Workshop: Stewarding Annual Fund Donors


Welcome to AGN’s Stewarding Annual Fund Donors workshop! This virtual event will take place online using Zoom and will begin on Thursday, November 4th at 11AM EST. You will be able to access each general session 5 minutes prior to its start time. To join the event, review the information and zoom links on the "Join Sessions" tab.

This small group workshop will address the fact that stewardship is the ongoing process of showing donors that their gifts are appreciated, communicating the impact of their support, and engaging them in the life of the institution. It’s especially important for annual giving programs, as they engage the vast majority of any organization's donors in any given year. Understanding and applying the timeless principles and current best practices of donor stewardship will ensure that your fundraising efforts run smoothly and that you achieve your short- and long-term goals.

Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Hear from experts about the latest trends and best practices in annual fund stewardship
  • Network with peers and learn how other institutions are approaching their work
  • Participate in small-group discussions to share ideas, issues, and examples
  • Obtain tools, templates, and other workshop materials
  • Earn CFRE credit
  • And more!

If you need technical or customer support at any time prior to or during the event, please contact our dedicated support representative at 888.407.5064 or


Join Sessions

To participate in a live session, please click below on the title of the session you wish to join. When a separate window opens in Zoom, please enter the password listed under the session title. Event audio is available via streaming (through your computer speakers) or you may listen over the phone by calling 929.205.6099 and entering Meeting ID 854 6264 1044. If you have any issues with the audio through your computer, we strongly advise you to dial in using the phone number. 

Welcome/Overview of the Day
(Password: STEWARD21)
11:00-11:15 AM Eastern Time

Planning Your Stewardship Efforts
(Password: STEWARD21)
11:15-11:30AM  Eastern Time

Organize your resources and prepare your program for success.

Developing Acknowledgments & Gratitude Messages
(Password: STEWARD21)
11:30-11:45AM  Eastern Time

Explore the best ways to segment your donor populations and communicate your appreciation for their support personally and meaningfully through letters, emails, videos, and other channels.

Small Group Discussions
(Password: STEWARD21)
11:45-12:30PM Eastern Time

Engage in small-group discussions to talk through issues, share examples, exchange ideas, and participate in collaborative exercises.

12:30-1:00PM Eastern Time

Communicating Impact to Donors
(Password: STEWARD21)
1:00-1:30pm  Eastern Time

Discover how to convey outcomes and return on investment to donors through reports, publications, videos, and other communications.

Small Group Discussions
(Password: STEWARD21)
1:30-2:15pm Eastern Time

Engage in small-group discussions to talk through issues, share examples, exchange ideas, and participate in collaborative exercises.


Optimizing Donor Recognition & Engagement
(Password: STEWARD21)
2:45-3:15pm Eastern Time

Learn how to recognize your donors publicly and privately through gift societies, publications, and awards and engage them in the life of the institution through special access, events, volunteer opportunities, and other experiences.

Small Group Discussions
(Password: STEWARD21)
3:15-4:00pm Eastern Time

Engage in small-group discussions to talk through issues, share examples, exchange ideas, and participate in collaborative exercises.

Bringing It Together/Wrap-up
(Password: STEWARD21)
4:00-4:15PM Eastern Time

To conclude the workshop, we will review lessons learned and discuss next steps, including optional time for Q&A.

 For more information, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or


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 and current-use scholarship 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 as the regional president of Santa Clara University's Alumni Association 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. Avaleen holds both a BS in Psychology and an AA in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Northern Caribbean University.


Dan Allenby | Principal & Founder at Annual Giving Network

Dan is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with educational institutions for over 25 years to improve their fundraising results. An internationally-recognized expert on annual giving, he is the recipient of CASE’s prestigious “Crystal Apple” award for teaching excellence. His book – Ideas for Annual Giving – offers designs for helping organizations increase their levels of sustainable philanthropic support. Dan served as the assistant vice president for annual giving at Boston University during its $1 billion capital campaign, and previously led fundraising and marketing programs at Tufts University, Georgetown University, and the National Geographic Society. He served on the faculty for CASE’s Summer Institute in Educational Fundraising, and chaired its Senior Annual Giving Professionals Conference and Annual Giving Workshop for five collective terms. Dan holds a B.A. in History from James Madison University and an M.B.A. from Boston College.

Event Materials

Please click on the links below to access the workshop materials and additional training tools. 

General Materials

General Session Recordings coming soon

Webinars - Members view for FREE; Non-Member Workshop Participants Save 20%
  (Non-Members can use their registration fee toward the cost of a new membership)


Survey Results

For more information, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or