Relationship Building at ICAA's 2014 Summer Conference

Last week, I had the privilege of joining my colleague, Jesse Bardo at EverTrue’s second appearance at the ICAA conference.

Jesse really pumped up my expectations about the conference based on his experience last year, and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. We not only got an opportunity to meet face to face with a number of current EverTrue customers—including folks from DePauw and Baldwin Wallace universities—but we got a chance to network and connect with other advancement professionals from a bunch of other ICAA member schools.

The conference itself provided a lot of value to myself and to the other attendees. Jesse gave a great morning keynote about using data from Facebook, LinkedIn, and other data sources to gather better insights on donors. Despite his broken foot and some slight tech issues with the projector, Jesse received great feedback on how excited schools are to start applying Social Donor Management in their day-to-day. Additionally, we got to experience round table discussions and guest speakers who spoke on topics ranging from best practices in social media to management of volunteers (and everything in between).

The biggest takeaway I had from this particular conference was not only how engaged the group was in the sessions but also how the conversations that started during the day often carried over during breaks and even late into the night when the entire group met up at various Columbus hotspots.

One specific highlight was when we were simultaneously chatting with members of the Case Western Reserve team while also cheering for their director of Annual Giving (who just happened to be casually singing on stage at the piano bar in perfect tune with dueling pianists playing his song of choice).

As part of the EverCrew, we hold very dear EverTrue’s mission to build relationships in pursuit of a better world; it was great seeing all the ICAA attendees building relationships with their peers, sharing valuable insights, and giving advice to each other to help everyone achieve their goals back at their respective offices.

We can’t wait to (hopefully!) return to ICAA in 2015 and continue to work with the attendees throughout this year to help with their fundraising and alumni relations efforts.

Read about the success ICAA attendee and EverTrue customer DePauw University has had with its alumni relations efforts in this post about the difference the EverTrue app has made in one student’s professional and personal life.

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