223 Wall Street, Suite 246
Huntington, NY 11743

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Fundraising Forum Sessions

8:30 AM  -  9:30 AM

Session A -  1 - Special Events

They Want to Honor Me -- Now What?

Finding an honoree that’s a good fit for your organization is the golden ticket to any event but what happens next when he/she is asked to be honored? Hillary Needle, and Jennifer B. Cona, Esq. explore best practices from both the nonprofit planner and honoree’s perspectives for securing honorees, prepping them for the work leading up to the event and ensuring a successful outcome.


Hillary Needle, President, Hillary Needle Events

Jennifer Cona,  Founder and Managing Partner, Genser Cona Elder Law


8:30 AM  -  9:30 AM

Session A - 2  - Development Toolkit

Fundraising for 2030: What Nonprofits Need to Know About Private Foundations to Thrive in the Changing Landscape of Philanthropy

The landscape is changing as new wealth rises and a generation of philanthropists creates new ways to do good that are different from traditional private foundations. This session examines how private foundations fit into nonprofit fundraising strategies as donor-advised funds, LLCs and 501(C)(4)s become widely used. Foundation Center and GuideStar have joined forces to become a new nonprofit entity named Candid. Receive a Candid update. Learn what grants data reveals about Long Island.


Susan Shiroma, Senior Social Sector Librarian, Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar)


8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Session A - 3 - Careers in Development

No One Dreams of Being a Fundraiser

Fundraising is no one’s “Plan A.” Why? For one, people instinctively dislike asking for money. Furthermore, few even know the profession exists until it accidentally crosses their path: they see a job posting and the position appears comparable to their current position, they know someone in the nonprofit sector who encourages them to explore the field; they were personally touched by an organization’s mission, etc. 

No one dreams of being a fundraiser, they stumble upon fundraising. For Mitchell Linker, author of “No One Dreams of Being a Fundraiser,” the journey (from music) wasn’t easy. In fact, as fundraising success alluded him, he nearly gave it up.

In this interactive session, Mitchell will explore his humorous and tumultuous story and share the fundraising wisdom - learned from his mentors and coaches - that completely turned his career around. In addition to sharing his own story, Mitchell will explore three key aspects of a career in fundraising: breaking into the profession, career advancement, and maintaining enthusiasm and avoiding burn-out.


Mitch Linker, Senior Major Gifts Officer,  The Loomis Chaffee School


8:30 AM  -  9:30 AM

Session A - 4 - Major Gift Strategy/Campaigns

Storytelling that Opens Hearts, Minds and Checkbooks

Learning how to craft and tell persuasive, memorable and impactful stories is the key to good communication - and keeping donors, volunteers and activists engaged. Breaking through the noise requires connecting on an emotional level with your audience and making them care. Learn how to find and tell the important stories in your organization, the building blocks of effective stories and how to leverage storytelling for fundraising and donor cultivation


Saskia Monteiro Thomson, VP Development & Marketing, Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, Inc.

Tracey Segarra, Storyteller, Story Coach 


9:45 AM  - 10:45 AM

Session B - 1 | Special Events

Leveraging Your Special Event for Greater Impact

This session will provide insights into how to keep donors and prospects engaged through special events. Learn how to best steward them and keep them engaged from your special event and beyond. Hear about best practices for making events meaningful, mission-infused and thereby increasing retention and revenue. Learn about the power of peer-to-peer fundraising and how to harness within your organization.


Sara Lipsky, Executive Director, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Long Island

Lori Peterson, Senior Associate Director for Special Events, Northwell Health Foundation


 9:45 AM  -  10:45 AM

Session B - 2 | Development Toolkit

Fundraising Frontiers - AI and the Donor Journey

This session will take you inside the inner workings of pioneering teams in the nonprofit sector who took the risk that will pave the way for every charity to do more with less using AI. In 60 minutes you will learn more from failure than from success and leave with battle-tested tactics, high-level strategy and inspiration that you can take back to your colleagues. Participants will leave the session with tangible examples and templates of how leading teams are successfully applying machine learning to save time and raise more money.

Chris Steeves, Vice President, Fundmetric

 9:45 AM  -  10:45 AM

Session B - 3 | Careers In Development

Small Shop Development

Do you work in a development department with either very few staff or just you? Amanda has been a one-woman show in several of her positions, juggling everything from major gifts, planned giving, annual fundraising and events. Come join Amanda to figure out how to manage your unending daily to-do list and learn to focus on the big picture instead of the many fires that you need to put out every day.


Amanda Abraham, Director of Development,  Peconic Land Trust


 9:45 AM  -  10:45 AM

Session B - 4 | Major Gift Strategy/Campaigns

Donor Inspired Lessons for Major Gift Fundraising

Donors have some interesting advice that goes beyond the myriad of typical professional development seminars the fundraising sector offers. When allowed the opportunity to be more candid, they provide important advice that may re-calibrate our techniques and alter our fundamental thinking as we engage major gift prospects. This workshop will provide seven key lessons gained through years of confidential interviews with donors.


Thad Henry, CFRE, Senior Consultant, Lead Philanthropy and Rogge and Associates


11:00 PM  -  12:15 PMFaculty

Feature Panel Session --  Fundraising from the C-Suite

Understanding the perspective of the CEO, CFO and CIO is not always a given for fundraisers. How things look from the C-Suite may be completely different than they do for the development professional. Learn what fundraising looks like from the other side of the desk. These insights will help you communicate with agency leaders, understand your role in the larger organization and make you more effective as a team player.

Tom Kissane, Principal and Managing Director, CCS  

Anne Brigis - President & CEO - YMCA of Long Island, Inc.
Neela Lockel  - CEO - American Red Cross Long Island
Paule T. Pachter, CEO - Long Island Cares, Inc. The Harry Chapin Food Bank



12:00 Noon - 12: 30 PM

Networking and Nibbles
Time to Relax and Network with
Colleagues and Friends 

Interested in Attending AFPLI's Fundraising Forum?

Register Here

  • 223 Wall Street, Suite 246
  • Huntington, NY 11743
  • Phone: 631.249.5008
  • info@afpli.org


Advancing Philanthropy through Education, Training and Advocacy