Workshop: Stewarding Annual Fund Donors

November 4th 2021 from 11:00am - 4:30pm ET (Online)


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.

Join us on Thursday, November 4, for an interactive online workshop that will provide you and your colleagues with a framework for developing a donor stewardship strategy to support your annual giving efforts.

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!

This event is ideal for advancement professionals at educational institutions who wish to learn more about stewarding annual fund donors.

  • Save $75 when you register by October 1st 
  • AGN Members save an additional 20%
  • Receive further discounts when registering multiple attendees from one institution


(all times are EDT)

10:50am - Workshop Sign-In Begins

11:00am - Welcome/Overview of the Day

11:15am - Developing Acknowledgments & Gratitude Messages

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.

11:45am - Small-Group Discussions

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

12:30pm - Break (30 minutes)

1:00pm - Communicating Impact to Donors

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

1:30pm - Small-Group Discussions

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

2:15pm - Break (30 minutes)

2:45pm - Optimizing Donor Recognition & Engagement

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.

3:15pm - Small-Group Discussions

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

4:00pm - Bringing It Together/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 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.

For more information about this workshop, please contact us at 888.407.5064 or