The Greek Retreat gathers annual giving professionals from fraternal foundations in an informal setting to learn, plan, network, and exchange resources and best practices. The intentionally-designed curriculum provides sessions that are tied to one another for a learning experience that builds from beginning to end. This design also ensures all attendees are exposed to the same concepts at their appropriate experience level. To achieve this goal, each session is tracked with both a 101 and 201 level option. Participants can attend all of the same track, or bounce between both from session to session depending on skill level in each area.
At the end of the program, participants who attend Greek Retreat will:
- Understand the importance of annual giving as a basis of support for their organization
- Learn tactics to plan and execute or enhance a direct mail solicitation strategy
- Learn tactics to plan and execute or enhance a digital media solicitation strategy
- Learn tactics to plan and execute or enhance a stewardship strategy
- Develop draft strategies and ideas to take back to their support team and supervisors
- Receive tangible resources and best practices related to annual giving
- Network with peers, subject-matter experts and Alliance Partners
- Grow their professionalism and pride as a fundraiser
Each Greek Retreat session begins with a brief introduction for all attendees to lay the ground work for the topic. Hour-long breakouts (101 and 201 tracks) provide the deep-dives on the subject, and each session also has a wrap-up to bring everyone back together for sharing of key takeaways. This structure is intended to reinforce core learning from the Retreat.
Thursday, March 8
8:30 – 11 a.m.
9 – 11 a.m.
PRE-CON: Annual Giving Orientation (add-on to general registration, $20)
The pre-con meeting is beneficial for Greek Retreat attendees who are brand new to the field of fundraising or are moving into an annual giving position for the first time. The program will cover a baseline understanding of annual giving operations, as well as an introduction to the purpose of Greek Retreat and how to maximize the experience.
11 a.m. – Noon
Welcome & Lunch
Noon – 1:30 p.m.
This year’s opening session will explore the meaning of philanthropy and fraternal philanthropy. Session leaders will also discuss the Case for Support, giving cycles and the significance of annual giving.
1:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Direct Mail: Introduction
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Direct Mail: Breakouts
- 101 – Relevant terms/elements, strategy, planning, executing and measuring success of a direct mail campaign; an overall “how-to” discussion with a content expert.
- 201 – Direct mail critique and best practices; creative writing activity
2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Break & Snacks
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Direct Mail: Wrap-Up
3:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Digital Marketing: Introduction
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Digital Marketing: Breakouts
- 101 – Relevant terms/elements, strategy, planning, executing and measuring success of an online campaign; discussion of how to solicit online with a content expert.
- 201 – Today’s tech tools and best practices
4:45 – 5 p.m.
Digital Marketing: Wrap-Up
5 – 5:15 p.m.
5:15 – 6:30 p.m.
Networking Session & Happy Hour
Dinner is on your own and is not included in registration costs; however, group dinner outings are being organized by Greek Retreat Committee Members for various restaurants near the hotel. More details will be shared as they become available.
Friday, March 9
7:30 – 8 a.m.
Breakfast & Recap Day 1
8 – 8:15 a.m.
8:15 – 9:15 a.m.
- 101 – Relevant terms/elements, strategy, planning, executing and measuring success of a stewardship program and an overall “how-to” discussion with a content expert.
- 201 – Impact reporting, a closer look at magazine alignment, annual reports and other non-solicitation communication efforts.
9:15 – 9:30 a.m.
9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
9:45 – 10 a.m.
Mini Campaigns: Introduction
10 – 11 a.m.
Mini Campaigns: Breakouts
- Days of Giving
- Telephone Fundraising
- Donor Events
- Giving Societies/Recognition Programs
11 – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Mini Campaigns: Wrap-Up
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The closing session will recap lessons learned throughout the Retreat and include an Annual Fund Audit activity. Session leaders will also discuss the alignment of communications strategy and planning for success, and annual giving inside the broader development team/plan.
1:15 – 4:30 p.m.
POST-CON: Lunch & Mid-Manager’s Leadership Workshop (add-on to general registration fee, $50)
The post conference program is intended for mid-level managers looking to grow leadership potential, learn from others with similar management responsibilities, and share best practices or challenges faced. Lunch is served in conjunction with the program.
Who should attend
The Greek Retreat program is designed for professionals who work directly with annual giving and who seek to strengthen their organization’s annual giving strategies and grow as a professional. Beginning fundraising professionals and those new to annual giving roles will benefit from Greek Retreat’s 101 Track. The intentionally-designed curriculum will introduce relevant terms, necessary elements, strategy, planning, execution tactics and assessment for several annual giving strategies.
Experienced annual giving professionals will benefit from Greek Retreat’s 201 Track. The intentionally-designed curriculum from this track will provide programming to expand an organization’s current annual giving strategies through the collaborative sharing of best practices and introduction of new concepts being used by the greater fundraising world.
Greek Retreat 2018 registration rates fall into four main categories, with optional add-on experiences:
- Foundation Professional, NICF Member – $129
- Foundation Professional, Non-NICF Member – $199
- Alliance Partner Representative – $249**
- Vendor (Non-AP) Representative – $499**
- Pre-Conference Annual Giving Orientation – $20
- Post-Conference Lunch and Mid-Manager’s Leadership Workshop – $50
- Networking Session & Happy Hour Sponsor – $500 – $2,000
**Includes opportunity to exhibit
Organizations that have not yet paid NICF member dues for 2017-18 can still contact Ashley VanDewark to renew and qualify for the above NICF-Member registration rate.
Travel and accommodations
If you are flying into the Indianapolis International Airport, there is a variety of ground transportation options from the airport to the hotel, including shuttles, buses, car rental services, BlueIndy electric car-sharing services, and more. Transportation to and from the hotel is the expense of the attendee.
The host hotel, The Sheraton at Keystone at the Crossing, is in the heart of Indianapolis’s Northside hub for shopping, dining and other services. The room rate for Greek Retreat is $159/night, and the NICF room block closes Feb. 15. Click here to make your reservation. Rooms can be reserved one day before (March 7) and one day after (March 10) the event.
The hotel features an indoor pool, fitness center, concierge service, The Keystone Cafe for snacks and beverages, an outdoor patio with fire pit, and complimentary self-parking. The hotel is also connected via skywalk to The Fashion Mall at Keystone, a premier retail destination showcasing over 100 upscale stores and restaurants.