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2023 Leading Philanthropy


Facing Forward: 

The last two years have seen constant and significant challenges and shifts in the nonprofit sector. From giving behaviors to financial stress on NPOs, from staff burnout to outdated best practices, if these experiences have taught us anything, it is how to face forward.


Looking behind us at how things used to be offers us perspective, but it is time we look ahead with innovative ideas, diverse approaches to our work, acceptance of the workforce churn, and strategies that incorporate agility and flexibility - and it’s time to face forward refreshed, reinvigorated, and reinvented to stimulate positive change in the philanthropic community.


Facing Forward, we are going to need leaders at every level of our profession. Whether you are new to fundraising or a member of the C-suite, the sessions offered at the Leading Philanthropy 2023 conference are organized around individual development that will broaden and deepen your knowledge and understanding of the philanthropic sector for today and into the future.


Together we are facing forward with our work, our approach to the work, and our growth as fundraising professionals.

Leading Philanthropy 2023 Schedule

7:00am - 8:00am


Registration, Exhibitors, and Breakfast Opens
8:00am - 8:30am


Opening Remarks: Liz Marafino Fiola, MS, MA, CFRE Co-Vice Chair of External Affairs AFP-GPC & Julie Fink, MS, CFRE, President AFP SNJ
8:30am - 9:30am


Keynote: Brandi Boatner, Manager, Digital & Advocacy Communications, IBM Corporate
9:30am - 9:45am


Break with Exhibitors
9:45am - 10:45am
Fundraiser Turnover: Why is it so high and what can we do about it?
Presented by:

Alex Hoffmaster, CFRE

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

Fundraisers can play an integral part in a nonprofit's success, but often, they don't stay to see their fruits of their labor. Let's change that. With turnover continuing to be a persistent problem throughout professional fundraising, a qualitative research study was developed to understand the root causes of the issue and what, if anything, can be done about it. Drawing on the insights from 20 phenological interviews with professional fundraisers based in the Greater Philadelphia area, as well as academic and practitioner literature, this presentation will provide an in-depth exploration of the turnover problem as well as recommendations for mitigating this issue regardless of the size and scope of your organization. 

Beyond Philanthropy Live:
Disruptive Storytelling
Presented by:

Valerie Johnson, MBA, CFRE

Pathways to Housing PA

Monique Curry-Mims

Civic Capital Consulting

Join Beyond Philanthropy co-hosts Monique Curry-Mims and Valerie Johnson for a LIVE podcast recording at Leading Philanthropy on how to disrupt your storytelling practices. Beyond Philanthropy, a podcast hosted by Monique Curry-Mims and Valerie Johnson, focuses on how to move beyond traditional philanthropy and towards something more community-centered and inclusive. At this live recording, Monique and Valerie will discuss how to fundamentally change the way you tell the story of your work in the community. They'll also talk about educating funders on the stories they should want to hear from their grantees and how to embrace transparency while not retraumatizing those who share the story of your organization.

Data: Turning Insights Into Impact
Presented by:

Brent Schroeder, MBA

UrbanPromise Ministries

Donor retention, donor attrition, cost per dollar raised... have you ever felt overwhelmed looking at all of the many metrics and data points available to fundraisers? And worse yet, once you figure it out you can't really talk about it without people looking at you like you're speaking gibberish? It might be tempting to totally disregard data, but fundraising is a delicate balance of knowing what to pay attention to and how to talk about it. In this session, we will discuss how to make your data work for you, how to translate data insights into compelling donor offers, and how to build trust with your powerful donor advocates to make a virtuous circle of fundraising. The best decisions are informed by a combination of data and experience, right? That's the science and art of fundraising.

How to Plan an Effective Capital Campaign Using New Tools and Technology
Presented by:

Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE

Capital Campaign Pro

If there is a capital campaign in your future, this session is for you! A capital campaign is likely the largest amount your organization has ever tried to raise... often even 10 times more than you currently raise. The good news is that you don't have to do it alone! There are tools, technology, and virtual resources to help you on your path. Join Amy Eisenstein to learn how to prepare for a campaign and create a campaign plan using the latest tools to ensure your campaign is a success.

Markers of Philanthropy & Leveraging AI to Find Your Best Prospects
Presented by:

Sarah TeDesco


Traditional methods of connecting with your prospects have gotten us this far. But how can we do better and be more effective? What practices should we keep moving forward, and what practices should we add to our processes? In this session, attendees will walk away understanding the 6 key markers of philanthropy and how Artificial Intelligence can assist with your organization’s prospecting needs. AI models are now readily available to identify those who are most likely to make a gift based on similarities to other donors. Learn the differences between AI modeling and the more traditional predictive models.

Philanthropy in 10 Years Panel
Presented by:

Community Foundation Executives led by the Foundation for Delaware County

Description coming soon - stay tuned!

10:45am - 11:00am


Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
11:00am - 12:00pm
Five Ways to Up Year-End Giving & Stewardship
Presented by:

Frank Mumford


In this hands-on presentation, you will learn how to utilize current assets and obtain new ideas to close more gifts and thank donors faster during the year-end rush.

Asset Framing Grant Writing
Presented by:

The Foundation for Delaware County

Description coming soon - stay tuned!

Demystifying Microsoft & Salesforce in the Nonprofit Industry
Presented by:


Microsoft and Salesforce are household names when in to comes to the traditional business landscape, yet oftentimes many nonprofits look at those solution stacks as overly complex or “too big” for my organization. Both of these solutions offer substantial discounts when it comes to the nonprofit industry. The software packages have been enhanced by tailoring the solution meet the unique requirements of the nonprofit space. They have taken all of the investments that the traditional business world has made in those and rolled them out as available features for the nonprofit industry. Join us in understanding and demystifying the Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit and Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.

Equity in Philanthropy:
Activating Intentional Change
Presented by:

Presented by Dennis Dumpson of #InvestBLK and Tina Barber of The Trevor Project in collaboration with Chester County Community Foundation & the Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University

This session will unearth the systems that root philanthropy and fundraising by grappling with history, intention, and impact.  Participants will gain clarity on viewing the philanthropic ecosystem through an equity lens and understand where fundraisers can disrupt long standing (and potentially inequitable) rituals that exist in philanthropy today.  Through conversation, we will identify ways we can each be a change agent with our colleagues and board, helping to build a mindset and culture that supports the twin goals of resource development and equitable practices.

Opportunity Abounds:
Short-Term Planning for Your Long-Term Vision
Presented by:

Valentina Echeverria, MS

Rebecca Haley, MA 

CCS Fundraising

Nonprofits are ready to embrace the next phase of opportunity. Moving beyond survival and recovery, our organizations want to focus on their vision for resilient operations, bolstered programs, and meaningful impact. In this session, we will focus on the short term actions and long term strategies to implement now, and invite participants to workshop their ideas in real time to generate insights and feedback.

New Strategies and Framework for Engaging Volunteer Leadership
Presented by:

Schultz & Williams

The best board members or key volunteers are engaged, forward-thinking, and actively collaborate with the organization’s leaders and staff. Engaged volunteers get things done in between meetings and attend meetings well-prepared and ready to participate. They are willing to deliberate candidly because they trust one another and understand their own role within the organization’s leadership. Most of all, they are philanthropic and inspire generosity in others.

Discover the best strategies and a fresh framework for engaging your volunteer leadership to activate them as true partners in fulfilling your organization’s mission and achieving your fundraising goals.

1:00pm - 2:00pm
Stick Figure Planned Giving
Presented by:

Greg Wilson, MA

Planned Giving Marketing

Stick figures are universally thought of as basic and straightforward. Most fundraisers view planned giving as something so complex as to be avoided,
left to the highly educated and highly experienced. Yet, we all know that the
most successful nonprofits have a strong and productive planned giving
program. Organizations can learn how to start or grow a planned giving
program by harnessing the power of the simplicity of a stick figure and
activities they already do.

Dominate Your Day:
Stop Being Busy and Leave Burnout Behind
Presented by:

Sarah Ohanesian

SO Productive LLC

The most productive people aren't busy. Living a life of busyness is not only "normal", but it's celebrated. You're absolutely crushing it at work, maintaining a [social-ish] calendar, and even maximizing your commute time with personal development podcasts - all while holding it down at home. It's easy to get caught in this state of busyness when we are promoted, rewarded, and praised for it. It's addicting. Do you have the capacity for it? Probably. You weren't voted "most likely to succeed" for nothing. Is it sustainable? Highly unlikely. Don't sit with bated breath until retirement or, even worse, hit rock bottom with a bad case of burnout. It's time to prioritize productivity over busyness, find freedom in a life of personal and professional purpose, and start dominating your day.

Get Off the Fundraising Treadmill:
Shake up your regular routine to raise more for your cause
Presented by:


Everyone has heard the saying “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” But what if it isn’t efficient? Your organization has unique needs and your time is valuable. It is time for you to get off the fundraising treadmill and think outside of the box. In this session, the experts at DonorPerfect will use case studies and data to help you evaluate your fundraising strategy, get creative with your tactics and consider solutions that will make it possible for you to spend more time focused on your mission!

Prospect Researchers in Collaboration with Major Gift Officers Panel
Presented by:

Moderator: Lauren Woodring


Description coming soon - stay tuned!

A Guide to a Generative Thinking Board
Presented by:

Julie Fink, MS, CFRE

Jefferson Health

Do you ever ask yourself the question "What's the point?" when it comes to board engagement? Maybe you heard a board member ask "What difference am I really making?" If so, maybe it's time to start asking the question "How do I create meaning and purpose in board development?" Through literature review, examples of personal experience, and analysis of informal research of board composition, leadership, recruitment, orientation and education, we will discuss how creating a Generative Thinking board will result in reinventing this broken system to create purpose and meaning so that you can advance your board into one that is high-performing.

2:00pm - 2:30pm


Refreshment Break with Exhibitors and "Let's Chat about ChatGPT" (Workshop led by Jax Gitzes of Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence and Chris Polito and Sam Deason of CCS Fundraising)
2:30pm - 3:30pm
Vote Your Conscience:
A Live Polling Session on Ethical Dilemmas
Presented by:

Mary Doorley Simboski, MS, ACFRE

Changing Our World

Fundraising, by nature, is an ethical profession. Through our work, mission driven organizations flourish. But, in practice, trust between organizations and their stakeholders may erode. Pressure to meet revenue goals, the public's perception of the nature of nonprofits, and post-pandemic social structures can impede the relationship. Ethical practice is more complicated than ever. In this session, we will use a live polling platform to anonymously respond to ethical dilemmas. Doing so will create a framework for candid discussions about trust and transparency.

You Won't Get Corporate Dollars The Way You Think You Will
Presented by:

Amy Fiore

Thousands of creative and skilled individuals are eager to help serve your mission. Their employers are seeking compelling, interactive volunteer programs to make it happen. Learn how a few small arts education organizations fulfill a central need for their organization by partnering with large corporations to serve their equally central needs and raise significant funds at the same time. This workshop is intended for any non-profit that could be well-served by new streams of income and additional manpower.  

Trust Based & Catalytic Philanthropy
Presented by:

The Foundation for Delaware County

Description coming soon - stay tuned!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology:
Learn From Our Success More than Doubling (and Retaining) Our $10K Giving Society
Presented by:

Melissa Walker, BA

Cornell University

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has grown its $10,000 annual giving society by an average of 29% over the last six years, with an 86% retention rate for the last three years - while staffed part-time and no added investment - and even sustaining that growth through a pandemic! How did we do it? In this session, we'll spill the tea, sharing our own tricks of the trade, best practices, lessons learned, and even major gift success stories. We'll also cover the role, use, and importance of good data and metrics to ensure continuous improvement. You'll leave this session motivated and excited to implement these strategies and tactics for your own major gifts program.

Why are Millennials Gutting Your Gala?
Presented by:

Travis Coley, MBA


Amy Henry

Flashlight Insights

Generational Shift Effecting Business Philanthropic Giving...and how non-profits can create meaningful events and messaging for new decision makers

Leaders can expect to gain insights into how the generational shift is impacting giving and philanthropy, and learn strategies and tactics to better position their organization to benefit from this shift:

Insights: Millennial & Gen-Z impact on giving and philanthropy
Strategy: How to align strategy with a differentiated position in the market that connects w/ Millennials

Tactics: Events, assets, technology and communications that drive Millennial engagement

Economic Implications:
Navigating the Current Environment with an Eye Toward the Future
Presented by:

Evan Linhardt

Bernstein Private Wealth Management

A tough start to 2023 has posed new challenges to the already volatile 2022. As we come to the half-way point in the year what should we be thinking about? As partners to nonprofits, their leadership teams, and funders across the country, Evan will answer the most important questions he has been receiving from clients and share how to navigate them and plan for what the future might hold.

Our Approach (Strategies)
Our Growth (Professional / Industry Development)
Our Work (Tactical Elements)

Download the schedule
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