Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

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


Advancing Your Mission through Campaigns & Major Gifts Programs
Jim McKey

Friday, September 30, 2016
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

ISACS Classroom
Chicago, IL

Join your ISACS colleagues for a thought-provoking exploration of the many facets of campaigns and major gifts programs.  Hear from a highly successful development professional with experience and expertise at all levels while also networking with your own ISACS colleagues.  Please join us for:

The Essential Ingredients of a Successful Campaign
What are the essential ingredients of a successful campaign?  How do we measure readiness?  How can we adjust to our particular situation and setting?

Learn about how schools plan for successful campaigns.  Determine where your school is ready for campaign activity and where work remains to prepare. Leave with some action steps for you and your partners in the school community.  Development leaders and staff members, heads of schools and trustees can all benefit from the information shared and discussed.  Schools getting ready for a campaign, those in a campaign and those who recently completed a campaign can learn from this session and share with others their successes and challenges.

Major and Planned Gifts: Building Successful Programs and Developing Effective Strategies
Whether in a campaign or not, major and planned gifts form the core of the most successful development programs in schools.  In this session, we will learn how to set up a major gifts structure to plan activity and produce and measure results.  We will examine how planned giving is a natural complement to major gift work, even at our schools with the smallest shops.

Learn how to staff the activity of major gifts, how to plan adequate time for donor relationship development and how to create multi-step strategies to move donors toward the solicitation and closing of gifts, how to build a compelling stewardship plan and how to establish metrics to keep everyone on task and focused on success.  Learn about the core components of a simple planned giving program.  Leave with ideas for using school leadership and volunteers in your plan. 

This workshop is for anyone working to support development, campaigns or gifts programs in your school.

Jim McKey is vice president at the international philanthropic consulting firm Grenzebach, Glier and Associates (GG+A). He has had campaign, major and planned gift experiences as a development leader is schools and higher education, as a board member of a school and a museum and as a consultant. His development career of over 25 years included serving as vice president for institutional advancement at Earlham College, where he managed a staff of 25 and oversaw development, alumni relations, foundation relations, and communications. McKey also served as director of advancement for George School, where he managed a staff of 13 and a campaign exceeding the $28 million goal. While there, he received the CASE Circle of Excellence Award for overall fundraising performance. His cultivation and stewardship of George School’s lead donor prepared the way for her making the largest gift ever to an independent school, of $128 million, and a subsequent bequest of $30 million. Previously, he was the director of development with Friends’ Central School, and also served as president of the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS). McKey began his career as an educator in independent schools teaching history and providing counseling to college-bound students. A career transition led him to the banking industry, where he served the credit and public finance needs of schools, colleges, museums, and hospitals at The First National Bank of Chicago. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Earlham College and a master’s degree in teaching from Brown University. 

Location of Workshop
The workshop will take place at the ISACS classroom at 55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 702, Chicago, IL. 

Directions, Parking & Public Transportation
The location is located in the heart of Chicago, with easy access to public transportation.

Click here for directions to the ISACS classroom including driving, parking and public transportation directions. Parking is available at several area garages. To secure discounted rates prior to your arrival in Chicago, visit If possible, we suggest taking public transportation.

Air Travel
Both Midway and O'Hare airports are easily accessible to the ISACS classroom. Fly into Midway (on Southwest Airlines) or into O'Hare and take the "L" (Chicago's public transportation) and be at the ISACS classroom in less than an hour.  

‚ÄčGO Airport Express (Share-a-Ride) Shuttle Service
ISACS has negotiated a special rate with GO Airport Express for ISACS members – 15% off the standard rates. Reservations MUST be made in advance and online to receive the discounted rate.  The standard rate per person to/from O’Hare is approximately $28 one-way; $49 round-trip. The standard rate per person to/from Midway is approximately $24 one-way; $40 round-trip. To receive the 15% discount off the standard rates, please click here for the Go Airport Express website to make a reservation in advance. A credit card is required and charged at the time of reservation. Airport walk-ups are not eligible for the discounted rate. Parties of two more reserving at the same time receive a discount. Please visit their website for more information.  

Hotel Accommodations
The ISACS Professional Development team has partnered with many incredible Chicago hotels. The hotels are within walking distance of the ISACS classroom and as a member of ISACS you have access to the discounted rates all year long for your professional and personal travel. Click here to find out how to make a reservation at any of the hotels and select the option that meets your travel needs.

The Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront is offering a special group rate for ISACS guests. To receive this rate please call 1 (877) 999-3223 and ask for the ISACSMcKey rate or to utilize the easy and convenient online booking click here, which will automatically provide the group rate. Please make your reservations by September 8th  in order to receive this special group rate.

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

Registration Fee

  • $190 member fee
  • The first person pays the full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes coffee/tea, light breakfast, lunch and refreshments 
  • Register early as we anticipate this workshop will reach capacity
  • Please review the Registration Confirmation information below

Registration Confirmation Communications from ISACS
Once registration for the workshop has been completed the following communications will be sent from ISACS:

  • Once registration is complete, an email will automatically be sent to the contact person on the registration confirming that registration has been completed.
  • Approximately three weeks prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.
  • Approximately one week prior to the workshop, ISACS will send a final confirmation email to the registrant with details for the workshop.

If you do not receive these emails prior to arriving at a workshop, please call the ISACS office at 312-750-1190. It is possible your email address was entered incorrectly OR your registration was not completed.

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.


Cost: $190
This event is open to participants from ISACS member schools only.


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