CVFC - Central Valley Fundraisers Conference

When:  Oct 12, 2023 from 08:00 AM to 04:00 PM (PT)
Associated with  AFP CA, Yosemite Chapter

The Central Valley Fundraising Conference (CVFC) is the valley’s premier conference for fundraising professionals, board members and nonprofit volunteers. Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Ca, Yosemite Chapter, this conference brings together fundraising and nonprofit professionals from all over Northern California to hear from speakers about a variety of topics.

Our CVFC Speakers and Session Topics Pack an Educational Punch!

We are excited to announce our speaker and session lineup for the biennial Central Valley Fundraising Conference (CVFC)! Read below for all the details. 

Join us Thursday, October 12, 2023 at the Modesto Centre Plaza for a day of engagement, knowledge, networking and inspiration. AFP Members of any chapter can attend for only $99! Special student rate only $49. All other attendees are $149. Breakfast and lunch is included.

Conference Sessions and Schedule

 8:00 to 8:50 - Registration, breakfast and networking


9:00 to 9:50 - Opening Session featuring Mike Geiger, CEO and President of AFP Global, live and in person!


10:00 to 10:50 - Session 1

 - Beginner: “Elevate Your Social Media” with Bryan Justin Marks

 - Advanced: “We Are All Not OK - Building Cultures that Support, Heal and Strengthen” with Amy Wolfe, CFRE


11:00 to 11:50 - Session 2

 - Beginner: “Translating Higher Ed Stewardship for Nonprofit Small Shops” with Rochele Roura-Foster

- Advanced: “Nonprofit Sustainability in Times of Uncertainty” with Dr. Umar Ghuman


12:00 to 1:20 - Lunch, Networking, Table Topics, Visit Vendor Booths

1:30 to 2:20 - Keynote Session

 “Creating a Community Centric Culture in Your Nonprofit Agency” with Jack Alott

2:30 to 3:20 - Session 3

- Beginner: “From Bland to Brilliant: Creating Email Newsletters that Demand Attention” with Desiree Cervantes

- Advanced: “Creating Annual and Strategic Plans That Don’t Just Sit on the Shelf” with Dr. George Boodrookas

About Our Speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Jack Alotto, MA, CFRE

Session Title: Creating a Community-Centric Culture in your Nonprofit Organization Strengthen

Session Info: Community Centric fundraising is a fundraising practice that is grounded in equity, social justice, race and inclusiveness. It calls on us fundraisers and donors to bring principles of social and economic justice into our development strategies. Community centric fundraising calls for us to engage with our beneficiary communities as equal partners with donors.

Why should we move to Community-Centric Fundraising? Community centric fundraising urges nonprofits to be aware and conscious of diverse communities and peoples as they develop fundraising campaigns, strategies, and organizational plans. 

Community centric fundraising is ethical philanthropy – it is where we urge our donors to think, embrace and use their capital to address systemic imbalances that create the need for charity. Community centric fundraising asks donors to consider the systemic causes of poverty, social inequity, and racial injustice.

About the Speaker: Jack is a graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and he holds a Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, both degrees are in Psychology. Throughout his career, Jack has served in a variety of fundraising positions in hospital, social service and the arts as executive director, development director, major gift and legacy giving manager, and foundation and corporate relations manager.

Jack has taught a variety of fundraising classes at JFK University and now at the Fundraising Academy at National University where he is a trainer. Jack is a California CFRE Ambassador and runs a CFRE Study Group and has taught CFRE Review classes in the US and Canada. Jack has presented workshops at AFP Global conferences in 2022 and 23 and webinars on Monthly Giving and Achieving Your CFRE. In January of this year, AFP’s “Advancing Philanthropy” published Jack’s article on Donor Motivations, and you can find several articles by Jack on achieving your CFRE at and blogs and webinars at at National University.

Jack has appeared on the Nonprofit Show more than a dozen times. Past shows are available on YouTube. Jack is a hiker and traveler, and he is committed and passionate to philanthropy and works diligently to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the sector.

Beginner/Intermediate Track

Social Media 101 presented by Bryan Justin Marks

Session Summary: In this engaging session, we'll dive deep into the world of social media, exploring its power, impact, and effective strategies to enhance your online presence. Whether you're a seasoned social media user or a complete beginner, this workshop is designed to provide valuable insights and actionable tips to elevate your social media skill set.

About the Speaker: Bryan Justin Marks is the Owner of BJM Consulting.  BJM Consulting assists small businesses and organizations with Strategic Plans, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training (DEI), Social Media, Branding & Marketing, Professional Development as well as Team Building Seminars, Motivational Speaking, and Special Events Planning. 

Bryan is a lifelong resident of the Central Valley.  Before being a small business owner, he worked in higher education and nonprofits.  Bryan currently serves on the advisory committees for the Stanislaus Latino Chamber of Commerce and Able Works.

Translating Higher Ed Stewardship for Nonprofit Small Shops presented by Rochele Roura-Foster

Session Summary: The pandemic brought about a "new normal" where donors are once again comfortable with in-person engagement, but now they're fully capable and open to connecting through technology.  Learn how development teams at reputable universities are effectively engaging donors in this post-pandemic era and how to adopt key tactics for your own small shop.  Walk away with tips on how to improve stewardship through recognition societies, building respectful relationships with the beneficiaries providing gratitude content, event stewardship practices, and more.

About the Speaker: Rochele Roura-Foster is the Assistant Director of Donor Relations at University of the Pacific where she manages stewardship programs through recognition societies, events, and strategic donor touchpoints.  Prior to Pacific, she synergized communication and multi-channel fundraising as the Director of Development & Communication at LearningQuest - Stanislaus Literacy Centers.  Rochele also supported conference and event logistics, sponsorship, and marketing for the National Center for Employee Ownerships (NCEO) and the Stanislaus County Fair.  To round out her career in development, Rochele has consulted on emerging development programs and served on the AFP-Yosemite Chapter board.  She earned her B.A. in Communication Studies with a focus on Public Relations at CSU, Stanislaus, and studied advertising, fine art, and art education.

From Bland to Brilliant: Creating Email Newsletters That Demand Attention presented by Desiree Cervantes

Session Info: Join us for a dynamic session that will equip you with the tools to create newsletters that stand out in the inbox and leave a lasting impression on your audience's minds and hearts.  This session is designed to empower you with the strategies, techniques, and creative tools necessary to transform your newsletters from lackluster to extraordinary.   Whether you're a seasoned creator or just starting out, learn how to craft newsletters that captivate your audience’s attention and drive meaningful action.

About the Speaker: Desiree Cervantes is a creative professional from Modesto, CA who designs brands, systems and solutions that lead transformative change for teams and organizations.  She has 20+ years of experience as a creative director, designer, and project manager, with a background in working with nonprofits and changemakers.  In her current position as a Design and Innovation Manager, Desiree manages change and project implementation for Center for Human Services, a large local nonprofit organization serving youth and families in Stanislaus County.  Visit to learn more.

Advanced/Executive Track

We Are All Not Ok - Building Cultures That Support, Heal and Strengthen presented by Amy Wolfe, MPPA, CFRE

Session Info: The last three years have thrust forward the professional struggles for many in the non-profit sector. Creating cultures that tackle these challenges is hard, intentional work. In this session, we will share strategies and tangible action that supports, heals, and strengthens our workplace, building better cultures for all.

Session Objectives: 

By the end of this session, participants will gain an understanding of positive workplace cultural conditions, including:

  • Identifying core elements of impactful teams
  • The art of clear expectations and the impact to team harmony
  • The impact of poor mental health on our workforce
  • How to create a workplace with positive health norms

About the Speaker: Amy Wolfe, MPPA, CFRE, is a partner in Mujeres Poderosas, a collaboration of hard-working, determined, and passionate women sharing their collective wisdom for the betterment of non-profit organizations. She has nearly twenty years of non-profit executive experience. Amy serves on the boards of directors for Ag Innovations and the League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County, and is President Elect of Modesto Rotary Club. She loves the opportunity to connect, support and learn from others as part of her AFP experience.

Nonprofit Sustainability in Times of Uncertainty presented by Dr. Umar Ghuman, PhD

Session Info: During times of  uncertainty (high inflation, possible recession) nonprofit organizations become increasingly vulnerable to a depletion of  funding sources.  This session examines strategies that allow for  nonprofits to adopt a diverse set of funding streams to sustain their operations. This session will examine the  ability of nonprofits to leverage funds from the private sector  and public sectors, as well as provide a basic understanding of strategic tools that nonprofits can utilize to achieve long term sustainability.

About the Speaker: Dr. Ghuman has extensive experience in management consulting for public and nonprofit organizations. His specialties include assisting organizations with building capacity, quantitative analysis, visioning and strategic development. Dr. Ghuman has a PhD in Public Administration. He is currently a professor at California State University Stanislaus, and the director of the MPA (Master in Public Administration) program, and the director of the Online Bachelor's in Leadership Studies as well as the Nonprofit Management Certificate.

Creating Annual and Strategic Plans That Don’t Just Sit on the Shelf presented by George Boodrookas

Session Info: Feeling the dread of implementing your next strategic plan?  Are you getting the sense that you just roll from one commitment or crisis to the next with no time to plan?  Here’s a session that will offer a road map to the strategic plan while involving your key stakeholders.  In addition, learn a simple format for crafting your annual fundraising plan that links to that strategy.

About the Speaker: Dr. George Boodrookas, owner of Philanthropia Consulting, currently serves as a lead consultant to the Network of California Community College Foundations.  In that capacity Dr. Boodrookas provides direct assistance to individual community college Foundations helping them grow their fundraising operations.  Dr. Boodrookas served for 33 years as an administrator at Modesto Junior College, including 11 years as the Dean of Advancement & Executive Director of the Modesto Junior College Foundation.  He is a proud graduate of UC Berkeley (BA) and Stan State (MPA and Ed.D.).  George and his wife, Anna, are Modesto natives and enjoy everything the Central Valley has to offer. 

We are very excited to have the AFP Global President & CEO, Mike Geiger, join us this year. Mike is head of the entire AFP Global organization and is looking forward to speaking to our local fundraising professionals. You don’t want to miss this! 

We’ve got a great conference planned for you! 

The Central Valley Fundraising Conference (CVFC) is the valley’s premier conference for fundraising professionals, board members and nonprofit volunteers. Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Ca, Yosemite Chapter, this conference brings together fundraising and nonprofit professionals from all over Northern California to hear from speakers about a variety of topics.

Registration is now open for those eager to get a seat. We will have limited seating so don’t wait until the last minute. 

Please select Member, Nonmember or Student

CVFC 2023
Name of Attendee(s)
Your AFP Chapter Affiliation

Full participation in CVFC is approved for 7.45 points in Category 1.B -Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.           


Modesto Centre Plaza
1001 K Street
Modesto, CA 95354
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