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  • 18 Dec 2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ILD alumna Martine Hyland (2013) recently led a session on discovery visits for the ILD Class of 2020. Martine is a philanthropy director at Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation where she is responsible for managing relationships with approximately 150 major donors and prospects.

    "As someone who stumbles through awkward voicemails and drives away from donor meetings saying, “I can’t believe I didn’t ask about…,” I felt uneasy about leading an ILD session on discovery calls.

    That was before I understood that I wasn’t supposed to be an expert. I was just supposed to share one gift officer’s experience on the phone and in the field.  Lucky me! I got to spend 2 hours with a group of amazingly talented development professionals and learn from them about what they say on the phone and during visits to build rapport with their donors, uncover their passions, and set next steps.

    It was a great opportunity to reflect on my personal successes and failures, learn from my colleagues, and a great reminder of how fun it is to get to know a new prospect and help shape their relationship with my organization.  Just the inspiration I needed to pick up the phone and start building a new relationship – thank you, ILD!"

    Martine's favorite thing about discovery visits

    I love hearing other people’s stories and hearing them talk about why they support Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

    Her key takeways or tips from current ILD students

    • Some shops are putting definitions around how many times to try reaching someone before moving on. For example: you reach out 3 times over the course of 3 months and if there’s no response you move on to the next prospect. I struggle with moving through my discovery prospects, so I found this interesting.
    • One student uses this acronym to help guide the topics/questions he covers in discovery visits:  PBPF (personal, business, philanthropy, follow-up). 
    • Another student looks for opportunities tied to a giving level as a way of assessing capacity. For example, she might talk about a special initiative or event that appeals to alumni but has an ask tied to it.
      Example: “We have an upcoming lecture for alumni who are part of our President’s Circle featuring this well-known Nobel Prize winner. Would you be interested in learning more about how to be a part of our President’s Circle?”
  • 18 Dec 2019 1:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    DeAnn Acosta, executive director of AFP Colorado ChapterMeet DeAnn Acosta, CFRE, executive director of the AFP Colorado Chapter and a member of the ILD Steering Committee. DeAnn has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, including direct response, planned giving, capital campaigns, grant writing, special events, and donor database management. Prior to her role at AFP, she spent 10 years with the Denver Rescue Mission and managed their robust direct mail program.

    What is single best piece of advice you can give to a fundraiser?

    You need to feel passionately about the mission of your workplace. If you are not behind the organization, your donors will sense that from you, and they won’t get engaged either. It is also important to contribute financially to your organization. If you are not passionate, you should look for another organization that is meaningful to you.


    What’s the one book (it can be about fundraising or not!) and the one fundraising blog/periodical that you recommend to fundraisers?  And why?

    I first discovered “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising” when I studied for my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Exam. It’s on to a 4th edition today and is filled with excellent content from a variety of fundraising experts. It’s a great resource to read and have on your bookshelf.

    I read “Chronicle of Philanthropy” on a regular basis, I find it to be an in-depth look at our sector.

    What’s your favorite donor story?

    Years ago, I remember working on December 31 when a donor called to make her end-of-the year credit card donation just before 5 pm. She called back five minutes later to say that the other charity she called was already closed, so she made a second gift to my charity. On-line giving has changed this dynamic completely, but it’s still good to be available to donors as much as you can!

    What inspires you most as a fundraiser?

    I am most inspired when I make a genuine philanthropic connection with someone, they are thrilled to support the cause and I feel proud that I made the connection.


    What have you found to be most effective to stay energized in your work and to avoid burn-out?

    In order to stay energized, I always make an effort to prioritize my professional development. I am a lifelong learner so I crave that sense of finding a cutting-edge strategy that might work. I work to become a better and more efficient fundraiser and I love to hear how others are being successful.

  • 09 Sep 2019 3:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are pleased to welcome the Institute for Leaders in Development Class of 2020! This cohort represents the program's 12th class. Class members will meet one day per month between September 2019 and May 2020.

    Anna Bishop
    Development Manager
    Colorado Outward Bound School, Denver

    Anna is responsible for the annual fundraising gala, stewarding major and annual donors, grant writing and reporting, and managing corporate relationships and in-kind gifts at COBS. She is passionate about expanding access to transformational experiences in the outdoors for all students, regardless of ability to pay, to develop their leadership, confidence and compassion. Originally from Michigan, Anna graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and minor in Nonprofit Administration, and has made Denver her home for the past four years.

    Jazmin Brooks
    Associate Director of Development
    University of Colorado Boulder

    Jazmin has worked at University of Colorado Boulder for four years, beginning as a development assistant, then successfully transitioning to a major gift officer role as an assistant director of development. Currently, she is responsible for securing gifts of $25,000 and above, primarily for the College of Arts and Sciences at CU Boulder. Prior to joining CU, Jazmin worked in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Clark County School District’s School-Community Partnership Program. She lives in Arvada with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.

    Kendra Burrell
    Executive Director
    National Kidney Foundation serving Colorado and New Mexico

    Kendra has been with the foundation since 2013 and has had the opportunity to serve in many different roles. She took on the role executive director in January 2019. Kendra believes that forming strong relationships is the foundation for success for everything she does both professionally and personally. Outside of work Kendra enjoys spending time with her family (2 daughters, husband and dog), exercising, and listening to a good podcast!

    Katie DePoy
    Development Director
    Voices for Children CASA, Boulder

    Katie leads fundraising efforts, manages donor relations, and plans fundraising events and campaigns for Voices for Children CASA in Boulder. Katie recently graduated from the Boulder County Leadership Fellows, a leadership group focused on educating a diverse and inclusive cohort of local leaders. She also serves on the board of A Child's Song, a small non-profit music school focused on the benefits of early childhood education in childhood development. She holds a MA in public administration and nonprofit management from University of Colorado Denver and a BA in choral & general music education from Arizona State University.

    Mary-Kate Doyle
    Director of Development and Communications
    Karis Community in Denver

    Mary-Kate Doyle comes to ILD with five years of experience in the health and human services areas. Originally from New Jersey, she worked at a homeless shelter for families in Cleveland, Ohio, before moving to Denver in August 2018 and beginning her time at Karis Community, a therapeutic program for adults living with serious and persistent mental illness. She has experience in many areas of development and enjoys juggling different types of tasks, which has proven to be a must at the nonprofits she has worked for.

    Megan Fevurly
    Associate Director, Individual Philanthropy
    Denver Center for the Performing Arts

    Megan has spent the majority of her development career fundraising for the performing arts. Currently, her chief focus is on entry and mid-level gifts raised in support of theatre education, the resident theatre company and general operating, as well as overseeing an endowment fund for women playwrights and directors. Megan is currently on the board of directors for id Theater, a new play development theater company working chiefly in McCall, Idaho, and New York City, and has served on the advisory board for the Denver-based theatre company Athena Project Arts.

    Ben Fiscus
    Donor Relations Manager
    Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver

    Ben has built his career in the social sector focusing his efforts on supporting Boys & Girls Clubs. In 2010, after completing his capstone thesis on positive outcomes of Boys & Girls Clubs, he began working for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley as an assistant site director. He then joined AmeriCorps, moved to Denver, and began his work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver as a volunteer coordinator. After his year of service, he continued to work for BGCMD as an athletics director, and for the past three years has been a donor relations manager focusing on individual giving. When Ben is not serving Boys & Girls Clubs, you can find him and his wife, Adria, walking their dog, riding bicycles, or hiking.
    Sarah Grosh
    Development Manager
    Make-A-Wish Colorado in Denver

    At Make-A-Wish, Sarah’s main responsibilities include managing a student-led fundraising program, Kids For Wish Kids. She is extremely proud of this program and encouraged daily by the students she works with. To date, Make-A-Wish Colorado has the most successful kid's program across all other chapters’ nationwide, raising over $1.2 million in FY19 and working with about 175 schools across the state.  Prior to this position, she worked in Lansing, Michigan, as the membership director for the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI, Sarah obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Michigan State University, and moved to Colorado in 2015.

    Beau Kelly
    Associate Director of Development
    University Colorado Colorado Springs

    Beau Kelly is a director of development at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. He started at UCCS in 2015, primarily doing major gifts fundraising for the athletic programs. Over time, he has spearheaded fundraising for community scholarships in addition to athletics support. Beau led the capital campaigns to build the new baseball and indoor track facilities that opened in 2018. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he played baseball while majoring in business administration and history. He recently received his MBA from UCCS. Prior to UCCS, Beau worked for two years at El Pomar Foundation as a program associate in the Fellowship Program.

    Nathan Mackenzie
    Director of Development
    The GrowHaus in Denver

    Nathan leads The GrowHaus' development and communications efforts. He is a proud, born-and-raised Denverite, went to East High School, and graduated from Wesleyan University with honors in government. After graduation, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he spent a year-and-half working with Shining Hope for Communities, a nonprofit that addresses gender inequality and extreme poverty in urban slums. There he learned the power of local communities to develop dynamic, locally-based solutions to community challenges. After coming back home to Colorado, in 2014 he was selected to join El Pomar Foundation's two- year leadership and professional development fellowship program in Colorado Springs. He started at The GrowHaus in the fall of 2016. When he's not at The GrowHaus you can find him enjoying the mountains, cooking, or reading.

    Jaime Marston Cook
    Development Director
    NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado

    Jaime moved to Denver from Minneapolis in 2004, and started fundraising for progressive causes around Colorado and throughout the United States during a critical election year. One of those organizations was Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM), where she raised $20,000 to send a busload of advocates from Denver to Washington, D.C., for the March for Women’s Lives. Shortly after, Jaime started working for PPRM, first in the health centers, then managing the affiliate’s internship and volunteer program, and ultimately joining the development team. Following a few years of working in personal finance in the private sector, she came back to the nonprofit community, joining Colorado Health Network as the development manager, and then joining NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado as development director. Jaime also serves as vice president of the board of directors for PFLAG Denver in support of the LGBTQ+ community.  She is an avid reader, a gardener, and an intuitive cook.

    Rachel Newnam
    Corporate Partnerships Manager
    Project Angel Heart in Denver

    Rachel Newnam has been the corporate partnerships manager at Project Angel Heart since June 2017. She has over seven years' of professional fundraising experience with past positions including Community Engagement Manager, Annual Fund Manager, and Senior Development Associate at ForKids, Inc. in Norfolk, Virginia. Rachel is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Colorado Chapter and former board member and education chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Hampton Roads Virginia Chapter. She holds her bachelor of arts in global affairs with a concentration in social inequalities and responses and a business minor from George Mason University. Outside of the office, you can find Rachel hiking, snowshoeing, or sifting for new vinyls.

    Jennifer Reed
    Regional Philanthropy Director
    Mercy Housing

    Jennifer Reed serves as the philanthropy director for the Mountain Plains region of Mercy Housing, which includes Arizona, Colorado, and Nebraska. Jennifer has been in this role since 2015 and previously worked as manager of corporate and foundation relations for the national fundraising team at Mercy Housing. Jennifer has over 13 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She holds a BS in international studies and sociology from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. She lives in Denver with her husband, Jay, school-age sons Dylan and Alex, and dog Charlie.

    Susan “Sue” Samaniego
    Foundation Director
    Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation, Rangely

    Sue began her career as a speech-language pathologist. After 22 years, her search for new challenges led her to communications and public relations work for Otero Junior College. When the foundation director left, she absorbed these duties and found her new career. The drive to focus on development led Sue to complete a certificate in nonprofit management through the University of Illinois-Chicago in February 2018 and to accept the foundation director position at CNCC in November 2017. Sue serves on the board for Rangely Resource Pantry (secretary), the Tank Center for Sonic Arts, and the Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, and snowshoeing as well as painting, writing and gardening.

    Anne “Annie” Slothower
    Director of Development
    Havern School, Littleton

    Since receiving her undergraduate degree from Regis University in communication and business administration, Annie has honed her professional skills in the areas of marketing and communications, development and fundraising, and event planning. When she became a mother in 2006,she chose to step away from the professional sector to be at home with her growing family. Once her youngest son started kindergarten, she pursued a path within the nonprofit arena in hopes of using her skills to positively impact others. Annie has been working in the nonprofit fund development field for four years,  and has been the director of development for Havern School for the past eight months. Havern School is a small, independent school that serves students with learning disabilities from along the Front Range.

    Lauren Wise
    Assistant Director of Development
    University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

    With a personal passion for making a difference in the world, Lauren enjoys seeing the way philanthropy transforms our world, especially in higher education and health care. Originally from Ohio, Lauren attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in strategic communications in 2012. After graduation, she worked in various roles in the university's communications and advancement offices, where she discovered development work as a career path. In 2016, Lauren moved into a role at Cleveland Clinic in the philanthropy department overseeing annual giving initiatives. During her time there, she proposed a transformational change to Cleveland Clinic's annual fund to focus on pipeline development and stewardship. Lauren started her current role at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in June 2018. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys reading, running, CrossFit, being in the mountains, cooking new recipes, and spending time with her husband and rescue dog.

    Abby Yeagle
    High Plains Library District Foundation, Greeley

    Abby is passionate about empowering communities to create change. Her primary interests lie in the arts, however she believes in increasing philanthropy sector-wide and connecting individuals with the causes they care about. Abby’s support of nonprofits began while volunteering in high school. She continued this path in college, majoring in Nonprofit Management. After receiving her degree, I dedicated a year of service to AmeriCorps VISTA at the High Plains Library District. While working with the District’s Foundation over the next four years, she moved from a VISTA to a Development Associate to a Director and drastically grew her skills as a fundraiser. Abby is excited for the opportunity to have the support and guidance of a mentor in tackling these exciting new career challenges.

  • 09 Sep 2019 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meet Cheryl Haggstrom, chair of the Institute for Leaders in Development's steering committee. Cheryl serves as executive vice president for Community First Foundation, where she has been since 2007. Her prior experience is in the area of quality improvement and risk management at Lutheran Medical Center, where she was employed for 15 years.

    Cheryl Haggstrom, Institute for Leaders in DevelopmentWhat is single best piece of advice you can give to a fundraiser?

    Follow up!  I’m not talking about general stewardship or your annual check-in. I’m talking about promises to get back to someone about a question, a vow that you will call or any other mechanical commitment one makes during a casual conversation. If you meet with a prospect or donor and you promise to do something, do it! If you don’t, you will lose a person’s trust and confidence in you. If you do it, they will feel valued and connected. Once this happens, your donor will open up to you and they will follow up with you. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to learn this lesson. Use whatever works for you to remember to follow up! 

    What’s the one book (it can be about fundraising or not!) and the one fundraising blog/periodical that you recommend to fundraisers?  And why?

    The one book that always comes to mind is The Cathedral Within by Bill Shore. This book feeds the soul, inspires and requires you to be introspective. I think you need to understand yourself and your own values before you can truly connect with others about theirs. Books like this one are not technical. You won’t learn how to execute on a CRUT or a CRAT, but you will learn what stirs your emotions. Maybe, after reading this book, you will learn to connect with your donor on an emotional level.  Maya Angelou said: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

    The blog I check the most is The Non Profit Times. Check it out. 

    What’s your favorite donor story?

    My favorite donor story is the one where you answer the phone and the caller says they would like to make a gift. You frantically put down your coffee to find a pencil and clear your throat while you introduce yourself. Then the donor tells you what they want to give and how. You wait for the money to arrive and when it does, you tell your colleagues about the major donor gift you just closed. How’s that for a story?


    What inspires you most as a fundraiser?

    Connecting donors with causes they care about is what inspires me. Don’t shy away from tooting your horn. Tell stories about your amazing work and when donors connect you will have them for life. If you don’t know your donor; listen and learn. Ask them about their life, their journey, their joys and their sorrows. You will discover what turns them on. Making that connection is what inspires me.

    What have you found to be most effective to stay energized in your work and to avoid burn-out?

    Accomplishments! Setting goals big and small. I like annual goals. I like daily goals. Making a to-do list and checking things off! Have you ever had that dream where you are forever trying to get somewhere and you just never get there? Well, I have, and I wake up feeling terrible! I like to make a reasonable list of things to do every day and stick to it. Check them off. It feels great! Sometimes I take the worst job on my list and find a day or an hour and commit to getting it done. It may be the only thing I absolutely commit to that day. When I get that one thing done I feel so accomplished, and then everything else I do that day is like icing on the cake. And then I say, it was a good day. Today my goal was to send you the answers to these questions!

  • 14 Sep 2018 5:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is the single best piece of advice you can give to a fundraiser?

    I think one of the hardest things for fundraisers is prioritizing their time. The most important thing is to stay focused on your donors and doing what is necessary and sometimes not necessary, to cultivate the donor and the gift. It is so common to get pulled into numerous projects and meetings and asked to prepare reports few of which have a positive impact on moving your donors forward in the cultivation process. Stay focused!

    What’s the one book you would recommend to a fundraiser and why?

    For anyone interested in learning about gift planning or in just having a reference book on the subject, I strongly recommend “The Complete Guide to Planned Giving” by Debra Ashton

    What’s the one fundraising blog or periodical you recommend fundraisers subscribing to?

    I find it really important to stay up with tax law and legislative changes. I follow several sources and frankly don’t feel that any are great. “Planned Giving Today” sure tries however.

    What’s your favorite donor story?

    I have been fortunate over my career to have many wonderful donors and could tell several stories. The one I would like to share now is of a woman from very modest means who suffered most of her life with asthma. She gave small gifts to National Jewish but they were consistently given year after year. We learned that she had included National Jewish in her estate plan through a mailing and I tried to contact her to thank her and set a visit. She was happy to speak with me by phone but not comfortable having me visit. I said I would keep in touch and did.

    Over the course of several calls I learned she was leaving her home to National Jewish. When she moved into a nursing home we received her home, which was worth about $110,000. I came to learn that her estate was only about $150,000. She was giving us almost all of her modest estate even though she had family. After she moved into the nursing home she was willing to have me visit. I learned that the reason she didn’t want me to come to her home was that she was uncomfortable being alone in her home with a man. It was a perspective that I hadn’t heard and was glad to become sensitive to.

    We became very close over the following 2-3 years before she died and I visited her whenever I could. We prepared a testimonial article highlighting her gift and she was so proud. While the gift wasn’t huge in many of our eyes, it was huge to her and I was especially pleased to honor her for her wonderful gift.

  • 17 May 2017 4:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is single best advice you can give to a fundraiser?

    Listen to your donors. Get really good at recognizing donor needs and motivation. So often we feel we need to “sell” our organizations and projects and talk too much. We should be listening intently to what our donors are telling us. Better listening leads to philanthropy which rewards the donor as much as the organization.

    What’s the one book you would recommend to a fundraiser and why? (It can be about fundraising or not!)

    Some of my favorite authors are Kay Sprinkel Grace and Penelope Burk. They write a lot about donor-centered fundraising. I found learning about marketing was very relevant to development work. Marketing focuses on studying target markets, packaging products, and the use of a variety of communication vehicles. Similarly, as fundraisers ascend to leadership in organizations, learning about finance and strategic planning become important.

    What’s the one fundraising blog or periodical you recommend fundraisers subscribing to?

    I was a faithful reader of Chronicle of Philanthropy for a quarter of a century. I clipped it, wrote all over it, circulated it to staff with notes, and prodded when back issues piled up on someone’s desk.

    What’s your favorite donor story?

    “The Unexpected Second Gift” -- The Marsico family was an early and generous investor in the “Space Odyssey” exhibit at the Museum of Nature & Science. Wanting to be good donor stewards, we arranged for Cindy Schulz, program officer for the Marsico Foundation, to come for a site visit. We wanted her to see the theater area we created with the family’s grant. After our tour and profuse thanks for their gift, Cindy announced that the Marsicos wanted to make a second gift of $500,000. We were speechless!

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