2020 National Conference

March 2-4, 2020
Loews Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

Workshop Descriptions

Workshop Session A - Tuesday, March 3, 10:00 - 11:00 AM


Skip the Red Carpet
Teresa Benden, College Station ISD Education Foundation

Let's face it. Most of us depend on fundraising events to generate support we need for our programs. It's okay to host events, but if you want to create a more sustainable and loyal donor base, annual campaigns are your best bet. We'll talk about how to develop your annual giving program and give your donors the recognition they crave. We'll also share practical tips on how to set goals, work strategically on long-term donor development and solicitation. You don't have to give up your events, just marry it with your annual giving program and save time for both you and your donors.

Student Programs

Community Engagement - Building the Case for Broader Support
Bill Hoffman, Bill Hoffman & Associates
Stacy Baier, Pinellas Education Foundation
Julie Rocco, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
Chuck Tiernan, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Ever been on a Data Walk? Learn how an Interactive Data Walk is one critical (and fun!) piece for engaging community groups and members to work towards specific areas of educational attainment gains. The Data Walk is one way to add people to the effort and get everyone engaged in the same direction (which leads to expanded resources). The Pinellas Education Foundation has been working with funders and community partners using local research designed to lead directly to community action on specific issues. The results are in – and it’s amazing how engaging the community in the conversation can lead to direct actions by a variety of groups. Learn the process, approach and initial results in a form that will help you implement this in your community.
Board Development

Forging a High Performing Board-Staff Partnership
Melinda Heinritz, Foundation for Madison's Public Schools Inc.

Creating conditions for an effective strategic planning process and moving into successful implementation requires a high-performing board-staff partnership,
one built on candid communication, trust and mutual accountability. With 50 schools and 27,000 students to serve, we knew we needed to deliver far more
resources to our public schools in order to fulfill our mission and to support the district's vision. Learn about the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools strategic
plan, culminating in our 20th anniversary in 2021, and how we used our planning efforts to drive transformational change within our organization. Along the way, we reevaluated existing programs, launched new services and began exploring new service concepts such as an alumni network, a teachers supply program and a crowdfunding platform. As important as the strategic plan itself, the Foundation board and staff have made significant progress in diversifying and increasing operating resources.


Put Your Website to Work: A Deep Dive into Digital Trends
Molly Coke, Firespring

You work hard and wear a lot of hats—with no time to buy the matching shoes. Changing the world can be stressful work. We’d like to help lighten your workload and preserve your sanity. Go beyond the basics and take a deep dive into digital trends with Molly Coke as she talks about how to leverage technology to help support your mission and make your life easier.

You’ll learn:
• How to use the latest in marketing automation to engage your donors.
• Key ways to leverage your marketing efforts to increase fundraising
• How to convert supporters with powerful landing pages.
• The key fundamentals to a website that works harder than a brochure site.
• How to self-evaluate the power of your website

Board Development

How to Reduce Your Liability and Other Insurance Issues
Pierre Brailsford, Association Insurance Management, Inc.

Your event is decorated, everyone has arrived, the fundraiser is making money, everyone is happy.   But then someone gets hurt and you realize that you forgot to purchase insurance...now what?  What if you discover some of the fundraising money was stolen? Or someone is accusing you as an officer of wrongful actions? Don’t put yourself in that situation. This learning workshop will discuss the liability your foundation faces, what coverage and limits are available and how to protect yourself and your Foundation. Bring your questions, we’ll leave plenty of time at the end for you to ask them.

Workshop Session B - Tuesday, March 3, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM


Small Shop Foundations: Trying to Do it All
Abigayle Tobia, North Allegheny Foundation

Building a fresh fundraising program is exciting – you can design everything the right way the first time! If your Foundation is just starting out or has limited resources, come learn key strategies and techniques in the areas of prospect research, donor management and alumni engagement that can build a strong framework for exponential growth. Our goal is to set fundraising strategies based on best practices with engaged board members so that as the organization grows, fundraising can too.

We will discuss the most powerful questions you can ask a donor, mission marketing, how to make the most of special events and grow beyond them with a thoughtful donor engagement plan, gift recognition practices, development planning, direct mail and the right mix of events with other strategies. There are many smart, cost-effective ways to increase support of your organization. Join us as we share some of resources and tricks to making it work on a slim budget as you build a strong fundraising foundation.

Student Programs

Understanding and Responding to the Hunger Needs in Your District
Alison Reese, Souper Bowl of Caring
Brent Severe, Granite Education Foundation

Until our children are fed, no number of great programs or initiatives will help them meet their potential. Every school district must consider the implications of inaction on the overall success of their school district. The Souper Bowl of Caring nation-wide campaign has been a catalyst for helping school foundations do more to support families in their districts. The campaign transforms the Big Game into a movement inspiring people to give locally and make a collective impact on hunger through a food drive that can be done that can directly impact school food pantries. In this session education foundation leaders will receive information and case studies demonstrating how hunger relief has become a part of the success for the school district and its teachers. 

Board Development

Navigating Structural Changes During a Critical Campaign
Denella Clark, Boston Arts Academy Foundation

Like many school Foundations, the Boston Arts Academy Foundation’s transition from functioning as a development department for Boston Arts Academy, to operating as an independent 501(c)(3) during a five-year, $30 million comprehensive campaign, has been challenging. This presentation and open discussion will address how to navigate maintaining productive relationships with various constituents, achieve fundraising goals, build long-term financial sustainability, and provide the resources that talented faculty, students and alumni need to succeed, now and for many years to come.


The Road to Alumni Engagement
Nancy Jennings, Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation
Donna Frisby-Greenwood, The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia
John Barber III, The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia

John Burgraff, Alumni Nations

Join us to travel through our journeys to launch our respective alumni associations. Philly Alumni is engaging graduates from the eighth largest school district in the nation, with a student population of over 203,000 young scholars. Farmington Public Schools is a traditional suburban district with a student population of just over 9,000. You’ll learn how we came up with our respective concepts, developed our brands, choose our partners, and ultimately kicked off our alumni programs. We’ll share some of our setbacks, how we made adjustments, and our early successes. We’ll also share our long-term visions to create engagement with our graduates and community supporters. Participants will leave feeling confident they can create a workable alumni engagement strategy in their district regardless of size- and with a tool kit for community and alumni engagement. 

Student Programs

Build a Bag, Build a Community
Christine Liberaski, North Penn School District Educational Foundation
Kaitlyn Andrey, North Penn School District Educational Foundation

People are busy and it seems more difficult than ever to get them engaged in the work of your Foundation. But very few people can say no when it comes to helping children in need. In 2018, the North Penn School District Educational Foundation called upon its community to support them in creating a program that ensured each student began the school year fully equipped with the supplies and confidence needed to succeed through the North Penn Community Build-A-Bag Backpack and School Supply Drive. Over the last two years not only have we provided hundreds of stuffed backpacks to students, but through community engagement we have raised the profile of the Foundation as well. In this informative workshop learn how you too can organize a successful campaign, how to find partners in your community with whom to work and what it takes to sustain the program. 

Workshop Session C - Tuesday, March 3, 3:00 - 4:00 PM


Experiencing Explosive Growth: Annual Sponsorship and the 5% Rule
Sara Bender

The Avon Education Foundation has been in existence since 2007 and has experienced explosive growth since August 2017. This growth overall can be attributed to two strategies: leveraging Annual Sponsorship and focusing on opportunities that have the potential to increase the Annual Fund by 5% or more. At AEF, Annual Sponsorship refers to a sponsorship level that is invoiced annually on a continuous, ongoing basis until the business requests to increase or decrease their commitment level. The 5% rule is borrowed from the for-profit sales sector and hinges on the theory that experiencing exponential growth is related to focusing efforts on opportunities that have the potential to grow an organization's annual bottom line by 5% or more. By applying these two strategies, AEF experienced revenue growth of 225% in 22 months, stabilized cash flows as well as tripled the number of programs
supported by the foundation. 

Student Programs

Bringing Afterschool Enrichment to Your School Stress Free
Scott Hodne, 6crickets, Inc.

Parents work 2000+ hours and students are in school for just 1080 hours. So, after-school and summer time are half of the story of K-12 education and a key area where school foundations can make a big difference in student’s lives. In this session, we will demonstrate how a foundation can help build a vibrant after-school enrichment program stress-free, while supporting equity at the same time. An innovative approach will be shared on how to effectively partner with small educational businesses in their local communities to provide quality enrichment programming, how to embrace novel technologies to automate and simplify operations and ensure student safety, and how to use programs to effectively raise funds for their schools while also creating scholarships to support underprivileged students.

Board Development

Have the Best Education Foundation Board Meetings Ever!
Laurie Cromwell, Foundation Innovation, Inc.
Chris Ary, Blue Springs Education Foundation

It’s party time! Isn’t that what you want to hear from your board members when attending an education foundation board meeting? Learn ideas in this session to take your board meetings from snooze-fest to engaged and inspirational sessions. Board members want to feel their time is valued, so let’s work on a dynamic and opportunity driven discussion during board meetings that will keep your board attendance high and board members excited about attending board meetings.


It's All About Community! Attracting and Engaging Champions for Education
Angela Lynch, Chambersburg Area School District Foundation
Dr. Dion Betts, Chambersburg Area School District Foundation

Looking for creative ways to share your foundation's mission and build trust and collaborative relationships across all facets of your community on a limited budget? This session will share innovative initiatives that have successfully resulted in a large cadre of new volunteers, a deeper pool of first-time donors, and a sizable footprint in the community where none existed before. We will outline what has worked for us relative to communication techniques with the business community, interaction with retired educators and administrators as well as involvement with current staff, students and alumni. We will also provide helpful hints on how to partner with your superintendent, expand your organization's reach and share call to action to ensure your efforts are on the radar. We will also present our plan to take this new co mmunity awareness to the next level as we further enhance our creative partnerships for future growth. 


How to Begin a Major Gifts Campaign with Limited Resources
Dawn Meyer, Loudoun Education Foundation

Dawn Meyer, Executive Director of the Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF), will share how the LEF grew from a $500,000 to a $2M Education Foundation in just 3 years and is currently working on a $15M Campaign. At the heart of the presentation, we will share how to use your limited resources and strategic relationships to: align your Foundation with your school system and donors, develop a board of directors that will be connectors and fundraisers, and build a talented staff. While some organizations are interested and ready for major gift campaigns, they decided against the effort because they don't have many of the 'best practices' in place (ie. database, website, newsletter, etc.). Our intention is to share how small and medium size education foundations are in fact ready to build a major gifts strategy and can simultaneously build out these structures using strategic relationships with staff, board, donors, and your school division.

Workshop Session D - Wednesday, March 4, 9:00 - 10:00 AM


Community Collaborations Create STEAM for Students
Mary Melon, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools works jointly with our school district to match community partners with schools and their needs. Through strategic partnerships and a great deal of collaboration, we undertook fundraising of $1 million to place STEAM Centers in each of our 33 elementary schools...and did it in just 4 months. This presentation will share details about how this effort was successful, as well as the many challenges overcome and valuable lessons learned along the way.

Student Programs

Developing a Grant Workflow
Nancy Jennings
, Farmington Hills Education Foundation
Anne Hossner, Foundant Technologies

This presentation will showcase tool and best practices on how to build out a Grants workflow and program. We will focus on streamlining a grant workflow to help save staff time, collect the meaningful data, engage the right people for your evaluation stage, and ensure a good applicant experience. Different workflows and tools will be covered for all sizes of Education Foundations. 

Board Development

Strategic Planning: The Importance of Planning
Anne Baunach
, CFRE, CEFL, Highline Schools Foundation

Highline Schools Foundation is a 20-year-old non-profit organization located in the suburbs of Seattle. While the organization had been very successful in the work that they had done - they had never completed a strategic planning process to set shared vision and goals for the organization. This session will provide the nuts and bolts of how the organization undertook strategic planning - from the group that they assembled to do the work to the agendas from the various meetings that were held. At the end of this session, participants will walk away with a clear plan for taking on their own strategic planning process.


Importance of Community Involvement with Education Foundations
Marsha Kocurek
, Caldwell Education and Leadership Foundation

Education foundations face significant funding cuts in state and federal government budget cuts, which ultimately leads to reduced funding for students and staff. Budget cuts after the 2007-2009 financial recession have resulted in dramatic budget changes for public schools to raise needed funds to ensure student needs are met. Historically, public school education foundations were created, based on the model of higher education foundations, to raise funds as a tax-free organization from local communities in order to meet the needs of public education school systems. Over time, these foundations have also become a resource to meet the needs of students and staff through needs-based programs to fill community specific needs of students. Through the lens of the theory of change for education foundations, this presentation discusses the roles of education foundations in their communities. 


A Lesson Plan in Bringing Business Community Support to Schools
Ellen Lissy Rosenburg, The Goldenberg Group
Donna Frisby-Greenwood, The Fund for the School System of Philadelphia

In 2018, The Goldenberg Group and The Fund launched the inaugural “Dress Down for Philly Public Schools” initiative to raise funds and build support for our schools. Now in its second year, more than 3,500 shirts resulting in more than $110,000 in sales are benefiting 203 schools, which is 92% of the city’s 221 schools. Dress Down Philly is modeled after the school-based dress down days where kids make a small contribution (usually $1 or $2) to wear jeans and t-shirts instead of their uniforms but is targeted to the professional & business community to create connections and generate support for the schools themselves. Contributions can be directed to benefit a school of their choice, directly responding to the priorities and needs of that school as identified by the principal and school leadership. This session will serve as a ‘how to’ and also explore how public private partnership can be used to fundraise with alternative measures and build pride in public education

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