Big Ten Fund Raisers Institute

A Premier Forum for Development Leaders


In the March of 2020, the Big Ten Fund Raisers Institute will invite higher education's top development professionals and fundraisers to apply for a place at our summer 2020 meeting in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This intimate gathering of approximately 40 attendees will offer unparalleled opportunities to exchange ideas about successful fundraising for colleges and universities with some of the most respected names in our profession.

What is BTFRI?

The Big Ten Fund Raisers Institute (BTFRI) is an intensive retreat where leading professionals share techniques for meeting common goals, accounts of successful practice, and information about emerging challenges. In the current economic climate, when higher education is relying more than ever on philanthropic support, high-level interactions like BTFRI are crucial to help you stay ahead in the field.

Since 1963, the Institute has been helping higher education's leading development professionals hone their skills in a relaxed and intimate setting. As the first educational conference specifically designed for the most experienced college and university fundraisers, BTFRI has nurtured the careers of some of our fields most respected leaders for more than five decades.

Who should attend?

We invite applications from the very top fundraisers; the leaders in higher education. If you're seeking a forum where you can share the latest ideas in development with your accomplished peers from around the country, we invite you to apply today.

  • BTFRI participants will benefit from the exchange of ideas and experiences with Institute faculty and presenters, as well as outstanding peers from our rapidly changing profession.

  • Attendees will be given the opportunity to reassess their development strategies in a private, productive setting, removed from the demands of busy schedules.

  • Presenters will discuss the latest fundraising challenges and share creative ways to take advantage of new opportunities. BTFRI will truly reinvigorate your enthusiasm for higher education development.

Words from several of our faculty members . . .


Each year I look forward to gathering with senior advancement leaders from across the country to talk about the most pressing issues facing higher education philanthropy. 

As BTFRI faculty, we look forward to welcoming you to Lake Geneva and we promise candid and open conversations based on our collective experience at some of the largest programs in the country.

Lynette Marshall

President and CEO, The University of Iowa Center for Advancement;



Every August I make my way to BTFRI. The quality of the conference's content and collegiality conspire to make it one of the finest professional development opportunities around. It's well worth the trip from anywhere.

Rhea Turteltaub

Vice Chancellor, External Affairs, UCLA


BTFRI is one of the strongest conferences in the country because of its small size and extraordinary participants. It provides wonderful opportunities for formal and informal interaction.

Bruce Flessner

Vice President, The American University in Cairo

From my first experience at BTFRI as an attendee in the Summer of 2011, to now being on faculty, I h

 From my first experience at BTFRI as an attendee in the Summer of 2011, to now being on faculty, I have appreciated the unique learning experience it provides for senior development leaders. BTFRI provides opportunities for honest conversations and informal networking, and gives us all the chance to step away from our busy careers, to focus on personal and professional development.

Alison Traub

Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations, University of Cambridge