By Drew Fox Jordan • June 24, 2021

    Sessions We Are Looking Forward To at AFP ICON 2021

    This year, AFP ICON will look a little bit different as a 100 percent virtual event. However, Gravyty is still excited to return to this year's conference to help you learn best industry practices, connect with fellow fundraising professionals, and drive impact at your organization.

    AFP ICON 2021: How You Can Connect With Gravyty

    There are lots of exciting sessions we are looking forward to, but a couple stood out to us. Here are the sessions we are most looking forward to this year at AFP ICON. 

    Creative Fundraising Campaigns for 2021: How to Amplify Results with Artificial Intelligence

    Throughout a significantly challenging year, NPOs and fundraisers have gained stature by finding ways to help. In this session, seasoned fundraiser Megan Sanko will remind leaders why this is their time to get creative with fundraising campaigns to inspire and spread philanthropic outcomes as we all reemerge into our communities.

    Presenter: Megan Sanko, Customer Success Manager at Gravyty

    5 Trends with the Power to Change Major Gifts Fundraising

    Major gift fundraisers are laser-focused on donors—but sector-wide trends are changing the field as we know it. We will explore the big picture, bringing together nonprofit leaders to discuss the changing donor demographics, the decline in broad-based giving, the impact of the events of the last year, the relentless emphasis on outcomes, and more.

    Presenters: Mary Nemerov, Chief Philanthropy Officer at the California Academy of Sciences; Jatrice Martel Gaiter, Executive Vice President, External Affairs for Volunteers of America; Christina Yoon, Vice President, and Director, East Region for Campbell & Company; Joshua Else, former associate Dean for External Affairs at the Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Plan, Commit, Succeed: Reimagine Your Fundraising Roadmap Through an Effective Development Plan

    Whether you're at a small development shop or at a large nonprofit, you've got to have a roadmap to guide fundraising activities. Learn how to create a development plan using a proven template; determine effective tactics for different revenue streams; and identify opportunities for increasing support via internal/external engagement.

    Presenter: Jennifer N. Broome, CFRE, VP, Philanthropy at American Forests; Nadine Gabai-Botero, President of Focus Fundraising

    Embracing the Power of Your Legacy Pipeline

    Wondering how to move donors to leave a gift in their will? This interactive session will show you how simple it is to implement a 3-step pipeline to inspire donors to leave a legacy and how to design engaging and personalized donor journeys that excite and strengthen relationships with donors.

    Presenter: Ligia Peña, CFRE, Global Legacy Manager at Greenpeace International

    Handling Objections: Turning Hesitation into Commitment

    Reshape the way you see donor objections. When addressed strategically, objections can pave the way toward a successful ask. Together we will learn how to uncover donors’ hidden concerns, identify types of objections you might encounter, and explore strategies to overcome objections and deepen trust with your donor.

    Presenter: Tamika Franklin, Director of Development, Preuss School UC San Diego

    Confronting Systemic Racism: A Wholistic View with a Fundraising Lens

    How do we become aware of racism within our sector, our organizations, teams, and ourselves? Once discovered, what steps can fundraisers take to eliminate racism and realize new realities for their organizations? The AFP IDEA Committee has curated timely content for fundraisers who are working to end racism in the nonprofit sector on a deeper and tactical level, with a specific focus for those on the front line of fundraising. Join our AFPICONTalk speakers as they discuss the social science of organizations, becoming an anti-racist organization, becoming a fundraising ally to BIPOC communities, and maintaining our personal well-being and resilience as we do this work. With action steps and plenty of time for Q&A, this workshop will be part of our personal and organizational journeys to greater equity.

    Presenters: Dr. Karen A. Johnson, Director, Washington State Office of Equity; John Huebler, Senior Associate Director of Major Gifts, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Tesse Akpeki, lead consultant for Bates Well London LLP; Aaron Rodgers, Director of Development, Hyde Park Art Center

    Fundraising for Nonprofit Board Members - Getting Them On-Board to Reach Fundraising Goals

    Almost every organization expects its board members to fundraise, but almost as many say they have trouble getting their board members to do it. This session shows you how to motivate your board members to fundraise and give you and them practical tools to do it more effectively and fruitfully.

    Presenter: Wayne Olson, head of gift planning, Intermountain Foundation

    Diversifying Fundraising Efforts to Build Resilience in the Months Ahead

    Nonprofits looking to go “back to normal” after the pandemic may leave themselves vulnerable. To minimize the impact of future disruption, Ariana Younai, Head of LinkedIn for Nonprofits, and Grace Rochford Everitt, LinkedIn for Nonprofits’ East Coast Manager, will discuss opportunities for organizations to build resilience by diversifying fundraising revenue.

    Presenter: Ariana Younai, LinkedIn for Nonprofits

    What To Do With Events When Events Are The Only Thing You Can’t Do

    The session will demonstrate how fundraising events pivoted and were still able to advance major gift strategies and serve as key tools to cultivate and steward your donors and prospects while increasing their connections with your organization and its mission; which was needed more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Presenter: Meagan O'Flaherty, Strategic Events Officer, Hackensack Meridian Health Foundation

    Strengthening your Mental Fitness to Manage Stress and Thrive in Uncertain Times

    Join your peers in an exploration of mental fitness and how it can transform your personal and professional life. In this session, participants will be introduced to tools and resources to improve their mental fitness and develop their own mental “workout” plan to alleviate burnout, distraction, and loss of productivity.

    Presenters: Traci Weller, CFRE, CSPG, Senior Director of Estate Trust and Gift Planning, Montana State University-Bozeman; Melissa Dulin, CFRE, Director of Philanthropy, The Trust for Public Lands (Northern Rockies)

    Who’s a Philanthropist? I am.

    As communities of color grow in wealth and influence, and women from all racial backgrounds lead through philanthropy, common perceptions of who society sees as a “philanthropist” are being challenged as never before. Women Give 2019 explores the intersection of race, gender, and giving, dispelling myths about who is philanthropic.

    Presenter: Jeannie Sager, Director of Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

    Major Gifts: From Concept to Close in 100 Days

    Alignment with the donor’s decision-making process is key to both successful and efficient major gift solicitations. This session discusses key principals of aligning your cultivation and solicitations with the donors’ decision-making process as well as how to recruit and organize the rest of your team to best support your efforts.

    Presenter: Benjamin Wirick, AVP Development, AltaMed

    Uncomfortable Conversations with Donors

    Ever dread calling a particular donor out of fear that they might make an inappropriate comment about race, politics, or gender? This has happened to many of us, and there is no avoiding these uncomfortable conversations. Learn some key takeaways and how to identify a potential conflict from this discussion.

    Presenter: Quentin Moore, Director of Development, Project for Pride in Living; Christina DeVries, Director of Development, Students United; Elodie Lee, Donor Engagement Officer, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative; Mina Kobayashi, Development Manager, Genesys Works Twin Cities; Sarah Staiger, Director of Advancement, Beacon

    Uncovering Your Authentic Leadership

    Transformation is underway in the nonprofit sector. Millions of baby boomers are exiting and you are up! Come uncover who you are as an authentic leader through this interactive session that will help you define your leadership style and goals.

    Presenter: Bret Heinrich, President/CEO, Wings of Hope

    Donor Love: Brain, Data, and Experience to Supercharge Your Donor Retention

    Have you ever wondered what "donor love" means in practice and how to measure it? With the help of neuroscience and real fundraising cases from around the world, this session will show how to engage donors using science, experience, and data to supercharge the lifetime value (LTV) of donors.

    Presenter: Francesco Saverio Ambrogetti, Global Lead of Supporter Engagement, UNICEF

    Curious to see how AI is helping nonprofit organizations all across the country reach and exceed their fundraising goals ahead of this year's conference? See a Gravyty demo today and learn about what we bring to philanthropy:


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