Exceptional Presenters. Exciting People. Timely Topics.
Be a Part of Giving 2019!

Registration. Meet and Greet.



8:00 AM

12:15 PM


The Sound of Leadership

Laura Sicola, PhD
Vocal Impact Productions

Regardless of your role, are you seen as a true leader worth following? The way you communicate your vision and expertise will directly affect your leadership image, influence, and impact.

Join Dr. Laura Sicola for this interactive keynote and discover how to get out of your own way and get the results you want by mastering the Three Cs of Vocal Executive Presence:

Command the room, Connect with the audience, and Close the deal.


Optimizing Gift Revenue Without Sacrificing Sustainability

David Unruh
Senior Vice President – Office of Institutional Advancement
Drexel University

As donor counts continue to decline but overall philanthropy soars to new heights, how do charitable organizations ensure a viable donor pipeline for the future? Few institutions can afford to simply add more gift officers or regularly compete for increasingly expensive talent – so a disciplined commitment to improving productivity is essential.

Breakout, Panel & Role Play Sessions (55 minutes each)

Captivate Your Boards

Cathleen Parsons-Nikolic
Vice President – University Advancement
La Salle University

Successful non-profits rely on successful fundraising, and successful fundraising is largely predicated on the support of a few key dedicated individuals. Ensure that your organization has what it takes to not only survive but to thrive by leveraging the talents of your board members. Explore best practices of board engagement in all aspects of our advancement efforts.


  • Attendees will walk away with action plans on how to engage board members in their efforts.
  • Attendees will learn the language necessary to educate board members on their key fundraising efforts.
  • Attendees will engage in dialog about best practices in developing boards for fundraising success.

Always interesting .. Rarely Simple: Conversations and Negotiations with Donors

Robbe Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE
Aurora Philanthropic Consulting

What are the standards and principles that guide and inform the best practices when it comes to inviting and including advisors, family members and other interested persons form the table. Using major trade Association Codes of Ethics we will review overarching principles and untangle cases to discover best practice solutions.


  • Who needs to be at the table
  • Who wants to be at the table
  • Who isn’t invited to the table

How to Set and Surpass Your Comprehensive Campaign Goals

Dr. Scott Janney, CFRE
Senior Consultant

Many leading charities move through an almost continual campaign cycle – campaign preparation moves into an active campaign, then the stewardship phase turns into the feasibility study for the next campaign. You can make a positive impact and prove your worth at any stage in the cycle by setting achievable goals, the right, enlightened counting policies, and helping your donors understand the major, blended and planned gifts that will enable them to make significant gifts that can reach campaign goals.


  • You will learn best practices that peer organizations use in setting campaign goals and counting policies
  • Understand how contemporary campaign goals are constructed using the three categories of immediate, revocable and irrevocable gifts
  • Develop blended gift strategies that help your donors achieve their dream gifts and meet your campaign goals

When a Bequest Isn’t a Bequest

David Toll, JD
Senior Associate Vice President Gift Planning and Major Gifts
Drexel University

When a donor tells you that your organization is in their estate plans, ask questions. You may be a contingent beneficiary after several others, which may delay your distribution for years to come. Furthermore it’s becoming more and more likely that the majority of the donor’s assets are held in vehicles outside the donor’s will, such as a living trust, a life insurance policy, payable-on-death bank accounts or a retirement account. All of these allow the donor to list specific beneficiaries, so a promise of “you’re in the will” might actually mean very little…or nothing at all. Let’s talk about what to ask (and how to ask it) when talking to your donors about their estate intentions for your organization.


  • Understand what it means when you are told that your organization is in their estate plans
  • You must steward your legacy donors
  • Keep an eye on estate administration

You Don’t Need to Learn Armenian to “Get” Planned Giving

Viken Mikaelian
CEO, PlannedGiving.Com

Your prospects should not have to learn another language to “get” planned giving. In a world where your average prospect is inundated with over 3,500 marketing messages a day, the secret to getting your message heard is to make it simple.

Don’t just simplify. Oversimplify.

Viken will show you how to talk with your prospects about planned gifts in simple, everyday language. He’ll showcase real-world examples and give punchy phrases and elevator pitches you can start using right away. He’ll tell you which simple gifts to pursue first and how to start talking with donors.


  • Learn how to communicate about essential planned giving vehicles
  • Learn where 95% of all planned gifts come from
  • Take away marketing examples to inspire you
  • Find out which planned gifts offer the best ROI

It’s Only a Bequest

Jane Danek
Deputy Director of Gift Planning at Princeton University
Princeton University

Princeton University is considered the “gold standard” for realized bequest programs, raising more dollars per active alumni than any of the Ivies.

But you don’t need to play in the Ivy League to have a strong bequest pool.

Learn why the bequest is the most important planned gift at Princeton and for most nonprofits large and small. We will discuss all types of testamentary gifts, how to make “The Ask”, counting and crediting, documenting, marketing and stewardship.

This session is a fast-paced and yes – fun – discussion to energize your gift planning program with practical, real-world advice.

This talk will cover it all, and is meant for development officers at all levels.


  • Understand why the “simple” bequest is the single most important gift that you need to ask for.
  • Gain confidence in focusing on and asking for testamentary gifts for your institution.
  • Learn how easy it is to manage your bequest donors – and your institutions expectations – in this A to Z presentation.

Balancing Metrics and Relationships for Effective Fundraising Management

Meredith Sossman, Esq., CFRE
Consultant, Author, Speaker

As philanthropic giving discussions turn to “big data” to drive how we structure fundraising shops, the face of philanthropy, our donors, may be pushed aside in favor of metrics. Using metrics as a tool to predict giving behaviors, set goals and measure behavior requires communication and a delicate balance to keep the donor at the forefront of a successful development team’s mind. In this presentation we will discuss metrics, how to use them and how to ensure that big data is being used to honor our philanthropic heros (our donors) and create healthy fundraising structures, rather than faceless, heartless shops that lose sight of the mission.


  • Discussion and real world examples of healthy data use and unhealthy data use.
  • How data predictions and donors (real people) intersect and outcomes from good data use.
  • Proven methods to keep donors at the forefront of your development team’s mind, and a healthy culture at the center of your data and metrics.

Appeal Letter Boot Camp

Karen Martin
CEO, Karen the Writer, LLC
Copywriter, Writing Coach and Consultant for PlannedGiving.com

A nonprofit director once told me “as long as the mailing pays for itself, it’ll be worth it.” No way! We want our direct mail appeals to EARN MONEY. This is an interactive, hands-on workshop. Bring a pen! If you have an appeal letter in progress, feel free to bring it with you.


  • Hear insider secrets from the direct mail & sales industry
  • Learn how to trigger emotions that motivate people to act
  • Get a free pre-writing tool to make sure your message is strategic

LinkedIn Profile Secrets

Patrick O’Donnell
O’Donnell Media Solutions

LinkedIn is the most powerful networking and career-building tool on the web. It’s used by more than 546 million people in over 200 countries. Yet most fundraisers do little more than plug in their resume, connect with a few colleagues, and hope for the best.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: They’re doing it wrong.


  • You’ll write a headline that rocks — for your profile and your articles
  • You’ll learn how to create an attention-grabbing profile
  • You’ll learn who you should — and should not — connect with.

Strategies for Getting in the Door

John J. Zabinski
Executive Director
Rowan University Foundation

Whether you’re a one person team or part of a large organization, there are many hurdles to clear to achieve one of our primary objectives – personal visits. In our session we will discuss who we should be contacting, ways to reach out to them and techniques to improve our activity.


  • Make sure that we are contacting the “right” people.
  • First impressions matter … reaching out in ways that will improve getting the appointment.
  • Strategic techniques to organize yourself to make the greatest impact and improve your efforts.

Asking for Money and Advice:
A Different Approach to Securing Major Gifts

Stuart Sullivan
Senior Vice President

There is an old saying that is so applicable and powerful in the fundraising profession:

“If you want money, ask for advice. If you ask for money, expect advice.”

Any experienced development professional will agree that gifts of any significance are the result of an extended conversation that is mostly one-sided with the donor sharing thoughts, dreams, and expectations that are intertwined with their gift to the organization. This session will offer best practices in how to engage donors in a conversation about how their passions and expertise can be translated into gift commitments with extraordinary impact and significance to your organization.


  • How to have deeper, more meaningful conversations with major gift prospects.
  • How to better engage key volunteers.
  • How to move a donor to a higher level of giving.

Tell me About It. Turning Stories into Gifts

Lise Twiford, CAP®
Vice President, Advancement at the American College
American College

This session is designed to help take your experiences as a fundraiser and turn these stories into conversations that elicit compassion and bring the donor into the mission of your organization. Once in the door, the stage is set for the discussions around philanthropic support.

Warning – during this session you may cry or laugh. All emotions are welcome.


  • Take their listening skills to a new level of awareness.
  • Learn the importance of writing down their donor stories.
  • Understand how and when to use these stories to inspire prospects and bring in gifts.

Since 1927, The American College of Financial Services has helped financial services professionals realize their career goals through rigorous and practical education.

Fundraising Growth Platforms: Evolution of the Donor Database

Arlene Berkowitz
Training Specialist
SofterWare, Inc.

Donor management is so much more than maintaining a list of donors and their gifts. Fundraising Growth Platforms go beyond managing the data and become part of the workflow in your organization from initiating the solicitation to processing the gifts. Your nonprofit’s fundraising ecosystem must offer time savings through automation and provide more opportunity to engage your donors. A Fundraising Growth Platform helps your nonprofit deliver on its mission with efficiency.


  • Important features that should be part of your donor management.
  • How Multi-Channel communication furthers your mission.
  • Streamline business processes across departments.

Blended Gifts: Adding Variety and Creativity to Gain Peak Results

Lisa Repko, JD
VP, Thomas Jefferson University & Planned Giving
Stephen T. Smith,
Senior Vice President
Thomas Jefferson University

Learn effective and efficient ways to engage your donors through “blended gifts” strategies. We will share real-life collaboration success stories, lessons learned and teaching moments. And finally help you to develop the right creative mix to form strong collaborative teams and peak results.


  • Blending types of gifts
  • Blending how funds are used
  • Benefits of team collaboration

Networking; Am I Ahead or Behind the Curve

Robert Madonna
President & CEO
Surrey Services for Seniors

An opportunity to explore the critical nature of networking on a personal level and in support of the nonprofit organization with which you are affiliated – including strategies on how to most successfully navigate both traditional and social media conventions to best effect.



  • You will find out the value and of business relationships
  • You will find out the various ways to grow your network of contacts
  • You will increase your confidence in establishing your network of contacts



Meet, Greet & Network!

Refreshments, coffee, wine and cheese. It’s all on us!
(Entire Food Menu — It’s Yummy!)


5:15 P.M. — 7:15 P.M.