A Wishlist for RNLNC 2024 From Two Fundraising Professionals

Jaclyn Pingel DaySenior ConsultantJune 7, 2024

Co-written with Courtney Pourciaux.

What do you get when two new RNL Senior Consultants are invited to their very first RNL National Conference? Buckets of enthusiasm and a long wish list!

With a dedicated track for fundraising this year, the RNLNC agenda is packed with something for every single member of an advancement team—from the rookie fundraiser all the way up to the president. Keep reading to find out what’s on our top ten “must do” list! Be sure to register for the conference early so you can save on your registration.

Talking with vendors: Who has the best swag?

As much as I love a good pen or an empty notebook, conference sponsors have been upping their swag game. I’ve seen reusable straws, wireless chargers, Bluetooth speakers, and so much more. Join me on my quest to find the coolest swag from this year’s vendorsI’m rooting for my graduate alma mater, Bay Path University (no pressure, team!). -JD

DEI: How to fundraise for all

When I worked at Guilford College, one specific Quaker message stood out to me: I’ll lift you, and you’ll lift me, and together we rise. This year, we have several sessions to discuss how we can improve our fundraising to help overlooked populations; Lexy Rivera’s “Beyond DEI: Impactful Philanthropy for Diverse Constituents” is top on my list of sessions I don’t want to miss. When we lift each other, we all rise together. -JD

Pipeline development: This year’s hot topic

The trendiest topic we’ve seen in fundraising this year is pipeline developmentand rightfully so! As an industry, we are taking a step back to see how we can remain solvent for the future and generating the next generation of major and lead gifts is vital to any institution.

At RNLNC, we have several amazing thought leaders tackling the same problem from so many different directions. I can’t wait to hear from our incredible thought leaders on this topic. From Ann Fisher’s presentation on LAG programs, to Greta Daniel’s discussion on how to reimagine the advancement business model, to Carley Houseman and Beth Heiter sharing best practices in healthcare fundraising, each session ties back into the question we are all asking: How can we increase our donor pipeline to better serve the mission of our organization? -JD

Engagement center: Best practices for 2024

Once upon a time, many more years ago than I want to admit, I read a job posting recruiting student ambassadors for my undergraduate alma mater’s phonathon program. Who would have guessed that little job posting would lead to a multi-decade career in fundraising?

Calling programs have evolved significantly since I picked up the phone for my first fundraising calland our digital engagement center panel will be bringing the best of the best when it comes to making the most out of your omnichannel digital engagement center efforts. I am so excited to find out all the ways our digital engagement centers continue to evolve. -JD

This year’s RNLNC features a dedicated fundraising track. See the conference agenda.

Networking: Meet someone new

One of the greatest benefits of conferences like RNLNC are the one-on-one conversations we have with each other. Hearing great ideas, sharing successes, and validating that your problem is happening across the industry is rewarding and liberating in so many ways.

Top on my conference list is to sit at a table where I don’t know a single person and find a topic to discuss in depth. I’ll have to go back to my phonathon training to come up with some great open-ended questions to get the conversation going. -JD

RNL360: Gain knowledge from industry experts and feel great about your data

My favorite thing about big conferences like RNLNC is that, everywhere you turn, there is someone who is the BEST at what they do. For instance, RNL fundraising guru and mastermind behind the National Alumni Survey Sarah Kleeberger will be presenting at this year’s conference. That means you’ll have an opportunity to soak up her amazing insights during her session, “RNL360 Unpacked: Metrics to Measure and Use to Guide Action. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions about what an RNL360 can do for their institution and can even set up 1:1 time to talk through logistics of bringing this offering to campus. -CP

Tell me how you gather giving day inspiration

RNL hosted more than 175 Giving Days on the ScaleFunder platform in 2023, and many of the rock star client teams behind them will be in attendance at this year’s conference. I’ll be fighting for prime seating for a number of Giving Day-themed sessions, where we will have an opportunity to gather tips, tricks, and inspo from industry experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, UC Berkeley, Oklahoma State University, and more. -CP

Make the case for attending RNLNC

Use our worksheet to demonstrate to your supervisor how attending the RNL National Conference can be applied to specific projects or initiatives.

Download the worksheet

Celebrities in our midst: Congratulate a Givey Award winner

One of RNL’s most popular online events last year was the 2023 Givey Awards Webinar, where the RNL ScaleFunder team recognized stellar Giving Day partners whose campaigns were creative and made a big splash on campus. RNLNC attendees are in for a real treat, as the 2024 Givey Awards will be hosted LIVE and IN PERSON, where winners will have an opportunity to share a few words about their Giving Day and deliver an Oscars-level thank you speech. -CP

Stepping into the (AI) future: Spend an afternoon sneaker-spotting

SPOILER ALERT: This year’s conference darling is the roll-out of RNL Edge, our brand new suite of AI products, and university leaders had an opportunity to preview these cutting-edge offerings while “stepping into the future.” We’re taking it literally here at RNL… I’ll be on the lookout for these AI trailblazers- decked out in their custom-designed sneakers as a “thank you” for helping us refine our AI tools to better meet campus needs. -CP

Yeehaw: Explore Dallas!

All work and no play makes Senior Consultants… well, you know the line. This year’s RNLNC is taking place in one of the most culturally rich cities in the country, Dallas! During our conference down time, you can find us exploring the Dallas Arts District, grabbing some good old-fashioned Texas BBQ, or hosting a Connect Four tournament in the hotel lobby. Be sure to say “hi” when you see us—we look forward to seeing you there! -JD +CP

Register early and save

2024 RNL National Conference, Dallas, July 23-25

Register now for the RNL National Conference and you’ll save off the regular conference rate. You also receive a discount when six of more people attend from your institution.

See the agenda to explore what you’ll learn about donor engagement, omnichannel outreach, AI, and much more.

About the Author

Jaclyn Pingel Day helps fuel success for our donor engagement partner clients, using data-driven strategy to maximize results and boost ROI. This strategy crosses numerous outreach efforts, including omnichannel marketing outreach, crowdfunding, giving days, and...

Read more about Jaclyn's experience and expertise

Reach Jaclyn by e-mail at

Read More In: Fundraising
Read More Blogs By: Jaclyn Day