Speakers

Raise is designed to help #FearlessFundraisers reimagine generosity with the best nonprofit thought
leaders in the industry.

Introducing 2024 Emcees

Shanna Adamic

Shanna Adamic

Oracle Health Foundation, Executive Director &
Raise Emcee

Reggie Rivers

Reggie Rivers

The Gala Team, President &
Raise Emcee

Close Bio

Shanna Adamic

Executive Director &
Raise Emcee

Shanna Adamic is Executive Director for the Oracle Health Foundation, a global leader in healthcare technology. She also serves as Executive Director of Cerner Charitable Foundation, passionately advocating for equitable access to healthcare for children and reducing disparities in communities around the world.

As a rare brain tumor survivor, Shanna remains committed to Cerner’s purpose of helping health happen. Her training as a former NFL cheerleader is core to her competitive, bold and optimistic personality. She is a powerful, passionate speaker delivering messages of empowerment and hope to fellow philanthropy professionals.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
1:20 PM

Coming Soon!

55 minutes | 1:20 PM - 2:15 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Close Bio

Reggie Rivers

President &
Raise Emcee

Reggie is a former Denver Broncos running back who played six seasons in the NFL. In 2013, he founded The Gala Team, and has grown the company from six events that first year to hundreds of events annually. The Gala Team supported nonprofits of all shapes and sizes during the COVID-19 virtual pivot, becoming a trusted resource for strategies and thought leadership.

Reggie is also a media personality and author, who has worked in newspaper, radio and television in Denver. He has written five books, the latest is the award winning novel, The Colony: A Political Tale. Reggie’s professional variety ultimately led him to his find his true love in life — serving as a benefit auctioneer to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

20+ Simple Fixes to Unlock the Power of the Paddle Raiser

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Over the span of 900+ fundraising events, Reggie and the Gala Team have developed best practices about what works and what doesn’t. Join Reggie to learn simple fixes you can deploy at your next event, including proven strategies that will help you unlock the power of your paddle raise and optimize your gala for fundraising success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eliminate simple, yet costly mistakes.
  • Discover solutions that are easy to implement.
  • Set yourself up to raise more money than ever before.

2024 Speaker Lineup

Shanna Adamic

Shanna Adamic

Oracle Health Foundation, Executive Director &
Raise Emcee

Capin Alexander

Capin Alexander

The Lukens Company, Vice President of Nonprofit

Aidan Augustin

Aidan Augustin

Feathr, Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer

Deborah Barge

Deborah Barge

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Chief Development Officer

Close Bio

Shanna Adamic

Executive Director &
Raise Emcee

Shanna Adamic is Executive Director for the Oracle Health Foundation, a global leader in healthcare technology. She also serves as Executive Director of Cerner Charitable Foundation, passionately advocating for equitable access to healthcare for children and reducing disparities in communities around the world.

As a rare brain tumor survivor, Shanna remains committed to Cerner’s purpose of helping health happen. Her training as a former NFL cheerleader is core to her competitive, bold and optimistic personality. She is a powerful, passionate speaker delivering messages of empowerment and hope to fellow philanthropy professionals.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
1:20 PM

Coming Soon!

55 minutes | 1:20 PM - 2:15 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Close Bio

Capin Alexander

Vice President of Nonprofit

An accomplished development leader with over two decades of experience, Capin is dedicated to empowering nonprofit organizations to achieve their growth goals through impactful, data-centric fundraising strategies. She has a proven track record of creating and executing strategic fundraising campaigns to increase donor bases, brand awareness, and revenue. In her role as Vice President of Nonprofit at The Lukens Company, Capin spearheads business development strategies, product innovation, and creative fundraising solutions.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
1:20 PM

Winning the Hearts of Millennial and Gen Z Donors

55 minutes | 1:20 PM - 2:15 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Unlock the secrets to capturing the hearts of Millennials and Gen Z in this dynamic learning session. Based on cutting-edge market research, discover how different generations choose to give and what inspires their philanthropy. Dive into strategies that blend innovation, authenticity, and digital savvy to create fundraising campaigns that resonate with younger audiences. Learn how to ensure your nonprofit not only attracts their attention but also wins their lasting support.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the unique giving preferences of Millennials and Gen Z by exploring key insights from recent market research.
  • Learn to craft compelling and authentic storytelling techniques that resonate with the values and interests of younger generations, increasing engagement and connection.
  • Develop practical strategies and innovative approaches to leverage digital platforms and trends, transforming your nonprofit’s fundraising efforts into an appealing and impactful experience for Millennials and Gen Z donors.
Close Bio

Aidan Augustin

Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer

Aidan Augustin is the Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Feathr, the Nonprofit Marketing Platform, which supports over a thousand associations and charitable orgs with modern digital marketing technology. Aidan is on a mission to elevate nonprofit marketing as a discipline and a profession, believing it to be a force multiplier for good that remains largely untapped. He is an active community member in his home city of Gainesville, FL, serves on several nonprofit boards, and is a fan of all things costumed and themed.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
8:30 AM

Navigating the Digital Frontier: Strategies for Nonprofit Success in 2024

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Are you thinking about digital marketing but unsure where to start? Join Aidan Augustin as he discusses navigating the world of digital engagement for nonprofit success in 2024. Amidst the noise, nonprofits struggle to reach their audience and leave a lasting impression. This session delves into tailored digital marketing and fundraising strategies designed to help nonprofits achieve their goals.

Drawing inspiration from real-life triumphs, uncover how Feathr empowers nonprofits to implement omnichannel approaches for tangible digital fundraising outcomes. Whether you’re aiming to attract fresh supporters, deepen existing connections, or amplify your online impact, this session serves as your definitive roadmap to success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the latest digital trends shaping the sector and unveil innovative tactics to maximize impact.
  • Discover how to engage today’s easily distracted donors and ensure your message resonates effectively.
  • Gain practical insights into optimizing digital advertising, email marketing, and search strategies for heightened donor engagement and acquisition.
Close Bio

Deborah Barge

Chief Development Officer

Deborah Barge is a leader of philanthropic culture and partnership at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America serving as Chief Development Officer in service to the largest JEDI-focused youth mentoring program in the nation. Over the past 20+ years, Deborah has led teams and partnerships that have generated more than $1 billion to the causes and missions she has served. As a BIPOC female in the industry, Deborah brings an authentic perspective to our work to solve the worlds most complex problems through our mission-based endeavors. She is a #FearlessFundraiser favorite and six-time Raise speaker alum.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing
Elle Benson

Elle Benson

Nonprofit Leadership LLC, Founder & CEO

T. Clay Buck

T. Clay Buck

TCB Fundraising, Founder & Principal

Julia Campbell

Julia Campbell

J Campbell Social Marketing, Founder & Principal

Nathan Chappell

Nathan Chappell

DonorSearch, Senior Vice President

Close Bio

Elle Benson

Founder & CEO

Elle Benson is a change agent for the nonprofit sector. As a renowned national consultant who specializes in helping organizations transition to greater impact and build capacity. With a remarkable career in the nonprofit sector, she supports impact nonprofits with organizational development and change, executive transitions, strategic hiring, organizational assessments, and board governance.

Benson’s thought-provoking TEDx talk, titled “A Crash Course in Learning to Laugh,” has catapulted her into the spotlight as a highly sought-after keynote speaker. Benson’s passion for sharing wisdom extends to her writing as well. She is the author of two books that focus on mindfulness and happiness. Her publications, Cultivate Your Happiness: Mama-to-Be and Cultivating Calmness in Children, provide practical strategies and insights making happiness obtainable daily. Through her books and keynote presentations, Benson aims to empower readers to cultivate well-being and positivity in their lives.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
8:30 AM

Unleashing Donor Engagement Through Novelty: A Joyful Journey Through Unique Experience

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Embark on an inspiring workshop tailored for fundraisers seeking heightened donor engagement. In this specialized session, participants will explore the profound impact of embracing novel experiences, specifically within the context of donor relations, painting a vibrant tapestry of joy in philanthropy.

Benson, who has expertise in the science of happiness and donor engagement strategies, will guide attendees through unlocking the secrets to infusing each donor interaction with radiance, forging a path toward more fulfilling and exuberant connections. Join her in celebrating the extraordinary power of unique encounters, strategically designed to transform donor relationships from ordinary into an extraordinary masterpiece of happiness and philanthropic success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Evidence-based strategies for incorporating unique experiences into your fundraising strategies.
  • Understand the science behind novelty and personal development.
  • Describe the tangible and exciting ways to amplify your fundraising through experiences and uniqueness.
Close Bio

T. Clay Buck

Founder & Principal

T. Clay Buck, CFRE, is the Founder & Principal of TCB Fundraising, an individual giving and communications consultancy that focuses on strategy, systems, and storytelling. Clay (the “T” is silent) has been in leadership fundraising roles at nonprofits across the country and has served as a senior consultant at prominent, international fundraising consulting firm. He teaches fundraising and strategic planning at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is the co-host of the #1 ranked fundraising podcast, Fundraising Is Funny. He and his family make their home in Las Vegas, NV, with two poorly trained golden retrievers who are experts in the ask at dinner time.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
2:25 PM

Fundraising is Life: How To Re-Energize Yourself and Your Fundraising

55 minutes | 2:25 PM - 3:20 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

“Please put on your oxygen mask before helping others.” We’ve all heard this before, well, this session IS your oxygen mask. Join Clay Buck as he explores how the human side of fundraising has changed in recent years and how to respond to these upheavals.

We have faced more than a pandemic; we have faced racial and social injustice, the great resignation, civil conflict, working from our living rooms, and much more. Regardless of how we perform the tasks and execute strategies, fundraising is a relationship-based profession. Choosing ourselves as much as we choose to serve others is essential. Using the framework of Recognize, Reveal, and Reframe, Clay will build a model for attendees to follow and build upon. During this interactive session, complete with a workbook, you will connect with Clay over common experiences that will help guide positive future outcomes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recognize external factors and individual stressors that contribute to fundraising burnout.
  • Reveal personal motivations and articulate them to fundraising and internal audiences.
  • Reframe your personal focus and craft a path to success.
Close Bio

Julia Campbell

Founder & Principal

Named as a top thought leader and one to follow by Forbes and LinkedIn for Nonprofits, and one of the 30 Nonprofit IT Influencers to Follow in 2023, Julia Campbell is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to designing social media and storytelling strategies that help nonprofits share their mission across the digital landscape. An international keynote speaker and host of the acclaimed Nonprofit Nation podcast, she’s written two books for nonprofits on social media and storytelling, and her online courses, webinars, and talks have helped hundreds of nonprofits make the shift to digital thinking.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
2:50 PM

How to Create a Long-Term Social Media Strategy in a Short-Term World

55 minutes | 2:50 PM - 3:45 PM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

In a world where social media trends come and go in the blink of an eye, nonprofits must adopt a long-term strategy to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. However, the third sector faces unique challenges in maintaining a long-term social media strategy that drives sustainable impact.

In this session, Julia Campbell and Josh Hirsch will address the specific needs of nonprofits and provide practical insights on developing a social media strategy that aligns with long-term goals. They’ll explore strategies, techniques, and best practices that empower nonprofits to navigate short-term trends while fostering meaningful connections with donors and supporters.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of a long-term social media strategy in the nonprofit sector.
  • Learn to identify and prioritize long-term goals, ensuring sustainability in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
  • Acquire practical insights and techniques to navigate short-term social media trends effectively.
  • Learn best practices tailored to the unique challenges faced by nonprofits in maintaining a sustainable social media strategy.
Close Bio

Nathan Chappell

Senior Vice President

As a thought leader, public speaker, author and AI inventor, Nathan is one of the world’s foremost experts on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and generosity. His recently published award-winning book, The Generosity Crisis; the Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges, has been dubbed as “Required reading for our generation of professionals in the nonprofit sector” by NonProfit Pro. Nathan serves as SVP at DonorSearch AI, and, in 2019, he founded Fundraising.AI, an advocacy organization focused on the Responsible and Beneficial use of AI for the global fundraising community. He is co-host of the weekly Fundraising.AI podcast.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
4:05 PM

Ahead of the Curve: Navigating Future Fundraising Trends

55 minutes | 4:05 PM - 5:00 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the essential fundraising trends that every nonprofit should be aware of to ensure future success. Our expert panelists will provide valuable insights and practical strategies to help you navigate the evolving landscape of fundraising to stay ahead of the curve and maximize your nonprofit’s impact.

Christal Cherry

Christal Cherry

The Board Pro, Principal & CEO

Heather Conner

Heather Conner

National MS Society, Director, Development Training

Rachel D’Souza

Rachel D’Souza

Gladiator Consulting, Founder & President

Lisa Dropkin

Lisa Dropkin

Edge Research, Principal

Close Bio

Christal Cherry

Principal & CEO

Christal M. Cherry has worked 23 years as a nonprofit fundraiser. Now as the Principal and CEO of The Board Pro, she is jazzed about board training and development. Her experiences include sound governance, fired-up fundraising, strategic recruitment and diversity, equity and belonging.

Christal earned an MA from Hampton University and a BA from Hofstra University. She is a certified leadership coach and board consultant with Board Source. Christal founded Fabulous Female Fundraisers Inc. and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors. In 2020, she was a contributing author of Collecting Courage. In 2021 she authored a children’s book, Mac and Cheez, Being Different is Okay.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

How to Get CEOs and Boards to Embrace AI & Digital Fundraising

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Learn how AI and digital fundraising are changing the landscape of fundraising in the nonprofit sector. As more organizations are exploring AI and technology to find new donors, reach younger audiences, create engagement opportunities, and save time and money to exceed fundraising campaigns, board members have a responsibility to think about ethical considerations, accountability, and strategic integration of AI in organizational operations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to position AI and digital fundraising and oversee its ethical use ensuring fairness, transparency, and data privacy.
  • Discover how to use AI in messaging, storytelling, and marketing to make it easy and fun for donors to engage in the life of your organization.
  • Define metrics and methods to evaluate the impact of AI implementation.
Close Bio

Heather Conner

Director, Development Training

Heather is a strategic leader with over 15 years of comprehensive experience in sales, marketing, and business development in both philanthropic and for-profit industries. With a stellar track record of forging transformative relationships and elevating brand recognition, she remains dedicated to perpetual learning and innovation, establishing herself as a dynamic force in the nonprofit development landscape.

In her role as Director of Development Training at the National MS Society, Heather spearheads the development and execution of training programs aimed at nurturing top-tier fundraising professionals and driving organizational impact. As a certified Master Facilitator, she not only excels in facilitation but also imparts this essential skill to others.

Heather’s Six Sigma certification underscores her commitment to enhancing community welfare, sustainability, and process improvement, propelling her mission to effect tangible change. Her unique blend of positivity, accountability, and a keen learner’s mindset infuses every project with dynamism and fosters a collaborative learning environment.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
3:35 PM

Turning Your Staff Into A Consultative Sales Team

55 minutes | 3:35 PM - 4:30 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

The concept of “consultative selling” revolves around positioning your staff as consultants and advisors as opposed to salespeople. By seeking to understand customers/supporters and helping them to identify their needs, you build the trust you need to then offer organizational solutions to meet those needs. We’ll walk through the core components of this framework, how to implement it across the organization, and how it truly transforms relationships with participants.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the principles of consultative selling and how they can be applied to building and growing relationships within a nonprofit context.
  • Explore the concept of being constituent-centric and its significance in fostering meaningful connections with donors and stakeholders.
  • Identify the importance of focusing on the WHY behind interactions and how it can lead to transformative relationships, shifting from transactional to genuinely impactful engagements.
Close Bio

Rachel D’Souza

Founder & President

Rachel D’Souza, MPPA, is the founder of Gladiator Consulting in St. Louis, MO, a boutique firm co-creating change with nonprofits across the country. As a proud member of the Community-Centric Fundraising Global Council, Rachel works to guide and resource a global initiative to reimagine the nonprofit sector through a lens of radical collaboration, racial equity, social justice, and decolonization. In 2024, Rachel became the first person of color to serve as Board President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals St. Louis Regional Chapter in its 50-year history.

In addition to the Community-Centric Fundraising Resource Hub, her thought leadership has appeared in Blackbaud Institute’s npExperts publication The Great Reset; NeonOne’s report, Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving, and most recently; episode #178 of What the Fundraising podcast with Mallory Erickson. Rachel builds understanding and practice of the potential for transformation in our sector through webinars and panel conversations in partnership with sector leaders such as the Independent Sector, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and the Collective Impact Forum.

Rachel is the proud mama to her two children, Cameron and Emelia. Rachel enjoys cooking with her kids, Peloton workouts, and being an elder millennial on Instagram. Currently, she is pursuing her second Master’s Degree at the Washington University School of Law and, upon completing her studies in 2024, hopes to build more transformative connections between the nonprofit and public sectors.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Close Bio

Lisa Dropkin

Principal

Lisa Dropkin has over 25 years of qualitative and quantitative marketing research experience with a diverse array of clients from large corporations like Intuit and Zillow, to leading charities like the Nature Conservancy, to progressive nonprofits like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Lisa’s practice areas include consumer and B2B product marketing; nonprofit and association member development and advocacy; marketing content; strategic message and communications development. Her public interest and social change work are focused on public health, patient advocacy, conservation and sustainability, and includes supporting the firm’s portfolio on civil rights and inclusion.

Prior to joining Edge Research, she served as research director for SeaWeb during its start-up as an innovative non-profit for ocean conservation communication. Previously she spent seven years at The Mellman Group, a national public opinion research and campaign strategy firm. Lisa graduated summa cum laude with a B.A in Political Communications from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
2:25 PM

What Do Midlevel Donors Really Want?

55 minutes | 2:25 PM - 3:20 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Midlevel donors are the backbone of many donor files. They represent a tiny percentage of all donors but generate a third or more of the income. The last study exploring the preferences and attitudes of these valuable donors was conducted by Sea Change and Edge research in 2008, and much has changed in 15 years. We thought it was high time to take a fresh look at the midlevel universe through the eyes of the donors themselves.

In this session, we will present critical learnings from a survey of more than 5,900 midlevel donors drawn from 36 different organizations. You’ll discover what motivates a second, annual, monthly, larger, and/or planned gift and who these donors are. We’ll also cover the stewardship treatment midlevel donors expect from organizations and the impact of recognition, benefits, and/or gifts on acquisition and retention.

Lastly, we’ll touch on the role of donor-advised funds and planned gifts, learn about midlevel donors’ digital habits, and explore the extent to which Millennials and Gen X are replacing Baby Boomers as the dominant force in midlevel philanthropy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify the must-have strategies and tactics necessary to build and support a thriving midlevel giving program.
  • Understand the three psychographic profiles that identify key differences in midlevel donors’ attitudes, expectations, and the necessary strategies for attracting and retaining them.
  • Know the key to building a future-proof program amidst all the changes swirling around philanthropy today.
Joe Duca

Joe Duca

OneCause, VP of Product Strategy

Benjamin Farrell

Benjamin Farrell

Custom Benefit Auctions, Owner & Founder

Derria Ford

Derria Ford

Martha O' Bryan Center, Chief Development Officer

Diana Farias Heinrich

Diana Farias Heinrich

Habrá Marketing, CEO

Close Bio

Joe Duca

VP of Product Strategy

Joe Duca brings over 30 years of nonprofit experience to his role as VP of Product Strategy for OneCause. Prior to joining OneCause, Joe used his passion for nonprofits and tech to build software solutions for organizations looking to expand their fundraising.

He has a passion for solving problems with innovation, sharing best practices, and inspiring colleagues to love helping non-profits change the world.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
12:45 PM

OneCause Platform Demo

45 minutes | 12:45 PM - 1:30 PM | Activity |

The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Join the OneCause team for a live demo and a look into the future of fundraising.

September 10
12:30 PM

OneCause Platform Demo

45 minutes | 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM | Activity |

The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Join the OneCause team for a live demo and a look into the future of fundraising.

Close Bio

Benjamin Farrell

Owner & Founder

As an award-winning auctioneer, speaker and certified trainer, Benjamin founded Custom Benefit Auctions: a full-service fundraising company providing consulting, professional auctioneering, leadership education, and fundraising strategies for nonprofit organizations, schools, medical foundations, and others across the country. Known both as a caring and thoughtful leader in fundraising and a high-energy entertainer, Ben has helped raise millions of dollars for charities nationwide and taught hundreds through seminars, webinars, and speaking engagements.

The team at Custom Benefit Auctions assists with over 250 events per year. in 2023, total proceeds have exceeded $80,000,000. During the pandemic, Benjamin assisted with over 200 virtual and online events raising over $23,000,000.

Knowing that great success is built on strong leadership, Benjamin shares the lessons and strategies learned with motivational and inspirational energy. His clients include American Heart Association, JDRF, LLS, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and many more. Ben is looking forward to supporting the dreams of your community!

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
8:30 AM

Get with the Times! Event Timing Tools to Raise More Money in Auction & Fund-a-Need

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

As Miles Davis once said, “Timing isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing!”

In 2023, learning from over 250 events, the team at Custom Benefit Auctions noticed that timing was a common concern among clients. They often asked questions such as: How long should the guests have cocktails and socialize? When is the best time to close the silent auction? When should we conduct the live auction? When is the ideal time for fund-a-need? And when should the speaker present? Ben and Matt will address these concerns and provide the steps necessary to ensure a successful event for you and your organization.

It’s natural to feel overworked and understaffed while planning for your organization’s biggest event of the year. Don’t fall into the trap of doing things the same way as last year or sticking to old habits. Ben and Matt will provide you with specific timelines that work for any event and live auction best practices on timing, including when to start the auction, how many items to sell, the order of items, and the hottest live auction items for 2024.

They’ll also share new fund-a-need techniques related to the special appeal, including the “matching money model” used to incorporate three distinctive roles for matching money and how to move sponsors into this leadership position of giving. You’ll walk away with actionable tools to implement immediately.

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a strategic and efficient timeline for your next event to increase results.
  • Implement a fund-a-need strategy to include the “matching money model.”
  • Gain tools and language to overcome negative myths presented by committees and boards.
Close Bio

Derria Ford

Chief Development Officer

Derria L. Ford, MBA. Ed. D, is the Chief Advancement Officer for Martha O’Bryan Center, an anti-poverty community-based organization. She has over 16 years of nonprofit experience. Her expertise spans program expansion, grant administration, executive leadership, and fund development. Derria’s career has been marked by her exceptional ability to lead and motivate teams, her strategic thinking skills, and her ability to build relationships with organizational stakeholders.

Derria’s previous position was at the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, where she served as the Deputy Director of Development and Community Engagement. Over the past five years, she has made significant strides in increasing revenue, boosting individual giving, diversifying grants, establishing a signature fundraising event, and simplifying complex legal concepts to benefit vulnerable communities through educational documents, videos, and media. In addition to her professional achievements, Derria holds a Doctorate from Trevecca Nazarene University, where she specialized in Leadership and Professional Practice, as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

Beyond her impressive professional and academic accomplishments, Derria is a dynamic individual who loves sharing stories about her vibrant eight-year-old daughter, Gabrielle. With her extensive experience and passion for positive change, Derria Ford is a purpose-driven leader that believes deeply in the power of nonprofits.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Close Bio

Diana Farias Heinrich

CEO

Diana Farias Heinrich (she/her) is an entrepreneur, speaker, and marketer. As the CEO of Habrá Marketing, Diana helps nonprofits use ethical communication strategies and marketing to raise more money. She is certified as an Advocate for Survivors of Domestic Violence and for DEI in the Workplace. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Literature/Writing and Latin American Studies. Her proudest accomplishments are being a mom and wife, and helping women in Ghana start a sustainable, clean water business.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

How to Engage Donors Using Community-Centered Practices

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Fundraising models should respect donors and build strong relationships with them. They must also be centered on the communities who know firsthand what is needed for meaningful change. This session will introduce ways to engage donors differently by fostering a sense of belonging and engaging them in transformative (not transactional) work. Drawing on examples from capital campaigns to donor engagement, Frank Velasquez Jr. & Diana Farias Heinrich will demonstrate how a simple reframing can create powerful collaborations between your organization, your donors, and your community.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recognize the role of nonprofits in engaging donors effectively, emphasizing the shift from donor-centric to community-centric models.
  • Develop strategies for building transformative, not transactional, donor relationships that foster a sense of belonging and partnership.
  • Master asset-based language that focuses on the strengths and contributions of community members.

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Sabrina Walker Hernandez

Sabrina Walker Hernandez

Supporting World Hope, President & CEO

Kiersten Hill

Kiersten Hill

Firespring, Director of Nonprofit Solutions

Josh Hirsch

Josh Hirsch

Soukup Strategic Solutions, Senior Strategist

Kristi Howard-Shultz

Kristi Howard-Shultz

Kristi Howard-Shultz Consulting, Founder

Close Bio

Sabrina Walker Hernandez

President & CEO

Sabrina, a consultant and coach, excels in empowering mission-driven businesses, associations, and nonprofits, catalyzing revenue growth through impactful relationships. Utilizing the B.U.I.L.D. framework, she specializes in strategic planning, leadership development, board education, and resource optimization, consistently achieving a remarkable 30% revenue increase.

With over 25 years of experience, Sabrina offers dynamic keynote presentations on Transformational Leadership, Effective Communication, and more, delivering actionable strategies for organizational success. As a bestselling author and certified Harvard Business School Nonprofit Management professional, she has a proven track record, including elevating operational revenue from $750K to $2.5M and completing a $12M capital campaign in the third poorest county in the United States. Sabrina’s workshops have benefited countless nonprofit and business professionals, reflecting her commitment to driving positive change and excellence.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
2:25 PM

Empowering ERGs: Driving Board Accountability for Inclusive Excellence

55 minutes | 2:25 PM - 3:20 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

This transformative workshop is designed for organizational leaders, ERG members, and DEI advocates. Discover actionable strategies to strengthen Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and enhance board accountability, driving a culture of inclusivity and excellence within your organization. Gain insights into aligning ERG initiatives with organizational goals, measuring their impact effectively, and fostering robust collaboration between ERGs and the board.

Walk away equipped with practical tools to initiate sustainable change, cultivate a more inclusive workplace, and build a roadmap for continued growth. Through group discussions and facilitated networking sessions, participants will actively engage with peers, share experiences, and collaboratively explore solutions tailored to their organizational challenges, ensuring an enriching and impactful learning experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to align ERG efforts with the broader organizational strategy, ensuring initiatives contribute to the company’s goals.
  • Gain tools to measure the impact of ERG initiatives, enabling evidence-based decisions and accountability.
  • Develop strategies for fostering effective collaboration between ERGs and the board, promoting shared visions and actions for inclusivity and diversity.
Close Bio

Kiersten Hill

Director of Nonprofit Solutions

Kiersten Hill is the driving force behind Firespring’s nonprofit solutions and an inspiration to organizations nationwide. With nearly two decades of dedicated service in nonprofit management and fundraising, Kiersten has raised over $20 million to strengthen Nebraska’s nonprofit sector.

Transitioning from the frontline of nonprofit leadership to Firespring, Kiersten was able to amplify her impact by assisting, educating and equipping nonprofits for success on a larger, national scale. Her passion for elevating organizations, their leaders and boards of directors to achieve their mission radiates through her work.

A dynamic thought leader and speaker, Kiersten captivates audiences with her expertise on marketing, fundraising, board development and organizational transformation. In the past year alone, she has led or presented at nearly 100 webinars and nonprofit conferences — her insights sparking inspiration and change. As a certified StoryBrand Guide, Kiersten has unlocked the power of storytelling, guiding nonprofits to craft compelling narratives that resonate deeply with their audiences. Her infectious energy, authenticity and relatability stem from years spent in the nonprofit world, walking alongside those she has the privilege to empower.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
8:30 AM

Marketing Trends Nonprofits Need to Know and Embrace

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Nonprofits aren’t immune to changes in technology and the marketing space. Discussing marketing trends that will shape your nonprofit’s efforts is a necessity! Join this session for a deep dive into the essential marketing trends that every nonprofit should be aware of and adopt. You’ll explore how technology is shaping the marketing landscape for nonprofits and what you need to know to stay ahead. Discover how artificial intelligence, micro-moments, influencer marketing, gaming, and different search methods can enhance your nonprofit’s outreach and fundraising efforts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand how to utilize micro-moments and influencer marketing.
  • Learn about visual, local, and voice search.
  • Discover how to use artificial intelligence as an engagement tool and to automate your marketing.
Close Bio

Josh Hirsch

Senior Strategist

Josh Hirsch is the Senior Strategist for Soukup Strategic Solutions and as a part of the faculty for The Fund Raising School at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2006 with a focus on educational philanthropy for both public charter and independent private schools. He has an extensive background in social media, digital communications, and marketing, along with experience in grant research and writing, individual giving, special event planning, stewardship, and cultivation of donors.

He is the Florida Caucus Representative for the Association of Fundraising Professionals First Coast Chapter and Past-President of the Palm Beach County Chapter. Josh is also a member of the AFPeeps, the social media vanguard for the AFP International Conference and other AFP initiatives. He has spoken internationally on digital communications and has had numerous articles published in professional journals.

Josh received a Master of Science in Family, Youth and Community Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Florida. He has a Certificate in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from Bay Path University and is a Certified Social Media Strategist by the National Institute for Social Media.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
2:50 PM

How to Create a Long-Term Social Media Strategy in a Short-Term World

55 minutes | 2:50 PM - 3:45 PM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

In a world where social media trends come and go in the blink of an eye, nonprofits must adopt a long-term strategy to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. However, the third sector faces unique challenges in maintaining a long-term social media strategy that drives sustainable impact.

In this session, Julia Campbell and Josh Hirsch will address the specific needs of nonprofits and provide practical insights on developing a social media strategy that aligns with long-term goals. They’ll explore strategies, techniques, and best practices that empower nonprofits to navigate short-term trends while fostering meaningful connections with donors and supporters.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of a long-term social media strategy in the nonprofit sector.
  • Learn to identify and prioritize long-term goals, ensuring sustainability in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
  • Acquire practical insights and techniques to navigate short-term social media trends effectively.
  • Learn best practices tailored to the unique challenges faced by nonprofits in maintaining a sustainable social media strategy.
Close Bio

Kristi Howard-Shultz

Founder

Kristi Howard-Shultz is a nonprofit executive that leads with head and heart. With 25+ years of experience working for nonprofits including nationally-known, time-tested institutions like The Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Boys & Girls Clubs, she has worked in nearly every capacity of fundraising throughout her career. She has a proven track record of success in board and fund development, campaign management, and capacity building.

Kristi has built a strong reputation within the community and is sought after for her industry expertise and thought leadership. She is a natural relationship builder who loves to put plans into action. Championing “firsts” for organizations is her specialty.

As a consultant, Kristi has the unique ability to meet organizations where they are. She can marry best practices with the reality of where the organization is in its current state. She can take a client’s vision and work with the board and staff to operationalize practices to achieve their vision. She is enthusiastic, authentic, and intentional. Kristi is committed to the success of her clients.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

Our Industry’s Most Wicked Problem: Fundraising for a Living Wage

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Connecting the admiration often attributed to nonprofit leaders with the compensation they deserve for their valuable work is a frequent struggle in our industry. When faced with the additional challenge of lower salaries and fewer benefits than the for-profit sector, it’s not surprising that we face high turnover and burnout rates. In an industry focused on the care and concern of our clients, it’s time to start showing equal compassion to our staff.

Within our field, we haven’t done a very good job of taking care of our own people doing the work. In the field of youth work and social services, in particular, people in the field eventually mirror the population they serve. A 2022 survey revealed challenges for nonprofit workers, finding that 64% of employees rated their financial wellness as fair, poor, or very poor.

In other words, your agency’s mission may be to bring others out of poverty at the expense of your staff descending into poverty. You may be working to make healthcare more accessible and not be able to provide your staff with benefits or insurance. Your organization may be providing affordable child care to clients, requiring the staff to work hours when childcare is not available, all while paying them a wage where they, themselves, cannot afford childcare. Does this sound familiar? If so, and you are looking for ways to combat this in your own organization, this session is for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn what is considered a living wage.
  • Identify what is stopping your agency from paying a living wage.
  • Come away with strategies to strategically plan and fundraise for a living wage for all employees.
Abby Jarvis

Abby Jarvis

Neon One, Head of Content

Steve Johns

Steve Johns

OneCause, CEO

Tim Kachuriak

Tim Kachuriak

NextAfter, Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer

Mariana Keller

Mariana Keller

The Bear Creek School, VP of Philanthropy

Close Bio

Abby Jarvis

Head of Content

Abby Jarvis is a writer, speaker, and researcher at Neon One. Her 11 years in the nonprofit technology industry have been dedicated to understanding how and why donors support their favorite causes, studying donor trends and behavior, and sharing practical tactics nonprofits can use to build successful fundraising programs.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

The Monthly Giving Mastermind – Tactical Lessons to Build, Grow & Sustain Subscriptions for Good

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

How can we flip the downward trend of individual gifts into something good? We live in a subscription economy that’s projected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025! But is that trend impacting how donors give?

Backed by data-driven insights from the Neon One Recurring Giving Report, you’ll learn how and why donors are supporting their favorite causes with recurring gifts in larger numbers than ever before!

You’ll also walk away with a step-by-step guide for building a successful monthly giving program, plus 5 practical case studies on donor acquisition and retention from fellow nonprofits of ALL sizes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a successful online monthly donor program.
  • Do a self-audit of your existing platform.
  • Execute unconventional donor acquisition and retention strategies to stand out.
Close Bio

Steve Johns

CEO

Steve Johns is an experienced leader who’s passionate about helping nonprofits build a better tomorrow. He brings over 30 years of experience in technology, corporate development, venture capital, event production and entrepreneurship to his role as Chief Executive Officer at OneCause. For the last ten years, Steve has led the award-winning team at OneCause to surpass $6.5 billion raised for 11,000+ nonprofits. Steve’s concentration focuses on being a strategist, visionary, influencer, and change agent for the organization.

He brings a fresh perspective to the team with his previous experiences as a senior executive in the Fortune 500, as well as successful early-stage start-up investing and scale-up executive leadership. Steve served on the Motorola Research Visionary Board and was a pioneer member of DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Blue Print Mentoring Program. He currently serves on the board for TechPoint helping guide growth initiatives for the Indiana tech industry.

In 2022, Steve added “author” to his resume with the release of his debut book, Fearless: Leadership Lessons at the Crossroads.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
11:00 AM

General Session: Day 1 Welcome & Keynote

1 hour 25 minutes | 11:00 AM - 12:25 PM | General Sessions |

Ready, set, here we go! Join us for the morning Day 1 General Session as we kick off Raise 2024, live from Nashville! Get pumped up with a welcome from OneCause CEO, Steve Johns. Keynote coming soon.

Close Bio

Tim Kachuriak

Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer

Tim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab consultancy, and training institute that works with charities, nonprofits and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.

A nonprofit thought leader, Kachuriak is the author of the book Optimize Your Fundraising, lead researcher and co-author of the Online Fundraising Scorecard, Why Should I Give to You? (The Nonprofit Value Proposition Index Study), and The Midlevel Donor Crisis. Kachuriak has trained organizations in fundraising optimization around the world and is a frequent speaker at international nonprofit conferences.

Kachuriak is also the co-founder and Chairman for the Human Coalition, a member of the board of directors for Global Christian Relief, an Advisory Board Member for the SMU Digital Accelerator, an Advisory Board Member for B Generous, and an Advisory Board Member for the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact.

Kachuriak lives in Prosper, TX, with his wife Rebecca, and their four children: Max (18), Charlie (17), Gracie (15), and Joe (9).

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
2:50 PM

Getting People to Care

55 minutes | 2:50 PM - 3:45 PM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

For the past decade, NextAfter founder and Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer, Tim Kachuriak, has been obsessed with trying to answer a single question: why do people give? This obsession has led to reams of original research and over 5,000 published experiments. All this research and experimentation has resulted in a simple, yet profound discovery: the secret to getting more people to give lies first in getting them to care.

Through this fast-paced, information-packed session full of case studies, Tim will illustrate how you can apply a methodology called “care alignment” to radically increase your fundraising performance.

Key Takeaways:

  • Craft a more effective value proposition.
  • Apply data and proven tactics to optimize your online fundraising.
  • Reconsider the way you think about the donor journey to approach fundraising from the donor’s perspective — not your own.
Close Bio

Mariana Keller

VP of Philanthropy

Mariana is enthusiastic about education and has a rich background in empowering others to make a positive impact. She started her journey in philanthropy more than ten years ago at Puget Sound region nonprofits by leading a board development committee and serving as auction and annual fund chair. Eager to work with a development team that would truly honor donors and find the best ways to align their passions and philanthropic priorities with the school’s strategic plan, in 2019 she joined The Bear Creek School’s Office of Philanthropy and Community Engagement. At Bear Creek, she creates meaningful opportunities for families to connect with and invest in the school’s mission.

Previously, Mariana founded and led a successful strategic marketing consulting company, working with corporations like PepsiCo, Adidas, Bayer, Quaker, and Unilever to drive social responsibility and innovation.

Mariana’s passion for philanthropy and inspiring others has left a lasting impact. She and her family share a deep sense of gratitude and joy, and they believe that giving back is the best way to help transform lives.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Building a Culture of Philanthropy with AI

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Creating and sustaining a culture of philanthropy within independent schools is essential for financial stability and fostering a strong sense of community and shared purpose. This session aims to explore strategies, best practices, and real-world examples of how independent schools and nonprofits can use AI to cultivate a culture of philanthropy that engages all stakeholders and contributes to long-term success. During the session, Mariana Keller will use generative AI to demonstrate practical applications.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to use AÍ to support your fundraising efforts.
  • How to create a positive culture of philanthropy.
  • How to develop your team to use AÍ wisely.
Cherian Koshy

Cherian Koshy

Kindsight, VP of Product Strategy

Nicholas Kristock

Nicholas Kristock

KindKatch, Founder & CEO

Demetria Lightfoot

Demetria Lightfoot

Youth In Need, Senior Director of Philanthropy

Alia McKee

Alia McKee

Sea Change Strategies, Principal

Close Bio

Cherian Koshy

VP of Product Strategy

Cherian Koshy, a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), is a distinguished innovator in nonprofit strategy. Renowned for leveraging technology to redefine fundraising and operational efficiency, his approach marries ethical considerations with cutting-edge digital tools. Cherian’s insights and methodologies, shared through keynotes, workshops, and publications, empower nonprofit leaders to navigate and thrive in the sector’s evolving landscape. His commitment to ethical innovation drives significant, impactful change, positioning him as a pivotal figure in advancing nonprofit excellence globally.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
2:50 PM

Unforgettable Leadership: Navigating Adaptability, Influence, and Technological Change

55 minutes | 2:50 PM - 3:45 PM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

This cutting-edge session is for current and prospective leaders who aim to excel in an era dominated by rapid technological advancements. Join Cherian Koshy as he addresses the triple challenge of mastering adaptive leadership, evolving within leadership roles, and effectively leading and “managing up” in the context of ongoing technological transformation. By integrating theoretical foundations with real-world tech scenarios, this session will offer leaders the tools to not only adapt and grow but also harness technological change as a catalyst for organizational and personal success.

Key Takeaways:

  • How technology impacts leadership dynamics.
  • The importance of staying ahead in digital literacy.
  • Ways to leverage technology for enhanced decision-making and team inclusivity.
Close Bio

Nicholas Kristock

Founder & CEO

Nicholas is a former international soccer player turned serial entrepreneur and servant leader, and he has found his fit in the entrepreneurial world by building businesses that solve problems.

After two seasons of soccer in Australia, Nicholas moved back to Michigan in 2015 and founded Fleece & Thank You, an innovative 501(c)3 organization that provides psychosocial support and programs to children in the hospital. The organization provides comfort to 22 children’s hospitals and units in Michigan. Fleece & Thank You has also rolled out Grateful Human, an apparel brand targeted for people that love sharing what they are thankful for. Nicholas serves as Fleece & Thank You’s President and Executive Director.

Nicholas’ venture portfolio extends beyond social impact and philanthropy, as he also is the Founder and CEO of KindKatch, a personalized video engagement platform for brands who want to capture attention and drive deeper relationships with their audience. He’s a #FearlessFundraiser favorite and top-rated Raise speaker alum.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

Rethinking Stewardship to Create Better Donor Experiences

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

On average, nonprofits lose more than 60% of their donors every year, and an average of 80% of first-time donors don’t make a second gift. The number of donors has shrunk by 20% over the last 20 years and is continuing on a downward trajectory. Houston, we have a problem!

The donor churn we’re seeing in the sector creates unnecessary work for fundraisers and isn’t cost-effective for nonprofits, especially those with limited capacity. The commercial world spends billions to understand how to drive loyalty and strives to reach 90% customer retention. Why are we so far off as a sector?

This session will break down how we need to redefine stewardship from just sending thank you notes to more of a “donor experience” mindset that inspires and welcomes supporters in a radically different way to keep donors longer. Join Barbara O’Reilly of Windmill Hill Consulting and Nicholas Kristock, Founder of Fleece & Thank You, as they break down how we need to redefine our mindset around stewardship and how that applies to donor journeys. Whether you are looking to refine your donor experience or need first steps, this session will give you valuable and real-life takeaways.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand giving trends that are forcing fundraisers to think differently and could cause a crisis in the sector if not addressed.
  • Identify ways to adapt current stewardship strategies to a new approach that centers donor retention and experience.
  • Create the main donor journeys every organization should have along with the “nice to haves”.
Close Bio

Demetria Lightfoot

Senior Director of Philanthropy

N/A

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Close Bio

Alia McKee

Principal

To make social change, you have to fund social change. That’s why Alia has dedicated her career to raising money for causes she believes in. Alia is a veteran strategic communications and fundraising strategist with hands-on experience developing research-backed fundraising strategies for impactful nonprofits.

Alia is also a seasoned leadership coach who relishes helping nonprofit leaders navigate the complex professional and personal challenges they face as change makers. She is a graduate of the Comprehensive Training in Hakomi Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy and incorporates Hakomi into her coaching relationships.

Alia is a noted speaker, author, and blogger. Her thought leadership has been featured in Forbes, NPR and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. She earned her masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas at Austin and her masters in Social Work at UT Austin as well. She is a rescue dog fanatic and a fitness enthusiast. In her off hours, you’ll probably find her in Fort Greene Park walking her furry best friend Chachi or doing push ups.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
2:25 PM

What Do Midlevel Donors Really Want?

55 minutes | 2:25 PM - 3:20 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Midlevel donors are the backbone of many donor files. They represent a tiny percentage of all donors but generate a third or more of the income. The last study exploring the preferences and attitudes of these valuable donors was conducted by Sea Change and Edge research in 2008, and much has changed in 15 years. We thought it was high time to take a fresh look at the midlevel universe through the eyes of the donors themselves.

In this session, we will present critical learnings from a survey of more than 5,900 midlevel donors drawn from 36 different organizations. You’ll discover what motivates a second, annual, monthly, larger, and/or planned gift and who these donors are. We’ll also cover the stewardship treatment midlevel donors expect from organizations and the impact of recognition, benefits, and/or gifts on acquisition and retention.

Lastly, we’ll touch on the role of donor-advised funds and planned gifts, learn about midlevel donors’ digital habits, and explore the extent to which Millennials and Gen X are replacing Baby Boomers as the dominant force in midlevel philanthropy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identify the must-have strategies and tactics necessary to build and support a thriving midlevel giving program.
  • Understand the three psychographic profiles that identify key differences in midlevel donors’ attitudes, expectations, and the necessary strategies for attracting and retaining them.
  • Know the key to building a future-proof program amidst all the changes swirling around philanthropy today.
Magen McRoberts

Magen McRoberts

Boundless Impact Agency, Founder & CEO

Joshua Meyer

Joshua Meyer

Bloomerang, VP, Marketing Engagement

Chris Miano

Chris Miano

MemoryFox, Founder & CEO

Theresa Morrison

Theresa Morrison

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee, Communications Coordinator

Close Bio

Magen McRoberts

Founder & CEO

After spending over a decade working with luxury hospitality brands in sales and marketing, Magen accidentally made a career move into the world of nonprofit fundraising. In 2016, she attended her first benefit gala with her father, who was the Auctioneer for the event, and she instantly felt intrigued by the intersection of hospitality, philanthropy, and brand messaging in the nonprofit industry. She immediately got her Auctioneer license and started providing auction services for clients in the Atlanta area.

In 2017, Magen founded Boundless Impact Agency, an event fundraising firm that specializes in providing wrap-around services for nonprofits looking to make an impact with their fundraising events. Boundless provides services ranging from event envisioning and strategic planning to graphic design, on-site registration teams, and professional auctioneer services.

It’s all about The Why! Over the past 8 years, Magen has performed at, or produced, over 400 events all around the country.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
1:20 PM

How to Think about your Fundraising Events as a Vehicle and NOT the Destination

55 minutes | 1:20 PM - 2:15 PM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Unlike weddings, corporate events, or social gatherings, fundraising events present unique challenges that are often impossible to explain to those who are not in our world of event fundraising. On the surface, fundraising events are implemented to attract sponsor dollars, engage supporters, and showcase your mission. Nonprofit leaders are looking for a net-positive ROI and are often willing to cut corners (and budgets) to achieve this goal. Instead of asking: “What is the cost of our AV provider?” We need to ask: “What is the cost of trust?”

Anyone can follow a checklist of tasks before a fundraising event and create a decent experience for their donors. But for fundraising professionals who are seeking to take their events to the next level with a deeper understanding of donor psychology, this session is just for you.

Magen will explore the nuances of donor engagement by leveraging data analysis, understanding human behavior, and acknowledging the risks we take every time we invite someone to our events. Ultimately, we need to think of our events as trust-building vehicles, not just a means to earn more dollars, and if you follow the guidance in this session, you can achieve both!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand how building trust with donors will lend to greater fundraising results.
  • Learn how to avoid “trust breakers” at your events and how to set yourself up for success.
  • Refer back to the acronym “S.P.I.C.E. it Up” to use as a resource for planning future events.
Close Bio

Joshua Meyer

VP, Marketing Engagement

Joshua Meyer brings more than 20 years of fundraising, volunteer management, and marketing experience to his current role as the VP of Market Engagement for Bloomerang. Currently, as a member of the Bloomerang marketing team, Josh leads all of the organization’s field events, thought leadership, online community, and channel marketing.

Through his previous roles at the Human Rights Campaign and OneCause, he has a passion for creating positive change and helping nonprofits engage new donors and achieve their fundraising goals. He is a #FearlessFundraiser favorite and top-rated Raise speaker alum.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Transform Your Relationships: How to Turn Volunteers and Donors Into Super Supporters

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Volunteers are essential to the success of many nonprofits. They not only offer their time and expertise, but they can also become reliable and consistent donors. Research has shown that volunteers are 80% more likely to donate and make larger gifts than non-volunteers. Moreover, donors who also volunteer have a significantly higher retention rate than those who don’t.

In this session, Josh will use data to explore the connection between volunteers and financial donors. He’ll then provide you with practical tips on how to turn your volunteers into loyal, engaged donors. You’ll learn how to identify what motivates your volunteers and donors, take actionable steps to apply these insights to your organization, and double down on your storytelling to volunteers.

If you’re one of the many organizations that are hesitant to ask their volunteers to become donors or their donors to become volunteers, this session is for you. Don’t leave money on the table — learn how to maximize the potential of your volunteers and donors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the motivating factors of why donors and volunteers engage with an organization.
  • Explore current trends with donors and volunteers, allowing you to create benchmarks for your organization.
  • Walk away with key actionable next steps to apply the findings with your organization to grow your donor and volunteer base further into Super Supporters.
Close Bio

Chris Miano

Founder & CEO

Chris Miano was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He spent eight years in the Army traveling around the world and learning about the power of storytelling as a tool to connect with people across many cultures, generations, and socio-economic backgrounds.

When he returned home from Afghanistan, Chris thought about his grandfather who was a WW2 veteran, and how cathartic it would have been to have him around to share stories with. This inspired Chris to create MemoryFox. The organization started as a way to capture the life story of elder family members, and eventually grew to support mission-driven organizations.

Chris has made it his mission to elevate the stories of real human beings. He believes that through storytelling with grassroots community-generated content, the world can become a more inclusive and equitable place for everyone.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Close Bio

Theresa Morrison

Communications Coordinator

Theresa Morrison is a skilled communications professional with diverse expertise in social media marketing, event planning, project coordination, copy editing, donor relations, website management, graphic design, and communication strategy. She has a track record of successfully managing multiple projects with budgets exceeding $100,000 and has demonstrated her proficiency in effective storytelling and strategic communications. What she loves most about her work is her ability to share a company’s mission through the perspective of clients and community members who witness first-hand the change that can happen through advocacy.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Crafting with Conscience: Ethical Storytelling in the Social Good Sector

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing |

Join us for an enlightening panel on ethical storytelling in the nonprofit sector. Ethical storytelling is crucial in nonprofit fundraising, fostering trust and credibility among donors, and ensuring authenticity, honesty, and respect for the individuals or communities involved. This panel will help attendees examine their practices, provide tips to ensure clients understand their rights, and share how to set up policies and procedures that encourage respect and dignity while showing organizational impact.

Emily Newberry

Emily Newberry

OneCause, VP National Accounts

Matt Newsom

Matt Newsom

Custom Benefit Auctions, Fundraising Auctioneer

Barbara O’Reilly

Barbara O’Reilly

Windmill Hill Consulting, Principal & Founder

Terry Pearl

Terry Pearl

360 Philanthropy Partners, Founder & Chief Philanthropy Partner

Close Bio

Emily Newberry

VP National Accounts

Emily Newberry is sales and strategy leader in the nonprofit SaaS world. She’s passionate about technology and the impact it has on people, organizations and communities.

At OneCause, Emily works directly with national nonprofit organizations and their leaders to understand challenges and opportunities and collaborate on ways to engage donors and use technology to meet fundraising and stewardship goals. She works cross-functionally with internal leaders in marketing, product, and operations to ensure we build processes and products for today and tomorrow’s opportunities.

Prior to joining OneCause, Emily worked in the nonprofit space, helping align donors to the mission and raising money for life-saving research, treatment and care, and monitoring grant spending and care at two multi-disciplinary health clinics.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
4:05 PM

They Want More Than Chicken! Creating Event Experiences that Foster Loyalty & Retention

55 minutes | 4:05 PM - 5:00 PM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

As donors reengage with in-person events and flock back to the ballrooms, golf outings, and special events – they want more!

What makes today’s donors tick, stick, and give has evolved since the pandemic. They have a unique set of motivators, preferences, and expectations for their in-person fundraising experiences. Get it right and you’ve got a loyal donor. Get it wrong and well, they’ve moved on to the next nonprofit.

The connection between events and donor loyalty is real! Based on our research, we’ll explore what today’s donors expect, want, and need in event fundraising to convert and stay. We’ll share practical strategies to grow loyalty via your events, so you can increase retention and drive more impact.

Key Objectives:

  • Top donor motivators for today’s event donors
  • What you need in your event experience to engage donors
  • Strategies to optimizing your event experience to build trust & loyalty
Close Bio

Matt Newsom

Fundraising Auctioneer

Matt Newsom has helped high-profile charities throughout the United States generate millions of dollars in fundraising. As a licensed benefit auctioneer, he brings over 30 years of event management and public speaking experience to every fundraising gala. He is brought his energy balanced with sincerity to over 350 fundraising events that have raised over $50,000,000,

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and serving the entire country, Matt was President of his class at Mendenhall School of Auctioneering. He will help you raise more money through Live Auction, Fund A Need, Silent Auction, Interactive Fundraising Games, and Run of Show Consulting.

Personally, he has been a relentless fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, raising over $530,000 in 10 weeks in 2022 resulting in his being named the LLS National All-Star Man of the Year. A Hairy Cell Leukemia survivor, he was also the Charlotte Man of the Year in 2016, raising over $150,000. Matt was also Chairman of the LLS Charlotte Board of Trustees and the Man/Woman of the Year Leadership Team.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
8:30 AM

Get with the Times! Event Timing Tools to Raise More Money in Auction & Fund-a-Need

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

As Miles Davis once said, “Timing isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing!”

In 2023, learning from over 250 events, the team at Custom Benefit Auctions noticed that timing was a common concern among clients. They often asked questions such as: How long should the guests have cocktails and socialize? When is the best time to close the silent auction? When should we conduct the live auction? When is the ideal time for fund-a-need? And when should the speaker present? Ben and Matt will address these concerns and provide the steps necessary to ensure a successful event for you and your organization.

It’s natural to feel overworked and understaffed while planning for your organization’s biggest event of the year. Don’t fall into the trap of doing things the same way as last year or sticking to old habits. Ben and Matt will provide you with specific timelines that work for any event and live auction best practices on timing, including when to start the auction, how many items to sell, the order of items, and the hottest live auction items for 2024.

They’ll also share new fund-a-need techniques related to the special appeal, including the “matching money model” used to incorporate three distinctive roles for matching money and how to move sponsors into this leadership position of giving. You’ll walk away with actionable tools to implement immediately.

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a strategic and efficient timeline for your next event to increase results.
  • Implement a fund-a-need strategy to include the “matching money model.”
  • Gain tools and language to overcome negative myths presented by committees and boards.
Close Bio

Barbara O’Reilly

Principal & Founder

Barbara is a seasoned fundraising consultant on a mission to help more nonprofits raise more money by creating strong donor experiences. During her in-house career she led record-setting reunion classes, secured tens of millions of dollars from global corporations following some of the most devastating natural disasters around the world, and oversaw a team that grew donor engagement of major individual donors. Barbara knows that fundraising is much more than just asking for money.

Her firm, Windmill Hill Consulting, works with nonprofits to give them to resources, skills and mindset they need to build more effective donor relationships and catapult their revenue.

She serves as past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Washington DC Metro Chapter. She sits on the board of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and AFP Foundation and chairs the Research Committee for the Giving USA Foundation. In 2020, she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute teaching nonprofit fundraising.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

Rethinking Stewardship to Create Better Donor Experiences

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

On average, nonprofits lose more than 60% of their donors every year, and an average of 80% of first-time donors don’t make a second gift. The number of donors has shrunk by 20% over the last 20 years and is continuing on a downward trajectory. Houston, we have a problem!

The donor churn we’re seeing in the sector creates unnecessary work for fundraisers and isn’t cost-effective for nonprofits, especially those with limited capacity. The commercial world spends billions to understand how to drive loyalty and strives to reach 90% customer retention. Why are we so far off as a sector?

This session will break down how we need to redefine stewardship from just sending thank you notes to more of a “donor experience” mindset that inspires and welcomes supporters in a radically different way to keep donors longer. Join Barbara O’Reilly of Windmill Hill Consulting and Nicholas Kristock, Founder of Fleece & Thank You, as they break down how we need to redefine our mindset around stewardship and how that applies to donor journeys. Whether you are looking to refine your donor experience or need first steps, this session will give you valuable and real-life takeaways.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand giving trends that are forcing fundraisers to think differently and could cause a crisis in the sector if not addressed.
  • Identify ways to adapt current stewardship strategies to a new approach that centers donor retention and experience.
  • Create the main donor journeys every organization should have along with the “nice to haves”.
Close Bio

Terry Pearl

Founder & Chief Philanthropy Partner

Terry Pearl is an accomplished nonprofit leader with over two decades of experience, specializing in fundraising, strategic planning, and board development. Throughout her career, she has raised over $200 million for various global nonprofits, including securing principal gifts up to $50 million. Terry’s consulting work has supported a wide range of partner organizations, such as the College Completion Innovation Fund at CUNY, the Society for Nuclear Medicine, the American Society of the University of Haifa, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, Cohen Veterans Bioscience, and the Green Beret Foundation, among others.

Terry earned a Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management and a Master of Business Administration in Leadership from the University of Miami. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Terry is actively involved in community service, serving on the boards of various organizations such as the United Synagogue of Hoboken, Learning Community Charter School, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ New Jersey Chapter. She is committed to influencing change with her partner organizations to create impact.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
8:30 AM

Invite, Engage, Inspire: Transforming Events into Major Gift Goldmines

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Crafting a successful fundraising event goes beyond logistics; it’s an art ensuring the right people are in the right room at the right time to hear the right messaging. Elevate your nonprofit events to powerful catalysts for securing major gifts!

This interactive workshop guides participants through a journey from initial invitation to final thank you, optimizing each step for maximum impact and donor engagement. We’ll dive deep into engaging donors and transforming passive attendance into active participation. Discover innovative strategies, including interactive elements, storytelling, and experiential touch-points aligned with your nonprofit’s goals and values. Master the transition from engagement to inspiration, ensuring your event leaves a lasting impression and motivates major gifts. Explore emotional triggers, impactful presentations, and the power of a well-told success story to inspire generosity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to inspire action and generosity among attendees, using emotional triggers and impactful success stories to create a compelling case for support.
  • Gain insights into innovative engagement techniques that transform event participants from passive observers to active supporters and strategic asks during and after events to maximize major gift contributions.
  • Acquire the skills to execute effective post-event follow-up, turning event enthusiasm into substantial major gifts.
Stephanie Ragozzino

Stephanie Ragozzino

OneCause, Chief Product Officer

Tom Riles

Tom Riles

Tom Riles Auctions, Benefit Auctioneer

Reggie Rivers

Reggie Rivers

The Gala Team, President &
Raise Emcee

Jennifer Rubin

Jennifer Rubin

360 Philanthropy Partners, VP of Client Partnerships

Close Bio

Stephanie Ragozzino

Chief Product Officer

Stephanie brings 20 years of product management, client success, and software experience to OneCause. She’s best known for her creative approach to problem solving and translating long-term company goals into specific product development milestones. At OneCause, she’s found a passion to create solutions to help nonprofits raise more and reach more donors by building intuitive, modern, and robust fundraising software.

She previously was the executive vice president of product for Indianapolis-based PERQ and has held product leadership roles at Teradata and Aprimo. Stephanie earned a BS degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Purdue University.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
12:45 PM

OneCause Platform Demo

45 minutes | 12:45 PM - 1:30 PM | Activity |

The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Join the OneCause team for a live demo and a look into the future of fundraising.

September 10
12:30 PM

OneCause Platform Demo

45 minutes | 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM | Activity |

The OneCause Fundraising Platform makes giving modern, flexible, and seamless to drive deeper engagement and grow your fundraising. Join the OneCause team for a live demo and a look into the future of fundraising.

Close Bio

Tom Riles

Benefit Auctioneer

After Tom Riles’ oldest daughter was born with a heart defect in 2010 (she’s healthy now), Tom began emceeing heart-related charity events, which led to him becoming an auctioneer. Tom takes pride in entertaining audiences at benefits, as well as working closely with the charity to make sure the auction and fundraising is as successful as possible.

Tom was the opening act for The Ellen DeGeneres Show for 17 years, in addition to American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. Now Tom serves as a benefit auctioneer for many nonprofits around the country including St. Jude, Make-A-Wish, and the American Heart Association.

Passionate about brand building, Tom launched LIFE OF DAD as a support group for dads when his daughter was still in the NICU. Now, LIFE OF DAD has over 7 million followers and helps support countless parents. Tom and his wife Lucy have three kids and currently live in Nashville. Tom and Lucy co-authored a book called MOM VS DAD, The Not-So-Serious Guide To The Stuff We’re All Fighting About.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

Bring HEART to the Ballroom and Your Fundraising Strategy

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Tom Riles is in fundraising because his daughter was born with a heart defect. She had a 1 in 2,500 chance of survival when his wife was 20 weeks pregnant. Now, she’s 13 years old and healthy! After Tom and his wife told their daughter’s story on Ellen, the American Heart Association (AHA) asked him to start emceeing their galas. Soon he became one of their auctioneers, and now Tom fundraises for AHA, St. Jude, and Make-A-Wish, amongst many more nonprofits.

After going through his daughter’s open heart surgery, Tom began to live life FEARLESSLY and with HEART. In this session, he’ll encourage the attendees to do the same while giving them practical advice on how to break records in the ballroom and throughout the fundraising year.

Does your gala experience feel flat? Is fundraising down?

Tell your nonprofit’s story with HEART so that donors can’t help but invest in your cause the night of the gala and throughout the year.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn the best practices for fundraising galas in 2024.
  • Understand how to bring your organization’s HEART into a gala and yearlong messaging and content strategy.
  • Live life fearlessly and market like a pro.
Close Bio

Reggie Rivers

President &
Raise Emcee

Reggie is a former Denver Broncos running back who played six seasons in the NFL. In 2013, he founded The Gala Team, and has grown the company from six events that first year to hundreds of events annually. The Gala Team supported nonprofits of all shapes and sizes during the COVID-19 virtual pivot, becoming a trusted resource for strategies and thought leadership.

Reggie is also a media personality and author, who has worked in newspaper, radio and television in Denver. He has written five books, the latest is the award winning novel, The Colony: A Political Tale. Reggie’s professional variety ultimately led him to his find his true love in life — serving as a benefit auctioneer to help nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

20+ Simple Fixes to Unlock the Power of the Paddle Raiser

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Over the span of 900+ fundraising events, Reggie and the Gala Team have developed best practices about what works and what doesn’t. Join Reggie to learn simple fixes you can deploy at your next event, including proven strategies that will help you unlock the power of your paddle raise and optimize your gala for fundraising success.

Key Takeaways:

  • Eliminate simple, yet costly mistakes.
  • Discover solutions that are easy to implement.
  • Set yourself up to raise more money than ever before.
Close Bio

Jennifer Rubin

VP of Client Partnerships

Jennifer S. Rubin is a dynamic leader and innovative development and marketing strategist with more than two decades supporting nonprofits in achieving financial and organizational growth through integrated marketing and communications strategy, fundraising campaigns, tactical partnerships and positioning, donor cultivation, and overseeing team development and organizational infrastructure.

She has served as the Vice President of Partnerships and Special Projects for the American Society of the University of Haifa (ASUH), Senior Development Executive for American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU) and Vice President of Development and Marketing for YRF Darca. Jennifer successfully redefined donor engagement opportunities for ASUH by producing a series of interactive online events to deliver critical health and educational information to supporters during the Covid-19 pandemic and conceptualized and directed a national program for creating new donor pipeline, increasing financial support by more than 230% for YRF Darca.

Prior to moving to New York, Jennifer enjoyed roles in programming, volunteer management, special events and development with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Jennifer received her BA in Communications and Psychology from Hollins University and participated in a London-based internship program through Boston University. She has enjoyed community leadership roles with The McColl Center for Art and Innovation and Mecklenburg County Public Schools in Charlotte, NC, served as volunteer for Congregation Rodeph Shalom in New York City, and as a reunion co-chair for her alma mater.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
8:30 AM

Invite, Engage, Inspire: Transforming Events into Major Gift Goldmines

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

Crafting a successful fundraising event goes beyond logistics; it’s an art ensuring the right people are in the right room at the right time to hear the right messaging. Elevate your nonprofit events to powerful catalysts for securing major gifts!

This interactive workshop guides participants through a journey from initial invitation to final thank you, optimizing each step for maximum impact and donor engagement. We’ll dive deep into engaging donors and transforming passive attendance into active participation. Discover innovative strategies, including interactive elements, storytelling, and experiential touch-points aligned with your nonprofit’s goals and values. Master the transition from engagement to inspiration, ensuring your event leaves a lasting impression and motivates major gifts. Explore emotional triggers, impactful presentations, and the power of a well-told success story to inspire generosity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to inspire action and generosity among attendees, using emotional triggers and impactful success stories to create a compelling case for support.
  • Gain insights into innovative engagement techniques that transform event participants from passive observers to active supporters and strategic asks during and after events to maximize major gift contributions.
  • Acquire the skills to execute effective post-event follow-up, turning event enthusiasm into substantial major gifts.
Taylor Shanklin

Taylor Shanklin

Barlele, Founder & CEO

Dana Snyder

Dana Snyder

Positive Equation, Founder & CEO

Samantha Swaim

Samantha Swaim

Swaim Strategies, Owner & Strategic Director

Erik Tomalis

Erik Tomalis

Virtuous, Director of Business Development

Close Bio

Taylor Shanklin

Founder & CEO

Taylor is a TEDx speaker, podcast host, and marketing innovator in the social impact sector. She has helped hundreds of organizations tell their story and clarify their messaging in digital channels. Taylor is the Founder and CEO of Barlele and also Creative Shizzle, where she helps purpose-driven companies and nonprofits build unforgettable brands through strategy and design services and products.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
9:35 AM

How to Get CEOs and Boards to Embrace AI & Digital Fundraising

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Leadership, Operations, & DEI |

Learn how AI and digital fundraising are changing the landscape of fundraising in the nonprofit sector. As more organizations are exploring AI and technology to find new donors, reach younger audiences, create engagement opportunities, and save time and money to exceed fundraising campaigns, board members have a responsibility to think about ethical considerations, accountability, and strategic integration of AI in organizational operations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to position AI and digital fundraising and oversee its ethical use ensuring fairness, transparency, and data privacy.
  • Discover how to use AI in messaging, storytelling, and marketing to make it easy and fun for donors to engage in the life of your organization.
  • Define metrics and methods to evaluate the impact of AI implementation.
Close Bio

Dana Snyder

Founder & CEO

Dana Snyder is a speaker, the podcast host of Missions to Movements, CEO of Positive Equation, and the creator of the Monthly Giving Mastermind. Her mission is to equip nonprofits with the knowledge of how to use social media ads to attract potential supporters to their cause and create sustainable giving models by building monthly giving programs for everyone to become a philanthropist.

Dana frequently delivers keynotes at conferences like NIO Summit, Cause Camp, Classy Collaborative, and the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Central Florida.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

The Monthly Giving Mastermind – Tactical Lessons to Build, Grow & Sustain Subscriptions for Good

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

How can we flip the downward trend of individual gifts into something good? We live in a subscription economy that’s projected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025! But is that trend impacting how donors give?

Backed by data-driven insights from the Neon One Recurring Giving Report, you’ll learn how and why donors are supporting their favorite causes with recurring gifts in larger numbers than ever before!

You’ll also walk away with a step-by-step guide for building a successful monthly giving program, plus 5 practical case studies on donor acquisition and retention from fellow nonprofits of ALL sizes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Create a successful online monthly donor program.
  • Do a self-audit of your existing platform.
  • Execute unconventional donor acquisition and retention strategies to stand out.
Close Bio

Samantha Swaim

Owner & Strategic Director

Samantha Swaim has more than 20 years of event planning and fundraising expertise. She founded Swaim Strategies, a fundraising event consultancy, in 2004, working internationally with nonprofit organizations to produce impactful events that move missions forward. She is an expert in the integration of virtual events and hybrid events into your fundraising event strategy having produced hundreds of event broadcasts with her introduction to broadcast events as a production manager of The Grammy Awards webcast.

Samantha is the co-author of Planning a Successful Major Donor Event, the founder of the annual Elevate fundraising event conference, and co-host of the podcast The Fundraising Elevator. She travels internationally to teach nonprofit professionals the tools they need to elevate their impact through events.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
4:05 PM

Ahead of the Curve: Navigating Future Fundraising Trends

55 minutes | 4:05 PM - 5:00 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Join us for an insightful panel discussion on the essential fundraising trends that every nonprofit should be aware of to ensure future success. Our expert panelists will provide valuable insights and practical strategies to help you navigate the evolving landscape of fundraising to stay ahead of the curve and maximize your nonprofit’s impact.

Close Bio

Erik Tomalis

Director of Business Development

Erik Tomalis is a proven fundraising professional and has always been forward thinking, donor and people driven, but most of all results oriented. With 20+ years of professional fundraising experience, Erik made over 4,000 face-to-face donor solicitations where he has raised millions of dollars for many nonprofit organizations, including areas of: healthcare, education, human services, Greek, university athletics and youth-based organizations. He served as a frontline fundraiser, as well as an executive in some transformative organizations focused on generosity, such as St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Boy Scouts of America and the Allegheny Health Network.

Today, at Virtuous, Erik is committed to helping nonprofits grow global generosity. He believes charitable giving is about personal connections, not transactions. Generosity is driven by our passions and relationships — and givers want to feel like they are part of a movement bigger than themselves.

Erik lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and is a graduate of Duquesne University and the Lilly School of Philanthropy. He is an Eagle Scout and active in the community as a board member or volunteer for the following organizations: AFP Western PA Chapter, AFP Global, Verland, Boy Scouts of America, the Giving Institute, and many more.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
4:05 PM

The Responsive Maturity Model: 5 Digital Steps to Scale Donor Engagement

55 minutes | 4:05 PM - 5:00 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Change is hard. Making systemic changes at your nonprofit that help build more personal relationships with donors at scale can feel like boiling the ocean. Effective fundraising in today’s world requires increased team collaboration, integrated technology, and real-time data insights. The amount of change can feel overwhelming, and it’s difficult to know where to start.

Maturity Models are designed to provide a structured approach to systemically level up your organization’s performance over time. The importance of a maturity model lies in its ability to provide an objective assessment of your organization’s current capabilities, as well as a roadmap for improving those capabilities over time. These models are often used to benchmark your current level of maturity against industry best practices and then identify areas for improvement.

The Responsive Maturity Model is designed to guide you, step by step, through the stages required to un-silo your data, increase team effectiveness, create personalized connections with each donor, and grow giving at scale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Build data health processes that create trusted data.
  • Build reports to create transparency and alignment around key fundraising KPIs across your organization.
  • Identify tools that can help your team better collaborate and understand the entire donor journey.
  • Segment and personalize your donors’ communication based on donor behavior and affinity, and create robust, automated, dynamic campaigns that connect to each donor at the right time with the right next step.
Frank Velásquez Jr.

Frank Velásquez Jr.

4 Da Hood LLC, Founder

Geng Wang

Geng Wang

Civic Champs, CEO & Co-founder

Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson

Human Rights Campaign, Deputy Director of Events

Karrie Wozniak

Karrie Wozniak

OneCause, Chief Marketing Officer

Close Bio

Frank Velásquez Jr.

Founder

Frank Velásquez Jr. is a storyteller extraordinaire, social justice warrior, and community connector. With a heart as big as his vision, Frank dances on the frontlines of change, armed with an unshakeable belief in racial and gender equity. Whether he’s dropping knowledge on the conference stage or brainstorming behind the scenes, Frank’s passion for social justice is as infectious as his smile. And he’s not just connecting us through our stories; he is weaving together a beautiful tapestry of our communities.

As the founder of 4 Da Hood and the mastermind behind the Ascending Leaders in Color fellowship program, he’s forging paths for peeps of color to lead with authenticity, courage, and joy. For Frank, advancing equity isn’t just a job — it’s a movement toward building generational wealth for communities of color.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
1:45 PM

How to Engage Donors Using Community-Centered Practices

55 minutes | 1:45 PM - 2:40 PM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

Fundraising models should respect donors and build strong relationships with them. They must also be centered on the communities who know firsthand what is needed for meaningful change. This session will introduce ways to engage donors differently by fostering a sense of belonging and engaging them in transformative (not transactional) work. Drawing on examples from capital campaigns to donor engagement, Frank Velasquez Jr. & Diana Farias Heinrich will demonstrate how a simple reframing can create powerful collaborations between your organization, your donors, and your community.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recognize the role of nonprofits in engaging donors effectively, emphasizing the shift from donor-centric to community-centric models.
  • Develop strategies for building transformative, not transactional, donor relationships that foster a sense of belonging and partnership.
  • Master asset-based language that focuses on the strengths and contributions of community members.
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Geng Wang

CEO & Co-founder

As CEO of Civic Champs, Geng leads a team of passionate change leaders to deliver the most intuitive and impactful volunteer management software for nonprofits and their champions. Prior to Civic Champs, Geng co-founded and sold two companies, RentJungle.com (an apartment search engine), and Community Elf (a social media management firm). Geng is also a former McKinsey & Company consultant and is a graduate of Michigan State University and Harvard Business School.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 9
8:30 AM

How to Recruit the Next Generation of Volunteers & Donors

55 minutes | 8:30 AM - 9:25 AM | Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement |

We’ve got great news: data is showing that volunteering levels are higher than even pre-pandemic! However, you still have to employ the right tactics to recruit these volunteers and we’re here to teach you how. In this session, Geng Wang will show you how you can recruit volunteers from different generations and how event-based volunteering is one of the most efficient ways to build both your volunteer and donor pipelines. Through hands-on exercises, you will learn to reimagine your marketing and communication tactics to best engage these new generations!

Key Takeaways:

  • What the latest volunteer trends are, including how volunteering levels are higher than ever.
  • The distinctive characteristics of Gen Z volunteers and how they differ from previous generations.
  • How you can unlock the language that speaks to and inspires different generations to volunteer or donate.
  • How to leverage event-based volunteering to foster recurring volunteers and build a new donor pipeline.
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Mike Wilkinson

Deputy Director of Events

Mike Wilkinson is currently the Deputy Director of Events at the Human Rights Campaign where he works with a team of event fundraising professionals to produce 30 signature fundraising dinners nationwide. He previously worked for health-related nonprofit organizations including the National Kidney Foundation and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Mike has worked extensively on creating innovations for on-site fundraising, ticket sales and registration, live and silent auctions and on-stage appeals. Mike and his colleagues at HRC have perfected the live appeal as well as overall event design to maximize the attendee experience in a way that drives revenue results. When he’s not traveling the country for events, Mike is a fitness enthusiast that teaches five workout classes per week.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing

September 10
9:35 AM

Is the Price Right?: How to Raise Event Ticket Prices so your Attendance Grows

55 minutes | 9:35 AM - 10:30 AM | Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising |

In the world of nonprofit event management, pricing tickets effectively is a standout challenge. Join us for a dynamic session filled with actionable strategies and invaluable insights to elevate your event ticket pricing game.

With a focus on high-touch engagement, crafting compelling offers, and enticing first-time purchasers, we’ll delve into proven techniques to attract and retain event attendees. You’ll learn how to harness the power of data-driven pricing strategies to make necessary ticket price increases as painlessly as possible and optimize revenue, all while growing your audience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gain practical tips and tools to boost event attendance and revenue.
  • Learn how to leverage technology to streamline ticketing processes and enhance attendee satisfaction.
  • Discover how subtle differences in ticket packaging and promotion language can influence perceptions of urgency and value.
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Karrie Wozniak

Chief Marketing Officer

Karrie brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, brand strategy, advertising, and sales to her role as Chief Marketing Officer at OneCause. As one of the early-stage executives, she played a key role in building and leading the company including overall growth strategies, sales leadership, event consulting, customer success & overall marketing direction. Her decade-plus commitment to nonprofit fundraising makes Karrie a sought after speaker, industry thought leader, and blog contributor. Her insights on nonprofit fundraising, technology, and communications have been shared at AFP Icon, National Association Education Foundation, ARC National Conference, Giving Institute and more. She’s passionate about helping nonprofits raise more for their missions and committed to driving innovation in the nonprofit sector.

Sessions

  • Activity
  • Event, Peer-to-Peer, & Auction Fundraising
  • Fundraising Strategy & Donor Engagement
  • General Sessions
  • Leadership, Operations, & DEI
  • Storytelling, Brand, & Marketing