2019 Past Events


So, you want a $1 million!

This session is not just about that “million dollar gift” that many want, but also about your NEXT big gift. How do you think about it, set it up, find the donor, and most important – make your case.

As you see donors provide major gifts to others, do you sometimes feel like Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate” – standing outside the church watching the wedding of your dreams through the window? Come join us on Wednesday, August 21. Let’s talk about how we prepare for the biggest gift ever to your organization.
Your mind, vision, attitude, plan, case and your donor. It is not just one of these, it’s all of it.


Pat Callahan is a Leadership and Major Gift Coach and has over 30 years experience in fundraising. She is Director of Philanthropy at California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), helping them build their major gift program. Her passion and interests are in major gifts and helping others overcome their fears and intimidations. Pat is AFP Wine Country President-elect and a popular speaker at our sessions.   


Impromptu speaking is one of the most important skills for a fundraiser.

How many times do you get just a minute or two with a group or that important person and you find yourself saying 2 minutes of “What was I thinking?”. Later in the car you think of all the things you should’ve said.
Join us for a hands-on workshop to address:
·     Basic fear of public speaking.
·     How to make an impact in two minutes.
·     Developing and practicing your elevator pitch.
·     Identifying your key message.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the field, you’ll come away with new skills. This is a hands-on workshop where speaking and executive coach Holly Berkley and major gift coach Pat Callahan will provide key tips and then work with you in a practice session.
Come prepared to work on your messaging, practice your spoken words, and move your impromptu communications to the next level.


Holly Berkley, Founder and CEO of BlissSmart, is an author, speaker and consultant providing leadership training and executive coaching for individuals and corporations worldwide. Holly has been a featured trainer at Women In Technology International. Holly teaches tools to disrupt the fear of public speaking and clearing out that negative energy.

Pat Callahan is a Major Gift and Leadership Coach and experienced speaker. A graduate of Toastmasters International, Pat has practical tips and guidelines for successful impromptu speaking whether in a small group or large. Pat has spoken to conferences, gala and special event audiences, and large rallies with thousands of people.


For nonprofits, stories make data come alive. They are the most engaging and memorable way to capture and motivate an audience, and yet so many organizations get storytelling wrong. Cat will discuss how to collect stories ethically, including the key elements for honoring the storyteller and establishing your organization as one with integrity toward its clients. In preparation for this seminar, please share with Cat your favorite videos that feature nonprofit client stories. Email her at ccvengros@shfb.org.


Cat Cvengros is an outstanding storyteller and public speaker, sought after for discussing topics such as trends in poverty, hunger, homelessness, Peace Corps, change leadership, inspiring community involvement and best practices for supporting youth in trauma. She recently spoke at Feeding America’s national conference, DreamForce18, The Moth, and will speak this fall with AFP Silicon Valley and Santa Clara University. Cat led story collection at Social Advocates for Youth for 6 years and currently manages an award-winning team that tells stories about food insecurity in Silicon Valley at Second Harvest Food Bank.


If you are ready to transition your organization, staff and board from the important but transactional annual gifts supporting operations to the deeper transformational relationship 
building and engaging strategies of major gifts work, join us for this session with Linda Frank, Ph.D.

Development professionals and volunteers of all backgrounds and aspirations are encouraged to attend and participate! In this session, Dr. Frank, who is celebrating 30 years as a development professional, will share some of her expertise and experiences, tell some stories and invite attendees to reflect on opportunities they have had for engaging annual gift donors to make major gifts. The fundraising techniques discussed can be used in small shops.

•  Discover how your organization’s annual giving program, which provides a base of support, also offers an established pipeline of donors who can be       cultivated to make larger gifts.
• Understand how to identify potential major gift donors
• Find out why it is important to know your donors and their interests
• Learn strategies to transition the annual giving donor to a major gift donor
• Hear about fundraising trends in 2019


Linda P. Frank, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Development for College of Marin which has campuses in Kentfield and Novato. Celebrating 30 years as a development professional, Dr. Frank has formed and led Advancement teams in Sonoma County and in the East Bay and worked as a Major Gifts Officer on a capital campaign team to raise $40 million for the University of the Pacific dental school in San Francisco. Experienced with small shops and mid-sized fundraising teams, she has been involved in securing 6- and 7-figure major and planned gifts for Chippewa Valley Technical College (WI), Humboldt State University, Santa Junior College Foundation, Graduate Theological Union, University of the Pacific and College of Marin.

She has served on boards including AFP-Golden Gate Chapter, Network of California Community Colleges Foundations, Santa Rosa Rotary and Santa Rosa Rotary Foundation, and has volunteered as a mentor for 10,000 Degrees, AFP and is a member of the Annual Conference Planning Committee for the Northern California Planned Giving Council.


Planned giving enables people to make meaningful gifts that reflect their unique values—and it can be a long-term source of funding for your organization. But, how can you fit in planned giving efforts between fundraising events, staff meetings, direct mail and your other responsibilities?

Damon Tinnon, Director of Gift Planning at Queen of the Valley Foundation, and Bob Hoffman, Senior Vice President, Thompson & Associates, will co-present this important session on practical ideas for increasing planned gift expectancies in smaller nonprofits. Damon will introduce 7 disciplines of a gift planning office and how to adapt them to the multitasking reality of small shops. Bob will offer real examples of how the importance of legacy giving can be incorporated into nearly every conversation with your donors.


Bob Hoffman, CSPG, CFRE, FCEP is Senior Vice President with Thompson & Associates, a leader in charitable estate planning based in Nashville. He serves a wide variety of nonprofit clients throughout California and Oregon, providing their donors with complimentary, confidential, values-based charitable estate planning. Prior to joining Thompson & Associates, he served as Planned Giving Director for St. Helena Hospital Foundation and managed planned giving programs for five St. Joseph hospitals in Northern California.

Damon Tinnon, CSPG, serves as Director of Gift Planning for Queen of the Valley Foundation. Damon is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG) and works with Queen of the Valley Hospital supporters and their advisors to execute planned gifts that reduce taxes, increase income and support overall estate-planning goals.


Are events a part of your organization”s fund development strategy? If you’d like to infuse a few fresh ideas into your fundraiser, join us and glean tips from Dee Dee on how to raise more at your next successful event.

• Discover the hidden secrets to powerful and profitable philanthropy with our blueprint
• Uncover a local elementary school’s journey from $30K to $160K
• Get ready to IMMEDIATELY realize record breaking profits with the Benevent Method of event fundraising
• Transform attendees to long term donors at your next event
• Insider secrets to raise money out of thin air


Dee Dee Kiesow, BAS, PRI, Fundraising Strategist, Trusted Advisor, Professional Benefit Auctioneer. After 25 years of award winning-fundraising and millions raised in the non-profit sector, Dee Dee was faced with a decision to jump from a professional fundraising job to meet demand of other charities needing her help in event fundraising. Some had more than doubled their paydays with her unique system and the demand was growing. After some soul-searching, the “Queen of the ASK” decided it was time to parlay her talents to help more charities have 6-figure paydays. She founded Benevent Auctions and Fundraising.

Her mission: To teach non-profit leaders how to raise maximum dollars per minute at events while engaging long term donor partnerships. In a few short years, this former for-profit Business Owner, Non-Profit Founder, Executive Director, Community Organizer and Major Gifts Officer has raised millions more using a combination of her asking skills. She has appeared nationwide in both USA Today and the Business Journal bringing her proven Silicon Valley Business approach to modern fundraising. Her work has helped see paydays 100 to 600% over budget. As Six-figure gala client Maria Nicolocoudis put it, “After 20 years working with event planners, Dee Dee is everything all in one.”


It’s not about the money. Thinking or re-thinking the meaning and vocabulary of philanthropy. Are we asking the right questions and creating lifelong relationships?

Our work involves the needs and aspirations of our donors. It requires persistence and the ability to tell a story…

In this session, Andrea will share some of her expertise and experiences, tell some stories and invite participants to talk through some of their own individual stories and strategies for what works well and what gets in the way.

• Compelling conversations: the importance of show and tell
• Why specific asks matter and work
• Some will–some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting to be asked!
• Campaigns allow us to do things for others that we could never do alone
• The greatest single mistake you can make
• A short list of other mistakes made and lessons learned
• Are you the philanthropy leader you aspire to be?

Development professionals and volunteers of all backgrounds and aspirations are encouraged to attend and participate in a session which will have some opportunities for laughter, learning and maybe even disagreement about what works best and why.


Andrea Learned serves as the Chief Development Officer for St. Joseph Health – Sonoma County. She has worked for 35 years in executive leadership with hospital, health and community programs. Throughout her career she has been a proud fundraiser and a persistent advocate for social justice. She and her team have raised more than $100 million for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Prior to joining SJH-SC Andrea served for twelve years as Executive Director for Face to Face, three years as Director for the Area Agency on Aging for Lake and Mendocino County and for eight years managed homeless shelters, the food bank and community organizing projects for Sonoma County’s Community Action Agency. She has served on boards including ACLU Northern California, Community Foundation–Sonoma County, Chop’s Teen Club and Cities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief.