2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising Conference

July 28 – July 30, 2016
Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University and the Hyatt Regency Columbus)

The purpose of the 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising Conference is to share and exchange strategies, ideas, and resources, and to discuss issues related to student affairs fundraising and external relations. The conference promotes an exchange of best practices. It is designed for professionals who currently have development responsibilities specifically in student affairs and for professionals with backgrounds and experience in either student affairs or development.


The 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising & External Relations Conference is sponsored by NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education as a three-day professional development forum for professionals with specific fundraising, development, and donor communication responsibility for student affairs divisions. The primary audience includes prospective, aspiring and seasoned development professionals; new and seasoned student affairs professionals with roles connected to fundraising and external relations; and senior student affairs officers. The conference facilitates an exchange of strategies, ideas, and resources between participants regarding fundraising for student affairs. Conference educational sessions promote an exchange of best practices. The conference occurs biannually and will next occur in July 2016.

Conference History

The conference is co-sponsored by the NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising and External Relations Knowledge Community (KC). The vision of the KC is to enable NASPA members to develop fundraising knowledge and skills to enhance programs and services for Student Affairs at their individual institutions. The KC provides a professional home within NASPA for professionals working in, or connected to, student affairs development and external relations. The KC provides senior student affairs officers with a place to connect for the latest fundraising trends and strategies.

Previous Conference host institutions include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University (2005); University of South Carolina (2006); University of Illinois (2007); Georgia Tech (2008); University of Florida (2009); University of Missouri (2010); University of Utah (2011); University of Louisville (2012), Louisiana State University (2013), and the University of Houston (2014).

2016 Conference Themes

The 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising Conference will focus on the following themes:

  • Fundamentals to catalyzing fundraising initiatives within student affairs
  • Developing and managing volunteers
  • Identifying target audiences for potential fundraising activities
  • Building collaborative strategies for fundraising success
  • External relations and alumni relations for student affairs
  • Building and enhancing strategies & practices for student affairs fundraising success
Conference Benefits

A record number of attendees leave the conference with practical advice for developing and growing fundraising initiatives at their home institutions.  Additionally, conference participants develop new, professional relationships that enrich their work.  We look forward to seeing you at the 2016 conference!  


Presented By

Student Affairs Fundraising and External Relations


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • AVP or “Number Two”
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Mid-Level
  • Senior Level
  • New Professional


Let others know you are coming!

Use this hashtag to see what others are sharing #2016safc

Call for Programs

The Call for Programs is now closed. Thank you to all who submitted workshops for the conference.

The conference promotes an exchange of best practices. It is designed for professionals who currently have development responsibilities specifically in student affairs and for professionals with backgrounds and experience in either student affairs or development. The conference planning committee will be choosing programs relevent to professionals both new and seasoned within student affairs fundraising. Additionally, the conference planning committee will select programs based upon the programs' relationship to the conference themes and learning outcomes.

There are three different session types:

  • Concurrent Session: 45 minute sessions designed to deliver information on a topic in engaging ways to smaller groups of 20-40 participants.
  • 20 Minute Tool Box Session: 30 minute sessions designed to give participants actionable ideas and tools to take back to their campus. Presenters will share ideas for 10 minutes followed by 20 minutes for questions. An example of a session title appropriate for this format is "10 New Ideas to Engage with the Parents of New Students."
  • Mini Institutes: 90 minute sessions that are highly interactive and teach best practices in student affairs fundraising. Delivered to a group of 20-40 participants.

Conference Themes & Suggested Topics

  • Fundamentals to catalyzing fundraising initiatives within student affairs

    • Nuts and bolts of successfully organizing fundraising activities within student affairs
    • Existing campus tools/resources for student affairs fundraising initiatives
    • Developing a student affairs annual giving program
    • Identifying student affairs major gift projects
    • Reporting lines defined between advancement and student affairs
    • Programs and practices that can be generalized across institutions
    • Sustaining student affairs advancement efforts through transition

  • Developing and managing volunteers

    • Internal and external advisory committees
    • Alumni boards
    • Parent boards
    • Social media for volunteers

  • Identifying target audiences for potential fundraising activities

    • Defining potential donor segmentation
    • Data to identify a prospective donor
    • Starting or growing parent fundraising

  • Building collaborative strategies for fundraising success

    • Engaging other student affairs professionals with the division to leverage skills for fundraising
    • Ways to collaborate and engage advancement professionals in other units at your institution

  • External relations and alumni relations for student affairs

    • Possible partnerships within the surrounding community
    • Engagement with parents and families
    • Events and activities that engage, cultivate, and steward alumni and supporters

  • Building and enhancing strategies and practices for student affairs fundraising success

    • Aspects of student affairs culture that are important for stakeholders to understand and appreciate
    • Effective donor communication/stewardship tools
    • Types of programs, and initiatives most attractive to potential donors
    • Takeaways and action steps that can be implemented to improve student affairs fundraising?
    • Emerging fundraising trends that could be applied to student affairs
    • Essential components of building a successful major gift campaign strategy
    • Social media and fundraising

Submission Timeline
  • April 8, 2016
    Call for Programs Deadline

Writing Tips

Looking for tips on writing an effective NASPA proposal? See sample submissions and formatting tips in our Program Submission Guidelines.


Please contact NASPA if you have any further questions about submitting a program proposal for the 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising Conference.

Jace Kirschner
Assistant Director of Educational Programs
Phone: 202-903-0644
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


A printable copy of the program book is now available online.

Join us Friday night as The Ohio State University hosts NASPA attendees and their invited donor guests for a fun evening of food, fellowship and fun at the Huntington Suites in Ohio Stadium. Each NASPA participant is welcome to invite up to five of their donors from the central Ohio region to the event. This opportunity is a great way to network with your alumni and supporters in the region while putting what you’ve learned at the conference into practice. If you have questions, please contact Kurt Foriska at foriska.1@osu.edu or 614-247-5878.

Thu, Jul 28

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshop
+1 Degree of Difference: Practical Tips for New and Aspiring Major Gift Fundraisers
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Welcome and Opening Keynote
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Session Block I
Shaping Strategies for Sustainable Student Affairs Fundraising
Hiring and Retaining Quality Talent in Development
Like It, Favorite, Share It: Incorporating Multimedia and Social Media in Your Development Efforts
Finding Donors: When EVERYONE is a Potential Donor
4:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Concurrent Session Block II
Dollars for Dreams: Fundraising Lessons Learned
Fundraising for Diversity
Engaging Events – Attracting Donors
In Donor's Voices: Assessment's Role in Fundraising
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Opening Reception

Fri, Jul 29

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Columbus
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Morning Keynote
10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Building a Forever Community for Student Affairs
Parent Programming and Parent Fundraising
Collaborating Across Units
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Provided Lunch and Donor Panel
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Seasoned Roundtable Discussion
1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Twenty Minute Tool Box I
9 Tips on How You Can Use Technology to Fundraise
"Do I Report to Advancement or Student Affairs?"
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Twenty Minute Tool Box II
Planned Giving for Ordinary People
When Development Gets Added to Your Job Description
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Session Block III
Student Involvement and Engagement: A model for fundraising
Making an Ask in the Midst of Chaos: Strategy Development
Fundraising for a Cause
A Panel Discussion with Senior Leaders
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
General Session
Major Donors and Named Spaces: A Tour of The Ohio Union
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Donor Development Reception

Sat, Jul 30

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Columbus
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Keynote and Workshop
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Concurrent Session Block IV
Fundraising in the Worst of Times: Dealing with Adversity
Engaging Young Alumni: Millennials Participation in Homecoming Events at Indiana University, Bloomington
Made for Each Other: Crowdfunding and Student Affairs
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Actionable Roundtables and Closing
12:30 p.m.
Optional Campus Tour

Pre-Conference Programs & Events

+1 Degree of Difference: Practical Tips for New and Aspiring Major Gift Fundraisers

Thursday, July 28th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

One Degree. Over a short distance or change in temperature, one degree may not seem like that big of deal, but consider time, distance, or other factors and it's huge. Imagine if NASA was one degree off when sending Purdue alumni Neil Armstrong to the moon. This interactive program, geared towards new fundraising professionals, highlights the key concepts, strategies and practical help that development officers can learn to assist them in securing major gifts.

View More Details

Program Description:

This collaborative and interactive session will focus on providing new and aspiring development officers practical tips for the most important areas of the job: identifying and prioritizing prospects, securing and preparing for the visit, conducting the visit, and doing appropriate follow-up.  We will discuss best practices in depth for each area.  Woven throughout the presentation will be times of small group work utilizing case studies.

The program will be interactive and engaging. Participants will work through case studies as small groups. Participants will also be encouraged to share valuable experiences they have learned through their time as fundraising professionals.

Program Outline:

  • The Value of +1 Degree of Fundraising
  • Case Studies
    • Strategy in determining who to call
    • How to make the most of time on the road
    • How to make contact
    • Securing the visit
    • Cultivation and Strategy
  • The Visit
  • Question and Answer

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with other professionals to learn collaboratively from one another, sharing ideas, experiences and best practices. Participants will also practice the skills of selecting the best prospects to engage, determine the best way to make contact and clarify strategies and cultivation practices in order to reveal a donors most philanthropic passions.

Presenter Background:

Todd Jensen brings over 15 years of fundraising knowledge and experience to this session. He is the Director of Development for Student Life at Purdue University where he works within the Vice Provost for Student Life Office. Todd supports the fundraising efforts for the following areas: University Residence, Dining, Student Organizations, Crew Rowing, Purdue Memorial Union and numerous areas in Student Success. During his two years at Purdue he has been one of the top visit metric goal performers and has a financial metric of $1M a year.

Todd started his fundraising career at an international, non-profit organization where only 10% of his time was devoted to fundraising. However, he was able to develop and grow a constituency of annual donors and steward them towards a culmination of over $1.5M.

Before arriving at Purdue, Todd served as a Residence Hall Director at Indiana Wesleyan University from 1994 until 1999. He received his M.A. in Higher Education from Ball State University. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was active in many student affairs departments. 


We are pleased to have two excellent keynote speakers for this conference.

  • Noah Drezner

    Associate Professor of Higher Education, Program Coordinator for Higher and Postsecondary Education
    Teachers College, Columbia University

    Speaker Bio

  • Amy Sajko, CFRE

    Senior Director
    NASPA Foundation

    Speaker Bio


If you would like to exhibit at or sponsor the 2016 NASPA Student Affairs Fundraising Conference please fill out the exhibitor application form and e-fax back all 3 pages to 202-204-8443 or scan and e-mail to skesek@naspa.org by June 27, 2016. Questions? Contact Szymon Kesek by phone at 202-903-0657 or via email at skesek@naspa.org.


Hyatt Regency Columbus

Hyatt Regency Columbus
Columbus, Ohio

Due to the overwhelming popularity of the conference, the room block for the Hyatt Regency Columbus has sold out

Our downtown Columbus hotel is one of the closest to the trendy Arena District, a lively neighborhood with trendy restaurants, shops, and a vibrant nightlife scene. We are also within walking distance to Short North, Greater Columbus Convention Center, Huntington Park and Nationwide Arena, home of the NHLs’ Columbus Blue Jackets.

You’ll find plenty of interesting things to do in the area around our hotel. Visit the Ohio State University Campus, tour the State of Ohio Capital Building and see a show at Columbus’ popular Short North Arts and Entertainment District. If you’re traveling for business or an event, we are directly connected to the Greater Columbus Convention Center and within minutes to the Port Columbus International Airport. From delicious food and drink to flexible meeting space, we have everything you need for an enjoyable and productive stay.

Shuttle service between the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Ohio Union, and between the Ohio Union and receptions at the conference.  This shuttle is generously being provided by The Ohio State University, and will run on the following schedule:

Day Schedule


Between the Hyatt and Ohio Union:
Departure at 8:00 a.m. for the pre-conference workshop

Continuous shuttle service, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Pick up at the Union to go to the Opening Reception: 5:15 p.m.


Between the Hyatt and Ohio Union:
Continuous shuttle service, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Pick at the Union to go to the Ohio Stadium: 5:30 p.m.

Between the Ohio Stadium and the Hyatt:
Continuous shuttle service, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.


Between the Hyatt and Ohio Union:
Continuous shuttle service, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

The shuttle will pick conference attendees up from the Hyatt at North High Street, near the N High St & Ohio Center Way bus stop.

A shuttle to the airport will also run on Saturday afternoon, leaving the Ohio Union at 1:00 p.m. Please inform the registration desk by Friday at noon if you intend to use this shuttle to the airport.

Hotel Room Rate/Night
Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North High Street Columbus, Ohio, USA, 43215
+1 614 463 1234
$168 - Single
$168 - Double
$168 - Triple
$168 - Quadruple
  • Travel

    Columbus is serviced by Port Columbus International Airport (CMH). The Hyatt is approximately 8 miles from the airport.

  • Transportation

    For more information on airport shuttles, please visit the To & From Port Columbus page of the CMH website.

    Taxi service is available in the ground transportation area of the terminal on a 24-hour basis. For more information on taxi service and rates, please visit the To & From Port Columbus page of the CMH website. The approximate fare to the Hyatt from the airport is $25.

    Rental Cars
    For more information on rental cars, including available companies and contact information, please visit the To & From Port Columbus section of the CMH website.

  • Weather

    Temperatures in Columbus in July are around 83 degrees F. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.

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