Event Details

Whether your organization has a full fundraising department or you're a one-person shop, the buy-in and cooperation of the full staff and board can take your fund development strategy from tired to inspired!

Fund development professionals at any stage in their career, staff whose work impacts and informs the fund development strategy or who interact with key stakeholders, and board members will gain practical skills, fresh insights, and new strategies to empower their work at this one-of-a-kind event. Bring the whole team to learn from local, regional, and national experts who will inspire every attendee to say: “We’re All In!”

Symposium Schedule:

8:30 - 9:00 Registration, Refreshments, Networking
9:00 - 9:50 Opening Keynote: Happiness, Habits, & Major Gift Fundraising: Strategies to Survive & Thrive. Amy Eisenstein: Do you ever feel insecure about raising major gifts? Do you have trouble keeping in touch with donors, maintaining a reliable schedule of solicitations, or making the time for cultivation? Do you want to build your confidence and feel inspired? If so, you will not want to miss Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, as she shares stories and insight on working with major gift donors, building relationships, and staying motivated as you work toward changing the world through philanthropy.

Early/Mid-Career Track Breakout Sessions:

  • Prove Your Worth: Metrics for Fundraisers. Emily Keilback: Every fundraiser counts the dollars they bring in to the organization, but sometimes the money you raise doesn’t tell the whole story. Especially in a competitive and challenging fundraising environment, it is important to show your boss and your board that the work you do contributes to more than just the bottom line. Learn how to prove your worth by measuring metrics like donor retention, lapsed donor recall, close rate, increased gifts, and others.
  • The Major Gifts Challenge: 4 steps to Start and Grow your Major Gifts Program. Amy Eisenstein: This session is for executive directors and development staff who want to raise significantly more money for their organizations by making the leap into major gifts fundraising, but haven’t had the courage or know-how to get started. Most nonprofit professionals are not effectively soliciting major gifts for their organizations. If you want to start or grow your individual giving/major gifts program, this session is for you. Whether a major gift for your organization is $1,000 or $10,000, you will learn how ask and receive more major gifts this year.
  • Ethics for Fund Development Professionals. Dr. Alicia Shatteman: Learn about how to create an ethical culture in your organization. What are ethics and how they different from values or morals? Think about how ethics should guide nonprofit boards and employees in practice, specifically fundraising.
  • Integrating Your Fundraising and Marketing Team's Efforts. Emily Hartzog: The success of fundraising and marketing efforts are dependent on one other, but these two departments don’t always work together seamlessly. Create a better marketing-fundraising partnership by learning tips to align goals, improve communications and streamline workflow. Create a win-win dynamic and watch your capabilities soar!

Veteran Track Breakout Sessions:

  • Burnout Prevention: Empower and Retain your Staff, Board, & Donors. Rebecca Fishman Lipsey: Fundraising can be stressful work, and turnover on your team can significantly impact strategic momentum. Learn ways to keep your team focused, energized, and cohesive.
  • Integrating Your Fundraising and Marketing Team's Efforts. Emily Hartzog: The success of fundraising and marketing efforts are dependent on one other, but these two departments don’t always work together seamlessly. Create a better marketing-fundraising partnership by learning tips to align goals, improve communications and streamline workflow. Create a win-win dynamic and watch your capabilities soar!
  • The Science of Fundraising: Recent Discoveries. Dr. Christopher Einolf: In the last ten years, social scientists have done field experiments to test hypotheses about how best to raise money from donors. This lecture presents some of the most relevant and useful findings, including those on lead gifts, matching gifts, suggested donation levels, labeling donors as generous, and giving information about other donors’ gifts.
  • Project Management for Fund Development Professionals. Bridget French: Most nonprofits have to manage multiple fundraising efforts at the same time. Each of these may be managed separately, but they are all connected due to their common goal to raise funds for the organization. This is one of the key factors of successful project management: a project must be viewed as a series of interrelated tasks. Approaching your fundraising efforts with this mindset will help you keep the "big picture" in mind as you work on your separate initiatives.

Board Member Track Breakout Sessions:

  • Train Your Board Members to Raise Money in Less than 15 Minutes Per Month. Amy Eisenstein: The key to increasing board members' involvement in fundraising is to make it simple and manageable. Learn how to train board members to help with fundraising in 15 minutes or less per month. This session will cover training and discussion topics for each board meeting, as well as how to run an effective board retreat, focused on taking the fear out of fundraising.
  • Peer Power Panel: Hear and Learn from Board Members who Excel at Fund Raising. Facilitator: Tiffany Staman, Executive Director, Rockford Area Pregnancy Care Center.
  • **Board members may choose to leave following lunch or stay for the afternoon and attend sessions in either of the two other tracks**

2:50 - 3:40 Closing Keynote: 8 Ways to Ask for Money. Rebecca Fishman Lipsey: This session is for anyone seeking an arsenal of tools to help them raise funds more effectively. Dispel some fundraising myths, share 8 different ways to make an ask, identify the best ask for your next meeting and practice together. In this interactive workshop Rebecca Fishman Lipsey wants to share her most successful strategies with you, model 8 distinct ways to ask for money, and help you strategize for your next fundraising meeting.


3:40 - 4:30 Vendor Fair, Networking, Refreshments

All tracks include lunch mid-day.

Pay for 4 staff members, bring one board member for free!
Pay for 5 staff members, bring a sixth staff person for free!

Thanks to a partnership with AFP - Rockford Chapter, all sessions approved for CFRE credits!

CFRE logo

Presenting Sponsor: Crusader Community Health Foundation

Crusader logo

Symposium Speakers:

  • Dr. Christopher Einolf

    Dr. Christopher Einolf

    Northern Illinois University

    Director, Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies

  • Amy Eisenstein

    Amy Eisenstein

    Amy Eisenstein, LLC

    ACFRE, Consultant

  • Bridget French

    Bridget French

    Rockford Public Schools

    Executive Director of College & Career Readiness

  • Emily Hartzog

    Emily Hartzog

    Chartwell Agency

    Vice President

  • Emily Keilback

    Emily Keilback

    Alpine Bank

    Vice President, Education & Development

  • Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

    Rebecca Fishman Lipsey

    Radical Partners

    Founder, CEO

  • Dr. Alicia Schatteman

    Dr. Alicia Schatteman

    Northern Illinois University

    Associate Professor, Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies and Department of Public Administration


  • When: Fri May. 18
    8:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • Address: 8500 East State Street
    Rockford IL,US 61108

  • Web: Visit Website