Everence Development Conference 2017

Participants learned how to bridge the journey of generosity into a strong and promising future, with an outstanding lineup of exciting topics, engaging speakers, topical workshops, fellowship and conversations – and it was all in a personalized program designed for success.

At a glance


Bridge to a Shared Tomorrow

Sept. 20 - 22, 2017

Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
25 South Queen St.
Lancaster, PA 17603

The conference bursted with exciting topics that included:

  • Philanthropic trends and charitable strategies
  • Giving tools to navigate complex donor goals
  • Fellowship, inspiration and enthusiasm
  • Insights on church giving plans
  • How to build, grow and sustain donor relationships
  • Engaging speakers. Panel discussions. Topical workshops. Fellowship and conversations. A personalized program equipped participants with strategies for success.


  • At a glance
  • Schedule
  • Pre-conference
  • General sessions
  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Planning group
At a glance

Dates and location

Sept. 20 - 22, 2017
Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square
25 South Queen St.
Lancaster, PA 17603


Participants are responsible for their own lodging reservations. A hotel conference rate of $124 is available if reservations are made before Aug. 28. To register by phone, call (888) 850-6146 and mention “Everence.” Or use link provided in your registration confirmation.


A discounted self-parking rate of $10 per day is available from the hotel, but tickets must be validated at the hotel registration desk. Driving directions and approximate driving times are available on the hotel’s website.

Credits and certificates

The conference program has been submitted for continuing education credits with CAP and CFRE approval. Details will be available at the conference information desk.

Registration fees

The standard fee is $325. 

Registration fees include conference materials and resources, as well as group meals. Spousal registration for meals only is an additional $150.

A group discount of $285 per person is also available for organizations sending three or more people. All registrations for the group must be submitted together to receive the discounted rate.


Email Development Conference at devconf@everence.com or call Joy Lambright Liechty at (800) 348-7468 ext. 3202.

Schedule Table

Wednesday, Sept. 20

2 - 6 p.m. Registration
3:30 - 5 p.m.                                      Pre-conference sessions
Help your team thrive: For participants in organizations with two or more attendees
6 - 7:15 p.m. Welcome and dinner
7:15 - 8:30 p.m. General session I
Creating shared tomorrows
Susan Schultz Huxman, President, Eastern Mennonite University
8:45 - 10 p.m.                  Dessert reception and networking

Thursday, Sept. 21

6:45 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast                                                     
8:30 - 10 a.m. General session II
Bridge to tomorrow
Doug Mason, Gonser Gerber
10 - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - noon Workshop session 1 (options 1-6)
Noon - 1:30 p.m.


1:30 - 2:45 p.m. General session III
Inspiring bridges,
Donor panel
2:45 - 3:30 p.m.


3:30 - 5 p.m. Workshop session 2 (options 7 - 13)
Evening Dinner on your own


Friday, Sept. 22

6:45 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast                                                                        
8:30 - 10 a.m. Workshop session 3 (options 14 - 20)
10 - 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. General session IV
Spirituality of fundraising
Jim Wallis, Sojourners
11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Lunch and closing

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 - 5 p.m
For participants in organizations with two or more conference attendees

Help your team to thrive, not just survive!

Kick off the conference with some focused, dynamic and interactive training for your team. Using research and proven principles for improving performance, we’ll address morale and tenure of your fundraising team. Because frustration, burnout and high turnover are common issues for most nonprofit organizations, the session will focus on building effective team dynamics, finding purpose in your work and managing self-care in this stressful, yet meaningful, profession.

Nikki Shingle, CGPA, CAP®, Director of Charitable Relations, Everence, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
David Warren, Vice President of Everence Asset Management, Everence, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
General sessions

Susan Schultz Huxman

General session I
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:15 - 8:30 p.m.

Susan Schultz Huxman, Ph.D., is president of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and former president of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario.

She has served in higher education administrative and academic leadership roles for more than 25 years. She is EMU’s ninth president. She officially assumed the office on Jan. 1, 2017.

Ms. Huxman is a former director of the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University. She has served on the boards of Mennonite Education Agency and the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA.

She won a number of awards for teaching excellence while on the Wichita State faculty. She has published two dozen scholarly articles and book chapters and is co-author of The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking, and Writing Critically, fifth edition. She and her husband, Jesse, have three adult children.


Doug Mason

General session II
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Doug Mason is a partner in the advancement consulting firm of Gonser Gerber LLP in Naperville, Illinois, where he has served for more than 20 years. The firm has worked with more than 700 education, health care, charitable and religious organizations with advancement, public relations and related programs.

Mr. Mason’s clients include a number of colleges and universities, including Eastern Mennonite University, and church organizations such as Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

He had 10 years of hands-on experience in institutional advancement at his alma mater – Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He is a frequent speaker to nonprofit leaders and boards.

Mr. Mason resides in Naperville with his wife, Mary. He is a father of two children and grandfather of four. He is a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Naperville.


Inspiring bridges

General session III
Thursday, Sept. 21, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Perspective from a donor panel: This interactive panel discussion will feature several donors who will share their unique perspectives on giving and meaningful engagement with organizations they support. Fundraisers will gain a heightened sensitivity, deeper empathy, and respect for the emotions and decisions facing today’s donors.

Moderator: David Warren, Vice President of Everence Asset Management, Everence, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Jim Wallis

Friday, Sept. 22, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.

Jim Wallis is president and founder of Sojourners in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit, faith-based organization, network, and movement whose mission statement calls for “putting faith into action for social justice.”

He is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine and website. Wallis also is a best-selling author, public theologian, social activist and international commentator on ethics and public life. His latest book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America, was released in January.

He is a frequent speaker in the U.S. and abroad, has written for major newspapers, writes regular columns for Huffington Post and TIME.com and appears frequently on major network television programs. He teaches at Georgetown University and has taught at Harvard University.

Session 1
Thursday, Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m.

Congregational life and the altered landscape of religious giving

1. Congregational giving

Giving USA creates a research report every year and releases it to denominations and other religious-based organizations. The increasing number of nonprofits means the competition for donor dollars continues to be a real issue for congregations. This seminar will review the Giving USA research for 2016 and on impact to our congregations. Two pastors will also share how their churches have benefitted from Lake Institute training and how they have adopted new stewardship strategies for building and encouraging giving.
Beryl Jantzi, Director of Stewardship Education, Everence, Harrisonburg, Virginia; 
Phil Waite, Pastoral Team Leader, College Mennonite, Goshen, Indiana; 
Doug Bender, Lead Pastor, Cross Roads Church, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania


Preparation matters!

2. Marketing and donor relations

Visits with donors or potential donors require planning, preparation and practice. This workshop will help you build prospect lists to prioritize and track your visits and give you tips for setting up the appointment. Learn how to prepare questions that will uncover donor motivation, transition conversations and maintain engagement. Interact with your peers and to assess body language and develop a practical follow-up plan. Participants will leave with tools and strategies that build confidence and drive results!

Beth Trout, Vice President of Advancement, Landis Communities, Lititz, Pennsylvania


Charitable gift annuities

3. Major and planned giving

Many donors care deeply about supporting your organization, and sometimes find that other priorities, like children and health care concerns, compete for their attention during financial planning. Learn how the unique tool of charitable gift annuities can be a win-win for your donors and your organization. You’ll gain a basic understanding of the charitable gift annuity, as well as some advanced gift annuity strategies that can help your donors navigate the complexity of their philanthropic and financial goals.

Nikki Shingle, CGPA, CAP®, Director of Charitable Relations, Everence, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania


Raising money for your mission: Where you spend your time and effort matters

4. Major and planned giving

As advancement professionals, we all desire to build an effective and comprehensive advancement program for our organization. Explore the challenges advancement leaders face in building the optimum advancement program and hear a candid appraisal of what efforts yield the greatest return for your organization and those you serve. Discover how to balance direct response solicitation with outreach by phone and in-person meetings. Plus, gain a deeper understanding of the roles that organizational executives, board members, and volunteers must play to optimize your fund raising performance. We’ll also discuss how you can make sure that your organization is present in the hearts and minds of your donors, and prospective donors – even when you may have a limited number of professional staff to effectively practice outreach to your major gift and planned gift prospects.

Doug Mason, Partner, Gonser Gerber LLP in Naperville, Illinois

Cultivating our philanthropic capacity as executives and governing boards

5. Leadership and board

Nonprofit organizations are experiencing tremendous turbulence and uncertainty in their work. Strong donor engagement and support is critical to developing charitable or benevolent resources that make important services available or launch new projects. As Rick will frame the discussion, three experienced executives will reflect on what they are learning about their own roles in donor relationship building and project support, as well as how they are creating a culture of philanthropy in the boardrooms.

Rick Stiffney
, Ph.D., President and CEO of MHS, Goshen, Indiana;
Jodie Smiley, CEO, Paxton Ministries, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania;
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber, Superintendent, Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, Pennsylvania;
Judith Trumbo, CEO, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Virginia;
Rev. Leonard Dow, Founder, Oxford Circle Christian Communities Development Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Stewardship and Development Specialist, Everence

Estate planning and philanthropy: Today and in the future - how to talk to families

6. Special topics

As you work with donors, what are some of the considerations that need to be looked at as they create an estate plan? What are some important but often overlooked areas and questions that should be addressed? What are important questions to consider when working with blended families? These issues and more will be covered in this engaging workshop.

Brian S. Black, J.D., Partner and Senior Consultant, North Group, Lititz, Pennsylvania
Session 2
Thursday, Sept. 21, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Capital campaigns, congregations and ministry possibilities

7. Congregational giving

When a congregation begins to think about a capital campaign, there’s lots of talk about money and how to raise it. However, a campaign within a church setting is (or should be) about much more than dollars, blueprints, and project goals. If planned with two purposes in mind – achieving the campaign funding goal and encouraging faith-inspired generosity among congregants – a capital campaign is a transformative experience that opens the way to enhanced ministry possibilities and joyful stewardship.

Rebekah Burch Basinger, Basinger Consulting, Fundraising Counsel and Board Education, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania

Conversational gift planning: Building bridges between donors and organizations

8. Marketing and donor relations

Understanding donors’ goals and then helping them to get there is key to building a long and trusted relationship between donors and your organization. When they trust you, they are more likely to give larger gifts, planned gifts, and/or make blended gifts. Experience an introduction to planned giving tools and blended gifts during this interactive workshop. You will be introduced to concepts related to: conversational gift planning, strategies to move donors up the “ladder of engagement,” and cues to listen for as you help donors 
accomplish their goals.

Mitch Stutzman, Stewardship Consultant, Everence, Hesston, Kansas; 
Dennis LeFevre,* Financial and Trust Advisor, Everence, Woodland Park, Colorado


Simplify: What does the "right" donor look like?

9. Marketing and donor relations

How do we maximize our time so we are spending it with the right donors? What does the “right” donor look like? How do we get in front of donors and start meaningful conversations? In this presentation, we’ll uncover the answers. We’ll explore specific ways to ascertain needs, be a better listener, develop stronger relationships, ask better questions and help donors get what they want!

This presentation focuses on three key areas that will give fundraisers and gift planning professionals that extra edge to improve their performance: (1) Who to visit, (2) getting the visit, (3) making the most of the visit.

Joe Tumolo, CAP®, Associate of Constellation Advancement, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Dressing for success: How rebranding engages donors and stakeholders and strengthens an organization

10. Marketing and donor relations

A brand is “window dressing for the soul” of an organization. You’ll hear how several organizations re-engaged donors and stakeholders through the process of rebranding. Learn how this transformational process reintroduced these organizations and their brands to the community. Find out the value of presenting a consistent, clear verbal and visual brand in all marketing and fundraising communications and how you can employ the most successful methods for uncovering, articulating and sharing your organization’s unique brand, both internally and externally.

Karen E. Lehman, Consultant, Mennonite Health Services, Goshen, Indiana;
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber, Superintendent, Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, Pennsylvania;
Juanita R. Nyce, Consultant, Leapfrog Group, LLC, Philadelphia;
Melissa DePino, Principal, Leapfrog Group, LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
Nancy McDonald, Principal, Leapfrog Group, LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Turning over the bottle caps: Uncovering $100,000 gifts from within your $1,000 donors

11. Major and planned giving

The equivalent of a daily cup of Starbucks coffee – $1,000 gifts for many nonprofits occupy a “sweet spot” that separates the bulk of annual fund donors from the few large gifts at the top of the donor pyramid that have a transformational impact on our organization. Virtually all nonprofits are challenged when it comes to “mining the potential” of these donors, who often fall through the cracks between annual small donor appeals and major/transformational gift fundraising. Learn effective strategies of uncovering large gifts and new innovative approaches in working with the $1,000 donor. Learn ways to guide your staff into a deeper understanding of the potential that’s there to uncover.

Henry B. Freeman, Ph.D., President, H. Freeman Associates, LLC, Richmond, Indiana

Transform your fundraising by managing up

12. Leadership and board

Do you want to really increase your organization’s fundraising results? Has it occurred to you that the most powerful tools for doing so are the people you report to? Not the people who report to you? Most experienced fundraisers have run into this dilemma. Join this engaging session for practical ideas on how to engage your board, your president, and other leaders in your organization in the crucial, but sometimes delicate, task of helping you raise much more money for your organization!

David Warren, Vice President of Everence Asset Management, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania;
Jim Caskey, Vice President of Advancement, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana

Your seat at the table: How to engage financial planners in charitable giving

13. Special topics

It can sometimes be a difficult relationship between a fundraiser and a financial planner. Research shows that more and more donors are working with their financial planners to help determine the possibility and size of gifts. Learn how to partner with a planner to engage the client’s life mission and unleash charitable giving.

Shawn Persing,* CFP®, AWMA®, CAP®, Director of Financial Planning, Everence, Goshen, Indiana;
Nikki Shingle, CGPA, CAP®, Director of Charitable Relations, Everence, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Session 3
Friday, Sept. 22, 8:30 - 10 a.m.

Can we talk? About money? In church?

14. Congregational giving

Sometimes it seems like we can talk about money anywhere – but in church. It’s ironic, since Jesus had more to say about money than any other subject. Our reluctance can be based on many factors, including generational cohorts, congregational culture, bad experiences, and lack of knowledge. But our unwillingness to have the conversations means we miss out on opportunities for generosity, pastoral care and witness. This workshop will offer a safe space to explore faithful money conversations and the roles that church leaders and laypersons alike can play in those discussions. Leave better equipped to confidently communicate about various giving opportunities, and what they can mean for your church’s mission and ministry.

Marcia Shetler, Executive Director and CEO, Ecumenical Stewardship Center, Richmond, Indiana;


Women and philanthropy

15. Marketing and donor relations

Gain an understanding of the powerful role that women have in philanthropy and how to engage them in your cause. Insights on how women often save, invest and give as they navigate life’s many challenges while striving to make wise money decisions. Learn how faith, spiritual beliefs and their value systems often affect their giving. Explore this and more as we discuss a case study of an “all-woman” capital campaign team, and the experience of raising funds to build a women’s health care center.

Sherrill Kauffman Glanzer, Senior Development Consultant, Rockingham Memorial Hospital (RMH) Foundation, Harrisonburg, Virginia;
Teresa Boshart Yoder, Managing Director, Everence, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Using digital marketing and social media for brand attraction, fundraising and donor relations

16. Marketing and donor relations

You have a compelling mission to communicate, your organization is doing great things all the time and recipients of your services are very appreciative. We’ll help you capture those attributes and channel them into your prospect marketing and stakeholder engagement. Digital marketing, including social media, must be part of your efforts. It allows you to be in those places where your stakeholders and prospects are in their daily routine. It’s highly trackable and cost-effective. We know digital marketing can be unclear and intimidating to many, so we’ll help you understand the constantly evolving tools and targeting tactics for reaching them in the right digital spaces, having them reshift their thoughts to your organization’s cause, guiding them along to take a desired action, converting them from a prospect to a donor/volunteer, and keeping them engaged to become great brand ambassadors.

Hope Graby, Communications Director, SCHEFFEY, Lancaster, Pennsylvania;
Joy Beachy, Digital Marketing Manager, SCHEFFEY, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The nuances of complex gift planning

17. Major and planned giving

Learn more about complex planned gifts. See how legacy gifts can and cannot be funded, as well as nuances of working with gift planning. Gain a better understanding of steps needed to set up planned gifts.

William Hartman, J.D., Vice President, Organization and Fiduciary Services, Everence;
Panelists of Charitable and Trust Services Representatives

What we know and don't know: How to respond to uncertainty and the unknown

18. Special topics

What we know for sure and don’t know: In these curious times, we’ll look at how to respond to the unknown or uncertain times, particularly considering changes in the United States’ administration in 2017. Planning or reacting? We’ll consider what really matters and how to stay true to business and investment strategies. What if the charitable tax tables are swept clear? A look at income and estate taxes and proposed changes that may affect a donor’s planning and giving.

Chad M. Horning, CFA®, Chief Investment Officer, Everence;
Peter Kraybill, Attorney, Esquir, Gibbel, Kraybill and Hess, Lancaster, Pennsylvania


From inspiration to action: Assisting highest capacity donors to articulate and achieve their philanthropic aspirations through your organization

19. Major and planned giving

How can we as gift planners open a meditative moment in which the highest capacity donors find the “thread” connecting their identity to our institution – and community served? What does that deeper conversation feel like? Is it permitted? Can we afford the time? What will likely emerge, if donors are engaged in this way? When we listen, what will we be listening for? Then, when we have heard their spirit speak, in its own language, how can we then translate those “promptings” into a plan of action, in collaboration with advisors? You are invited to join your peers in reflecting on these issues. You will leave with the courage to open such a conversation with your best donor friends.

Philip Cubeta, CLU®, ChFC®, MSFS, CAP®, The American College of Financial Service, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Giving in life and death: Anabaptist voices speak to 21st century fundraisers

20. Special topics

Our faith heritage, rooted in the 16th century Anabaptist movement, has a lot to teach 21st century fundraisers in faith-based institutions. What can we learn from the wisdom of our forebearers? How do these teachings and values translate to our current context? What roles do the Bible and faith play in inspiring our donors? What does this mean for fundraising? This workshop will help connect the Anabaptist story with our task of advancing the church and its various institutions. It will also include a case study of how Abundance Canada navigated a name change while revitalizing links to its roots.

Fred W. Martin, Director of Advancement, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario;
Jesse Huxman, former Director of Communication, Abundance Canada, Harrisonburg, Virginia


Planning group

Planning group

William Hartman, J.D., Vice President of Organization and Fiduciary Services, Everence
Joy Lambright Liechty, Event Planner and Field Advocate, Everence
Bethany Nussbaum, Regional Director of Resource Development, MEDA
Randy Nyce, Stewardship Consultant, Souderton, Everence
Jeff Shafer, Director of Creative Marketing, Everence
Nicole Shingle, CGPA, CAP®, Director of Charitable Relations, Everence
Kirk Shisler, Vice President Institutional Advancement, Eastern Mennonite University
Teresa Boshart Yoder, Managing Director, Harrisonburg, Everence


* Advisory services offered through Everence Trust Company and Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., Registered Investment Advisors. Securities offered through ProEquities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, member FINRA and SIPC. Everence entities are independent from ProEquities