October 13-15, 2021

Day 2 – Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

All times Central Standard Time (CST)

Schedule is subject to change 

Special Thanks to:


8:00am-9:00am  KACF ANNUAL MEETING

Conny Bogaard, Tara Vance, Becky Goss, Holly Rooks, Jami Reever

Meet with your Kansas peers and the leadership of the Kansas Association of Community Foundations to learn about progress and plans made towards growing community foundations in Kansas. KACF members are asked to attend to vote for their future and to share their successes and challenges. NEW - there will be time allocated for member interaction. In addition, Jami Reever, Kansas Apple Seed, will highlight programs of interest to Kansas community foundations. We are stronger with the Association!


9:00am-10:00am  MORNING PLENARY

Reading: Essential to Untangling the Achievement Gap

Ralph Smith, Nancy Van Milligen

It has been said that education is the great equalizer….opening doors of opportunity for all. A sustainable just nation provides education equity and resources for all students. An alarming number of children—about 67 percent nationwide and more than 80 percent of those from low-income families—are not proficient readers by the end of third grade. This has significant and long-term consequences not only for each of those children but for their communities, and for our nation as a whole. If left unchecked, this problem will undermine efforts to end intergenerational poverty, close the achievement gap, and reduce high school dropout rates.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading was launched to reverse this potentially catastrophic trend. These include rebuilding what is now a chaotic system of early care and early grade education by using grade-level reading proficiency as a unifying goal; promoting quality teaching for every child in every setting every day; supporting community solutions to address lack of school readiness, chronic absence, and summer learning loss; and helping parents succeed in their critical roles as first teachers and best advocates. About one-quarter of all US community foundations have signed onto the program and are seeing positive results in their communities.

*This session is supported by Grade Level Reading and Waterford Upstart.



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 3: Shatterproof Confidence: When you know what you want, you can ask for it in a way that gets great results. 


10:15am-11:45am  DEEPER DIVES

1. CF Basics Part 2

Rosemary Dorsa, Terri Johnson

Deeper Dive

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. 

2. Legal Compendium - "As the World Turns"

Bryan Del Rosario, Robin Ferriby

Deeper Dive

The world is not simply made up of cash and marketable securities. Wealth is found in private business, real estate, cryptocurrency and other unique assets.  We will look at the legal considerations of accepting gifts of non-marketable assets so that your foundation can tap into these sources to further your mission.

3. Local Investing in a Time of Crisis - Strategies that Support Sustainable, Equitable Development in Our Communities

Deb Markley

Deeper Dive

Faced with unprecedented community challenges in 2020, place-focused philanthropy is called to respond. Helping your communities rebuild and re-imagine an economy that works for all will require your foundation to embrace new roles and adopt new tools. Local impact investing - the intentional focus on keeping locally-generated wealth invested locally for community benefit - is an important tool for mobilizing more foundation assets to help your communities achieve broadly-shared prosperity in a post-COVID world. This session will dig into the process for designing and building a local investing strategy, share models for local investing by foundations, explore the pros and cons of these designs including how donors are engaged, and address some of the key questions raised by foundation staff, boards, and investment committees throughout this journey.

*This session is supported by LOCUS Impact Investing and Breckinridge Capital Advisors. 

4. Turnkey Strategies for Improving Financial Health & Sustainability of Grantees

Megan Barber Allende, Vanessa Bechtel, Rachel Ramjattan

Deeper Dive

50% of nonprofits operate with less than one month’s cash reserves. 7%–8% are technically insolvent.  These figures are even higher for organizations led by people of color. While financial health varies, one constant theme is dismay when board members and leadership learn the true nature of their financial positions. We hear, “We’ve had clean audits for years…" or "Our consultant didn't say anything!" By the time they understand their predicament it is too late. Their ability to create impact and honor donor intent, donor restrictions, and grant obligations, is diminished. As grantmakers, we must provide immersive, sustained professional development opportunities to increase capacity - especially for leaders of color.

We’ll discuss: 1) How grantmakers can improve the financial health of their grantees; 2) Using technology to support nonprofits and their leaders: specifically on how to coach them towards financial sustainability and build Liquid Unrestricted Net Assets; 3) An example of a 10-month Executive Director Leadership Institute designed to support the technical and leadership growth of the field in an under-resourced, geographically isolated, rural area.

5. People Attraction in a Post-Pandemic World – Marketing HomeTown America

Don Macke, Jeff Yost

Deeper Dive/Rural

In this session Don Macke with e2 and Jeff Yost with the Nebraska Community Foundation will share their respective and related frameworks for attracting new residents to rural communities in the United States. This session is community-centered, asset-based and rooted in the genuine development opportunities associated with new resident attraction, development and retention.  The information to be shared is practical and field tested. During these session there will be a particular focus on the role community foundations can play in empowering people attraction in a post-Pandemic world.

*This session is supported by Dane G Hansen Foundation.

6. Flex Time! The Changing Landscape of Disaster Philanthropy

Don Hickman, Nancy Beers, Maureen Lawless, Regine Webster

Deeper Dive

The twin realities of weather-related disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic in the Midwest and across the nation have thrust into clear focus the inequitable impacts on and recoveries of vulnerable populations, including communities of color and indigenous groups. This deeper dive will demonstrate and discuss the ways in which philanthropic organizations have adapted and altered internal practices and grantmaking to embody and support vulnerable residents in the region.

*This session is supported by the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.



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 4: Putting it all together: With questions from participants, and case studies for applying the tools explored in the previous sessions, we’ll put it all to practical, positive use.


12:00pm-1:00pm  LUNCH/BRUNCH TOGETHER  

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


1:00pm-2:00pm  CONCURRENT SESSIONS 3 (by asset size)

Participants are invited to connect with peers from community foundations of a similar size to learn and share with those who might be at the same foundation life-cycle stage or pick a session of interest irrespective of the asset size.

3.1 Challenges of Starting a CF, Tips on Building a Development Office, Development Team and Committed Volunteers

Vern Henricks

Asset Size | $0-$1M

Community Foundations are experiencing a growing interest from communities of all sizes. Vern will share his experiences from forty years in the development profession in athletics, academics, consulting and private business. He will give you a roadmap for building an organization from the ground up and give you the confidence to takes steps and make decisions that will build the strongest relationships possible with the constituents you serve. 

3.2 Pivoting Through the Pandemic: Creating New Ways to Partner with Community Nonprofits and Foundation Volunteers & Donors

Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Mark Germano, Marc Hardy

Asset Size | $1M-$5M

Community Foundations and partner nonprofits have to change the way we do our business. The pandemic will continue to shape and change our relationships with partner agencies and the communities we serve. This highly interactive and engaging session will feature three organizations, Community Foundation Collier County (Florida), the University of Notre Dame, and Creating Solutions worked to create and implement a whole new set of operating paradigms for their organizations and the people that rely on them for support, guidance and encouragement.

Creating a pathway to surviving and thriving in the midst of a global pandemic and the subsequent economic upheavals requires leadership, risk-taking, and a willingness to fail. Join us as we share our successes, frustrations, and methods we created that helped to continue to allow our community partners to deliver on their missions.

3.3 Setting Your New Leader Up for Success: Lessons of an Executive Director Transition

Kara Faber

Asset Size | $5M-$15M 

Many community foundations are at a leadership crossroads with long-time executive directors or CEO's retiring from their positions, and then begins the board's important work of vetting and selecting their new leader. In this session, we will discuss important lessons learned during the Phelps County Community Foundation's transition of leadership in 2018. From what went right, wrong, or maybe in between, the goal of this session is to help board members make the transition as smooth as possible,  not only for them, but also for your new ED.

3.4 How Are You Defining Your Community Foundation Success?

Alan Goddard, Courtney Feldman

Asset Size | $15M-$30M

What makes your community foundation successful? Major gifts, high rates of return, or an engaged community? Empowered grantees? A passionate Board? Perhaps a little luck? Many of us are succeeding, doing all the right things. But, do you know why we are doing what we are doing? How many of us can define how we achieved our success? Knowing the why behind our actions challenges us to stay true to our mandate and empowers us to repeat, improve, or change course with intention. This drives us to what we are all striving for: vibrant, sustainable communities.

Join us as we explore our definition of success, bringing all the underlying factors and ‘whys’ together into a comprehensive growth and sustainability model for community foundation development. Through innovative programming and strategic capacity building, learn how we are supporting community foundations, at all levels, to become more sustainable and to grow, for the betterment and benefit of their individual communities and for our society, as a whole. 

3.5 Drowning In the Sea of Opportunity, Why Can't We Get Anything Done

Steve Alley

Asset Size | $30M-$100M

As my friend and partner Bryan Clontz often says, “Running a community foundation is like trying to cover a 10 by 10 room with a 9 by 9 rug. You are constantly trying to figure out which corner to cover and which to leave open."  Community foundations at every phase of growth face the daunting task of prioritizing multiple competing opportunities, but it is particularly challenging for those with $30M-$100M in assets.  At this size, capacity can become squeezed because of the work created by past decisions and new opportunities.  We’ll talk about how to get to your “stop doing” list so that you can focus your time on activities that will have the biggest long-term payoff for your foundation.

3.6 Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into Existing Work

Allie Moise, Katie Leone

Asset Size | >$100M

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as a universal language that can support community foundations in making a broader and deeper impact in their communities. Community foundations all take local actions to improve quality of life, and the SDGs can assist them in placing their work in a broader, global context. This session will illustrate how the Central Florida Community Foundation and Southwest Florida Community Foundation are using the SDGs to make their existing work more vibrant. Specifically, the session will discuss how community foundations can enhance donor engagement, grantmaking, nonprofit capability building, operations, and core business strategies via the SDGs. Finally, the session will offer tips for building an organizational and community culture supportive of SDG integration across internal teams and external sectors.



Have a colleague you want to meet with? Someone new you’d like to connect with or a peer you met last year and would love to see again? Visit an exhibitor? Follow up with a presenter? Have a legal question for the “The-Lawyer-is-In” team: Robin Ferriby and Bryan Del Rosario? Pre-schedule a video meeting with another person or a small group on their calendar through the “Schedule Meeting” tab in your conference platform and use this time on the agenda for the meeting(s). Please note, you can also use the “Schedule Meeting” feature throughout the entire conference to help you network just like you would have at an-in-person event. Video meetings are easy to navigate, they are private and secure. For technical questions, contact James Brewster at james.brewster@wichita.edu.


3:00pm-4:00pm  CONCURRENT SESSIONS 4

4.1 Building Relationships With Professional Advisors: Why It Matters And How To Do It

Joe Sorenson

Asset Development/Sustainability | Rural 

Charitable giving is a team activity, and professional advisors are an important part of that team. As in every team, it takes practice and a great playbook to work well together.

In this practical session, attendees will have the opportunity to better understand the perspective different disciplines of advisors (attorneys, wealth managers, accountants, etc.) bring to the charitable giving conversation. We will discuss effective strategies to build relationships with advisors, and how to empower them to become a consistent source of donor referrals to your community foundation. By building better relationships with advisors, we can grow our charitable giving teams and better serve our donors! 

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation   

4.2 We Need a Hero: How Brand Storytelling Helps Leaders Inspire People and Unite Communities

Brian Sooy

Communications/Marketing | Basic

Imagine the impact when your community foundation's brand story inspires people and unites the community to create positive and sustainable change. When the community is the hero and your foundation is the guide, your story fuels a growth engine that turns people into brand ambassadors and change agents.

4.3 What Is Risk Assessment?

Steve Bisher, Jason Wade

Finance/Operations | Intermediate/Advanced

Auditors often ask, what are your risk assessment policies? Auditees often respond, what do you mean by risk assessment? Our discussion will unveil the mystery of risk assessment. We will define risk assessment in the context of community foundation operations, its impact on policy, and how to identify and analyze risk. Methodology types will be defined and the impact of distinct levels of risk will be discussed. Our discussion will highlight examples of risk assessment activities that you are currently practicing and offer additional practical examples to incorporate in your organization. 

4.4 Using a Strategic Framework as a Primary Governance

Jeff Yost, Lora Damme, Dale Dueland, Lynn Roper,

Governance | Intermediate/Advanced

The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before. And complex choices are everywhere in community development. This complexity makes governance of your community foundation even more challenging. To deal with these challenges, and to insure focus on long-term community progress and prosperity, the Nebraska Community Foundation uses a Strategic Framework as its primary governing tool. This two-page framework, implemented in 2018, articulates NCF’s vision, mission and values. It also includes six primary goals along with a description of the value-added work NCF does. The framework serves as an organizational compass (whereas a typical strategic plan is more like a map) to keep “first things first.” In NCF’s asset-based, community-centric network, this framework is helping create better aim for organizational “true north” and mission fulfillment.

This session is designed for board members and executives to learn how this tool was developed and how it is used throughout the NCF network to shape culture, decision-making, measurement and communications.

4.5 Community Leadership: Going All In... and Measuring It

Deborah Ellwood, Len Bartel, David Rosado

Leadership | Intermediate/Advanced

Community foundations are going all in on their community leadership. National research from CFLeads and CF Insights tells us how community foundations are taking on a diverse set of roles beyond “grantmaker” to foster the development of equitable communities and shared prosperity. Momentum is accelerating. As community foundations continue to become more active players in creating impact by embracing these roles, the field’s desire to track this journey beyond the use of traditional financial metrics has only grown. Now, that call has been answered with a new, free resource from CF Insights, a service of Candid.

Join CF Insights and CFLeads for an interactive session as they lift up three emerging action areas that are documented in their groundbreaking Going All In project. Also learn about the new Community Leadership Assessment Tool, which was designed to help your community foundation track its progress along these three areas and several other dimensions of community leadership. 

4.6 Arts and Social Impact: If You Give a Public Space Grant, You Start Building Community Pride and Engagement

Angie Tatro, David Aft, Christa Luna, Wendy Rose,

Program | Basic

Public arts projects can unite the community in unique ways and bring new life to their public spaces, connect people and strengthen communities. Ranging from a painted mural on a downtown building to development of a performing arts park—our panel of speakers have a range of projects that they have implemented in their respective communities. We’ll show before and after pictures and give you inspiration to get started on your own “love your community” art project. 

4.7 The Dynamic World of Rural Healthcare—How Can Rural Community Foundations Help?

Alan Morgan

Program | Rural

COVID-19 and the elevation of racial justice and equity have only highlighted both the challenges and adaptation necessary for communities seeking to develop an accessible and community-centered rural healthcare system. The session will describe some of the basic dynamics of the changing rural healthcare environment and ways that funders with few financial resources can support community health goals. 

*This session is supported by Dane G. Hansen Foundation

4.8 Grade Level Reading Campaign

Ron Fairchild, Stacy Caldwell, Kirsten Russell

Program | Rural

Join us for a conversation about how community foundations are playing a leadership role in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a growing movement to disrupt generational poverty by mobilizing communities to find solutions for one of the major obstacles in the pathway out of poverty — failure to read proficiently by the end of third grade. You'll hear from community foundation leaders in Sarasota, FL and Tahoe-Truckee, CA about why and how they have engaged with the Campaign and what they've done and accomplished to date. We'll also provide an introduction to the Campaign's new online Community Learning for Impact & Improvement Platform (CLIP) and an on-ramp for joining the network and collaborating with other funders focused on early school success.

4.9 Embracing the Prickly Pear: Why Building Relationships with Journalists and Legislators Matter

Jeff Hamond, Peter Panepento

Public Policy/Advocacy | Intermediate/Advanced

Because of their local missions, community foundations have traditionally stayed quiet outside of their own communities. But at a time when our field is expanding its public policy and communications efforts around topics ranging from DAFs to social justice, many foundations are starting to raise their voices.

This interactive session will help participants brainstorm how smaller CFs can work with their leadership and educate their boards on how best to engage journalists and legislators.



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.


4:15pm-5:00pm  CLOSING PLENARY

The Future of Community Foundation Leadership

Mackenzie Price Sunblad, Rick King, Megan Barber Allende, Javier Soto, Denise St. Omer

The next generation is the future of everything we work for and drive much of our need to create sustainable communities. As we consider the next 10 years in leadership of community foundations, thought provoking questions arise. Where do you find these leaders? Is this leadership development or transition or both? How do you plan for a transition for a staff or 3 versus a staff of 30?  Where are they and how do we engage them today? What does new leadership look like as we enter the next decade? A panel of community foundation leaders with different pathways to their respective positions will share their views on these questions and more with moderator Rick King, a longtime leader of a nonprofit executive search firm. 

The Plenary will be concluded by the announcement of the 2020 recipient of the Emerging Leader in Community Philanthropy Award and the closing remarks from the Conference host.

*This session is supported by Kittleman and Associates and The Three Pillars Initiative.