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2023 Annual Regional Conference: Flexible Fundraising
Temple B'rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14618
Tuesday, June 06, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM EDT
Category: Signature Events

AFP Genesee Valley Chapter welcomes you to join our network of nearly 200 fundraising professionals and community partners in the Greater Rochester area on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 for our Annual Regional Conference.

This year’s conference theme is flexible fundraising—building our resilience as fundraisers while reshaping our approaches to development with an inclusion, diversity, equity and access mindset. You will hear from local nonprofit leaders who are leading the way for fundraising adaptability in a changing nonprofit landscape. Attendees will also have the opportunity to interface with local vendors and sponsors, network with fundraising peers, and engage in small group table topic discussions. This is an event you don’t want to miss!

Cost To Attend

AFP Members   $119
AFP Nonmembers   $149
Full Table of 6   $600
CFRE Credits   5

Online Registration is now closed.

Please email [email protected] for details on day of event registration.

Click to See Who's Coming


Calvin Eaton

Reshaping Fundraising for Nonprofits: Improving Trust, Transparency and Building Equitable Relationships 

This keynote will shed light on the importance of transparency in the world of fundraising. By focusing on the challenges faced by nonprofit leaders, Calvin will discuss how fundraising professionals and foundations can adopt more transparent practices. Through real-world examples, he will demonstrate how transparency can create a more equitable and inclusive funding landscape.

 Participants will learn: 

  • Ways in which funders can make it easier for Black-led nonprofits to access funding
  • How to eliminate unnecessary restrictions to funds and ways to make grant-seeking processes easier
  • Practical strategies to demystify the opaque world of giving planned giving, and fundraising practices

Calvin Eaton (he/him/his) is a disabled scholar, author, cultural curator, content creator, and social entrepreneur who specializes in the following subjects: African American history & culture, antiblackness, civil disobedience, housing justice & gentrification, sustainability, disability rights, food justice, and gluten-free lifestyle/cooking. He founded "theglutenfreechef" in 2012 and the nonprofit antiracist education platform 540WMain, Inc.

540WMain was founded in 2016 as a grassroots community space in the Susan B. Anthony district of Rochester. Their mission is to engage with our community through antiracist, accessible, and compelling digital and virtual content and conversations. 540WMain offers ways for you to learn about and engage with issues that directly impact your lived experience. They believe knowledge is power, and better understanding of the social, historical, and environmental factors that have led us to the present are essential in creating sustainable change.

Session Speakers


Caitlin Fisher
Project Director,
Nonprofit Talent Pipeline

Community Partners


Krista Jenkins
Director of Development
NAMI Rochester
AFPGV Emerging
Leaders Co-Chair


Sami Sheehan, CFRE
Associate Director of
Annual Giving

Rochester Regional
Health Foundations
AFPGV Board Member

Who Should Attend?

This conference is ideal for those in fundraising, including board members, volunteers and executives who work in resource development. Anyone who is interested in learning more about fundraising best practices and expanding their professional network would also benefit.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Our conference is made possible in part by the support of our generous sponsors. Want to become a sponsor and partner with us on our conference?

Click Here to Learn More


Conference Schedule

10:00 am

Pre-conference Session

This session will be facilitated by Danielle Pierleoni, MPA, Advancement Officer, Heritage Christian Services, and Alison MacKenzie, Director of Development, Genesee Country Village & Museum, of the AFPGV Membership Committee and is intended for those who are new to AFP and/or fundraising, or interested in learning more about our chapter and the benefits of membership.

An information presentation will be given followed by a panel discussion with seasoned AFPGV members and fundraising professionals: Mia Cannon, CFRE, Senior Director of Development, Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, and AFPGV VP of Professional Advancement, Jared Longmore, Senior Director of Advancement for the College and Athletics, University of Rochester, and AFPGV President, and Dawn Stever, Vice President of Operations, Rochester Regional Health Foundations, long-time AFPGV member, volunteer, and former board member. Attendees will hear about each panel speaker’s career journey and be able to ask questions of them related to navigating and advancing your fundraising career.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

11:00 am Registration, Networking, Vendor Exhibits

11:45 am Welcoming Address

12:00 pm

Lunch and Keynote

Reshaping Fundraising for Nonprofits: Improving Trust, Transparency and Building Equitable Relationships 

Speaker: Calvin Eaton, Chief Executive Officer, 540WMain.

12:45 - 1:00 pm Exhibitor Break
Get your passport stamped for a chance to win a prize!  Stamp - Free business icons
1:00 - 1:45 pm

Afternoon Session 1: Supporting the Nonprofit Talent Pipeline

Speaker: Caitlin Fisher, Project Director, Nonprofit Talent Pipeline, Causewave Community Partners

Causewave partners with causes and coalitions across the Finger Lakes and WNY to build their capacity and grow their impact in the areas of strategy, operations and marketing. The Nonprofit Talent Pipeline initiative is part of Causewave's commitment to building a strong and vibrant nonprofit sector. The initiative's purpose is to uncover trends and design solutions for attracting, developing and retaining nonprofit talent in WNY.

1:45 - 2:00 pm

Exhibitor Break
Get your passport stamped for a chance to win a prize!  Stamp - Free business icons

2:00 - 2:45 pm

Table Topics

Earn CFRE credit as you join your colleagues to discuss topics of interest to our profession while enjoying light refreshments. Tables will be labeled by topic and facilitated by an AFP volunteer. 

Topics and facilitators to include:

“Where there is a will: get comfortable talking about death and planned giving"
     Robin Harisis, Lollypop Farm

"Direct-Mail has changed. What are you doing to keep up?"  
     Tim Thomas, Thomas Fundraising Solutions

"Fundraising for Equity: Generating Support for IDEA at Your Organization"
     Jonathan Meagher-Zayas, Social Justice & Equity Warrior

"DATA MATTERS: Bridging the gap between data and fundraising"  
     Ryan Hyde, Hillside Family of Agencies

"The Need For More Multi-Year General Operating Funding (MYGOD)"  
     Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Rochester Regional Health Foundations

"Combining the Science of AI with the Art of Fundraising"  
     Dana Orlando, St John Fisher University

"We're Having a Party! Third Party Events"  
     Joel Elliot and Friends
2:45 - 3:00 pm

Exhibitor Break
Last chance to your passport stamped for a chance to win a prize!  Stamp - Free business icons

3:00 - 3:45 pm

Afternoon Session 2: Leveraging AI and ChatGPT for Efficient Communications

Speaker: Sami Sheehan, CFRE, Associate Director of Annual Giving, Rochester Regional Health Foundations

In this session, Sami will introduce you to ChatGPT, a powerful tool to help you engage donors more effectively and streamline your fundraising efforts. You'll learn how ChatGPT works and discover its benefits for your organization. We will also discuss practical ways to integrate ChatGPT into your fundraising communications toolkit, saving you time and sanity.

Sami brings over a decade of valuable annual giving experience from her time at social justice, animal welfare, and healthcare nonprofits. Her passion for fundraising stems from her desire to help donors realize their vision of a better world through philanthropic contributions.

3:45 - 3:50 pm

Exhibitor Break & Chapter Announcements

3:50 - 4:35 pm

Afternoon Session 3: Neuromarketing and NAMI Roc: Using what we know about the brain to raise support for brain health and the Mental Health Revolution

Speaker: Krista Jenkins, MPA, Vice President of Development and Community Partnerships, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Rochester

Marketing is both a tool for good and evil. In this session, we will refresh our knowledge of neuromarketing to use it for the benefit of our community’s greater good. Krista will share behavioral psychology principles as practiced at NAMI Rochester in their development work, an emerging grassroots mental health organization. You’ll leave this session with numerous strategies for implementation at your organization.

Krista Jenkins is a proud member of the AFP Genesee Valley Chapter and facilitates the AFPGV Emerging Leaders Networking Group. Krista is a passionate, gritty nonprofit professional who has done a bit of everything related to fundraising, marketing and building community partnerships. It is her joy and honor to connect generous community members with organizations who effectively empower our community. She combines her years of experience in development and marketing with optimistic urgency and an open heart, in order to work toward a more equitable, radiant Rochester.

4:35 - 5:30 pm

Networking and Happy Hour

Networking Happy Hour July 21st | PCMA


Click to See Who's Coming