Why Michiana Needs a Philanthropic Institute

I love to read and will plow through a book in a matter of days, sometimes in a matter of hours. I’m not picky in what I read; I’ll read both fiction and non, scholarly articles and journals, especially when the topics are on new and innovative trends in marketing, communications, and fundraising. I am a proud, life-long learner.

Even though I love to read, that isn’t the best way for me to learn. I learn best when I have others in the learning environment and we can have discussions and share our thoughts and ideas. That is why, I invest in my ongoing-development by attending annual conferences for nonprofit professionals. Last October, I attended the Association of Fundraising Professionals Leadership Conference in Cincinnati. At this conference, I heard from industry leaders on how to better fulfill the mission of nonprofits, while being able to network with others in the profession. It was at that conference when I realized that our Michiana community would benefit from an all-day conference for nonprofit professionals and their volunteers. The inaugural Philanthropic Institute was born from this idea.

The AFP Michiana’s Philanthropic Institute will be held on Thursday, August 16 at the Century Center in downtown South Bend. Attendees will have the opportunity to select three interactive-breakout sessions. Industry leaders will present on:

  • Engaging board members in fundraising
  • Retaining donors
  • Major gifts strategis
  • Researching digital platforms
  • New tax laws affect nonprofits
  • Marketing and communications trends  

It’s the inaugural
Philanthropic Institute for AFP Michiana, and we decided to go big or go home! We are bringing in Joan Garry, a nationally known nonprofit speaker and coach with expertise in fundraising, board governance, and organizational leadership. This conference will be beneficial for executive directors, development teams, and board members. Bonus: Registrants (by May 31) will receive a copy of Joan’s book for free!

Attendees will be able to pick up their conference materials starting at 7am and then network at the Kruggel Lawton CPAs breakfast. Joan’s keynote address will start promptly at 9am. At 10am, the breakout sessions will begin, in addition to the opening of the Exhibitor/Vendor Hall. Throughout the day, attendees will be able to grab a coffee, tea, or water from the Beverage Station, sponsored by Nonprofit Professional Development Program at the University of Notre Dame. A full schedule of the day will be posted on our website, shortly.

As a nonprofit professional, I know budgets can be tight, especially when it comes to ongoing education and professional development. That is why I am excited that our local chapter, AFP Michiana, is able to bring in industry leaders to inspire and educate our nonprofit community at an affordable rate. We want to encourage nonprofits to bring their teams, and we are offering a group ticket package, 6 registrations for $1,000.

I hope to see many of you at AFP MIchiana’s Inaugural Philanthropic Institute on August 16th!

Charmaine S. Torma

AFP Michiana Chapter President