Day 1 - Wednesday, October 13, 2021

All times Central Standard Time (CST)

Schedule is subject to change 

Special Thanks to:


12:30pm  Registration for Conference Retreats Open 

1:00-5:00pm  Conference Retreats per Affinity Group

CEO Retreat
Banish Delusional Altruism and Make Friends with The Monsters Under Your Bed

Atrium Room

Speakers:  Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Megan Barber Allende

Track:  Leadership

Ambassador:  Aaron Larson

Leading a community foundation can be challenging in the best of times. Leading it through a global pandemic, natural disasters, racial injustices, political polarization, and never-ending change can be downright scary. In a world where disruption and volatility are the new status quo, what does that mean for you, your leadership, and your community foundation?  How do you plan ahead when the world keeps changing? How do you get rid of those monsters under your bed? Join us for this unique CEO Retreat where you will learn how “delusional altruism” holds us back from creating the change we seek, and how you can create transformational change by first transforming yourself and your foundation. You will reflect on what you have learned and accomplished in the past 18 months, reset your priorities, and recharge for the year ahead.  You will also reconnect with old friends and make new ones – including with those monsters under your bed. 

*This retreat is supported by Kittleman and Associates. 
Board Retreat
Leadership Matters: Key Learnings in the Journey to Becoming an Antiracist Organization

Rooms A-C

Speaker: Pamela Ross

Track:  Governance

Ambassador: Michelle Brown

As community foundation leaders, we are experiencing a stronger and even more urgent need to ensure all individuals have access to opportunity in our communities. To effectively address the profound gaps in economic mobility and increasing racial disparities, we must intentionally examine the importance of leadership and the fundamental components of becoming an antiracist organization. This session will be filled with shared learnings and an open dialogue of transparency.

*This retreat is supported by the Kansas Health Foundation.
Community Foundations Basics Part 1

Corporate Hills Ballroom

Speakers: Amy Haacker and Sarah Aguirre Origer

Track: Multi-Track

Ambassador: Chelsea Knight

Community foundations are unique and complex organizations and the task of orienting and training new staff, and board members is a constant challenge.  The Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, thanks to ongoing support from Lilly Endowment Inc., offers a training and technical assistance program for community foundations, known as GIFT.  The goal of our two-session, six-hour program “Community Foundation Basics” is to provide participants with on overview of the structure and operations of a community foundation.  Topics covered include:   

  • History and purpose
  • Board governance
  • Gifts and funds
  • Asset development
  • Grantmaking
  • Community leadership
  • Finance and investments
  • Legal Issues
  • Operational sustainability
  • Lifecycles of community foundations.
*This retreat is supported by the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.
Program Retreat
Leaning In on Equitable Learning Recovery

Salon 1

Speakers:  Ralph Smith and Charla Schafer

Track: Program

Ambassador: Dodie Doudna

When this conference opens, most school-age children across the nation will have returned to in-school learning. And many schools will be consumed in figuring out how to manage teaching and learning amidst the very real consequences of the pandemic-related disruptions of the prior eighteen months. School leaders and classroom teachers alike will have to prioritize rebuilding relationships among themselves, with their students and with families many of whose expectations have changed significantly. Moreover, they will have to focus time and attention on establishing new post-pandemic routines, re-establishing old ones such as everyday attendance all while managing heated and politicized issues such as whether, how and under what circumstances to mandate vaccinations for students and adults having access to schools and classrooms.

Centering teaching and learning also will require cognizance of the varying ways in which the pandemic related disruptions have affected the overall well-being of children. Even if “trauma” is overused, early research confirms what common sense tells us.  While the pivot to online learning may have worked for some who had access throughout, that is not the case for far too many children and most especially those children of economically challenged, fragile and otherwise marginalized families.

All this makes a powerful case for intentional efforts to build broad community support for efforts, initiatives and investments that commit to and focus on accelerating equitable learning recovery as the only way to ameliorate “the hurt that could last a lifetime.”

The good news is that communities around the country are stepping up to put the children in their community on a path to educational success and equipping their parents as essential partners.  Community foundations are leveraging their local knowledge and leadership roles to help advance these efforts.  This session will highlight the promising strategies and bright spots emerging from those efforts. 

Ralph Smith, Managing Director of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, will share what the Campaign is learning from its network of 350+ communities about what’s working.  Charla Schafer, Executive Director of the Muscatine Community Foundation will showcase an innovative two-generation approach to support children’s learning and their parents’ economic success. 

Participants will hear from a variety of community foundation leaders about how they have become engaged and what they are learning, and they will have an opportunity to consider how they can deploy their full range of “more than money” assets to support children and their parents and to accelerate recovery in their community. 

*This retreat is supported by the Ventura County Community Foundation and Campaign for Grade Level Reading.
Finance/Administration/Development Retreat
A Deep Dive: Organizational Alignment, Data Visualization, and Nonprofit Strategy

Salon 2

Speakers: Vanessa Bechtel and Bryan Geary

Track: Finance/Operations/Development

Ambassador: Laura Baron Reyes 

This interactive, highly engaging session will dive into strategy, structure, systems, shared values, skills, style, and staff.  By asking only a few targeted questions you will quickly assess if your organization is best positioned to meet your goals. Together, we will leverage the power of the McKinsey 7-S Framework to examine the various parts of how your community foundation is working together, looking at both hard and soft skills.  We will explore how the tool can help you support your partners and discuss nonprofit consulting. We will then tie all it all together as we transition to data visualization.  In this part, you will learn how to capture your data into usable pictures, instead of just abstract numbers, to help keep you on track.  Come learn about dashboard design with Google Data Studio – a free tool for developing visualizations/dashboards and sharing them with multiple external stakeholders. 

*This session is supported by the Ventura Community Foundation.
Communications/Marketing Retreat
Building a Crisis Communications Protocol

Arkansas Room

Speaker: Peter Panepento

Track: Communications/Marketing

Ambassador: Sarah Simister

Community foundations communicators juggle several responsibilities – and they’re increasingly being faced with the challenge of developing statements and public responses to complex news events. The COVID-19 pandemic, the calls for racial justice, and a spate of natural disasters and mass shootings have thrust many community foundations into the position of having to develop rapid-response messages to fast-moving and emotionally challenging events.    During this interactive retreat, we’ll help prepare your community foundation for its next communications crisis. Drawing on examples from community foundations big and small, we’ll discuss how to develop a crisis communications protocol that can help your foundation manage its communications effectively and with integrity – even during adverse conditions. You will learn how to:

  • Identify the key members of your crisis communications team.
  • Prepare your crisis team for how to react and communicate during a crisis.
  • Create a process for issuing statements, managing media outreach, and monitoring social media during a crisis.
  • Communicate with your staff, board, and other key internal constituents.

5:00-7:00pm  Evening Reception for Retreat in-person Attendees and New Arrivals

Resources Hall

Networking in Groups


Ambassador: Aaron Larson

Kick off your conference networking by meeting up with some like-minded colleagues in a virtual round table discussion. Each group is asked to self-start with the following questions:

  1. What session on the conference agenda are you particularly interested in and why?
  2. What keeps you up at night?
  3. What progress has your community foundation made this year?

Participants are then invited to ask questions of their own and engage in a discussion to help one another navigate through the questions, network, and have a good time.