2021 AFP NWA Summit - Advancing Ethical & Effective Fundraising

When:  Jun 16, 2021 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (CT)
Associated with  AFP AR, Northwest Chapter

Register today for a full day experience with dynamic sessions, nationally recognized keynote presentations, unique breakout sessions and networking opportunities.

Priced for non-profits of any size, our goal is to bring the AFP International Conference experience to NWA. You are encouraged to invite your board members to a special board member focused luncheon keynote.

Whether you are a senior non-profit executive or someone just starting your career, you will gain so much from this opportunity.

Helmer_Matthew.jpgMatthew S. Helmer - Assistant Vice President of University Advancement, Colorado State University

With an extensive background in event production, fundraising, donor relations and team development, Matthew S. Helmer is committed to elevating the way people experience mission-driven organizations. Currently, Matthew serves as Assistant Vice President of University Advancement at Colorado State University, where he provides creative and strategic leadership for a talented team of event, marketing/communications, and donor relations professionals.


Breakfast Keynote: The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations – Inspiring Donors to Their Highest Level of Philanthropy

Matthew will begin the morning with an interactive hour leading you through an exploration of The 4 Pillars of Donor Relations and provide examples of how applying these concepts to our work elevates nonprofit fundraising results.

Purpose-Driven Events – Meaningful Engagement You Can Measure

The survey results are in, and donors tell us they want more hands on experiences at events. This session will provide inspiring ideas for trading the boring ballroom scene for memorable experiences that connect donors with the mission of your organization. We’ll explore best practices in programming and cover methods for measuring event outcomes that demonstrate ROI.

Wood_Joan.jpgJoan Wood, CFRE - Vice President

Focus Fundraising LLC

Joan Geiger Wood is a Certified Fundraising Executive with extensive experience developing and implementing successful fundraising programs, having raised over $115 million for non-profit organizations during a 30+ year career. Joan has raised funds to provide needed legal services for poor families and children, to get help for victims of sexual assault, to prevent human trafficking, to preserve our environment, to improve public health issues such as gun violence and nuclear energy, and many others. She is an expert presenter to CEOs, donors, boards and fundraising colleagues.


Lunch Keynote: Non-Profit Board Development: What Does it Take?

Joan will detail how to recruit board members who will govern without meddling and get fundraising right. She will also detail board responsibilities, offer tips to keep your board involved and inspired, and share templates to save you time and provide guidance to your volunteers.

Strategic Fundraising: Plan, Commit, Succeed

Joan will help you evaluate development activities and tactics, examine where you've been effective and where you're spending time with little reward, assess how your board, leadership, communications and program staff are engaging in development and identify areas that provide opportunities for increasing support in the coming year.

Stop Ignoring Your “Middle Child”! Boost Revenue by Focusing on What Matters Most in Your Mid-Level Giving Program

So often fundraisers focus on the annual fund and major donors while ignoring their mid-level “middle child”. But without a strong center, your annual fund donors may hit their peak giving and your pipeline to major donors can wither. In this session, we’ll define how to target and segment mid-level donors and prospects, and how to identify capacity using donor behavior and data.

Shattuck_Shattuck.jpgSteven Shattuck - Chief Engagement Officer


A prolific writer and speaker, he curates Bloomerang’s sector-leading educational content, and hosts our weekly webinar series which features the top thought-leaders in the nonprofit sector.

Steven got his start in the nonprofit sector producing fundraising videos and other digital content for organizations like Butler University, Girl Scouts, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the American Heart Association.


Diamonds in the Rough - Finding the Hidden Gems in Your Donor Database

We’ll explore prospect research strategies that build deeper, more meaningful relationships with donors. Participants will learn engagement strategies that enhance existing relationships, as well as uncover those with a propensity to give to your organization for the first time.

Share the Love: Using Social Media to Engage Donors

You will discover how to maximize your nonprofit’s social media accounts through thankfulness, instead of promotion. We will examine real-life examples of effective social media usage from organizations large and small, as well as the latest research into what works and what doesn’t work.

The Art and Science of Retaining Digital Donors

This session will help you discover how to maximize the retention rates of your digital donors. We will examine the attributes of online donors, and outline the retention strategies that work best for this slice of your donor database.

Tiffany_Monica.jpgMonica Tiffany - Creative Director/Principal

Merrigan & Co.

Monica Tiffany specializes in developing effective communications strategy for companies and organizations. She has written for Shriners Hospitals for Children, National Geographic, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Red Cross. Monica served as VP of Marketing and Communications for the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Kansas City Chapter. As a professional creative director and copywriter, she speaks to both local and national audiences about copywriting, messaging and creative strategy.

Neil_Merritt.jpgNeil Merritt - President/Principal

Merrigan & Co.

Merritt Neil is a direct marketing strategist, copywriter and trainer. She specializes in providing measurable results for clients through a range of marketing channels, print and digital. She regularly consults and writes for both for-profit and nonprofit national organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the University of Kansas Physicians Group and Hospital. Merritt currently serves on the Board of Directors at Nonprofit Connect and the Kansas City Direct Marketing Education Foundation.


Storytelling for Nonprofits

Not every story works in fundraising appeals. Learn the keys for finding and using the right stories to motivate donors to give. Filled with test results from large-scale copy tests, this session will give you new ideas to try on your next campaign.

Hodge_Russ.jpgRuss Hodge, CFRE - Principal

The Hodge Group

Russ Hodge has over thirty-five years of fundraising experience. Throughout the years, Russ’ hands-on management style and innovative fundraising techniques have helped The Hodge Group raise more than half-a-billion dollars for organizations of all sizes across the country. Russ is a key speaker at fundraising conferences nationwide, and is a member of the Giving Institute and Association of Fundraising Professionals. Russ is an AFP Master Trainer.


Back to the Future – How to Move Past all of the Noise and Make the Ask

This session will put in context how all the advancements in development over recent years may have moved us away from simply asking for the gift and what are the strategies to getting us back to making high quality asks.

Steiger_Lamar.jpgLamar Steiger - Philanthropist

The Hodge Group

Lamar Steiger is the former Director of Finance and Resource Development at Fellowship Bible Church NWA, a philanthropist and ‘Generosity Pastor’ with a passion for “generous living”; he served on Fellowship’s church staff for twenty years successfully implementing cultural changes which drove success in generosity. Lamar grew up in Bentonville, married his high school sweetheart, Shari, and for many years served as ranch manager for Jac’s Ranch.


Closing Keynote - Generosity




Mount Sequoyah
150 N Skyline Drive
Fayetteville, AR 72701