Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


Not By The Seat of Your Pants: Strategic Programming for Small Development Shops
Starr Snead

Friday, September 19, 2014
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

ISACS Office Conference Room
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702
Chicago, IL 60601

With development/advancement departments being asked to generate ever greater financial resources, the demands and pressures on small schools and small shops grow exponentially.  Together with the rest of the world, school advancement has arrived at a point where making more out of less has become a given, the challenge of each new year, each new day, each new program.  In this environment, how does the small school re-purpose and replace already scarce resources to build and sustain a robust philanthropy program?  How does our small enterprise successfully draw the time and attention of well-targeted donors and other gift sources? 

This interactive, day-long workshop is designed for staff members, trustees and other key volunteers (parents and alumni/ae) from schools with development programs with four people (or less) OR fewer than 400 students.  We’ll look at ambitious but realistic fundraising expectations for small schools, examining what it takes to run top-notch advancement programs in even the smallest shops.  Participants will come away ready to put practical ideas and strategic solutions to work confidently in their own programs.

Topics we’ll explore include:

  • getting started: elements of a successful philanthropy program
  • understanding your real development responsibilities
  • essential documents for small advancement offices
  • small shop pitfalls (to avoid!)
  • staffing-up with key volunteers
  • time management: precious commodity, big resource
Each participating school will receive a notebook that includes resources, templates and other materials designed especially for small schools/small shops.  
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 AB degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, an MA in Reading Education from the University of Rhode Island, and an MS 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.

The workshop will take place at the new ISACS office conference room at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL, 60601.

The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.
Click here for directions to the ISACS office including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages and you can use to find discounted parking in the area prior to your arrival in downtown Chicago. If possible, we suggest you take public transportation.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS has secured hotel accommodations at Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan with a rate of $174 a night. In order to take advantage of the rate, you must book by August 18, 2014. Below is information on Club Quarters and how to make a reservation.

For additional information or to make a reservation, please contact Club Quarter's Member Services at 203.905.2100 anytime between Mon.-Fri. 7am-11pm, Sat. 9am-5pm and Sun. 10am-6pm (EST). Make sure to identify yourself as a member of ISACS - Independent Schools Association of the Central States and provide them with the Group Code: IS0919. Credit cards are required to book all room reservations.

Club Quarters at Wacker and Michigan: The Independent Schools Association of the Central States is now a member of Club Quarters, full service business hotels for member organizations.  The entire ISACS community has access to low member rates at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan and their second location in the Central Loop. Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan is located less than three blocks from the new ISACS office/conference room. When you stay at Club Quarters, Wacker at Michigan, you are just steps from the Magnificent Mile, famous for shopping, fine dining and museums, and Grant Park.  Member guests enjoy automatic Gold Status benefits including subsidized weekend and holiday rates from as low as $65/night, complimentary onsite benefits including WiFi, exercise facilities, chilled, purified bottled water and access to the Club Living Room with snacks and refreshments and Gold Rewards, the richest guest rewards program.

If you have any issues booking a room at the Club Quarters, please contact the ISACS office at 312-750-1190.

Click here for directions and parking information.

Registration Fee

  • $175 member fee
  • $225 non-member fee 
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes lunch
  • Each participating school will receive a notebook that includes resources, templates and other materials designed especially for small schools/small shops.  
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 312-750-1190.

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


55 West Wacker, Suite 701 · Chicago, IL 60601 · Telephone (312) 750-1190 · Fax (312) 750-1193
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