“After attending a Gonser Gerber training, I always leave feeling much more confident in my ability as a development professional. Excellent topics and great practical application.”
If you’ve been part of the Gonser Gerber community at any time in the last six years, you’ve probably seen invitations from the Institute for our programmatic Workshops. Perhaps you’ve been to one or two, but more than likely you’ve never joined us and had questions about them. Are they beneficial? How are they different from other programs? Is it worth my tight professional development budget to spend the money to attend?
In this blog, I wanted to share with you a few comments about our Workshops, as well as quote some of our recent participants to give you a glimpse of what you can expect when you register. I also invite you to contact me at any time to discuss a specific program, to ensure that it’s the right program for you or one of your staff members. As much as you want to spend your time and money on a program that is valuable to you, we want to have a room full of participants who are in the right Workshop to learn valuable tools that will help them grow as a professional.
“[The Workshop] actually did force a time for me to sit and think about things I needed/wanted to do, so yes, I appreciated [it].”
Q: What makes a Gonser Gerber Institute Workshop different than other workshops I attend?
A: Our goal with our Workshops is to provide an atmosphere that encourages intense dialogue between our faculty and participants – we are presenting material, but we are also learning from each of you. Our Workshops range in size from 10 to 30 participants, by design, so that we have the opportunity to get to know each other and target our content you. Our schedule is designed to allow the participants to get to know each other well enough that they can share information and stories, and that we can accomplish some hands-on exercises or activities that enrich the experience while we are together or set you up for success once you are back in the office.
Faculty members include Gonser Gerber Consultants, who not only have a background in the same roles that you are in now but also have experience providing support to a variety of clients. They can relate to you and your situation from a variety of angles and are positioned to share best-practices, both from clients and their own work when they were in the field.
“GGI’s workshops always provide tremendous content and excellent opportunities to network/interact with other attendees.”
Q: I have a small budget to attend these types of programs. Why should I spend my institution’s money on professional development for me and my staff?
A: While we understand that you have limited resources, many options in front of you of conference or seminars to attend, and a full plate of actions and activities during your regular schedule, we firmly believe in lifelong learning and advancing your skills as a professional by attending programs (ours or others). There are innumerable benefits from getting off campus, engaging in some great thinking and conversation with your peers, and participating in a classroom atmosphere to pick up some new skills and data. Not only are you expanding your network, your skillset, and your research, but you are also stepping back from the daily work that can cause you to lose steam or forget the big picture of the value and importance of your work. Attending a Workshop introduces you to people who are doing things with more or less the same challenges you are working with and puts you in a position to address them through conversation, listening, and working sessions. You’ll return to campus with bright ideas!
In addition, we host our Workshops throughout the US, so for those with tight travel budgets, you can either wait for us to come to a location closer to you, or use the trip as an opportunity to visit with prospects and donors, host alumni events, or conduct some discovery work in a part of the country you may not otherwise get to this year.
“All of the activities were valuable and made me stop and think about the takeaway from each. Each one made me think outside the box, reflect on my own strengths and weaknesses, and get to know the other participants in a fun and dynamic way.”
Here is a listing of the 2018 Summer opportunities we are presenting – we hope to see you at one of our Workshops soon!
July 12 – 13, 2018, Minneapolis, MN
In this two-day workshop, we will discuss “Meaningful Engagement of Alumni”, which moves beyond event and membership dues discussions. We will talk about the shift from “what can we do for our alumni” to “what alumni can do to strengthen the institution”. In addition, we will review a Case Study from Hope College, who uses a systematic approach to evaluating alumni engagement through an “involvement rating” metric that they have created and track. We will learn what this data means for Hope, and how they apply these metrics to identify donor and volunteer prospects, make strategic decisions as a team, plan and set goals.
July 26 – 27, 2018, Louisville, KY
In this workshop, will work with you on the most valuable aspects of recruiting, training, deploying and appreciating a stellar volunteer campaign steering committee, using their most recent experience as practitioners as well as their best-practice experience as consultants. In addition, we will welcome several volunteers to share their stories, answer your questions, and join us as we work together to enhance the volunteer experience.
August 23 – 24, 2018, Kansas City, MO
In an era of increasing expectations, our expert faculty will provide you with the opportunity to learn the skills and new thinking required to optimize your annual fund results.
October 11 – 12, 2018, Chattanooga, TN
This workshop allows participants the opportunity to learn, from A to Z, the skills and thinking needed to be the most successful major gift officer they can be – the key to a successful comprehensive development program.