HomeEventsRNL National Donor Engagement Workshop

RNL National Donor Engagement Workshop

Jul 26-Jul 27, 2023 Nashville, TN Fundraising

RNL National Donor Engagement Workshop

The Workshop is Complete: Mark your Calendar!

The next RNL National Donor Engagement Workshop will be held, tentatively, July 23-25, 2024 at the Gaylord Texan in Dallas.

Join fundraising management professionals on July 26-27 for this workshop on donor engagement strategy


Come to Nashville for this 1.5 day, data-driven and interactive workshop on key fundraising trends and priorities. Peer experts will join RNL to cover key topics including:

  • Key changes in donor preferences and motivations.
  • Technology that maximizes results and can produce 25x donor response.
  • Trends from the best giving days, and new tools to boost your big day’s success.
  • The best ways to support gift officers to amplify the leadership, major and planned gift pipeline.
  • A focus on “sustainable” fundraising, and engaging rising generations of Gen Z and Millennial givers.

Registration Fees

$249/per person

Bring a team to spark discussion and create momentum for implementing new strategies.

Register Now

Location and Accommodations

Gaylord Opryland

All sessions will take place at the:
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214

The Gaylord Opryland is sold out, but here are alternative accommodations within 1 mile:

Note that Gaylord cancellations must be made at least 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid a one-night room and tax penalty charge.


Workshop Agenda

All times are Central Time


Tuesday, July 25

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Registration Check In

3:00 – 6:00 p.m. (Optional)
Strategy consultations and career development/mentorship meetings

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. (Optional)
Attendees are welcomed to the RNLNC Conference Welcome & Opening Keynote Session

Brandon P. Fleming, bestselling author of Miseducated, experienced a “renaissance,” as he calls it, and it happened through engagement with great Black thinkers past and present. Hear his insights at the conference kickoff.

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
National Donor Workshop Opening Reception at RNLNC

7:00 p.m.
Dinner On Your Own

Wednesday, July 26

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Registration Check In

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
Networking breakfast, strategy consultations and career development/mentorship meetings

9:00 – 9:10 a.m.
Welcome to the National Donor Engagement Workshop
From RNL’s CEO Bill McHale

9:10 – 10:00 a.m.
FY23 Fundraising Year in Review and Predictions for FY24

We will review data on FY23 results, GivingUSA, and RNL platform data. We will also share key trends that will impact our donor engagement in the coming year.

  • Greta Daniels, CFRE, and Brian Gawor, CFRE

10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
Accelerating Your Donor Pipeline Through Sustainable Fundraising Practices

How do we achieve long-term fundraising success? Embracing new generations of donors, maximizing the impact of our people, and making data-driven decisions is key. We will discuss how to achieve these objectives and how they impact your goals.

  • Greta Daniels, CFRE and Sarah Myksin

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Future of Omnichannel Donor Engagement

A panel discussion with peer fundraisers who have had success in moving the needle on donor response, using channels in combination to create an engaging donor experience.

  • Nicole Allen Cook, Director, Donor Participation and Marketing Strategy, Cornell University
  • Howard Heevner, Executive Director of Annual Programs, University of California, Berkeley
  • Erick Weber, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Annual Giving, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Meg Ackerson, Associate Vice President for Strategic Engagement, Oklahoma State University
  • Moderator: Autumn Horton, Senior Consultant, RNL

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

RNL360 Unpacked: What You Need to Know About Your Donors in Order to Succeed

During this data-rich session, RNL’s lead consultant Sarah Kleeberger will share insights and trends gleaned from RNL360 data analyses completed at RNL’s partner institutions. The commonalities amongst our partners may surprise you! You’ll leave this session with a much better understanding of the big data picture and several actionable insights to take back to your organization today.

  • Sarah Kleeberger, Senior Vice President

2:15 – 3:00 p.m.
Breakout sessions

Fundraising peers and RNL experts will lead breakout sessions on:

  • Trends in Donor Acquisition and Giving
    • Heather Kopec, Assistant Vice President, Philanthropic Giving and Digital Engagement, University of Miami
    • Becca Widmer, Senior Consultant, RNL
  • Trends in Grateful Patient Fundraising
    • Linda Infranco, Executive Director, Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation
    • Justin Marquart, Vice President and Consultant, RNL
    • Nicole Pratapas, Vice Chancellor Advancement Washington State University Spokane Health Science
    • Mike Pratapas, Executive Director of Philanthropic Gifts at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Trends in Boosting Leadership or Mid-Level Giving
    • Brittany Kicklighter, CFRE, Development Officer, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • Sharon Horinka, Associate Director of Annual Giving and Donor Experience, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • Nick Herman, Vice President and Consultant, RNL
    • Kathleen Howley, Senior Consultant, RNL
  • Smart Identification and Qualification of Major and Planned Gift Prospects
    • Lindsay Hora, Senior Director of Development, Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University
    • Anne Rawlins, Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University
    • Scott Kruger, Vice President and Consultant, RNL
  • Leveraging Your Volunteers: Activating, Motivating, and Containing Your Boards
    • Dayna Carpenter, Vice President and Consultant, RNL
    • Gabbie Kulcsar, Senior Director of Annual Giving Programs,  US Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation
    • Dan Quattrini, Director, Class Legacy Gifts, US Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
How to Turn Your Digital Engagement Center Into a Leadership and Major Gift Pipeline Engine

Learn about new technology that helps leadership giving programs engage potential donors personally at scale, and that also serves up warm leads who are ready to meet with a major or planned gift officer.

  • Sarah Patterson Glitsch, Associate Vice President, Client Success, RNL
  • Stephen Sullivan, Director, Leadership Annual Giving & Special Projects, Baylor University
  • Rachel Bay, Assistant Director of Leadership Annual Giving, Baylor University

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
RNL Leadership Giving Demonstrations

Peek behind the curtain of the brand new RNL Leadership Giving platform, view platform features, and have a chance to ask questions from the experts.

  • Sean Shaikun and Sarah Patterson Glitsch, RNL

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 PM Happy hour and Trivia with the Giving Geeks
The Honorary Member Lounge at the Twelve Thirty Club
Included with your Registration: RSVP Here

Enjoy pub food, drinks and camaraderie at this awesome location over a competitive round of pub trivia, with some featured questions about workshop attendees, fundraising trends, and philanthropy. You could win  glory, bragging rights, and some sweet swag!

Dinner on Your Own

We will provide a list of recommendations within walking distance of pub trivia

Thursday, July 27

8:00-9:00 a.m.
Strategy consultations and career development/mentorship meetings

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Burning Questions Breakfast

Answering questions submitted by attendees, the fundraisers, consultants and analysts dive deep into key topics that you decide.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
The Future of Giving Days

Giving days are a highly effective tool for donor acquisition, retention and major gift engagement. Hear about the greatest hits from RNL’s 2023 “Givey” awards and key ways that organizations are innovating to create incredible giving day experiences.

  • Kristen Shipp, Executive Director, Annual Giving, West Virginia University
  • Brittany Hanson, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, University of Sioux Falls
  • Spencer Farrin, Director, Annual Giving, Washington State University
  • Moderator: Brian Gawor, CFRE, Vice President for Research, RNL

11:00 – 12:00 p.m.
Conference wrap up and action plans

We’ll review the key messages from the event, and each attendee will construct a personal action plan based on what we’ve learned.

12:00 p.m.

Registration Fees

$249/per person

Bring a team to spark discussion and create momentum for implementing new strategies.

Register Now

All forum agenda session topics, dates, and times are subject to change.