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Introducing two tracks new to the 2016 conference: Legacy Giving & Professional Growth

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Event Tracks for 2016:

Designed for experienced fundraisers and managers, this track will provide new strategies for fundraising and will stimulate your thinking on issues relating to leadership, hiring and retaining top talent, board performance, career advancement, and donor relationships. 


Corporations and foundations are more strategic in their philanthropy than ever. The old formula in which these funders helped you achieve your goals has become a two-way street; you must help them achieve their goals. This track will show you how to position your organization for success. One session involves awarding an actual grant.   

The digital age was supposed to bring a decline in traditional direct response fundraising, but it hasn’t. Direct response remains vibrant and competitive. This track presents the latest strategies in year-end campaigns and donor retention. The always popular “30 Ideas in 60 Minutes” session will be repeated, with many new twists. 

This track is designed for professionals who are in the early stages of their career and those transitioning into development (but experienced fundraisers will benefit too). Sessions include “Building a Fundraising Plan” and “Turning a Loyal Board into a Fundraising Force.” Other topics include donor stewardship and writing a case statement. 

The most recent Giving USA report shows bequests and other legacy gifts on the rise. The trend is expected to continue in the years ahead. Is your organization positioned to seize the opportunity? This track presents everything from starting a program to basic marketing to fostering collaboration between major gifts and legacy gifts.

Everyone should have a major gift program, no matter the size of the organization. This track will present the basics in major gifts along with advanced strategies. For those just getting started, there’s a session on creating the right organizational culture for major gifts. For those who want to accelerate their existing program, you’ll learn how to engage your board and build a prospect pipeline.

Organizations want top performers. Organizations want leaders at all levels. This track will help you become a better professional, and in the process advance your organization. You’ll gain insights on career development, how to achieve success, and how to identify and build your leadership potential. Presenters include two accomplished authors along with senior nonprofit executives.

Google searches are not enough. Successful fundraising programs use more sophisticated tools and strategies to build prospect profiles. This track provides tips for finding prospects, rating giving potential, and partnering with gift officers. The sessions are geared toward anyone who has research or major gift responsibilities.

The vast majority of nonprofits are considered small. They have a unique set of challenges. This track addresses solutions for the small shops. Topics include engaging volunteers for fundraising, starting a major gifts program, and using technology. One session will be dedicated to analyzing end-of-year campaigns by examining your campaign materials.

Special events remain the cornerstone of most fundraising campaigns. But the competition is stiff. This track will present the latest trends in making your event stand out from the crowd. It will show you how to leverage your events to get major gifts and how to develop and manage a volunteer committee. 

Everyone knows technology plays a large role in fundraising. But many organizations struggle to effectively use technology beyond having a Facebook page. This track will present both basic and advanced strategies. Topics include peer-to-peer fundraising, building meaningful connections with donors online, and tools to manage your online campaigns.

Workshops are roundtable discussions where participants learn from one another through facilitated discussion. Topics include donor stewardship, marketing, how to tell your organization’s story, and securing government grants. Participants are encouraged to share their success stories…and their stories of failure.

Advanced Fundraising     

8:45 - 10:00am
If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get. Tips on Negotiating Compensation, Career Advancement and Work/Life Balance
Whether you’re seeking a new role in your current organization or ready to make a leap elsewhere, you should understand your value, know what’s reasonable to expect, and know how to ask for it. This session will help senior level and mid-level development professionals to move forward in your career, negotiate compensation, and find balance in your life.

You’ll learn to:

  • Determine what you need or want from your work
  • Evaluate your worth
  • Tap into your existing negotiating skills to set the stage and make the “ask”
  • Balance work and life

Speakers: Barbara Leshinsky, Senior Executive Vice President, The Ad Council; Esther Rosenberg, Co-Managing Director, Howe Lewis International

New York Board Giving: Adding Facts to Anecdotes
This June, Marts & Lundy will release findings from its fourth research initiative on board giving among nonprofits in the NYC area. This research further explores 10 characteristics that correlate to higher board giving and higher giving overall. 

Youi'll learn:

  • Factors that correlate to higher board giving
  • “Top Ten” actions  that are central to effectively shaping philanthropic boards
  • Leadership challenges that affect Board fundraising, including Chair/CEO/CDO communications, working relationships, and transitions

Speakers: Nancy L. Raybin, Senior Consultant & Principal, Marts & Lundy;  Sarah W. Williams, Senior Consultant & Principal, Leader of Analytical Solutions

Donor Retention Isn’t Speed Dating
Speed dating involves meeting many people quickly and then forgetting most of them. That’s no different from what many nonprofits practice. 80% of first-time donors never make a second gift. So what can you do to develop a successful donor relations program? What works, and what doesn’t? How can you improve retention?

You’ll learn how to:

  •  Use donor retention as a fundraising metric
  •  Understand donor behavior
  •  Build a retention-based donor relations program

Speakers: Lynne Wester, Founder & Principal, Donor Relations Guru.

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Recruit and Retain Top Performers
Managers are expected to recruit and retain top development staff. It can take years for an organization to recover from a bad hire or from a losing a good one. This session will show you how to find and keep the best talent. Learn effective interviewing skills and what to look for in a resume and in a candidate.

You’ll learn: 

  • Interviewing skills
  • How to identify talent
  • Techniques for rewarding and nurturing staff

Speakers: Susan Kotcher, Chief Development Officer, Pro Mujer; Robin Rosenbluth, Fundraising Coach and Consultant. Moderator: Arlene Swartz, President, Interim Solutions.

Corporate & Foundation Giving

8:45 - 10:00am
Takin’ Care of Business: A Corporate Funders Forum Corporate funding can be elusive; corporate priorities vary and each corporation looks for different qualities in a nonprofit partner. Come hear some straight talk about why and where corporations give as these corporate social responsibility professionals answer the questions you most want answered.

You will learn:

  • What criteria corporations look for in a nonprofit partner
  • What a nonprofit should offer a corporation in order to be considered for funding
  • How a nonprofit can get “in front of” a corporation outside of a competitive RFP process

Speakers: Icema Gibbs, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, JetBlue; Gregory Khost, Managing Director, US Trust; Alton Murray, Program Manager, Arts & Culture, ConEdison; Moderator: Sergio Furman, Vice President, Global Resources, Wildlife Conservation Society

Real Time Grantmaking
Observe grantmaking in action! An expert panel of real-world funders from American Express, Booth Ferris Foundation, The New York Women’s Foundation, Inc., The Clark Foundation, and Columbia University, review proposals and deliberate in front of an audience. FRDNY registrants are eligible to apply for a grant to be awarded during this session. Applicable to nonprofit leaders of all levels

You’ll Learn:

  • Various approaches funders take when reviewing proposals
  • Red flags funders notice in applications
  • The importance of communicating your impact as well as activities

Speakers: JuWon Choi, Director of Learning, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

Success! Evaluating Your Programs for Today’s Funders
Raising – and keeping – foundation dollars requires showing the impact of your work. As fundraisers, we often do the hard work of educating our colleagues about evaluating our work for foundation funders. This session will help demystify the evaluation process and what it really means to show organizational impact.

You will learn:

  • What all the jargon means – what is “benchmarking” anyway?
  • How to institutionalize evaluation processes so that staff is not stretched beyond capacity.
  • How to develop realistic measures of your success

Speakers: Aine Duggan, President, re:gender; Moderator: Donna Wall, CFRE, President, Wall Consulting Services

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Sponsorship? Partnership? Philanthropy? Tapping into Corporate
Funding Feel like corporations fund everyone but you? Are you struggling to increase your corporate revenue? Confused about how to approach a corporation? You are not alone! Come learn the why, when and how of corporate fundraising.

You will learn what:
Motivates corporations to partner with a non-profit.
You need to know before approaching corporations for support
Attracts corporations.

Speaker: Sergio Furman, Vice President, Global Resources, Wildlife Conservation Society

Direct Response Marketing

8:45 - 10:00am
30 Ideas in 60 Minutes: Your Hour of Creative Power
In this fast-paced, must-attend session, you will hear from three industry experts on what’s working now in direct marketing fundraising. You’ll head back to the office with valuable tips that you can put to work to improve revenue, boost retention and reduce costs for your program.

You’ll Learn To:

  • Improve results through creative design techniques.
  • Write effective copy that will inspire people to give.
  • Upgrade your donors to maximize their value.

Speakers: Harry Lynch, CEO, Sanky Inc.; Kate Phillips Hollandsworth, Senior Strategist; ABD Direct; Milo Sybrant, Vice President, M&R Strategic Services, Moderator: Lisa Maska, CFRE, Partner, Lautman Maska Neill & Company.

Staying Power: How to Boost Retention and Keep Your Best Donors
Ten years ago, nonprofits on average retained only one-third of their new donors. Since then, new donorretention has plummeted to under 25%. This downward trend, combined with the ever-increasing cost of donor acquisition, bodes a frightening future for fundraisers and nonprofits.  But, by making new donor retention a top priority, you can buck the trend and keep more of your hard-won new donors. Come hear direct response fundraising experts share tips on how to get that second gift, keep donors actively engaged, and stem the tide of donor attrition.

You'll learn:

  • How to use data analytics to find new donors who are more likely to stay with you over the long-term
  • How to build a welcome series that will inspire your new donors to make another gift
  • The key metrics every fundraiser must use in order build a strong, healthy file

Speakers: Tricia Hart, National Director of Direct Response and Development Operations, Amnesty International; Lisa Torres, Senior Membership Director; New York Public Radio; Moderator: Giselle Holloway, Acting Vice President, Strategic Development, International Rescue Committee


10 Steps to Making Your Donor the Hero With Your Year-end Campaign
Nonprofits get 30% or more of their individual donations for the year in December, so how can you be sure to get your piece of the pie? In this session, we will explore ten steps you can take to plan a year-end campaign that celebrates your donor's support, catches her eye, tugs on her heartstrings, and seals the deal to ensure a generous gift. Through two case studies, we will share best practices so that you can make sure your 2016 year-end campaign is your best ever.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build a stronger year-end campaign that takes inspiration from your brand
  • Leverage the most recent best practices
  • Carry your story strategically across multiple channels

Speakers: Will Nolan, Senior Vice President of Communications & Administration, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy; Farra Trompeter, Vice President, Big Duck; Moderator: Valerie Vierengel, Director of Donor Stewardship, ASPCA

How Digital Acquisition is Saving Africa's Wildlife?
In this ever-changing fundraising world, nonprofits must continually grow and diversify their individual donor bases. This session dissects a digital donor acquisition campaign from African Wildlife Foundation. It will show you how to maximize email acquisition, search engine marketing, and social media. Get unique insights on tailoring your online strategy for bigger, bolder results.

You’ll learn:

  • Tips for finding the highest quality digital prospects and turning them into long-term donor
  • Communication strategies for acquiring and retaining new prospects through regular, segmented engagement
  • The latest online tools and tactics for tracking and improving performance of online acquisition

Speakers: David Onate, Assistant Director, Marketing and Membership, African Wildlife Foundation; Tim Robinson, Director of Business Development, Care2; Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications/SankyNet
Joint with Web, Tech, Social Media Track

Essentials in Fundraising

8:45 - 10:00am
Building an Annual Development Plan that Really Works
Shops of all sizes will get useful information in this session about how to build your annual fundraising plan. There are so many different development activities – how do you decide what to do when, taking into account the needs of your institution and its donors? Learn to build a plan that your shop, with its current resources, can actually complete, and that leads you to the outcomes you need.

You’ll learn:

  • About higher ROI fundraising activities versus lower ROI options, and when you might choose to deploy one or the other
  • To right-size your development plan and maximize the impact of the staff you have – however few or many!
  • To assess your donors’ needs and target fundraising accordingly

Speaker: John Hicks, President & CEO, J.C. Geever, Inc.

10:45-12:00 noon
Writing a Case Statement that Sings

At the core of every significant ask is a powerful, inspiring, concise case statement.  But how do you get one?  This session will explore the building blocks of a strong case, and the tone and language that will make this written piece effective.  Bring an example from your own work and, in this interactive workshop, you’ll have an opportunity to fine-tune it.

You’ll learn:

  • How to write a case statement that speaks for itself
  • What belongs in the case statement, and what is peripheral
  • How to test and refine your case

Speaker: Robin Rosenbluth, Fundraising Coach and Consultant

  Turning a Loyal Board into a Fundraising Source 
Why does building an engaged board prove to be a challenge for even the most seasoned development professionals? Every board member, regardless of varying levels of wealth, network connectivity, personalities, and skills sets can be an asset to an organization’s fundraising efforts. Deconstruct the barriers and leave empowered with the strategies necessary to engage and unleash a fundraising force for your organization.

You’ll learn:

  • Ways to coach board members to be fundraising leaders
  • What to include in board recruitment plan and orientation
  • Effective strategies for engaging boards in campaign fundraising

Speakers: Elizabeth Zeigler, President, Graham-Pelton Consulting; Thomas B. Robertson, Former US Ambassador to Slovenia; Board of Directors and Development Committee Chair, AFS-USA; Vivian Shannon, Campaign Director, West Point Association of Graduates; Jorge Castro, President, AFS-USA

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Effective Stewardship: What do donors want?
Go beyond just thanking donors - engage them. What helps a donor grow closer to your organization? How does donor stewardship fit into your overall fundraising plan and activities? Can social media be useful in donor stewardship and, if so, how and for which donors? We will focus especially on how donor stewardship techniques can be employed in smaller organizations. This will be a lively, interactive session; come with your questions.

You will learn to:

  • Engage donors 
  • Tell the stories your donors want to hear 
  • Use social media to complement other engagement strategies

Speakers: Faith Shaw Petrides, Director of Patron Services and Planned Giving, New York City Ballet; Michele Pignatello, Chief Development Officer, Kessler Foundation; Sarah Unger, Development and Communications Director, Crisis Ministry of Mercer County; Moderator: Elizabeth Wagner, Vice President, Development, Princeton Area Community Foundation

Legacy Giving

8:45 - 10:00am
Planned Giving When That’s Not All You Do
You want to add planned giving to your fundraising mix but you wonder where you’ll find the time and whether you can understand the field. This session will show you how to start down this path with confidence and without compromising your other responsibilities. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a lawyer!

You will learn:

  • Which planned gifts to market and how to market them
  • How to follow up on inquiries
  • How to handle bequests

Speakers: Pamela Bennett, JD, Director of Gift Planning, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; Lori B. Lasson, JD, National Director, Planned Giving & Estates, Hadassah

Working Together: Major and Planned Gifts
There was a time when planned giving officers and major gift officers worked independently of one another. Smart organizations bring these two functions together. This session will feature cases studies that show how these development professionals work together to strengthen a donor’s bonds with your organization and increase giving.

You will learn:

  • Clues to open a planned giving conversation with your major gift donor
  • Ways to work with your planned giving colleagues
  • Gift strategies that increase overall donations

Speakers: Sara Chambers, Director of Development, NYU Langone Medical Center; Bruce Temkin, National Director of Major Gifts, Amnesty International; Erica Campbell, Director of Development, NYU Langone Medical Center; Moderator: Michelle Gelber, Director of Planned Giving, NYU Langone Medical Center

Planned Gifts: The Secret Ingredient in Campaigns
Learn creative ways to incorporate planned giving into campaigns and increase the number and size of gifts. This session will explore how planned gifts impact donor recognition and naming opportunities, and also cover the emerging technique of using bequest matching gift programs to dramatically boost planned gift commitments.

You’ll learn how:

  • Planned giving can make the difference in a successful campaign
  • To offer naming opportunities to planned giving donors
  • To ensure your planned giving donors get proper recognition in a campaign

Speaker: Mohammad Zaidi, Director of Gift Planning and Special Campaigns, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Legacy Giving: So What Are You Afraid Of?
Fundraisers, usually out of fear or discomfort, avoid having the discussion that can lead to maximizing a donor’s potential through Legacy Giving. The result is a lot of money left on the table, or directed to other charities willing to have that discussion. We will address these issues, and more. All fears and objections welcome.

You’ll learn to:

  • Understand your objections and fears, and how to manage them
  • Overcome resistance to pursuing this discussion with your donors
  • Recognize and secure increased gifts from your Legacy donors

Speakers: Mark Hefter, Associate Vice President, American Technion Society; Marc Krause, CAP, Associate Vice President, National Jewish Health

Major Gifts

Building a Major Gifts Pipeline from Scratch
Why do we feel we’re always building our major gifts portfolio? Because we are! Construction never ends. A prospect list is never final. It must evolve. Whether you’re just starting a prospect list or replenishing one, there are proven strategies to help ensure your pipeline overflows with top prospects.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify and qualifying prospects
  • Refresh your pipeline, with examples from small shops and large shops
  • Integrate research, program, and finance in your pipeline development

Speakers: Toby Boshak, Executive Director, Princess Grace Foundation-USA; Tim Halpern, Chief Executive Officer, Comprehensive Prospect Research; Michael Trager, Director Development, Mount Sinai Health System;

The Board’s Role in Major Gift Fundraising
Do your board members resist major gifts? Organizations with active board members raise more money. If board members are not passionate about their donors, then it will be extraordinarily difficult – if not impossible – to succeed. This session is a crash course in what board members need to do to be leaders who raise the funds your mission deserves.

You’ll learn:

  • How to raise the subject of major gifts with your board
  • To overcome board member objections to participating in major gifts
  • Key principles your leadership must embrace for your major gifts effort to succeed

Speakers: Karen Leies, Senior Director of Development, New York City Ballet; Sunil Oommen, Managing Director of Major Gifts, Amnesty International USA; William Goodloe, President and CEO, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, Inc.  Moderator: William Weber, President, Principal, Development Guild

Creating a Culture of Philanthropy
Major gifts thrives in organizations where program staff want to participate in cultivation, where board members see major gifts as part of their responsibility, where it’s discussed at every board meeting, and where others originate ideas and recommend prospects. Creating this culture is not easy, especially for organizations that see major gifts as “that department over there.

You’ll learn:

  • What a culture of philanthropy looks like for major gifts success
  • To create a culture where major gifts is central to the life of the organization
  • Ideas to move your organization’s major gifts program forward….together!

Speakers: Carson Gleberman, Advancement Committee Chair, Ethical Culture Fieldston School; Jane McIntosh, CFRE, Vice President for Development & External Affairs, Central Park Conservancy; Whitney Namm Pollack, Director, Institutional Advancement & Alumni, Ethical Culture Fieldston School.  Moderator: Timothy Higdon, Senior Division Director – Campaigns, New York University Langone Medical Center

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Current Trends in Philanthropy
The word trend is defined by following a general course. As philanthropy professionals, we know that the fundraising environment is always in a state of flux and our course is far from general. Industry experts will explain what they see as current areas of growth for our profession and areas that we should be knowledgeable of as they may impact our day-to-day productivity.

You’ll learn how: 

  • Ways of giving are changing and how to inspire new and evolving donor segments
  • To integrate new and diverse forms of fundraising into your annual campaign, major gifts, and foundation fundraising 
  • The election cycle and fluctuating economy may or may not impact your major gift fundraising and annual fundraising goals

Speakers: Glen Macdonald, Co-Founder & Chairman, Wealth & Giving Forum; Larz Johns, Senior Vice President, Advancement, Robin Hood; Richard Martin, Director of Development, Ronald McDonald House New York; Moderator: Nancy Raybin, Senior Consultant & Principal, Marts & Lundy

Professional Growth

8:45 - 10:00am
How Good Could You Make It?
Are you ready to elevate your performance? Add even more value to your organization? Best-selling author Gail Blanke will help you step forward into the challenges and opportunities of today, and to create a bold, new future – both professionally and personally. Learn the incredible power of a vision and create a career that’s successful.

You’ll learn to:

  • Let go of the negative challenges that prevent you from reaching ultimate success and personal fulfillment
  • Create positive daily action plans that will inspire you, your leadership and volunteers
  • Embrace a potential setback as a “step up” for you and your career

Speaker: Gail Blanke, Executive Coach and Author

Reenergize, Redefine, or Reinvent: Get More Satisfaction and Have More Fun in Your Career
According to Gallup, the average workweek is now 47 hours. That’s a lot of time to spend in a stalled career or tedious job. Often, changing jobs is not the answer. We’ll talk tips for keeping your skills fresh, expanding your work beyond your job description, and maintaining that “first day on the job” enthusiasm.

You’ll learn:

  • Techniques to reinvigorate your current job
  • Tips to take your performance to the next level
  • Strategies for strengthening your attitude

Speakers: Marti Fischer, Principal, Marti Fischer Group; Laura Fredricks, CEO and Founder, THE A$K

Effective Fundraisers as Organizational Leaders
Nonprofits need leaders at all levels of the organization, not just the top. When fundraisers are promoted to serve as managers, mentors and advisors they need additional skills and knowledge (beyond the techniques of fundraising). Managers must learn how to help other staff members to grow, to build a great work environment, and to get results.

You’ll learn to:

  • Invest in younger fundraisers to keep them engaged
  • Identify the indicators of job dissatisfaction
  • Address and reduce high staff turnover Build a culture of philanthropy

Speakers: Patricia A. Moran, MBA, CFRE, Director; George H. Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy & Fundraising, School of Professional Studies, New York University; Mark Roithmayr, Chief Development Officer, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Martha Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, MInstF (AdvDip), President, Hazen, Inc.  

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Managing Transition and Navigating Your Career Trajectory
Employment for fundraisers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2012 and 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. For those already in the sector, or those transitioning in, you can expect growth opportunities. But will you be ready? The presenters will address best practices for individuals managing their careers and for organizations to plan career growth.

You’ll learn to:

  • Handle the revolving door within the fundraising profession
  • Manage your career so you grow both professionally and financially
  • Attain strong job performances and enjoy workplace flexibility

Speakers: Mindee Barham, M.S., Interim Vice President, Resource Development, United Way of New York City; Gail L. Freeman, President and Founder, Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC; Robert E. Wahlers, M.S., CFRE, Vice President, Development, Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations



Industry Corner: Identifying and Cultivating Prospects from the Law, Pharmaceuticals, and Startup Industries
Prospect researchers should not only be experts on individual donors, but also on industries where current and future wealth is generated. This presentation will provide overviews of the Law, Pharmaceuticals, and Startup industries, including predicting wealth events and explanations of job titles and organizational hierarchies. It will discuss personality traits and how they influence attitudes toward philanthropy.

You’ll learn: 

  • The current state of the law, pharmaceuticals, and startup industries, and what is on the horizon
  • Identifying, researching, rating, and qualifying prospects in these industries.
  • How your Prospect Research department can partner with your frontline development team

Speakers: Melissa Carpenter, Senior Analyst, Prospect Research, The University of Chicago; Namrata Padhi, Senior Analyst, Prospect Research, The University of Chicago;
Lindsey Royer, Senior Analyst, Prospect Research, The University of Chicago

Feeding the Major Gift Pipeline: a framework for effective prospect development
This session presents an effective framework for evaluating prospects using four dynamic measurements. Learn how to effectively feed the major gift pipeline and focus your entire fundraising team around prospect development and major gifts fundraising.

You’ll learn:

  • To analyze prospects and rating their giving potential.
  • The best sources for finding prospects and getting ready to begin prospecting.
  • To embrac the critical and highly strategic role researchers serve in fundraising.

Speakers: Joseph Gonzales, Advancement Services, St. Olaf College, Alumni Hall; Matthew Perrin, Manager, Prospect Research, Natural Resources Defense Council


Parent Research and Fundraising at Educational Organizations
This session will focus on methods of parent identification, research and fundraising at educational institutions. It will provide an overview of how researchers can shepherd the process from start to finish, including the visit with parents. This session will encourage audience discussion and idea-sharing on experiences, successes and challenges with programs at other institutions.

You’ll learn:
Parent identification, research, and fundraising using pragmatic techniques
The unique characteristics of parents as a fundraising constituency
Training gift officers in how to navigate parent visits

Speakers: Thomas C. Hampsey, Senior Director of Development Research, Lafayette College; Rebecca H. Heslin, Associate Director of Development Research, Lafayette College


4:00- 5:00pm
The Strategic Researcher - Positioned to Make a Difference
Advancement researchers are usually well-positioned to significantly impact the strategic direction of their organization’s fundraising, yet they often are content to play a supporting role. This session will explore ways that researchers can be leaders in setting the strategic direction of their organization’s development efforts.

You’ll learn to: 

  • Think critically about the ‘big picture’ for your fundraising operation.
  •  Be the “Chief Strategic Officer” for your development operation. 
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of being at the decision table.

Speakers: David M. Sterling, Director of Advancement Operations, Western New England University

Small Shop Organizations

8:45 - 10:00am
The Major Gifts Challenge: Getting Started with Major Gifts
Are you thinking about taking the leap into major gifts fundraising? Or maybe you tried the leap but had little success. No matter the size of your organization, whether a major gift is $1,000 or $10,000, you can be successful. You can learn how to ask for and receive gifts beginning this year.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify good major gift prospects 
  • Best practices for cultivation and stewardship 
  • How to handle a “No” powerfully

Speaker: Amy Eisenstein, MPA, ACFRE, Consultant,

Many Hands Make Fundraising Work: Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Campaigns
Your volunteers are connected to your mission and ready to put all they have into raising funds. But imagine the powerful results if they would encourage their friends to fundraise as well! This session will show you how to empower your volunteers so they can enlist their peers to join the cause and raise money.

You’ll learn to:

  • Help volunteer family and friends “get it” for your mission
  • Create “resource libraries” that make community-based events turn-key for your volunteers
  • Coach your volunteers about successful peer matching

Speaker: Tori Sayanlar, Senior Campaign Manager, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Lora Vaccaro, Senior Campaign Manager, Team In Training

You Can’t Build a Fundraising Program on Quicksand: Building Low-Cost and Effective Systems for Small Shops
In a small shop, how do you get it all done? How do you meet all the demands? This session will show you how to turn an over-burdened office into a healthy, productive environment. It will present techniques to ensure multiple projects stay on track, and it will show how technology and your vendors can help.

You’ll learn to:

  • Improve your project management skills
  • Get the best from tech support
  • Improve collaboration with other departments

Speakers: Marianne Pelletier, Managing Director, Staupell Analytics Group; Jennifer Ruden, Executive Director, CCS Fundraising; Tricia Ross, Performing Arts Producer & Consultant

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Pop-Up Consultation: Your Last EOY Campaign... Was it Good For You?
Most nonprofits receive the majority of their contributions between October and December. Between annual funds, membership drives, and #GivingTuesday, an end-of-year campaign takes on added opportunity and pressure. Are you making the most of it? This session will show you how to maximize your efforts during this critical period. Bring your campaign stories and samples. We’ll provide feedback.

You’ll learn: 

  • Developing a theme to make your campaign compelling and consistent
  • Best practices for implementing and evaluating your campaign
  • What makes for a good campaign and what doesn’t

Speakers: Eileen Russ Heltzer, Development Officer, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ; Sue Sena, President, Sena Consulting LLC; Linda Sode, Senior Vice President, Infogroup Nonprofit; Amy Tripi, President, Tripi Consulting; Victoria, Viera, Account Manager, Lautman, Maska, Neil & Company; Gerri Zimbardi, Director, Client Services, Eidolon Communications; Moderator: Farra Trompeter, Vice President, Big Duck

Special Events

8:45 - 10:00am
The Event Pipeline: Turning Event Guests into Major Donors
Special events not only raise money and showcase your organization, they help you meet prospective donors and new board members. But all this requires strategy. It requires the involvement of other departments. In this session, you will hear from an expert in the field on how she effectively mined for gold through special events.

You’ll learn to: 

  • Secure major gifts through cultivation at your event
  • Expand your board through your event 
  • Add new donors through your event

Speakers: Patricia Clemency, CFRE, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York

10:45 am - 12:00pm
Turning Your Meeting or Conference into a Fund-Raiser
It takes time, money and energy to run a successful event. With the proper planning and execution, your organization can generate funds from any type of event including conferences and meetings. Learn how to leverage any event where supporters or “friends” are gathered into a fundraising opportunity.

You'll learn how to:

  • Raise contributions at your cultivation event without making it a major fundraiser
  • Turn a meeting into a money-maker
  • Bring in major gifts through conferences and conventions

Speakers:  Susan Kristie, Director of Development, Community Healthcare Association of New York State (CHCANYS); Steven Solinsky, Senior Director of Finance, Community Healthcare Association of New York State (CHCANYS); Roxanne Wynn-Trotman, Director of Corporate Relations & Meeting Support, Community Healthcare Association of New York State (CHCANYS);

Zen and the Art of Galas: Keeping focused on the goal when no one else is….
The Board has agreed to move forward with a Gala. Everyone is enthusiastic. You create a timeline, choose a date, and book the venue. And then…….everyone wants to work on the flowers, lower the prices, call for auction items. But what about sales? It’s time to re-focus and re-focus and re-focus everyone on the goal.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a workable timeline and keep people on task
  • Focus your Board and committee on fundraising instead of flowers
  • Establish workable goals and realistic pricing

Speakers: Rachael Barrett, Executive Director, The Dave Nee Foundation; Pamela B. Mohr, Executive Director, FACES at NYU Langone Medical Center Lane Richards, Director of Development, James Lenox, House/Carnegie East House; Moderator: Laurie Krotman Co-President, Special Events Unlimited.  Moderator: Laurie Krotman, Co-President, Special Events Unlimited.

Connecting the Dots: Coordinating Special Event Fundraising With the Rest Of Your Development Staff
Special event fundraising often seems like a world unto itself. But no man is an island. Coordinating with the entire development staff will maximize a donor’s potential giving capacity. In this session top development professionals talk about streamlining the process and working with other fundraising departments within their organization.

You’ll learn: 

  • Ways your special event donor might give beyond the event
  • Strategies for working with your development staff to make this happen 
  • Troubleshooting complexities in the donor development process

Speakers: Michelle Matheson, Vice President, Special Events & Sponsorships, United Way of New York City; Marissa Reibstein, Director of Development, Board Engagement & Special Events, 92nd Street; Mira Prives, Manager of Individual Giving and Special Events, The Brooklyn Museum; Moderator: Tiffany Reisner-Jacobson, Senior Director, Special Events, Wildlife Conservation Society

Web, Tech and Social Media

8:45 - 10:00am
Leveraging Online Engagement to Strengthen Relationships and Extend Reach
This session will present strategies for deepening online engagement with your donors, prospects, volunteers and other supporters. Experts will present highlights from online campaigns that leverage email, text and social media to reach new supporters and core constituencies. Large or small, your organization will learn new tactics to foster online success.

You’ll learn:

  • How to build successful campaigns to engage your supporters online
  • What works and what doesn’t when trying to engage millennials
  • Software tools to manage your online campaigns

Speakers: Karen Goldfeder, Vice President of Business Development,; Phillip Johnson, Creative Director, Smile Train; Kevin Scally, Director, Digital Marketing, Smile Train Missing all the speaker mailing info & Goldfeder & Johnson bio

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Leveraging a Network of Networks
Organizations are tapping into the power of peer-to-peer fundraising. While the bulk of this activity has focused on walkathons or similar events, a growing number of organizations are using the same peer-to-peer methods to support specific projects. This session will present case studies of raising money through this next generation of peer-to-peer fundraising.

You’ll learn:

  • How to successfully structure peer-to-peer fundraising efforts
  • How to retain new donors introduced through peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Systems and procedures to help you manage your peer-to-peer fundraising

Speakers: Todd Baylis, President & Co-Founder, QGiv; Laurie Carey, CEO & Founder, We Connect the Dots

Rapid Fire: Tips and Trends on Web, Tech and Social Media
In this fast moving session, experts will provide practical ideas for improving your email, social media and online fundraising campaigns. This session will show you snapshots of fresh techniques and tools that are proving successful for other organizations. You will have a chance to ask the experts for advice on your specific issues.

You’ll learn:

  • Techniques in online fundraising that are proving successful for nonprofits
  • Fresh ideas for harnessing the power of social media and mobile communications
  • What new tech developments on the horizon that the experts are talking about

Speakers: Carla Perlowin Chadwick, Director of Digital Fundraising, Covenant House; Jason Wilson, Director of Digital Fundraising, No Kid Hungry. Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications/SankyNet

How Digital Acquisition is Saving Africa's Wildlife?
In this ever-changing fundraising world, nonprofits must continually grow and diversify their individual donor bases. This session dissects a digital donor acquisition campaign from African Wildlife Foundation. It will show you how to maximize email acquisition, search engine marketing, and social media. Get unique insights on tailoring your online strategy for bigger, bolder results.

You’ll learn:

  • Tips for finding the highest quality digital prospects and turning them into long-term donors
  • Communication strategies for acquiring and retaining new prospects through regular, segmented engagement
  • The latest online tools and tactics for tracking and improving performance of online acquisition

Speakers: David Onate, Assistant Director, Marketing and Membership, African Wildlife Foundation; Tim Robinson, Director of Business Development, Care2. Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications/SankyNet


Stewarding Your Donors: Are You Standing Out in a Crowd?
Odds are that your donors are also someone else’s donors. Where multiple philanthropic interests are common it’s important to stand out. Share ideas with colleagues and get a new perspective on how you can help your donors have a special connection to your organization. Make sure that your stewardship strategies stand out in a crowd. Expert facilitators will share their experience and guide small group discussions on meaningful, impactful donor stewardship.

You will learn to:

  • Be creative about identifying how to use your organization’s resources to steward your donors
  • Integrate donor stewardship into the organization’s culture
  • Create and implement a donor stewardship plan.

Facilitators: Robyn Weinstein Cimbol, Senior Director, Development and Philanthropy, Congregation Emanu-el of the City of New York; Jane F. Karlin, Ph.D., Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion; Ressa Kaufman, Senior Director, Foundation and Government Relations, Hospital for Special Surgery; Maura R. Milles, Senior Development Executive, Northeast Region, American Friends of The Hebrew University; Richard Schneyer, Vice President of Development, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (National Office)

8:45am – 10:00am
Working with an Executive Recruiter: Your Partner in Advancing Your Career
Many organizations rely on executive search firms to identify and screen candidates for both vacant and new positions. Executive recruiters have come to play a vital role in hiring development professionals and can be important allies in advancing your career. Experts in executive search, whose clients include a myriad of nonprofit organizations, will share their insights about job hunting and recruitment. There will be lots of time to ask your questions, share your experiences with your peers, and receive invaluable tips from the best in the business.

You’ll learn how:

  • Executive recruiters look for candidates
  • They represent your and their client’s interests
  • You can partner with recruiters to advance your career

Facilitators: Lisa Lustgarten Byala, Founder and Principal, Byala Search LLC; Lucretia A. Cavan, Founder, Cavan Executive Search; Kieran McTague, Senior Vice President, Development Guild/DDI; Carmel Napolitano, Senior Consultant, DRG, Inc.; William Weber, Ed.D., President and Co-founder, Development Guild/DDI

Strategic Fundraising Planning
To achieve stellar fundraising results, you need a plan that mobilizes and inspires a development team. Participants will learn how to determine realistic goals, to identify revenue streams, and to think through each component of the plan. If your organization has never developed a fundraising plan, or never developed a good one, this session is for you.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Prepare a fundraising plan and calendar
  • Build a team to implement your plan

Speakers: Tracy Kaufman, Engagement Specialist, Foundation Center; Tenaja JordanSocial Sector Outreach Manager, Foundation Center; Kim Patton, Director, Foundation Center Northeast; Luz Rodriguez, New York Lead, Foundation Center

10:45am – 12:00pm
The Coach Approach to Managing Your Team

This workshop draws on the extensive experience of both presenters as coaches and business women in the corporate and non-profit sectors.  These leaders enabled their teams to achieve success for their respective organizations and themselves. They will share this expertise with you so that you can begin to alter the structure of work in your organization and attain better business results for your company by enabling your team members to connect to a deeper sense of purpose in their work.

You will learn to:

  • Ask your employees the right questions so that they become involved in the process and buy into the solution
  • Define clear expectations and objectives for each of your team members
  • Listen to your team members closely and then provide useful feedback to them
  • Help your team to set meaningful goals and the steps to achieve them      

Speakers: Barbara M. Kessler, President, Life in Focus, LLC; Maribeth T. Kraus, Founder, MB Kraus Solutions, LLC

Managing Relationships with Foundation Donors
Participants in this session will discuss different scenarios for approaching foundations for funding, cultivating lasting relationships with them, and addressing common ins and outs and pitfalls in the application process.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Ask for invitations to apply and know when it’s a closed process
  • Complete online applications
  • Seek end-of-year grants Tap into other pots of money, such as corporate social responsibility and sponsorship

Speakers: R. Nancy Albilal, Vice President for Development, Foundation Center; Aleda Gagarin, Development Associate, Foundation Center; Tanya Preval, Development Associate, Foundation Center; Zoe Singer, Development Manager, Foundation Center; Kief Schladweiler, Development Specialist, Foundation Center

Storytelling -- How to Tell the Story of Your Organization
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication, and in the world of fundraising it’s one of the most effective, if done right. Anyone can become a good storyteller by forming a story arc and following some basic rules. Learn to captivate your audience with the power of your organization’s story.

You will learn to:

  • Craft a compelling story about your organization
  • Incorporate the elements of the story arc
  • Integrate rich detail into your stories

Speakers: Marti Fischer, Principal, Marti Fischer Group; Don Waisanen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication, Baruch College, CUNY, School of Public Affairs

2:00pm – 3:15pm
Show Me the Money! Inboxes May Trend, But Mailboxes Deliver THE MONEY 
Digital marketers claim direct mail is dead, but savvy fundraisers know that direct mail is still king when it comes to bringing in the money. Want to bring your direct mail program to the next level? Join seasoned professionals for this hands-on workshop (all levels).

You will:

  • Learn how to make your appeals more memorable
  • See a presentation illustrating key elements of a successful and effective direct mail appeals.
  • Examine live samples of successful packages
  • Receive an evaluation of your nonprofit’s mail piece if you bring a sample with you

Facilitators: Eric G. Heffler, CFRE, National Executive Director, Israel Cancer Research Fund; Vivianne Potter, Director of Direct Marketing, Everytown for Gun Safety; Kim Beckwith Walker, Director, Direct Mail, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Leo Wind, Executive Campaign Strategist, ADS Creative and Mailing Services. Moderator: Andrea Schwartz, President, ADS Creative and Mailing Services

2:00pm – 3:15pm
Digital Marketing with an Impact
Learn how to successfully communicate your mission and market your events and campaigns using different digital media platforms. We will have a short lecture and then break into small groups. In the small groups we will work on real-life business challenges that all fundraisers face, and learn how digital marketing can be instrumental in overcoming these challenges.

You will learn how to:

  • Build a digital message using all forms of media, and sharing one cohesive message
  • Market your events or campaigns using digital media
  • Craft your message for different platforms

Speakers: Josie Amadeo, Senior Digital Media Marketing Consultant, Gibbons Digital; Bridget Gibbons, CEO/Founder, Gibbons Digital; Bridgette Pryor, Digital Media Manager, Gibbons Digital

If you are interested in being a speaker for next year's event, please contact us.
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For more information or if you have any questions, please call FRDNY Conference Management at 516-385-8122 or email