All Breakout Sessions
9:45-10:45 a.m. Round I Breakout Sessions
Audit Your Online Donor Experience
Is your online donor experience leaving supporters feeling warm and fuzzy or confused and frustrated? Together we will use two or more case studies from nonprofit panelists and deconstruct how their online donor experience could be improved. We will look at the entire user pathway from entry point to email receipt and you will leave with concrete ideas for how you can audit and improve your own online experience. If you're feeling brave and would like to have a chance for your online donor experience analyzed for free by two industry experts, please email email@example.com.
Chris Briggs, major gift officer, Clare Housing; Karen Graham, founder, Karen Graham Consulting; and Cary Lenore Walski, nerd-in-chief, Copilot: Web Development & Ongoing Support for Nonprofits
Demystifying Donor Advised Funds
While donor advised funds have become much more mainstream across the nonprofit sector, there are still a great deal of questions and confusion around these flexible giving vehicles. In this session, the presenters will share a brief history of donor advised funds (DAFs), discuss exactly how DAFs work and why different individuals, families, and organizations may choose to use them to accomplish their charitable giving goals. They will look at the various types of DAF providers out there and discuss some of the critiques and public policy discussions currently surrounding DAFs. Most importantly, they will share information on how nonprofits can do a better job of working with DAFs, both through the individuals and organizations that use them as well as with community foundations. This aims to be a very interactive session, so bring your great questions as well!
Heidi Tieszen, philanthropic advisor and Jeremy R. Wells, senior vice president of Philanthropic Services, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
Telling Your Story with Data
You have an important story to tell. Whether it’s to a funder, policymakers, or your clients, data can help you paint a clearer picture of your community or those you serve. In this session, learn how to use data in ways that tell a story. Topics will include why we use data, how to construct a story with data, and how to make sure you are using data in ways that are meaningful. Presenters will share free tools and resources available on Minnesota Compass (www.mncompass.org) that you can use to tell your story.
Allison Liuzzi, research manager and project director, Wilder Foundation
Values Based Donor Qualification
We know you’re searching for ways to center your community and move as much money to mission as possible. You want to be sure that your donors are part of your community–not the center of it. You’re committed to fundraising in a way that creates a more just and equitable community. Join us for Values-Based Donor Qualification. We’ll share our framework for how you can use your organization’s values to guide your decisions about who you include in your one-to-one fundraising portfolio.
Sarah Staiger and Laura Vitelli, partners, Staiger | Vitelli and Associates
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Round II Breakout Sessions
Believe: Working Together with Prospect Research and Frontline Fundraisers
Whether you've worked frequently with prospect research professionals or never heard of them, let's talk about how frontline fundraisers can incorporate prospect research into their everyday work. We will discuss how to use this information in or out of a campaign. If your organization does not have resources for a researcher, participants will also learn how to conduct basic research.
Angela Bernhardt, director of major gifts, Hammer & NER and Sarah Price, managing director, Research Services, BWF
Equity in State Grantmaking: Accessing State Dollars for your Nonprofit
The state of Minnesota disburses over $1 billion annually in grant awards to nonprofits whose work has profound positive impacts on communities and individuals throughout all of Minnesota’s regions. The ability of culturally grounded nonprofits and those serving remote areas to meet their specific community needs is particularly vital, yet these organizations often face barriers in applying for and managing state grant awards. This workshop will assist participants in assessing their readiness to access state grants and help demystify the applcation process, with the goal of increasing the number of small, rural, and/or culturally grounded organizations that feel prepared to respond to state funding request for proposals.
Laura Jones, Development Manager, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Grow Your Own: Elevating BIPOC Staff via Grantwriting
This session will focus on the opportunity for organizations to lead by example as they work towards equity in their work and workplaces. We will discuss the importance of BIPOC grant writers to increasing awards, educating funders, and offering avenues for access to the power and privilege of foundations. The presenters will tell their stories of their professional paths as white and Black grant professionals and demonstrate the power of writing from the standpoint of lived experience. The session will include guidance on how to leverage the skills and experiences of staff who are interested in becoming grant writers and the internal benefits to an organization of “growing your own.” This session is beneficial to managers and directors who oversee grant writing as well as new grant writers and staff who are interested in entering this field.
Tiffany Dykes, principal, TM Dykes Consulting and senior writer, Tikkun Grant Advancement and Emily Greenwald Johnson, principal, Tikkun Grant Advancement
How Ethical Creative is Transforming Fundraising Best Practices
Fundraising best practices are changing rapidly from the way we refer to our donors to the words and photos we use to describe our work. It’s a lot to take in, and it can seem overwhelming. However, as fearless fundraisers and champions for the common good, it’s our responsibility to move our industry forward, and that means focusing on inclusion, equity, and human dignity in every step of our fundraising process. In this session, you’ll learn how a focus on ethical creative can help facilitate more authentic connections with your community-- and drive fundraising results. We’ll discuss new best practices for storytelling and photo use and consider the role of AI within the ethical creative framework.
Zoe Clarke and Maggie Flanagan, senior account executives, Mal Warwick Donordigital
Planned Giving For Nonprofits
Planned giving, or legacy giving, is a long-term strategy to support charitable missions. Larger charities may have entire departments dedicated to soliciting and stewarding planned gifts (most colleges and universities, for example). Smaller, younger organizations may rightly think they should focus first on more immediate giving to sustain their work. There comes a time when the urgency of the present needs to give way to planning for a more sustainable future. The East Side Freedom Library is just beginning its legacy giving effort. Learn from their co-founders how they went from traditional efforts like grants and individual donors, to recurring donors, to the planning process for the long term in their legacy giving effort. Groups like Leave a Legacy Minnesota have great information on these tools. Check those out and come with your questions for a great discussion of a 10-year-old nonprofit beginning this work.
Steve Boland, managing partner, Next in Nonprofits; Peter Rachleff, director and Terri Fishel, volunteer, East Side Freedom Library
Raise More with Gambling the Legal Way
Does your organization have a fundraising event with a raffle, wine pull, or other game? Are you looking to add something exciting to your next event? Games can be a great way to create fun, excitement, and inclusivity at a fundraising event, but you need to understand what is required from the Minnesota Gambling Control Board to execute these types of revenue at your event. In this session you will learn the basics of what is and isn’t allowed, how to design games that fit within the law, and some tips on best practices for required reporting.
Mallory Evans and Amanda Skorich, partners, Fundraising Solutions by A&M
2:15 - 3:15 p.m. Round III Breakout Sessions
Five Foolproof Steps to Every Non-Cash Gift
We know that very little of America’s wealth is held in cash; however, few nonprofits are ready to accept gifts of things like real estate, farm equipment, or privately-held stock. These assets can feel intimidating, but with some practical skills every nonprofit can do it confidently. This session will outline a 5-Step process that can be applied to every non-cash gift to make it go smoothly from beginning to end. The audience will walk away understanding how to: confidently discuss non-cash assets with donors; collect the right information about the asset; evaluate the asset for opportunity and risk; accept or decline the asset respectfully; and Manage or liquidate the asset.
Dana Holt, CEO & philanthropic strategist, HOLT Consulting, LLC
Lessons Learned from Practicing Community-Centric Fundraising
Commonly misunderstood as the opposite of donor-centric fundraising, community-centric fundraising (CCF) is a movement that encourages fundraisers to re-examine the philosophy and practice we’ve been taught and approach the work in ways that reduce harm and further social justice. We’ll hear stories and lessons learned from a variety of fundraisers about how they practice CCF in their respective roles as consultant, front line fundraiser and executive director. Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of what CCF seeks to accomplish, the ways in which it makes our field better for everyone and actionable steps fundraising firms can take towards furthering social justice.
Clara Jung, associate director of philanthropic giving, Macalester College and fundraising coach, Aligned Strategy Group; Mallory Mitchell, co-founder, Aligned Strategy Group; Sarah Staiger fundraising coach and consultant, STAIGER | VITELLI and Associates LLC; and Aaron Zimmerman, executive director, PFund Foundation
Leveraging AI Technology to Optimize Efficiency and Maximize Impact
This introductory presentation aims to demystify Artificial Intelligence (AI) and highlight its potential benefits for nonprofits. We will delve into the ways in which AI can help you save time, reduce costs, and enhance your communication efforts. By the end of this session, you will gain practical insights and feel empowered to leverage AI to improve your nonprofit's work and drive its mission forward in achievable ways.
Carly Kortuem, executive director, Qué Tal
Practical Pre-Planning Steps For Your Capital Campaign
Think you might want to embark on a capital or comprehensive campaign? Confused or overwhelmed about where to start, if your organization is ready, if you have capacity, or if a campaign is the answer? This session will help shed light on campaign readiness, explain three critical things you must do prior to embarking on a campaign, and how to pivot if a campaign isn't the right next step. Get your questions answered and leave with a toolkit to help you prepare if and when the time is right.
Melissa Cuff, director of development and communications, Avenues for Youth and Frances Roen, founder, Fundraising Sol
Radical Philanthropy: The Waterers Advocacy for Funding Reform
The Waterers are disruptors of philanthropy that stemmed out of Local Control, Local Fields, an initiative of ArtPlace America. The Waterers are the entrusted fund stewards of the Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native Nations geographic region Assembly. Our Assembly centers Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) creatives as leaders. Our gift-making strategy attends to the nuance and complexities of this region. This session will share the values and vision of the Waterers and include examples of their work.
Keila Anali Saucedo, executive productions assistant, Pangea World Theater and assembly member, The Waterers
There All Along: Fundraising Coaching for Replicable Success
When Minnesota nonprofits told GiveMN they weren’t confident their current fundraising strategies could meet their missions, we responded with something different from a traditional consultancy. RaiseMN fundraising coaching fills the critical gap identified by our partners by helping nonprofit leaders to build their organizational sustainability and a stronger sector in the process. Coaches believe nonprofit leaders are the experts on their missions and supporters. They guide partners through questions and exercises designed to help them build their confidence to realize and repeat success year after year—and help organizations discover that the skills they need to be effective fundraisers were there all along. GiveMN staff will lead participants through a group coaching session designed to build fundraising knowledge, confidence, and outcomes. Attendees will walk away with concrete and accessible tools for strengthening their capacity beyond the conference.
Jenna Ray, deputy executive director for Community Impact and Clara Lind, director of coaching, GiveMN
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Round IV Breakout Sessions
Bigger Isn't Always Better: Year End Appeal
Direct mail for fundraising has been around for decades, but is sending out thousands of letters and emails a thing of the past? Have you ever thought of challenging your current fundraising strategy and diversifying your tactics? In this session, you will hear about how one organization took a huge risk to change year-end mailing and increase year-end giving by 400%.
Lindsey Hemker, development manager, SPARK Children’s Museum of Rochester
Challenging Philanthropy: Asking for Game-Changing Gifts
A few years ago, Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas shook the nonprofit world and emboldened fundraisers to push back on the power imbalance between grantors and grantees. Philanthropy has failed to solve most of the problems that perpetuate poverty. After a century of giving the core issues of housing, healthcare, education, and food insecurities have only gotten worse. Building on the successful pushback initiated by GrantAdvisor and #fixtheform, this session will give you a better understanding of the systemic issues that keep money in the hands of those in power. You’ll practice challenging privilege in a bold and respectful way and land meaningful gifts that make real change possible.
Daryl K. Yankee, owner/operator, Daryl K Yankee Consulting LLC
Creative Fundraising Tips & Tricks for Smaller Nonprofits
When fundraising is only one of your many hats, just making the grant deadline or getting the year-end appeal written is often all that matters. But what if…there were little tricks and tips that upped your game and helped you freshen your pitch, added some new sparkle to your annual event, spotted some unspotted low-hanging fruit, deepened your connections to your donors, or helped you get things done better and faster? Little things, simple things, that made it easier and (gasp) more fun to raise funds. This workshop is a face-paced “share” of tried-and-true creative tips and tricks to help you enhance your fundraising work. We’ll cover things like how YOU are most creative, ideas for each fundraising basket, simple and clever ideas for individual giving, ways to know and love your donors better, and how to get your donors to share their love of your organization.
Terre Thomas, former executive director, Small Sums and Sierra Hegstrom, owner and photographer, Sierra Madre Photography