2A, 3A & 4A | Foundations in Donor Relations

Wednesday, Sept 21
1:00 - 2:00 PM
2:20 - 3:20 PM
3:40 - 4:40 PM

Suitable across all audiences

Experience Level
Suitable for all levels

Shop Size
Suitable for any size shop 

The donor relations field has grown and evolved tremendously over the last five years—one expert estimates the number of advancement professionals in stewardship roles has more than quadrupled since 2008. If you are new to the field of donor relations or need to brush up on the fundamentals this workshop will provide you with an overview of the basics of the profession and an understanding of the four pillars of a sound donor relations program: stewardship and impact reporting, acknowledgements, recognition, and engagement. You will leave with an understanding of these foundational components of the profession and best practices to leverage in your everyday work.

Please note that if you plan to attend the Foundations in Donor Relations workshop, you are expected to attend all 3 parts: Session 2A, 3A & 4A.


Lynne Wester

Lynne Wester is a frequent conference speaker and well known resource for donor relations and fundraising expertise. She has been featured in The Washington Post, CURRENTS magazineThe Chronicle of Philanthropy, and other industry publications.

It is her personal philosophy that the goal of any great fundraising operation is to use strategic communications and interactions to foster the relationship between the organization and its constituents and friends. If we are effective with that strategy, those friends and constituents will be engaged in a way that drives them ever closer to embracing the organization's mission and values. As a result, they will give their money, time, and talents, volunteering to spread that same message to others, encouraging their peers to invest, enabling the organization to further light the world. 

Using her expertise and hands-on approach, Lynne works with organizations to help them keep their focus donor driven, technology savvy, strategic, and always with a splash of good humor. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and is a loyal gamecock alumna, donor and fan, and holds a master's in strategic fundraising and philanthropy. 


Mary Solomons

Skidmore College's tagline is Creative Thought Matters and this mindset pervades every part of the College's donor relations. From interactive events to personalized priority donor outreach, Mary Solomons is known for instilling an inventive and innovative twist to the task at hand.

Mary Solomons has been in the advancement field for more than 25 years, initially in the alumnae office of her alma mater, Wellesley College. For the past 20 years she has been at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, first as Director of Alumni Affairs, and since 2000, overseeing the Office of Donor Relations. Mary served on the Board of Directors of ADRP from 2008-13 and has presented at numerous ADRP conferences. She is also is active with CASE, serving on the faculty of the 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015 Donor Relations Conferences as well as a speaker at the summer Institute for Advancement Services in July 2011.