7C | Crashing a Party You Weren't Invited To: Having a Seat at the Table

Thursday, Sept 22
2:40 - 3:40 PM


Experience Level
Suitable for all levels

Shop Size
Suitable for any size shop

Do you ever feel like you're missing out on the critical conversations being held at your organization? Despite the knowledge we have to offer, Donor Relations is not always a part of the discussions that determine what we are ultimately expected to deliver. In this session, we will discuss how to stop letting decisions happen to you and be a part of making them.

To have a seat at the table, we must bring something to it. We will explore what Donor Relations can contribute to discussions around cultivation, gift documentation, annual fund, naming opportunities, corporate/foundation relations, IT, fund establishment and fund administration. When done effectively, you can reap a number of rewards. You and your colleagues may have a greater appreciation of each other's roles. Procedures and processes will no longer be a barrier, but will allow you to operate more effectively and with clear direction. You will spend less time auditing and fixing endowed funds and more time demonstrating the impact of an endowed fund. And most importantly, your donors will have a more positive experience.

If you suffer from a severe case of F.O.M.O (fear of missing out), the solution is to get involved. So stop waiting for your invitation, and crash the party. You may be surprised to find that you were on the invite list all along.


Madelyn Jones

Madelyn Jones is Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Since beginning her Donor Relations career in 2012, she has won a CASE District 1 Excellence Award for Donor Stewardship programs, been honored with a CASE scholarship, and been the grateful recipient of the ADRP Sheryl A. Blair Scholarship. Jones began her career in Austin, Texas, working in the family business providing personalized gifts for event planners and marketing products for corporations. She was later Marketing Coordinator for an oil and gas investment bank in Houston, Texas, handling event logistics and rolling out the red carpet for top clients. When she moved to a state where higher-ed institutions were more plentiful than oil derricks, she found a home in Donor Relations. She is grateful that she works in an industry where she can translate her for-profit experience into something so meaningful.