Global Exploration: Inside the AP Study Tour

By Tom Smith Tseng

When I first started working in international advancement some 23 years ago, I was fortunate to have a terrific boss who took mentoring me and my professional development seriously. Back then, there were fewer schools engaged in fundraising outside of the United States. I didn’t have many colleagues who were pursuing large donations overseas.

Now, two decades later, higher educational institutions and secondary schools are vying for an ever increasing slice of wealth globally. I am, frankly, surprised that we don’t trip over one another more frequently when we travel to major hubs like Hong Kong, Tokyo or New Delhi these days.

What’s the recipe for learning about international advancement? Mentoring, guidance and firsthand experience.

hong kong

Sunset in Hong Kong.

When CASE Asia-Pacific asked me to co-lead this year’s CASE Asia-Pacific Fundraising Study Tour, I knew right away what kind of program I’d put together. We’ve assembled a cadre of seasoned fundraisers who can act as mentors and lead informative discussions and arranged for one-of-a-kind excursions that no other CASE conferences have offered before. (For example, it took me several years of visiting Beijing before I could carve out time to climb the Great Wall of China—but on our Study Tour, we’ll take a hike on a private path to a non-restored section of the Great Wall!) We’ll provide a comprehensive learning environment that can foster a lasting network for the attendees.

I am excited to introduce my cultural heritage to the Study Tour goers through unique experiences that will heighten their awareness and understanding of this part of the world. Surrounded by the classical grandeur of Beijing and the modern dynamism of Hong Kong, I look forward to sharing and exchanging development insight and ideas with all participants. I am confident that we will have a memorable and productive time this autumn.

Tom Smith Tseng is vice president for development at the University of Hawai‘i Foundation.


The Asia-Pacific International Fundraising Study Tour is Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, 2017, in Beijing, China, and Hong Kong SAR. Register before July 31, 2017, to take advantage of the early bird rate.

Contact Cheryl Torrado, CASE Asia-Pacific head of advancement programs, for more information.

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