2024 Conference Sessions

Session 1 - 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Session 2 - 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Session 3 - 1:15 PM - 2:30 PM

  • Breakout Session 3A: The Power of a Development Plan: How a Few Pages of Paper Can Focus and Enliven Your Team - Carey Scheide-Miller, Ed.D
  • Breakout Session 3B: Strategic Campaign Brands: why do they matter and how do you create one that’s meaningful to your donors? - Kerry Bartlett, CFRE & Becky Brandt
  • Breakout Session 3C: Become a Funding Ninja (On a Budget!) - Elizabeth Malone & Kiki Reis
  • Breakout Session 3D: Let's Vent: Releasing the Pressure on Fundraising Frustrations - Landis Erwin Andrews
  • Breakout Session 3E: Speaking in Ages, talking to our most senior donors - Greg Wilson, CAP, CFRE, MS
  • Breakout Session 3F: Building Bridges Through Ethical Storytelling: Changing Lives with Integrity - Dave Tinker, CFRE, FAFP

Session 4 - 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

  • Breakout Session 4A: How to move your corporate donor program from sponsorship to partnership - Jennifer Zgurich
  • Breakout Session 4B: Thinking About Consulting as a Career Path? - Maureen Mahoney Hill, CFRE
  • Breakout Session 4C: Mediocritiy: When Volunteers, Employees & Leaders Settle for "Good Enough" - Stephanie Adam
  • Breakout Session 4D: Artificial Intelligence and Philanthropy: Augmenting Your Mission by Utilizing AI - Danny Hickton

Session Details

Keynote Presentation
Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman, Ph.D.
 

Dr. Tyrone McKinley Freeman, Ph.D., international award-winning author of Madam C. J. Walker's Gospel of Giving: Black Women's Philanthropy during Jim Crow, wil explore the historical roots of African American philanthropy, its power, and impact today.

Breakout Session 1A: It's me, hi, I'm the fundraiser it's me
Dr. Andy Winner

Fundraising professionals are constantly looking for the best way to contact their donors and key stakeholders, and get the response they desire. Constituents expect to be contacted personally and with a purpose. From trying to get visits to addressing sensitive topics, fundraisers must be skilled communicators. This session discusses personal communication practices, terminology and phrasing, and goal setting to receive the responses we want from our constituents, from getting a visit to asking for a gift. 

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will learn phrases and terminology to increase the chances of achieving a desired response to an email, text, mailing, or phone calls. 2. Participants will learn the key characteristics of effective communication. 3. Participants will discuss communication practices that are proven to be successful. 4. Participants will learn the importance of focused goals when communicating with constituents. 5. Participants will learn and discuss practical approaches to effective and personal communication that can be used in daily communications. 

Breakout Session 1B: Split-Interest Gifts That Work For You
Judi Smith, MA, CFRE

The tax code offers several opportunities for a gift to benefit both the donor and the nonprofit. In this session we will cover charitable gift annuities -- both traditional and QCD-funded, charitable remainder and lead trusts, and life estates. All of those gifts offer significant benefits both to the donor and your organization. By recognizing donor needs, split-interest gifts can help the donor and your nonprofit. Come and learn more about these gifts and how to implement them.

Learning Objectives: Understanding a few simple types of split-interest gifts and how they work. Being able to explain the taxation difference between a QCD-funded CGA and a traditional CGA. How to protect yourself while being fair to your donor when establishing a life estate agreement.

Breakout Session 1C: Meeting the Most Marginalized: Racial Equity in Philanthropic Giving
Indira Cunningham

Best Practices and methods to creating equity within philanthropic organizations and charitable giving. Archive understanding of how to champion equity throughout all aspects of philanthropic giving with the practice of meeting the most marginalized.

Learning Objectives: Archive understanding of how to champion equity throughout all aspects of philanthropic giving with the practice of meeting the most marginalized 

Breakout Session 1D: Building and Maintaining an Effective Planned Giving Pipeline
Dr. Z. Allen Abbott, CFRE, CFRM

Raising significant dollars is directly tied to the effectiveness of planned giving marketing. While planned giving can take many forms, the key is building strong, long-term relationships with individual donors. The technical details follow from those relationships. This session will look at the need to focus on the long-term. Building a pipeline of gifts over time provides a strong bottom line on a continuing basis.

Participants will gain an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in creating an effective planned giving pipeline. It will also present specific gift strategies that can optimize the stewardship effort. The program will define best practices and strategies to encourage donor engagement in order to establish robust and ongoing planned giving success.

Realistic ideas will be discussed and field-tested materials will be shared with participants. Discussion will include how to successfully integrate planned giving into a substantial, long-term program. Audience feedback and discussion will be built into the program, as there are many ways to develop an effective stewardship program in tune with a specific community’s needs.

Breakout Session 1E: It All Starts with Discovery
Charlotta Dragonflo

This session will cover the basics of Discovery outreach and meetings with donors. I will cover outreach ideas, sample language, and timelines for outreach. I will also cover what important questions to ask donors during a Discovery meeting to determine whether they are good prospects for cultivation and solicitation. Breakout Session 1F: The Future of Fundraising with AI
Jennifer Belliveau & John Sammis

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has undergone a few hype cycles— neural networks, expert systems, and deep learning. But the latest advancements in large language models have sparked everyone's imagination, and the possibilities seem limitless. In the past 15 years, the nonprofit industry benefitted from prospect identification using statistical models and machine learning. What does the next 15 years look like when AI touches every aspect of fundraising? While we can't predict the future, we can explore the possibilities. In this session, you will gather a brief history of Artificial Intelligence, its current applications, and three ways it might impact fundraising with examples. You will also learn client case studies in which CCS explored, analyzed, and applied predictive AI to find high-affinity prospects databases, resulting in the identification of compelling new major gift and legacy giving prospects Inspired by these examples, let's dive into the world of AI and fundraising together!

Learning Objectives: Participants will gain a greater awareness of and be better able to discuss AI; Participants will better understand AI applications currently in place at their organization, and future options for implementation 

Breakout Session 2A: Yes, We Have a Sponsor for the Restrooms
Natalie Chaido

Over the past six years, the Washington Health System Charity Ball has become the premier black-tie event in Washington County and the biggest fundraiser for the health system. 

Much of this success is due to the creativity of our committee and their ability to sell sponsorships for everything....including the restrooms. This interactive session would explain some of the creative ways we've attracted new sponsors and support. We would welcome everyone to share best practices in selling corporate and event sponsorships. 

Learning ObjectivesLearn new ways to build relationships with corporate donors 

Breakout Session 2B: Using data to tell your story
Amy Wong

Data doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, when used correctly, data can provide compelling insight into your organization by helping you show the impact of your programs and services, monitor the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and demonstrate the effectiveness of philanthropic gifts to donors. 

But it’s a challenge to share data in a way that is compelling and easy to understand. The numbers matter but may not make sense to your audiences. That’s where storytelling can help by brining context to your data in a meaningful way. 
This session will help attendees learn how to use data across a variety of platforms to tell effective stories about their work. We will talk about how to create effective impact reports for donors, analyze and share marketing campaign data and show program effectiveness through storytelling. We will also include a storytelling exercise so attendees can get a head start on their planning. 

Learning ObjectivesParticipants will: Understand what makes a great story + learn how to share their data in a variety of ways using a storytelling methodology 

Breakout Session 2C: Exploring Real World Ethical Scenarios and Doing What is Right
Jamie McMahon, CFRE

How do you figure out what is the correct thing to do when confronted by a challenging situation involving a donor or your organization? It is rare for a decision to be clearly and obviously right or wrong, so what tools exist to help fundraisers discern how to uphold the highest standards of professionalism? In this session, participants will have a brief introduction to the ethical principles covered in the AFP Code of Ethical Standards and then will review and evaluate 5-8 real world ethical scenarios covering everything from donor/fundraiser relationships, planned giving, donor influence, and organizational expectations for fundraisers. Particularly designed for newer members of the profession, this session will be highly interactive and participatory and will include time for discussion and questions. 

Audience members will evaluate real world ethical scenarios in small groups and then bring their ideas about what is the right thing to do back to the whole session audience for a facilitated discussion.

Learning Objectives: Participants will better understand ethical decision-making in a fundraising context. 

Breakout Session 2D: Fiduciary Options for Administration of Charitable Estates and Trusts
Fredrick B. Weber

For gift planners and trusted advisors, educating donors about their fiduciary options is almost as important as helping donors identify their beneficiaries and structure their gifts. This presentation will discuss strategies for advising donors and their advisors about the pros and cons of various fiduciary options for the post-death administration of estates and trusts that include gifts to charity. It will also include tips to help demystify the post-death administration process for gift planners, donors, and their advisors so that they can make thoughtful and informed decisions aimed at easing the burden and the cost of post-death administration for their families and for the charities that they are seeking to benefit.

Attendees in this session will learn: 1. Provide charitable gift planners with a toolkit for engaging in meaningful conversations about fiduciary choices with their donors designed to enhance relationships with donors and elevate the gift planner's status as a trusted advisor. These discussions can also help gift planners ensure that the wishes and plans of their donors will be properly and effectively carried out after the donors have died. 2. Enhance the understanding of the role of the fiduciary in the delivery of legacy gifts following a donor's death and why choosing the right fiduciary prior to death is among the most critical decisions that a donor can make. 

Learning Objectives: 1. Provide charitable gift planners with a toolkit for engaging in meaningful conversations about fiduciary choices with their donors designed to enhance relationships with donors and elevate the gift planner's status as a trusted advisor. These discussions can also help gift planners ensure that the wishes and plans of their donors will be properly and effectively carried out after the donors have died. 2. Enhance the understanding of the role of the fiduciary in the delivery of legacy gifts following a donor's death and why choosing the right fiduciary prior to death is among the most critical decisions that a donor can make.  

Breakout Session 2E: Inspire Generosity: How to Craft Compelling Giving Opportunities
Liz McFarlin-Marciak

Inspiring generosity, especially at a major gift level, not only takes the time and care of a trust-based philanthropy approach, but also compelling partnership opportunities. But where do you start? Consider creating a “giving menu”!

A one-page “giving menu” can serve as both a starting point for new major donors as well as a tool to guide and increase the support of long-time donors. Whether you have seemingly endless restricted giving opportunities or only one unrestricted pot, this session will share an approach to identifying and framing your organization’s philanthropic priorities into a succinct giving menu to inspire philanthropy at various major gift levels. 

Learning ObjectivesFramework for creating (or updating) a one-page resource to help drive major gift partnerships that support your organization's priorities.

Breakout Session 2F: Today's Mid-Level Donor is Tomorrow's Legacy Donor
Judi Smith, MA, CFRE

In many organizations, the mid-level donor is a "stepchild." Their gifts aren't big enough to attract the attention of Major Gift Officers. Yet they don't quite fit the annual fund donor profile either. They may give in a variety of ways, respond to special appeals, attend your events, even volunteer. Stop ignoring them. Cultivate them. These donors who give $500 to $1,000 most years, but never reach the major gift level probably have estates in the $1 million to $5 million range. The expiring estate tax laws do not concern them. Their ties to your organization can frame a thoughtful and meaningful legacy gift. Learn more about who these donors are and how best to engage them.

Learning Objectives: Learn from recent studies of mid-range donors how to find your own donors in this category. Learn how and why they give. Develop strategies for cultivating legacy commitments. Breakout Session 3A: The Power of a Development Plan: How a Few Pages of Paper Can Focus and Enliven Your Team
Carey Scheide-Miller, Ed.D

Development leaders and their teams often are the "catch-all" for projects and tasks that do not have a home otherwise. In this session, we will discuss the value of a well-crafted development plan that ties into clear goals and share some best practices to set you and your team for success. 

Learning Objectives: Participants will understand the overarching goal of a development plan and learn how to go about creating measurable and impactful goals for their programs that are supported by detailed and aspirational development plans. Small group discussion will help participants see how they can refine or implement a plan for their programs. Breakout Session 3B: Strategic Campaign Brands: why do they matter and how do you create one that’s meaningful to your donors?
Kerry Bartlett, CFRE & Becky Brandt

An effective campaign brand is more than a memorable logo or catchy tagline. Discover short- and long-term benefits of investing in the branding process from a seasoned major gift fundraiser and a strategic communications professional.

Learning Objectives: 1. Impact of a brand on a campaign. 2. The process of discovering an authentic campaign brand for your organization. 3. Importance of consistent, organization-wide key messaging to build momentum throughout a campaign. 4. Time-limited implementation of a campaign brand. 5. Long-term benefits of the brand discovery process. Breakout Session 3C: Become a Funding Ninja (On a Budget!)
Elizabeth Malone & Kiki Reis

Lost in a maze of funding opportunities? Wishing you had the secret scrolls of big-budget research tools? Fear not, fellow grant-writing heroes! This workshop equips YOU with the skills of a grant-finding ninja – all with FREE and budget-friendly techniques.

Learn how to uncover grant opportunities and compete effectively with FREE and AFFORDABLE resources. We will dive into exploring free tools like Guidestar.org, the Foundation Library, how to decode a Form 990, use simple Google Sleuthing, and share some other tricks and tips from in-house grant writers battling grant research and winning. A perfect workshop for the small fundraising shop and beginning to immediate grant writer. 

Learning Objectives:1)Review what it means to be “Grant Ready” 2)Learn free and available resources accessible to grant writers today 3)Walk through the grant research process from start to finish Learn how to use project management tools that are affordable and easy to manage (Monday.com, Google Tools, a good old Spreadsheet) 3) Decode Form 990s to identify potential funders 4) Utilize social media and networking to discover hidden funding opportunities 6) Implement strategies for creating compelling grant proposals using accessible tools.Breakout Session 3D: Let's Vent: Releasing the Pressure on Fundraising Frustrations
Landis Erwin Andrews

Feeling overwhelmed by the constant uphill battle of fundraising? You're not alone. Join us for a cathartic session where we unleash our frustrations, share war stories, and commiserate with fellow fundraisers who understand the struggle.

In this informal and interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to vent about the challenges, setbacks, and downright absurdities they encounter in the world of fundraising. From elusive major donors to unexpected budget cuts, no frustration is too big or too small to air out.

But this session isn't just about complaining—it's about finding solidarity, empathy, and maybe even a bit of humor in the shared experiences of navigating the fundraising rollercoaster. Together, we'll laugh, we'll groan, and we'll remind ourselves why we're passionate about making a difference, even when the road is rough.

Whether you're a seasoned fundraiser or new to the game, come prepared to let off some steam, connect with peers who understand your pain, and leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

Learning Objectives: 1. Expression: Participants will have the opportunity to express their frustrations openly and without judgment, providing a cathartic release of pent-up emotions and stress associated with the fundraising process. 2. Validation and Connection: Participants will feel validated in their experiences of fundraising challenges and will connect with peers who share similar frustrations, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support within the fundraising community. 3. Resilience: Participants will [hopefully] find some relief, humor, and humanity in the quirks of fundraising, finding strength in shared laughter and solidarity to navigate future obstacles with joint support. 4. Rejuvenation and Motivation: Participants will leave the session feeling rejuvenated and motivated to continue their fundraising efforts, armed with a renewed sense of purpose and connection to the wider fundraising community. By achieving these learning objectives, participants will not only have an opportunity to vent their frustrations but also gain valuable insights, support, and inspiration to navigate the ups and downs of fundraising.

Breakout Session 3E: Speaking in Ages, talking to our most senior donors
Greg Wilson, CAP, CFRE, MS

As fundraisers, we all know the importance of helping our donors find their legacy. We also all know different generations have different interests. How do you convey your message to a different generation? As we age our developmental drivers (what our minds seek) changes, compounding this generational challenge. In this research-based session learn how to talk and market generationally & age effectively.

Communication and conversation are at the heart of everything we do as fundraisers, learning how to understand and become more effective with the eldest individuals we work with is critical.

Learning Objectives: Understand the different motivators of the various living generations Learn how our brains continue to evolve as we age, changing what we want Discover how to structure your conversation and marketing to better connect with donors.

Breakout Session 3F: Building Bridges Through Ethical Storytelling: Changing Lives with Integrity
Dave Tinker, CFRE, FAFP

In this session, we'll explore the art of ethical storytelling, equipping attendees with the knowledge and skills to craft impactful stories that build bridges, change lives, and uphold the highest standards of integrity. Aligning with the conference theme of "Building Bridges...Changing Lives," we'll delve into the importance of respecting privacy, obtaining proper consent, and accurately representing the individuals and communities we aim to support. Through interactive discussions and real-world examples, participants will learn to navigate the complexities of storytelling in fundraising, avoiding stereotypes, cultural appropriation, and other pitfalls. By mastering ethical storytelling practices, attendees will create authentic, compelling narratives that resonate with donors, foster empathy, build trust, and drive meaningful change. This session provides invaluable insights into using the power of storytelling to create positive change while upholding ethical standards.

Learning Objectives: Understand the ethical considerations and best practices in storytelling for fundraising. Develop strategies for crafting authentic, compelling narratives that respect privacy and cultural sensitivity. Learn techniques to build bridges, foster empathy, and drive positive change through ethical storytelling.

Breakout Session 4A: How to move your corporate donor program from sponsorship to partnership
Jennifer Zgurich

In this corporate fundraising session, attendees will gain insight into developing meaningful partnerships with the corporate funding community through creative sponsorships, a cororate volunteer team building program that raises revenue for the organization, and effective stewardship touchpoints to retain donors. 

Breakout Session 4B: Thinking About Consulting as a Career Path?
Maureen Mahoney Hill, CFRE

Have you ever thought of becoming a consultant? Found out what successful fundraising consultants do for nonprofits and what they don't do, what you need to prepare for this career path, what's both rewarding and challenging about consulting work and what the opportunity is for consulting in the local nonprofit sector.

Learning Objectives: Participants in this session will: 1) Understand the role of fundraising consultants in nonprofit organizations. 2) Discover how to become a consultant. 3) Appreciate the pros and cons of consulting work and decide if consulting is right for you. 4) Explore the opportunity for fundraising consulting in the local nonprofit sector.

Breakout Session 4C: Mediocritiy: When Volunteers, Employees & Leaders Settle for "Good Enough"
Stephanie Adam

My colleague, Dr. Christian Ola & I, will discuss the cultural phenomenon of "mediocrity" from the perspective of educators and mentors of future business leaders. We will use research to show how mediocrity is impacting the non-profit sector with relation to: recruitment and retention of volunteers and staff; achieving goals; crafting and executing mission & vision; and overall morale. Using case examples and interactive discussion, we will unpack how "good enough" is crushing the "can do" spirit of non-profit leadership and brainstorm solutions alongside participants.

Learning Objectives: 1. Define mediocrity and its impact on business (non-profit) success. 2. Establish a framework for how the problem became a problem. 3. Provide tools for inspiring a more enthusiastic approach to recruitment and retention. 

Breakout Session 4D: Artificial Intelligence and Philanthropy: Augmenting Your Mission by Utilizing AI
Danny Hickton

In this presentation, we delve into the groundbreaking intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Philanthropy. Discover how AI technologies are revolutionizing the landscape of charitable work, offering unprecedented tools to amplify impact and efficiency. We explore real-world examples where AI is enhancing fundraising, optimizing operations, and enabling deeper connections with beneficiaries. Learn practical strategies to integrate AI into your organization, empowering you to fulfill your mission with greater effectiveness and reach. Join us to unlock the transformative potential of AI for philanthropy.

Learning Objectives: Understand the fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its applications in the realm of philanthropy. Explore real-world examples of how AI is currently being used to enhance fundraising efforts, optimize operational processes, and deepen impact. Learn practical strategies and best practices for integrating AI technologies into philanthropic organizations. Discover how AI can assist in identifying potential donors, personalizing engagement, and improving overall efficiency. Gain insights into the ethical considerations and challenges associated with the use of AI in philanthropy. Leave with actionable steps to leverage AI tools and approaches to augment your organization's mission and impact positively.

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