Art Museum Development Association. She holds a BA in Art History from Wake Forest University, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Abbey S. Fagin

Abbey Silberman Fagin has been Chief Advancement Officer of the Folger Shakespeare Library since December 2016 and is currently leading the organization (home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection with comprehensive scholarly, performing arts, exhibition, and education activities) through The Wonder of Will  – the largest fundraising campaign in the Folger’s 88-year history. Launched publicly in April 2019, the campaign has raised $32.5M toward its $50M goal that mostly funds a capital renovation and expansion.


Mark M. Luellen

Monday, Aug 3, 12 p.m. CST
Fundraising Campaigns in the time of COVID

Mark Luellen has served as Vice President for Advancement at the University of Virginia since May 2016. Charged with oversight of the advancement operation, he provides leadership for advancement programs and initiatives across the University and is responsible for planning and directing the University’s comprehensive, $5 billion philanthropic campaign – Honor the Future – launched in 2019. Mr. Luellen works with University, school, and foundation leadership to identify campaign priorities and define fundraising strategies that support the University’s mission of teaching, research, clinical care, and public service. He currently serves as the President’s representative on numerous leadership boards, including various University-Associated Organizations (Architecture, Education, Health, Commerce, and Athletics), and sits on the board of the UVA Foundation.


Thursday, July 23, 8 a.m. CST

Using Donor Insight to Design Regular Giving Products

The best way to motivate donors is to find what appeals to them and craft communications and programs geared to their interests. In this session, GG+A’s Dan Lowman and Adrian Salmon will draw on specific examples and their own experiences in the UK and Europe on how survey research, message and visual testing, and straightforward analysis can help you achieve enhanced regular giving results.


Monday, July 20, 11 a.m. CST

How Carnegie Mellon University is Reimagining its Successful GivingCMUDay

Mary Ann McCollough

Mary Ann McCollough

Carnegie Mellon’s take on Giving Tuesday, #givingCMUday, has been an undisputed hit. Over the last 5 years, it has grown from raising $333,000 from 1,300 donors in 2016, to nearly $1 million from 4,600 donors today.

How have the team at Carnegie Mellon made it such a success, and how are they rethinking their winning formula in the changed circumstances of 2020?

Mary Ann McCollough for the past ten years, Mary Ann has served at Carnegie Mellon University as Director of Annual Giving. She has had primary responsibility for Giving Tuesday and has significantly grown the initiative over the past six years. Prior to CMU, Mary Ann worked at H.J. Heinz, PPG Industries and Education Management Corporation in marketing and sales roles. She also spent several years consulting through Experiam Marketing, Inc.


Friday, July 10, 8 a.m. CDT

CASE ToGather: Arts and Culture

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles

Suzanne Hilser-Wiles

Participants: This CASE-sponsored discussion will be moderated by  Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President at Grenzebach Glier & Associates, with special guests Claire Gylphé, Director of Development at Tate, and Dr Matthew Ross, Senior Philanthropy Manager at the Royal Academy of Music.

Description: This free online conversation will bring together arts and culture communities in Europe and the United States, to discuss the shift in priorities, adjustments in strategies and a way forward for advancement. We will discuss how organisations are reviewing their fundraising and engagement strategies, while balancing different priorities across the organisation. What are some of the lessons learned as the focus has shifted in this pandemic and what are areas we want to build on in the future, while leading our teams in this uncertain time? And looking at the bigger picture of government and philanthropic support, what can we learn from each other across the continents?


Wednesday, July 8, 11 a.m. CDT

Digital Donor Engagement: Chart Your A-to-Z Course

Melinda Church

Melinda Church

Participants: GG+A Senior Vice President and Managing Partner Melinda Church and GG+A Senior Vice President Pete Lasher

Description: You did the impossible. Overnight, you pivoted from donor events, face-to-face meetings and class reunions to Zoom calls, webinars, virtual book clubs and other digital programs. But the world isn’t returning to normal any time soon, and the virtual environment is here to stay. The question is: Now what?


Wednesday, July 1, 1 p.m. CDT

Kathi Dantley Warren

How a Top University with a Lean Advancement Team is Managing During the Pandemic: A Conversation with Kathi Dantley Warren, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Rice University

Participants: GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles and Kathi Dantley Warren, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Rice University

Like many universities, Rice has focused on its commitment to students in its fundraising during the pandemic, but what’s next for this university? We will explore how Rice is building on its strength in science, reaching out to its international community of students and alumni, and tackling goals for next year.


Thursday, July 2, 11 a.m. CDT

A Philanthropic Response to COVID-19 at Mexico’s Largest Private University

Francisco Fernández González

Participants: Francisco Fernández González, Associate VP for Development, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and GG+A Consultant Kyle Gorden.

Description: Mexico’s largest private, nonprofit university system, encompassing 25 campuses with more than 93,000 enrolled students, had a unique response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While institutions around the world pulled back on fundraising, Tec leapt forward, launching their first-ever multi-unit, multi-priority campaign initiative to seek emergency student support and funding for research and its frontline healthcare programs. Associate Vice President for Development Francisco Fernández will share their progress on the initiative and lessons learned.


James J. Husson

Tuesday, June 30, 12 p.m. CDT

Building a Post-COVID Strategy: A Conversation with James Husson of Boston College

Participants: GG+A CEO John Glier and James J. Husson, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, Boston College

Description: John Glier will explore with Jim Husson the experience of Boston College in launching its last Comprehensive Campaign in the midst of the Great Recession, and the lessons his staff took from that experience as they have approached the challenges of the past 12 weeks. The conversation will explore how Boston College has pivoted to this new environment, and how it is planning its fundraising initiatives for the coming year.


Very Small Shop Fundraising in a Pandemic

Albert Novak Jr.

Albert Novak Jr.

Participants: Albert J. Novak, GG+A Consulting Vice President, and Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Excela Health.

Description: When you look in the mirror in the morning, do you see 50% of the professional staff and 33% of the team in a small community hospital shop?  How do you balance the need for gifts of PPE, the need for cash to pay for PPE, managing donations of food for clinicians with keeping a major gift program flowing?  How do you steward your donors?  How do you do this while two-thirds of your staff work from home?

Conducting Mini Campaign Planning Virtually: The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Andrew Allred, GG+A Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, and Kristen Rozansky, Vice Dean, Office for External Relations, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health discuss a recent campaign planning study that was forced to go completely virtual. The discussion will include the pros, cons, lesson learned and implications for how they feel this might change the future of campaign planning studies.



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