Breakout Sessions

Please note that this list is a work in progress and will be updated throughout the month of September as more sessions are confirmed.

Building a Values-Aligned Capital Campaign

Can we raise millions without sacrificing the principles we hold dear? Absolutely! This engaging session will provide powerful tools that balance the rigor of a large-scale campaign with the values that drive your work, your mission and your organization. From the early pre-campaign planning to installing the names in a finished building, you’ll leave this workshop with fresh energy and concrete ways to make capital campaigns less transactional, and more joyous.


Debra deNoyelles is a strategic thinker, tenacious resource gatherer and unabashed believer in the power of collective community. She holds a BFA and MA in Art History from the University of Kansas, and has 19 years of experience building relationships and resources for nonprofits in Minnesota. Debra sits on the boards of three nonprofits, Soo Visual Arts Center, Just the Pill, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals - MN Chapter. Although she has raised millions for multiple capital campaigns, she is most proud of her two amazing daughters who also lead values-driven lives.

Challenging Mainstream Philanthropy with Giving Circles


Mary Delorié is the Director of Individual Giving at Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Her 20+ year nonprofit career has spanned across art, education, and social justice nonprofits. She has always served in mission-oriented, values-aligned organizations that center voices often pushed to the periphery, celebrate diversity, and actively work towards equity. Mary has experience in project & people management, communications, department start-ups, strategic planning with staff and board, fundraising events, budget creation and revenue intake, maintaining database integrity, and most importantly--building donor relationships. A self-proclaimed extrovert and lover of people, animals, and the planet, Mary subscribes to the Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) model of doing business. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College, several certifications from the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, and community organizing “creds” from various on-the-ground nonprofits like the YWCA, Hope Community, and the Loft Literary Center. Mary is honored to serve Penumbra Theatre as a board member.
Mary identifies as a bi-racial (black/white) Midwestern island-girl with Creole roots in the Seychelles Islands. Extra-curricular activities include BIPOC-guided theater experiences, digesting novels with her book club, and walking/skiing in her nearby park. Mary’s family is based in North Minneapolis and includes a toddler and a puppy! She is always planning an international trip to visit family abroad.
Terri Thao, bio coming soon!
Friendly Vang-Johnson, bio coming soon!
Sierra Judy is a detail-oriented cross-pollinator who believes deeply in the power of community. She is the Giving Project Program Officer at the Headwaters Foundation for Justice where she stewards multi-racial, multi-generational cross-class cohorts of community members to mobilize their networks through donor organizing to support local BIPOC-led movements for justice in Minnesota. Sierra holds a degree in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and has varied professional experience in regional government, higher education, and her current practice in social justice philanthropy. With expertise in project management, program design and evaluation, facilitation, coaching, and radical hospitality, her passions lie at the nexus of empowering communities and abolishing oppressive systems. Sierra is a proud resident of Minneapolis, a big-time foodie, and a lover of funky earrings.

Building Resilience and Enhancing Retention in your Fundraising Team

In today's evolving fundraising landscape, organizations are constantly faced with the task of adapting to changing donor expectations, economic uncertainties, and philanthropic trends.  It is crucial for a healthy organization to communicate, be compassionate, and celebrate their employees as a way to cultivate resilience and enhance retention.


Princess Titus, GCDF has been serving families in the twin cities for 28 years and is most proud of her GED and her galangal plant in her living room. She is a teacher, an orator, and a philanthropist. She earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Metropolitan State University, her Global Career Development Facilitation License from Normandale, and her Executive Certificate in Fundraising from the University of St. Thomas. As a co-founder of Appetite for Change and Standard Edition Women she works to provide access and knowledge about healthier external and internal environments, while modeling the benefits. Princess sits on the board of Parents of Murdered Children, on the Steering committee of Fostering African Americans in Total Health, and works closely with Hueman Partnership. Princess believes that liberation is finding peace in your life amidst the oppression and enjoys writing, sewing by hand, and painting.

Tip(s) of the [AI]ceberg: How to Use AI as a Fundraiser to Make Your Life Easier

Questions about the value and role of artificial intelligence (AI), large language models (LLMs), natural language processing (NLP), and a ton of other acronyms loom large in fundraisers' minds. Can we harness technology like chatbots to improve our ability to connect deeply with donors? Should we pack up our things and leave fundraising to the robots? What if funders use AI detection software and reject any grant applications that use ChatGPT? In this session, we won't provide any concrete answers about whether we're on the cusp of Terminator: Rise of the Automated Development Department, but we will provide some practical tips for using AI in a way that enhances your day-to-day work, helps organize tasks and automate some of your processes, and frees up your time to focus on building authentic, human relationships with your donors.


Drew Coursin, CFRE is a recovering attorney, nonprofit fundraiser, and writer. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with organizations across the United States and Canada on strategic planning, mid-level and major gifts fundraising, creative writing, and authentic relationship building. He takes a thoughtful, methodical approach to helping organizations connect deeply with their supporters, and hopes one day to apply the same principles to raising his twin toddlers.
Frank Mumford, CFRE is a fundraiser at heart who found his way into supporting nonprofits through creative software solutions. Frank got his start as a student telethon fundraiser and joined Gratavid after serving as Senior Donor Advisor at Greater Twin Cities United Way. He serves on the AFP MN Board of Directors and NMU Alumni Association Board, obtained his CFRE in 2019, and has been in the space for more than 14 years.

Demystifying Analytics: How to Become a Better Consumer of Data to Drive Fundraising

This session will provide a high-level overview of the current state of analytics, and vision the future, as it relates to non-profit sectors, applications, and technology.  While there are countless applications to cover, the fundamental themes, and techniques presented will empower anyone to be a more knowledgeable and stronger consumer of data supported decision making.

Specific topics covered will include:

  • Defining the three “families” of analytics    
  • Busting the analytics “myths” that keep people and organizations at arm’s length from leveraging the insight at their finger tips
  • Understanding the benefits and limits of predictions and personas
  • Framework to evaluate analytics projects and deliverables to increase ROI
  • Simple segments and impact analysis techniques to complete the very next day

From curious analytics consumer to experienced fundraiser, attendees should come away with a deeper understanding of how analytics can support their work.


Alexander W. Oftelie is a Senior Vice President of Decision Science. He oversees all analytics engagements, workshops and trainings, and product implementation. His specific areas of expertise include predictive modeling, business impact analysis, survey design and sampling methodology, analytics training, and analytics implementation. 

Prior to his work with BWF, Alex worked as a non-profit subject matter expert for IBM, and advanced analytics consultant for Gallup. He is a recognized leader, speaker, and trainer for CASE, AHP, and Apra and holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota. 

Power of Your People: Professional Development for Joy, Social Justice, and Business Success

In today's challenging financial circumstances, professional development is an afterthought and deprioritized, especially when it comes to budget season. Professional development is a great tool for recruitment, retention, and advancement. This panel discussion will help you bring intentionality and create a business case for support for professional development. We'll share our recommendations on how best to focus resources for the greatest impact. The panel will also highlight how professional development can be used to effectively move forward inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility goals for our organizations.


Aileen Rosa Sánchez is an entrepreneurial, donor-centric strategist with a successful career increasing revenue and furthering organizational missions. She currently serves as Senior Director of Philanthropy at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Children’s Home of Minnesota. Aileen graduated from New World School of the Arts, received her BA from Oberlin College and MBA from Augsburg University. Aileen was an inaugural AFP IDEA Fellow and also received the Oberlin College Community Action Fellowship, Mayo Clinic Bronze Quality Fellowship, Metro State University Community Development Careership, and Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) Next Generation Philanthropy Fellowship. She is also a certified Culturally Conscious Collaborator. Aileen is an avid volunteer, currently serving as a board member of the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and a member of the City of Lakes Rotary in Minneapolis. She helped found LEDC and the New World School of the Arts Foundation in Miami, FL. A first-generation Cuban-American from Miami, Aileen learned English on Sesame Street. She lives with her daughter and a small menagerie of animals in North Minneapolis. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and is part of the LGBTQ+ community. Aileen enjoys spending time in community with her family, learning languages, running with her pups, making music, and participating in faith communities.

Milpha Blamo, bio coming soon!

Lindsay Anderson, bio coming soon!

Crafting and Executing Dynamic Non-Profit Development Plans

Join us for an informative fundraising presentation focused on building practical development plans for non-profit organizations. Co-led by Rob Ruchotzke, Consultant at Creative Fundraising Advisors, and Naomi Prabhakar, Director of Development at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, this session will provide insights into creating, implementing, and managing successful development plans. Explore the process of evaluating your organization's programs, outlining annual goals, and executing your plan over the fiscal year with confidence and clarity. This presentation aims to make development planning accessible and actionable for everyone, whether you're new to the field or looking to refine your approach.


Rob Ruchotzke is a Consultant with CFA. Rob focuses on providing annual giving strategy, development assessments, campaign feasibility studies, and campaign counsel. Rob uses his past annual giving experience and passion for building relationships to find the right solution for CFA’s partners. Rob has more than ten years of fundraising experience in higher education and consulting. His career began at Ruffalo Noel Levitz as a Project Center Manager (PCM) for Missouri S&T. In that role, Rob supervised student fundraisers and became a PCM trainer and mentor. Then, he joined the Missouri S&T Advancement team as an Annual Giving Officer, managing his own portfolio of donors and assisting with multi-channel mass donor outreach. 

Most recently, Rob served as the Director of Annual Giving at Wartburg College and then at his alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). As Director of Annual Giving, Rob led multi-channel campaigns, developed crowdfunding platforms, served as the primary contact for annual giving vendors, redesigned giving forms for ease of use, supported annual giving staff leading the student engagement center outreach and served as the lead for UNI’s Day of Giving strategy. Originally from Camanche, Iowa, Rob holds a BA in Public Relations from UNI. Based in Cedar Falls, IA, he's an avid outdoor enthusiast and virtual meetings sometimes include appearances from his cat Loki.

Naomi Prabhakar has served more than 15 years in various development and fundraising roles at nonprofits and colleges in the United States and Canada. A native of Toronto, Canada, she attended the University of Toronto for her undergraduate studies and earned a master’s degree in Women & Gender Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Naomi currently serves as the Director of Development at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota where she oversees annual fundraising efforts. In her spare time, she enjoys running, cheering on the Toronto Raptors, and traveling with her young daughters and husband.

Bridging the Gap Between Annual Giving and Major Donor Development

Learn how the University of Minnesota has developed a thriving Leadership Annual Giving (LAG) program to personally engage more donors and develop a major gift talent pipeline. This session will include a case study detailing how the University's  Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing is partnering with LAG Officers to identify and qualify donors at the leadership annual giving and mid-level tiers. We will discuss the donor criteria used to build contact lists and how results are shared in real time.


Virginia Kaczmarek currently serves as the Development Officer for the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing. Prior to joining the Center, she served in leadership roles for the YMCA for 22 years. She was responsible for operations, fundraising, budgets, staff development and community relationships. Her experience includes 19 years of development work that includes Annual, Major Gift and Planned Giving as well as a Capital Campaign that resulted in a new YMCA in Northfield, Minnesota. She is a veteran having served in the United States Marine Corp.

Larry Traversie, bio coming soon!

Challenging Mainstream Philanthropy with Giving Circles

Giving Circles use philanthropic collective action for the benefit of their communities. These groups, which vary significantly in structure and goals, bring individuals together to learn about community issues and solutions and subsequently use their collective funds to make a difference. Often fueled by volunteers, it’s participatory philanthropy at its best. One element of participation is that after raising funds, the collective determines where to allocate the resources—either to charitable organizations or community projects.

This panel will discuss how Giving Circles operate within our bodies of work. You’ll hear about three specific models: 1.) the Headwaters Giving Project, 2.) the Headwaters development committee annual campaign, and 3.) the Building More Purpose with Philanthropy (BMPP) Giving Circle, a culturally specific group of Asian American families from Minnesota and Wisconsin who come together to celebrate, learn, and pool their financial resources to support innovative projects that advance justice and equity.