Upcoming Virtual Events

Click here for links to all of GG+A’s previous webinars.


Effective Partnerships Across Fundraising and Constituent Engagement

When: Thursday, June 9, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT



Key learnings:

  • Effective collaboration between advancement and alumni relations
  • Lessons learned as a first-time foundation president


  • J Thomas Forbes, President & Chief Executive Officer, Indiana University Foundation
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

J Thomas Forbes was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Indiana University Foundation in December of 2021 after a very successful tenure as CEO of the Indiana University Alumni Association. J T. will share his perspective on effective collaboration between development and alumni relations as well as lessons learned as a first-time foundation president. 

J Thomas Forbes, BA’90, MPA’96, was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Indiana University Foundation on January 1, 2022. He served as interim president and chief executive officer from January 1 to December 31, 2021. He was also the 11th chief executive officer of the Indiana University Alumni Association from June 2010 through December 2021. 

J T. returned to IU in 2010 after a stint in the private sector, where he served as director of state government relations for Cummins Inc. and as a principal private sector staff leader for the United States–Brazil CEO Forum. 

An experienced higher education leader, J T. has served in communications, marketing, public affairs, and government relations roles at Indiana University and Michigan State University and provided consulting on these issues for other major public research and land grant colleges. His service to the advancement field includes work as a consulting vice president for Grenzebach Glier and Associates and active service with the Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE) and Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). A CASE Laureate, he currently serves as a CASE Trustee and Commission Chair. 

While attending Indiana University, J T. was president of the student body on the Bloomington campus, founded the All University Student Assembly to unify students from all IU campuses, and served as a university trustee. One of the first three “young people” to work for IU Center on Philanthropy Executive Director Robert Payton, J T. holds a B.A. in Political Science from IU Bloomington and a Master of Public Affairs with concentration in Nonprofit Management from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. 

A life member of the IU Alumni Association, J T. is married to Martha Shedd and has three adult children. 



Closing out; Setting Up:
What Independent School Fundraisers Need To Do Now

When: Thursday, June 16, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT



Key Learnings:

  • Utilizing key metrics and data to inform decision making
  • Ensuring you’re successfully set up to meet next year’s goals
  • External factors that may impact fundraising practices and outcomes in Schools


  • Mary K. Carrasco, Senior Vice President
  • Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President
  • Jim McKey, Senior Vice President
  • Christen Wilson, Vice President

Are you on track to achieve this fiscal year’s goals and what are you doing now to ensure you meet next year’s goals? How are you using and analyzing data from this year to inform behavior next year? What external factors may affect fundraising practices and outcomes in schools? Join GG+A independent school experts Mary Carrasco, Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Jim McKey, and Christen Wilson for a webinar dedicated to the challenges and opportunities independent schools face. Mary, Liz, Jim, and Christen will share their expertise, firsthand accounts from work with clients, and practical advice to help you finish a successful FY22 and prepare for a record breaking FY23.

Mary K. Carrasco

Mary K. Carrasco, Senior Vice President, brings more than four decades of experience to GG+A and is a key member of the firm’s Independent Schools Practice Area. A respected leader in the independent school advancement community, Mary co-founded the CASE Independent School Leadership Group and chaired the 2012 CASE-NAIS Conference as well as the 2016-2020 CASE Independent School Fundraising Awards Committees.

Mary is a former trustee of her alma mater, Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, DE, and has served on several other boards, including the Maret School and CASE. In 2019, CASE recognized Mary with the Robert Bell Crow Memorial Award, which honors an independent school professional for his or her dedication to an institution, the advancement profession, and CASE.

Elizabeth Kolb Farr

Elizabeth Kolb Farr

Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President and Independent Schools Practice Leader, joined GG+A in 2017 and, in 2021, was named Practice Area Leader of the firm’s Independent Schools Practice Area. Liz serves the firm’s independent school and higher education clients, supporting them in identifying and seizing opportunities for fundraising growth.

She holds particular expertise in instituting and orchestrating high-performance major gift programs, preparing for and executing capital campaigns, sustaining and accelerating annual giving, coaching frontline fundraisers, and training boards in fundraising and campaign best practices. Liz’s article “The Importance of Fundraising Strategy” was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Independent School, the magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). She was also a featured contributor to the NAIS book, “The Trustee’s Role in Fundraising.”

Jim McKey

Jim McKey, Senior Vice President, brings more than 30 years of experience in fundraising and administration for independent schools and higher education institutions. Jim has extensive experience planning and managing fundraising campaigns, evaluating current programs, defining successful donor strategies, working with governing boards, and identifying opportunities and solutions for growth.

Jim joined GG+A in 2015 and began serving a diverse set of clients, mostly in independent schools and higher education. His work is primarily focused on helping organizations at all stages of campaigns—from early planning through execution and on to celebration and stewardship. His clients benefit from his expertise and insights into strategies for top donors and key volunteers.

Christen Wilson

Christen Wilson, Vice President, serves in GG+A’s Independent Schools and Higher Education practice areas. She has strengthened the fundraising programs of educational institutions of all types and sizes for nearly 20 years. Throughout her career, Christen has helped institutions attract millions of dollars of support for capital building projects, new and existing program and faculty endowments, scholarship campaigns, and annual operating support.

Christen guides her partner institutions to success by working to refine their vision for support, identify high-probability donors, and take a disciplined approach to engage and solicit each individual donor. She utilizes data and analytics to ensure that the philanthropic capacity and potential of each institution is fully understood and shares recommendations and realistic projections with Presidents, Heads of School, and Boards to help set expectations for fundraising campaigns.


Past Virtual Events

Paving the Way for Planned Giving

When: Wednesday, May 4, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT

Key Learnings:

  • How institutions can keep momentum going for planned giving
  • Bringing comfort and ease to conversations with donors
  • Using planned giving to advance DEI efforts


  • Michael Degenhart, Assistant Vice President, Gift Planning, Penn State
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles will talk with Michael Degenhart, Assistant Vice President, Gift Planning at Penn State, about planned giving – what institutions can do to keep momentum going, bring comfort and ease to conversations with donors, and how planned giving can advance your organization’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Whether you’ve been cultivating planned gifts for years or are just getting started, you just might hear the piece of advice you need to move your program forward.

Michael DegenhartMichael J. Degenhart brings more than 20 years of professional experience in development and fundraising with higher education institutions.

In addition to serving as the Vice President for Gift Planning at GG+A, Michael is currently the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Gift Planning at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), where he is responsible for the development and implementation of university-wide planned giving efforts for Penn State’s 24 campuses. Widely considered a leader in the field of higher education gift planning and principal gift work, Michael has the unique ability to articulate very technical gift planning techniques in simple, understandable terms for donors. At Penn State, Michael and his office are tasked with an overall combined gift planning goal of $100 million annually. He is a key member of the senior management team that directed Penn State’s $2 billion For the Future campaign that concluded in 2016 and the current $2.1 billion A Greater Penn State campaign.

Aligning Fundraising Philanthropic Priorities with Strategic Vision: The Partnership Between American University’s President and Vice President

When: Tuesday, April 19, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT

Key Learnings:

  • Bringing a University’s vision to life
  • Building a case for philanthropic support in the University’s financial model


  • Sylvia M. Burwell, President, American University
  • Courtney Surls, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, American University
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Sylvia M. Burwell, President of American University and Courtney Surls, the University’s Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, will speak with Suzanne Hilser-Wiles about developing the funding priorities to bring a University’s vision to life. President Burwell, who has held two US Cabinet positions as well as senior leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, will share her perspective as a first-time university President on building the case for philanthropic support in the University’s financial model.

Sylvia M. Burwell

Sylvia M. Burwell is the 15th president of American University in Washington, D.C., and the first woman to serve in the role.

Under her leadership, AU became the first carbon neutral university in the United States and established the first anti-racist research and policy center in the nation. During her tenure, AU entered the nation’s most innovative universities list and accelerated its standing as a place where scholars and students come to impact the world.

President Burwell previously served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she led a department which included the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and all of Medicare.

Prior to her service in the Obama Administration, President Burwell was the president of the Walmart Foundation, where she focused on its global women’s economic empowerment initiatives. Before joining the Walmart Foundation, she was president and creator of the Global Development Program and the first Chief Operating Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Under her leadership, she created the foundation’s advocacy work and during her tenure, the foundation’s grantmaking grew by 40 percent to $1.5 billion per year.

Courtney Surls

Courtney Surls, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations, leads American University’s efforts to support strategic priorities, attract new sources of funding, and deepen lifelong relationships between AU and its more than 135,000 alumni.

Prior to this role, she was responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for all fundraising, membership, and stewardship activities at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC. She additionally served as vice president for development at the University of Southern California, where she played a leadership role in developing the fundraising programs and infrastructure to support the university’s $6 billion capital campaign.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Loyola Marymount University.


The Maestros of Major Gifts: A discussion with advancement services leaders


When: Tuesday, April 12, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT, 12:00 p.m. CDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Duration: 30 min

Key Learnings:

  • Notable differences between advancement services and database management
  • Major gift officer metrics
  • Best systems for supporting strong moves management work


  • Colleen Hanson, Director of Advancement Services, The Bryn Mawr School
  • Alexa Leach, Advancement Services Manager, The Kinkaid School
  • Christie Moag, Director of Advancement Services, The St. Paul’s Schools (MD)
  • Hosted by: Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President and Practice Area Leader, GG+A

Great gift officers are essential to any institution’s work with top donors, but the most successful fundraising programs have strong advancement services at the core of their major gifts programs. In this panel discussion with three advancement services directors at independent schools, we will explore the keys to successful advancement services work – and therefore successful fundraising.

Colleen Hanson

Colleen Hanson is the Director of Advancement Services at The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, MD, which she has served for more than 17 years. In her current role, which she has held since October 2020, she oversees prospect development, database management, and processing and recording of all contributions. In addition, she provides stewardship and financial reporting support and provides oversight on Advancement operations. Colleen also serves as a Staff Liaison to the schoolwide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Colleen holds a BS from Morgan State University.

Alexa Leach

Alexa Leach is the Advancement Services Manager at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. A member of the advancement team for the past six years, Alexa has been leading advancement services at the School since May 2020. Kinkaid is currently in the leadership gifts phase of a campaign, and Alexa works closely with frontline fundraisers, the Head of School, and campaign volunteers to prepare for and orchestrate cultivation and solicitation activities. Alexa is a Kinkaid alumna and earned her BBA in marketing from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.


Christie Moag

Christie Moag is the Director of Advancement Services at The St. Paul’s Schools in Brooklandville, MD, where she has served since 2018. Christie devises and oversees moves management and prospect research to prepare the President, Heads of School, and Advancement colleagues for solicitation and stewardship visits while overseeing database and reporting operations, including the merging of two separate databases. Christie holds a BS from the University of Arizona.



Boldly building a high performing advancement organization: How the University at Buffalo manages talent during its $1 billion Boldly Buffalo campaign


When: Tuesday, April 5, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 p.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Duration: 30 min

Key Learnings:

  • Key steps that led to the success of the Boldly Buffalo campaign
  • The implications of becoming a flagship institution
  • Philosophy for managing talent


  • Rodney M. Grabowski, Vice President, Division of University Advancement, University at Buffalo
  • Pete Lasher, Senior Vice President and Practice Area Leader, GG+A

Rodney Grabowski

Rodney M. Grabowski, Vice President of the Division of University Advancement at the University at Buffalo, will speak with GG+A Senior Vice President Pete Lasher about the success of the Boldly Buffalo campaign, the implications of becoming a flagship institution, and his philosophy for managing talent.

Rodney Grabowski, MBA, CFRE University at Buffalo Vice President for University Advancement has been serving in this role since 2017 and is a skilled executive offering more than 30 years of fundraising, leadership and management experience. Since joining UB he is responsible for assessing, organizing and energizing the internal and external constituencies with the launch of the $650 Million Boldly Buffalo Campaign in April 2018.

Prior to UB, Rod was the president of the University of Cincinnati Foundation and was responsible for concluding the Proudly Cincinnati Campaign surpassing its goal and reaching $1.09 Billion, reorganized the senior leadership team including the recruitment of seven vice presidents, surpassed fundraising goals each year, developed a new funding model for the organization, completed a review and alignment of Foundation governance, improved relations with internal and external stakeholders, integrated the UC Health Foundation and UC Alumni Association, and was in the quiet phase for launch of the next comprehensive campaign ($1.5 Billion goal) and oversaw an implementation to Blackbaud’s CRM, Internet Solutions and Financial Edge Systems.

Before UC, Rod was at the University of South Florida (USF) where he served as senior associate vice president for university advancement and campaign director. Among his accomplishments, Rod was responsible for the branding and successful completion of the USF Unstoppable Campaign ($600 million goal), the largest fundraising and outreach effort in the University’s history, as well as an annual giving program in excess of $85 million.

Prior to his tenure at USF, Rod held key development positions at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville University and Alfred University in New York. In addition to his more than 28 years of fundraising leadership and management experience, Rod brings a strong understanding of higher education’s unique development, alumni engagement, communications and campaign management landscape.

Rod holds a Master of Business Administration in International Business from the University of North Florida and Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and holds memberships from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).


Lifelong Alumnae Leadership: A Conversation with Laura Wood Cantopher


When: Friday, March 18, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 12:00 p.m. EDT

Key Learnings:

  • The keys to a successful partnership with Alumnae Associations, Presidents, and Chairs of the Board
  • How to define success in volunteer leadership
  • Advice for young women in advancement as part of Women’s History Month


  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A
  • Laura Wood Cantopher, President of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association

Laura Wood Cantopher, President of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, will speak with GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles about her lifelong relationship with Wellesley College, keys to successful partnerships with leaders in higher education, and defining success in volunteer leadership. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Laura will also share her favorite advice for young women.

Laura Wood Cantopher graduated from Wellesley College in 1984 and has been an avid volunteer ever since. She also earned an MBA at Harvard. Laura is currently in her first year of a three-year term as president of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, having served for a year as president-elect before beginning her term as president.

Laura retired in 2019 after careers in educational publishing, marketing, project management, higher education administration, and philanthropic consulting. In 2003, her career in publishing shifted to one focused on alumni relations and development, when she moved to the UK and decided to engage professionally in the area that had always been a focus of her volunteer work. She served as interim Executive Director of the WCAA, traveling back and forth across the Atlantic from the UK and working remotely long before it was commonplace due to COVID. Laura also held positions in the UK as Interim Head of Alumni Relations & Development at Royal Holloway, University of London, and as Head of Campaign at King’s College London when they launched their campaign for £500 million, which eventually exceeded £650 million, and was the largest UK campaign outside of Oxbridge at the time.

Laura was VP and Consulting VP at GG+A, where her clients included Durham University, University of Southampton, University of Cambridge, and Hood College. She also worked for several years to onboard new consultants at the firm and serve as coach and mentor during their adjustments to the world of consulting.

In addition to her current Wellesley role, Laura is also on the boards of the Charleston Library Society where she serves as chair of the Development Committee, and the Gibbes Museum of Art, where she is co-chair of the Education & Programs Committee.


Trends to Watch in Independent Schools: A Conversation With NAIS’ Davis Taske and Karla Taylor

When: Tuesday, January 11, @ 10:00 a.m. PST, 12:00 p.m. CST, 1:00 p.m. EST

Key Learnings:

  • Recent trends in independent school donors’ giving that will influence future fundraising
  • Strategies from pandemic fundraising that are here to stay


  • Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President and Independent Schools Practice Area Leader, GG+A
  • Davis Taske, Research Associate, NAIS
  • Karla Taylor, Trendbook Co-Editor, NAIS

Join GG+A for a conversation with Davis Taske and Karla Taylor, who co-authored the Philanthropy Outlook chapter in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) 2021-2022 Trendbook, released in September. As you prepare for the year ahead, hear from Davis and Karla about the ways in which your fundraising approach with independent school donors can and should shift to ensure success. Key findings from NAIS’ most recent Data and Analysis for School Leadership (DASL) will also be shared by our speakers.

Since joining NAIS in 2019, Davis Taske has spearheaded dozens of targeted research projects including Snapshot Surveys and national polls on timely independent school topics, including philanthropy. Additionally, Davis has conducted NAIS research about donors’ decision to give to independent schools and presented this research at national conferences. Davis graduated from American University with a degree in sociology. His background includes working in the traditional public and charter school sectors as well as in private market research firms.

Karla Taylor is a journalist by training, but she has found fundraising fascinating since she first delved into the topic as editor-in-chief of CASE Currents magazine. At CASE she spent 15 years editing stories with titles ranging from “Advice to the Fundlorn”—about how to persuade trustees to help with solicitation—to “The Dirt on Donors”—about what not to write in fundraising files. For the past several years Karla has edited and written books for NAIS, including The Handbook of Philanthropy, Psyching Up for the Phonathon, and A Trustee’s Guide to Fundraising. Since 2016 she has also served as co-editor of the best-selling NAIS Trendbook.


Building a New Fundraising Program – Lessons Learned at Esade

When: Thursday, December 16, @ 8:00 a.m. CT, 3:00 p.m. CET
Duration: 30 min

Key learnings:

  • Key steps to building relationships and asking prospects for support.
  • Lessons learned from starting a fundraising program at the University.
  • How to establish fundraising goals.


  • Olaya Garcia-Lancha, Director, Institutional Development & Engagement, Esade
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Located in Barcelona, Esade is a world-renowned global institution with a Business School and Law School. Esade was founded in 1958, but it was not until recently that the School’s leadership took steps to build a new fundraising program. Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Olaya Garcia-Lancha, Director, Institutional Development & Engagement at Esade, to learn how Esade has built its fundraising program, the challenges it has faced, and the lessons it has learned along the way.

Olaya Garcia-Lancha is currently director of Institutional Development and Engagement at Esade Business & Law School, director of the Esade-CERN Executive Management Programme and head of Global Strategic Initiatives at Esade, as well as a member of the Esade Executive Committee.

She has been passionate about education management for more than 15 years. Prior to her current roles, she was director of the Esade Full-Time MBA programme from 2004 to 2012 and director of the Esade Master of Science in Management from 2012 to 2019.

In both positions, she implemented successful and lasting changes thanks to her innovative spirit. These changes included the restructuring of the MBA and the launch of two new MSc programmes: the MSc in Business Analytics and the MSc in Global Strategic Management, in partnership with the University of Virginia in the United States and Sun Yat-sen University in China, for which she drew on her proven track record in building strong partnerships around the world.

Olaya holds undergraduate degrees in chemistry (United States) and business administration (Spain) and an MBA from Esade Business School.

Before joining Esade, she worked in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the United States, where she was a chemist at IAL Laboratories. After completing her full-time MBA at Esade Business School in 2001, she was hired by Bayer to manage European strategic marketing of the company’s aspirin from Germany.

Olaya is a dedicated research professional specialising in strategic alliances, institutional development and corporate representation. She brings her expertise to a new area of development at Esade: science-based programmes grounded in general physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics, complex systems and particle physics.

She is a Columbia University-certified executive coach (CCP) and occasionally lectures on complexity science and experimentation in different programmes.


Building, and Rebuilding, a Museum Development Program: Lessons from Abroad

When: Tuesday, October 26, @ 12:00 p.m. CDT
Duration: 30 min

Key Learnings:

  • Necessary steps to grow a successful advancement program
  • How to create a culture of philanthropy among your staff, board, and supporters
  • Lessons to consider in post-pandemic planning


  • Claire Gylphé, Director of Development, Tate
  • Chris Begley, Senior Vice President, GG+A

What does it take to build a world-class fundraising program at a high-profile international cultural institution? Claire Gylphé, Director of Development at Tate since June 2019, will share lessons learned, her perspective on fundraising in the UK versus the US, and how Tate is rethinking its fundraising after the pandemic year.

Claire Gylphé

Claire Gylphé, Director of Development at Tate, has spent 20 years in the fundraising environment working in the cultural sector in France, US and UK. Claire, originally from Paris graduated from l’Ecole du Louvre et la Sorbonne, gained her initial experience au Musée National des arts asiatiques – Guimet. Before her present role, Claire was Head of Philanthropy at the Natural History Museum London, where she established the philanthropy fundraising team. Prior to the NHM, Claire spent eight years as the first appointed Head of Collection Development at Tate, collaborating with the Directors of the Collection to create a new fundraising strategy which successfully extended Tate’s Collection and its global international network of supporters while working on the capital campaign for Tate Modern project 2016. Claire began her career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Register: Closed


Friday, October 22, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Campaign Readiness: Is your school prepared to envision, plan, test, and orchestrate a campaign?

Designed for trustees, heads of school, advancement leaders, and other administrators such as the CFO—who are encouraged to attend as a team—this seminar will review the essential steps to planning and orchestrating a successful campaign. Issues addressed will include: identifying and approving campaign fundraising priorities; setting initial campaign goals; developing a case for support; evaluating and strengthening internal campaign readiness; assessing the prospective donor pool; socializing campaign responsibilities with school and Board leaders; and testing the feasibility of a campaign.

In this 120-minute seminar exclusively for independent schools, two members of GG+A’s Independent Schools Practice Area will discuss the key steps to ensuring your school’s campaign success. Attendees will gain a deep and shared understanding of what it takes to prepare for, and execute, a campaign with appropriate aspirations and an achievable timeline.

Time: 120 min
Price: $299

Tuesday, September 28, @ 11:30 a.m. PDT / 1:30 p.m. CDT / 2:30 p.m. EDT

Volunteers: Engaging your most valued partners
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President
  • Rod Kirsch, Senior Vice President
  • Angela Greenwald, Vice President

Volunteers are some of our most trusted advisors, most valued ambassadors, and most important donors. And because they care deeply for our institutions, they are critical to how well we weather challenges such as the pandemic. Join GG+A consultants for an important discussion that explores the vital role that volunteers play within our institutions. The conversation is based on GG+A’s recently released Playbook “Volunteers: Engaging your most valued partners,” which is a collection of thought leadership articles offering practical ideas and tactics to effectively leverage volunteers. The panelists are featured in the Playbook and they will discuss a range of volunteer-related topics, including strategies to turn around an underperforming board and methods to equip boards to thrive well into the future.


Wednesday, September 8, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Fundraising at a Public Land Grant University

GG+A’s webinar series continues its ongoing conversations with leaders in the advancement world. Greg Willems, President of the Kansas State University Foundation, will join Pete Lasher to discuss a number of topics including building high performing fundraising programs, anticipating leadership transition, and the role of an affiliated foundation in a collegiate environment.

In his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas State University Foundation, Greg Willems oversees 140 staff, over $1.2 billion in assets, and an annual budget of $23.5 million. A national thought leader on College and University Foundations and Fundraising, Greg led the KSU Foundation’s successful completion of a record setting $1.6 billion campaign for Kansas State in June of 2020. He additionally serves on the Kansas Department of Commerce Roadmap for Kansas and the Economic Development Task Force for Manhattan and the region.


Tuesday – Thursday, August 10 – 12

Arts & Culture Major Gifts Bootcamp

Building or growing a robust major gifts program will be critical for cultural organizations as they emerge out of the pandemic. GG+A’s Arts & Culture Major Gifts Bootcamp will share best practices and actionable tools to help you be successful in this work. This class is tailored to advancement professionals in cultural organizations who serve in frontline fundraising roles or support those who do.

You will hear industry experts share best practices, powerful insights, and memorable examples of their experience raising major gifts and providing counsel to those who do. Through lessons, case studies, and guided discussions, participants will gain a deep understanding of major gifts best practices and learn how to deploy them.


Monday, August 9, @ 9:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. CDT / 12:00 p.m. EDT

Driving Change: Evolutionary, Revolutionary, and Everything in Between
  • Kristin “Kris” Davitt, Senior Vice Chancellor for Philanthropic & Alumni Engagement, University of Pittsburgh, Chief Development Officer, UPMC
  • Pete Lasher, Senior Vice President, GG+A

GG+A’s webinar series continues its ongoing conversations with leaders in the advancement world. Kris Davitt, Senior Vice Chancellor for Philanthropic and Alumni Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh and Chief Development Officer for UPMC, will join Pete Lasher to discuss a number of topics including building high performing fundraising programs, planning for the University’s next comprehensive campaign, leading through the pandemic, and her perspective as a leading female voice in philanthropy.

Kristin “Kris” Davitt

In her roles at University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, Kris directs all fundraising, alumni, and constituent engagement for Pitt and its clinical partner UPMC. She oversees a staff of 270 across schools, interdisciplinary centers, regional campuses, clinical departments, and affiliated hospital foundations, and also leads efforts to connect with Pitt’s nearly 325,000 alumni throughout the world.

Prior to joining Pitt, she served as associate vice president for development at the University of Pennsylvania and vice president for development at Brown University. At both institutions, she held leadership roles in multibillion-dollar fundraising campaigns.

Kris received her B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University and M.A. in human services management from Rider University.


Wednesday, July 21, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Increasing Your Campaign Goal – Considerations
  • Colleen Garland, Vice President for Advancement, Kenyon College
  • Sonia Corrigan, Associate Vice President for Advancement Information Services, Kenyon College
  • Eric Snoek, Vice President, GG+A

What is the potential impact of a transformational gift on a campaign?  Do you celebrate and take a victory lap or raise your sights to encourage other donors to respond?  We invite you to join Colleen Garland, Vice President for Advancement, Kenyon College, and Sonia Corrigan, Associate Vice

President for Advancement Information Services in conversation with Eric Snoek, GG+A senior vice president.

Join us to learn how Kenyon College tackled this question and ultimately decided to raise their goal by a whopping 66% and extend the timeline of their campaign.

Sonia Corrigan

Sonia Corrigan has been with Kenyon College since 2002, serving in a number of roles related to advancement services and prospect management. Currently the Associate Vice President of Advancement Information Services, she played a key role in planning for Kenyon’s Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial campaign, both at its inception and in the recent decisions to increase the campaign goal.

Sonia holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Grinnell College and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Colleen Garland

As Vice President for Advancement, Colleen Garland steers the strategic direction of Kenyon’s development, alumni and parent engagement, and advancement services operations and works closely with the president, fellow Senior Staff, and the Board of Trustees to advance the strategic priorities of the college. Colleen also serves as the staff lead to the $500 million comprehensive Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial campaign – the College’s most ambitious campaign to date.

With 30 years of fundraising experience in higher education and other mission-driven institutions, Colleen has a track record for leading development teams to new levels of excellence. She was the chief architect of Ohio Wesleyan’s $200 million campaign as vice president; she led the development teams for 13 colleges and units as assistant vice president for development at The Ohio State University, and she cut her teeth as a major gift officer at Denison University.


Wednesday, July 14, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Opportunities and Challenges of Emotional Response Giving
  • Liz FitzGerald, Director of Development, ACLU
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

According to Giving USA, many non-profit institutions saw a large influx of donors during 2020. One such institution is the national non-profit organization, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). We are excited to host Liz FitzGerald, Director of Development at the ACLU in a conversation with GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles to discuss lessons learned from the ACLU. Liz and Suzanne will also discuss how current events present an opportunity for non-profits to engage new donors. We look forward to hearing Liz’s insights!

Liz FitzGerald

Liz FitzGerald has been with the ACLU since 2008, joining the organization to direct the mid-level program. Her role expanded in 2017, when she took over the leadership of the mid-level and major gifts program. In 2019 she became the Director of Development. Liz oversees the ACLU’s nationwide fundraising model, which creates a shared understanding of how donor relationships are managed within a federated organization. She also oversees acquisition, annual giving, sustainer giving, mid-level giving, major giving, as well as the operations of the development department, including gift processing, donor relations, data and systems.

Liz has over 25 years of development experience, specializing in management and marketing.  Prior to joining the ACLU, Liz was the VP for Development & Communications at Nontraditional Employment for Women, and the Director of Development at CancerCare. She began her career in fundraising at EMILY’s List. Liz graduated from Tufts University and earned a Master’s of Library Science from the University of Maryland. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner and their child.


Wednesday, June 30, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT
Comprehensive Community College Campaigns: Meeting Challenges and Ensuring Success
  • Kevin McCarthy, Executive Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Central Piedmont Community College
  • Vanessa Shelton Stolen, CFRE, Executive Director, Institutional Advancement, Central Piedmont Community College
  • Laura C. Simic, CFRE, Vice President, Grenzebach Glier and Associates

Community colleges serve 41% of all undergraduates in the United States, drive economic mobility and often serve low-income, adult and underrepresented students.  However, they can no longer count on public revenue to fund them at adequate levels and, today, receive less than 2% of philanthropic dollars raised in higher education. To meet this challenge, community colleges are mounting multi-million-dollar campaigns, once the domain of more traditional, four-year colleges and universities.  This webinar looks at the unique challenges, solutions and lessons learned in a highly successful comprehensive community college campaign.

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy and Vanessa Stolen are leading Central Piedmont Community College’s ambitious Powering a Stronger Future campaign to extend the power of a Central Piedmont education to transform lives and strengthen the social fabric of its region.  The comprehensive campaign is on track to exceed its $40 million goal in 2022.

In his position as Executive Vice President, Dr. McCarthy coordinates the operations of the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation and private fundraising activities.  He also oversees the College’s Service Corporation, which includes the Harris Conference Center and other revenue-generating enterprises, and has responsibility for the administrative functions of Central Piedmont’s six campuses.  Dr. McCarthy has more than 30 years of experience in higher education with two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Vanessa Stolen

Vanessa Stolen joined Central Piedmont as Director of Development in 2012 and was promoted to Executive Director two years later.  Prior to joining Central Piedmont, Ms. Stolen was the Director of Advancement and Communications at Trinity Episcopal School and the Vice President for Communications and Development at United Family Services (now Safe Alliance) in Charlotte, NC. She began her career with the American Red Cross and achieved her CFRE credential in 2003.

Central Piedmont is a multi-campus college, founded in 1963, with more than 43,000 students enrolled in college-credit programs and an additional 12,500 students enrolled in continuing education annually. With six campuses and additional remote programs throughout Mecklenburg County and Charlotte, North Carolina, Central Piedmont has students representing 152 countries and was the first college in the nation to establish training programs with Cummins and Tesla. Central Piedmont contributes more than $1.2 billion annually to the Mecklenburg County economy.


Tuesday – Thursday, June 22-24

Higher Education Major Gifts Masterclass

As institutions of higher education look to increase philanthropic support to help offset the dramatic, immediate impact the pandemic has had on earned revenue, building a robust major gifts program has been critical to supporting the mission. GG+A is committed to helping you be successful in this work. This Masterclass is our premier educational program designed specifically for fundraising professionals in higher education who serve in frontline fundraising roles or support those who do.

This Masterclass is devoted to the art and science of major gifts work in higher education institutions. You will hear industry experts share best practices, powerful insights, and memorable examples of their experience raising major gifts and providing counsel to our higher education clients. Through lessons, case studies, and guided discussions, participants will gain a deep understanding of major gifts best practices and learn how to deploy them.


Thursday, June 24, @ 12:00 p.m. PDT / 2:00 p.m. CDT / 3:00 p.m. EDT

Leadership through times of change: a conversation with a leading voice in higher education fundraising
  • Colleen Coppla, Vice President of Development at Montclair State University
  • Pete Lasher, Senior Vice President, GG+A

Peter Lasher will speak to Colleen Coppla about key issues including: working with new institutional leadership, representation of women in advancement leadership positions, and alignment of philanthropic and research agenda at Carnegie research institutions.

Colleen Coppla

Ms. Coppla oversees all aspects of Montclair State University’s development operation, which includes major gifts, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, alumni engagement, annual giving and donor relations, and support of the Montclair State University Foundation.

She previously served as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Florida Atlantic University, where she directed all campaign planning and fundraising efforts for the institution’s Jupiter campus, including corporate, foundation, principal and major gift fundraising, and as the Associate Vice President for University Advancement at Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Monday, June 14, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Changing a Fundraising Culture – Lessons Learned from The Campaign for Drexel
  • David Unruh, Senior Vice President, Office of Institutional Advancement, Drexel University
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Drexel University launched its ambitious $750 million campaign, The Campaign for Drexel, in November 2017, and has raised $694 million to date and engaged over 37,000 alumni. We invite you to join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Drexel University Senior Vice President, David Unruh. In this webinar, David and Suzanne will discuss how The Campaign for Drexel has driven fundraising performance and inspired a new philanthropic culture on campus. We look forward to celebrating Drexel’s success and hearing what’s next for the University!

David L. Unruh

David L. Unruh began his tenure as Senior Vice President of Drexel University’s Office of Institutional Advancement on November 1, 2014. With over two decades of executive experience in higher education, David brings a collaborative, transparent and inclusive approach to engaging alumni and donors in the life of the institution. Prior to his time at Drexel University, David served as senior vice president with Grenzebach Glier and Associates, an international full-service philanthropic management consulting firm serving non-profits. There, he served as co-lead of GG+A’s education practice area and led the training practice. David’s professional experiences at institutions of higher learning have included serving as director of major gifts for Carnegie Mellon University, director of regional major gifts for The University of Pennsylvania, associate vice president of alumni relations and development at The University of Chicago, and, senior vice president for institutional advancement at Temple University.

David holds a master’s degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Colby College.


Monday, June 7, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Safeguarding Your Independent School Through Strategic Fundraising: A Conversation with Ann Snyder
  • Ann Snyder, Director of Independent and International Schools, CASE
  • Elizabeth Farr, Senior Vice President, GG+A

In her article “Advancement as a Safeguard Against Future Uncertainty,” published in the spring 2021 issue of Independent School, the magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools, Ann Snyder, Director of Independent and International Schools at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), argues for the importance of fundraising in helping schools shore up their financial model. In this conversation, Ann will share reflections and insights from her work with schools and offer wisdom about the strategies independent schools should be deploying to ensure enduring fundraising and financial health.

Ann Snyder

An independent school alumna, Ann Snyder became CASE’s first-ever director of independent and international schools in March 2020. She previously served for seven years as director of external affairs and enrollment at Stuart Hall School, a PreK to grade 12, coed, day/boarding school in Staunton, Virginia. In addition, she worked in communications and alumni relations positions at several organizations serving independent and international schools. In her role at CASE, Ann works with member schools, volunteers, and CASE colleagues to deepen engagement between CASE and its school membership as well as to offer more professional development opportunities for advancement professionals in independent and international schools. Ann holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from The College of William and Mary.


Wednesday, May 26, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT
Creating Engagement and Building Relationships in a Year Like No Other: A Conversation with the Barnes Foundation
  • Nina Diefenbach, Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement, Barnes Foundation
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Join GG+A President, Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Nina Diefenbach, Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement at the Barnes Foundation. In this webinar, Nina will describe how the development team has built on the Foundation’s fantastic online programming to engage current and new donors and prospects. Suzanne and Nina will also discuss the sustainable practices that have guided the Barnes Foundation in solving management challenges over the past year, and how the Barnes’s will continue to use those in the post-pandemic period. We look forward to having you join us for this insightful conversation!

Nina Diefenbach

Ms. Diefenbach leads an innovative, strategic Advancement program and is responsible for the Foundation’s $100 million capital campaign to enhance educational programs and community engagement initiatives, support operations, and strengthen the endowment. She oversees the Barnes’s fundraising, membership, and public relations teams, working to maximize and expand the institution’s public profile. She holds an MA in arts management from New York University and a BA from Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Ms. Diefenbach also served as a trustee at Trinity from 2010 – 2018 and is a founding member of their Women’s Leadership Council.


Friday, May 21, @ 10:00 a.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Everything I Wish I’d Understood About Annual Giving

Annual giving has become more than the annual appeal. Join our panelists who have worked in small and large shops, education, nonprofits and healthcare (and with each other!), as they reflect on the twists and turns of their Annual Giving careers. Listen as they share the lessons they’ve learned about technology, segmentation, response mechanisms, metrics, HIPAA, the importance of colleague partnerships and what they wish they’d known when they first started out.

Jayanne Sevast

An advancement professional since 2005, Jayanne Sevast joined the Kutztown University Foundation in 2019 after nearly five years in the Office of University Development at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State College of Medicine where she helped launch the first team of annual leadership gift officers working with grateful patients, alumni and friends. With experience in all aspects of annual giving and alumni and parent engagement, led a combined Annual Giving and Alumni & Parent Engagement during her tenure at Lebanon Valley College. An advocate for using metrics to assess levels of alumni engagement, she has presented nationally on how alumni professionals can place value on the traditionally “softer side” of advancement, use data gleaned from internal and external sources to refine engagement opportunities, manage volunteers, develop communications, and ultimately cultivate donors to achieve fundraising goals.

Kim Mougenel

Kim Mougenel brings nearly twenty years of experience in development, alumni relations, and annual giving in healthcare, academic medicine, and higher education.

Kim serves as Director of Prospect Management within the Annual Giving team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In this role, she oversees a team of 17 frontline staff in all aspects of prospect. management and personal solicitation within a $30M annual giving program.

Prior to Dana-Farber, Kim was a consulting VP at GG+A, working with clients such as Dartmouth College – Tuck School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, and Middlebury College. Kim had also held leadership positions at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/College of Medicine and the Nevada Cancer Institute.


Thursday, April 29, @ 1:00 p.m. PDT / 3:00 p.m. CDT / 4:00 p.m. EDT

Navigating the critical issues facing high-performing advancement programs

Join GG+A Senior Vice President Pete Lasher in conversation with Jacline Nyman, Vice President, External Affairs at the University of Ottawa. In this webinar, Pete and Jacline will discuss a number of important issues facing uOttawa’s high-performing advancement program, including how she approached leading the university through the pandemic, the challenges and opportunities involved in relaunching the university’s fundraising campaign, and how the past year has influenced the way she and her team conduct business (and which of those changes will persevere once we return to some semblance of normal). She will also share her perspective as a leading female voice in philanthropy.

Dr. Jacline Nyman

Dr. Jacline Nyman was appointed vice-president, external relations at the University of Ottawa for a five-year term beginning August 13, 2018.

As vice-president, external relations, Jacline advances the goals of the University through a diverse portfolio of activities that focus on raising the University’s profile, establishing strategic internal and external partnerships, fostering stakeholder engagement, and growing revenue to support the University in its research and teaching mission. In this role, she is responsible for the activities of the development office, the alumni relations office, the marketing and communications directorate, language services and advancement services.

Prior to joining the University of Ottawa, Jacline was the president and CEO of United Way Centraide Canada and worked with the Smith School of Business (Queen’s University, Kingston) as executive director of development and alumni relations; as vice-president of fundraising and donor relations at the York University Foundation (Toronto); director of development and external relations at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business (Calgary); and as director of advancement services and liaison manager for the University of Ottawa.

Jacline is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and was formerly an assistant professor at Queen’s School of Business (Queen’s University) teaching marketing, marketing ethics and social responsibility. She actively researches in the fields of marketing, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.

Jacline holds a Bachelor of Administration (University of Ottawa); an MBA (University of Calgary); a doctorate in Business Administration — Marketing (Cranfield University, U.K.). Jacline earned the ICD.D corporate governance designation from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto in 2016.


Monday, April 12 @ 10 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. CDT / 1 p.m. EDT

Maintaining momentum for major gifts fundraising between campaigns

Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Anne Westfall, Director of Development at the University School of Nashville. In this webinar, Suzanne and Anne will discuss how to maintain major gifts momentum in between campaigns. Anne will share her experience working on USN’s most recent campaign and provide specific insights on how her team remained focused on major gifts once the campaign closed. We look forward to having you join us for this webinar!

Anne Westfall

Anne Westfall joined University School of Nashville (USN) in fall 1999 as the Director of Development. In this role, she oversees annual giving, major and planned giving, campaign management, alumni programs, advancement services, and institutional events. She managed the school’s two largest capital campaigns and a year-long centennial celebration for this K-12 co-ed school formerly known as Peabody Demonstration School. Previously, Anne served as development director for Nashville Ballet and assistant director of development for Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.  She has a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University. Anne currently serves on the board of the Planned Giving Council of Middle Tennessee.


Wednesday, March 31 @ 10 a.m. PDT / 12 p.m. CDT / 1 p.m. EDT

The head of school’s role in fundraising: A conversation with Sue Sadler


  • Elizabeth Kolb Farr, Senior Vice President, GG+A
  • Sue Sadler, Head of School, The Bryn Mawr School

Many heads of school come to their roles with no prior fundraising experience. In this conversation, Sue Sadler, Head of School at The Bryn Mawr School, will share reflections and insights gained in her first three-and-a-half years as a head of school. How does she work effectively with trustees and fundraising staff? How does she engage, cultivate, solicit, and steward donors? What are the most important lessons she has learned about a head’s role in fundraising? How does she balance fundraising responsibilities with all the others?

Sue Sadler

In July 2017, Sue Sadler became the tenth head of school at The Bryn Mawr School, a K-12 girls’ school in Baltimore, Maryland. In this role, which is her first headship, Sue has played an important part in achieving the School’s fundraising aspirations, including reenergizing and completing a fundraising campaign to support Bryn Mawr’s new student center, which opened in September 2019. Previously Sue was associate head of school and Upper School director at Hathaway Brown, an all-girls school in Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she served for 31 years in a variety of capacities and was honored by a donor who established the Sadler Promise in Education Award. Sue holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colby College and a master’s in the Arts of Education from Ursuline College.


Monday, March 22 @ 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

How to build a leadership annual giving program

Description:  Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Janet McKillop, Vice President of Development at the J. Paul Getty Trust. In this webinar, Janet and Suzanne will discuss the Getty’s experience in designing and launching a leadership annual giving program. Janet will share why the Getty decided to launch the program, as well as lessons learned from the experience. We welcome anyone who is interested in launching a leadership annual giving program at their institution or wants to learn more about the value of leadership annual giving!

Janet Feldstein McKillop

Janet Feldstein McKillop joined the J. Paul Getty Trust in February 2015 as Vice President of Development. As the Getty’s chief development officer, she leads all fundraising initiatives for the Trust and its programs. Previously, McKillop served as Associate Director of Development for Stanford University and Senior Associate Director of Development for Harvard University, supporting record-level fundraising campaigns at both universities. For six years, she led development and alumni engagement, including a major capital campaign, for St. Matthew’s Parish School, a Los Angeles-based independent school. McKillop began her career as a corporate finance investment banker with J.P. Morgan and was later a research associate and teaching assistant at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, focused on entrepreneurship and venture capital. She holds both an undergraduate degree in art history and an MBA from Stanford University.


Wednesday, March 17 @ 12:00 p.m. CDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT

Strengthening donor dialogue: successfully using survey data to qualify and reinvigorate donors at Kutztown University


  • Jayanne Sevast, Kutztown University Foundation
  • GG+A SurveyLab Team

Description: At the height of the pandemic, Kutztown University Foundation engaged GG+A SurveyLab to conduct a survey aimed at qualifying new donors and helping it prioritize its prospect pools within the philanthropic landscape. Join Kutztown University Foundation’s Jayanne Sevast and the GG+A SurveyLab team as they discuss the impact and results of the donor survey. The discussion will explore how the survey contributed to the university’s fundraising operation’s growth, as well as how it helped legitimize the university’s advancement efforts.

Jayanne Sevast

An advancement professional since 2005, Jayanne joined the Kutztown University Foundation in 2019. She previously spent nearly five years in the Office of University Development at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State College of Medicine where she helped launch the first team of annual leadership gift officers working with grateful patients, alumni, and friends. With experience in all aspects of annual giving and alumni and parent engagement, she led a combined Annual Giving and Alumni & Parent Engagement during her tenure at Lebanon Valley College. An advocate for using metrics to assess levels of alumni engagement, she has presented regionally on how alumni professionals can place value on the traditionally “softer side” of advancement, use data gleaned from internal and external sources to refine engagement opportunities, manage volunteers, develop communications, and ultimately cultivate donors to achieve fundraising goals.


Monday, March 15 @ 12:00 pm CT / 1:00 pm ET



  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President
  • Megan Collier, Consulting Associate, SurveyLab
  • Anne Kohn, Consulting Associate
  • Bob Ramin, Senior Vice-President

Description:  Join GG+A consultants for an important conversation about innovative approaches to stewardship and how to implement strategies that will deepen donor relationships and inspire gift giving. This panel discussion is based on GG+A’s recently released Playbook: Why stewardship matters: creative solutions to engage donors now and into the future, a collection of thought leadership offering practical ideas and tactics for effective stewardship. The panelists are authors of the featured Playbook articles and will address the power of donors surveys, donor impact reports, and creative stewardship strategies that have resonated during the pandemic and will be effective going forward.


Wednesday, March 10 @ 12:00 p.m. CT / 1:00 p.m. ET



  • Karl Clauss, Vice President of Advancement, Colgate University
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the traditional development work environment. That’s forced development leaders to develop innovative ways to build relationships with their team, organizational leaders, and volunteer leaders. Developing strategies to foster a strong work culture is important, particularly as institutions deal with leadership and staff transitions. In this webinar, Colgate University Vice President of Advancement Karl Clauss—who began his current role last August—will discuss the challenges of acclimating to a new position in the midst of the pandemic, as well as the strategies and tactics he’s used to build a collaborative work culture. Karl will also discuss how he is approaching recruiting and onboarding in this challenging environment.

Karl Clauss

Karl Clauss is the Vice President for Advancement at Colgate University. Karl returned to Colgate, his alma mater, in August 2020 after eight years as the Vice President of Advancement for Swarthmore College. During his tenure at Swarthmore, Karl worked closely with the college’s board of managers, administration, and campus partners to execute all phases of the college’s $450 million comprehensive campaign, “Changing Lives, Changing the World.” Prior to Swarthmore, Karl spent 12 years at Colgate, first as a Regional Advancement Officer, covering the Midwest and West Coast. He later became Director of Major Gifts and Director of Capital Giving before taking on the role of Associate Vice President for Advancement. His efforts helped Colgate meet its $400 million goal for the campaign, “Passion for the Climb,” 18 months ahead of schedule, and helped the campaign raise an additional $40 million for financial aid. Karl earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Colgate and captained the 1990 NCAA-finalist hockey team. Outside his official work for Colgate, he has volunteered for the admission office and served as a class agent, local alumni club board member, and a member of the Alumni Council.


Wednesday, February 24 @ 10 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. CST / 1:00 p.m. EST

Navigating Campaigns through a Crisis: The Story of Penn State and the University of Missouri

During an 8 to 10-year campaign, every institution will have some sort of crisis.  Join two seasoned professionals who were in the trenches during major crises for an informative and interactive webinar.


  • Vice President Tom Hiles, formerly of University of Missouri
  • Vice President Rod Kirsch, formerly of Penn State

Tom Hiles

GG&A Vice Presidents Tom Hiles and Rod Kirsch will share their first-hand experiences in leading two high-profile institutions through public crises in conjunction with launching billion-dollar campaigns. As Vice President at Penn State, Rod helped navigate the university’s campaign in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Tom was Vice Chancellor at University of Missouri when, three weeks after the kickoff of their campaign, both the president and the chancellor were forced out from the aftermath from the Ferguson protests. These crises kept the universities in the national and international focus for months, presenting the advancement teams led by Rod and Tom with daily challenges.

Rodney Kirsch

Rod Kirsch

Learn about their experiences and how they communicated with donors, collaborated with the communications team and governing board, and the critical role of data in understanding constituents and how to stay connected with them.




Friday, February 19 @ 11 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. CST / 2:00 p.m. EST

An advancement career built on challenges

Join Senior Vice President Pete Lasher in a conversation with Dexter Bailey, Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations at the California Institute of Technology. In this webinar, Dexter and Pete will discuss a number of themes from his career in higher education development from the career path of a person of color in the advancement field to the present challenges created by COVID 19 during his first year at Cal Tech to the Institute’s future plans following the successful completion of the $3B breakthrough campaign.

Dexter A. Bailey Jr. is a fundraising executive with over 25 years of experience. He is recipient of the 2019 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Award. His expertise includes reengineering comprehensive fundraising programs, complex principal gifts, grateful patients, alumni relations, staff development, and organizational optimization. Dexter often speaks on issues related to campaigns, institutional leadership and the role and experience of minorities in university advancement.

Dexter Bailey

Prior to joining Caltech in July 2019, Dexter served for 8+ years as senior vice president for advancement at Stony Brook University and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation where he spearheaded the most successful campaign in the history of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. He successfully managed development and alumni relations programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, and Ohio University.



Wednesday, February 10 @ 6 a.m. PT / 8 a.m. CST / 9:00 a.m. EST

How INSEAD, A Top International Business School, Built a Record-Breaking Campaign

Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Nida Januskis, Associate Dean for Advancement at INSEAD. In this webinar, Nida and Suzanne will discuss INSEAD’s phenomenal campaign success and how the institution planned for and managed the campaign process. With a global alumni community, Nida will share strategies and lessons learned for managing a remote team as well as engagement strategies for its widely dispersed alumni constituency.


  • Nida Januskis, Associate Dean for Advancement, INSEAD
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Nida Januskis

Nida Januskis is the Associate Dean of Advancement for INSEAD leading development fundraising and outreach efforts for INSEAD.

Nida joined INSEAD in January 2016 as the Executive Director of Development before being promoted to her current role in July 2017.

Prior to INSEAD, from 2003-2016, Nida served in increasingly senior roles in External Relations at Harvard Business School, working as an integral part of two distinct, record-breaking, capital campaigns during her tenure and was a key contributor to the success of their US$500 million and US$1 billion campaigns.

Prior to Harvard Business School, Nida worked as an Asset Manager for Berkeley Investments in Boston, Equity Office Properties Trust in Chicago, and for AON Consulting in Vilnius, Lithuania.

She currently sits on the board of Women in Leadership, a platform for professional women working in Europe.

Nida earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Illinois.


Wednesday, February 3 @ 12 p.m. CST / 1:00 p.m. EST

Adapting Alumni Engagement: 2021 and Beyond


  • Andy Shaindlin, Vice President for Alumni Relations, Brown University
  • Suzanne Hilser-Wiles, President, GG+A

Description: Join GG+A President Suzanne Hilser-Wiles in conversation with Andy Shaindlin, Vice President for Alumni Relations at Brown University. In this webinar, Andy and Suzanne will discuss his strategies for keeping alumni engaged, re-engaging lost alumni, innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tips for keeping alumni engagement front and center for institutional leadership. Andy will share his experiences and lessons learned at both Brown and through his work with colleagues in alumni relations programs across the world.

Andy Shaindlin

Andy Shaindlin ’86 is Vice President for Alumni Relations at Brown University and is a 30-year veteran of the alumni relations profession. He rejoined Brown to take on his current role in December, 2018, but this is not his first time working for Brown. From 1989 to 1996 Andy worked in the Office of Alumni Relations before continuing his higher education career at other institutions.

After leaving Brown, Andy worked at the University of Michigan Alumni Association, first as Director of Alumni Education and Travel and subsequently as Senior Director for Alumni Programs. He then served for more than ten years as Executive Director of the Caltech Alumni Association at the California Institute of Technology, before joining Carnegie Mellon University to lead their combined alumni relations and annual giving programs.

Andy was Vice President with global philanthropy consultants Grenzebach Glier & Associates, where he advised alumni communities from more than 40 diverse institutions on strategy, programming and organizational design. Most recently, he served as Vice President with community software provider Switchboard. Throughout his career, he has been a frequent speaker and author on topics related to global nonprofit strategy and alumni engagement. In 2007, he launched Alumni Futures, a website devoted to the alumni relations profession, exploring new directions and innovative ideas for advancement professionals.

Andy is former Chair of the Commission on Alumni Relations for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and also served on the CASE Board of Trustees. He is a Trustee of the American Councils on International Education. Andy recently joined Curatace as an outside Advisor; the company opens doors to meaningful careers for students and alumni.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Brown, where he concentrated in international relations, Shaindlin earned a master of arts in education from Claremont Graduate University in California, where his research focused on the role of technology in alumni relations.


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.


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.


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.


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.