HomeRNL Advancement Innovation Summit 2020

RNL 2020 Advancement Innovation Summit

Join fundraising professionals on September 17-18 for this
virtual summit on donor engagement


It’s time to challenge the norm in donor engagement. Join us for two days of high-level innovation, actionable strategy and new ideas to help take your donor engagement to the next level.

Whether you’re looking to build a more loyal base of annual givers, identify a pipeline for big gifts, or engage new groups of supporters, this interactive online event will provide you with new insights to drive immediate results.

6 reasons to attend the 2020 RNL Advancement Innovation Summit

  1. Interact with peers and advancement leaders to learn about the success in innovating their donor engagement programs.
  2. Hear from industry experts about new tactics to maximize engagement, including the digital engagement center and omnichannel campaigns that combine traditional methods like phone and mail with integrated texting and video greetings.
  3. See how AI-driven personalization breaks through the competition for your donors’ attention.
  4. Hear about emerging technologies being used by RNL partners to engage new groups of donors.
  5. Leave with actionable steps to innovate in your program
  6. Learn how these innovations can be adopted quickly and on a tight budget.

RNL Advancement Innovation Summit 2020

Registration is FREE

There is no cost to attend the RNL Advancement Innovation Summit, but pre-registration is required.

Register Now

RNL Advancement Innovation Summit agenda


The sessions at the virtual RNL Advancement Innovation Summit will initially be broadcast online September 17-18. All sessions will then be available on-demand on Monday, September 28. The agenda below shows the schedule for the virtual conference. Sessions will include strategies from fundraising experts as well as case studies from campuses, addressing topics in:

  • Digital engagement and digital giving
  • Alumni and donor engagement
  • Remote management of fundraising operations
  • Strategic optimization of donor engagement channels

All times below are Central Time (CT). Please note that this schedule is subject to change. If you have any questions, or suggestions for topics, please contact us.

See Full Agenda  Download PDF

Keynote Preview

Conference keynote speaker

Vu Le, Founder of NWB Consulting, NonProfit AF and co-founder, Community Centric Fundraising

Vu Le

Vu Le is the forward-thinking, provocative voice who writes the blog NonprofitAF.com. Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. Vu is a founding leader of Community Centric fundraising, a people of color-led group of fundraisers and researchers who are committed to building more equitable fundraising practices.


Thursday, September 17

Morning consultation time with RNL consultants

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. CT
RNL Welcome from Dr. Sumit Nijhawan

RNL Welcome from Sumit Nijhawan, CEO

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. CT
Opening Keynote:
Vu Le, Founder of NWB Consulting, NonProfit AF and co-founder, Community Centric Fundraising

“Six questions to challenge the norm in donor engagement”


11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT
Innovation in Action Case Study: The University at Buffalo

With Geoff Bartlett, Assistant Vice President, Annual Giving

12:05 – 1:15 p.m. CT
Advancement Leaders Panel: Beyond Business as Usual

Hosted By Renée Vaillancourt, Executive Vice President of Client Success and Sarah Kleeberger, Senior Vice President, Fundraising Consulting

  • Edward Chiu, Senior Vice President for Advancement, Babson College 
  • O’Neil Outar, Vice President for Institutional Engagement, Rhode Island School of Design 
  • Megan Morey, Vice President for College Relations, Williams College 
  • Scott Roberts, President/CEO, University of Connecticut Foundation


1:30 – 2:15 p.m. CT
The FY2021 RNL Innovation Roadmap

Josh Robertson, Senior Vice President for Product Strategy 


2:30 – 3:30 p.m. CT
Key Issues in Advancement Fishbowl Discussions

Participate in an online discussion with fellow leaders in small groups organized around key innovation issues:

Digital Engagement Centers
Hosted by Miranda Fagley, Associate Director of Annual Giving, Carnegie Mellon University, Chad Warren and Kadisha White, RNL

Budget and Resource Strategy
Hosted by Chris Sorensen, Hiya and Chris Bingley, RNL

Student Philanthropy Engagement (with and without students on campus)
Hosted by Audrey Leland, Student and Young Alumni Philanthropy Officer, Tufts University and Dayna Carpenter, RNL

Donor Acquisition on a Budget
Hosted by Barbie Terry, Assistant Vice President for Development, University of North Alabama, Heather Kopec, Director of Annual Giving, Virginia Tech, and Jay Finney, RNL

Engaging Major Donors in Times of Crisis
Hosted by Aaron Escobar, Vice President for Development and Senior Associate Athletic Director, Oregon State University and Justin Marquart, RNL

Leadership Annual Giving and Mid-Level Donor Strategy
Hosted by Sarah Myksin, Director of Annual Giving, DePaul University and Greta Daniels, RNL

Managing Staff Remotely
Hosted by David Jones, Executive Director for Annual Giving and Constituent Development, University of Georgia, Sylvia Vandever and Katie Coats, RNL

Building Analytics Capacity: Fundraising, Engagement And Digital
Hosted by Jennifer MacCormack, Senior Director, Annual Philanthropy & Advancement Analytics, University of Washington and Josh Robertson, RNL

Young Alumni Engagement
Hosted by Rebecca Trump, Associate Vice President, Annual Giving, Rutgers University, Montrell Cartwright and Chad Friedlein, RNL

Social Networks and Lifetime Learning
Hosted by Brooks Hull, Vice President for University Advancement, Louisiana Tech and Stephanie Soscia, RNL

Afternoon consult time with RNL consultants

Registration is FREE

There is no cost to attend the RNL Advancement Innovation Summit, but pre-registration is required.

Register Now

Friday, September 18

Morning consultation time with RNL consultants

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. CT
Amplify Lifetime Engagement with 

LinkedIn is where your alumni and top supporters gather to connect with peers, seek information, and build their careers. It is also where your institution can engage its network with lifelong opportunities to continue education, spotlight what’s new on campus, and give back to their alma mater.

New platform engagement tools are making it easier than ever to reach your student network with these updates and opportunities at the right moments of their personal and professional lives. Join LinkedIn experts as we unpack what this powerful networking tool can do to amplify your alumni and supporter engagement.

11:00-11:30 a.m. CT
Challenging the Norm in Donor Relations

Lynne Wester, Donor Relations Guru

What are the emerging trends in our field? What are top shops focusing on? And what are the challenges that face our field? Join us to learn where we’re headed in the future and to explore the unique challenges facing the field.

Armed with information from three “pulse of donor relations” surveys spanning multiple years, examine the changing landscape of donor relations, our future partnerships in fundraising, and what type of talent we need to drive our profession forward.

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT
Advancement Leaders Panel: the FY21 Outlook

Hosted by Chris Bingley, Senior Vice President and Meg Weber, Vice President

  • Karl Miller Lugo, Vice President for Advancement, University of Texas at San Antonio 
  • Lori Redfearn, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Systemwide Advancement, California State University  
  • Josh Harraman, Vice President for Alumni Engagement, Annual Giving, and Advancement Communications, Rutgers University
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick, Vice President for Advancement, Middlebury College 

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. CT

Key Innovation Download – Integrated P2P Texting

Hosted by Shad Hanselman, Associate Vice President, Annual Giving

Special Guests:  

  • Deidra Miles, Director of Annual Giving, University of Massachusetts, Lowell  
  • Sarah Kathryn Hickman, Assistant Vice President, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving at Baylor University 

Key Innovation Download – Personalized Video

Hosted by Eric Billings, Associate Vice President, Digital Product Management

Special Guest: JD Beebe, Co-Founder and CEO of ThankView 

Key Innovation Download – Maximizing Phone Impact

Hosted by Brian Cass, Vice President for Client Success 

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. CT

Key Innovation Download – AI-Driven Personalization

Hosted by Peter Caron, Vice President, Software Products 

Special Guest: Mark Sanders, Director of Information Systems, Georgia Tech 

Key Innovation Download – The Remote Digital Engagement Center

Hosted by Shad Hanselman, Associate Vice President, Annual Giving 

Special Guests:  

  • Pamela Chan, Senior Director of Direct Response Marketing, University of California, Berkeley 
  • Howard Heevner, Executive Director of Annual Programs, University of California, Berkeley

Key Innovation Download – Crowdfunding and Giving Days

Hosted by Kristin DeMarco Carroll, Senior Client Solutions Consultant

Special Guests:

  • Ryan Lawrence, Associate Director of Digital Philanthropy University of California, Berkeley
  • Phillip James, Associate Director, Annual Giving, The University of Cincinnati Foundation

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. CT
Innovation in Action Case Study: Southern Methodist University

Alexandra Stoops, Director of Direct Marketing 

2:15 – 3:00 p.m. CT
Key Issues in Advancement Fishbowl Discussions

Participate in discussion with fellow attendees in small groups organized around key innovation issues, including:

Micro-Campaigns and Affinity Engagement
Hosted by Sean Devendorf, Senior Director of Annual Giving, Tufts University and Karen LaMalva, RNL

Working with Volunteers
Hosted by Nicole Schroeder, Director of the Alumni Annual Fund, Carleton College, Dayna Carpenter, and Samantha Stowell, RNL

Donor Engagement, Fundraising and Acquisition During Election Year
Hosted by Becca Widmer, Director, Annual Giving, Drake University and Jared Glass, RNL

Working with Fewer Staff And Resources
Hosted by David Jones, Executive Director for Annual Giving and Constituent Development , University of Georgia and Autumn Horton, RNL

Crafting and Remaining Agile With Your FY21 Plan
Hosted by Maggie Linn-Addison, Assistant Vice President, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Regis University and Meg Weber, RNL

Re-Engaging Crisis Donors to Renew
Hosted by Christina Sebastian, Senior Executive Director, Donor Relations and Broad-based Marketing, Columbia University in the City of New York and Emily Richman, RNL

Parent Fundraising
Hosted by Molly Taylor, Senior Director of Annual Giving Programs, Washington University in St. Louis and Chad Friedlein, RNL

3:00 p.m. CT
Conference Close & Key Takeaways

Many thanks to our RNL Advancement Innovation Summit 2020 sponsors!


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