Getting a Seat at the Table: Using Donor Relations to Drive Principal Gift Cultivation
Session 1C

Wednesday, October 3 | 10:00–11:00 AM

Presented by: 
Carol Wilkie and Joe Plante

Session Description: 

The donor said yes! The gift officer is happy, and the big gift is coming. That's usually when donor relations is brought in; but that's way too late for effective stewardship to begin. When the cultivation plan has strategic donor relations elements woven in from the start, the donor can sense your gratitude and an authentic relationship builds more easily. And at St. Thomas, we have found that the donor says yes more often when we follow this approach that's truly a gateway to good!

Through the lens of both a donor relations professional and a seasoned fundraiser, this session will focus on ways to restructure a donor relations shop so it can support high-end, customized stewardship and help drive a cultivation strategy at the principal gift level. You'll get examples for any budget and staff size that you can implement right away.

Shop Size
Suitable for any size shop

Experience Level
Suitable for all levels

Private College/University

Individualized Stewardship Plans
Major Donors
Working with Frontline Fundraisers

About the Speakers:

Carol Wilkie
Director, Donor Relations
University of St. Thomas

Carol Wilkie is director of donor relations for the University of St. Thomas. She has been at the University for 15 years and has operationalized donor relations during her tenure. Carol firmly believes that her donor relations team must be nimble in order to successfully support fundraising initiatives. She'll show how she and her team have done that in the past and how they have repositioned themselves to support new principal-gift strategies going forward.

Joe Plante
AVP, Principal and Leadership Gifts
University of St. Thomas

Joe Plante is the associate vice president of principal and leadership gifts at the University of St. Thomas. Joe is a graduate of St. Thomas and has worked for the university for over 30 years starting first in Alumni Relations, then Major Gifts, and now Principal Gifts. An expert at both the science and the art of fundraising, Joe will present how the most successful principal-gift strategy is best supported with a strong donor relations partnership from the start.