Day 3 – October 20, 2023

All times Central Time (CT) 

Schedule is subject to change 

8:00 am

Breakfast Roundtables

9:00 – 10:00am

Breakout Session #4

Maximizing Board Effectiveness

Paige Oxendine, Habitat Communication & Culture

All nonprofits face distinct challenges and their boards of directors are critical to their survival and success. This workshop presents Habitat Communication and Culture’s research on the experiences of executive directors, examines common obstacles in the board/executive director relationship, takes a look at effective board recruitment, and offers practical next steps. Participants will gain a toolkit of organizational strategies that promote commitment, engagement, and satisfaction, as well as recommended personal commitments to enhance individual impact within the organization.


Embracing the Future of Work: Thriving in a Remote Environment

Eric Hozempa, Longmont Community Foundation

As the boundaries of the traditional office space continue to blur, companies and employees alike are navigating the challenges and opportunities of working remotely. This session is designed to provide valuable insights and practical strategies for individuals and teams to excel in this new paradigm. Join us to participate an in-depth understanding of the remote work ecosystem. Through an engaging presentation and interactive discussion, attendees will gain valuable knowledge on a range of remote work topics, including effective communication and collaboration, managing remote teams, maintaining work-life balance, and leveraging technology for productivity. We will delve into the unique advantages and potential pitfalls of remote work, addressing common challenges such as time management, mentorship and staying motivated. Participants will explore proven techniques for building strong remote team dynamics, fostering a sense of belonging, and nurturing a positive remote work culture.


Case Study: Benchmarking McPherson County to Identify Critical Philanthropic Investment Opportunities

Hrishue Mahalaha, Innovation Economy Partners

In 2023, McPherson County Community Foundation launched a comprehensive data-gathering exercise to determine the most pressing opportunities facing town in McPherson County. Through this multi-year benchmarking effort, the foundation was able to convene leaders across McPherson County and gain alignment on critical investment opportunities. Most importantly, the team has been able to launch targeted investments that enable local ownership of projects. The effort will help measure year-over-year progress and compare the towns with other rural communities. Come learn about this effort and how, through these insights, the leaders refined their programmatic focus.


Connecting Community Foundations Through Peer Data and Investment Trends

Jeffrey A. Davis & Devinne Verst, FEG Investment Advisors

FEG’s Community Foundation Survey collects data on financial and enterprise topics to provide robust peer data and transparency into trends impacting the community foundation field. We seek to provide insights on issues relevant to a national network of community foundations to support strategic planning and benchmarking. We will highlight areas from our 2023 Survey; topics include portfolio management, spending, investing with diverse asset managers, and impact investing. Insights are also drawn from aspects of community foundation management fundamentals, such as staffing and governance. The survey began in 2015 as a client request for peer data on investment performance. Recognizing a lack of information on enterprise topics, the scope was expanded. Since inception, 200+ foundations have participated!

Supported by FEG


AI and Community Foundations: Exploring Opportunities to Streamline Productivity, while Balancing Ethical Considerations

Sarah Meitner, Heartland Community Foundation

As community foundations seek to leverage new technologies to support their work, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots -- such as ChatGPT or Google Bard -- has emerged as a topic of growing interest. This session will explore this emerging tool and the ways AI can be used by community foundations to streamline productivity, enhance donor and stakeholder experiences, brainstorm ideas, and optimize operations. Discussion will also include the important ethical considerations to keep in mind, such as donor privacy, cybersecurity, application fairness, and AI limitations. Through a combination of presentations and interactive discussions, attendees will discover how AI can be used to scale operations and be leveraged for social impact. This session is designed for community foundation leaders, staff, and board members who are interested in exploring the opportunities and challenges of using AI to advance their mission and goals. Whether you are already using AI or just beginning to consider it, this session will provide practical guidance for moving forward in a responsible way. (Description generated by AI, slightly edited by a human)


Donor-Advised Funds: How and When They Can Help Clients Reach Their Philanthropic Goals

Scott Cross, Ren

Please join Ren’s team of charitable giving experts for a deep dive into the definition and attributes of donor-advised funds (DAFs) and how to leverage their benefits to help your clients reach their philanthropic goals. We will take some time to review the historical impact that DAFs have had on the charitable giving industry, review how DAFs work from the donor’s point of view, and the various ways donors can take advantage of the benefits offered with this unique charitable giving vehicle. We will also cover five of the most important attributes that make DAFs a valuable component of any comprehensive wealth management strategy. Finally, we will review five of the most common “what if” scenarios where a DAF could be the right solution for your client to ensure you are equipped with the information and knowledge to make the most out of your clients financial and philanthropic objectives. The session will then conclude with an opportunity for you to participate in a live Q&A with our team. We look forward to seeing you there!

Supported by Ren

10:00 – 10:30am

Networking Break and Visit Exhibitors

10:30 – 12:00pm

Closing Plenary | Christy Davis, USDA Rural Development State Director for Kansas

Broadening Connections: Strengthening Communities through Federal Resources and Initiatives

In this plenary session, community foundation leaders will discover how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other federal agencies can become their valuable partners in empowering their communities. As community foundations strive to make a lasting impact, accessing federal resources and initiatives can play a pivotal role in achieving their goals.

The plenary will highlight the potential for community foundations to tap into federal programs related to agriculture, rural development, economic empowerment, education, health, and social services. Attendees will learn about key strategies for fostering effective collaborations, navigating federal bureaucracy, and maximizing the impact of their work. Ultimately, this session aims to inspire community foundation leaders to broaden their connections and leverage federal resources as catalysts for positive change. By forging stronger partnerships with USDA and other federal agencies, community foundations can enhance their ability to address critical community needs and achieve sustainable development.


Conference Adjourn

Lunch on your own


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