Event Tracks for 2018 (Click on the track to be taken to the details on those sessions)

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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 have small development departments. They have a unique set of challenges. This track addresses solutions for these 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     

8:45am - 10:00am

Firing Lousy Board Members

Bad board members produce bad governancea huge risk for the nonprofit sector.  In her new book, Firing Lousy Board Members – And Helping the Others Succeed, Simone Joyaux focuses on finding the right board members, supporting board success, and firing poor performers as a last resort. In this session, Joyaux will help you get the best from your board.

You’ll learn how to:

Find the right board members

Define expectations and evaluate performance

Give feedback to poor performers

Speaker: Simone Joyaux, ACRE, Adv Dip, Author and Consultant, Joyaux Associates


10:45am - 12:00pm

Embracing Change: Navigating Leadership Transitions

All organizations experience leadership transitions. Some are expected and well-planned, and others are unexpected and potentially crisis-making.  Come hear two nonprofit leaders shed light on how leadership transitions – no matter how they arise – can be managed successfully.

You’ll learn:

Why you need a leadership succession plan

Best practices for navigating a transition

The DO’s and DON'Ts of unexpected transitions

Speakers: Áine Duggan, Director of Strategic Development, CRE; SimoneJoyaux, ACRE, Adv Dip, Author and Consultant, Joyaux Associates; Hildy J. Simmons, Independent Philanthropic Advisor


2:00pm - 3:15pm

What’s the Plan

Do you have a strategic plan that your annual planning is not supporting effectively? Is your annual organizational planning process really helping Development achieve its goals? Are revenue projections developed without benefit of a larger organizational conversation? If you struggle with ineffective annual planning, this session is for you.

You’ll learn:

Why it is critical for planning to be a cross-organizational process

What information goes into an effective annual plan

How Development can advocate for better organization-wide planning

Speaker: Jennifer Flowers, MBA, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Accreditation Guru, Inc.


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Thanks … I Think:  The Importance of Gift Acceptance Policies

Not every gift is appropriate for every nonprofit; some gifts can cost the organization money, time or even its reputation. To know what gifts may not be right for your organization, it’s important to develop and adopt a gift acceptance policy before a troublesome gift comes along.  This will be an interactive session, so bring your case scenarios with you.

You’ll learn:

Why your organization needs a gift acceptance policy

What to consider when developing a policy

How to build board support for a gift acceptance policy

Speaker: Robin Rosenbluth, Principal Consultant, Advancing Fundraising: Coaching and Consulting


Corporate & Foundation Giving

8:45am - 10:00am

Creating A Movement: Building Engagement and Inspiration with Corporate Partners

Cause marketing campaigns excite people into action. How do you find the right corporate partner to advance the mission of your organization? HINT: Keep the focus on the community where your donors, and the corporation's clients, live and serve.

You’ll learn how to:

Find the right corporate partner that aligns with your mission

Create successful co-branded campaigns

Leverage the eyes and ears of consumers to gain more sponsorship dollars

Speakers: Jennifer Cohan, President, Edelman; Anthony Signorelli, Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, The Advertising Council; Patsy Taylor, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Marketing Communications, YMCA of the USA; Holly Thomas, Former Group Vice President, Cause Marketing/Special Events/Tourism Strategy, Macy's, Inc.; Moderator: Diahann Billings-Burford, Executive Director, Cultural Investments, Time Warner Inc.


10:45am - 12:00pm

Unique Ways to Engage Corporate Partners

Corporations are inclined to make contributions to a nonprofit for branding, marketing, product placement, employee retention, and community engagement opportunities. A donation is often motivated by business and philanthropic goals to make an organization more profitable, while being viewed as a “good corporate citizen.”

You’ll learn how to:

Create meaningful, more holistic corporate partnerships

Discern impactful opportunities for branding and marketing

Tap into corporate talent to provide expertise and resources

Speakers: Hilary S. Ayala, Director, Corporate Philanthropy and Employee Engagement, Con Edison; Richard Brown, Vice President, Philanthropy, American Express; Dan Delany, Senior Vice President, Strategy & External Relations, NFTE; Stephanie Hochman, Senior Program Officer, Citi Foundation; Moderator:  Jessica G. Wilson, Chief Development Officer, The Friends of Governors Island


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Getting in the Door & Making the First Approach

It can be hard to get the initial attention of a funder if you don’t have a personal connection or receive a direct introduction. How can you grow your list of funders if you can’t get past the gate? Hear from both corporate and foundation representatives on the best first approach strategies.

You’ll learn:

How to distinguish yourself in an increasingly competitive field

Whether it is necessary, and how, to tailor an LOI or initial correspondence differently for a foundation vs. a corporate philanthropy group

What are acceptable and preferred methods for cold outreach

​Speakers: Catherine Blaney, Esq., Fundraising and Partnerships, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and President, The National September 11 Memorial & Museum; Sara Elghobashy, Senior Project Director, Advance NYC; Jennifer Negron, Program Officer, The Pinkerton Foundation;  Moderator: Robin Merle, CFRE, Principal and Founder, Robin Merle Associates, LLC


3:45pm - 5:00pm

The Double Bottom Line: Diversity, Inclusion and the Future of Grant Funding

Following the 2017 NYC Cultural Plan, it was suggested that city funds for cultural institutions could be tied to the diversity in the organizations’ leadership and board. Many foundations are beginning to take into account the makeup of potential grantees’ boards and leadership when making funding decisions. If your organization is not addressing these issues, you will be left behind and leave money on the table.

You’ll learn:

Why having diverse leadership, especially on a board of directors, is important to funders

How to begin the process of diversifying your board

How to highlight your organization's progress building diversity and inclusion into your core values

Speaker: Cecilia Clarke, President and Chief Executive Officer, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Altaf Rahamatulla, Program Officer, New York Foundation; Moderator: Saundra Thomas, Nonprofit Consultant


Direct Response Marketing

8:45am - 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 how to:

Improve results through creative design techniques

Write effective copy that will inspire people to give

Upgrade your donors to maximize their value

Speakers: Pete Carter, Principal and Senior Vice President, Chapman Cubine + Hussey; Cheryl Keedy, Creative Director, The Harrington Agency; Karin Kirchoff, Founder and President, K2D Strategies; Moderator: Lisa Maska, CFRE, Partner, Lautman Maska Neill & Company


10:45am - 12:00pm

Plan Now for a Successful Year-End Giving Campaign

For many nonprofits, approximately 30% of their annual donations come in the month of December with 12% happening in the last three days of the year. With so much at stake, organizations need to begin year-end planning long before the first day of school.  Come hear two industry pros share their experiences on how to plan now for a successful year-end fundraising season.

You’ll learn:

How to build your list prior to year-end kick-off (timing is everything!) and warm up your audience to increase conversions

How to develop creative and copy tests to increase ROI at year-end

How to expand Giving Tuesday to a multi-day campaign

Speakers: Steve Abrahamson, Director, Direct Response Marketing, National Audubon Society; John Mix, Senior Director of Marketing, Human Rights Watch; Moderator: Giselle Holloway, Direct and Digital Fundraising Director, USGA (United States Golf Association)


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Taking Your Fundraising Copy from Blah to RAH!

Compelling fundraising letters don’t just happen . . .they are the product of many months (and years) of hard work.  In this session, we’ll teach you the secrets to discovering and telling your best fundraising stories.  Join our recognized fundraising storytellers to learn how to effectively use stories to engage donors and raise more money!

You’ll learn how to:

Cultivate relationships with program and field staff who are the keepers of your organization’s stories

Turn your stories into fundraising letters that inspire donors to action

Convince your leadership to accept direct marketing best practices and not rewrite your letters

Speakers: Jocelyn Palmer, Director of Annual Programs, Mount Sinai Health System; Kathy Swayze, CFRE, President and Creative Director, Impact Communications; Moderator: Lisa Maska, CFRE, Partner, Lautman Maska Neill & Company


3:45pm - 5:00pm

What's Your Rapid Response Plan?

Using real-life examples, this session will showcase how organizations across missions and verticals have put rapid response fundraising into effect to boost income and support their missions. At the same time, we will discuss ways to use giving days and other tactics to create urgency regardless of what's in the headlines.

You’ll learn:

Ideas for when to enter topical/newsworthy conversation, and when to hold back

A sample organization-wide rapid response plan

Examples of how various channels can be used for rapid response

Speakers: David Onate, Director of Marketing and Creative, African Wildlife Foundation; Matthew Reese, National Digital Campaigns Director, Everytown for Gun Safety; Julie Ziff Sint, Vice President of Account and Strategic Services, Sanky Communications, Inc.; Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications, Inc.

Joint session with Web, Tech & Social Media

Fundraising Essentials

8:45am - 10:00am

Getting to Goal: The Annual Development Plan

It’s January. You’ve got a huge strategic plan to implement, tired colleagues, and jaded donors. The year stretches before you: what to do? We’ll compare strategies and discuss ROI, metrics (how can they help you?), and how different-sized shops divide and conquer to get it all done.

You’ll learn how to:

Create an annual development plan

Make sure the activities you promise works with the staff you have

Set meaningful, realistic goals

Speaker:  John Hicks, CFRE, Principal, DLBHICKS, LLC


10:45am - 12:00pm

Effective Messaging

An organization's message can be difficult to present across all mediums and by different people. Donors should see consistent messaging in all channels of communication. Learn how to collaborate effectively with your public affairs and marketing colleagues.

You'll learn how to:

Infuse best practices from fundraising into your overall messaging and your communication plan

Avoid common challenges

Communicate your core message

Speaker: Kathleen Kearns, Vice President, Development and Communications, New York Genome Center


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Managing Volunteers: Keeping Your Sanity

Volunteers can be the ultimate force multiplier – but too often, they take time you don’t have and fail to contribute meaningfully to the bottom line. In this session, designed for anyone with exposure to volunteers, we’ll discuss how to turn all volunteers, including members of your board, into forces for good.

You’ll learn how to:

Build effective working relationships with your trustees and volunteers 

Navigate common pitfalls (including the dreaded volunteer time suck)

Deploy and manage a range of volunteers, from board to event committee members

Speakers: John Bacon, Chief Development Officer for Planned Giving, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Lucille M. Ferraro, Assistant Vice Provost for Development, Weill Cornell Medicine


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Stewardship by the Numbers

Learn techniques and strategies to use your donor database for targeted and data-driven donor engagement.  This session will help you focus your stewardship efforts to maximize connections to your donors and marshall the resources that will position you for fundraising success.

You’ll learn:

To understand donor types and segmenting

Tactics for effective engagement

To use data to craft an effective and thoughtful stewardship plan

Speaker: Jenny Mundell, Senior Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives, RWJBarnabas Health


Legacy Giving

8:45am - 10:00am

The Basics of Charitable Giving: How to Help Donors Understand Their Options

This session is intended to help beginner to mid-career fundraising professionals understand the full array of charitable gifting options, including which options typically appeal to different types of donors, and which types of assets can be used to fund the different gifting vehicles. The goal is to enable these professionals to introduce donors to gifting options that the donors may not have known were feasible.

You’ll learn:                       

Current and future giving approaches

In addition to cash, the types of assets that can be used to fund a charitable gift

The form of charitable gift that is likely to appeal to different types of donors

Speaker: Tracy Green Landauer, Partner, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP


10:45am - 12:00pm

What Does a Planned Giving Donor Look Like?

Geared primarily towards beginner and mid-career fundraisers, this session examines the most common characteristics of planned giving donors and seeks to understand the differences between predictive factors for major gifts and planned giving.

You’ll learn: 

The four most common connections planned giving donors have with your nonprofit 

The four most common statistical factors that can help you identify planned giving donors 

Trends in demographic factors associated with planned giving

Speaker: Brian Peterson, Director, Legacy and Gift Planning, Human Rights Watch


2:00pm - 3:15pm

All You Really Need to Know About Planned Giving You Learned in Kindergarten

Discover how the basic lessons we learned in kindergarten can help you add planned giving prowess to your toolbox. Whether you’re new to planned giving or a seasoned specialist, Cosentino will show you how playing well with others can help you raise millions of dollars in new bequest intentions.  Cookies, milk and planned giving are a true recipe for success!

You’ll learn how to:

Identify bequest prospects 

Work effectively with major gift colleagues

Follow-up on planned giving inquiries 

Speaker: Meryl R. Cosentino, J.D., Senior Director of Gift Planning, Stony Brook University


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Cost-Effective Planned Gift Marketing

If you can spend at least half your time on planned giving and have a modest budget, this session is for you.  Isaacson will demystify and explain smart ways to build a highly effective planned giving program that puts your organization on the map and helps you develop an impressive pipeline of future gifts.

You’ll learn:

How to identify, market, and close planned gifts on a budget

Proven techniques to steward and communicate with planned giving donors

How to convert revocable gifts to irrevocable gifts

Speaker: Davida Isaacson, President, Davida Isaacson Consulting, Inc.


Major Gifts

8:45am - 10:00am

Competing for the Top Philanthropic Dollar in New York

In today’s ever-changing times, nonprofit organizations will look towards philanthropy with a renewed sense of urgency. Gain insights from leaders of some of the top fundraising nonprofit institutions in New York City as they discuss strategies for successful fundraising in a highly competitive landscape.

You’ll learn:

How forward-thinking institutions leverage time between major capital campaigns

How the culture of perpetual campaigning is addressed by different nonprofit sectors

How diversity in the NYC nonprofit sector can positively affect fundraising, governance and overall donor engagement

Speakers: Susan Brady, Chief Development Officer, Carnegie Hall; Clyde B. Jones III, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sarah Lesser Avins, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian; Jadrien Steele, Vice President, Development, The New York Public Library; Moderator: Robert Kissane, Chairman, CCS Fundraising


10:45am - 12:00pm

The Fundraising Power-Couple: The Relationship Between the CEO and the CDO

The relationship between the Chief Development Officer and the Chief Executive Officer is an essential one.  Often this pair is responsible for cultivating, soliciting, and renewing some of the organizations largest gifts.  Hear first-hand from some of the industry’s "power-couples" on how they approach donor stewardship and solicitation, the critical board relationship, and special event fundraising.

You’ll learn:

Ways to ensure each leader supports the other, as well as their board, key volunteers, and staff

About the success stories (and not so successful tales) of major fundraising asks

Ways to cultivate those asks into renewals

Speakers: Susan Birnbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer, New York City Police Foundation; Angie Harrison, Director of Development and Events, New York City Police Foundation; Braden Lay-Michaels, Chief Development Officer, The Trevor Project; Amit Paley, Chief Executive Officer, The Trevor Project; Moderator: Seth Rosen, Director of Development, National LGBT Bar Association


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Transformational Fundraising Campaigns

Increasingly nonprofits are aiming higher and reaching for funding at levels commensurate with the scale of the problems they are trying to solve.  Transformational fundraising campaigns are becoming the norm.  These campaigns vary in size, but share the common objective of raising unprecedented funds and dramatically accelerating the organization’s capacity to make change in the world. Tranformational campaigns can expand major gifts programs if leveraged correctly.

You’ll learn:

Transformational money requires a transformational idea

To build upon the vision of inspirational staff and board leaders

How to draw in prospects with the capacity and affinity to make the lead gift(s)

Speakers: Mindee Barham, Chief Development Officer, Grameen America; Sara Conahan, Partner and Senior Philanthropic Advisor, New Profit; Lucretia Gilbert, Chief Development Officer, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Executive Director, The Pink Agenda; Moderator: Craig Shelley, CFRE, Managing Director, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Portfolios, Prospect Pipelines, and Moves Management – Oh My!

Building a successful major gifts program is equal parts art and science. The art of major gifts is individually tailored relationship building. The science is the methodology used to build those relationships.  Thus, the better your science, the more free you are to practice the art. That method involves creating portfolios, building donor and prospect pipelines, and moving donor relationships forward using a methodical moves management system.

You’ll learn how to:

Create your major donor portfolios based on three key criteria

Rate and rank major donors and prospects in your pipeline for maximum effect

Drive moves management activities forward based on the CAR model

Speakers: Michael Delzotti, CFRE, CSPG, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation; Martha H. Schumacher, CFRE, ACFRE, MInstF, President, Hazen and the Hazen Institute for Leadership Training

Professional Growth

8:45am - 10:00am

The CEOs Speak: How We Build Our Team

In this rare opportunity, our CEOs will share their insights into what they are really looking for when they hire the philanthropy team, beyond the professional track record. This is for anyone who wants access to top thought leaders. Bring your questions, and get your answers from our top CEOs.

You’ll learn:

The top qualities a CEO looks for in building their team

How a person who does not report to the CEO can get the CEO’s attention

How CEOs want to hear your ideas and feedback to address challenges and enhance the organization

Speakers: DeAnn Sarah Brady, Head, USGA Foundation at United States Golf Association; George Forbes, Executive Director, The Lucille Lortel Foundation; Tere Pettitt, President and Chief Executive Officer, Volunteers of America Greater New York; Moderator: Robert Wahlers, Vice President for Development, Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations


10:45am - 12:00pm

Making Technology and Social Media Work for You and Everyone in Your Organization

Nonprofits face competition for charitable dollars and need to strengthen donor relations, increase efficiency, and report outcomes transparently. Technology effectively improves fundraising areas such as database management, major gift solicitation, annual appeals and stewardship, and is a necessary investment that improves organizational performance.  This session is perfect for mid-career and senior-level fundraisers.

You’ll learn:

How technology can improve experiences for staff and donors

How to meet your donors where they are – on their smartphones

About tools that can simplify your day and maximize productivity

Speakers: Suzanne Bronski, Director of Public Relations, Baruch College, The City University of New York; Louis Higgins, Senior Associate Technology and Management Consulting, RSM US LLP; Victor Millsap, Vice President, Information Technology Services, United Way of New York City; Moderator: Susan Davies, MS, Information Technology, Adjunct Instructor, NYU


2:00pm - 3:15pm

How Millennials Really Think and Work

Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce and becoming one of the largest group of donors. As millennials continue to take leadership positions in nonprofits, it is important to focus on how we can work with them as well as learn from them. Our panel will provide insights on what it really means to be a millennial and what they have learned to launch their careers, as well as shed light on some of the myths around being a millennial.

You’ll learn:

How to create a more friendly work environment for millennials

What millennials are looking for when it comes to a career

What type of position will fit your strengths (if you are millennial)

Speaker: Samantha Collidge, New York Area Director of Advancement, Moishe House; Joel Weingarten, Co-Founder, Doing4Others; Juliana M. Weissbein, Associate Director, Development Operations, Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Moderator: Patricia Moran, MBA, CFRE, Director and Clinical Assistant Professor, Heyman Program for Philanthropy and Fundraising, NYU


3:45pm - 5:00pm

How to Leverage Your Fundraising Career – For Your Personal and Professional Gain

As fundraisers, we develop skills to become: featured speakers, outstanding actors, and best-selling authors. This panel of experts will show you how you can use and enhance your existing skills for your professional and personal growth.  This session is for anyone that wants to have that fulfilling life!

You’ll learn how to:

Position your fundraising expertise to attract speaking engagements

Write the story that’s been inside you, whether a memoir or must-read blog 

Get a guest appearance, commercial, or acting role you were born to have

Speakers: Sarah Beane Ricca, CFP, Vice President, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley; Sherry Beck Paprocki, President, American Society of Journalists and Authors; Jenevieve Brewer, Owner, Jenevieve Brewer Talent Management LLC; Moderator: Laura Fredricks, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, THE A$K



8:45am - 10:00am

From Discovery to Major Donor

Discovery work can be exciting but can present some challenges. This is a case study of how the principal and major gifts team at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched an innovative, data-driven culture of discovery. Hear the challenges and learning opportunities they encountered when they changed the culture of outreach. See how the team approached discovery work by harnessing data, research, and prioritizing outreach efforts.

You’ll learn how to:

Navigate the successes and challenges of building and implementing a discovery program

Empower both frontline and operations team members to prioritize discovery work

Take small risks that lead to big changes and can shift conventional thinking

Speakers: Megan Heister, Director, Research & Prospect Management, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund; Jamaul Webster, Principal & Major Gifts Director, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund


10:45am - 12:00pm

A Tool for Data-Driven Portfolio Reviews

Portfolio reviews are essential for ensuring that gift officers can focus on the best prospects, but they can be time-consuming for analysts. To make this process more efficient, we developed an Excel tool that enables analysts to make the same (and sometimes better) recommendations in a fraction of the time.

You’ll learn how to:

Develop an organized, data-driven approach to portfolio reviews

Build a portfolio review tool using Excel

Speaker: Lindsay A. Brown, Associate Director, Analytics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


2:00pm - 3:15pm

The Million Donor Question:  How the ACLU has Identified Its Best Prospects During Times of Change

Since the 2016 election, the ACLU’s base of supporters has quadrupled to about 2 million – the greatest outpouring of support in its nearly 100-year history.  In this intermediate-level session, the presenters will discuss how the organization has identified and engaged its highest-priority donors and prospects.

You’ll learn how to:

Create a structured approach for uncovering the highest-priority prospects among a large group of supporters

Develop and apply prospect identification and prioritization tools

Establish best practices for portfolio sizes, and prospect management and qualification

Speakers: Lexi Adams, Deputy Director of Leadership Gifts, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Jeff Vessels, Director of Leadership Gifts, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Asia: A Continent in Perspective

In recent years, U.S. institutions increasingly received transformative gifts from Asian donors. This session will provide an overview of the vast and varied wealth landscape in East and Southeast Asia; discuss how information is discovered, evaluated, and speculated upon; and provide insights on evaluating the gift capacity of Asian prospects.

You’ll learn:

About overall wealth information and individual fortunes in East and Southeast Asian countries

Valuable resources and tools to find Asia-related wealth information

Techniques to help you evaluate an Asian prospect's gift capacity

Speaker: Linlin C.Reid, Prospect Research Manager, Weill Cornell Medicine

Small Shop Organizations

8:45am - 10:00am

Revitalize Your Events Through Portfolio Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Rediscover the power of peer-to-peer fundraising by learning how to create a portfolio of options for your donors to maximize results and improve efficiencies. See how the Lymphoma Research Foundation created an umbrella platform for its events and DIY fundraisers to better accommodate its constituents. Created for mid-career to advanced fundraisers.

You’ll learn how to:

Make a strategic evaluation of the impact of your fundraising events

Sell your board on change

Utilize technology to create a user-friendly experience for your constituents

Speakers: Sam Rogers, Senior Manager of Development, Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF); Jenna Stasiewicz, Assistant Director of Lifestyle Events, Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF)


10:45am - 12:00pm

Finding Your Secret Sauce: How Understanding Motivation Can Drive Generosity

You’ve cleansed your database, segmented your donors and run a wealth screening but do you truly understand the motivation of your donors? Learn how to find your ‘secret sauce’ by leveraging motivation to improve donor experience and drive generosity. Developed for mid-career and advanced fundraisers.

You’ll learn:

Places to find motivation in your current data set

Easy and cost-effective ways to capture motivation

The powerful impact of allowing donor motivation to drive experience

Speaker: Kelley Stewart, Executive Vice President, Pursuant


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Raising Major Gifts at Small Shops

This session will help fundraisers at small shops (operating budgets under $10 million) structure a major gifts program. Our panelists will share what has worked and what has not, based on their experiences raising major gifts at mid-sized New York City nonprofits. The session is designed for mid-career professionals.

You’ll learn how to:

Work with, and manage expectations of, staff and volunteer leadership 

Think creatively about major gifts prospecting and pipeline management

Build a major gifts case statement and materials 

Speakers: Marci Brenholz, Director, Development, NYU Langone Health; Sarah Wendt, Director of Major Gifts, Young Women’s Leadership Network


3:45pm - 5:00pm

Facing the Facebook Facts: How Social Media Can Help Your Small Shop Stand Out

The Bergen County Protect and Rescue Foundation is a true no-kill animal shelter in northern New Jersey. With more than 10,000 local followers, the shelter uses their Facebook page to adopt out animals; recruit volunteers; and of course, raise money. In this session, designed for beginner/volunteer fundraisers, shelter staff will share their take-home tips on how to make Facebook work for your small shop.

You’ll learn how to:

Create Facebook pages to promote fundraising events and campaigns

Promote content that will get more likes and followers and donations

Use Facebook messenger to communicate with your volunteers and donors

Speakers: Kristi Heller, Adoption/High-Kill Transport Coordinator, Bergen County Protect & Rescue Foundation; Loryn Lipari, Social Media Manager, Bergen County Protect & Rescue Foundation; Doria Melendez, Shelter Manager, Bergen County Protect & Rescue Foundation


Special Events

8:45am - 10:00am

Using Technology at Your Event

Many technology companies work with nonprofits to help enhance fundraising before, during and after an event.  Some donors love the concept of giving in new ways and embrace the use of technology, while others might be more reticent.  Learn about some of the newest ways to increase revenue through technology, while also discussing some of the potential challenges.

You’ll learn:

Some of the latest advances in event fundraising technology

How to protect your donors and ensure the technology you are using is secure and safe

The advantages and disadvantages of utilizing new technology at your event

Speakers: Steven Feder, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CheckIn Tech LLC; Chloe Lipman, Executive Director, Community Development, American Cancer Society; Frances Salvo, Manager of Events, FACES (Finding A Cure For Epilepsy & Seizures) at NYU Langone Health; Moderator: Marisa Maltese, Senior Manager of Special Projects, NEXT for AUTISM


10:45am - 12:00pm

How to Keep the Conversation Going When the Event Ends

Learn how to keep your constituency engaged in the mission of your organization after the event is over.  Find out how to get more from your event so you can carry that momentum into annual giving and build a stronger relationship with your donors.  This session will also cover moving special event sponsors into more holistic, year-round partners.

You’ll learn:

How to engage donors in the organization’s mission after the event

To identify some tools to help you engage your constituency

Concrete examples of how to integrate event sponsors into your organization’s year-round strategic mission

Speakers: JD Beebe, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, ThankView; Nicole Carrea, Director, Development, National Kidney Foundation; Elizabeth Lee, Director, Individual Giving, National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Moderator: Pamela Mohr, Executive Director, FACES (Finding A Cure For Epilepsy & Seizures) at NYU Langone Health


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Staff Development: How to Manage Your Career and Plan for the Future

Many event development professionals want to develop their career in fundraising, yet are classified as “event people.”  This makes it difficult for them to move up or transition to a career in other fundraising areas.  This session will explore ways to make yourself stand out.  It will teach you critical skills and strategies in order to grow and flourish professionally.

You’ll learn how to:

Identify skills to help you transition to a new role

Identify key players within your organization that can help serve as allies

Translate your event experience into other critical skills when speaking with potential employers

Speakers: Laura Avella, Senior Division Director, Development Administration, NYU Langone Health; Eboné M. Carrington, MPA, FABC, Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem; Steve Goldberg, Search Consultant, DRG Search; Moderator: Erica Banyon, MPA, Director, Donor Engagement & Communications, NYU Langone Health


3:45pm - 5:00pm

How to Foster Corporate Engagement

Corporate support is critical to most nonprofits. Do you know how corporations decide which charities to support?  To get support, you need to “woo” corporations.  Understand what companies want to see in order to make your organization and your event stand out from the rest.  Create a strategy to cultivate corporate sponsors and to engage them further in your mission.

You’ll learn how to:

Cultivate and steward corporate event donors into lifelong friends and further engage them in your organization’s mission

Engage individuals who are in the public eye

Communicate effectively with individuals in the corporate sector

Speakers: Greg Levin, Director, Global Philanthropy, BlackRock; Robert Perretta, Vice President, JP Morgan Chase & Co; Stacy M. Rotner, Corporate Responsibility Director, Sidley Austin LLP; Beth K. Rowan, Principal Gift Officer, Montefiore Health System/Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Moderators: Erica Banyon, MPA, Director, Donor Engagement & Communications, NYU Langone Health; Pei-Sze Cheng, Reporter, NBC 4 New York

Web, Tech and Social Media

8:45am - 10:00am

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Fundraising – Is It Right for You?

Over the past 15 years, we have seen a shift from traditional organization-centric fundraising to peer-to-peer fundraising around structured athletic events such as walkathons and bikeathons.  As participation in these events has waned, a growing number of organizations have turned to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) fundraising events in which individuals create and coordinate special activities to benefit their favorite nonprofit.  Is DIY right for your organization?  Our expert panel will share strategies for success – along with some caveats.

You’ll learn:

How to plan and roll out a successful DIY event

How to leverage technology for scaling DIY events

What pitfalls to avoid

Speakers: Pam Sandonato, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Growth, Covenant House; Carla Warner, Associate Director, Revenue Innovation, Share Our Strength


10:45am - 12:00pm

The Holy Grail: Digital-First, Corporate-Scale Technology for a Modern Donor Experience

It’s time for nonprofits to leverage engagement technology that matches the marketing sophistication of the for-profit world. We invite all audiences to come hear ACLU and Drug Policy Alliance talk about curating custom technology ecosystems around a single CRM to deepen relationships with resistance donors across all their channels.

You’ll learn:

The kinds of customer experience strategies that for-profit companies are using, and how ambitious nonprofits are adapting these concepts to their supporter experience 

Different tech models available to nonprofits, and how a digital-first, “hub and spoke” model can be employed to give organizations scalable, commercial-grade campaign capabilities

Speakers: Ellen Flenniken, Managing Director of Development, Drug Policy Alliance; Justin Birdsong, Director of Business Solutions & Strategy, American Civil Liberties Union; Moderator: Alice Hendricks, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Jackson River


2:00pm - 3:15pm

Rapid Fire: Tips and Trends on Web, Tech and Social Media

In this fast moving session on Web, Tech and Social Media, a panel of experts will provide bite-size tips, allowing the audience to come away with practical and applicable ideas for improving their email, social media, digital acquisition and online renewal campaigns. This session will show you snapshots of fresh techniques and tools that are proving successful for other organizations. You will also have a chance to ask the experts for advice on your specific issues.

You’ll learn:

The latest techniques in online fundraising that are proving successful for nonprofits

Fresh ideas for harnessing the power of remarketing and social media advertising 

Which new tech developments and trends the experts are talking about

Speakers: Jean Qiao, Digital Marketing Officer, Women for Women International; Kevin Scally, Director, Digital Marketing, Smile Train; Emily Scher, Manager, Digital Strategy and Marketing, Memorial Sloan Kettering; Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications, Inc.


3:45pm - 5:00pm

What's Your Rapid Response Plan?

Using real-life examples, this session will showcase how organizations across missions and verticals have put rapid response fundraising into effect to boost income and support their missions. At the same time, we will discuss ways to use giving days and other tactics to create urgency regardless of what's in the headlines.

You’ll learn:

Ideas for when to enter topical/newsworthy conversation, and when to hold back

A sample organization-wide rapid response plan

Examples of how various channels can be used for rapid response

Speakers: David Onate, Director of Marketing and Creative, African Wildlife Foundation; Matthew Reese, National Digital Campaigns Director, Everytown for Gun Safety; Julie Ziff Sint, Vice President of Account and Strategic Services, Sanky Communications, Inc.; Moderator: Paul Habig, President, Sanky Communications, Inc.

Joint session with Direct Response


10:45am - 12:00pm

Creating​ ​a​ ​Powerful​ Case​ ​for​ Your​ Capital​ Campaign

How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​brand​ ​your​ ​capital​ ​(or​ ​other​ ​very​ ​large)​ ​campaign​ ​so​ ​it​ ​inspires​ ​donors​ ​to​ ​act,​ ​and​ ​without pilfering​ ​from​ ​annual​ ​giving?​ ​What​ ​printed​ ​or​ ​digital​ ​tools​ ​do​ ​you​ ​need​ ​in​ ​the​ ​quiet​ ​and​ ​public​ ​phases? How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​inspire​ ​major​ ​donors​ ​to​ ​become​ ​campaign​ ​ambassadors?  This​ ​session​ ​will​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​developing​ ​your​ ​case​ ​for​ ​support​ ​​to​ ​close​ ​big​ ​gifts​ ​with confidence.​ ​It is appropriate for anyone who is new to capital campaign planning and management and anticipates working on a campaign with a target of 5 to 500 million dollars.

You’ll learn:

How to approach branding your capital campaign so it aligns with your organization’s voice but doesn’t conflict with your annual giving

What collateral is most important during quiet and public phases

How to use the case for support to engage your lead donors and set them up to ask others with confidence

Speaker: Sarah Durham, CEO, Big​ ​Duck; Bonnie Epstein, Vice Chancellor and Chief Development Officer, The Jewish Theological Seminary


2:00pm - 3:15pm

The Cat's Meow: Performance Coaching and Team-Building That Drives Results

This fun and interactive workshop for managers emphasizes strategies for building and sustaining high performance development teams.  Utilizing applied personality theory and presented through the humorous lens of “cat behavior,” you will leave with new tools to coach your team to work effectively with one another and deliver even greater results.

You’ll learn how to:

Identify strengths and behavioral patterns that contribute to individual and team effectiveness 

Effectively coach members of the fundraising enterprise using strategies that grow and retain them

Use the insights gained about your own coaching and managerial style to improve rapport with, and between, those with different style preferences

Speaker: Jeannine Starr, Assistant Dean of Development, NYU Steinhardt


If you are interested in being a speaker for next year's event, download our speaker form.
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For more information or if you have any questions, please call FRDNY Conference Management at 516-385-8122 or email frdnyc@gmail.com.

Fundraising Day in New York 2019

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