Missions are advanced and visions realized when the passions and talents of individuals are engaged in a common goal. This requires exceptional leadership as well as generous donors.
Though there are many experienced fundraising professionals working each day to engage new donors and steward existing ones, the magnitude and pace of philanthropic giving are amplified when the institution’s top leader becomes its top philanthropy champion.
Marts&Lundy created The Azure Summit so that leaders of mission-driven organizations can experience the highest-quality teaching on the critical role they can play in developing a deep and broad culture of philanthropy. The Summit’s leadership curriculum is tailored to high-performing professionals who expect to gain significant knowledge that drives their expertise and action to new heights.
The Azure Summit curriculum builds on the distinct expertise possessed by heads of schools and complements their skills with campaign best practices. The curriculum is tailored to include chief advancement officers who attend with their heads, energizing and optimizing this important partnership.
At the conclusion of the Summit, you will possess a strategic campaign planning and implementation roadmap that ensures you attract and retain visionary donors and secure gifts that advance your school toward new heights of excellence.
An Azure Summit Scholar rate will be available at the Fairmont San Francisco. A hotel registration link will be available soon.
The Summit kicks off on Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m. PDT with a cocktail reception and dinner and will conclude on Tuesday, July 16 at 12:30 p.m. PDT.
The schools represented by Summit attendees with be in various stages of campaign readiness and will each have distinct areas of focus necessary to move forward. We will begin the Summit with a discussion on the characteristics that signal both challenges to and opportunities for preparing for a campaign, allowing you to approach the curriculum with a more acute understanding of how to adapt your learning to the particular needs of your school.
We will focus on best practices in case development, reviewing the many paths to a case. There is no one way to get there, but there are core fundamentals to consider. This session will be infused with examples of strong cases and will provide you with worksheets to guide your thinking about building the case.
Few campaigns follow a linear path. This session will provide an overview of what to expect in each phase and examples of course corrections when necessary. Most importantly, this will give you a clear sense of the roles you, your Board and your advancement team should play.
A campaign impacts the head differently and more deeply than any other person in the organization. We will identify and discuss these stressors and pressures to help position you to thrive in this new role.
Boards are central figures in campaign success. In this session, we’ll explore the role of the board as a whole and the expectations for individual board members, ensuring all understand that philanthropy is a primary responsibility.
Understanding what motivates donors to invest deeply in your School is critical to achieving new heights in your fundraising program. We will position you to develop effective strategies for engaging your constituents in a meaningful and ultimately productive way.
$2,250 Head of School Registration
$2,025 Chief Advancement Officer Registration
$2,500 Head of School Registration
$2,250 Chief Advancement Officer Registration
To register, please complete the form below. Your chief advancement officer, if attending, can be registered now or at a later date.
Exclusive Azure Summit rates at the Fairmont are available July 13-July 17 to allow for early arrival and an extra night’s stay.
Discover the most iconic luxury hotel in San Francisco, a beacon of style and grandeur for over a century. Since its grand opening in 1907 as the very first Fairmont hotel, Fairmont San Francisco has nurtured its reputation for offering guests truly memorable experiences. A regal Beaux Arts landmark, our 5-star hotel combines timeless elegance, peerless comfort, and unparalleled service to guarantee an unforgettable stay, turning moments into memories for leisure, romance, and business travelers alike.
Emilie has deep experience in donor strategy as well as planning for and conducting several successful independent school campaigns. As Vice President for Institutional Advancement at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA, Emilie is responsible for leading development and communications operations at one of the country’s largest independent day schools.
Melissa has more than 40 years of experience helping to advance nonprofits through the design of effective fundraising strategies and strategic planning. Most recently, Melissa served as Director of Development of The Pennington School in Pennington, New Jersey.View Full Bio
Jim has spent three decades leading advancement programs at Middlesex School, Cate School, The Lawrenceville School, Francis Parker School, and currently The Branson School. He served as a trustee of his alma mater, Bucknell University. In 2021,Jim accepted the Chief Advancement Officer position at The Branson School and became a Marts&Lundy Consulting Partner.View Full Bio
The importance of focusing our overall fundraising approach on our unique strategic position hit home for me. I’ve already started digging in more specifically there. Also the networking was on point, which of course has everything to do with how open, bright, and collegial the Summit attendees were, as well as how wonderfully generous and coordinated our hosts were.
As we are entering a campaign and have done a feasibility study with Marts&Lundy, this felt tailored to where we are in the process, and it laid out a great roadmap for the next steps. I would recommend that Heads attend after their first year in the role. I just finished my fifth and I absolute wish I had attended 3-4 years earlier.
The balance between the theoretical and the practical was particularly well done.
Each presentation got me thinking about what I need to do as Head of School to prepare my community for a campaign. I walked away with many ideas and direction that I would have never thought about without the Summit.
Presenters were fantastic, and it was wonderful to learn several new things. I really enjoyed the size of the group and look forward to staying connected with everyone!
The Marts&Lundy staff have been a wonderful resource to our school throughout our campaign process – and this conference continued to show what a great partner and first-rate organization they are.
The benefit my Advancement Director and I received from attending The Azure Summit was far greater than I had imagined! I’ve been to many local, state and national conferences focused on the topic of building a philanthropic culture and capital campaign and this was by far more helpful and personalized. We both walked away feeling more knowledgeable, empowered, and prepared to create and lead the way in advancing my school! It was superb! Thank you!
Was the best 2 days of learnings I have ever had from a conference. The presenters were spot on and the topics very well chosen.
My experience with the Azure Summit was nothing but positive. I felt that it was designed to help someone like me who has spent her career on the academic side of the program. It gave me the opportunity to learn from the experts, who have been in the trenches with schools across the country during their strategic planning and all stages of their capital campaigns in all cycles of the economy. The shared anecdotes, the role play with potential donors, and the opportunity to ask questions and dig in were invaluable.
Many takeaways. I loved connecting with my peers. The program covered what I wanted to learn.
The most useful part of the summit was hearing about the campaign planning metrics and the information on gaining support of internal stakeholders.
As a new head of school, the Azure Summit proved an invaluable professional development opportunity. The Marts & Lundy team took the time to prepare a program that met the individualized needs of each of us in the room, and I left the Summit feeling prepared and more confident in my ability to lead my school’s upcoming campaign.
The Azure Summit provided myriad opportunities for me as Head of School to think strategically about inspiring meaningful gifts, strengthening my partnership with my Director of Advancement, and creating a vibrant culture of philanthropy in my school community. Most importantly, it developed my confidence as a fundraising leader who inspires donors’ generous support of my vision and my school’s mission.
I thought many of the sessions were engaging and helpful. I especially liked the session on strategic thinking. I appreciated the opportunities to brainstorm around challenges or scenarios.
Attending Marts&Lundy’s Azure Summit was the most outstanding learning experience I have had in this area. The Summit brings Heads of schools together with experienced and expert fundraising consultants and professionals for a small-scale conference focussed specifically on fundraising campaigns and culture. Sharing this two-day conference experience with my newly-appointed Director of Development gave us a common language, a common framework and a sense of direction that has been invaluable and that has begun to bear fruit.