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AFP Symposium on Fundraising Presented by Montecito Bank & Trust

AFP Symposium on Fundraising
Presented by Montecito Bank & Trust

The New Normal in Effective Fundraising

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Please join us in thanking Montecito Bank & Trust for returning as the Presenting Sponsor this year and welcoming Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, Top 10 fundraiser in the nation!  

Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE
Keynote Speaker



Disruptive Trends in Fundraising:

Dealing with the Changing Major Gift Donor & Disrupting Your Board’s View of Fundraising to Create New Engagement, Excitement and Revenue

AFP Symposium on Fundraising presented by Montecito Bank & Trust is designed for individuals and teams to: Support career development  Learn new skills  Network with peers & colleagues.

Consider the day an opportunity to participate as a team including staff, board members and volunteers with the addition of discounted group pricing! 

Keynote Bio

Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, is an international fundraising consultant, keynote speaker, trainer and philanthropy leader. Gail was recently named #10 on the list of America’s Top Fundraising Experts, published by Philanthropy Media.  Her best-selling book, Fired-Up Fundraising: Turn Board Passion into Action (Wiley/AFP) has been called the “gold standard guide to building successful fundraising boards.”

Gail launched her fundraising career at Duke University and then went on to lead fundraising at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  You can read her weekly blogs at, and also find her provocative articles at Fundraising Success, Guidestar and Capital Campaign Masters.

Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
450 East Harbor Blvd.
Ventura, CA 93001

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


 Early Check-in for Pre-Symposium Break-outs - 7:30 a.m.

Regular Check-in - 8:30 a.m.

Symposium - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


$125 for Members / $150 for Nonmembers


Registration closes 06/04/18

Click here to download the Symposium flyer.

Register Today!


Pre-Symposium Sessions

Making the Transition to Fund Development Professional, Amy Towner

For newcomers to the profession, experienced marketing and fundraising volunteers, and board members who may be contemplating a career shift, you will learn first-hand what it's like to transition to a rewarding career as a fund development professional. When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!


Amy Towner, Chief Executive Officer of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County made the shift from a passionate volunteer to fundraising professional. Since starting the Foundation in November of 2015, Amy has helped it to grow to more than $4 million in annual revenue, implemented an 8,000 person employee giving program, and recently secured approval for Ventura County Medical Center to be the third location for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California.


Finding Career Growth in Your Current Job, Suzanne Elliott

The high turnover rate in the development profession is well documented, so it's become the norm for most fundraisers to expect to stay in their current position for just two years or less. But what if you didn't have to leave the job you have now to find the challenges, rewards and meaning you're seeking? This session will help development professionals explore ways to advance in their careers without jumping to a different organization. Many workshops focus on how nonprofit employers can retain their fundraising staff, but this one tackles how fundraisers can shape the elements they control to create a situation in which they WANT to stay.


Suzanne Elliott, Principal at Envision Consulting in Los Angeles, has been providing management consulting to nonprofit organizations and mission-driven businesses since 2013. Suzanne leads the firm’s organizational strategy practice and also supports nonprofit clients in executive search and talent development. Suzanne earned a B.A. in public policy studies summa cum laude from Duke University and received an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business. She serves on the Board of Directors of Girls on the Run of Los Angeles, the Fund Development Committee of Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County, and the faculty of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at California Lutheran University.


To CFRE or Not to CFRE – That is the QuestionHeidi Whitman, CFRE 

Have you thought about earning your CFRE -- Certified Fund Raising Executive -- credential, but not sure if you should try? This session will answer all your questions. You'll learn: what's involved in earning your CFRE, how you can easily start your online profile today even if you're not sure you'll take the test, how fundraisers with a CFRE are viewed differently and paid better, and much more. Come join us for an informative session that could change your career!


Heidi Whitman, CFRE, is the Director of Development and Communications for Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and serves on the AFP Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter Board. Heidi has over fifteen years of experience as a professional fundraiser and has served on a number of non-profit boards for educational and environmental causes. She is a strong advocate for the CFRE credential and has spoken for both the AFP SBV and the AFP Silicon Valley chapters on mastering the CFRE application and exam.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Identifying the Right Prospect, from the Right Data, for the Right Gift, Christian Hamilton 

Whether you are new to prospecting and want to prioritize your time or needing to build a new more robust pipeline for an established organization, a small, medium or large shop... there are right ways and wrong ways for identifying and cultivating the right prospect from the right data for the right gift. You will learn how The Autry Museum successfully applied their approach to help in completing a 5-year $80 million campaign through data gathering, data management, and reporting.


Cristian Hamilton, Senior Director of Development, Relationship Management, & Data Sciences at The Autry Museum, Los Angeles, is a 25-year fundraising professional with extensive experience in developing and implementing prospect identification and management processes at both large and small nonprofits. He has been a presenter at local, national, and international conferences on the topic of prospect identification and management for organizations such as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Districts 7 & 8, the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), California Advancement Researchers Association (CARA), and the Annual Giving Professional Network (AGPN).


Cultivation and the Art of the Ask, Mary Schmitz


Mary Schmitz, Director of Development for Community Memorial Health System Ventura County, began her professional career as a registered nurse, working in Boston, Phoenix and Los Angeles.  She earned a Masters in Community Health Nursing from ASU, and a MPH and Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA.  She began her fundraising path writing grant proposals primarily for CSU Long Beach and Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital.  She served as President and CEO of the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation for seven years, and is now having the time of her life working on CMH's capital campaign.


Guiding Donors to the Next Level of SupportMolly Ann Woods, CFRE

Fundraisers can sometimes get a bit stuck in our ways, find ourselves having to cut corners or worse, become neglectful of our pipeline of current donors because we're juggling too many other competing priorities.  While there is no one-size-fits-all way to steward donors, there are ways to organize your time to increase the likelihood of a future gift. You will learn: how to upgrade low- and mid-level donors; how to increase giving through monthly pledges; how to create giving societies to increase giving; how to better steward donors; and much more. Your donors want to bond with you, learn how to create better donor relationships for greater growth.


Molly Ann Woods, CFRE, is the Chief Development Officer at New Directions for Veterans where she oversees all the fundraising, marketing and communications for the agency.  Prior to this, she was President of M&M Philanthropy Consulting, Director of Corporate Relations at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Executive Director for External Affairs at UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Director of Development for the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University, Director of Development for the College of Engineering and Technology at CSU Los Angeles, and Director of Major and Planned Gifts at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Molly Ann received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and her Master’s degree in History at California State University, Los Angeles.


Thank you to our Sponsors 

Presenting Sponsor




Community Building

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For more information or inquiries regarding sponsorship opportunities, contact Catherine Kort at or (805) 206-8663 / Heidi Whitman at or (805) 218-6759.