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News from the Institute for Leaders in Development

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  • 31 May 2024 11:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the following ILD alumni on their recent accomplishments:

        • Did you know that 15 ILD alumni have their CFRE credential?

        • Can you spot the 5 alumni who serve on the AFP Colorado Chapter Board of  Directors?
        • How about the 3 alumni who serve on the CPGR Board of Directors?

    Congratulations to all who received a promotion and/or accepted to a new position!

    • Jordyn Jefferson, Class of 2024, accepted a new position as Director of Development at Reading Partners of Colorado

    • Elyse Lombardi, Class of 2024, accepted a new position as Director of Development at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)

    • Krista Mortensen, Class of 2024, accepted a new position as Director of Development at Thorne Nature Experience

    • Leila Regan - Porter, Class of 2024, was promoted to Director of Development at Bluff Lake Nature Center 

    • Ustina Tawadros, Class of 2024, was promoted to Manager of Stewardship and Museum Friends Social and Enrichment Programs at Denver Art Museum

    • Leslie Boersman, Class of 2023, was promoted to Director, Community Engagement + Events at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation

    • Marsha (High) Schneider, MPA, Class of 2023, accepted a new position as Major Gift Officer - ADOD at University of Washington…she also got married this year! Best wishes, Marsha!  

    • Angela King, Class of 2021, accepted a new role as Director of Philanthropy/Southwest at the Trust for Public Land

    • Blake Nauman, Class of 2021, was promoted to Director of Philanthropy at Denver Rescue Mission

    • Ian Jacobs, Class of 2018, returned to Denver (and the USA) and is now Corporate Philanthropy Manager at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver 

    • Miranda Graul, Class of 2017, accepted a new position and promotion to Vice President, Philanthropy at Conservation Colorado

    • Missy Hellmuth, Class of 2017, recently moved back to Colorado! Welcome back, Missy. She's joined the team at CASA of Jefferson/Gilpin Counties
    • Amy Daly, Class of 2014, accepted a new position as Senior Director of External Affairs, at DUG - Denver Urban Gardens 

    • Sarah Hazel, Class of 2011, was promoted to President & CEO of Denver Public Schools Foundation

  • 27 Feb 2024 4:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are hosting office hours on Monday during March. This is a great chance to ask a question or learn more about ILD. Advance sign up is requested. There are options for anyone to attend, supervisors & CEOs, as well as 1:1 time slots.

    See dates and sign up here.

  • 01 Feb 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Institute for Leaders in Development (ILD) is now accepting applications for its Class of 2025. This nine-month program includes monthly, full-day sessions with an in-depth curriculum, mentor program, and the chance to create a customized project addressing a need or opportunity in your own organization and/or career. We’re prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion and working to build a program where participants of all backgrounds feel welcomed and embraced for the unique and powerful perspectives and experiences they model for this program and for the future of the fundraising profession.

    Click here to apply now!

    Don’t let expenses hinder your professional growth! Apply for The Bob Mesko Scholarship and your program tuition ($600) could be covered. To learn more, click here.
  • 18 Dec 2023 4:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Staying engaged with ILD is a great way to build and maintain your network of skilled fundraising professionals, participate in ongoing learning opportunities, and support other fundraisers seeking to build their careers. Here are a few things to know and ways to engage with us.

    ILD Alumni Resources

    Alumni Directory
    Take advantage of our alumni resources to reconnect with your fellow classmates or explore new connections within the ILD community. Click here to access the complete alumni directory!

    Capstone Library
    Don’t forget that alumni have access to the Capstone Library, an archive of past capstone projects contributed by ILDers like you! We invite you to peruse the great work of our community and hope you will find new sources of knowledge and inspiration from the work of your fellow fundraisers. If you are interested in submitting your Capstone for inclusion, please contact Sarah.

    Curriculum News
    As you already know, ILD has a reputation for its top-notch learning curriculum which focuses on teaching development and relationship-building skills within a leadership context. Stay connected to the classroom experience and learn about what the current class is studying in their monthly sessions  (and other philanthropy news) here.

    To access these links, you must sign-in using your ILD alumni profile credentials (click on the icon in the upper right corner of your screen). You'll be asked to enter your username and password. Your username is your email address (the one at which you receive ILD communications). Click "forgot password" to set up your preferred password.

  • 18 Dec 2023 3:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the following ILD alumni on their recent accomplishments:

    • Tonya Kelly, MNM, MLS, ILD Class of 2015, earned her CAP Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation this summer
    • Rachel Hutchens, Class of 2022, received the Women’s Leadership Program certificate from Yale School of Management this fall
    • Hannah Yartiz, Class of 2015, Senior Vice President, CCS Fundraising became a Certified Specialist in Gift Planning (CSPG), from California State University, Long Beach, January
    • Did you know that Kevin Mullin, Class of 2013, has been an Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Leadership at University of Denver University College since 2021?

    Congratulations to all who received a promotion and/or accepted to a new position!

    • Marsha High, MPA, Class of 2023, accepted a new position and promotion to Director of Development, University of Cincinnati, in January
    • Danielle Artis, MPA, Class of 2021, was just promoted to Development Philanthropy Manager, Partners in Conservation, at World Wildlife Fund (she is now based in Greater St. Louis, MO)
    • Ashley Barrow, Class of 2021, was promoted to Director of Individual Giving at the Arthritis National Research Foundation in April
    • Andrea Pacheco, Class of 2021, returned to Project Angel Heart this month as Chief Development Officer
    • Jaime Marston Cook, Class of 2020, accepted a new role as Philanthropy Officer at the Morgan Adams Foundation in April
    • Beau Kelly, Class of 2020, recently accepted a new position as Business Development Manager at Nunn Construction
    • Nate Mackenzie, Class of 2020, is now Director of Development at Youth on Record (June)
    • Tara Peterson, MNM, Class of 2018, accepted a new role as US Awareness Director for The Hope Effect this month
    • Kate McDonnell, Class of 2016, accepted a new role as Director of Advancement at Colorado Academy in May
    • Mary Eisenstein, Class of 2015, became Grant Writer, Cherry Creek School District, in June
    • Kelly Hall, Class of 2015, accepted a new role as Executive Director of Development, University of Denver- Sturm College of Law, in June
    • Jeslin Shahrezaei, Class of 2015, accepted a new role and promotion to Executive Director with Prodigy, Inc. in June
    • Amy Kusek, Class of 2014, accepted a new role as Development Leader at Western Union Foundation in August
    • Gloria Jara Price, Class of 2014, Executive Director of the Schlessman Family Foundation, is also serving as Deputy Director at Village Exchange Center (June)
    • Liz Gardner, Class of 2013, is now Executive Director of DaVita Foundation and Director of Village Giving (June)
    • Camille Howells, Class of 2012, was promoted to Managing Director, Development at Teach for America in June
    • Ann Marie Bliley-Ester, MSOL, CFRE, Class of 2010 became Assistant Vice President for Development at Bowling Green State University in Ohio this fall
    • Kellyn Smith, Class of 2010, was promoted to Director of Prospect Development, Intelligence & Analytics, at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC

    Do you have career news to share with our community? Please let us know!

  • 18 Dec 2023 3:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alumni Profile

    with Tami Vinson, ILD Steering Committee Chair

    Current Job Title: Director of Development and Community Engagement  
    Organization: Mackintosh Academy (Littleton)

    1. How did you begin your fundraising career?

    After graduating with a business degree, I applied to join the Peace Corps. Back then, you were accepted but had to wait an entire year to get your assignment. So I moved to Colorado and worked in outside sales for a bit. During that time, I met my now-husband. When my assignment finally came and I had ten days to accept or decline, I decided that it wasn’t the right time for me.

    It was at that same time that I decided that pursuing my master's in nonprofit management was the better path for me. I worked at an independent school in Atlanta while commuting to Athens to get my master’s at UGA in the evenings.  It was my first development job and it taught me so much. We were in a multi-million dollar capital campaign to expand to a high school and I had the opportunity to be a part of each stage. I had no idea this work (specifically in campaigns and independent schools) would end up being so foundational to my career.

    One of my proudest accomplishments at the school, though, didn’t have much to do with fundraising. For the capstone of my master’s program, I created a volunteer program at the school and an all-school volunteer day to get students interested in volunteerism early. The Head of School loved the idea and gave me the opportunity to present it to the Board. Afterwards, I was given the title of Director of Outreach Activities and the  opportunity to bring my capstone to life by implementing the all-school service day in 2006. Every person at the school (800 students, teachers, administrators, families, board members) volunteered in the community. We called it Helping Hands Day and they still hold this event each year.

    I moved back to Colorado in 2007 and held a few development positions before the Boys & Girls Clubs, where I was the Director of Annual Giving for 3.5 years. During that time, I had the opportunity to work on building a major gifts program where we partnered with Dini Spheris, a national consulting firm. A few years later I ended up accepting a job as a consultant with the firm and it ended up being the most important decision of my career. I stayed with the firm for seven and a half years and gained an incredible amount of experience and grew my toolbox and network.

    I really enjoyed the work and the opportunity to work with so many different organizations. The variety and problem-solving kept the work so interesting, meaningful, and fulfilling. In no other job would I have had the chance to work with so many leaders and teams dedicated to such a variety of missions. Everything from the arts, healthcare, education, human services, animal welfare, early childhood and more. It was the smartest decision I could have made and no single decision has ever made quite the impact.

    I started my current role at Mackintosh when I enrolled my daughter in Pre-K. I was ready for a change and less travel, and the school needed a development director. I had no idea it would end up being a home, but 4 years later, here I am. It’s incredibly meaningful work for me and I know my efforts have made a big impact on the school. Our fundraising efforts have increased significantly, and we’ve wrapped up two campus expansion projects. This position is an intersection of my personal and professional lives. As a needs-based school serving gifted and twice-exceptional learners, I know first-hand how much these children and their families need the school. 

    2. What's the best piece of advice you've been given about  fundraising?

    Be humble, hungry, and hardworking.

    You don’t have to have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t have the answer but that you will get it. Bring in the expert witness (the subject matter expert). Usually this is someone on the program staff.

    Utilize your team and play to people’s strengths. Don’t be afraid to involve others for the greater good and greater gift. Give a voice to those in your organization who are on the front lines delivering your mission. Connect them with your donors. Don’t be threatened or insecure about bringing others in to help with your donor. It’s not a competition. Success breeds success. In the end, everyone is working towards the same goal.

    If you’re only chasing participation gifts (or a %), you’ll miss out on meaningful giving and the opportunity to grow gifts beyond participatory gifts.

    Listen. Ask thoughtful questions and really listen to the answers. All you need to know is in the conversations. Ask for money and you’ll get advice. Ask for advice or their thoughts, and eventually you will get the gift. Be patient.

    3. If there were a session from ILD you could go back and take again, which would it be?

    ILD founder and faculty member Jen Darling’s session on the development plan and the major gifts session. I still remember the panel of speakers and their donor stories really stuck with me. I still have the development plan packet that Jen handed out to the class.  A wealth of knowledge! [Jen Roe Darling is President & CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation and recently taught the Development Plan session once again with colleague on co-leader Christy Clay, an independent consultant, coach, and facilitator.]

    4. How has ILD supported you in your career development? or What do you value about ILD?

    I went through ILD at a transition point in my career and it really helped me lean into my job with confidence. My ILD mentor was especially supportive and transformative. When I felt like an imposter for leaving my NPO and going to work for a big consulting firm, my mentor reassured me that the work I was doing was equally meaningful, impactful, and that I was still living my mission-driven career.

    Through career journeys over the past 10 years, my ILD mentor has still been there as a sounding board and always one of my biggest cheerleaders. His confidence in me helped my confidence in myself grow.

    I’d say the same for the incredible professionals I’ve met through ILD. Classmates from class 5 and fellow committee and steering committee members. It’s such an amazing group of professionals with so much passion and dedication to this program we all care so much about. I admire the devotion of time and energy from the volunteers. With only a very part-time staff person, it’s truly amazing how the program is fueled by volunteers. I’ve seen it and lived it as well.

    I’m honored that an ILD alum and friend asked me to join the mentor committee a couple years after I graduated from the program. It gave me the opportunity to give back, pay it forward, for all that I got from the program. I was even more honored when I was asked by Gordon Smith and Ann Irving to serve as Vice Chair of the Steering Committee, because I was the first alum to serve in the role. Gordon was actually one of the people on my interview panel back in 2012! 

    I value the determination of the steering committee to deliver such an important program to the incredible cohort each year. These professionals are each remarkable on their own at the kickoff in September and seeing and hearing from them at graduation in May, truly restores my faith in the profession and I am always reinvigorated and hopeful at the change I know they will bring. It’s humbling and an honor to be a small part of that.

    5. What are you most proud of accomplishing professionally?

    I’ve worked on a ton of capital campaigns for various organizations. In many of them, I was the interim development director/ VP during some portion of that time. I really enjoyed the coaching aspect of the work. Sometimes it was the ED or Board members. But oftentimes it was the advancement staff. I enjoyed getting to share my expertise with them and use the capital campaign or feasibility study as a management tool for growth in the team.

    I still have a stack full of thank you notes from former clients that mean the world to me and every once and awhile I go back and read them. We all need a pat on the back sometimes to lift us up. I enjoy the behind the scenes work that being a fundraising consultant afforded me. Knowing that on the ribbon cutting day of the multi- million dollar project, my client and their team were thanking me for my part in the effort was incredibly validating.

     6. What is one fundraising skill that you are currently honing or working on?

    Coaching my current boss, who is new in the role, how to approach development work and supporting her as she grows into it.  

    7. Is there a gift you are most proud of closing in your career? What makes it special to you?

    My first six-figure gift will always be this special donor story to me. The family had been giving around $5,000 annually but we knew there was capacity and interest in giving more. After a few visits and learning about their love of art, my CEO and I pitched a $150,000 gift to fund the arts programs at the organization. They immediately agreed and my boss almost choked on his chicken salad at Piatti’s. When we got to my car, I had a $50 parking ticket for being over 18 inches from the curb. I was bummed but my boss  was so excited for the gift and proud of me that he said, “don’t event worry about it, I’ve got it covered!”

    One month later I mailed a newsletter to the family with a sticky note of thanks. They immediately called me and mentioned seeing the newsletter and asked if there was anything they could help with. I knew I had to act fast. I thanked them and said I’d call them right back. It had mentioned in the article that we had to cut back summer programming due to funding cuts. We had also cut back one week on the outdoor summer camp in the mountains because of funding cuts. So, I called back and presented two options. $50k for summer school programs or $50k for the mountain summer camp extra week. They said they wanted to help with both! Over the course of a year, this family had increased their giving to the organization from $5k to $250,000.

  • 16 Nov 2023 4:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Discovery Work with DonorsLauren Wise - Academic Impressions

    Led by Lauren Wise, ILD '19, (right, top) Philanthropic Advisor, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus; Martine Hyland, ILD '13, (right, middle) Philanthropy Director, Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation; and Shawna English, ILD '21, (right, bottom) Philanthropy Director, Children's Hospital Colorado Foundation

    This stellar team of three ILD alumni
    led a practical workshop-style session that brought together values from each of the previous three sessions to address the day-to-day communications with donor prospects that can be uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidating for any fundraiser.  Quickly dispelling these common fears, they shared tremendously simple, but also critically important tips for success.
    Perhaps most reassuring was the stories of folks who
    they'd reached out to many
    times via voicemail, text, and email and eventually connected their experience, folks truly are busy and appreciate your persistence!  

  • 16 Nov 2023 4:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Essential Shifts in PhilanthropyArthur named development chief at CU Anschutz | CU Connections

    Led by Scott Arthur, Vice Chancellor of Advancement, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

    Long-time ILD faculty member and fan favorite, Scott led the cohort through a fast-paced overview of the cultural shifts at CU Anschutz that have created a rewarding and people-centered environment for staff and donors. Underscoring the role of major gifts in nonprofit financial goals, participants are asked to consider their top 3 donors and create customized "Campaigns of One" for each relationship. While these donors are invited to come alongside you and invest in something where they have true alignment, the "yes"
    How you can use the 80/20 rule to raise more money | The Better Fundraising  Companywill come naturally as will their interest in future projects. Look at your calendar; these top donors will have a tailored plan with the time and attention needed for the relationship.

    Internally, creating a culture where everyone on the team feels welcome and supported is central to success. Metrics reflect your commitments and focus on engagement rather than solely on dollars. Value collaboration rather than competition. A key question to ask when preparing for a meeting is, "Have we earned the right to have this conversation?" (i.e. the investment you're asking for shouldn't shock your benefactor).
    Life Goals | Authenticity quotes, Brene brown quotes, Cool wordsKeep authenticity as a core value and make it evident in the work you do.
    • Practice the joy of philanthropy: this work is full of meaning and purpose
    • What would it look like to be vision-based rather than needs-based?
    • Our work values listening far more than talking/selling
    • Transformational gift opportunities will come at the intersection of: benefactor's values and aspirations, the nonprofit's mission and vision, and the fundraiser's integrity and passion
  • 30 Oct 2023 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Community-Centric FundraisingAndrea (left) with brown hair is smiling at the camera alongside Amy (right). Photo taken on DU campus 2022.

    Led by Andrea Pacheco, ILD '20, Development Director, Project Angel Heart and Amy Daly, ILD ' 14, Communications and Development Consultant

    The Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) movement began with the work of Vu Le and his colleagues in the Northwest in 2015. Today, the movement has spread across with country with local chapters popping up, including one right here in Colorado. CCF is grounded in 10 principles with a central focus on race, equity, and social justice. Since the movement began, they've learned that when organizations continue to center these values, greater retention of BIPOC fundraisers follows.

    Key Questions to Consider Logo for CCF with pink and orange background behind letters: community centric fundraising
    1. Are you aware of the power dynamics and imbalances that exist within your organization and your community?
    2. Donor-first language is pervasive. Do your communications encourage the "savior myth" that centers the donor as the superhero? How does this approach reinforce or impact power imbalances?

    3. How could your communications reflect that you equally value all members of your community?
    4. Do we value time equally as money?

    If you're just getting started with these principles, remember that everyone has ability within themselves to start to make change. If you were able to make a 15% shift, what would that look like? It might include changing the images you use or way you offer tours to avoid poverty tourism, or shifting from "you" to "we" language, or publicly supporting social justice movements and denouncing acts of hatred.

  • 30 Oct 2023 2:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Engaging Donors of Color Profile photo of Renee Ferrufino

    Led by Renee Ferrufino, ILD '16, Vice President of Development, The Women's Foundation of Colorado

    To engage with donors of color and build meaningful relationships, organizations must show a commitment to understanding different cultures and their unique values around giving. For example, many diverse donors give to houses of worship or religious groups that play an integral role in their lives and their communities. You may also learn that these donors value and give to organizations that focus specifically on their own race or ethnic group as well universities or educational programs providing opportunities to first-generation college students.

    Build authentic relationships with your donors of color and create an inclusive culture among your board of directors to encourage these donors to take leadership roles. In its June 2021 report on board composition and practices, Board Source noted that 78% of board members in its survey sample were white. Similarly, a recent survey by the Center for Effective Philanthropy found that of 218 foundations that responded, more than half (57%) had fewer than 25% people of color representation on their board. Yet, research shows that organizations with more BIPOC leaders on their boards express a stronger commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion internally and to racial justice being incorporated as a programmatic priority externally.

    What can you do? How do you "walk the talk"?

    • Let the community drive your program choices and seek donors who align with these needs and your mission.
    • Use tools like "Awake Awoke To Work" from the Kresge Foundation.
    • Allocate the time and resources needed to be successful.
    • Transition your leadership from the mindset that this work can be finished. This is forever work.
    • Create an organizational action plan.
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