Everence Development Conference 2019

Thanks to all the 400 attendees this year who learned how to nurture generosity into a strong and promising future! See you in 2021!

The 2019 Everence Development Conference


Embracing new horizons

Oct. 8 - 10, 2019

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Plenary speakers:

Who should attend?

  • Fund-raising executives and their staff
  • Senior staff and board members
  • Education Leaders Gathering participants
  • National, regional and congregational church leaders and pastors

Network and gain inspiration with peers who are passionate about funding values-based missions. Learn together about:

  • Philanthropic trends and charitable strategies
  • Giving tools to navigate complex donor goals
  • Organizational leadership and board development
  • Insights on church giving and plans
  • How to build, grow and sustain donor relationships


  • At a glance
  • Schedule
  • Plenary speakers
  • Pre-conference
  • Session 1
  • Session 2
  • Session 3
  • Session 4
  • Sponsors
At a glance

Dates and location

Oct. 8-10, 2019

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

Hotel and parking special rates

Make your lodging reservations now at the Lancaster Marriott. A hotel conference rate of $124 is available when you make reservations before Sept. 16, 2019. To book your stay, click here or call 888-850-6146 and mention "Everence."

A discounted self-parking rate is available at the hotel. Upon registration, you will receive a $10 parking ticket. When exiting the garage, you will need your initial ticket and the $10 ticket.

New app!

All attendees will have access to a conference app to conveniently follow the meeting activities.

Learn about speakers, find your workshops and take advantage of special activities all during the conference. More information to come!

Pastors and church leaders

We welcome you to this conference!

Learn about funding ministry for your context from a fresh perspective.

A special registration subsidy from the Everence Pastoral Financial Wellness Program is available to active, credentialed pastors currently serving congregations. See registration section.

Education leaders

Welcome education leaders!
Mennonite Schools Council is partnering with Everence to hold its Education Leaders Gathering as part of the conference.

Tuesday, Oct. 8


1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Registration in Lobby
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Pre-conference session (pre-registered only)
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Welcome and dinner
7:50 - 8:20 p.m. General session I - Joe Manickam
8:30 - 10:00 p.m. Dessert reception

Wednesday, Oct. 9


6:30 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast buffet
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. General session II - Penelope Burk
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. Workshop session 1 (Options 1 - 6)
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 - 2:30 p.m. General Session III - Panel of Donors and/or short talks
2:30 - 2:45 p.m.


2:45 - 4:15 p.m. Workshop session 2 (Options 7 - 12)

Thursday, Oct. 10


6:30 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast buffet
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Workshop session 3 (Options 13 - 18)
9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 - 11:15 a.m. Workshop session 4 (Options 19 - 24)
11:15 - 11:30 a.m. Break 
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. General session IV - Ted Swartz
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch

Plenary speakers
Joe Manickam

Dr. Joseph Manickam

President, Hesston College

Embracing Vision: A walk on thin ice

Embracing new horizons requires more from Christian leaders than simply encouraging out-of-the-box thinking or engaging with a new market. 

It requires a clear articulation of a vision formed out of our faith and rooted in community. The parable of the mustard seed points us toward a horizon greater than ourselves. The question we must ask is whether our vision aligns with God’s vision. An aligned vision has risks. 

It is a vision pulling us toward a reality beyond our own wants and needs. Vision without risk, without the need to step out on the ice, will not give us courage, strength or momentum. Vision without risk leaves organizations and their leaders with a long to-do list, or even worse, a dream that may later turn into a nightmare.

Penelope Burk

Penelope Burk

President, Cygnus Applied Research

Being Donor-Centered in Changing Times:
How to use donor trends and changing technologies to make more profit

Donors today are specific about what it takes to win their support and inspire them to give generously. The job of development professionals is to recognize what is worth investing in to increase fundraising results.

Drawing from her latest research, Penelope Burk answers fundraisers’ ultimate question: What unleashes donors to give at a whole new level? Very different motivations drive young, middle-aged and older donors. Learn how to adjust strategies to meet each generation’s unique needs, including how traditional communication is gaining a new caché.

Penelope unfolds an evidence-based understanding of what donors want from their philanthropic relationships today, what that means for your bottom line and how to apply a donor-centered approach in an ever-evolving environment.

Ted Swartz

Ted Swartz

Founder and Leader, Ted & Co.

Telling a Good Story Well

We all learn from stories. We all have stories within us and laughter can change how we listen. 

Ted Swartz, through comedy and performance, explores how we recognize those stories that shape us and gives clues to perhaps tell our own stories with humor and authenticity.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019; 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.

How do we care for ourselves in this demanding profession?

Heritage C


  • Dave Warren, Everence Vice President National Markets;
  • Les Horning, Donor Relations Specialist, Mennonite Central Committee

Spiritual and emotional well-being/self care for fundraisers, development folks and anyone working in advancement.

Session 1

Wednesday, October 9, 2019; 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.

1. Giving patterns and donor cultivation for every generation

Heritage C


  • Mitch Stutzman, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Hesston, Kansas
  • Lana Miller, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Teresa Boshart Yoder, Everence Managing Director, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Vyron Schmidt, Charitable & Church Relations Consultant, Goshen, Indiana

Development professionals from schools, churches and other nonprofits are constantly searching for insight into how to reach younger donors.

In this workshop, four people representing four generational segments of the population will explore generational giving patterns and talk with professionals about how to engage each segment with specific tools and tactics.

2. Who's looking?: the regulatory aspects of fundraising activities

Conestoga Room 1 & 2


  • Patricia Mogan,  Standards for Excellence Director, Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

With the increased focus of regulatory bodies on fundraising activities and a more educated public donor base, it's critical that fundraisers in schools and nonprofits understand the regulatory aspects of fundraising activities.

Focus will include:

  • How do we report special events revenues and expenses?
  • When can we allocate costs jointly? When is government funding considered program or fundraising revenue?
  • What is a fundraising expense?
  • How do we monitor those who raise funds for us?
  • Are we using all of the appropriate disclosure statements?

3. Being donor-centered in changing times – Part 2

Heritage D & E


  • Penelope Burk, President, Cygnus Applied Research Inc.

"Drawing from latest research, Penelope Burk shares the answer to fundraisers’ ultimate question: What would unleash donors’ giving at a whole new level?

Hear what her research reveals about the very different motivations of young, middle age and older donors; learn how to adjust acknowledgment, communication and recognition strategies to meet each generation’s unique needs.

Find out why your e-communications are reaching far fewer donors today and how print and mail is developing a whole new cachet.

In Being Donor-Centered in Changing Times, Penelope connects her latest research findings to her breakthrough fundraising philosophy — Donor-Centered Fundraising.

She unfolds an evidence-based argument for understanding what donors want from their philanthropic relationships today, what that means for your bottom line, and how to apply a Donor-Centered Fundraising approach in an ever-evolving environment."

4. Boards leading through change

Heritage A & B


  • Panel moderated by Jim Gunden, Board Chair, Dock Mennonite Academy, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
  • Michelle Steffen, Central Christian School, Kidron, Ohio
  • Randy Delp, The City School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sherilyn Ortman, Freeman Academy, Freeman, South Dakota

What does it take to lead through change? Mennonite schools pre-K-12 board chairs will respond to key questions about finances, leadership change, strategic planning and organizational change. 

5. Gift planning basics

 Hickory A & B


  • Lyle Miller, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Goshen, Indiana
  • Garett Hiester, Everence Manager of Charitable Services, Goshen, Indiana
  • Marlene Kroeker, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Goshen, Indiana

Planned gifts for beginners, new development people, board members and leaders. Everence also will introduce its Planned Giving Roadmap.

6. Not now; I'm busy: redefining the visit

Independence A & B


  • Joe Tumolo, CAP®, CEO, Gift Planning Development, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Redefining the visit is fast-paced, interactive and packed with practical ideas for annual, major and planned gift professionals of all experience levels.

Session 2

Wednesday, October 9, 2019; 2:45 - 4:15 p.m.

7. Fine-tuning your marketing to nurture donor engagement and giving

Heritage CDE


  • Jon Eisenburg, VP of Advancement, Water Street Mission, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Thom Scott, Director of Marketing, Water Street Ministries, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Tim Farrell, Director of Stewardship, Water Street Mission, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

You know that you need to attract more prospects by incorporating marketing tools into your fundraising system but get confused or overwhelmed by the HOW?

This session will help you incorporate the right strategies and tools to get your marketing and donor development efforts working in sync to maximize your returns.

8. Beyond carrots and sticks: fostering accountability for leaders and organizations

Conestoga Room 1 & 2


  • Chad Horning, Everence Chief Investment Officer, Goshen, Indiana
  • Peter J. Kraybill, Esq., Gibbel Kraybill & Hess, Lititz, Pennsylvania

As leaders, you are expected to be “fixers” who sustain your mission-driven organizations while you overcome human failures, conflicts of interest, unpredictable circumstances, regulatory oversight, failures in organizational infrastructure and pressure to act quickly.

Do you have the tools that will allow you to solve problems big and small?

This workshop will address organizational governance, legal matters, and financial and strategic management, so you can maintain accountability to those you serve.

9. Preparing for a capital campaign – are you ready?

Hickory A & B


  • David King, President, David P. King Fundraising Counsel LLC,  Richmond, Virginia

Organizations considering a capital campaign are advised to have a campaign feasibility study conducted by a seasoned fundraising consultant.

The study includes an internal review of fundraising-related organizational abilities (staffing, systems, etc.) and identifies any required inputs. It also involves interviews with high-net-worth individuals, corporate executives, business owners, and foundation trustees.

The study provides a basis for determining the campaign goal and can identify top donors, lead gifts, and potential campaign leaders.

This workshop will discuss goals and methods of a feasibility study and answer your more general questions about pre-capital-campaign planning.

10. Ministry support teams: Jesus and Paul had them, and so should your nonprofit

Federal A & B

  • Beryl Jantzi, Everence Director of Stewardship Education
  • Colin Saxton, Everence Stewardship Consultant, National Market

Jesus and Paul had specific support teams providing funding for their ministries.

We'll look at these models and consider the implications for how nonprofit organizations can do the same thing today. The focus must be about having a clear mission and effective storytelling.

11. How do you track progress?

Independence A & B



  • Cindy Bergvall, Director of Bee, Bergvall & Co. accounting firm specializing in not-for-profits, and its division, the Catalyst Center for Nonprofit Management, Warrington, Pennsylvania

Whether you are working in a church, school or other nonprofit, development is a process of actions that lead to results.

Dashboards are a way to track actions, progress and results in a clear and compelling way that will engage your whole team.

In addition to looking at different types of dashboards, we'll learn about the role of leading indicators and lagging indicators in charting success, and review three case studies to illustrate the process.

12. Board basics 101

Heritage A & B



  • LaVern Yutzy, MHS Consulting Associate, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

This fast paced, informative workshop will help you if you are new to non-profit board service, or just want a refresher in best practices and creative ideas for your board and its governance.

Our workshop leader is experienced as a successful CEO of non-profit organizations and consults regularly with boards, their chairpersons and lead/chief executives to optimize board performance or address challenges in their governance and leadership. 

Session 3

Thursday, October 10, 2019; 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

13. Minimizing the fear factor: asking for gifts

Heritage C


  • Yolo Lopez DeMarco, Director of Development, Center for Healing and Hope, Goshen, Indiana

Minimize fear as you meet new potential donors and make the ask. And when the answer is "no," learn to redirect that "no" to a "maybe" or a partnership with your school or nonprofit that could be mutually beneficial.

14. Cultivating donors – both sides of the table

Heritage A & B


  • Les Helmuth, Executive Director, VMRC Foundation, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Identify the value for your school or nonprofit by creating a development plan that flows from and is aligned with strategic mission, and then creating a detailed action plan that focuses on facilitation of face-to-face meetings. 

15. Three sides of a coin?

Conestoga Room 1 & 2


  • Shirley Showalter, past President, Goshen College

What's it like on the other side of the fundraising table?

Join Shirley to hear her perspectives gained as chief fundraiser at a college, a decision-maker at a foundation, and a prospective donor now solicited by Mennonite institutions.

Shirley also has been involved with a board of directors as a chief executive and as a nonprofit board member.

16. Exploring endowments as visionary tools for long-term sustainability

Independence A & B


  • Vyron Schmidt, Everence Church Relations Consultant, Goshen, Indiana
  • Lana Miller, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Endowment funds can provide money for special ministries in your church, school or nonprofit for many years.

Hear how they've worked in real life and how to set them up.

Presenters also will debunk some common misconceptions.

17. New tax law – now what?

Hickory A & B



  • Daryl Eshleman, CPA, Principal, Hershey Advisors, Brownstown, Pennsylvania
  • Randy Nyce, Everence Stewardship Consultant, Souderton, Pennsylvania

The returns are in!

Your donors have filed their tax returns in the first year of the new tax law. We'll take a look at what we learned in the first year of the new law and provide tools and strategies to take advantage of the new charitable environment.

18. Understanding your mission, cultivating donors, and developing partnership

Heritage D & E


  • Zenebe Abebe, Ph.D., Educational & Fundraising Consultant, Training and Development
  • Ronald D. Blaum, MSA, LUTCF®, Planned Giving Officer, Loma Linda University Health, Loma Linda, California

The workshop will highlight stories of compassionate donors and best practices in fundraising. 

We will look at fundraisers’ ability to develop, cultivate and sustain relationships with donors. 

The nonprofit organizations ability to form partnerships around the globe to provide support to those uprooted and displaced by war and/or natural disasters will be explored. 

Attention will be given to the culture of philanthropy that delivers sustainable programs to empower those at the receiving end, so they become independent in their own environment. 

The workshop will also provide conference participants with the opportunity for interactive dialogue and exchange.

Session 4

Thursday, October 10, 2019; 9:45 - 11:15 a.m.

19. Developing your fundraising strategy

Heritage C


  • Leaders: Juanita Nyce, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Peaceful Living, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
  • Madalyn Metzger, Everence Vice President of Marketing, Goshen, Indiana
  • Heidi Stoltzfus, Director of Advancement, Lancaster Mennonite Schools, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Clare Krabill, Director of Operations, MHS, Goshen, Indiana
  • Larry Guengerich, Director of Communications and Church Relations, Landis Communities, Lititz, Pennsylvania

Panel presentation on how development, communications and organizational branding come together to support fundraising as a strategy.

20. Giving motivated by faith

Hickory A & B



  • Beryl Jantzi,  Everence Director of Stewardship Education 
  • Fred W. Martin, Director of Advancement, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Donor devotion -- How is your organization responding to your donors' desires to give as a part of their spiritual practice?

Many of your donors are motivated by their faith and devotion.

How is your church, school or nonprofit authentically responding to this impulse?

Presenters will give examples from their experiences with donors in various organizations and provide some theological tools and reflections that you can use in your organization.

21. From seed to harvest: growing your endowment fund

Heritage A & B


Panel Moderator:

  • Nikki Shingle, Regional Director, Everence Central Penn, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 


  • Edith Yoder, Executive Director, Bridge of Hope National, Exton, Pennsylvania  
  • Phyllis Stacks, Vice President of Development, Tabor Community Services, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Bob Thomas, President (retired), Tabor Community Services, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Linda Dodge, Director of Development, Garden Spot Village

Join us for an exciting discussion about how to engage donors in a conversation about sustaining your mission through an endowment fund. 

These seasoned leaders and fundraising professionals will share unique campaign strategies, marketing materials and best practices for donor relations from their endowment fundraising experiences.

22. Creating a culture of philanthropy: What is a board member's role?

Heritage D & E


Explore strategies for encouraging a culture of philanthropy within your board, with real-life illustrations based on the Eastern Mennonite School board's steps toward greater involvement in fundraising efforts. 

23. Donor relationships as improv/theater

Independence A & B


  • Ted Swartz, founder and leader of Ted & Co. (and alumnus of Dock Mennonite Academy and Eastern Mennonite University), Harrisonburg, Virginia 

How do donor relationships relate to improvisation and theater?

Learn from actor and playwright Ted Swartz.

MHS logo

MHS Consulting

Church Growth Services logo

Church Growth Services

The American College of Financial Services logo

The American College of Financial Services


Contact Everence Conference Planner Lisa Doutlick:
     800-348-7468 ext. 3202