#ProudFundraiser: Articulating your Professional Stance

Speakers: Sarah K. Nathan, Ph.D. and Genevieve Shaker, Ph.D., The Lilly School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.

Facilitator: Suman Bhat-Kincaid, Upaya Social Ventures

Our fast-paced and ever-changing world leaves little time for introspection. Yet, self-knowledge is at the core of personal well-being and professional success. Fundraisers, likewise, do their best for organizational missions when they have a strong sense of self and an established occupational identity. 

In this interactive session, we will examine the philanthropic roles of fundraisers, consider the concept of “professionalism,” and discuss the implications of both for our field and ourselves. Additionally, attendees will reflect on the intersection of personal values and professional identities and use this knowledge to articulate their stance as proud professional fundraisers. 

Leveraging Longevity: Stories from Five+ Years In the Trenches

SpeakersAnna O’Donnell, Burke Museum; Allison Rabbitt, Seattle Opera; Savitha Reddy Pathi, Climate Solutions; and Margaret Su, University of Washington

Facilitator: Lilliane Ballesteros, Latino Community Fund of Washington State

Every non-profit in our community has faced unprecedented challenges and opportunities in recent months. From the “old normal” to the roller coaster ride of 2020, there is no question that longevity in development leadership is a unique determinate of organizational stability and fundraising success. For executive directors, what are the secrets to retaining top talent and how can you break the cycle of constant turnover? For fundraisers, what questions should you be asking as you consider staying vs. moving on? Join a panel discussion with four leaders who broke the mold, leveraging longevity to move their respective organizations towards aspirational goals and greater impact.

Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’: When Your Donor Wants to Fund What Your Organization Doesn’t Need

Speaker: Maria Kolby Wolfe, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Facilitator: Hong Chhuor, Conference Committee Volunteer

Being a fundraiser demands skills that sometimes no one ever seems to want to teach you. How do you negotiate with a donor who wants to support a program your organization doesn’t really offer? How do you convince your leadership that a donor isn’t right for the gift your organization wants them to give? When crisis strikes, how do you work with a donor whose charitable interest is shifting as the news stories change? We’ll offer some practical tips for negotiating with people who seem more powerful than you, advancing your mission even when times are strange, and how to think about your role as a fundraiser in a way that will make these conversations easier in the future. 

Optimizing Your Time, Maximizing Your Productivity

Elizabeth Castleberry, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Cindy Sharek, King County Library System Foundation; and Jennifer Shin, The Alford Group

We all face increasing demands on our time. In recent months we have had to adapt to remote work environments and virtual donor meetings. And, because of downsizing many of us are challenged with meeting the same goals but with few fundraisers on our team. Between invitations from donors, to internal meetings and conference calls, to prospect research and proposal writing, it’s difficult to stay on task, let alone take the time necessary to evaluate which activities are most beneficial. Panelists will share how relatively simple practices can change their approach to task and project management and create space for self-care.

Fundraising Events in 2020: What’s Our Way Forward?

Alex Martin, Synchronicity Events; Nina Yarborough, CD Forum for Arts; and Ideas; and Rosa Nicole Booker, Rosie Coley Bee Professional Services

Events are happening online until further notice … but all online events are NOT the same! Our panel will discuss how to choose what method is right for your organization: a fundraising campaign, a video premiere event, or a livestream interactive event (or some combination thereof). In this new environment, how can we engage board members and table captain types? Does it make any sense to do an auction anymore? How does event sponsorship work? How can we build community and celebrate even while we can’t physically be together? Most urgently, perhaps: what’s working best in terms of meeting fundraising goals? Believe it or not, we’ve got answers!

Donor Retention: How to Build a Donor Base that Loves and
Trusts You

Jessica Nieves, Casa Latina

Have you found your donor retention rate lower than ideal while also feeling strapped for time? This session will provide research-backed methods to strengthen donor retention that is centered around building trust, transparency, and gratitude. Special attention will be given to practices that are doable while working remotely. Whether you are a thirty-person shop or a party of one, this session will provide practical steps for you!