October 13-15, 2021

Day 1 - Monday, Oct 26, 2020

All times Central Standard Time (CST)

Schedule is subject to change 

Special Thanks to:



Sustainable Community for All

Tony Pipa, Sarah Owen, Sandi Vidal, Andrea Dicks, Tracey Vavrek, Nelson Colon

The day will start with the opening remarks from Svetlana Hutfles, Kansas Association of Community Foundations - Conference Host, Tara Vance, Norton County Community Foundation – Conference Chairperson; Kansas Health Foundation representative, Kansas Health Foundation; Kathleen Enright, Council on Foundations; and Chris Dahl, Foundant Technologies - Conference Partners, and Ridgeway White, C.S. Mott Foundation - Opening Plenary Supporter.

Plenary speakers will then lead the discussion. At the heart of every community, regardless of population, size or location, is the desire to have a thriving way of life with access to quality healthcare and schools, a strong growing local economy, and a peaceful vibrant culture and recreational scene. In 2020 this daunting goal became more challenging in the face of Covid-19, civic unrest, and social justice anxieties on top of national elections, changing economic and environmental issues, the peak phase of the transfer of wealth, and equity considerations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a readily available framework for rebuilding and growing our communities in sustainable ways: a tool for community engagement and donor development; measuring progress and impact; and as a communications vehicle to inform the public about foundation operations such as grant programs, donor development, community leadership, impact investing or economic development to serve community foundations’ missions. Our panel of experts will introduce SDGs as a local matter and solution. Along with practical examples from US and Canadian community foundations, the panel will show how the SDGS align with what community foundations are already working on and speak about diverse, and often simple, ways community foundations can apply the SDGs as a framework for building a sustainable community for all. 

Following the Plenary participants can engage in a live Q&A in the next program block at 10am-10:30am.

*This session is supported by C. S. Mott Foundation.


10:00am-10:30am  BIRDS OF A FEATHER  

Kick off your conference networking by meeting up with some like-minded colleagues in a virtual round table discussion. You’ll share ideas in a question-prompted session so everyone has a chance to participate. 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. 

*This networking is supported by CFExpressTraining.com    

 Sustainable Community for All Live Q&A

 Tony Pipa, Sarah Owen, Sandi Vidal, Andrea Dicks, Tracey Vavrek, Nelson Colon

 Join the SDG panel for a live Q&A discussion.


10:30am-11:30am  CONCURRENT SESSIONS 1

1.1 Creating and Sustaining Community Impact through Planned Giving and Endowments

Joe Carter

Asset Development/Sustainability | Basic 

This presentation is designed to assist development officers better understand what is important to donors and their mindset when it comes to giving vs. that of a non-profit agency. Understanding the psychology of donors will allow you to structure conversations in a manner which will allow you to maximize and sustain your organizational mission and goals. 

1.2 Kansas’ Transfer of Wealth Opportunity – Energizing Community Philanthropy

Don Macke

Asset Development/Sustainability | Rural

In this session, Don Macke will share the 2020 Wichita State University Kansas Transfer of Wealth Study and explore how this information can be used to energize community philanthropy. Don’s approach in this session will focus on strategies and tactics proven effective in mobilizing community engagement, development of donors and the growth of community philanthropic endowments. The information to be shared is practical and field tested. Finally, Don will be prepared to address the technical aspects of the most recent Kansas TOW study.

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Network Kansas, and e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. 

1.3 Journey through the “News Desert” with a Good Marketing Plan

Teal Whitaker

Communications/Marketing | Rural

In this session, Teal will share tangible ways that rural community foundations can effectively tell their story even amid news deserts. Participants will walk through a marketing kit full of tools specially geared toward rural community foundations as they market themselves in areas where access to local media resources is limited. Participants will learn about basic messaging, effective storytelling, and practical ways to share the impact of their work through a variety of channels. In this interactive section, participants will receive templates and real-life examples of marketing ideas that work, even in rural areas, and will have the opportunity to swap ideas with their peers.

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation

1.4 Cybersecurity: Three Things You Can Do Right Now

Dan Callahan, Gary Wise

Finance/Operations | Basic

Many decision-makers put off building their cybersecurity defenses. Some think their organizations have nothing to offer cyber criminals. Others are overwhelmed by all the security options and don't know where to start. In this session, we will provide attendees with a framework for thinking about cybersecurity. We will show you how one community foundation has applied that framework with relatively simple steps to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. You’ll come away from this session with knowledge of where to get started in cybersecurity at your organization. You’ll also take away some actionable recommendations that you can implement now to benefit your organization.

1.5 Safeguarding Against Funding Hate Groups

Mark Hurtubise, Robin Ferriby, Shelly O'Quinn

Governance | Intermediate/Advanced

In today’s challenging climate of social unrest, community foundations will come under increased public scrutiny as to whether they are funding nonprofits whose programming conflicts with the foundation’s values or those of its donors. Do you have policies and practices in place that safeguard your mission and support those you are entrusted to serve? This session will provide you with a real-life example of a community foundation’s board response to a donor advisor recommending a grant to a white nationalist charity, how it unfolded and what were the results. The legal and practical considerations of developing your own policies will also be discussed.

*This session is supported by an Anonymous Donor (Spokane, Washington) and another Anonymous Donor.

1.6 The Paradox of Community: Serving the Common Good When Cultures are Diverging

Conny Bogaard, Deborah Oyler

Leadership | Intermediate/Advanced

Despite the recent economic growth in the United States, many Americans have been left behind in an increasingly global economy. Rural areas especially, have fewer job opportunities, high poverty rates, a lack of economic investment, or an unequal distribution of wealth. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified problems of inequality and exclusion and added a new urgency to address social and racial injustices. While these may seem daunting challenges, there is an urgent task for philanthropy to respond by investing in equitable, innovative, and sustainable economic growth. In this session we will discuss the shifting role of philanthropy during difficult times. The challenge for community philanthropy is that we seek to enhance the quality of life of all, while acknowledging the differences in an increasingly multicultural world. This requires cross-cultural competence, the ability to discern and take into account one’s own and others’ worldviews. Significantly, the recent crisis situation has shown that equity and inclusion work is not optional; it’s also not the exclusive domain of the community foundation field. If we truly want to make a difference in the communities we serve, we need to work together with other stakeholders and interest groups, working towards sustainable and equitable development.

1.7 Scholarships 101 Due Diligence in Grantmaking, Employer Related Scholarships, Individual Achievement Awards, Sponsored Scholarships

Bryan Del Rosario

Legal | Basic

Selection committees? Awards? Hardship grants? Do we issue 1099s? Employee scholarships? Objective and nondiscriminatory? Huh?

Class is in session.

Bryan J. Del Rosario, Director, Legal Resources & Senior Counsel of the Council on Foundations, will decode the legal and tax rules around granting to individuals.

1.8 Storytelling as an Evaluation Tool

Matt Shepherd

Program | Intermediate/Advanced

This session explores how storytelling, testimonials, and intentional conversations can be used to find answers when you do not know the question as well as how qualitative research methods can help find answers to hard to define questions.

1.9 Funding Indigenous Communities: What We Believe, What We Think We Know, and What We Have To Learn

Mary Rutherford, Casey Winn Lozar, Erik Stegman

Public Policy/Advocacy | Basic

As our country’s attention is turned toward racial equity, community foundations are grappling with answering the question, “how does the community foundation demonstrate leadership” in this context. During this session, presenters will share practical perspectives about what we know, what we think we know, and what we have to learn as it relates to racial equity.



A. Yoga Anywhere Anytime

Julia Fabris Mcbride

Come as you are for a quick yoga break. Doesn't matter where you are, what you are wearing or whether you've ever tried yoga before. This is for you. The perfect mid-conference reset.

*This session is supported by Commerce Trust Company, KC.

B. It's Easier Than You Think!

Bonny King Taylor  

So much of self-care advice is centered around how to regain energy once it is gone. Ever since the “Calgon, take me away!” commercials of the 80’s, we’ve been trained to expect that struggle is as an expected, and even necessary, part of participating fully in our lives. We will explore a series of powerful, practical coping tools that are so good, you won’t often need them!

Set 1: Mind Management: Understanding Why Your Mind Makes You Tired

*This session is supported by Commerce Trust Company, KC.



You may be “attending” from home or the office but that doesn’t mean you can’t lunch with other attendees. Grab your lunch/brunch/snack and take a seat at one of our open tables to have discussions over a meal with your colleagues from across the country just like you would have at an-in-person event. Connect and learn from one another. Get a break in the company of those who understand your work. Some of the biggest learning may take place at such informal networking.

*This session is supported by CFExpressTraining.com


12:30pm-2:30pm RETREATS by affinity groups

1. CEO Retreat: The Challenge Upon Us: Leadership During Times of Crisis in Our Communities

Megan Barber Allende, Angie Tatro, Steve Joul

What will it take to lead, encourage, partner, and find ways to deploy our foundation resources to address the challenges our communities currently face.  From Covid recovery, to racial justice to addressing the economic challenges and disparities at the local level, how can we find better community-building approaches, and develop our role(s) as Community Foundations?  How do we lead during these uncertain times?  Join a group of your foundation CEO colleagues to set the agenda for this productive exchange, share ideas, develop approaches, and provide your peers with advice specific to their situations. We’ll poll registered participants in September to solicit your ideas, thinking and practical questions to address in the retreat content. The agenda will be developed in real time and focus on both our individual and collective efforts as we continue to support and lead our communities into and through the challenges we all face.

*This session is supported by Fourth Economy.

2. Program Retreat: Grants, Programs, and Scholarships: Topics, Trends and Networking

Lexi Oestrich, Kelly Anoe

An interactive session for community foundation staff who are responsible for grants, programs, and scholarships to come together to network and share knowledge. The objectives of this session are to introduce community foundation program staff to one another, help to foster a supportive and collaborative environment, and discuss key topics and trends impacting grants, programs, and scholarships among community foundations. Participants will break into roundtable discussions to exchange best practices and create a learning community around the following topics: COVID19 Response Funds; Scholarships; Giving Day/Campaigns – Ideas worth sharing!; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Software Transitions; and Nonprofit capacity building.

3. Communications/Marketing Retreat: The Why, What, and How of Growing your Assets though Donor Marketing

Dawn Brown

Simon Sinek taught us about WHY, every strategic plan every created tells us WHAT, but no one taught us HOW. It's time we had a marketing plan that could be executed based on what Covey calls our Wildly Important Goals (WIGs). The trio of WHY, WHAT, and HOW can and will help you grow your assets by doing less better.

4. Development and Finance Retreat: Made, Lessons Learned in Growing a Community Foundation

Eric Hozempa

During this retreat, Eric Hozempa, Executive Director of the Longmont Community Foundation, will share in vivid detail some of the mistakes and accomplishments the Foundation has made in his 11 years at the Foundation.  From locating new office space, separating from a larger foundation, to switching databases three times, Eric will discuss the 11 lessons learned along the way that have helped grow the Foundation.  This is an opportunity to ask any questions about structuring a development plan (no matter what your CF size is) and how to get the board, volunteers and community leaders to help.  Eric is very forthcoming in the accomplishments of the Longmont Community Foundation and how you avoid some of the mistakes he has made in his career so ask away.

*This session is supported by Blackbaud.

5. CF Basics, Part 1: CF Basics, Part 1

Rosemary Dorsa, Terri Johnson

Community foundations are unique and complex organizations and the task of orienting and training new staff and board members is a constant challenge.  “Community Foundation Basics” is a fast-paced overview of the major functions of a community foundation. Topics include: History, Purpose; Governance; Fund Management; Asset Development; Grantmaking and Community Leadership; Finance and Investments; and Legal Issues.

*This session is supported by Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.

6. Board Retreat: Reducing Risk and Growing Assets through a Culture of Fiduciary Excellence

Kate McBride, Allan Henriques, Vanessa Bechtel

Fiduciary excellence leads to trust.  Trust leads to enhanced donor confidence and board engagement.  This leads to increased donations, financial security, and mission success!  “For Nonprofits…. Reputation is everything.” (MIT SLOANE Management Review 2014, How Nonprofit Organizations Use Reputational Risk Management.) Yet, a June 2019 Gallup and Wellcome Trust study finds that, in the US, only 60% of respondents said they trust charities – and a whopping 27% said they don’t. “Only about 47% of nonprofit directors believe that their fellow board members understand their obligations as directors well, or very well.” (Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2015 Survey of Boards of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations.) Many trustees, board members, investment committee members and other nonprofit leaders are unaware of their fiduciary responsibilities. In many instances they simply haven’t been told, or had things explained to them in a clear, straightforward manner that is relevant to them.  Fiduciary Essentials® Training for Nonprofit Leaders is an easy and effective way to help board members and decision-makers at foundations and endowments learn what they need to know, what they’re legally accountable for, and how to answer donor questions before they’re asked.  What keeps you up at night?

*This session is supported by Fiduciary Path and CFExpressTraining.com


2:30pm-3:30pm  MEET THE EXHIBITORS

Take a stroll through our virtual exhibit hall and attend exhibitors’ booths. Our exhibitors are here to help you take your foundation operations to new heights. Watch video highlights, participate in user-groups and demos, review links and handouts or simply video chat (meet) with our terrific exhibitors. Make new connections and visit with old friends.


3:30pm-4:30pm  CONCURRENT SESSIONS 2

2.1 Unleashing Generosity in Your Community - Engagement Efforts that Will Work for You and Your Community of Givers

Celeste Flores, Lexi Oestrich, Vern Henricks

Asset Development/Sustainability | Intermediate/Advanced

This session will be a team presentation to discuss match days, Foundant Grant Catalogue and GivingTuesday. We will discuss the variety of ways you can establish a community-wide giving effort that is relevant, thoughtful and works for your community. These initiatives are some of the most powerful ways to market your community foundation, make it easy for people to give, and be the most impactful for your community-you won't want to miss this session. 

2.2 How Does Your Investment Program Stack Up To Peers?

Jeffrey Davis

Finance/Operations | Intermediate/Advanced 

Jeff Davis will leverage the results of FEG's annual survey of 90+ community foundations to help you understand how your organization compares to peers so you can make more informed decisions. Join us as we reveal trends from the field and address key themes and considerations beyond investment performance and asset allocation, such as spending policy, staffing levels, committee composition, responsive investing (ESG, SRI, Impact), and DAFs.

*This session is supported by FEG Investment Advisors.

2.3. Is Your Audit Telling the Right Story?

Steve Bisher, Jason Wade

Finance/Operations | Intermediate/Advanced

What story does the audit tell about the work you do? We will identify the purpose, requirement, ownership, and risk of a financial statement audit which will dovetail into a discussion of, what story does the audit tell beyond the numbers and compliance? In response to the question we will explore the opportunities to utilize mediums within the audit document to tell the right story that is unique and specific to your organization’s achievements and success.

2.4 Rethinking How To Find Good Board Members And Keep Them On Board And Evolve Your Board Meetings As Your Foundation Evolves

Steve Alley

Governance | Basic

Recruiting and retaining active, committed board members can be a challenge, but there are several simple steps you can take to make sure you get the kind of board members your foundation needs for today and tomorrow.  This session will focus on how to set appropriate expectations and accountability for your board, as well as how to set board agendas that focus on “what matters most” to grow an active and engaged board.  

2.5 Overcoming Adversity in Rural America: Making a Big Impact on a Small Budget

Amy Streator, Cheryll Obendorf

Leadership | Rural

The Ripley County Community Foundation was established in 1997, has assets of just over $12 million, and serves a rural area in southeastern Indiana.  Over the last 23 years, the Community Foundation has solidified its role as a proactive, innovative, collaborative leader and unifier in the county by leveraging its internal capacity, knowledge base, and network to make a significant impact on the county.  It can be difficult to maintain this role as time progresses and adverse events occur, such as natural disasters and pandemics.  It’s important to understand that a large budget isn’t always needed to generate a powerful and lasting impact that overcomes those challenging and difficult times.  Join us as we tell the story of how the Ripley County Community Foundation made a significant impact on a small budget by leveraging millions of dollars into education and community development, all while learning how we’ve engaged the youth, enlisted volunteers, developed career pathways, provided educational opportunities, and created vibrant communities in rural America.

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation  

2.6 Accelerating Housing Solutions in a Rural Community 

Stacy Caldwell

Legal | Rural

Rural regions are not exempt from their own form of a housing crisis...especially if your region is experiencing an influx in new residents or is a tourist destination! Join Stacy Caldwell, CEO of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, as she shares the story of how her community foundation built momentum, support and RESULTS for housing in her region! Elements of presentation include: complexity of multi-jurisdictional communities, accountability from the grass-roots to the tree-tops, structuring initiative work, and regional vs. State dynamics.

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation  

2.7 What's in your Wallet? - What Goes Into and Is Behind Your Grant Investments and Payments

Robin Ferriby

Legal | Intermediate/Advanced

Grants are simply about writing a check. Even when you have vetted the grant opportunity and decided to make the award, you have to take into account matters like the nature of the organization you are funding and from what source in your "wallet" you will be making the payment. The session will include information on due diligence and grant agreement considerations for grants from discretionary funds, agency endowments, donor advised funds, scholarships and others. We will discuss grants to organizations that are not charities. We will also discuss considerations in making grants to, and acting as, a fiscal sponsorship. Making sound spending decisions strengthens the communities you serve and increases the impact of your spending decisions. 

So, what's in your wallet?

2.8 Growing Community Change through Investments in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Virginia Clarke, Renee Catacalos

Program | Intermediate/Advanced

In this session, you’ll explore the ways community foundations can work with local donors to impact regional food security, economic development, wealth gaps and racial equity through investing in programs that address systemic issues within agriculture and the food system. The presentation will illuminate the critical intersections between these issues and include stories from community foundations around the country.

2.9 Engaging Emerging Leaders

Don Hickman

Public Policy/Advocacy | Basic

A decade ago the Initiative Foundation of central Minnesota had a well-established leadership program to support community and economic development, and was deeply engaged with the traditional community pillars of the 163 communities and 14 counties that we serve – older white, usually male, often retired volunteers. However, our region was on the verge of rapid demographic changes (welcoming rapid growth in Latinx and East African populations) and was also preparing for the retirement of many older leaders.  This session will review the successes and “lessons learned” about our programmatic investments in encouraging younger and more diverse leaders to run for and serve in public office, start a business or social entrepreneurial venture, and/or serve on the board of local nonprofits.



A. Yoga Anywhere Anytime

Julia Fabris Mcbride

Come as you are for a quick yoga break. Doesn't matter where you are, what you are wearing or whether you've ever tried yoga before. This is for you. The perfect mid-conference reset.

B.It's Easier Than You Think!

Bonny King Taylor

So much of self-care advice is centered around how to regain energy once it is gone. Ever since the ‘Calgon, take me away!” commercials of the 80’s, we’ve been trained to expect that struggle is as an expected, and even necessary, part of participating fully in our lives. We will explore a series of powerful, practical coping tools that are so good, you won’t often need them!

 Set 2: Make it Work: Overcoming overwhelm requires focusing on what you want, rather than on what you don’t want. 

*This session is supported by Mason Investment Advisors


4:45pm-5:30pm  BLIND DATES

Ever wondered what it would be like to meet someone you don’t know in a virtual environment or be reconnected with someone you have not seen in a while? This is your chance to try it out in a safe professional setting. Discuss your conference experience, see if you have any common interests (you know you do because you’re at our conference!) and share ideas. Designed to be fun and low key, you will be paired up with another attendee who also wants to meet new people or visit with an old friend.

*This networking is supported by CFExpressTraining.com


5:30pm-6:00pm  BREAK


6:00pm-7:00pm  Map of My Kingdom, Theatre on Farmland Transition

Cora Vander Broek

Who’s going to get the farm? And what are they going to do with it? Will your future plans for your land create harmony or strife for your family? Practical Famers of Iowa commissioned Map of my Kingdom. Award-winning author Mary Swander tackles the critical issue of land transition in this one-person play.

*This session is supported by CFExpressTraining.com


7:00pm-7:30pm  Discussion of Map of my Kingdom, with Author Mary Swander

Mary Swander

Playwright Mary Swander leads a post-show talkback in which she will tell the story of her own farmland transition, the interview and writing process for the play, and some suggestions for audience members dealing with these challenges. The talkback will allow audience members to reflect on the performance, respond with questions and comments, and benefit from Swander’s expertise.


9:00pm-10:00pm  Night Life

Whew! We made through a whole day of the conference. If we were holding an in-person conference, the bar would be packed with people talking over drinks. Grab your beverage of choice and join others in the bar during this night life time.