Advance 2022: Annual Giving

Did you know? All Advance participants will receive a swag pack of materials shipped directly to them to follow along throughout the program! Registration for the Annual Giving Track closes on March 18; registering after this date will not guarantee printed materials are received in advance of the program.

Looking for the Annual Giving digital workbook? Click here! The password was emailed to participants on March 21. Please email us if you did not receive it.


11:00 – 11:45 am ET (Optional)

Casual Kick-off

This casual networking session will allow you to meet other attendees, share a little about yourself, your role and what you’re most excited to take away from Advance/incorporate into your work.

1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Welcome: Successes and Trends from 2021

We did it! We made it through 2021… now let’s tackle 2022! Advance will help participants stay ahead of the curve and innovate with new projects this year. This kickoff session will set the stage for success as participants share in a guided discussion and begin networking.

2:10 – 3:25 pm ET

Direct Mail Panel

Megan Caldwell, Tri Sigma Foundation; Anne Curosh, Alpha Chi Omega Foundation; Melissa Hammer, Kappa Delta Foundation & Lesley F. Miller, Zeta Beta Tau Foundation

Direct mail can have a great impact when done well. This session will focus on how to get the work done with a team of any size. Panel members will discuss how to be successful and lessons learned regarding managing in-house operations compared to partnering with vendors, how print and digital can work together and more! Participants will walk away from this session with tangible actions and a network to call on when questions inevitably arise.

Megan Caldwell is a Tri Sigma alumna from the Alpha Omicron chapter at the University of Central Arkansas. She has been on staff with Tri Sigma for four years and brings over 10 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, donor relations and marketing. Currently, she serves as the director of donor engagement which oversees the annual fund, development campaigns and donor stewardship. Megan lives in central Arkansas with her husband and two children.

Anne Curosh joined the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation team in 2017 and a lot has changed since then, but her excitement for fundraising has remained a constant as the associate director of annual giving. Anne is an Alpha Chi Omega from Purdue University and loves getting back to campus any time she can to visit and cheer on the Boilers! She lives in Fishers, Indiana with her husband, Kevin and 18-month daughter, Sophia.

Melissa Hammer lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, Joe, her daughter, Eva and their retired racing greyhound, Hip Hop. She has a BA in English and Spanish from Bradley University and an MA in organizational leadership from Western Kentucky University. She serves as associate director of communications for the Kappa Delta Foundation and is a housing volunteer for the KD chapter at Bradley University. She’s also an active member of the Junior League of Lexington. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading books, exploring the Bluegrass and spending quality time with friends and family.

Lesley Miller is a Chi Omega alumna who joined the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation nearly four years ago as the annual fund and communications manager. Prior to the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation, Lesley ran employee communications for Fender Musical Instrument Corp. and served as the director of public relations and community relations for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and three boys.

3:35 – 4:00 pm ET

Try This!

Try This! sessions are live, short-form educational breaks to give a quick lesson on a topic keyed relevant to today’s hybrid fundraising world. Topics could include: donor acquisition, segmentation, email campaign automation, data benchmarking, text to give, giving days and special initiative fundraising challenges.

  • Succeeding with Data-Informed Appeals with Brandi Barber, CSI and Katie Boyd, CSI
  • Stewarding your Top Donors through virtual events, personal outreach and direct mail with Timmi Warlick, Chi Omega

4:10 – 5:00 pm ET

Digital Wallets: What We’ve Learned So Far

Felicity Meu, GiveCampus

Digital wallets like Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay have eclipsed Visa to become the most popular payment method among donors to educational institutions. Join Felicity Meu, Senior Director of Partner Success, as she highlights the incredible findings from GiveCampus’ study on who’s using it, which ones are most popular, and how it’s transforming the donor experience across education institutions everywhere.

As a Leadership Consultant for Kappa Kappa Gamma 2002-2004, Felicity learned the importance of building trusted relationships which she then leveraged during her 9 years with Stanford’s Office of Development. As Stanford’s inaugural Director of Next Generation Giving she worked closely with individual donors and volunteers but also helped craft the University’s vision for engaging its next great generation of philanthropists. Leaning into the needs of young donors, Felicity spent time consulting for Stanford’s Effective Philanthropy Lab, working on a project dedicated to taking a deep dive into better understanding the needs of millennial donors.  For the last 5+ years she has served as Senior Director of Partner Success for GiveCampus where she continues to work against her goal of helping fundraisers raise more money from more donors with less time and effort.




1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Tips, Tricks, Tasks & To Do’s

Samantha Hahn, Consultant

We know we all are juggling a lot of tasks, to-dos and a follow-up at any given moment. This session will provide you practical and actionable tips to make your world a little more organized. Attendees will gain knowledge on topics related to project management apps, managing workflow, getting the work done with a small team and/or with a hybrid/remote team and everyone’s favorite aspect of their job, “other duties as assigned.”

Samantha Hahn’s professional Love Language is helping others become more efficient. She spent seven years in the fraternal world before starting her own project management business. She supports independent consultants and entrepreneurs in managing and optimizing their back office so that they can focus on the work they love and not the never-ending list of to-dos.

In the fraternal world, she juggled various hats as a leadership consultant and engagement manager during her time at Alpha Gamma Delta. Through her time on staff she learned that managing a project, regardless of its size, requires systems and relationships working well together. She has a passion for sharing practical support to make everyone’s workload a little more manageable.

2:10 – 3:00 pm ET

Effective Fundraising & Good Stewardship

John Mainella, Cape Fletcher

Effective fundraising isn’t just dusting off the ask letter and changing the dates and amounts. What are we doing in between solicitations to stay in touch with our alumni and donors? Good stewardship doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to be expensive. But it has to make an impact. Let’s dig into some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way and share what is working around the Greek and higher education world!

With more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience, John Mainella is an innovative leader with high-level experience in building and executing a development program at a variety of institutions. His career spans higher education, the arts, primary and secondary education, and membership organizations. In addition, John has experience in the startup and technology sector growing and leading enterprise account teams.

As a connector, John takes pride in his ability to network and grow relationships, while maintaining a vast community in Indianapolis and around the country. John is known for relationship management, including cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. He has a seasoned ability to communicate and work with corporate executives and high-level philanthropists. He helps organizations create and execute touchpoints to reconnect their donor base and foster stronger and lasting relationships.

John is a past president and board member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis, one of the world’s largest Rotary Clubs, dedicated to making Indianapolis and the larger world community a better place through community service and engagement. He is a member of the board of The Cabaret, a thriving Indianapolis arts organization dedicated to elevating and promoting the cabaret art form, and a former board member of Forte, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s young professional society. John currently serves as a division vice president and volunteer for Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He has served on various committees and volunteered with organizations around the country, including West Virginia University, IndyDoDay, Giving+Sum, the American Cancer Society and has presented at national conferences including Foundation for Fraternal Excellence, CASE, Engineering Development Forum among others.

You can often find John out running, cooking up a new recipe, or opening a bottle of wine from his collection.

3:10 – 4:00 pm ET

Try This!

Try This! sessions are live, short-form educational breaks to give a quick lesson on a topic keyed relevant to today’s hybrid fundraising world. Topics could include: donor acquisition, segmentation, email campaign automation, data benchmarking, text to give, giving days and special initiative fundraising challenges.

  • Growing Mid-Level Giving with Allison Rickels, FarmHouse
  • Five Ways to Transform Your Giving Day with Theresa Lubert, RNL
    Giving days have made a huge impact on greek organizations, and new tools are boosting success. In this session, learn how gamification, including matches, challenges, leaderboard and “power hours” can excite your supporters. Then, see new tools to help volunteer ambassadors boost results and engage peers to take action. Add in a virtual wallet, where your donors can give in less than a minute and use Venmo, Payal, Apple Pay and crypto, and you’ve got some great strategy. If you you’re looking to launch or boost your giving day, these five things can transform your results.
  • SAE/Sigma Chi’s Interfraternal Giving Day Challenge with Wes Holtsclaw, Sigma Chi
  • Going local: Leveraging chapter-based affinity in appeals with Heather Matthews, SigEp
    As Cygnus tells us, a member’s strongest affinity is almost always for their chapter. Telling stories and communicating through the lens of their local experience can help you build understanding and buy-in and cultivate donors.

4:10 ET – 5:00 pm ET

How to Tell Your Foundation Story

Katherine Sopp, Alpha Phi Foundation & Sharyn Taylor, Alpha Phi Foundation

This session will focus on marketing and communications as related to fundraising professionals. Join us to brainstorm the most important information you need to share then learn the best ways to highlight information in email campaigns, social media, blog/magazine articles and more.

Katherine Sopp lives in Anderson, South Carolina with her husband and two daughters,  Parker and Benny. She has a B.A. in sociology and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, college student affairs from the University of South Florida. Katherine serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Alpha Phi Foundation. She has a passion for fundraising and truly believes in Alpha Phi Foundation’s mission – advancing the lives of women through the power of philanthropy.

Sharyn Taylor lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Brant. She holds a B.S. in public relations from Appalachian State University. With a background in marketing and business development paired with an enthusiasm for philanthropic giving, Sharyn serves as a Gift Officer with the Alpha Phi Foundation. As a long-time supporter of the Foundation’s mission, she is excited to share the positive impact that Alpha Phi Foundation is making in communities everywhere.


Schedule subject to change.

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