2022 Foundation Leadership Forum: Schedule

January 30–February 1, 2022
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress | Orlando, FL

Check out the program schedule.

If you are having trouble printing this schedule, please contact membership@AGB.org for assistance.

Sunday, January 30

All Day | Registration/Help Desk

All Day | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. And, meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

1:00 PM ET | Workshops

Arrive early and get the full benefit of the 2022 Forum! These extended-time sessions are focused on topics of central importance to the roles of governing board members. Following a panel presentation, the participants in these sessions will break into small groups for sharing and networking.

Please indicate when registering for the Forum which of the workshops you would like to attend.

Successfully Leading Foundation Boards and Committees

Chairing a board or committee comes with its own set of expectations, challenges, and sometimes, the need for new skills and attributes. Whether you are in a leadership role now or are an aspiring chair, join this comprehensive, interactive workshop to learn about the leadership challenges, responsibilities, and good practices of foundation board leaders. Board chairs, committee chairs, chairs-elect—and board members who aspire to leadership roles—will engage with peers and experts through roundtable discussions and presentations about effective work at the full board and committee level. We will open with a plenary session followed by breakout sessions for a deep dive into specific challenges faced by committees.

The Formula for Success for the New Foundation Executive

The first 12 to 18 months following your appointment are crucial to ensuring your success in accelerating your effectiveness and building your relationships with your team, your board, and your university’s leadership at the same time you are executing on your near-term goals.  Regardless of your previous experience, you have a brand-new set of stakeholders to satisfy and expectations to meet.  This closed-door session will create a safe space in which to hear both from relatively new as well as veteran foundation executives as they share their experiences and hard-earned wisdom.  Be ready to ask your most pressing questions and learn from the experts and your peers about the key questions you should ask about your organization; the conversations you should be having; and the common challenges and opportunities you must be prepared to overcome and embrace.

4:00 PM ET | Break

5:00 PM ET | Welcome Plenary with Presidential Remarks

Transformational Giving: Donor Motivation in the 2020s

The greatest intergenerational transfer of wealth in human history is underway, and higher education stands to benefit from an extraordinary influx of philanthropic support in the coming years. Changes in transformational giving over the past decade included trends toward “venture philanthropy,” greater donor focus on “ROI,” and in many cases increased donor engagement and involvement. New trends are developing as well. Names like Scott and Smith have emerged alongside Gates and Bloomberg. What should we anticipate will motivate transformational giving in the years to come, and how might that change the work of foundations? Join an extraordinary cross-sector panel for a deep exploration of that question.

6:30 PM ET | Welcome Reception

Monday, January 31

All Day | Registration/Help Desk

All Day | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. And, meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

7:45 AM ET | Breakfast

9:00 AM ET | Plenary

Endowments of the Future: A Road Yet to be Travelled

The 2020-2021 pandemic changed our world. For higher education, it exacerbated and accelerated problems that had been festering for years. While the impact on educational endowments was relatively benign in terms of portfolio performance it also thrust endowment management and investing strategies into new territory.  With the global pandemic illuminating vast diversity, inclusion and equality differences across all segments of our society, the demand for responsible investing has grown in size and scale, and for many investors, presents a path forward. Foundation Leadership, including Investment Committees, now must grapple with the issue of how endowments can strategically help colleges and universities through the challenges of changing demographics, competition, enrollment and discern the role Foundations may need to play in helping legacy campus  business models to survive, pivot, and thrive.

In this session, join a panel of experts who will explore the endowment portfolio in a post-COVID world from the perspective of the trends, red flags, new regimes and new strategies that will drive investing and fund management in this increasingly complex environment.

10:15 AM ET | Break

10:30 AM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from among five options to customize your schedule. Sessions will be topically diverse, and each will allow for interaction with the speakers and other attendees. The format of these sessions will be different than in past years, but will include hearing from the experts on the stage and allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience. 

Advancement in a New Era: Reinvented Playbook for Success

The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 forced advancement leaders to throw out their fundraising and engagement playbooks and start from scratch. Campaigns were put on hold; events were canceled; donor visits went digital.

What many advancement leaders discovered, to their surprise, was that these forced innovations often met with better results than their old operating procedures. The post-pandemic transition will reshape major gifts fundraising, campaign strategy, and alumni engagement.

As we begin, haltingly, to emerge from the pandemic, we find ourselves once again in a moment of reinvention. The question we face: How can we merge the best of what worked during the pandemic into our old in-person approach so that we reach more donors at a lower cost and with a greater ROI?

This session will explore new practices taking root at the most innovative advancement organizations across the United States, from hybrid engagement events and hyper-personalized annual giving strategies to different-in-kind development officer roles and new campaign models that break the mold of traditional comprehensive campaigns.

Attendees will leave with a better sense of the risks advancement leaders face in the coming years, the opportunities that lie in front of them, and the strategies that will help them grow engagement and giving from all their constituents.

Foundation Operation Benchmarking Survey: Findings You Can’t Afford To Miss!

SEI in partnership with AGB surveyed college and university affiliated foundations leaders to gather information on foundation operations, investment management, income and expenses, fees and governance. The findings from this survey are unique and not found elsewhere. In this session we will review the results of the survey and discuss corresponding trends in foundation management and how you can use this data to achieve better outcomes and support your foundation’s mission.

Unpacking the “S” in ESG

Environmental, Social and Governance is often thought of as one item, ESG. The course of events that began in 2020, initially with COVID-19 and then with rising social justice concerns, served as a catalyst for the decoupling of E – S –and G, and the recognition that each offers distinct factors and themes for analysis, reporting and dialogue.

This session will examine the “S” of ESG, looking at areas that drive competitive advantage for companies, including social trends, human rights and labor, through the lens of the global pandemic, and beyond; we will feature experts who work to uncover the value in “Social” in their investment work as well as in communicating that value to investors.

11:30 AM ET | Break

11:45 AM ET | Lunch & Nason Award Presentation

With Thanks to the Nason Award Sponsor AGB Sustaining Partner, TIAA

TIAA Logo

1:15 PM ET | Break

1:30 PM ET | Networking

Topical Roundtables

Find new colleagues, reconnect with old ones, and learn the challenges and opportunities you share with peers from around the nation and the world. Participants are encouraged to attend as an opportunity to hone key questions, share new ideas, and discover their communities early in the program. These sessions are offered in hopes that the connections they foster, and the thoughts they spark, will be instrumental throughout the conference and beyond.

2:30 PM ET | Break

2:45 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from among five options to customize your schedule. Sessions will be topically diverse, and each will allow for interaction with the speakers and other attendees. The format of these sessions will be different than in past years, but will include hearing from the experts on the stage and allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

Quantifying Good Governance | Highlights of a New Study by Commonfund Institute

In this session, Commonfund Institute leadership will share the results of the inaugural Commonfund-FGA Benchmarking Study of Governance in Higher Education.

The study uses the assessment tool the FEQ (Fiduciary Effectiveness Quotient®) to tap into the critical factors that drive board success. It provides the analytics to understand a board’s structure, processes, and levels of engagement amongst its members. It also highlights areas critical for performance improvement and provides a feedback system to assist in the improvement of current practices and communication. As an emerging field of study, the work focused on quantifying governance shows a correlation between good governance and investment performance; the research demonstrates that the best-run organizations outperform their peers nearly 2 to 1.

Attendees will see an executive summary of the study findings, as well as hear from participants about the insights they gained from participation and the impact it is having on their boards and performance.

Defining Meaningful ESG Analytics

As the demand for ESG data has grown, this sessions will explore insights on how to successfully integrate ESG into the investment process
Key topics include:

  • A review of the ESG data landscape and regulatory changes
  • Identifying what matters in material ESG analytics
  • Acknowledging the gaps in availability of meaningful data and the efforts underway to close them
  • Cutting through the noise to define actionable ways to integrate
  • Using stewardship to facilitate greater transparency of meaningful ESG insights

Updating Your Endowment Governance to Navigate the Challenges Ahead

Given the success of Endowment Management for Higher Education (EMHE) and the issues highlighted by recent developments, Strategic has published a new and updated version available at the AGB’s 2022 Leadership Forum.  This session will delve into some of the most pertinent updates including:

  • A roadmap on aligning your portfolio with your mission
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Importance of continually engaging with donors
  • Documenting your investment beliefs as part of your Investment Policy Statement
  • Educating on underwater endowment policies and potential impacts to the operating budget in times of stress

Other updates that will be woven into the discussion of the above include:

  • Importance of a solid foundation of good governance, trust, and communication
  • Reviewing the long-term asset allocation each year
  • Considerations as you build your investment committee

3:45 PM ET | Break

4:00 PM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from among five options to customize your schedule. Sessions will be topically diverse, and each will allow for interaction with the speakers and other attendees. The format of these sessions will be different than in past years, but will include hearing from the experts on the stage and allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience. 

Alternative Investments – Do They Live Up to the Hype?

The traditional endowment investment management model has a heavy focus on alternative investments, including private equity, venture capital, real estate, and hedge funds. These alternative investments often offer increased returns or a lower risk profile relative to traditional investments, but also typically come with higher fees. The question we often hear from investment committees is, do these alternative investments live up to the hype?  

Join our panel as we take a deep dive into the alternative assets space and the role alternatives can play in an endowment portfolio. We’ll look at the underlying investment opportunities that comprise the alternative investments universe, we’ll discuss the historical risk and return profiles of alternative investments, and we’ll look at the importance of manager selection within the space.

Assess Climate Risk, Integrate ESG to Mitigate Risk, Build Resilient Portfolios

Resilient portfolios with well-structured risk mitigation processes should include a broad integrated ESG program. An important aspect of such a program is assessment of climate risk and analysis of climate impact on the portfolio. The Paris Agreement is an ambitious commitment to tackle climate risk and keep the rise in mean global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Most experts believe success will depend on adaptation and transition to a low carbon economy. The implication for investors will likely be significant, one reason supporting the growing momentum behind ESG investing.

This panel will discuss the integration of ESG into the investment approach with focused attention on climate change, climate scenarios and the risks to portfolios. Foundation boards, staff and Investment committees should ensure that the investment process and oversight is evaluating and incorporating such analysis. This discussion will help define that connection and clarify the materiality of ESG, sustainable investing and climate risk analysis.

Let’s Get Unstuck: Transforming Donor Engagement

Well, it’s finally happened: “We’ve always done it this way…” is officially the worst strategy in fundraising. We’ve all had to adapt over the past two years, but what changes will be permanent? Years of complacency with technology, operating in silos and recycling tired appeal strategies have put us at risk compared to more exciting giving options. What does it mean to be digital first? What does an energized donor pipeline to major gifts really look like? And how can we challenge the norm to increase the success of our fundraisers, retain top talent, and create a better donor experience? If you’re ready for your team to stop pivoting and start transforming, this session is for you.

A Foundation CEO’s Guide to Effective Board Governance

Boards are ultimately accountable for ensuring IRFs become “foundations of the future,” but what can foundation CEOs do to position their boards for that kind of high performance? In this session, join the author of a new AGB book on this topic, written initially for college and university presidents—along with a seasoned foundation chief executive and one of AGB’s top minds on IRF board assessment to ensure translation of key insights. CEOs and board leaders are encouraged to attend this session together.

5:00 PM ET | Break

5:15 PM ET | Plenary

Public Investment and the Value Proposition of Higher Education

In most states, the recent influx of COVID-19 federal emergency aid funds prevented severe or continued cuts to public higher education. However, questions regarding how public higher education can and should be funded continue to dominate conversations among higher education advocates, including foundation leaders, policymakers, and the public, especially regarding equity and attainment. In this plenary session, panelists will share insights about the public higher education landscape and address key questions about public investment in higher education, ROI, and what it all means for individuals, our economy, communities, and nation moving forward.

6:30 PM ET | Networking Reception

With Thanks to AGB Sustaining Member, Agility

Agility

Tuesday, February 1

All Day | Registration/Help Desk

All Day | AGB Experience

AGB’s mission is to help boards govern with knowledge and confidence. Visit the AGB Experience to learn about all that is available to you by virtue of membership. Get to know the AGB staff members responsible for the publications, consulting services, online tools, and other member services you rely on, and find out what’s new and what’s coming next. And, meet our corporate partners and sponsors to explore the solutions-focused resources they offer.

7:15 AM ET | Breakfast

8:30 AM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from among five options to customize your schedule. Sessions will be topically diverse, and each will allow for interaction with the speakers and other attendees. The format of these sessions will be different than in past years, but will include hearing from the experts on the stage and allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

Ripped From the Headlines - Managing Reputational Risk

This session will involve attendees in an interactive discussion of how foundation and host institution boards are responding to reputational challenges that arise when events place them front and center in the news.  Best practices and survival strategies will be highlighted. Actual headlines and breaking news stories will be used as case studies.  Topics for discussion will include: pandemic crises and recoveries; cyber ransom attacks; compensation for the president; governing board conflicts of interest; dishonored donors; and sudden leadership transitions

Donor Experience Programs: Results from Increasing Managed Prospects by 500%

Two years ago, institutions all over the country began experimenting with a brand-new approach to fundraising using Donor Experience Officers. The goal? Delivering high-volume, yet completely personalized, outreach to thousands of unmanaged, disengaged prospects.

These programs are focused on building a sustainable future by expanding coverage of the giving pyramid, reaching previously untouched donors, and mending major gift pipeline, all while retaining existing donors.

DXOs manage portfolios of 1,000 “next-best” prospects with a goal of personally contacting every single person through pre-set outreach cadences  throughout the year. No travel, no committee meetings, no in-person events — these are fully digital fundraisers equipped with modern tools and technology and completely focused on delivering phenomenal 1-on-1 donor experiences to the prospects in their portfolios. This is high-volume, personalized outreach, and it’s changing the fundraising game.
Two years later, there are hundreds of active DXOs reconnecting thousands of alums to their alma-mater. And the results speak for themselves. 81% of donors in DXO portfolios had never experienced a 1:1 conversation with a fundraiser. And donors that met with a DXO in the last year gave 98% more than they did in the year prior.

This session will highlight the implications of Donor Experience programs on our industry, how institutions can improve donor (and dollar) retention by focusing on donor experience, and the lessons we’ve learned from the dozens of institutions that have decided there’s a better way to fundraise.

Institutional Presidential Transitions: The Role of the Foundation Board

This workshop will address the role of the foundation board in institutional presidential transitions. Designed to be interactive, it will provide guidance and facilitate dialogue on the role the foundation board should play as a vital source of institutional memory and key relationships when the foundation’s related institution undertakes a search for a new president. The workshop presenters include a foundation board member who will bring their experience during a leadership transition to the conversation, as well as AGB Search principals who advise clients on institutional and foundation leadership succession planning, search, and transition.

9:30 AM ET | Break

9:45 AM ET | Concurrent Sessions

Each block of concurrent sessions allows you to select from among five options to customize your schedule. Sessions will be topically diverse, and each will allow for interaction with the speakers and other attendees. The format of these sessions will be different than in past years, but will include hearing from the experts on the stage and allow ample time for discussion and questions from the audience.

10:45 AM ET | Break

11:00 AM ET | Closing Plenary

New Foundation-Institution Realities: Becoming the Essential Partner

New realities facing public universities in their essential work have accelerated the need for new realities in foundation-institution relationships. The work of the campus-foundation leadership team in cementing a trusting partnership and meeting emerging challenges together is the keystone for assuring constancy of purpose. In this culminating moment of the 2022 AGB Foundation Leadership Forum you will hear from an aspirational “Leadership Quartet,” representing four diverse institutions and foundations and learn from their collective experience and wisdom as exemplars in this era of New Realities.

Register now and save.

Reserve your spot now. Early bird pricing ends on September 30, 2021.

Early Bird Price
Individual Member*

SAVE

$1,150

Early Bird Price
Group**

BEST VALUE

$1,050

*Member exclusive pricing.
**Three or more, members only. All members in the group must be registered at the same time. 

Contact.

Registration

AGB is committed to excellence in member service. Should you have questions about registering for the Foundation Leadership Forum, contact the AGB registrar.

Become a Member and Save

If you currently are not an AGB member but want to take advantage of member pricing, contact Matt Stevens, director of membership outreach.

Sponsorship

To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Steve Abbott, director of partnerships or Amy Lynch, partnerships manager.

All other inquiries may be directed to the AGB concierge.