2018-2019 Upcoming Events

September 6, 2018 – “Cash Is Not King-How Asset Gifts Create Fundraising Success”, Speaker: Russell James

October 4, 2018 – “Overcoming Donor Objections”, Speakers: Laura Hansen Dean and Pam Davidson

November 1, 2018 – “A Very Significant Donor Just Died.  Now What?!

December 6, 2018 – Discovery-how to learn about a donor’s assets”, Speaker: Cathy Sheffield

February 7, 2019 – “Best Strategies for Gifts of Real Estate”

March 7, 2019 – “Best Strategies for Gifts of Closely-held Business Interests”

April 4, 2019 – “Black, White and Shades of Gray: How to Avoid or Resolve Ethical Dilemmas”

If you wish to request a refund for an event registration, please contact



May 16, 2019 Spring Conference with AFP-IC @ The Willows on Westfield
May 16 @ 8:00 am – 12:30 pm

Extend Your Reach: How Frontline Fundraisers Become Outstanding Gift Officers

Presenting Sponsor:


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.             Registration and Exhibit Show
8:30 – 10:00 a.m.           Program
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.         Break and Exhibit Show
10:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.   Program

Register Now 

In fundraising, collaboration leads to shared success.  Attend this workshop to learn and apply practical tools that combine the skillsets of major gifts and gift planning in ways that do more than just multiply results.  Learn how to extend your reach with colleagues and donors for greater satisfaction on both sides of the table, and enhance your ability to close larger gifts: current, blended and deferred.

The first session introduces the gift conversation from the donor’s side of the coffee table, and a language you can use to engage them in a truly donor-centered way.

The second session introduces interactive case studies that provide opportunities to practice conversational gift planning skills from the earlier session.

Participants will learn:

  • how to lead donors through purposeful discovery conversations, and how those conversations lead to the effective integration of gift planning and major giving.
  • how interactive case studies serve as the tool for sustainable training that equips frontline fundraisers to find more and greater gifts in collaboration with gift planning colleagues and volunteers.


Who Should Attend

This workshop offers frontline fundraisers and gift planning experts alike the opportunity to create collaborative partnerships of mutual benefit.  Executive Directors and key volunteer leaders will benefit particularly from the first of the two sessions.  Invite them to join you to learn more about how to become increasingly effective in collaborative teams that regularly uncover and close gifts of significance for your organization.


Daniel Shephard, CFRE

Dan Shephard is Principal of The Shephard Group, which provides training, coaching, and consulting services focused on the skillsets most valuable to frontline fundraisers.   A veteran of the not-for-profit sector since 1986, Dan knows from personal experience the value to the major gift planner of being equipped with both the competence and the confidence to engage a potential donor in a discussion that will result in a significant gift commitment.

He is the creator of The Four Decisions – How to Lead Your Donor to Each, which serves as the foundation of his training programs on conversational gift planning.

Dan began his fundraising career in the performing arts.  He served as Director of Development for The Fulton Opera House, New American Theatre, and Pittsburgh Public Theatre.

During his time in higher education he served as Planned Giving Director for the Florida State University Foundation, Director of Development for the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Director of Gift Planning for The Citadel Foundation, and Director of Development for the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University.


Craig H. Smith, Senior Consultant, John Brown Limited

Craig is best known for his leadership, personal solicitation skills, and gift planning know-how. His work as Senior Consultant with John Brown Limited spans more than 25 years. He has directed client relations in higher education, the arts, healthcare, and cultural organizations nationwide, including the National Geographic Society; the University of Michigan; all of the campuses of the University of North Carolina; Columbia University; the Smithsonian Institution; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has helped to develop and manage campaigns from as small at $6 million to as large as $2.5 billion.

During his career, Craig served as Associate Vice President for Development at Rochester Institute of Technology, and at the University of Rochester Medical Center. In these roles, he managed large teams of field officers focused on major gifts, as well as corporate and foundation relations, and development communications. At RIT, Craig rolled out a combination of activity and dollar-based metrics to drive day-to-day success, and encouraged the routine use of gift planning tools and techniques in all interactions with donors.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Lead Exhibitor Partner







July 11, 2019 – Webinar: Moving from Tactics to Strategy: Finding the Secret Sauce for Your Gift Planning Marketing @ Newfields
Jul 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

With roughly 1.5 million charities marketing to donors, and so many nonprofit events crowding donor inboxes, it is difficult for nonprofit gift planning marketing to stand out. In this session, you’ll learn how to review your current gift planning marketing plan to avoid the most common pitfalls and address the biggest challenges. You’ll learn how to put together a plan from the top-down—objectives, that drive strategies, that drive tactics in a way that allows you to identify and build on your organization’s secret sauce. Participants will receive tools such as checklists, best practice examples of key points, and practical advice on what to measure and how to use what your learn. The session will give you a new lens on marketing planned gifts and give you a solid platform to communicate with management and coordinate and integrate your campaign into the nonprofit’s organizational marketing plan.

Learning Objectives

Raise awareness and recognition of the most common pitfalls and challenges in gift planning marketing.

Create an intentional way of walking through the steps to craft a strategic marketing plan to engage the nonprofit’s unique donor segments and increase opportunities to close gifts.

Learn what to measure and how to use what you learn to improve results, communicate with management, align organizational marketing, and add purpose to donor conversations.