Why This Conference Is Different

This conference is designed to help you become better at what you do, so that you can make the world a better place and advance your career — all at the same time. It is a place where you will learn both the how and the why.

We’ve all been to conferences where the speakers are about as enthusiastic as data entry clerks, the topics have as much flavor as a plain rice cake, and the venue is as exciting as a dentist’s waiting room.

We decided early on that Giving2018 needs to be not just informative, but engaging, lively, and fun.

To that end, we’ve selected the very best speakers: Philanthropy, marketing and productivity experts who not only know what it takes to succeed, but how to succeed. And they’re going to share their experience and knowledge so that you can succeed, too, in a way that won’t put you to sleep.

And why fun? We’ve added a great Food Menu and incorporated a Happy Hour, with drinks on us!

Our expert speakers have learned by doing — by successfully implementing the very same tips, tricks and advice they’ll be sharing with you. These are successful fundraisers and marketers who know what works and what doesn’t. Consequently, they’re not going to repeat the same old information you’ve heard a million times, or rely on notes cribbed from an accounting textbook or out-of-date tax-law tome. Our speakers will share street smart ideas with an engaging style and a fresh approach to philanthropy.

We’ve also chosen a very nice, convenient venue in the greater Philadelphia region: The Valley Forge Sheraton. Clean, comfortable and well-appointed, the Sheraton is conveniently located right next door to great entertainment for after-conference unwinding. If you are an out-of-towner, there are several hotels in the area to choose from.

So, what are you waiting for? Book your spot today before we reach full capacity.

Save me a seat! Or, read what people are saying.

To top things off, we’ve incorporated an exceptional Food Menu
and a Happy Hour, with drinks on us!

Apply here to become a future presenter.  Register for the conference.
Program Sessions.   Schedules and Tracks (PDF).


Senior Vice President, Graham-Pelton

CEO, PlannedGiving.Com

Consultant, Speaker, Author

To provide the most informative and enjoyable conference experience in the philanthropy/fundraising industry.

We’re dedicated to helping you become better at what you do, so that you can make the world a better place and advance your career — all at the same time.

Senior Vice President, Graham-Pelton

Stuart Sullivan

Stuart Sullivan provides senior level counsel on campaigns, strategic planning, various forms of giving, and management of programs and staff.

Before joining Graham-Pelton, Stuart served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. At CHOP, he oversaw all fundraising activities and programs with a staff of 75 professionals and support. The comprehensive development program at CHOP raises more than $100 million annually, highlighted by $50 million gifts in 2013 and 2015.

Prior to CHOP, Stuart was Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Temple University. There, he oversaw all development, alumni relations and marketing/branding for the University. He managed development and alumni relations for Temple’s seventeen schools and colleges as well as athletics, the health system, University Press, and libraries. Working with a staff of more than 130, he was responsible for outreach to more than 240,000 living alumni and thousands of parents and friends. Total fundraising at Temple exceeded $50 million annually for various priorities within the University. He also managed Temple’s external relations program including advertising, branding, creative services, and internet presence.

Stuart came to Temple from the University of Pennsylvania where, as Director of Development for Schools and Centers, he was responsible for the management and strategic planning for development offices within 14 of Penn’s 17 schools and resource centers, with combined annual fundraising in excess of $90 million annually. During his four years at Penn, he also served as Director of Gift Planning and Director of Major Gifts.

Stuart started his career in higher education at Virginia’s Lynchburg College as the Assistant Director of Alumni and Parents Programs. After returning to his alma mater, Roanoke College, he assumed positions of greater responsibility, culminating with his appointment as Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, a post he held until he moved to Penn in 1997.

CEO, PlannedGiving.Com

Viken Mikaelian

Planned Gifts Can Get Complicated.
Marketing Them Shouldn’t Be.

Viken Mikaelian was the first to bring planned giving to the Internet in 1999. Since then, his firm PlannedGiving.com has helped over 2,000 nonprofits get their planned giving programs online. Then in 2002, he created the planned giving postcard, proving that it is not only possible to communicate a planned giving message in 150 words, but that people will actually read it when it’s short, simple and written in plain English.

Many people make a living by complicating planned giving. Viken makes his by keeping it simple.

Viken has presented at over 500 planned giving councils, AFP and AHP chapters, foundations, and banks, and five times at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning (formerly PPP/NCPG). He publishes Planned Giving Tomorrow (circulation 15,100), a quarterly magazine with marketing ideas for all fundraisers.

Viken graduated from the University of Pennsylvania as a pre-med student. He decided not to continue on to med school, and the fundraising community is grateful.

Viken’s motto:

Don’t simplify; over-simplify.

{Hire Viken to speak at your event. More information at Viken.Net.}

Consultant, Speaker, Author

Meredith Sossman, JD

Meredith A. Sossman, Esq., CFRE, has worked in several positions and was recently the the Chief Development Officer, Campaign Director, Director of Gift Planning & In-house Counsel to the West Chester University Foundation. She was responsible for more than $42,000,000 in gift commitments to WCU over the past several years. Meredith and WCU’s Chief Operating Officer transformed the development operations of the WCU Foundation and increased fundraising results by 170 percent in one year.

Before joining WCU Foundation, Meredith served as a private practice attorney in estate planning, tax, real estate, and in litigation for multinational medical device, chemical and oil companies.

Meredith is a CASE designated Stellar Speaker, a CASE mentor and a speaker for the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. She authored an article for Rawle’s Reports 2003, a newsletter article for the Defense Research Institute, and chapter 1 of the Trial Tactics Publication for the Defense Research Institute.

Meredith collaborates with PlannedGiving.com as an author, editor, speaker, auditor and consultant.