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Advancement and Annual Giving Experts Share Top Fundraising Strategies

Feb 2023 - READ IN 3 MINUTES

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Savvy school fundraisers take center stage at GCPC ‘23

Last month we held our 8th annual GiveCampus Partner Conference (GCPC)—8th! And for the first time since 2020, we hosted it in person at a shiny new venue right around the corner from corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Nearly 300 school fundraisers attended the event in person and another 1200+ joined online. All told, some 800 colleges, universities, and K-12s convened to share fundraising best practices and catch up with their colleagues from peer schools. 

Over the years, a GCPC invite has become one of the most sought-after tickets in fundraising—and with good reason. It brings together the country’s top advancement and annual giving experts for two full days of networking and thought leadership that you simply can’t get anywhere else. 

Strategy, best practices, and a healthy dose of “philantherapy”

Think of GCPC as equal parts strategy, best practices, and “philantherapy.” If you’re a GiveCampus partner you know and if you’re not, ask a colleague who is—they’re everywhere. Or just download one of the live-streamed sessions referenced below to bask in the GCPC vibe.

“I feel like I should begin this like a 12-step program. I’m John Helmick and I didn’t want to do a Giving Day.” That’s how the Chief Advancement Officer for the Salesianum School kicked off the popular “Rinse and Re-Peak” session. Where else are you going to get that kind of candor, followed by a master class in how to take your Giving Day from “treacly, inauthentic, and ill-timed” to “integral, all-in, and buzzy.” Nowhere, but GCPC. 

Not to be outdone, Clancee Rea, the Director of Annual Giving and the Donor Experience Program at the University of Wyoming Foundation (and winner of the longest job title—sorry, Patrick Stanley) proceeded to spin some Giving Day gold of her own. 

“Around one third of our donors every year are brand new through Giving Day. And we haven’t been able to see that increase in donors through any other strategy that we currently have.”

John Helmick and Clancee Rea present on the main stage at GCPC 2023.
John Helmick and Clancee Rea take center stage at GCPC.

Clancee and John co-presented an entertaining and insightful 30-minute session on the GCPC main stage that tackled everything from resources and rodeos to timelines and tattoos. If you’re in the throes of Giving Day planning and looking for a little inspiration and some laughs, check out the Clancee and John show, “Rinse and Re-Peak: How Campaign at the Top of Your Game.”

The second longest job title in fundraising (possibly)

One of our all-time favorite serial GCPC presenters is Patrick Stanley from the University of Virginia (UVA). Patrick often jokes he has the longest job title in fundraising, but clearly there’s a new entry in the field of advancement and the good folks at Guinness World Records are on notice.

Patrick is a fan favorite for many reasons, not the least of which is that he is quite possibly the leading authority on online giving forms for schools. UVA currently has more than 250 custom giving forms (and those are just the active forms). We suspect that no educational fundraiser has left their fingerprints and strategic stamp on more giving pages than Patrick.

Even if your school has only a handful of giving forms—or just one—you need to watch this session. Believe it or not, one good giving form can be an absolute game changer.

Patrick and his co-presenter, our very own Casey Fish, explain why every field, every image, and every character of text matters. As a fundraiser you spend the bulk of your time and energy getting donors to your giving page and you don’t want to lose them in the last mile. Patrick and Casey show you exactly what you can do to optimize that critical last leg of the donor journey. Watch “Outstanding in Your Fields: How to Level Up Your Giving Form Game” now for tactical takeaways you can start using immediately. (You’ll also find out Patrick’s job title which ironically doesn’t fit on any giving form.) Enjoy!

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