Wednesday Schedule

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

Schedule at a Glance

Slides and Resources are listed under their appropriate session.

Inspirational topics presented with a philanthropy lens

Sessions focused on philanthropy's fundamentals 

Sessions designed specifically with seasoned practitioners in mind

Opportunities to celebrate Exponent Philanthropy’s 20th anniversary

Registration Open

7:00 am - 2:00 pm

Breakfast Plenary    

7:30 am - 8:45 am

Have breakfast at your leisure this morning. Chat with new friends you met during the week, catch up with colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, or compare notes with fellow participants. Seating is by general funding issue areas.

The Lawyer Is In

7:45 am – 8:45 am

Have a legal question on your mind? Sign up onsite at the conference registration desk for your complimentary 15-minute private session. Space is limited.

Early Morning Sessions

8:45 am - 10:00 am

Changing Markets and New Strategies for Foundation InvestingNatCon16-gradhat-icon

Since September 2008, the “old” rules of portfolio management have changed. Most investors have found that making 8% to 9% per year on the foundation portfolio isn’t as feasible as it used to be. Now, 8 years later, how have investment professionals made course adjustments? Find out the new rules for investing and how foundations should be looking at them. Speaker: Bernard Reidy, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, New York, NY 

Crisis Response Strategies for FundersNatCon16-lightbulb-icon

Small funders are particularly well positioned to respond to crisis—quickly and effectively—because they can be flexible and responsive. Learn how funders are responding to crisis in the Chicago area and explore how to adapt their strategies for use in your community or funding area. Speakers: Jenny Arwade, Communities United, Chicago, IL;  Matthew Blakely, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Schamburg, IL; Alejandra L. Ibañez, Woods Fund Chicago, Chicago, IL; Jawanza Malone, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Chicago, IL; and Regina McGraw, Wieboldt Foundation, Chicago, IL

High Risk, High Return: How to Fulfill the Promise of “R&D”-Style Philanthropy

Experienced Executive Director track
The most dynamic and innovative funders see their work as moving issues forward by making grants and also by spotlighting issues, mobilizing stakeholders, commissioning research, advocating, supporting coalitions, and incubating new ways of approaching challenging issues. A hallmark of these funders’ work is constantly evolving their approach as they listen, learn, and stay close to the action. Find out the skills, practices, and mindsets that allow small funders to take a “research and development” approach to their philanthropy. Speaker: Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group, Westlake, OH


Planning for a Ramp Up in Foundation Giving and OperationsNatCon16-book-icon

By planning ahead, foundations can thoughtfully and responsibly plan for significantly ramping up giving or adjusting to a sudden infusion of assets. This session addresses key considerations for ramping up in the areas of governance, staffing and operations, grantmaking and evaluation, investments, and tax and legal. Speakers: Tony Cipollone, John T. Gorman Foundation, Portland, ME; Heather Lane Chauny, Family Health International Foundation, Washington, DC; and Ellen Remmer, The Philanthropic Initiative, Boston, MA

Resources: Slides | Handout | Worksheet

Prepping for Tax Season All Year: Tips for the Form 990-PFNatCon16-book-icon

Stay ahead of the curve by preparing for tax season throughout the year. During this session, you’ll get tips for recording your activities and preparing the documents necessary to complete the form. Experienced accountants share what they need and offer suggestions to help you get ready. Speakers: Thomas Blaney, PKFO’Connor Davies, LLP, New York, NY, and Chris Petermann, PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP, New York, NY

Resources: Slides | Resource List

Small Assets, Big Impact: Ways to Leverage Your Dollars and Much MoreNatCon16-book-iconNatCon16-lightbulb-icon

Targeted grants and activities, such as convening, collaborating, commissioning research, and spotlighting issues, can—at the right moments—make outsized impact. Learn ways you can be on the lookout for opportunities for leverage. Find out the power of knowledge, insight, and how to position yourself to act boldly at just the right time. Speakers: Christine Meek, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN; John Richardson, Blackstone Ranch Institute, El Prado, NM; and Stacy Van Gorp, R. J. McElroy Trust, Waterloo, IA


Using Technology to Streamline ProceduresNatCon16-book-icon

Technology has the potential to affect procedures and ensure that you work smarter, not harder. Join this discussion about the possibilities for streamlining the way that you work and about time-saving technology—including administrative, grantmaking, and communications tools—that help you operate more efficiently. Speaker: Annie Rhodes, MicroEdge, New York, NY

Resources: Resource List

Coffee Break  

10:00 am - 10:30 am

Exhibit Hall Refreshment Breaks are generously supported by Bernstein, Drexel Morgan Capital Advisers, FluidReview by SurveyMonkey, Fluxx, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, NGOsource, Northern Trust, PNC Institutional Asset Management, and Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd. 

Late Morning Sessions

10:30 am - 11:45 am 

Assessing Your Foundation's WorkNatCon16-gradhat-iconNatCon16-lightbulb-icon

A bewildering range of strategies is  available for your foundation to  assess itself, depending on the foundation’s aims. When and how do you look to yourself, your grantees, your board, the media, or other stakeholders? How do you get feedback that’s useful and actionable? We’ll review the breadth of options available, help you get a better understanding on which strategies might be best for your foundation, and then dive deep into actual member experiences. Speaker: Rob DiLeonardi, The VNA Foundation, Chicago, IL and Ruth Masterson, Exponent Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Resources: Resource List | Worksheet

Five Key Elements for Greater ImpactNatCon16-book-icon

Impact doesn’t happen immediately. This session uses Exponent Philanthropy’s 10-Minute Impact Assessment as a framework for discussing five key behaviors—thinking about, focusing for, planning for, learning about, and amplifying your impact—that will increase the likelihood that, over time, you will achieve your desired impact. Speaker: Lindsay Matush, Brown Sisters Foundation, Kirkwood, MO


Hiring and Managing Great StaffNatCon16-book-icon

For many foundations, hiring staff is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. What does it take to hire, manage, cultivate, and retain great people? Learn about when to hire staff, what recruitment and management strategies work well, why culture matters, and more. Speakers: Annie Hernandez, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, Studio City, CA; and Darren Moore, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., Fort Worth, TX 

Resources: Resource List

Self-Dealing and Conflicts of InterestNatCon16-book-icon

Self-dealing is prohibited; conflicts of interest can be managed. But the intricacies of the two can be confusing. In this session, learn clear, easy-to-follow steps to help you recognize each so you can act accordingly. Speaker: Ingrid Mittermaier, Adler & Colvin, San Francisco, CA

Resource: Resource List | Slides

Supporting Nonprofit Resilience Through Capacity BuildingNatCon16-gradhat-icon

Capacity building supports nonprofit resilience. For those ready to move beyond the case-making, this session offers a range of ways grantmakers can support capacity building, shares considerations to help assess which strategies are the best fit for a grantee organization, and provides steps for assessing the impact of capacity building support. Speakers: Heather Peeler, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), Washington, DC; Liz Sak, Cricket Island Foundation, New York, NY

Closing Luncheon Plenary

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Our conference closes this afternoon with lunch and a keynote speaker. Don’t leave Chicago without sharing what you’ve learned with colleagues during this final plenary gathering. Speaker: Stacy Palmer, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Washington, DC with Kerry McHugh, The Helen J. Serini Foundation, Frederick, MD, and Deana Singh, Burke Foundation, Milwaukee, WI