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Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Generosity & Gratitude: Building Top-Notch Major Gift & Stewardship Programs
Starr Snead

Friday, October 4, 2013
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Latin School of Chicago
Chicago, IL

This one-day interactive workshop is designed for development officers, administrators and key school volunteers who are looking to broaden the scope, reach and effectiveness of their advancement programs.

Part I: Competing for the Big Bucks?  Of Course We Can!

What does it take to reel in capital and/or major gifts?  Can independent schools with smaller staffs and modest budgets compete with their university brothers and sisters for the time, attention and philanthropic largesse of major donors?  Absolutely.  Whether or not your school is on the capital campaign or major gifts superhighway, our morning session will focus cultivating donors for maximum return on investment.  Drawing on anecdotal information, trend data and examples from recent case studies, we’ll examine what motivates donors to give BIG to our schools and how to develop strategies that tap those transforming gifts.  We’ll focus on “major gift mechanics” including conducting a campaign readiness assessment; the difference(s) between major gift programs and capital campaigns; and finding and training volunteers to move this important work forward.

Part II: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

We all respond with at least polite appreciation to gestures of philanthropic support – at the very least acknowledging the contribution, often with a personal note as well.  But when you sense there’s more to be done, development pros need their Stewardship Toolbox.  Stewardship is a special bond – donor and school joined by the mortar that mixes attention, appreciation, service, support, guidance and/or care.  Our afternoon session will help you more consistently implement “next steps” in response to gifts, whether annual fund, campaign, or from other sources.  How can you find in each transaction the means for fostering a unique relationship between the donor and the school?  Beyond appreciation and expressions of comity, how can development professionals and volunteers meet donors’ needs as well as those of the school? 

Throughout the day we’ll exchange ideas, examine best practices and procedures, and consider specific plans and processes to get a major gifts and stewardship program underway.  Participants will leave with models that can be adapted – and applied – by professionals and volunteers to increase philanthropic support from all quarters.  Whether you hail from a school with multiple staff members or are a one man/woman shop, you’ll come away with tips and techniques to put to good use right away!

This workshop is for heads, trustees, development and alumni/ae officers, marketing and communications directors and key fundraising volunteers.

Resource Exchange
Here’s your opportunity to “show, tell and show off.”  Share copies of case statements, annual fund collateral, campaign plans, acknowledgment letters, stewardship materials…. whatever you have in your bag of tricks that you’ve used effectively in support of your philanthropy programming.  Come away with fresh ideas from colleagues in other ISACS schools.

Starr W. Snead is the founder and principal of Advancement Connections, a firm dedicated to serving advancement professionals and volunteers in schools throughout the United States and internationally.  Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Advancement Connections provides fundraising, constituency relations, marketing/enrollment, strategic planning and communications services exclusively to PS-12 schools.  Prior to Advancement Connections, Starr was the executive director of the Advancement Program Council (APC) in Washington, DC.

Starr has worked in independent schools since 1972 as a teacher, administrator and more recently as advancement director for Greenhill School in Dallas; Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City; and Ashley Hall in Charleston.  From 1982–1997 Starr directed Starr Snead & Associates, an international consulting firm in New Haven, Connecticut.

Starr holds an A.B. degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, an M.A in Reading Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an M.S. in Special Education from Fordham University.  Starr is an alumna of two Connecticut schools – Pine Point in Stonington and Westover in Middlebury.  Starr served as a trustee of Pine Point from 1989–1996 and on Westover’s Alumnae Association Board of Governors from 2001–2010.  In August 2009 she joined the board of trustees at Trident Academy, a K-12 school for students with learning differences, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  In July 2010 she was appointed Executive Director of the Palmetto Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) and in October 2010 she was elected to the President’s Commission at Wheaton College.

Starr is a frequent speaker at CASE and NAIS conferences.  Her popular workshops and seminars offer practical solutions to today's development, enrollment and advancement challenges, combining more than 40 years of personal and professional experience with the "best practice strategies" of many of our nation's leading independent schools.

This workshop will take place at the Latin School of Chicago, 59 West North Boulevard, Chicago. The Latin School is conveniently accessible by public transportation and taxis. Click here for directions and parking information for The Latin School.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS recommends the following hotel and has secured special rates based on availability. Attendees must make their own hotel reservations; please contact the hotel directly to make your reservations.

The Hotel Indigo
1244 N. Dearborn Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610

For reservations, please call the Hotel Indigo directly at 312-787-4980, ask for reservations and request the "Independent Schools Association" rate to receive discounted rooms. Rates vary depending on date of stay; space and availability are limited. To book your room online (and receive the ISACS discounted rate), click here. The Hotel Indigo is just 3 blocks from the Latin School.

Click here for directions and parking information for The Hotel Indigo.

Registration Fee
  • $175 Member Fee
  • $225 Non-Member Fee
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes lunch

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-255-1244.

Member Cost: $175     Non-member Cost: $225


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