Southeast Donor Relations Conference (SEDRC) 2017

Thursday, June 8 - Friday, June 9
Augusta University | Augusta, GA

Registration | Program | Sponsorship | Where to Stay


  Early Bird
(through April 22)
Member  $175 $200
Non-member  $200 $225


Thank you for joining us in Augusta! We hope you found your experience valuable!

Come together with donor relations and stewardship professionals to network, get inspired, and learn about best practices within our important profession. Do you have expertise you are willing to share with other donor relations professionals? We'd love to hear from you! From the Donor Relations Coordinator who is just starting out, to the experienced Director or President, we want to know your tips and tricks! Whether you work in health care, higher education, the arts, or another field, we're seeking talented presenters who can speak to trends and best practices. 


Thursday, June 8

Time Presentation Title Session Information

9:00 - 10:00 AM

Registration and Brunch
10:00 - 10:15 AM

Welcome and Introductions

10:15 - 10:45 AM

Keynote Address

Shell K. Berry, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area
10:45 - 11:45 AM

Common Practices: What Works, What Doesn't, and What Barely Gets You By

Supplemental Materials

Stewardship Plan

Stewardship Grid

Sample Named Space

Daphne Powell
Senior Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, The University Of Alabama at Birmingham

Daphne Powell, Senior Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations at UAB, will lead discussions on some of the common practices seen during her 18-year career. Topics will include gift agreements, acknowledgements, recognition, reporting, and much more. Participants will be expected to share stories of their own successes and failures, and they will take away ideas and information about what works, what doesn't, and what barely gets you by. 

11:45 AM - 12:00 PM


12:00 - 1:00 PM

Earn that Seat at the Table: Add Value to Advancement Initiatives

Patricia Burton
Director of Donor Relations, Elon University

I am privileged to have a seat at two important tables within University Advancement: the Directors Group and the Leadership Team. In these meetings, I look for opportunities for Donor Relations to help out with initiatives using the special skills that we possess, like organization and project management. In the past year, we have had three major opportunities to lead planning and execution of components of fundraising initiatives. In this session, I'll show how we collaborated with colleagues across Advancement to develop a new initiative (Share Your Chair, encouraging alumni giving before commencement); improve stewardship for an established initiative (Be an Elon Luminary, end of calendar year/holiday alumni giving); and bring new stewardship technology to an established initiative (#ElonDay, our annual day of giving). Attendees will learn how inexpensive labels, printed with donor names and placed on chairs and luminarias, make happy donors. I'll also show how we used ThankView videos and social media messages to create personalized and prompt stewardship for our annual day of giving. 

1:00 - 1:45 PM Networking Lunch
1:45 - 2:45 PM

Stewardship Close-up: Naming Opprtunities

Anne Manner-McLarty
President and Lead Consultant,

Naming opportunities are a key component in fundraising for major gifts. Organizations associate donor names with campus-based spaces, programs, funds and faculty positions. The science of using naming opportunities to motivate giving-and using strategy and policy to manage possible risks-is evolving. This session will explore advances in cross-departmental coordination, recognition policy, and design guidelines. We'll explore ideas that make naming opportunity meaningful for all audiences and better prepare you and your organization accommodate challenging situations.

2:45 - 3:00 PM



3:00 - 4:15 PM

Taking a Step Back Will Lead You Forward

Carolyn Appleton
President, Carolyn M. Appleton, Inc.

This presentation will focus on Carolyn's real life experiences working with major gift donors, revitalizing failing fundraising campaigns of all types, and healing negative experiences. Listening to donors and responding with appropriate measures will lead you to fundraising success. 

4:15 PM Networking Reception


Friday, June 9

Time Presentation Title Session Information
8:00 - 9:00 AM Brunch
9:00 - 10:00 AM

“In Lieu of Flowers”: A Case Study in Stewardship & Retention of Memorial Gifts

Beth Bryant
Senior Director of Donor Relations, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter

There is more than one point of entry for a potential donor to become a donor. One of these is memorial gifts given in response to an obituary notice: "In lieu of flowers, please make donations to --." Learn how one organization made a concerted effort to move as many memorial donors as possible from transactional into a relationship through stewardship, storytelling and solicitation. Moving 10% or even 20% into an ongoing relationship can translate into huge dollars!
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Beyond Endowments and Scholarships: Stewarding Legacy, Facility and Other Major Donors

Melanie Armstrong
Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Melanie Armstrong, Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, will talk about how important it is to steward the 'other donors' - planned giving, facility, and current-use gift donors. In or out of campaign mode, these donors hold untapped potential, and providing appropriate stewardship to them could open the door for stronger relationships and more philanthropic support. Hear how UAB has implemented various strategies to create a stronger culture of stewardship.
11:00 - 11:15 AM



11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Can a Partnership Enhance Your Stewardship?

Michael Dotson
Senior Director of Advancement Services, Augusta University

Melody Allen McBeth
Principal/Senior Consultant, Highland Fundraising Solutions

From identifying the newest members of the giving society crew to navigating the choppy waters of QPQ, any misstep could mean scuttling your Stewardship. Where is your 'safe harbor' and what happens when the threshold is met? Is that auction donation of a vacation timeshare as welcomed as you or your donors might think? When are you required to send an amended deductibility statement? Partnering with your data services division prior to the planning stages of an event, or even the beginning of the fiscal year, can prevent significant headaches for the Donor Relations/Stewardship team and ensure your donors are properly stewarded.
12:15 - 2:00 PM

Lunch and Panel Discussion


2:30 PM

Adjourn and self-guided tour



Become a sponsor or exhibitor!

Sponsorship opportunities are now closed. This conference will be the premier gathering for donor relations and stewardship professionals across the Southeast United States - make sure you're a part of this exciting event! Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with attendees both veteran and new. Mix and mingle with the crowd as our Thursday evening reception sponsor, or obtain special recognition as a lunch sponsor. Is this your first event with ADRP? Set up a table and join us as an exhibitor. 

Thank you to our current exhibitors!


1157 designconcepts designs and fabricates custom donor recognition solutions, history displays, hall of fame projects, plaques, room signage and interactive displays. With a focus on the not-for-profit market, the company services major colleges, leading healthcare institutions, independent schools, YMCAs and other organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

We design, manufacture and install architectural and interactive donor recognition displays, history exhibits and environmental graphics. Our expertise helped us create Giftmap, a map-based tool that will help you plan, document and manage funding opportunities and recognition inventories. Giftmap has become the central planning and communication platform for some of the most respected fundraising shops across North America.


Partners In Recognition is a company tailored to suite the unique needs of our nonprofit clients. We offer onsite consulting service, creative design concepts and state of the art manufacturing capabilities all resulting in the most innovative and price competitive recognition systems available. Our goal is to work with you to create a recognition system that stands as a testimony of your commitment to your donors, as well as a marketing tool to foster continued involvement.

MD Designs by Metal Decor creates spectacular donor walls, signage and awards.


 With over 30 years of experience and more than 700 installations Brook Recognition is a forward-thinking business focused on Donor Recognition Strategies to help non-profits achieve their fundraising goals. A new innovation, The Recognition Paradigm Shift will revolutionize the way you look at donor recognition, as well as enrich your donor's experience. Be sure to visit our exhibit to learn more about this exciting new perspective and how it can enhance your culture of philanthropy! Heurista is a consulting firm that helps nonprofits engage and retain donors through streamlined, industry-tested stewardship practices, meaningful storytelling, and creative donor recognition solutions.

At Harris Made we are passionate about working with Donor Professionals to create stunning donor recognition gifts that are of exquisite quality and unique to your institution. All gifts are designed to help recognize and inspire donors that often have all that money can buy. Our gifts are never available for general purchase. Our ninth generation family-owned mill in England proudly weaves the scarlet uniform fabric worn by the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace and is a recipient of a Royal Warrant, the ultimate seal of approval for exquisite quality. We would love to be of service if like other ADRP Donor Professionals you struggle to find unique and affordable gifts rich in tradition and provenance.