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Event Details


Spotlight: Fundraising Rewind 2023

Highlights from MCN's Fundraising Conference

Wednesday, December 13, 09:00 AM - Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 03:30 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 09:00 AM - 03:30 PM
Fee: $129 for MCN members / $169 for nonmembers

In 2023, MCN brought its Nonprofit Fundraising Conference back, and in-person, for the first time since 2019. Almost 500 nonprofit fundraisers and sector colleagues convened in St. Paul for this day of learning and professional development. Now we'd like to share some of this great content as a virtual Spotlight. We're offering four of the highest-rated sessions of the conference to our virtual audience in Minnesota, and members of our partner nonprofit state associations around the country.

Sessions include:

  • Telling Your Story with Data
  • Values Based Donor Qualification
  • Demystifying Donor Advised Funds
  • Audit Your Online Donor Experience 

Spotlights are day-long virtual trainings, offering four to five 60-minute sessions, each exploring a different aspect of a specific topic. Each session will be led by experienced nonprofit leaders and subject-matter experts. Spotlights are designed to offer practical information that can be applied immediately along with larger-picture questions and possibilities to consider for the long-term.  

We know it’s difficult to carve out large chunks of time in your day to attend trainings, so we’ve spread the sessions out over a full day, with breaks in between. You will have access to the session recordings for three months!

Register now for this fast-paced review of important, timely fundraising topics that will help prepare you for a successful 2024!


All sessions listed in Central Time.

9-10 a.m. // 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 that you can use to tell your story.
Allison Liuzzi, research manager and project director, Wilder Foundation

10:30-11:30 a.m. // 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

1-2 p.m. // 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

2:30-3:30 p.m. // 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.
Chris Briggs, major gift officer, Clare Housing and Cary Lenore Walski, nerd-in-chief, Copilot: Web Development & Ongoing Support for Nonprofits

Event Details

This virtual event will take place on the Zoom platform. Your access link will be emailed to you the day before the event after 12 p.m.

These sessions will be recorded. The recordings will be made available to registrants after the live event for three months.

Captioning is provided automatically through Zoom. For information on requesting CART, ASL, or another accommodation, please visit our Registration Policies page.

To learn more about events, registration, and payment, visit our Event & Registration FAQ page.

State Association Partners

Kentucky Nonprofit Network and Common Good Vermont

Speaker Information

Chris BriggsCommitted to ending HIV stigma, Chris Briggs has been raising awareness and funds for those living with HIV and experiencing housing instability in Minnesota since 2014. Chris’ drive to end HIV as we know it today comes from his current work at Clare Housing as a front line caregiver and major gift officer.

Allison LiuzziAs project director of Minnesota Compass, Allison Liuzzi (she/her) works with a team of researchers to describe and measure progress on topics related to our shared quality of life in Minnesota. She has particular interest in demographic trends, employment and workforce development, and immigration. Allison joined Wilder Research in 2012. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Luther College, her master's degree from Michigan State University, and completed her doctoral coursework in sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Allison lives with her family in Saint Paul’s Como Park neighborhood.

Sarah StaigerSkill in asking the right questions has set Sarah Staiger apart in her career. Her inquisitiveness and relational skill create space for people and organizations to become deeply curious, laying the groundwork for change. Curiosity can begin to break away at outdated systems that cause harm, it can allow for vulnerability and growth, and it can help us imagine our very best future and determine what it will take to get there. Sarah’s time as a fundraiser, coach and communicator and her passion for building power through organized people and organized money. Sarah's master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership connected her fundraising work to policies and systems. Make her day and invite a conversation about power dynamics in our work and lives.

Heidi TieszenAs a philanthropic advisor at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Heidi Tieszen partners with individuals, couples, families, and corporations to realize their charitable goals and make an impact. Prior to the Foundation, Heidi worked at Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota Foundation in both stewardship and major gifts. She previously worked in marketing at companies including Bain Capital and Bain & Company. She has an English degree from Augustana College (now University) in Sioux Falls. Heidi serves as a board member of the Real Estate Riders, a bike team raising money for the MS Society, and is a member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. She also volunteers at Every Meal.

Laura VitelliLaura Vitelli knows the joys and challenges of working to create change in our homes, institutions, and communities. With 30 years as a nonprofit leader, she’s experienced the days when everything seems to be coming together and the days when you ask is ‘why does it have to be so hard?’.  Laura works with clients to build capacity so that it doesn’t have to be so hard. Nonprofit leaders with big visions count on her to help crystalize and communicate their strategy and to secure the sustainable resources to make it happen. She is a master planner able to help teams set big goals and map the path to achieve them. Laura’s work experience is supported by her MBA in nonprofit management.

Cary Lenore WalskiCary Lenore Walski is nerd-in-chief of Copilot: Web Development & Ongoing Support for Nonprofits. Cary is an award-winning web developer using her knowledge of psychology and the arts to create better online experiences for nonprofits. She works primarily using the WordPress and Squarespace platforms. As a former digital fundraiser herself, she knows how to do a lot with the limited resources available to most social impact organizations. She graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College with a B.A. in psychology. Her many interests include ethical nonprofit storytelling.

Jeremy WellsJeremy R. Wells serves as senior vice president of Philanthropic Services at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. Jeremy serves as the chief fundraising and donor stewardship strategist. He is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas and is a frequently requested speaker on a variety of advancement and fund development topics, including charitable tax policy, development planning, utilizing volunteers, donor engagement, stewardship, ethics, and campaign strategy. In addition to his work, Jeremy has served on many local, regional, and national nonprofit boards, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Global board of directors and the AFP Political Action Committee board. He was also selected as a “40 Under 40” recipient by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal in 2018. He holds M.A. and CFRE designations.

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