Conference Schedule

7:30- 8:30     Registration & Networking Breakfast
8:30   Keynote



Relationship Fundraising 2.0: What Can We Learn From Philanthropic Psychology

  • Professor Adrian Sargeant (Professor of Fundraising and Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth
  • Presentation Slides

During the keynote, we'll explore the results of a major new research project on relationship fundraising. In it we examined the science underpinning how human beings form relationships with friends and family to see what might be learned for how nonprofits might build more meaningful relationships with their supporters. The session will begin by outlining the circumstances where a relationship based approach might be optimal and where a more transactional perspective (just focusing on providing a base quality of service) might be more appropriate. We’ll then examine the psychology of each stage of a relationship, from exploration through growth and commitment.  We’ll demonstrate the critical role of emotion and dispositional mindfulness in the early stages of a relationship. We’ll then explore the fundamental human needs met by relationships and how these develop over time. We’ll also outline the critical concept of identity and how by priming that in communications giving can be increased by over 30% while enhancing how good the donor feels about the experience.

9:50 - 10:50   Session 1



Designing Donor Communications: Lessons From Around the World

  • Professor Adrian Sargeant (Professor of Fundraising and Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth
  • Presentation Slides

In this session we will explore how to design effective donor communications drawing on the results of the latest academic research and the very best of professional practice from around the globe. This highly practical session will include many examples from different countries and categories of nonprofit. We'll examine how to construct an inspiring case for support and show you how to frame your organization's needs in copy that will have the maximum effect. We'll also examine critical issues such as donor centricity and how to maximize involvement. Finally, we'll look at some of the emerging principles of philanthropic psychology and how communications can be oriented to provide greater and genuine value for supporters. In this session we’ll examine all forms of communication including newsletters, email and direct mail.

What if Andrew Carnegie and Mark Zuckerberg had a Conversation?

  • Mick Koster (Director of Gift Planning, Carnegie Mellon University)

From endowments to donor advised funds to private foundations, the use and purpose of such vehicles has significantly changed in the past century.  Drawing on lessons from famous philanthropists like Andrew Carnegie and Mark Zuckerberg, it's important to understand how various gift structures work (or don't work) and how understanding these lessons can propel your own career as an adviser to philanthropists.

Getting a bang for your buck: FUNdraising that works for everyone

  • Christina Farmartino (Executive Director, The Open Door, Inc.)
  • Melissa Knorr (Operations Manager, The Open Door, Inc.)
  • Presentation Slides

A case study for smaller nonprofit Executives who know how important fundraising is, but don't have as much time, or a development team, to support fundraising. 1. New donor strategies: Story telling, annual campaign strategies/timelines, FUN fundraisers, and the data YOU NEED to be successful. 2. Share the techniques used/results of our recent, successful campaign (including updates from last year and new ideas!). 3. Funder games: How to pitch your work to foundations and get the attention/money you need, without a ton of effort and on a budget.

How to Tap Into Donors’ Planned Giving Motivations

Donor motivation and goals greatly impact planned giving options chosen by donors.  The speaker will discuss donor mindsets, especially in light of potential Tax Reform, and the effects on planned giving options. Discussion will include donor motivation for choosing among bequests, charitable gift annuities, donor-advised funds (DAFs), endowment agreements, charitable trusts, pooled income funds, among others.

11:10- 12:10   Session 2



Successful Bequest Fundraising: Lessons From Research

  • Professor Adrian Sargeant (Professor of Fundraising and Director of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at the University of Plymouth)
  • Presentation Slides

In this session we will look at successful examples of bequest fundraising practice from around the world. We’ll also look at the science that should be informing who we ask to support us in this way and how we ask. We will also examine the evidence on who gives, why they give and what donors might be looking for when they make a pledge. We’ll consider the language that nonprofits should use when soliciting a bequest and how to create a compelling case for support that will spur a donor to take immediate action. The presentation will include many of the new insights to emerge from the field of philanthropic psychology and how, for example, changing the wording in communications such as telephone scripts can increase response by over 100%.

The Art of Philanthropy

  • Chalis Henderson (Founder & CEO, Philanthropy, LLC)

In this session we will explore what “philanthropy” means and looks like.  We will embark on a mission to change the face and narrative of philanthropy by redefining it to “the art of having a heart for others.”  We will begin with an overview of the history of philanthropy in the African American community. We will continue with a dialogue about what philanthropy really means and how the millennial community, particularly young People of Color,  uses their time, talent, and resources to make an impact for the greater good.

How to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story

  • John Mahood (Chief Strategist, Imagebox Productions, Inc.)

Few things are more powerful than a story, well-told. You know what you do, how you do it, and why it matters. Now's the time to transform those ideas into words. Telling your story effectively is crucial when engaging new and existing members of your community. In this session, participants will learn the core techniques needed to craft a persuasive story, including identifying your audience, identify the people and events that will resonate most, develop a narrative structure and complementary imagery, share it with the world-and measure its effectiveness.

Birth, Care and Feeding of a Database... And Some Helpful Tips for Ailing Databases

Mrs. Kate Schandler, Principal Consultant, Schandler Database Administration LLC Session will discuss the following topics, and be suited for database users and decision makers:

  • why a database is important to your mission.
  • how to evaluate the different database platforms available for your needs -how to implement a database once you have decided on one -how to maintain a database -how to evaluate when you need outside help for a mismanaged database

Communicating the Best Case for Operating Support in Grant Proposals

  • David Tinker, CFRE FAFP (Vice President of Advancement, ACHIEVA)
  • Katherine F.H. Heart, GPC, M.Ed. (President, Heart Resources, LLC)
  • Presentation Slides

The presenters will offer their strategies for communicating the best case for operating support in grant proposals to foundations. Their approaches as development and grant professionals have worked for small, medium and large-size agencies. Topics will include: (1) philanthropic trends for operating support; (2) definitions and differences between gifts and grants; (3) common grant narrative structure for operating requests; and (4) budget justification for operating expenses. A short proposal outline that fits common grant and online applications will be discussed and provided.

12:15   Lunch & Networking Tables
1:30 - 2:30   Session 3



Firing on All Cylinders, With a Small Development Team

  • Steve Higgins, CFRE  (President, Carter)
  • Sara Schumacher, CFRE (Vice President of Fund Development, Monongahela Valley Hospital)
  • Presentation Slides

This session will be facilitated and led by Steve Higgins and Sara Schumacher. The objective will be for the attendees to recognize how best to allocate their time and efforts in a way that yields the greatest short-term and long-term results for their development program. How best to balance transnational giving with relational giving will be a key theme throughout this presentation. In addition to presenting a PowerPoint deck, Steve and Sara will engage the audience in some interactive dialogue around this always challenging topic.

Policy Change and Donor Engagement, One Selfie at a Time #IWantToWork

  • Josie Badger PhD (Campaign Manager, #IWantToWork)
  • Mary Anderson Hartley (Consultant, 21 and Able, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania)

#IWantToWork is a self-advocacy & social media campaign powered by people with disabilities. The campaign focuses on changing public perception & policies for employment. Innovative in advocacy & fundraising, the campaign shows how a small group who cares deeply about an issue can band together, work with lawmakers & use social media to spread awareness. Since its inception in 2014, #IWantToWork has garnered local & national attention, formed strategic relationships with lawmakers, brought awareness to the 21 and Able initiative & has raised nearly $115,000 to support advocacy for people with disabilities who can and want to work.

The Changing Face of Philanthropy: Diverse Perspectives on Giving

  • Aerion Abney, Social Leader
  • Ellen Freeman, Partner-in-Charge, Porter Wright – Pittsburgh Law Office
  • Christin Thorpe, Founder, The Ozzie and Me Scholarship Foundation
  • Chalis Henderson, Founder & CEO, Philanthropy, LLC (Moderator)

This dynamic panel discussion will unpack how the world of giving is being redefined as the face of philanthropy changes. Philanthropists from diverse backgrounds and cultures will provide stories and thoughts on how their desire to make an impact in their communities has led to the development of their own personal philanthropic identities.  Chalis Henderson, founder of Philanthropy LLC, will lead the discussion.

Data to Design III – Using Research to Drive the Creative Process

This presentation will provide a comprehensive view on donor attitudes and behaviors from the latest 2017 U.S. Healthy Aging Database® study. We’ll examine elements of healthy aging and how market adjacencies may impact the how, when and why of charitable giving.  We’ll look at how donors prefer to learn about organizations and the vehicles best suited to communicate by nonprofit sector.  In the presentation, we’ll also provide data from the study that will drive strategic direction and demonstrate how some simple changes that any organization can make to their marketing communications materials can improve the chance of resonating with donors.

Working with Your CEO and Senior Leadership to Maximize Fundraising Results

  • Rich Mahoney CFRE (Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Washington Health System Foundation)
  • Presentation Slides

This session will explore the basic key strategies that can be employed to utilize your CEO and Senior Leadership’s community and social capital to successfully pursue major gifts for your organization.  Also covered will be how to recruit your CEO and Senior Leadership and engage them in a positive way to assist you and your staff in generating the necessary revenue to help achieve your goals.

2:50 - 3:50   Session 4



Eleven Principals for Creating Events on a Shoestring

  • Yvonne Hudson MA (Principal, New Place Collaborations, LLC)
  • Lynette Asson (Principal, New Place Collaborations, LLC)
  • Presentation Slides

Who says you need a huge budget for an event showcasing your organization? Even the most extravagant gala with engraved invitations can seem as dull as a rubber chicken dinner that falls flat and sends guests scrambling for the door. Just employ the 10 top tips--plus a bonus principal--to steer your event, fund-raiser or retreat to success. This fun, interactive seminar will get your creative ideas flowing. Use some powerful yet simple principals and tackle this task that is often “not in your job description.”

Future Charitable Giving and How to Capture It

Fundraising is the lifeblood of many nonprofits’ operations and affects their ability to fulfill their missions. There is a distinct nonprofit focus on donor psychology, donor types, and donors’ willingness to continue charitable giving. From a psychology standpoint, the interest is in why donors give and what they expect from the organization. From a composition standpoint, nonprofits look at who is giving and tailor donor relation strategies to different audiences. From a willingness standpoint, nonprofits look at donors’ willingness to donate in the future in light of the economy, legislative reform, etc. We discuss our research and offer best practices.

Developing a Mindset for Major Gift Success

  • Kara Mostowy (Chief Development Officer, Watson Institute)
  • Alyssa Cholodofsky (Vice President, Development and Impact, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania)
  • Presentation Slides

Do you find yourself in “event mode” year round, never able to find the time or resources – let alone a strategy – to solicit those elusive “major gifts” that you hear about?   In this session, you’ll learn how to unlock the potential of major gifts and more importantly, how to develop a scalable major gifts program for your organization.  You will learn tactics and strategies to engage your CEO and Board to work with you, and how to train volunteers to engage in major gift solicitations.  In an interactive session, we will role play a major gift solicitation.

Paths, Ladders and Labyrinths: Strategic Career Mapping

  • Deborah Desjardins (Executive Director, University Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Lauren Rauscher, PhD (Director, Women's Leadership & Mentorship Program, Robert Morris University)
  • Presentation Slides

To be professionally fulfilled as well as serve nonprofit institutions in the best possible way, it is important to take greater care with how we think about and manage our careers. This session will focus on professional development and staff retention with mentorship and sponsorship as mechanisms for that.  In this interactive session, you will learn tools for individuals can do to manage their own professional development; how supervisors/executive directors can actively support staff development and retention; and organizational strategies.

Unlocking Potential Within Beneficiary Designation Gifts

Some of the largest planned giving opportunities can be found through a simplistic giving method: Beneficiary Designations.  In this presentation, you will explore how to assist donors in creating a gift plan, utilizing simple beneficiary designations to create significant charitable gifts. Topics include: Strategic Joint Discoveries, Elements of a Planned Giving Discovery, Creating a Gift Plan Illustration, Helping Donors to Take Action, and Gift Plan Stewardship.

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