MARC 2013

Campaigns Symposium

Wednesday, March 6, 2013
9:00am – 5:00pm
Mason Inn
Fairfax, VA

This symposium catered to the advanced researcher and leaders of prospect information programs. It reviewed the basics of a campaign and delve deeply into the areas of specialization that today’s campaign-ready prospect information offices rely on to add value within their advancement organizations. Areas of interest include:

  • Campaign Basics
  • Gift Pyramid Analysis and Institutional Capacity Forecasting
  • Analytics, Identification and Data Driven Decision Making in a Campaign
  • Prospect Management and effective pool movement
  • Technology considerations for the campaign savvy Research Office
  • Future forwarding campaigning


Enormous Changes at The Last Minute: The Role of Research in a Campaign
Jon Thorsen, Director of Advancement Services, The Nature Conservancy
Campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, contain multiple phases and aspire to different results. But they share a similar need for information and analysis. In this session we will explore the stages of campaigns – from pre-planning through celebration of success – emphasizing the unique contribution research and analytics professionals contribute in each stage.

Campaign Data Science 
Joshua Birkholz, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner
Navigating the waters of campaign preparation may seem perilous at times. But incorporating data science into your plans can smooth these waters and position your program for success. Led by the author of the top-selling nonprofit book, Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy, this session focuses on the data that is most relevant to prospect managements leaders as they undertake campaigns. Particpants will learn critical metrics, measurements for production yields, and methods for forecasting goals. Participants will also take away strategies for deploying simple, effective campaign analytics in-house.

Inside the Campaign Director
Rob Scott, Campaign Director, MIT
Why are campaign directors so crazy? What's perennially eating at them that keeps them so high-strung and close to the edge? In this session, brush aside the cobwebs and peer inside the head of one of these campaign directors to understand what keeps them up at night, what makes them so highly-caffeineated during the day, and what sustains them through endless afternoon and evening meetings with staff, faculty, and volunteers. As a bonus, you'll find out how you can help support them in the audacious, insane effort that is riding the tiger of a multi-year, comprehensive campaign (should you wish to do so; if not, you can just find out some ways to poke at them and make them even crazier).


Birkholz.jpgJoshua Birkholz, Principal, Bentz Whaley Flessner 

Joshua M. Birkholz is a principal at Bentz Whaley Flessner, where he oversees specialty consulting services. His team includes experts in development operations, prospect development, social media, constituent engagement, and analytics. Josh is founder of the BWF analytics division, DonorCast.He has built data mining programs and ushered organizational change for leading non-profits in higher education, healthcare, the arts, advocacy, and social service sectors throughout the United States and beyond. He is widely regarded as a leading innovator in 21st-century development strategies. And, he is the author of the sought-after book, Fundraising Analytics: Using Data to Guide Strategy.Mr. Birkholz earned his Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University-St. Paul and his Master of Arts in nonprofits arts and cultural management from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Chaves.jpgTom Chaves, Assistant Vice President of Advancement Services, Lehigh University 

Thomas Chaves is the assistant vice president of advancement services at Lehigh University where he is building and leading a dynamic information management environment to support Lehigh's advancement operations. Managing a centralized team in a decentralized environment, Chaves strives to effectively and efficiently use technology, process and people to bring valuable information to Lehigh's advancement team.

Before coming to Lehigh, he spent more than 17 years at SunGard/SCT working with more than 100 Banner clients to implement and effectively use Banner Advancement. He also served as the director of annual giving at Albright College and finished a nine-year tenure on Albright College's Alumni Association board, serving as president the last two years.

Chaves chaired the 2010 CASE Conference for Senior Advancement Services Professionals, is a board member of the Association of Advancement Services Professionals and is a member of the Banner Advancement advisory board. He holds a bachelor's degree from Albright College and a master's degree from Penn State University.

Greene.jpgKaren Greene, Associate Vice President of Advancement Services, George Washington University

Karen L. Greene is Associate Vice President of Advancement Services, where she directs the areas of DAR operations including human resources, training, technical services, prospect research, communications, stewardship, events and fiscal operations. Her career includes leadership positions at the Arizona State University Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Creighton University and the University of Minnesota Foundation. She was also a partner at Bentz Whaley Flessner. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University. Greene also is a nationally recognized speaker on fundraising, prospect management and campaigns. She was recognized in 2010 when she received the APRA Distinguished Service Award. 

Howley.jpgLisa Howley, Director of Relationship Management, Johns Hopkins Institutions

Lisa Howley is the Director of Relationship Management at the Johns Hopkins Institutions. Previously, she was Director of Prospect Management and Research at Wheaton College and Director of Philanthropy Research at Women and Infants' Hospital. Howley is a past member of the APRA Board of Directors and has served as the Editor of Connections. She was Chair of MARC in 2012 and 2005, APRA Annual International Conference Track Chair in 2004 and has presented for APRA, MARC, CASE, AFP and APRA chapters.

Pipkins.jpgChris Pipkins, Associate Vice President, Advancement Information Services, James Madison University

Chris Pipkins is the associate vice president for advancement information systems for James Madison University, providing strategy and management for gift processing, data entry, quality assurance, training, prospect research and reporting. He started his career in prospect research.

At JMU, he developed a comprehensive prospect information and management system that was integral to the growth of a major gift operation. Professionally active at national and local levels, Pipkins has presented on topics such as campaigns, campaign reporting, prospect management and prospect pool analysis. He has published articles on prospect screenings and benchmarking. Active with APRA, he served on the curriculum committee for the 2006, 2007, 2011 international conferences and  served on the editorial board for APRA's professional journal, Connections. When he is not on the hunt for research karma or reporting zen, you can find him finding humor in life’s little absurdities.

Scott.jpgRob Scott, Campaign Director, MIT

Robert D. Scott, MIT Campaign Director, is a veteran of three successful billion-dollar-plus campaigns. Prior to assuming responsibility for MIT’s next campaign, Rob held responsibility for several divisions within Resource Development, including leadership gifts, gift planning, foundation relations, stewardship and donor relations, research and relationship management, and information technologies.  He also led the team that successfully completed the five-year, $500M Campaign for Students. Before joining MIT in 2002, Rob held progressively responsible development positions at New York University as it completed its first billion-dollar campaign and built a global development capacity. He entered the development field more than two decades ago, serving his alma mater Cornell University for seven years as a major giving officer.  Rob has served as past-president of APRA, founder of the prospect data modeling and analytics symposium, and co-founder of the Advancement Invitational Charette.

Thorsen.jpgJon Thorsen, Director of Advancement Services, The Nature Conservancy

Jon Thorsen is Director of Advancement Services at The Nature Conservancy. He joined the development profession in 1987 and has led research and advancement services operations for such as organizations Princeton University and the American Red Cross. Thorsen has given presentations on many facets of the development profession at conferences of AASP, ADRP, AFP, APRA, CASE and other organizations. He chairs AASP’s Best Practices in Advancement Services project and provides strategic planning services to the AASP board of directors. He received the association’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2010. He is a former president of APRA and recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award. He is also a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple award for outstanding teaching.