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2017 Forum Annual Conference

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2017 Forum Annual Conference - July 17-19 in San Francisco, CA

The Forum’s 2017 Annual Conference will be the nation’s largest gathering of the CEOs and staff of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) in the field.

It's a Wrap

Our 2017 Forum Annual Conference was a success in so many ways!

It was our largest conference yet with more than 250 attendees and a record-breaking level of sponsorships, but we measure our real success in the conversations, community and courage that it generated. Our goal was to provide a space for our members and colleagues from across our field to convene, learn, be inspired, grow and have fun. 

Powerful messages were delivered by many of our presenters including Dr. David Williams, whose data showed the wealth and health disparity that is literally killing people of color in this country, and by Dr. Robert K. Ross, who shared a direct call to action for philanthropy to rescue the civic soul of the nation. About half of the concurrent or plenary sessions focused on racial equity issues and called on philanthropy to lift its resources and voice to address the disparity and foundational inequity in our communities. Our other sessions focused on partnership and collaboration for PSOs and our field, and on building professional and personal skills, balanced with peer exchanges and topical hubs. 

We were thrilled to co-host two sessions with our member Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy (EPIP) for emerging leaders working at infrastructure organizations. In the first session, participants shared their leadership challenges and identified resources that could help. In the second, we brought together emerging leaders and infrastructure group CEOs to discuss those challenges and identify areas of common ground. We will release a summary of the session and are considering ways to build on this work. 

We look forward to sharing your feedback through the evaluation summary and additional conference highlights in the coming weeks.

#ForumCon17 brought together 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.

Conference Resources

  • Don't miss the materials from the sessions now available in the online agenda. Click on the "+Details" link to see a session's description, speakers and materials if available or click "+ Expand All Details" at the top for all sessions. 

  • Check out our photo highlights from the conference.

  • Head over to Twitter for short highlight of the action on our conference hashtag.

  • See who attended by accessing the online event roster. Remember to update your profile with a picture and up-to-date contact information. You must be logged into the site as an attendee of the conference or a member of the Forum to access the event roster.

Conference Reflections on Our Blog

Please use #ForumCon17 for any social media posts around the conference.


Questions about the event?

Please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428) with any questions about the conference or if you need help registering.


Program Highlights

  • Keynote presentations by Dr. David R. Williams, Professor at Harvard University, Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer of The California Endowment and Lateefah Simon, President of the Akonadi Foundation.
  • A CEO Summit for the chief executives of regional and national PSOs to come together with your peers for in-depth learning, sharing and reflection.

  • Sessions for each of the Forum's Peer Communities to take a deep dive into your work and to connect with those who share your job responsibilities.

  • An Emerging Practitioners Conversation for attendees with 10 years or less in philanthropy in partnership with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP).

  • An opening reception at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary art centers.

  • A selection of highly practical and interactive sessions covering issues relevant to our unique roles at PSOs including communications, creating a positive workplace culture, impact investing, future of membership associations, collaboration within and among our organizations, internal REDI work and more.

  • A conversation with Peter Nicks, the director, producer and cinematographer of “The Force,” for which Nicks won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival documentary prize for Best Director.

  • A plenary session with a group of foundation leaders on strengthening philanthropy's voice around issues of race, poverty, equity and injustice.

  • A spoken word performance from YouthSpeaks.

  • Launch of our new organization name and brand!


Speaker Highlights


Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard UniversityOpening Keynote: Dr. David R. Williams

Monday, July 17

Our opening keynote speaker will explain why race and ethnicity matter so profoundly when addressing issues of equity. Internationally recognized Harvard professor David R. Williams will demonstrate how race and racism impact health outcomes, and explain why moving a health equity agenda forward is critical to the personal and national interests of all Americans. He will offer guidance for what philanthropy can do to reduce racism and improve health equity for all Americans.


Keynote: Dr. Robert K. Ross

Tuesday, July 18

Join Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment, for a conversation about the intersectionality of health, poverty and racism. Dr. Ross will share his thoughts on the current state of the philanthropic sector, his work at TCE and his philanthropic journey.


Peter Nicks

Tuesday, July 18

Join us for a special conversation with Peter Nicks, the director, producer and cinematographer of “The Force,” for which Nicks won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival documentary prize for Best Director. The documentary goes inside the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to rebuild trust in the community and shed its corrupt image while being challenged by fresh accusations of brutality and harassment and by an increasingly organized and urgent Black Lives Matter movement right outside its doorstep.

Closing Keynote: Lateefah Simon

Wednesday, July 19

Lateefah Simon, President of the Oakland-based Akonadi Foundation, will end the conference on an inspiring note with a closing keynote presentation that will bring together the conference’s main themes and offer her own perspective on how to take what we’ve learned at the conference and move forward with our work.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2:30 - 6:00 pm
Registration Open

Outside of Nikko Ballroom I (3rd Floor)

Come pick up your name badge, program and other conference materials at the registration desk.

3:00 - 5:00 pm
Pre-Conference Outing: Museum of the African Diaspora

685 Mission St (at 3rd), Ground floor of the St. Regis

If you’re arriving early, join a group of fellow conference-goers to visit one of San Francisco’s great cultural treasures: the Museum of the African Diaspora. It is one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural heritage of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures all across the globe. Admission is $10. Please meet in the hotel lobby at 2:45 pm or at the museum entrance at 3:00 pm.


Mendocino II (2nd Floor)

Join your CEO colleagues for informal time to just catch up and network around topics of interest to you.
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Pre-Conference Reception & Dinner for CEOs

Hotel Nikko, Anzu Restaurant (2nd Floor)

All chief executives (presidents, CEOs, executive directors, etc.) are invited to attend this pre-conference social reception and dinner (with a very light program) to connect with your peers in a fun, casual setting.
6:30 pm
Casual Dinner for Conference Attendees

Bartlett Hall, 242 O'Farrell St.

Will you be in town early for the conference? Join us at a local San Francisco restaurant to start your Forum conference experience off the best way possible—with food and your colleagues in a relaxing atmosphere. This dinner is not included in your registration fee.


Monday, July 17, 2017

6:30 - 7:00 am
Morning Exercise Groups
Energize the start of your day with a walk or run with other attendees. Sign up at the registration desk.
7:30 am
Registration Open

Outside of Nikko Ballroom I (3rd Floor)

Come pick up your name badge, program and other conference materials at the registration desk.

8:00 am - 12:00 pm
CEO Summit: Part I

Bay View (25th Floor)

The CEO Summit is a rare opportunity for the chief executives of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) to come together with your peers for in-depth learning, sharing and reflection. Summit highlights include:

  • Kick-off presentation by Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, on leading effective foundations and effective PSOs in complex, changing times.
  • Facilitated discussions on our leadership role today and on how we can work together in new ways through our expanded network.
  • Several “rapid sharing sessions” to pose your burning questions to your CEO colleagues.
  • Time for open networking to get to know each other better.
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Emerging Practitioners Conversation (Pre-registration is required)
Presented in Partnership with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)

Peninsula (25th Floor)

This session is designed for attendees who have spent 10 years or fewer in philanthropy. Join your colleagues to kick off the conference! You will meet others who are new to the field, discuss challenges about your role in the sector and share your vision for the future of philanthropy. Each participant will also be asked to solidify your goals for the conference and develop practices to actualize them.

  • Likely discussion topics will include:
  • Your experiences, hopes and challenges in the field.
  • Recent research from both EPIP and The Center for Effective Philanthropy on leaders’ impressions of the future of philanthropy.
  • Organizational culture and how it impacts your work and path.

*On the final day of the conference, session participants will also have the unique opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences with senior leaders and have a conversation about how to continue to work across generations of practitioners.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Conference Orientation for 1st Time Attendees

Carmel I (3rd Floor)

First time attending the Forum’s Annual Conference? Join us to learn more about how we’ll spend the next few days, review highlights of the conference agenda and get a tutorial of how to engage with our conference app. You’ll also have an opportunity to get to know other attendees.

12:15 - 1:30 pm
Opening Lunch & Keynote: “Race, Equity & Philanthropy”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

Our opening keynote speaker will explain why race and ethnicity matter so profoundly when addressing issues of equity. Internationally recognized Harvard professor Dr. David R. Williams will demonstrate how race and racism impact health outcomes, and explain why moving a health equity agenda forward is critical to the personal and national interests of all Americans. He will offer guidance for what philanthropy can do to reduce racism and improve health equity for all Americans.

Dr. David R. Williams is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. He is a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies.

Session Materials:

1:30 - 2:30 pm
Dessert and Discussion

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

Spend time at your tables with your peers to discuss key questions and share your thoughts about Dr. Williams’ remarks. How do we work collaboratively, in partnerships and individually, to move this work in our PSO roles?
3:00 - 5:00 pm
CEO Summit: Part II
Peer Community Sessions and Open Space

Bay View (25th Floor)

The CEO Summit will continue with an afternoon session.

Peer Community Sessions and Open Space

Join your colleagues in peer community sessions to take a deep dive into your work and to connect with those who share your job responsibilities—the only people in the country who understand exactly what you do!—to discuss collaboration, partnerships, trends and ideas of how to strengthen your work. You can also take advantage of open space for thinking, meeting and connections, or participate in a discussion about the Forum's newly forming Peer Community on Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.

  • Communications Peer Community (Nikko I, 3rd Floor)
  • Program Peer Community (Carmel I, 3rd Floor)
  • Membership Peer Community (Monterey I, 3rd Floor)
    Session Materials: Member Engagement Roundtable Notes
  • Finance and Administration Peer Community (Carmel II, 3rd Floor)
  • Public Policy Peer Community (Nikko II, 3rd Floor)
  • Racial Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Peer Community (Nikko III, 3rd Floor)
  • Open Space (Monterey II, 3rd Floor)
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Opening Reception: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Offsite: 701 Mission St

Celebrate the opening night of the conference with your colleagues over refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres at our opening reception at one of San Francisco’s most popular art venues! Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) is one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary art centers. Founded in 1993 as the cultural anchor of the Yerba Buena Gardens development, YBCA offers leading edge exhibitions, performances, and films; and engages in groundbreaking civic initiatives and community partnerships. YBCA is “where creativity, people and new ideas collide.”

Getting There:

Walking- ½ mile walk (directions available in the app).

Shuttle Bus- Shuttle buses will depart for the Yerba Buena Center at 5:15, 5:30 and 5:45 pm. Please meet in the hotel lobby and Forum staff will direct you to the shuttle. The shuttles will return to the Hotel Nikko at 7:00 pm.

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Dine Arounds
Continue your conversations over dinner at one of San Francisco’s many great dining options. Additional information about the options and dinner leaders is available in the conference app. Sign-up at the registration desk and meet your dinner leader in the lobby of the Yerba Buena Arts Center at the close of the reception!
9:00 - 10:00 pm
CHANGE Philanthropy Networking Reception

Anzu Lounge (2nd Floor)

Join your colleagues from CHANGE Philanthropy in the Hotel Nikko's Anzu Lounge for a bit of fun and networking over dessert and drinks. The first drink and dessert is on them!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

6:30 - 7:30 am
Morning Exercise Groups
Energize the start of your day with a walk or run with other attendees. Sign up at the registration desk.
7:30 am
Registration Open

Outside of Nikko Ballroom I (3rd Floor)

Come pick up your name badge, program and other conference materials at the registration desk.

8:30 - 9:45 am
Breakfast Plenary:
A Gift-Wrapped Call to Action: How Will Philanthropy Respond?
Keynote Presenter: Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

Dr. Robert K. Ross will kick off Day 2 of our conference by engaging conference participants in a thought-provoking presentation and discussion on the current state of our nation’s moral and civic soul and philanthropy’s role in ensuring meaningful opportunity, inclusion, social justice and equity. As the leader of a private foundation accountable to a mission of wellness, health and opportunity in marginalized and excluded communities, Dr. Ross will share ideas for how philanthropy—and philanthropy-serving organizations specifically—can engage in true leadership and radical collaboration at this moment in time. The session will include opportunities for group discussions and open-mic sharing with Dr. Ross.
10:00 - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Communications - Feeding the Beast
  • Session 2: My Members Are Interested in Impact Investing, So Now What?
  • Session 3: The Next Rules of Association Value Creation: Part 1
  • Session 4: How are You Flourishing?
Session 1: Communications - Feeding the Beast

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

What does it take to create a robust communications plan and execute on a daily basis with limited resources and multiple platforms? What is worthy of your time and attention to best serve your members? Join your national and regional PSO colleagues to discuss how to feed the beast.

Moderator: Eric Brown, Principal, Brownbridge Strategies (@epbro)
Conversationalists: Stephanie Gocklin, Director of Communications, Florida Philanthropic Network; Ethan McCoy, Senior Writer – Development & Communications, The Center for Effective Philanthropy; Michael Remaley, Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Communications, Philanthropy New York (@MAHRemaley); and Tupou Tongilava, Communications Associate, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Session Materials:

Session 2: My Members Are Interested in Impact Investing, So Now What?

Nikko III (3rd Floor)

What is the case for me supporting and engaging members in the world of Impact Investing, and where do I start? Who are my colleagues in the field who are already active, and what can I learn from their experience in navigating this new aspect of philanthropic investing? Join Mission Investors Exchange and The Giving Practice, along with regional and national PSO colleagues, in this interactive session to get you oriented and ready to meet your members where they are (or aspire to be) in the world of Impact Investing.

Facilitator: Nhadine Leung, Managing Director, Mission Investors Exchange.
Conversationalists: Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice; Susan Hammel, Founder, Cogent Consulting and David Lynn, Chief Investment Officer, Mission Driven Finance

Session Materials:

Session 3: The Next Rules of Association Value Creation: Part I

Monterey I (3rd Floor)

To build their organizations to thrive in the years ahead, association staff must think beyond membership and develop the ability to create other forms of distinctive value in collaboration with their stakeholders. The value creation process is about discovering actionable insights that can help answer three fundamental questions:

  • What are our stakeholders' problems, needs and outcomes?
  • What value elements matter most to our stakeholders?
  • What new solutions, services and support can we co-create with our stakeholders?

In Part I of this two-part learning experience, participants will challenge their assumptions about how associations are supposed to create value by exploring the next rules of association value creation.

To prepare for this learning experience, participants should view the video content after July 5, 2017:

Speaker: Jeff De Cagna, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC (@dutyofforesight)

Session Materials:

Session 4: How Are You Flourishing?

Carmel (3rd Floor)

With thoughtful attention to culture, workplaces hold the promise and possibility to support human flourishing. We all have a role to play in these efforts - from CEO to Administrative Assistant - and investing in your workplace community creates the opportunity to deeply experience the organization’s values and extend your influence and impact.

Chris Murchison is a passionate advocate for positive workplace cultures. In his broad career spanning the higher education, for-profit and not-for-profit fields he has focused his energy on developing creative means to building community at work and practices that support an employee's experience of respect, connection, joy and learning. Join Chris in this highly interactive experience to explore what it means to thrive at work.

Speaker: Chris Murchison, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan Ross School of Business (@MurchisonChris)

12:00 - 1:30 pm
Forum Annual Meeting: The Power of the Network / Brand Celebration

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

The Forum’s 2017 Annual Meeting will be an opportunity to elect new Forum Directors, look back on Forum highlights of the past year and look ahead to the Forum's promising future. The meeting's program will include a special presentation to celebrate the power of our new and expanding philanthropic network, and the not-to-be-missed unveiling of the Forum’s new name and brand identity.

“Power of Our Network” Presenters to Include: Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO, ABFE; David Biemesderfer, President and CEO, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (@dbiemesderfer); Chris Essel, President and CEO, Southern California Grantmakers (@Christine_Essel); Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager, Philanthropy Northwest (@LynHunter98118); Dwayne Marshall, Director of Programs & Partnerships, Southeastern Council of Foundations; Tamir Novotny, Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (@tamirnovotny).

1:45 - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: The Next Rules of Association Value Creation: Part II
  • Session 2: Collaboration: It’s Not Just That You Collaborate, It’s the Way You Collaborate
  • Session 3: Inside Out: Doing Racial, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Work Internally
  • Session 4: How to Assess Your Association’s Business Model and Find Ways to Strengthen It
Session 1: The Next Rules of Association Value Creation: Part II

Monterey I (3rd Floor)

To build their organizations to thrive in the years ahead, association staff must think beyond membership and develop the ability to create other forms of distinctive value in collaboration with their stakeholders. The value creation process is about discovering actionable insights that can help answer three fundamental questions:

  • What are our stakeholders' problems, needs and outcomes?
  • What value elements matter most to our stakeholders?
  • What new solutions, services and support can we co-create with our stakeholders?

In Part II of this two-part learning experience, participants will have a chance to practice using what they learned in Part I and will emerge with specific action steps they can take to develop their capabilities as value creators for their organizations.

To prepare for this learning experience, participants should view the video content available starting July 5, 2017:

Speaker: Jeff De Cagna, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC (@dutyofforesight)

Session Materials:


Session 2: Collaboration: It’s Not Just That You Collaborate, It’s the Way You Collaborate

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

Engage in a dynamic conversation about the ethical principles that should be at the forefront of foundation collaboration. Through peer-to-peer debate and learning, participants will be invited to explore the content of proposed principles and exchange ideas on how they could be applied to advance their own organization’s programming and shared with the members they support.

Two years ago, some of the leading consulting groups supporting nonprofit and philanthropic collaborations – who are otherwise competitors – came together to create a set of guiding principles for collaborations occurring in the philanthropic environment, be they between foundations, nonprofits, government, private entities or some mix or combination. Since then, the group revised, and re-revised the principles so that they represented high aspiration, grounded in experience, and were applicable to philanthropic-sponsored collaborations broadly. Their work argues that how foundations “show up” and pursue collaboration is as important as the agendas pursued by those collaborations. Now, your insights, open mind, and creativity are needed to advance this important conversation!

Facilitators: Lauren Marra, Director, Community Wealth Partners, Jared Raynor, Director of Evaluation, TCC Group and Elissa Sloan Perry, Co-Director, Management Assistance Group (MAG)

Session Materials:

Session 3: Inside Out: Doing Racial, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Work Internally

Nikko III (3rd Floor)

The idea of incorporating equity in philanthropy is gaining traction in the field, but the “how” of embracing equity can prove elusive—especially when PSOs and foundations turn that equity lens inward. What does equity “look like” inside a PSO or foundation? Where is the best place to start? How do PSOs and their member foundations bring all of their staff on board with an equity agenda—especially if an explicit focus on equity is something new and different? What are the biggest challenges in incorporating equity? What are examples of equitable practices that have been successfully implemented? In this session, you’ll hear from PSO colleagues about what they are doing broadly to incorporate equity internally, as well as how PSOs and funders are making equity a part of their day-to-day operations. Whether you're already incorporating equity internally or are just getting started, this session will provide you with concrete examples and advice to move the process forward.

Facilitators: Edward M. Jones, Director of Programs, ABFE and Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group (@Philanthropy411)

Session Materials:

Session 4: How to Assess Your Association’s Business Model and Find Ways to Strengthen It

Carmel (3rd Floor)

Many association leaders struggle to decide how best to balance their available resources against their program vision and member needs. Participants at this workshop will come away with increased knowledge on how to measure their organization’s financial business model through a sustainability lens; and with a tool to help them conduct an assessment that informs programmatic decisions.

Presenters: Andreason L. Brown, Executive Vice President & CFO, Forefront and Stuart Cohen, Principal, Fiscal Management Associates

Session Materials:

3:30 - 4:45 pm
Collaborative Hubs

Participate with your regional and national PSO colleagues in a structured conversation on how we can work together in new ways on critical issues and service areas for our work:

Philanthropy, Democracy and Civic Engagement: Census 2020

Monterey I, 3rd Floor

Learn what is happening across the country around both the 2020 census and how to work with members around issues of democracy and civic engagement.

Facilitators: Erin Skene-Pratt, Census 2020 Project Manager, Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and Members of Midwest Cohort for the Forum's Census 2020 project

Session Materials:

Disasters & Resilient Communities: The Role of PSOs

Nikko I & II, 3rd Floor

What is philanthropy’s role in disasters and community crises? More specifically, what roles can PSOs play before, during, and after such events to catalyze and support their members as they respond? Join colleagues to learn about approaches, tools, and resources available and expertise we can tap within our network to strengthen our work individually and collectively.

Facilitators: Robert G. (Bob) Ottenhoff, President and CEO, Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Andrea Zussman, Manager, Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability, Northern California Grantmakers

How PSOs are Taking the Lead on Creating Impact Investing Ecosystems in Place: Practitioner Exchange

Carmel I, 3rd Floor

For PSOs that are working in the impact investing space, join your colleagues to discuss the leadership role PSOs are taking to develop the ecosystems of impact in their regions. The session will include preliminary research results from Mission Investors Exchange on local ecosystem building that includes more than 5 different PSOs’ experiences in the field.

Facilitators: Rosalie Sheehy Cates, Senior Advisor, The Giving Practice and Impact Investing Catalyst Fellow and Melanie Audette, Senior Vice President, and colleagues from Mission Investors Exchange

Learnings from Foundation Openness Work

Carmel II, 3rd Floor

Please join grantees of the Fund for Shared Insight and, Jennifer James from Harder+Company Community Research for an interactive conversation about increasing foundation openness.

Facilitators: Jennifer James, Senior Vice President, Harder+Company Community Research and grantees of the Forum's Fund for Shared Insight project

Session Materials:

Providing Community Foundation Services

Nikko I & II, 3rd Floor

Learn what your regional and national PSO colleagues are doing to provide services to community foundations, and explore how PSOs can continue to collaborate through the Forum to serve the community foundation field moving forward.

Facilitator: Marissa Manlove, President & CEO, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance

Racial Equity Hub

Nikko III, 3rd Floor

As the Forum’s Racial Equity Working Group begins their work, come discuss what their role will be and what else is happening and needed by PSOs who are doing this work internally and with their members.

Facilitator: Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO, ABFE

Philanthropy Practice Hub

Nikko I & II, 3rd Floor

What is happening in the field around programming and curriculum for your members? What is the next generation of Essential Skills Curriculum and how can we organize around all the talent in our network? Join us as we reconfigure this work for the new Forum.

Facilitator: Debbie McKeon, Senior Vice President, Member Services, Council of Michigan Foundations

Providing Corporate Philanthropy Services

Nikko I & II, 3rd Floor

Join your colleagues for a roundtable discussion about our corporate philanthropy members. Topics may include (but are not limited to) programming and member services specific to corporate members, recruiting and retaining corporate members, corporate webinar series, and MCCI (Maximizing Corporate Community Investments).

Facilitator: Craig Weinrich, Director of Member Services, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

Open Space for Networking and Meeting

Monterey II, 3rd Floor

Join in a conversation around using Liberating Structure or schedule your own in this open space. Liberating Structures are ways to conduct conversation to move projects or ideas forward in a group dynamic.

Facilitators: Audrey Haberman, Managing Director, The Giving Practice and Lyn Hunter, Senior Program Manager, Philanthropy Northwest

5:00 - 5:30 pm
Spoken Word Performance with YouthSpeaks

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

One of the world’s leading presenters of Spoken Word performance, education, and youth development programs, Youth Speaks produces local and national youth poetry slams, festivals and reading series, alongside a comprehensive slate of arts-in-education programs during the school day, in the after-school hours and on weekends. In addition, they create internationally-recognized theater and digital programming, and have helped launch a national network of over 70 programs that believe in the power of young people.
5:45 - 7:00 pm
Clips, Conversation & Cocktails: Peter Nicks, Director of “The Force” (Pre-registration is required)

Monterey I (3rd Floor)

Before heading out to dinner, join us for this special conversation with Peter Nicks, the director, producer and cinematographer of The Force, for which Nicks won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival documentary prize for Best Director. Nicks’ vérité documentary goes inside the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to rebuild trust in the community and shed its corrupt image while being challenged by fresh accusations of brutality and harassment and by an increasingly organized and urgent Black Lives Matter movement right outside its doorstep. A conversation with Nicks and Carrie Lozano, Director at International Documentary Association, introduced by Vince Stehle, Executive Director of Media Impact Funders, will be interspersed with clips from the film. 
6:30 pm

Outings and Activities

  • San Francisco Food and Walking Tour (6:30-9:30 pm)
  • Dine Arounds (7:00 pm)
6:30-9:30 pm (meet in hotel lobby at 6 pm)

San Francisco Food and Walking Tour

This 2-mile walking tour will start in the heart of downtown San Francisco at Transamerica Redwood park. We will weave our way through the Financial District and the historic Jackson Square neighborhood as we discuss the influences and secrets of the Gold Rush. We will continue into North Beach and Chinatown to discuss the rich cultures and communities that make up these neighborhoods. Along the way, enjoy a variety of cuisine samples from the diverse communities of San Francisco, led by guides who grew up there. Pre-registration is required, $50 fee. Find out more about this tour and the tour guides.

Dine Arounds


Continue your conversations over dinner at one of San Francisco’s many great dining options. Additional information about the options and dinner leaders is available in the conference app. Sign-up at the registration desk and meet your dinner leader in the hotel lobby at 7 pm!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6:30 - 7:30 am
Morning Exercise Groups
Energize the start of your day with a walk or run with other attendees. Sign up at the registration desk.
7:30 am
Registration Opens

Outside of Nikko Ballroom I (3rd Floor)

Come pick up your name badge, program and other conference materials at the registration desk.
8:30 - 9:45 am
Breakfast Plenary Session: “Strengthening Philanthropy’s Voice: Foundation Leaders Roundtable”

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

This session will provide an open and honest discussion among foundation CEOs about when and how the philanthropic sector, as well as individual foundations, can offer a strong and clear voice and point of view on critical issues facing our communities and country today. How can philanthropy find and strengthen its voice around issues of race, poverty, equity and injustice in turbulent times? If not now, when will philanthropy rise up and take action to focus on the nation’s most divisive and important issues? How do we lift our voice in national unity for transformational change using our resources for the common good in new and critical ways? How can philanthropy ramp up its engagement in advocacy and public policy at a time when it is most needed? What is the role for regional and national PSOs in ensuring a strong voice for philanthropy? This distinguished foundation leader roundtable will explore these and other critical questions, engaging with each other and with conference participants in a meaningful community dialogue.

Moderator: Kathleen Enright, President and CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (@EnrightGEO)
Conversationalists: Judy Belk, President & CEO, California Wellness Foundation (@CEO_CalWellness); Fred Blackwell, CEO, The San Francisco Foundation (@fredblackwelliv); Daniel Lee, Executive Director, Levi Strauss Foundation (@flybyboy)

10:00 - 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions:

  • Session 1: 5 Questions A Healthy Organization Can Answer
  • Session 2: Supporting Our Member's Collaboration
  • Session 3: Philanthropy's Impact on Under-Resourced Communities
Session 1: 5 Questions A Healthy Organization Can Answer

Nikko III (3rd Floor)

There are questions that every healthy organization should be able to answer to offer strategic guidance and a launch for evaluative practice. These include:

  • What is the "problem/issue" you seek to solve?
  • What is your unique contribution?
  • How do you make change happen (in relationship to the problem/issue)?
  • What are you learning in your work?
  • What do you need to do? (Planning)

To make the most of this session, attend with at least one other colleague from your organization.

Presenter: Jara Dean-Coffey, Principal and Founder, Luminare Group

Session Materials:

Session 2: Supporting Our Members' Collaboration

Carmel (3rd Floor)

Learn from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Minnesota Council on Foundations and Southern California Grantmakers about how they have experienced successful and challenging collaborations and what they have learned along the way.

Presenters: Nichole Hoeflich, Program Specialist, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO); Dave Sheldon, Vice President, Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Southern California Grantmakers and Alfonso Wenker, Vice President, Minnesota Council on Foundations

Session 3: Philanthropy's Impact on Under-Resourced Communities

Monterey I (3rd Floor)

'First, do no harm' is a tenet of the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors. Perhaps philanthropists should take the same oath before they enter communities that are in need. How can philanthropy be most effective in serving historically under-resourced communities, and what is the role of PSOs to lead philanthropy in this area?

Conversationalists: Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO, Native Americans in Philanthropy and Jeanné L. L. Isler, Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Session Materials: 

11:45 am - 12:30 pm

Mini-Concurrent Sessions:

  • Session 1: Emerging Practitioner Conversation with CEOs
  • Session 2: Balancing the Personal with the Professional as PSO
  • Session 3: Moment to Reflect on Lessons Learned
  • Session 4: Illumidata
Session 1: Emerging Practitioner Conversation with CEOs

Nikko III (3rd Floor)

At this session, the CEOs and next-gen leaders of PSOs will have a chance to talk on an even footing about our hopes for our field and how we can advance them together. The discussion will draw from research projects conducted separately by Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and The Center for Effective Philanthropy, examining practitioners' views on philanthropy and areas where change is ripest or most pressing. Walk away from the discussion with a renewed sense of common ground and greater clarity on where and how we can work across generations to advance meaningful change in our sector.

Session 2: Balancing the Personal with the Professional as PSO

Monterey I (3rd Floor)

These times weigh heavily on many of us. In this session we'll look at some tools and ideas of how to keep things in balance when our personal feelings may come in conflict with our professional responsibilities and roles.

Presenter: Carly Hare, Coalition Director, CHANGE Philanthropy

Session 3: Moment to Reflect on Lessons Learned

Monterey II (3rd Floor)

Use this space for some personal reflection about the many messages and rich information shared over the last several days. What will you take home and use? What do you want to think more about? Who do you want to get in touch with? What were the best ideas you heard during the conference? What is hanging out in your heart and head? What will you do differently?

Session 4: Illumidata: a Data Initiative Designed to Bring All Forms of Social Sector Data Together in One Easy to Navigate Platform

Carmel (3rd Floor)

Join representatives from Fluxx and Council of Michigan Foundations to learn about an exciting data project that overlays different data sets from various partners to give a picture of needs and resources in specific geographic areas. This new project could change the way in which philanthropy deploys resources and measure impact when it gets off the ground. This conversation will explore the challenges and opportunities of taking on something this big.

Speakers: William Corkill, Director of Technology and Debbie McKeon, Senior Vice President, Member Services, Council of Michigan Foundations and David Goodman, Director of Impact, Fluxx Lab

12:45 - 2:00 pm
Closing Lunch and Plenary
Keynote Presenter: Lateefah Simon, President, Akonadi Foundation

Nikko I & II (3rd Floor)

We’ll end the conference on an inspiring note with a closing keynote presentation by Lateefah Simon (@lateefahsimon), who will bring together the conference’s main themes and offer her own perspective on how to take what we’ve learned at the conference and move forward with our work. In addition to leading the Oakland-based Akonadi Foundation, which works to support and nurture racial justice movement building to eliminate structural racism, Simon is an elected official, winning a 2016 election to the BART Board of Directors, and she was appointed by the governor to the California State University’s Board of Trustees. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient at age 26, Simon also brings many years of experience in advocating for low-income young women and girls and for juvenile and criminal justice reform.

2:00 pm
Conference Adjourns


Post-Conference Sessions

Wed, July 19, 2:00 - 9:00pm
CHANGE Philanthropy Meeting (open to CHANGE Partners only)
Wed, July 19, 2:30 - 6:00pm
Thur, July 20, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wed, July 19, 2:30 - 5:30pm
Thur, July 20, 8:00am - 3:00pm

Monday, July 17, 2017 to Wednesday, July 19, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Add to Calendar

Online registration is now closed.

Please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428) to register at this time.

Registration Fees

Early-Bird Pricing Extended to June 9 (member / non-member)

  • Full-Conference: $450 / $650
  • Full-Conference Discount for more than 3 attendees from an organization: $400 ($50 discount). This discount is only available to Forum members and will be applied after the registration(s) are complete. 
  • Full-Conference with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $550 / $750
  • Monday & Tuesday Only: $375 / $575
  • Monday & Tuesday with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $475 / $675
  • Monday Only: $100 / $300
  • Tuesday Only: $275 / $475
  • Wednesday Only: $175 / $375
  • Wednesday Lunch: $75

Regular Pricing (member / non-member)

  • Full-Conference: $500 / $700
  • Full-Conference Discount for more than 3 attendees from an organization: $450 ($50 discount). This discount is only available to Forum members and will be applied after the registration(s) are complete. 
  • Full-Conference with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $600 / $800
  • Monday & Tuesday Only: $425 / $625
  • Monday & Tuesday with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $525 / $725
  • Monday Only: $150 / $350
  • Tuesday Only: $325 / $525
  • Wednesday Only: $225 / $425
  • Wednesday Lunch: $75

Who is Eligible to Attend?

  • Regional philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • National identity-based philanthropy affinity groups, membership associations and organizations.
  • Regional and national issue-based philanthropy affinity groups, membership associations and organizations.
  • National practice-based affinity groups, philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • Regional and national philanthropy membership associations and organizations focused on a single type of funder.
  • National sector-wide philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • Academic centers of philanthropy
  • Sponsors
  • Board members & other leaders of philanthropy-serving organizations
  • Consultants with the endorsement of a Forum membership organization

What's Included in My Registration Fee?

  • CEO Summit Pre-Conference Session- includes dinner on 7/16. Breakfast and morning sessions on 7/17
  • Full Conference- includes afternoon sessions, lunch, and reception on 7/17; all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/18; and all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/19
  • Tuesday Only- includes opening reception on 7/17 and all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/18
  • Wednesday Only- includes all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/19
  • Wednesday Lunch Only- lunch session on 7/19

Registration FAQs

Step #1: Login

To register you will need an account on our website. If you already have an account, login with your email address and password. Aren't sure if you have an account? Enter your email address here to reset your password. If your email address isn't found, create an account. Please note that new accounts are not automatically approved and need to be activated by a Forum staff member. You may need to wait up to 24 hours for your account to be activated and you will receive an email once you have been approved.

Step #2: Register

Select the appropriate option in the list available at the top of the page and click the "Register Now" button. You will not see the options or "Register Now" button unless you are logged in. Go to your cart and make any adjustments to the quantities if you are registering more than one person. Click the "Checkout" button.

Step #3: Checkout

On the checkout page, indicate who each registration is for and fill out any additional information requested. If you are looking to register someone else from your organization (staff or volunteer leader) but don't see them listed, please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428).

Registering Others at Your Organization?

Follow the steps above to create a login for yourself if you haven't already. Once logged in, select the appropriate option from the list and make any adjustments to the quantities in your cart if you are registering more than one person from your organization. On the checkout page, you'll be able to assign each registration option to another contact associated with your organization in our system. If you don't see them listed, please contact Courtney Moore for further assistance by including the names, titles, and email addresses of those you'd like to register.

Plenary Session Speakers

Judy BelkThe California Wellness Foundation


As president and CEO, Judy Belk leads The California Wellness Foundation in pursuing its mission to improve the health of the people of California. Belk is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of senior management experience in the philanthropic, government, nonprofit and corporate sectors. Before joining Cal Wellness in April of 2014, she served as senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a position she held since 2002. Previously, Belk served as vice president of global public affairs at Levi Strauss & Co., reporting directly to the chairman and CEO, with responsibilities for both the company’s and the foundation’s leadership in the global fight against AIDS, as well as their economic development, environmental and antiracism initiatives. She currently serves on the board of the Surdna Foundation. Past board service includes Southern California Grantmakers, National Center on Family Philanthropy, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Belk received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and her master’s degree in public administration from California State University, East Bay, where she was recognized as the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Fred Blackwell, The San Francisco Foundation


Fred Blackwell is a visionary leader working to ensure shared prosperity, innovation, and equity in the Bay Area. As CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, he leads one of the largest community foundations in the country, working hand-in-hand with donors, nonprofits, community leaders, business, and government partners in philanthropy to identify, influence, and leverage best practices and long-term solutions to make a greater impact in our community. Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as interim city administrator for the City of Oakland where he previously served as the assistant city administrator. He was the executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco; served as the director of the Making Connections Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland; was a multicultural fellow in Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation; and subsequently managed a multi-year comprehensive community initiative for TSFF in West Oakland. He holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Morehouse College.

Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO)


Kathleen P. Enright is the founding president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. GEO is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers working to reshape the way philanthropy operates. Kathleen speaks and writes regularly on issues of nonprofit and grantmaker effectiveness at national and regional gatherings of executives and trustees. Publications include Investing in Leadership: Inspiration and Ideas from Philanthropy’s Latest Frontier and Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity. She is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post. Previously, Kathleen served as the group director, marketing and communications for BoardSource and was a project manager for the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation, where she directed a Ford Foundation funded project to encourage collaboration between nonprofits and local governments. In 2007, Kathleen received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the George Washington University Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, a public administration honour society. She serves on the advisory board of The Center for Effective Philanthropy. She previously served on Independent Sector’s Building Value Together Committee and the selection committee of the Washington Post Nonprofit Excellence Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University.


Daniel Lee, Levi Strauss Foundation


Daniel Jae-Won Lee is the executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation, which supports pioneering social change in the areas of HIV/AIDS, worker rights and well-being and social justice in communities touched by Levi Strauss & Co.’s business. During his tenure, the Foundation’s signature initiatives have included Pioneers in Justice (supporting next-generation civil rights and movement leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Worker Well-being (partnering with suppliers to improve the well-being of makers in the apparel industry). His board service includes the Council on Foundations, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Funders Concerned about AIDS and Astraea Foundation, and he has served on the advisory councils of the Global Fund for Women and Horizons Foundation. Previously, he was senior program officer for Asia Pacific at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. He received his AB in religion from Princeton University and Master of Divinity from Harvard University.


Peter Nicks, Documentary Filmmaker

Peter Nicks is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has produced projects for network, cable and public television exploring topics such as immigration, journalism and technology. He has also directed media strategy for two social networking start-ups and developed transmedia storytelling projects that make use of emerging social media platforms. He worked as a staff producer for ABC News in New York and as a producer for the innovative PBS documentary series Life 360. Peter received the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Directing Award for a U.S. documentary for his film The Force, a cinema verité look at the long-troubled Oakland Police Department that goes deep inside their struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson and an explosive scandal. His previous films include The Waiting Room (2012) and Fruitvale Station (2013). Peter earned his master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from the University of California, Berkeley.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Robert K. Ross, The California Endowment

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993. Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health executive, and as a clinician. His service includes: medical director for LINK School‐Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Master in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the regional and national level. He serves as a Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans; a Board member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Co‐Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition; Board member, USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy; and has served as a Board member of Grantmakers in Health, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. He has received numerous awards and honors including the 2011 Public Health Champion award from the UCLA School of Public Health, 2011 Latino Health Alliance Champion Award, 2011 California Association of Human Relations Organization Civil Rights Award, 2009 Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Access to Justice Award, and the Council on Foundations’ 2008 Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year Award. He has also been named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders in health policy, and he was recently named by The NonProfit Times as one of the 50 Most Influential Non‐Profit Leaders in America.


Keynote Speaker

Lateefah Simon, Akonadi Foundation


Lateefah Simon stepped into her role as Akonadi Foundation’s president in August 2016. A nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice, Simon brings over 20 years of executive experience in advancing opportunities for communities of color and low-income communities in the Bay Area. Prior to joining Oakland-based Akonadi, she served as program director for the San Francisco-based Rosenberg Foundation, a statewide grantmaker focusing on systemic barriers that stand in the way of full access to equity and opportunity for Californians. Simon has received numerous awards for her work, including the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship at age 26, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40, and the Jefferson Award for extraordinary public service. She was named Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly and has also been recognized by the Ford Foundation, the National Organization for Women, Lifetime Television, and O Magazine. In 2016, Simon was elected to serve District 7 on the BART Board of Directors and was appointed by the governor to the California State University’s Board of Trustees.


Vincent Stehle, Media Impact Funders


Vince Stehle is a longtime and widely respected advocate for philanthropic efforts. Before joining Media Impact Funders as executive director, he was program director for nonprofit sector support at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. He also served as a consultant with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of its efforts in media innovation and journalism. Prior to joining Surdna, Stehle worked for 10 years as a reporter for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he covered a broad range of issues about the nonprofit sector. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of The Center for Effective Philanthropy.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University

David R. Williams. Ph.D., is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. His first six years as a faculty member were at Yale University, where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. The next 14 years were at the University of Michigan, where he was the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Social Research and a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Dr. Williams holds an MPH degree from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Williams is internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies. He is the author of more than 325 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has served on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals and as a reviewer for over 60 journals. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the Top 10 Most Cited Researchers in the Social Sciences during the decade 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education ranked him as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2008. In 2001, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and in 2007 to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he received one of the inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Awards. n 2011, he was the first non-white scholar to receive the Leo G. Reeder Award from the American Sociological Association and in 2013, he received the Stephen Smith Award for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Williams has been involved in the development of health policy at the national level. He has served on the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on eight committees for the Institute of Medicine including the Committee that prepared the Unequal Treatment report. He has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations, such as the American Sociological Association, the American Public Health Association, and Academy Health. He also served as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Dr Williams has also played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness of the problem of health disparities and identifying interventions to address them. He served as the staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. This national, independent and nonpartisan health commission was focused on identifying evidence-based, non-medical strategies that can improve the health of all Americans and reduce racial and socioeconomic gaps in health.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE

Susan Taylor Batten has more than twenty years of experience in directing, evaluating and advising both public and foundation-related efforts to improve outcomes for children, youth and families. Ms. Batten joined the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) as President and CEO in January 2009. Prior to joining ABFE, Ms. Batten was a Senior Associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Prior to Casey, Ms. Batten served as Vice President at The Center for Assessment and Policy Development where she directed projects for national foundations in the areas of leadership development and supports for young parents and their children. While working with the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, she oversaw national evaluations of federal child nutrition programs and helped to increase access to food programs for the homeless population. Prior to USDA, Ms. Batten worked for several years for the Government of the District of Columbia on comprehensive children’s initiatives and, in particular, efforts to coordinate early childhood programs and policies across the city.

Ms. Batten was a member of the inaugural Class (2005-2006) of ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellows, a program designed to foster the development of mid-career African American leaders in the field of philanthropy. In 2008, she was named Change Agent of the Year by The Schott Foundation for Public Education. In 2015, Ms. Batten received the Pacesetter Award from the National Association of Security Professionals for her work to diversify the field of endowment asset management. She is a co-founder of the Race and Equity in Philanthropy Group and also serves on the board of the Forum for Regional Association of Grantmakers. Ms. Batten received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from Fisk University, and her Masters of Social Work degree from Howard University.


Andreason Brown, Forefront

Andreason joined Forefront in 2010. Andreason supports the execution of strategic organizational decision making and realization of programmatic and financial priorities while also managing special projects and initiatives. He oversees the administrative functions of governance, finance, accounting, human resources, and information technology. Andreason supports the overall strategic direction of Forefront, leads finance and administration, and will also develop and grow Forefront’s financial consulting and fiscal arrangement activities. Previously, he served as VP and Assistant Treasurer for the Executive Service Corps of Chicago and Operations Director at the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference. His extensive work in the nonprofit sector encompasses a broad spectrum of organizations including associations, social service, architecture/design, and performing arts. He currently serves on boards and committees with the African American Legacy Fund, Chicago Dance Crash, Forum Regional Association of Grantmakers, and Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities. Andreason has a Bachelor of Economics degree from Central Michigan University and a Master of Nonprofit Management degree at DePaul University.


Eric BrownEric Brown, Brownbridge Strategies


Eric Brown is the principal of Brownbridge Strategies, a consulting firm that provides services on strategy and communications to nonprofits and foundations. His client list includes: The Atlantic Philanthropies, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Barr Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, among others. Prior to starting his firm, for almost 11 years Eric was the communications director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In addition to creating strategies for the foundation’s own organizational communications, he worked closely with the foundation’s programs and grantees, helping to design and implement communications strategies in global development, reproductive health, environment, education, philanthropy, and the performing arts. Before working at the Hewlett Foundation, he spent five years in the environmental field, and prior to that, he was press secretary and speechwriter for Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and recently earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Stanford University. He is a past board member of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.


LaTosha Brown, Grantmakers for Southern Progress at Neighborhood Funders Fund

LaTosha Brown joined NFG in October 2014 as the project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress. She is an award-winning community organizer, philanthropic consultant, advisor, political strategist and professional jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation, and civil rights. She is the founder of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting business based in Atlanta, GA. She has worked as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, various public foundations and private donors. She is a founding member of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health and also served as fund’s first Executive Director. Under her leadership the Gulf Coast Fund gained national recognition, created strategic national partnerships and distributed over $2.5 million in re-granting dollars for community and coastal organizations in the gulf coast region. She is the founder of Saving OurSelves Coalition, a community led disaster relief organization that helped hundreds of families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She also serves as a national advisor to the National Coalition on Black Civic Engagement and several national policy organizations.  She is the recipient of several awards including the 2006 Redbook Magazine Spirit and Strength Award, 2007 Spirit of Democracy Award from the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the Louis E. Burnham Award for Human Rights, the 2008 Emory Business School MLK Service Award, 2010 Audubon Award, and 2011 White House Champion of Change Award. 


Rosalie Sheehy Cates, The Giving Practice

Rosalie Sheehy Cates is a community investment consultant. She helps mission investors find and make deals that create affordable housing, community facilities, local food systems and small businesses. She has also managed a number of national initiatives, working to build new investment tools, platforms and funds. Her work emphasizes practical strategies grounded in local relationships. Rosalie was with the Montana Community Development Corporation from 1989-2010, including 14 years as CEO. Prior to that, Rosalie lived in rural Wisconsin (1980-1989), where she was an organizer for family farms and sustainable agriculture. She also helped with her family’s small cattle operation. She lives with her family in Missoula, Montana.


Stuart Cohen, Fiscal Management Associates

Stuart Cohen, principal, leads FMA’s development of new programs and initiatives. He has been a leading force behind the development of ROLE Services, a leadership, team decision-making and professional development initiative offering nonprofit leaders and staff the education and support they need to effectively lead their organizations and manage their financial resources. Stuart joined the FMA team from FITA (Fiscal Infrastructure Technical Assistance), a service division of MHRA (Medical and Health Research Association of New York City, Inc.), where as Deputy Director he developed and implemented FITA’s technical assistance services. As Assistant Executive Director of the Momentum AIDS Project, a $3M CBO that provides meals, clothing and counseling services to New York City’s low-to-no-income citizens living with HIV/AIDS, he was responsible for government contract relations, agency strategic planning and corporate administration.


William Corkill, Council of Michigan Foundations

William (Bill) Corkill, director of technology, is responsible for the technology needs of the Council of Michigan Foundations. Bill is responsible for the management, administration and strategic direction for all CMF Technology. Technology services, education and assistance to members are also provided as needed or through technical projects that require a high level of expertise.  Bill also participates and plays a crucial role in national projects and initiatives for the field.

Bill is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in Business and Computer Information Systems. Bill has over 18 years of experience in information technology and has worked for CMF as a consultant and employee for the last 8 years.


Jara Dean-Coffey, Luminare Group


For more than 20 years, Jara Dean-Coffey has strengthened the efforts of leaders in philanthropic, public and social sector organizations by supporting the implementation of practices that integrate a rigorous outcomes framework in all aspects of strategy and operations. Her approach reflects a commitment to equity and an understanding of the systematic and structural barriers her clients seek to address. Jara’s understanding of the nuances of politics and human dynamics influence decision-making and enable her to create safe environments where clients can acknowledge and explore their reality while moving forward, better aligned within their organization and more aware of where they fit within the larger ecosystem. Jara holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a BA in Communications and Political Science from Temple University, and a certificate in Organizational Development and Evaluation from Fielding Graduate University. She serves on the Advisory Body of the Center for Evaluation Innovation in Washington, DC.


Jeff De Cagna, Foresight First LLC


Jeff De Cagna, FRSA FASAE, is executive advisor for Foresight First LLC, located in Reston, Virginia, and a respected contrarian thinker on the future of associating and associations. He is an author, speaker and advisor for associations and nonprofit organizations across North America and around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) and a Fellow of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. Jeff served on the ASAE Board of Directors from 2007-2010, serves as immediate past chair of ASAE’s Key Consultants Committee, and as a member of the ASAE 2020 Centennial Task Force. He also served on the RedRover Board of Directors from 2011-2013, including terms as both board chair and vice chair during that time. Jeff recently was elected to serve on the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Virginia Board of Directors. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities, Jeff has pursued executive education at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard Business School. He holds the BoardSource Leadership Certificate for Nonprofit Board Chairs, and has completed Foresight Practitioner training at the Institute for the Future.


Sarah Eagle Heart, Native Americans in Philanthropy

Sarah Eagle Heart is an accomplished and internationally experienced executive focused on serving Indigenous Peoples. She is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Native Americans in Philanthropy since September 2015. Ms. Eagle Heart has vast experience working at small nonprofit organizations and corporate tribal organizations, as well as large international non-governmental organizations. She has built upon her traditional cultural knowledge to understand the essential need for cross cultural communication, education, mutual respect, collaboration, partnership and advocacy. She has extensive experience in the faith-based community on cross sectional public policy initiatives with, and for, diverse communities nationally and internationally as Team Leader for Diversity and Ethnic Ministries, and Program Officer for Indigenous Ministry serving on the staff of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church headquartered in New York, New York. Ms. Eagle Heart is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.


Chris Essel, Southern California Grantmakers


Christine Essel is the president and chief executive officer of Southern California Grantmakers (SCG), a regional association of philanthropic leaders whose mission is to support and advance effective, responsible philanthropy for the public good. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Essel held leadership roles in the government, corporate, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, where she has shaped legislation and public and corporate policy. For over three decades, Ms. Essel worked at Paramount Pictures, serving for many years as Senior Vice President, Government and Community Affairs, a department she built from the ground up. Most recently, she served as CEO for the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA). Ms. Essel has been named to numerous Boards and Commissions over the years, serving as chair of the California Film Commission, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, the Hollywood Community Advisory Council, Alternative Living for the Aging and Central City Association. She also served as Vice‐Chair of the California Workforce Investment Board and FilmLA and was a member of the powerful Los Angeles World Airports Commission, Grand Avenue Project Joint Powers Authority and Los Angeles Development Fund. Ms. Essel has been honored by esteemed organizations such as City of Hope, National Women’s Political Committee, Alternative Living for the Aging, Weingart Center Partners, Central City Association and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. In 2016 she was named to the Non‐Profit Times “Power and Influence Top 50” and received the Leader of the Year Award from the Southern California Leadership Network.


Stephanie Gocklin, Florida Philanthropic Network

FPN communications manager Stephanie Gocklin plays a lead role in planning, creating and distributing FPN communications across multiple platforms. Her broad advertising, design and communications background includes 11 years of publication experience and more than 14 years working with nonprofit organizations. Prior to FPN, Stephanie was Director of Communications at CareerSource North Central Florida, where she led a successful rebranding initiative and managed brands for multiple grant-funded programs. For more than 10 years, Stephanie worked at the Independent Florida Alligator, the nation's largest college newspaper, where she served as Production Manager and Art Director; she currently serves as Director of Communications for the Alligator Alumni Association. In 2012, she organized the first U.S. presentation of "Poster for Tomorrow," an international human rights art exhibition. Stephanie is a published artist, eight-time Florida Press Association Display Advertising award-winner and former judge for the 2010 FPA Better Weekly Newspaper Awards.


Dr. David Goodman, Fluxx


David Goodman, Ph.D., is passionate about building the capacity of foundations and nonprofits to better understand and use data, metrics and evaluation to achieve greater impact. It is David’s goal to help organizations achieve and sustain impact, and to share their knowledge so that the sector can turn one successful story into a thousand similar stories. In his role at Fluxx as Director of Impact, David uses his substantive and methodological expertise and understanding of institutional structures to enhance the Fluxx products. David also raises awareness of and provides guidance on important and timely issues and challenges within the philanthropic sector. He brings to Fluxx extensive experience leading teams in the design, implementation, analysis, and oversight of research and evaluations for the public, private and nonprofit sectors. David earned a Ph.D. in political science from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. in political science from California State University, Northridge. 


Audrey Haberman, The Giving Practice at Philanthropy Northwest

Audrey leads The Giving Practice, Philanthropy Northwest's consulting team. She works with philanthropists in the Northwest and nationally, helping them develop strategies, improve their governance and lead productive collaborations. She is passionate about people, places and communities, which is evident in her recent work with Washington community foundation, her support of learning cohorts through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and her work guiding several funder collaboratives. Audrey worked for more than 10 years in the field of sexual assault prevention before joining the staff of the Women’s Funding Alliance in 1995, then Pride Foundation in 1998. As a former foundation executive, Audrey considers the six years she served on Philanthropy Northwest’s board the best professional development she’s ever had. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and lives with her family, a dog and a newly acquired fish.


Susan Hammel, Cogent Consulting

As a philosophy major who went to Wall Street, Susan Hammel translates between passionate social changemakers and expert accountants. In her role as Founder of Cogent Consulting Inc., Susan is serving her second year as Minnesota Council on Foundation Executive in Residence for impact investing, designed and launched the new $20 million Minnesota Impact Investing Collaborative fund, and is leading the charge to map the Twin Cities impact investing ecosystem, thanks to support from the Bush Foundation and the Otto Bremer Trust. Susan has served as Executive Director of the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation and CFO for Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in Washington DC. She obtained her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard, is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and graduated cum laude Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota. Susan has extensive board experience, serving on the Sunrise Banks’ Advisory Board and prior chair of the Citizens League and NPH USA. A lifelong lover of water, (liquid or frozen) Susan and her family reside in Deephaven, a lakeside community outside Minneapolis where she enjoys sailing, kayaking and skiing.


Carly Hare, CHANGE Philanthropy


Carly Hare (Pawnee/Yankton) strives to live a commitment to advancing equity and community engagement through her professional and personal life. She recently stepped into the role of coalition director for CHANGE Philanthropy, after four years on the steering committee. She also served as Native Americans in Philanthropy’s executive director from 2010 to 2015 after five years of membership, and she has served on the NAP Board of Directors. Carly has served on planning committees and presented at over 30 conferences at the intersection of equity and philanthropy. She held the position of director of development for the Native American Rights Fund from 2009 to 2010. She served as director of programs for The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County for five years and is a proud daughter, sister, auntie, ally, friend, and advocate. Carly’s Pawnee name is <i kita u hoo <i  ]a  hiks, which translates into “kind leader of men.”


Nichole Hoeflich, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Nichole Hoeflich is a program specialist at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. As part of GEO’s program team, Nichole supports content planning and development for GEO conferences, remote learning opportunities, publications and other programming. Before joining GEO she worked at the Center for American Progress as a Graduate Student Fellow on their K-12 Education Policy team. Prior to this, she taught high school social studies at Ivy Collegiate Academy, an international boarding school in Taichung City, Taiwan, where she also served as the dean of students and the social studies department chair. Nichole earned her masters of science in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College and her bachelor of arts in history and education from Clarke University.


Lyn Hunter, Philanthropy Northwest

As senior program manager, Lyn helps build stronger connections between Philanthropy Northwest's partners, communities and region. Her work includes producing Philanthropy Northwest conferences and convenings of the Alaska Funders Group and Pierce County Funders Group, Rural Funders Group and Women's Cohort. Lyn also connects, builds knowledge and works to inspire action in various areas of interest for members such as Native issues and immigrant and refugee work. In her former life, Lyn worked in public relations and marketing in the wireless software and legal industries. Before joining Philanthropy Northwest’s team, she worked as a development officer at the United Way of King County and developed programming for conflict resolution trainings. Lyn currently serves on the board of Sound Child Care Solutions. On weekends, she enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband and daughter in pursuit of their favorite “ings” – hiking, biking, camping and eating. Lyn is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.


Jeanné Isler, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

As vice president for learning and engagement at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), Jeanné leads the team that designs and implements strategies for engaging progressive social justice nonprofit organizations and more than 80 foundation supporters. This includes signature initiatives such as the NCRP Impact Awards and Philanthropy’s Promise. Before joining NCRP she was the Director of US Programs at Search for Common Ground; one of her major initiatives advanced bipartisan conversations among members of the U.S. Congress and other government leaders about the impact of racism on policy. Prior to that, Jeanné worked to build a network of support organizations for military families impacted by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also led a restorative justice program for New Hanover County Public Schools in North Carolina, and worked as a faith-based community organizer in Ohio and Florida. Jeanné serves in several volunteer roles, including the Board of Directors of Faith in Public Life and the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Augustine Catholic Parish in Washington, D.C., where she resides. She was an inaugural member of the Leadership Council of Within our Lifetime, a national movement to end racism seeded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She also serves on the advisory council for Talent Philanthropy. In her free time, she sings with SongRise, D.C.’s all-women social justice singing group. She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Antioch University Midwest.


Jennifer James, Harder+Company

As a senior vice president at Harder+Company, Jennifer provides research direction and oversight to project teams in our San Diego office, which she established in 2003. She also contributes to firm-wide business planning, strategy, and management, and leads internal knowledge management and quality assurance efforts. Jennifer offers two decades of experience designing and conducting evaluations, research, and technical assistance for funders, public agencies and community-based organizations nationwide. She focuses on developing community-relevant research and capacity-building solutions that distill complex information for strategic decision-making. She specializes in using evaluation as a tool for learning and adaptation—a crucial approach for both organizations and cross-sector partnerships. In addition, she has strong experience guiding strategy development for foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies, as well as designing cross-sector initiatives. Prior to joining Harder+Company in 1999, Jennifer worked at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. While there, she conducted an ethnographic study of the social impacts of the Louisiana offshore oil industry on families, worked on cultural resource projects with the National Parks Services, and managed a large-scale Haitian food security survey effort. Jennifer serves on numerous nonprofit and philanthropic advisory boards, is the proud mother of two amazing boys, and owns an electric bike shop with her husband.


Edward M. Jones, ABFE

Edward M. Jones is the director of programs at ABFE. Prior to joining ABFE, he was the director of conference programming at the Council on Foundations located in Arlington, Virginia and had been with the Council since 2001. Prior to the Council, Edward worked for Micros Systems, as an operations manager, and at Amtrak, as manager, manpower utilization. Edward volunteers or supports several organizations through time, talent, and treasure. He was recently added to the 2013 Who’s Who in Black Washington, DC 3rd edition. Edward is a founding member of Black Benefactors, a social investment club/giving circle comprised of individuals, local businesses and organizations that are dedicated to addressing the societal ills facing the African American community in the DC region. He also serves on the board of Black Philanthropic Alliance and the HIV/AIDS organization, Us Helping Us, People into Living, Inc.  Additionally, he is on the editorial board for Community Health Links, (Medstar) and is an active member/volunteer of Zion Church in Landover, Maryland.  Edward was recently appointed to Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Serve DC commission. Born in Los Angeles, Edward is a graduate of the University of Akron (OH). He especially enjoys connecting people.


Nhadine Leung, Mission Investors Exchange

As managing director for Mission Investors Exchange, Nhadine works closely with the CEO and key stakeholders to increase the scale and effectiveness of impact investments through philanthropic leadership and innovation. Nhadine has extensive executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, most recently as a member of the executive team of Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led the redesign of the national organization and the development of the network’s national strategy. Prior to that she served as Chief Operating Officer of Living Cities, the largest multi-sector funders collaborative dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people and the cities in which they live. She also led the Urban Assets Initiative at New Profit, a national venture philanthropy non-profit. Previously Nhadine practiced law at Weil Gotshal & Manges and worked as an investment banker/currency trader in New York. Nhadine holds a joint J.D. / master of urban planning degree from New York University School of Law and the Wagner School of Public Service, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago. Originally a Nebraska native, she has called Brooklyn home for over 25 years.


David Lynn, Mission Driven Finance


David Lynn has a diverse background in finance, information technology, and philanthropy, and strives to bring his entrepreneurial spirit to focus on impact investing and improving our community. He currently serves as Investment Manager for the Price family office, primarily managing investment assets for the Price Philanthropies Foundation and Price Charities. Lynn is also the Chief Investment Officer of Mission Driven Finance, an impact investment fund and asset manager dedicated to unlocking capital for community benefit. With a dedication to the social sector, Lynn is currently the Chair of San Diego Grantmakers, and is an active member of the Food Funders and San Diego Impact Investors Network initiatives. Lynn is a founding board member of Mission Edge San Diego, a nonprofit that provides support services to other local nonprofits and social enterprises. Other current or recent philanthropic commitments include serving as a Director of the San Diego Humane Society, Director of San Diego Social Venture Partners, and Chair of the Education Synergy Alliance. Lynn is a San Diego native with a Bachelors in Mathematics from Whitman College. When not working or volunteering, he's likely to be found in the mountains, either hiking with the dogs or running stupid long distances with other crazy people.


Marissa Manlove, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance

Marissa Manlove is the President/CEO of Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. Prior to joining IPA in January 2007, Marissa spent 29 years at Noble, a nonprofit organization serving persons with intellectual and other disabilities. Beginning with direct clinical and diagnostic responsibilities, Marissa served in various senior program management roles while at Noble, including as Vice President of Consumer and External Relations. Marissa has been a government affairs specialist and registered Indiana lobbyist since 1998, and her tenure at Noble also included oversight of communications and marketing, special events, and development. Marissa has extensive experience with nonprofit board service. A member of the Governmental Affairs Society of Indiana and the American Society of Association Executives, Marissa serves on the boards of numerous local, state and national nonprofit organizations, including The 24 Group; Noble; Indiana Society of Association Executives, and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. Marissa’s national and local education and advocacy efforts on behalf of adolescents and young adults struggling with substance use disorders and addiction and their families has been recognized through multiple awards, including a prestigious Torchbearer award from the Indiana Commission for Women; the Circle of Hope Award from Fairbanks Hospital; the Salute to Families award from Family Services of Central Indiana; and the Parent Advocate award from Drug Free Marion County. Her passion for this issue was sparked by personal tragedy, following the 2001 death of her then 16 year old son David from a substance abuse-related drowning. Marissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. Louis University and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Indiana University. She has a lifetime license as a School Psychologist Level I in the state of Indiana and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE). She is married to Kim Manlove and has a son Josh and daughter-in-law Angela Manlove.


Lauren Marra, Community Wealth Partners

Lauren Marra joined the Community Wealth Partners team as a director in July 2016. In her role, she engages in strategic partnerships with leadership teams, provides client engagement oversight, and helps drive the overall growth and development of the firm and its people. Prior to joining Community Wealth Partners, Lauren was a senior director at Arabella Advisors, where she co-led the firm’s 25+ person consulting team. Her team helped institutional, corporate, and family foundations achieve greater impact through strategy development, implementation, evaluation, collaboration and learning. Prior to joining Arabella, Lauren led federal advocacy campaigns, designed policy solutions, and developed cross-sector partnerships on issues related to education, workforce development, and trade. She held policy positions at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Economic Policy Institute, and in the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the United States Department of Labor. Lauren’s deep belief that smart philanthropic investment, results-driven nonprofit leadership, and community collaboration can drive lasting impact stems from her first job at Chrysalis, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit social enterprise that helps homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment. Lauren holds a B.S. in economics from Boston College and a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University, where she was a Nielson Philanthropy Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. She was a 2014-2015 participant in the Future Executive Directors Fellowship put on by the Nonprofit Roundtable of DC and previously served on the boards of YNPNdc and Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.


Dwayne Marshall, Southeastern Council of Foundations

Dwayne is the senior Director of Programs & Partnerships at Southeastern Council of Foundations. He recently served as Program Manager for The H.O.P.E. Institute for Leadership and Living (HILL). In addition to HILL, Dwayne has been involved with various organizations that promote social justice, community empowerment and youth education. He previously served as an “Organizer-In-Residence” with the Southern Partners Fund. Dwayne also played a key role in launching the Young Leaders for Social Change (YLSC) convening and the Social Justice Institute (SJI). He is a recent graduate of the New Leaders Council, Georgia Stand Up Policy Institute for Civic Leadership and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) Leadership Program. Additionally, Dwayne is a member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee and a member of Ray of Hope Christian Church Men’s Council where he assists in the curriculum development of their Transformers Rites of Passage Program for Young Men. He has worked on local, state and national political campaigns to help further support candidates seeking to bring increased economic and educational opportunity to citizens in the state of Georgia.

Dwayne is a native of Savannah, Georgia. He is a graduate of Goizueta Business School at Emory University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Organization Management and Marketing. As a result of his service to the community, Dwayne has been featured in TIME Magazine, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Herald, Savannah Morning News and “Movement of the People”, a documentary profiling the 2008 presidential general election campaign season in Georgia.


Debbie McKeon, Council of Michigan Foundations 

Debbie McKeon is senior vice president, member services for the Council of Michigan Foundations, where she leads the team that provides CMF members with its core suite of services and special initiatives. As a member of the leadership team, she also plays a vital role in the development, coordination and implementation of both the Board of Trustees’ strategic vision for CMF and the annual Plan of Work. Prior to joining the CMF staff in December 2012, Debbie was with a CMF member foundation, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, for six years. Her primary role was to lead the design and development of the capacity building arm of the foundation, NorthSky Nonprofit Network, as a sustainable model integrated into what became the foundation’s new strategic framework. Prior positions ranged from co-founding board member, managing director & CEO of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, an organization working in 20 countries of the Americas, to executive director of the Elgin Symphony (IL), to assistant manager of the New York Philharmonic to president of McKeon & Associates Inc, where much work focused on developing public-private partnerships and new arts-related initiatives on six continents. Debbie holds a Bachelor of Music and Interdisciplinary Business Administration minor from Central Michigan University and certification from the Small Business Consultant Academy at Grand Valley State University and has completed advanced coursework with the Indiana University School of Philanthropy and Harvard University, Executive Education.


Ethan McCoy, The Center for Effective Philanthropy

Ethan McCoy, senior writer – development and communications, works with both the President’s office and the Marketing and Programming team to write and edit letters, proposals, and communications targeting CEP’s audience. He manages the CEP blog and runs CEP’s social media accounts. Prior to joining CEP in September 2014, Ethan graduated with a B.A. in History from Brown University. As an undergraduate, he was a writer and editor with The Brown Daily Herald, a peer advisor in Brown’s study abroad office, and a campus tour guide. Additionally, he spent summers interning at the Small Planet Institute, an environmental nonprofit organization in Cambridge, MA, and as a research assistant in the Brown history department. Outside of work, Ethan enjoys reading good writing, live music, and supporting his hometown Boston teams and Liverpool F.C.


Chris Murchison, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan


Chris Marcell Murchison is a passionate advocate for positive workplace cultures. In his broad career spanning the higher education, for-profit and not-for-profit fields he has focused his energy on developing creative means to building community at work and practices that support an employee experience of deep respect, connection, joy, and generative learning. As the vice president for staff development and culture at HopeLab, Chris guided HopeLab’s efforts to create an organizational culture that values learning and innovation. Since joining HopeLab in 2005, he led a strategic staff expansion to support a portfolio of work focused on the support of resilience in everyday life. He also led the development of principles and practices that embedded HopeLab’s values into the everyday operations of the organization. In 2014, Chris was named the first Visiting Leader at the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he advises, connects and convenes faculty and students to explore practical applications of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Chris originally connected to the Center through his research on resilience in organizations and has since become a friend and fellow traveler.


Tamir Novotny, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)


Tamir became Executive Director of EPIP in 2015, following a three-year engagement with the organization. Starting as a chapter leader in New York, Tamir went on to join EPIP’s national team, supporting chapters in the Northeast and advising the national leadership. Prior to his appointment, Tamir held multiple positions over nine years at Living Cities, a philanthropic collaborative focused on improving the lives of low-income urban residents. There, he developed and led portfolios in areas including housing, smart growth, and civic technology.  Most recently, Tamir developed and launched the City Accelerator, a $3,000,000 initiative to speed the spread of municipal innovation, and the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, a partnership to harness the power of technology and data to address issues like criminal justice and youth employment. Tamir received a Masters in Public Administration from New York University in 2008 and a BA, magna cum laude from NYU in Metropolitan Studies in 2006.


Robert G. Ottenhoff, Center for Disaster Philanthropy


Robert G. Ottenhoff, a veteran in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and entrepreneurship, is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, an industry leader in the use of providing high-quality data to help donors make better decisions and improve nonprofit practice. Bob has more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as chief operating officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). In addition to his role at CDP, he serves on the board of Inspirit Foundation (formerly Vision TV); Link TV; and Write on Sports. He also serves on the advisory committee of the Netherlands-America Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Grameen Foundation, USAAAFRC Trust for Philanthropy and the e-Philanthropy Foundation. Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and a master’s degree in planning from Rutgers University. He frequently writes and comments on nonprofit and philanthropic issues, and has been quoted in a variety of media, including television, radio and print publications such as NPR, the New York Times, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.


Elissa Sloan Perry, Management Assistance Group (MAG)

Elissa helps people and groups of people with a social change mission be better in what they do. For over 20 years she has worked as an organizational leader, consultant and coach with individuals, organizations and multi-sector networks in the areas of change leadership, equity, education and the arts. Currently and for the past 3 years, Elissa has held a leadership role with Management Assistance
Group (MAG) progressing from the catalyzing role for MAG’s Network Leadership Innovation Lab to CoDirector. Elissa also teaches in the Masters in Leadership Program at Saint Mary’s College where she facilitates diverse, cross-sector and multi-issue communities of learning and practice and recently contributed to the establishment of a social justice concentration. Elissa has also been involved in innovative initiatives to improve education and was a Vice President for the Different Ways of Knowing arts-infused education model. A former high school creative writing teacher and afterschool program developer, Elissa is also a talented facilitator with a background in both youth and adult differentiated learning.


Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group


For over 16 years, top global philanthropies have requested Kris Putnam-Walkerly’s help to transform their giving and catapult their impact, including designing strategies that achieve results, streamline operations, assess impact, and allocate funds. Her clients include the Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard, Winthrop Rockefeller, Annie E. Casey, Charles and Helen Schwab, and Walton Family foundations, among dozens of others. She’s helped over 50 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over $300 million in grants and gifts. A thought leader in transformative philanthropy, Kris was recently named one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers. She is the author of the book Confident Giving, which was recently named one of the 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books. She is a frequent contributor in the publications of leading philanthropy associations, and provides expert commentary about philanthropy in The Wall Street JournalWashington Post,, and other media. She co-edited The Foundation Review’s themed journal on philanthropy consulting. Prior to forming Putnam Consulting Group, Kris was a grantmaker at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and an evaluator at the highly esteemed Stanford University School of Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.


Jared Raynor, TCC Group


Jared Raynor joined TCC Group as a consultant with a focus on evaluation, organizational development (including capacity building and collaboration) and international programs. His work at TCC has included evaluations of capacity building initiatives, multi-site cluster evaluations, evaluation system design, strategic planning, organizational structuring and design, and strategic organizational assessment. Jared's recent work at TCC includes conducting organizational assessments and structuring recommendations for the Instituto Federal para el Acceso a la Información (IFAI), the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and cancer organizations throughout Latin America through an initiative of the American Cancer Society. He helped to create the Health Leadership Partnership, a collaborative health leadership organization in Philadelphia and has worked on various aspects of evaluating policy and advocacy work, including work with the California Endowment to evaluate their general operating support grants to advocacy organizations. Prior to joining TCC, Jared worked in a number of international organizations and U.S.-based development organizations. He worked for the International Rescue Committee in Azerbaijan, working with local communities and organizations affected by conflict, and for the United Nations in the NGO Section of the Department of Public Information, assisting with the development and implementation of several major conferences for NGOs. He has extensive work experience in Latin America, including two years with a faith-based organization in Guatemala as well as in Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Jared is a graduate of the Milano Graduate School at New School University, where he received an MS in organizational change management and also holds bachelor's degrees in finance and Spanish from the University of Utah.


Michael Hamill Remaley, Philanthropy New York


As the senior vice president of public policy & communications, Michael Hamill Remaley directs all communications and research activities for Philanthropy New York; develops and executes public policy strategies and activities; and monitors legislative and regulatory activity to inform members and other external audiences of pending issues at the federal, state, and city levels that may impact philanthropy and nonprofits.

Prior to joining PNY, Michael had his own consulting practice, HAMILL REMALEY breakthrough communications. Before founding HRbc in 2009, Michael was the Communications Director for the Russell Sage Foundation and before that was Vice President and Director of Communications for Public Agenda. Prior to Public Agenda, he managed the national initiative The New Patriotism Project of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. Earlier, Michael was an associate in the Planning and Evaluation Department of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Michael has a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University, with the primary focus of his graduate work on planning and evaluation. He has a B.A. (also from Temple University) in Journalism, concentrating in Public Relations. Michael is a member of the board of directors of the Stonewall Community Foundation. He also serves on the Government Relations Committee of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.


Dave Sheldon, Southern California Grantmakers

Dave Sheldon leads the SCG team in charge of identifying, designing, and implementing policy briefings, conferences, and professional development programs for SCG’s philanthropic members in the greater Los Angeles region. He also works on special projects related to efficiency and implementation of new directives, including developing relationships with national philanthropic organizations. Prior to joining SCG, Dave spent 10 years in Washington, D.C. at a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization, where he designed and delivered programs focused on civic engagement, government innovation, and leadership development. Soon after, Dave supported a review of grantee burden at the Corporation for National and Community Service for its Grants Management Streamlining and Burden Reduction Initiative. He spent six years at a D.C. strategic consulting firm where he focused on strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and governance issues for the Department of Homeland Security’s government grantees. Dave earned his Masters in Public Policy at Duke University and his undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego.


Tupou Tongilava, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Tupou joined the foundation as the administrative assistant to the communications and finance departments, including direct assistance to the chief communications officer and interim chief administrations officer. Prior to joining the Foundation, she spent eight years at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies, where she provided administrative support for the San Francisco regional staff and the director of inspections. In addition to executive support, Tupou assisted with administration and project management of four other departments: Facilities, IT, Large Firm Inspections, and Small Firm Inspections. Tupou is a San Francisco Bay Area native.


Alfonso Wenker, Minnesota Council on Foundations

Alfonso Wenker is MCF's vice president. He has a range of experience in the philanthropic sector spanning program design, training and facilitation, fundraising, and event planning. Most recently, Alfonso developed a philanthropic fellowship program at the Bush Foundation now housed at MCF. Prior to his time at Bush Foundation, Alfonso held various staff roles at PFund Foundation, including as the foundation's first full-time program staff person, integrating racial equity frameworks across the organization, increasing volunteer participation and engaging new institutional funding partners. His responsibilities at MCF include leading the MCF Philanthropy Fellows program and managing MCF's internal and external diversity, equity and inclusion work.


Craig Weinrich, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

Craig Weinrich serves as the Director of Member Services at CNJG, where he helps to recruit and retain members. Additionally, he assists the members to organize Affinity Group meetings, monitors the listserves, and helps develop other programs such as funder briefings or skills-based workshops. An intense desire to avoid working in the dining hall (again) during his sophomore year at Dickinson College helped Craig find his home in the nonprofit sector. An arts management internship with the Eaken Piano Trio, artists-in-residence at Dickinson exposed Craig to the many meaninful positions in the music industry that are not performance-oriented (not to be confused with results-oriented!). From there, Craig served as Development Directors for the Delaware Symphony (promoted from Development Assistant) and Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestras. Craig then transitioned to the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York, a membership association of nonprofits in the New York City area, serving as their Membership, Outreach and IT Director for nine years to recruit and retain members. While at NPCC, he earned a nonprofit management certificate from Baruch College through the United Way Nonprofit Leadership Institute. Prior to joining CNJG, Craig served as the Membership Director for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations. He is a member of and volunteers at Living Waters Lutheran Church in Ringoes, serves on the YNPN-NJ (Young Nonprofits Professionals Network) steering committee, and cheers on his favorite baseball teams: the Brewers, Cubs, White Sox and his fantasy team.


Andrea Zussman, Northern California Grantmakers

Andrea is an accomplished innovator, dedicated leader and skillful problem-solver with more than 25 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. She joined NCG in October 2016 as Manager, Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability to oversee our Disaster Resilience, Relief, and Recovery work and bolster the knowledge, capacity, and systems of Northern California’s philanthropic sector for disasters. Before coming to NCG, Andrea developed and implemented the multi-faceted disaster resilience portfolio at The San Francisco Foundation. She has also developed disaster preparedness education programs, integrated social justice and peacebuilding into international relief and development programs, supported emergency humanitarian programs around the world, and directed a local chapter of an international professional association. Andrea enjoyed her extensive travel throughout the world earlier in her career but now is glad to be focusing her attention closer to home here in her native California where she spends as much time as she can with her husband and spirited young daughter.

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Hotel Nikko Lobby

Hotel Nikko

222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Located just steps from Union Square in the heart of San Francisco, the Hotel Nikko is an urban retreat with easy access to plenty of dining, nightlife and shopping options. Hop on the cable cars a block away and explore the city sights and nearby museums. Stroll along Fisherman's Wharf and marvel at the famous sea lions that lounge on Pier 39, or hop on the bus and plan a picnic in Golden Gate Park. Located in the midst of Union Square, our hotel gives you instant access to San Francisco's most iconic destinations.

Visit Hotel Nikko website for details
Benefits for Our Guests

Attendees who book a room at the discounted rate in our block at the Hotel Nikko will also receive:

  • complimentary wi-fi in your sleeping room
  • complimentary access to the hotel's 10,000 sq ft health club accessible 24/7 ($25 value)

Book Your Room

Our room blocks are now closed. We do have a few rooms that are still availabile, please contact Mary O'Neill for more information.

The Forum’s 2017 Annual Conference will be this year's largest gathering of the CEOs and staffs of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) in the field. The conference is the ONE opportunity where we can delve into our unique role as CEOs and staff of PSOs, connect with colleagues in similar roles from across the country, and explore how we can work together to increase philanthropy’s impact.
The conference will focus on two major themes: advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, and the role for PSOs in this work, and advancing collaboration and partnership among PSOs and the broader philanthropic sector. Conference sessions will also provide plenty of opportunities for deep skill-building in the areas of highest importance to PSOs, and plenty of time for meaningful peer-to-peer networking and interaction.

Please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428), the Forum's Member Services & Operations Manager, with any questions about the conference or how to register. 

Connect With the Conference

Stay connected with the conference through social media using #ForumCon17 and following @givingforum on Twitter. Stay tuned for more information about our conference app.

Non-Solicitation Policy

The Forum is committed to providing a space for professional networking and education, therefore we ask that all registrants respect the learning environment of the conference and refrain from soliciting funds or business during this event.

Planning Committee

This year's conference wouldn't be possible without the leadership and contributions of our planning committee:

  • Ellen LaPointe, Northern California Grantmakers (Chair)
  • Maggie Cutts, Mission Investors Exchange
  • Lyn Hunter, Philanthropy Northwest
  • Edward Jones, ABFE
  • Emily Katz, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Maureen Lawless, The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
  • Yi‐Ching Lin, Philanthropy New York
  • Kyle Malone, Grantmakers for Education
  • Cora Mirikitani, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
  • Rhiannon Orizaga, GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington
  • Nikki Powell, PEAK Grantmaking
  • Phuong Quach, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Justin Schaberg, San Diego Grantmakers
  • Dave Sheldon, Southern California Grantmakers
  • Vince Stehle, Media Impact Funders
  • Michael Underhill, Associated Grant Makers
  • Craig Weinrich, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers
  • Kristina Wertz, Funders for LGBTQ Issues


The Hotel Nikko is close to both the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland International Airport. 

Public Transportation

The Nikko is accessible via public transportation from both the San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. 

From the San Francisco International Airport, take the yellow line towards Pittsburg/Bay Point (10 stops/30 min). The SFO BART Station is located on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal (Boarding Area G side) and is easily accessed from any terminal by riding SFO's AirTrain to the Garage G/BART Station stop. Get off at the Powell St. Station. Cost: $8.95

From the Oakland International Airport, take the BART from the airport to the Coliseum station (non-stop/8 min). The Oakland Airport BART station is located across from the Terminal 1 baggage claim area and is a short walk from Terminal 2. From the Coliseum Station, take the green or blue line towards Daly City (6 stops/23 min). Get off at the Powell St. Station. Cost: $10.20 

Transportation Network Companies & Shared Shuttles

Uber/Lyft/Wingz service is available at both the San Francisco and Oakland International airports. Fares will vary. Shared ride vans are also available from both airports.


Please utilize 180 Ellis Street, 94102 to be directed to the entrance of the driveway. Valet parking is $15 per hour, and overnight is $50 per night plus tax with in and out privilege. For other parking options, the 1,100-car Mason O'Farrell garage is directly diagonal across the street.

About Our Host City: San Francisco

San Francisco- Cable CarsSan Francisco is best known for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities, and world-class cuisine. Measuring 49 square miles, this walkable city includes landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz and the largest Chinatown in the United States. A stroll of the city's streets can lead from Union Square to North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf, with intriguing neighborhoods to explore.  


San Francisco is one of the easiest cities in the world to navigate. Because the city is so compact, there are plenty of transportation options abound, including its world-famous cable cars, public transportation and ride-sharing. Find out more


Each of San Francisco's major neighborhoods has its own district culture and charm - from shopping around Union Square to dim sum in Chinatown. Check out an introduction to the city's most prominent locales.


San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in the U.S. Local chefs combine the best of local ingredients with authentic international flavors. Every day, fishing boats supply the freshest seafood in the world. Local farms provide produce and meat stock that is unparalleled.