Workshop: Donor Relations in the New Normal

September 15 & 16th, 2020 from 1-4:30pm ET (Online)


As educational institutions continue to deal with change and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many advancement programs are making donor relations and stewardship a priority, and rethinking their strategies for the months and years ahead. Building on best practices—while also addressing the unique challenges found in the current environment—institutions are finding meaningful ways to engage donors and strengthen their base of philanthropic support.

Join us on September 15th and 16th for a two-day interactive workshop that will provide you and your colleagues with a framework for engaging donors in an increasingly virtual world.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Learn about the latest trends and most effective techniques in donor relations
  • Participate in interactive exercises and focused small-group discussions
  • Network with peers to share ideas and experiences
  • Obtain workshop handouts and other materials
  • Earn CFRE credit
  • And more!

This event is ideal for donor relations and other advancement professionals at educational institutions who wish to learn more about the latest trends and practices in donor relations and stewardship.

  • Save $200 when you register by August 15th
  • AGN Members save an additional 20%
  • Receive further discounts when registering multiple attendees from one institution


(all times are EDT)

Day 1

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm - Developing Acknowledgments & Gratitude Messages/Q&A

2:15pm - Small Group Discussions/Exercises

2:45pm - Break

3:15pm - Improving Donor Recognition & Giving Societies/Q&A

4:15pm - Small Group Discussions/Exercises

4:45pm - Wrap-up/Homework Assignment

Day 2

1:00pm - Welcome/Overview of the Day

1:15pm - Reporting Impact to Donors/Q&A

2:15pm - Small Group Discussions/Exercises

2:45pm - Break

3:15pm - Rethinking Event Strategies/Q&A 

4:15pm - Small Group Discussions/Exercises

4:45pm - Faculty Firing Line/Workshop Wrap-up


Vanessa Carta | UMass Boston

Vanessa Carta is the Director of Donor Engagement and Stewardship at UMass Boston, where she oversees all stewardship outreach, including cultivating the institution’s relationships with endowment donors. Her decade of experience in advancement also includes roles with the annual fund and as a frontline development officer for a graduate school, centers, and institutes. She currently serves on the Santa Clara University Alumni Association Board of Directors and as regional vice president of their Boston chapter. Vanessa has an MA in Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance from UMass Boston and a BA in Religious Studies and Sociology from Santa Clara University.


Avaleen Morris | Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Avaleen Morris is the Senior Director of Donor Relations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she leads strategic communications, stewardship, and community engagement teams. With over 15 years of experience in higher education, her previous roles have included Senior Director of Loyalty Giving and Specialty Campaigns at Vanderbilt, annual giving positions at Emory University, and an enrollment management position at Spelman College. A Judging Coordinator for CASE District III awards, Avaleen holds both a BS in Psychology and an AA in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Northern Caribbean University.


Dan Allenby | Principal & Founder at AGN Resources

Dan is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with academic institutions for over two decades to train their advancement staff and volunteers. A recipient of the prestigious CASE “Crystal Apple” award for teaching excellence, Dan is an internationally-recognized expert on annual giving and alumni engagement. He chaired CASE’s Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals and its Annual Giving Workshop for five collective terms and served on the faculty for CASE’s Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising. His book—Ideas for Annual Giving—offers the latest designs for helping institutions increase annual giving and boost alumni participation. Previously, he served as the Assistant Vice President for Annual Giving at Boston University, and also led annual giving and member marketing efforts at Tufts University, Georgetown University, and the National Geographic Society. Dan received an MBA from Boston College and a BA from James Madison University, and a certificate in the Management of Communication Organizations from Tufts University.



For more information about this workshop, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or [email protected].