2020 Annual Conference

November 2-6, 2020

Welcome to our AFP-NNE 2020 Virtual Annual Conference, Monday-Friday, November 2-6, 2020. Each day from 8-9 am we will offer an inspirational and educational event live on Zoom, starting with our Keynote November 2. In addition, on Thursday you are invited to attend our free National Philanthropy Day Celebration at noon. The Conference may be virtual this year, but we have some really dynamic presenters, and we expect that AFP members and others will find the sessions to be well worth attending! Programs will be recorded and made available afterward to registrants. Each program is eligible for 1 CFRE continuing education credit.

Registration fees for individual sessions are $35/members or $45/non-members. Register for individual sessions by clicking the buttons under each session. Registration for individual sessions is open right up to the start time of each session.

Registration for the entire conference is $150/members or $190/non-members. Your full-conference registration must be completed by Monday Nov 2 at 8am. To register for the entire conference, click the button immediately below. 



Monday, November 2, 8-9am 

Keynote Session 

Improving Public Understanding of Social Problems: The Science and Art of Communications

Dr. Lynn Davey, Davey Strategies

The way experts and advocates communicate about social problems affects how people think about their causes and solutions. In this keynote presentation, Dr. Lynn Davey, a psychologist and issue communications expert, will share lessons from cognitive and framing science that point to the kinds of messaging strategies that work (and those that don’t!!) to improve understanding and motivate people to action.



Tuesday, November 3, 8-9am

Turning Ordinary Donors into Mega-Donors

Sharon Danosky, Danosky & Associates and Mary Jean Heller, RVNAhealth

This workshop focuses on building a strong individual giving program. It will explore how a home healthcare organization that raises ~ $1.1 million annually raised more than $600,000 during the onset of COVID-19, and continued raising funds through the summer. This wasn’t a fluke; it was the result of years of carefully stewarding and cultivating donors. These donors continue to be engaged, and projections for fundraising revenue through 2020 remain high, despite cancellation of two major fundraising events. This workshop details the fundraising plan and strategies put into place three years prior to COVID-19, and already yielding 20 to 30% increases yearly - and will demonstrate how strong donor relationships result in donors responding enthusiastically to urgent need. This experience provided a blueprint for how nonprofits can best raise funds today -- pivoting from large scale events to strong donor stewardship and cultivation. 


Wednesday, November 4, 8-9am

From “Stalled” to “Success”: A principled approach to reviving a stalled campaign

Rick Blount, VP of Development & Social Responsibility, and Kyle Dodson, CEO/President, The Greater Burlington YMCA

With membership plummeting in a failing facility, the Greater Burlington YMCA had been seeking a new home for decades. But the Y capital campaign was stalled, with disengaged donors calling the goal “impossible.” A new CEO with no fundraising experience and a new VP of Development, with leadership from consultants and board volunteers, needed to raise nearly $20 million on an outrageously short timeline. At stake was the existence of the organization. The team achieved their goal by steadfastly adhering to core principles: relationship trumps money; focus is a superpower; donors will respond to boldness if it is earnest and rooted in a compelling case. We will focus on how these principles apply to any form of fundraising. If desired, we will also discuss our response to COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd, which shook our organization to the core shortly after the 2020 opening our new Y.


Thursday, November 5, 8-9am

THE Art of Visual Storytelling: How to Drive Donor Engagement Through Video

Raffi Der Simonian, DerSimonian, LLC

You only have five seconds to captivate your audience. How can video help you stand out against the myriad of peers and competing voices? How do you evoke goosebumps and compel audiences to take action? In this session, Raffi DerSimonian will explore the art of visual storytelling as it relates to creating emotional connections and driving measurable engagement. 

Themes of this session will highlight best practices related to: 

  • Producing video in the age of Covid-19
  • Conducting a discovery process
  • Developing a content strategy
  • Introducing cost efficient production measures
  • Pre-planning protocols
  • Maximizing reach of your video assets



Thursday, November 5, 12-1pm

Celebrating Youth in Philanthropy:  Where Are They Now?

A free virtual session in honor of National Philanthropy Day, sponsored by Demont Associates

Year after year, attendees at the AFP-NNE Annual Conference are inspired and humbled by the remarkable accomplishments of the recipients of the Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) Award.  Join us for a FREE special session in recognition of National Philanthropy Day to hear from three past YIP recipients: Gabbie St. Peter, Alice Willette and Brandon Hamel. In a panel discussion moderated by Bob Demont, CFRE, and John Lanham of Demont Associates, attendees will have the opportunity to hear what these wonderful young people have accomplished through their philanthropy since receiving the YIP Award; learn how they inspired others to get involved in their projects; and listen to them express their thoughts and opinions on how philanthropy can make a difference during this difficult moment in history.

Gabbie St.  PeterAlice WilletteBrandon Hamel




Recognized in 2014 as the Outstanding Youths in Philanthropy, Gabbie St. Peter and her friend Alice Willette created a food pantry in their school, organizing donations through parties and community events. They raised over $40,000 to fund the pantry for the next 10 years and expand the pantry to the Albert S. Hall school for 4th and 5th graders.

Gabbie, now a 14-year-old freshman at Waterville Sr. High School, is running for class president. For the past 6 years, she has organized a “turkey drive” to provide 200+ families a warm Thanksgiving. Since being recognized as 2014’s YIP recipient, Gabbie has continued her fundraising efforts and volunteerism through her dance team, benefitting the Alfond Cancer Center as well as the Mid Maine homeless shelter. Post pandemic, Gabbie would like to assist in a sustainable budget for her school’s food pantries in order to assure they will have the longevity to help her peers in need.

Alice, also a freshman at Waterville High School, is involved in robotics, theater and this year has joined the speech team. She remains active in her school and local community, serving meals in the Waterville soup kitchen and mentoring new students. She is involved with Waterville SPARC (Strengthening, Partnering and Reinforcing Community) and was most recently selected to participate in 2020 Girls day at the Maine State Legislature. “Philanthropy is giving to others even when you think no one is watching," says Alice. "Not solely through money but with volunteerism as well. It is about doing good in the world, being a leader and setting a good example without praise or recognition.”

Recognized in 2011 as the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Brandon Hamel founded the not-for-profit organization Good Earth "to take an interest in providing assistance to the needy and the sick as well as other organizations that are in the NH Lakes Region and make a difference in their own way." Brandon raised over $26,000 towards his mission. He attended Providence College and now lives in Spain where he serves as the Cultural Ambassador of English and North American Culture for the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. "In order to secure a "big vision," we must initiate and create a process with small seeds," Brandon states. "I have learned to use what is around me, to use what we have been given, to go out and create the change we want to see transform our realities."


Friday, November 6, 8-9am

Successfully Launching a Fundraising Initiative in Uncertain Times

Kate Villa, Corporate Vice President, CCS Fundraising; Sarah Krasin, Corporate Vice President, CCS Fundraising; Ainsley Wallace, President & CEO, University of Southern Maine Foundation; Melissa Cording, Director of Development at Bridge Over Troubled Waters

While 2020 has been filled with crisis and social distancing has required rethinking many of fundraising’s best practices, philanthropic need has grown in almost every sector. When your strategic vision and mission require transformational philanthropy to solve critical issues, how do you plan for, design, and implement major fundraising initiatives in a virtual environment amid uncertain political and economic predictions? Sarah Krasin and Kate Villa will partner with development leaders from a large shop and small shop to share tools and case studies from organizations that have launched successful initiatives and raised millions of dollars since March.