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2016 Forum Annual Conference

Monday, July 18, 2016 to Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Indianapolis, IN
The Alexander
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It's a wrap!

The Forum’s 2016 Annual Conference will be the nation’s largest-ever gathering of the CEOs and staffs of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) in the field.

#ForumCon16 will bring together—for the first time—the leadership and staff of all organizations serving the nation’s philanthropic sector, including regional philanthropy-serving organizations (i.e. regional philanthropy associations) as well as national philanthropy-serving organizations, primarily issue-based, identity-based and practice-based national affinity groups. It’s the only conference where we can delve into our unique role as CEOs and staff of regional and national PSOs, connect with others in similar roles, and explore how we can work together to increase philanthropy’s impact.

Please use #ForumCon16 for any social media posts around the conference. 


Check out some of the photo highlights from this year's conference!

Program Highlights
  • Keynote presentations by Jamie Merisotis, President & CEO of Lumina Foundation and Vu Le, Writer of the Nonprofit With Balls blog and Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps. 
  • Funder panel on philanthropy infrastructure trends and issues, featuring Chris Cardona, Ford Foundation; Nick Deychakiwsky, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Lindsay Louie, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; and Miriam Shark, Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  • CEO Summit for leaders of regional and national PSOs. Please note there is a separate registration fee to participate in this session.
  • Staff Summit for staff of all types of regional and national PSOs, featuring Job-Alike roundtable networking and more.
  • An opening reception on July 18 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Attendees will have an opportunity to walk through the museum's collection at the end of the evening.
  • A plenary session on philanthropy’s response to terrorist attacks & migrant “crisis” in Europe and America, with representatives from DAFNE (Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe), the Forum’s European colleague organization, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. 
  • A plenary session focused on how to lead and build cultures and practices that enable networks to thrive, with Converge for Impact.
  • A variety of practical, interactive sessions covering issues relevant to our unique roles at PSOs, including managing member networks, best practices for creating top-rated programs, effective communications and much more.
Check out the agenda


See Who Attended

Did you register for this year's conference? Check out who else was in Indianapolis! Remember to update your profile with a picture and up-to-date contact information.

See the registration list


Questions about the event? Please contact Courtney Moore.

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Who is Speaking

Keynote: Jamie Merisotis

July 19

Jamie is a globally recognized leader in philanthropy, higher education, and public policy. Since 2008, he has led the Lumina Foundation, a driving force for increasing Americans’ success in higher education.

He is also the author of America Needs Talent, a look at why talent is needed to usher in a new era of innovation and success, and why deliberate choices must be made by government, the private sector, education, and individuals to grow talent in America.

Ve LeClosing Keynote: Vu Le

July 20

Vu Le is the writer behind the humor blog He is also the humor writer for Blue Avocado. Vu is the Executive Director of an organization in Seattle, Rainier Valley Corps, which aims to bring more leaders of color in to the nonprofit sector. He was recently recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as a ͞Writer with Attitude.


Schedule of Events

Sunday, July 17
10:00am-5:00pm: Forum Board Meeting
Ralston Boardroom (6th Floor)
4:30 – 6:00 pm: Registration Opens
Outside of The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
6:30pm: Casual Dinner for Conference Attendees (meet in lobby at 6:20)
Scotty's Brewhouse, 1 Virginia Avenue
7:00pm: Pre-Conference Dinner for CEOs (Sponsored by Foundation Center)
Chef JJ’s, 42 W. South Street
Monday, July 18
7:30 am: Registration Opens
Outside of The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
9:00am-4:00pm: CEO Summit 
  • 8:00am 9:00am: Breakfast Available in the Market Table (1st Floor)
  • 9:00am–12:00pm: CEOS of National PSOs meet in Fletcher Place (2nd Floor); CEOs of Regional PSOs meet in Renaissance Place (2nd Floor)
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch for All CEOs  in The Gallery (1st Floor)
  • 1:00pm-4:00pm: CEOs of National & Regional PSOs meet together in Fletcher Place (1st Floor)
11:00am-12:00pm: New Staff Orientation
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
12:00pm-4:00pm: Staff Summit 
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch in the Market Table (1st Floor)
  • 1:00pm-2:30pm: Maximize Your Organization's CRM in The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
  • 2:30pm-4:00pm: Job Alikes in The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
4:15pm-5:15pm: Funder Panel: The Value & Future of Philanthropy’s Infrastructure
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
6:00pm-7:30 pm: Social Reception at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (Sponsored by Lilly Endowment)
500 West Washington Street
7:30pm: Dine Arounds 
Sign-up at registration desk
Tuesday, July 19
7:00am-8:00am: Morning Exercise Groups
7:30am: Registration Opens
Outside of The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
8:00am-9:00am: Breakfast Session: What’s Your Organization’s Fiscal Health? 
Renaissance Place (2nd Floor)
8:00am-9:00am: Breakfast with Networking Roundtables
​The Gallery & Market Table (1st Floor)
9:30am-11:00am: Building Talent for Our Organizations, Field & Communities: A 21st Century Imperative
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
11:00am-11:30am: Break (Sponsored by IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy)
11:30am-1:00pm: Concurrent Sessions
  • Make Up With Evaluation Through Intention, Inquiry and Information in Renaissance Place (2nd Floor)

  • Engaging Sponsors for Maximum ROI in The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)

  • Best Practices for Top-Rated Programming in Fletcher Place (2nd Floor)

1:00pm-2:00pm: Lunch & Meet-Up with Your Pit Crew
The Gallery and Market Table (1st Floor)
2:00pm-2:15pm: Break
2:00pm-3:30pm: Forum Annual Meeting 
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
3:30pm-4:00pm: Break
  • ​Highlights of The Alexander Art Collection Sign-up at registration desk
4:00pm-5:30pm: Building and Strengthening the Forum Network for Greater Impact (Sponsored by Fund Evaluation Group)
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
5:45pm-6:15pm: Highlights of The Alexander Art Collection Sign-up at registration desk 
6:30pm: Social Activities
  • Baseball Game: Victory Field  Cost: $13
  • Cultural Trail Bicycle Tour: Indianapolis Cultural Trail Cost: $35
  • War Memorial & Mass Ave Walking Tour: Indianapolis Cultural Trail Cost: $15
Wednesday, July 20

7:00am-8:00am: Morning Exercise Groups

8:00am-8:45am: Breakfast with Networking Roundtables
The Gallery and Market Table (1st Floor)
10:00am-10:15am: Break 
10:15am-11:15am: Concurrent Sessions
  • Collaborate & Chill: A Behind-the-Scenes look at the California Philanthropy Alliance in Fletcher Place (2nd Floor)
  • Stand for Your Mission in Renaissance Place (2nd Floor)
  • Real Deal Lessons From 5 Years of Collaborative Work to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
11:15am-11:30am: Break 
11:30am-12:45pm: Concurrent Session
  • Cut Through the Noise: Listen to Your Audience in Fletcher Place (2nd Floor)
  • What's Racial Equity Got to Do With It? in The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
  • Collaborating for Greater Impact: How Regional and National PSOs Can Take Their Work to the Next Level in Renaissance Place (2nd Floor)
12:45pm-2:00pm: Closing Plenary and Lunch
The Alexander Ballroom (2nd Floor)
2:00pm: Conference Adjourns
Wednesday, July 20, 2:30-6:00 pm
Thursday, July 21, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Renaissance Place
Wednesday, July 20, 2:30 – 5:30 pm
Fletcher Place
Thursday, July 21, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
The Gallery

Planning Committee

Download the App

2016 Forum Conference App ImageMake sure you have the latest information about the conference at your fingertips and download our conference app! This interactive app will allow you to:

  1. View the complete event schedule, get detailed presenter information, and build your personal agenda.
  2. Share photos and comments via status updates and post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  3. Access the app's Activity Feed for the latest photos, comments, highlights, and more.
  4. Receive announcements and obtain the most up-to-date event information.
  5. Subscribe to a channel to ask questions and share thoughts with other attendees from your region, by topic, or other 1st timers.

Your initial password is set to #ForumCon16.

Conference Hotel

The Alexander

333 South Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Located in downtown Indy, The Alexander is steps away from the The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, numerous restaurants, shopping, and monuments and museums. The hotel features comfortable guest rooms, a spacious lobby, state-of-the-art fitness facility, custom art, and wifi will be made available at no charge throughout the hotel including in the meeting space.

All room blocks are now closed but The Alexander does still have availability at their regular rates.


Opening Reception

Eiteljorg Museum All conference attendees are invited to join us at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art the evening of July 18. The museum's collection will be available to view at the end of the evening.

Catch-up with old friends and make new ones over drinks and light hors d'oeuvres at our opening reception!

Our Sponsors

Opening Reception Sponsor



CEO Dinner




Gold Level Sponsors

The Wallace Foundation logo


Silver Level Sponsors



Bronze Level Sponsors



IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Logo

About Indy

Indianapolis named one of America's favorite cities by Travel + Leisure readers! See the full list


Traveling to and around Indianapolis is easy, convenient and affordable. Known as the Crossroads of America, Indy is within a day’s drive of over half of the country’s population. For those arriving by air, the LEED-certified Indianapolis International Airport is a short, low-traffic 15 minutes from downtown. The airport has racked up tons of accolades for its smart design and customer service and is a fitting welcome to a city known for hospitality and visitor experience.


Indianapolis offers over 250 diverse dining options for all palates and price points. With its rich soil and surrounding agriculture, Indy has been supporting farm-to-table restaurants for decades, with local farmers providing the freshest in produce and protein to menus. International fare, world-famous steakhouses, and sports bars with plenty of televisions for viewing the big game are also just around the corner. Find out more

Cultural Districts

Indianapolis contains six thriving and distinct Cultural Districts, each offering an eclectic mix of shopping, dining and entertainment. The city’s newest amenity, the Cultural Trail, is a bicycle and pedestrian path that winds through downtown connecting visitors with these unique neighborhoods. Find out more

Be Active

As one of the country’s most walkable cities, Indianapolis already has numerous parks, paths and recreational amenities. The new 8-mile bicycle and pedestrian-friendly Cultural Trail that connects visitors to hotels, restaurants, attractions and cultural districts. The trail is lined with art and landscaping, leading it to garner international attention as a model for urban revitalization. The Alexander offers complimentary bikes for guests to use during their stay. Find out more

Find out more about Indianapolis