Everence Development Conference 2021

Learn how to nurture generosity to advance your values-centered mission! You'll hear from your peers and industry experts about fundraising strategies and best practices to inspire your best donors.

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Man on mountaintop
Join us Sept.28-30 at the 2021 Development Conference!

Invest in what lasts

Come to learn, network, gain insights, build skills.

Sept. 28-30, 2021
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Key speakers
  • Peter Greer, President and CEO, HOPE International
  • Colin Saxton, North American Ministries Director and Advancement Officer, Friends United Meeting
  • Crystal Washington, Technology Strategist and Futurist
  • Peter Drury, Chief Strategy Officer, Wellspring Family Services
  • Leonard Dow, Vice President of Community and Church Development, Everence
Who should attend?
  • Fund-raising executives and their staff
  • Senior staff and board members

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

  • Basics of development for new fundraisers
  • Advanced technical and relationship-building strategies to grow major and planned gifts
  • Insights and best practices for senior leaders and boards to engage donors
  • Values-focused views on cultural and economic trends that impact fundraising

Earn continuing education credits!
Use this tracking form for your CFRE application for initial certification or recertification. The form includes sessions that qualify for credits.


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

Dates and location


Sept. 28-30, 2021

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

Lodging and parking


Make your lodging reservations now at the Lancaster Marriott. A hotel conference rate of $139 is available when you make reservations before Sept. 5, 2021.

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 onsite, you will receive a discount parking ticket to use when exiting the garage.

Meeting 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!


Tuesday Sept 28

1 – 6 p.m. Registration in lobby  

1 – 2:15 p.m. Pre-conference workshop (pre-registered only) – Peter Greer

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Pre-conference workshop (pre-registered only) - Colin Saxton

6 – 7:50 p.m. Welcome and dinner

7:50 – 8:20 p.m. General session – Crystal Washington

8:30 – 10 p.m. Dessert reception


Wednesday Sept 29

6:30 – 8 a.m. Breakfast buffet

8 – 9:30 a.m. General session – Peter Drury 

9:30 – 10 a.m. Break

10 – 11:15 a.m. Workshop session 1

11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch – Regional groups

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. General session – Panel of fundraising professionals

2:30 – 3 p.m. Break

3 – 4:15 p.m. Workshop session 2

Open evening 


Thursday Sept 30

6:30 – 8 a.m. Breakfast buffet

7 – 7:45 a.m. Economic and markets update - Chad Horning

8 – 8:45 a.m. General session – Leonard Dow 

8:45 – 9 a.m. Break

9 – 10:15 a.m. Workshop session 3

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. Break 

10:30– 11:45 a.m. Workshop session 4

11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Break

12 – 2 p.m. Closing words and lunch 

Pre-conference speakers
Peter Greer

Peter Greer

President and CEO, HOPE International

Rooting for Rivals

Learn how your organization can multiply its impact by cooperating, rather than competing. It explores the ways to link arms across our organizational boundaries and pursue a calling higher than our own agendas. Peter explores case studies illustrating the power of collaborative partnership and shares failures and successes in openhanded leadership.

Colin Saxton head shot

Colin Saxton

North American Ministries Director and Advancement Officer, Friends United Meeting

Soul-Care as Self-Care: Staying Centered in an Off-Balance World

Our work as organizational leaders and advancement staff is demanding and challenging, whether or not we are facing a pandemic, social unrest or economic instability. Beyond good self-care practices, finding ways to tend to our souls, for our own well-being and for the sake of those we serve, is essential.

Plenary speakers
Crystal Washington

Crystal Washington

Technology Strategist and Futurist

Nurturing Relationships for Fundraising Success 

In the face of unprecedented world events, too many people have adopted a 'hunker in the bunker' mindset to give their donors and supporters space. Not you! You understand that the key to long-term viability and achieving crucial charitable goals is nurturing relationships. In this interactive session, you will learn innovative ways you can sow seeds that will mature to create a massive impact!
 In this session, you will:
•       Understand the dos and don’ts of reaching out to donors when stress-levels are in the red and in-person meetings are rare.
•       Identify strategic methods of rocking virtual fundraising efforts.
•       Learn creative ways to transform yourself from mere nonprofit service provider to superhero in the minds of potential donors during times of trouble. 
•       Discover and implement tech tools to bring your peers, donors, partners and volunteers from "What now?" to "WOW."

Peter Drury

Peter Drury

Chief Strategy Officer, Wellspring Family Services

Today's Investment for Tomorrow's Return: The Nonprofit Leader’s Imperative

Nonprofit leaders are consistently confronted with the tyranny of the urgent and can easily get pulled off course from their true and essential priorities. In addition, the public often misunderstands the strategic calculus of an effective organizational leader. These two facts combined can create a recipe for disaster, if you're not careful. To invest in what will last – impact and quality – learn what disciplines to observe today in order to be successful tomorrow.

Leonard Dow

Leonard Dow

Vice President of Community and Church Development, Everence

Motivated by Love

Jesus' motivation for all his "good works" came from ultimately knowing he was loved by God (Matthew 3:16). Therefore our motivation in our (good/charitable) work must come from a place of love, specifically God's love towards us for who we are (image bearers) and not for the (good) work we do. Hear Leonard’s personal development experiences (successes and failures) that connect to these themes, which he hopes will inspire and encourage you.  

Workshop Session 1

The best ROI from your major donor program

We all feel the pressure to meet financial goals. If we’re honest, meeting those goals isn’t why we got started in the ministry of development. We love development work because we get to develop long- term relationships with people who share our passion for our mission. What if we could do both – exceed organizational goals and enjoy deep partnership – by focusing more on what we give to people rather than what we need from them? We’ll look at biblically grounded, practical strategies for developing mutually satisfying long-term relationships with our partners.

Presenter: Jon Eisenburg, Executive Vice President/CDO, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Five phrases that will change your life as a fundraiser

Bridging the gap between annual fund conversations and those conversations that can focus on major and planned gifts can be tricky. Join us for a time of practicing conversational tools and practicing the right questions to ask to deepen your relationship with your donor and raise more money.

Presenters: Mitch Stutzman, Stewardship Consultant; and Dave Warren, Vice President of National Markets, Everence

Fundraising with an anti-racist lens

In the United States, the average family wealth for white Americans is seven times the average family wealth for Black Americans. Because of this historic gap, many donors are white and are often donating to organizations that serve communities of color. As development professionals, how can we both focus on the needs of our donors and work toward systemic change to ensure that the wealth gap lessens for future generations?

Moderator: Leonard Dow, Vice President of Community and Church Development, Everence

Panelists: Tina Campbell, CEO, ASSETS; Mike McKenna, President, Tenfold; Vanessa Philbert, CEO, CAP

Leading with intent: understanding board responsibilities for stronger engagement

A strong understanding of organizational programs is linked to stronger board engagement in strategy, external leadership and fundraising. Boards often struggle with the balance required to understand operations but not become operational. This session will review the ways that board members can cultivate a deeper understanding of the organization’s programs in order to have a greater impact on strategy and performance.

Moderator: Karen Lehman, President/CEO, MHS

Panelists: Allon H. Lefever, Board Chair, Landis Communities; Marlin Hershey, Board Member, Tel Hai Retirement Community; Warren Tyson, Chair, Frederick Living Board of Directors 

Growing great partnerships: finding a friend in fundraising

Working with over 30 denominations and many organizations, Everence collaborates in planned giving and stewardship resource relationships tailored to fit the unique needs of the communities we serve. A panel will share their experience furthering their fundraising and missional capacity through an evolving partnership with Everence. We will explore the challenges of responding to distinct organizational needs and donor sensitivities, as well as the benefits that come in having a “friendly” support system.

Moderator: Bill Hartman, Vice President Organization Services, Everence

Panelists: Aaron Fowler, Board Chair, Wichita Friends School; Robin Mohr, Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas; Colin Saxton, North American Ministries Director and Advancement Officer, Friends United Meeting; Jackie Stillwell, General Secretary, Right Sharing of World Resources

Workshop Session 2

Practical tools and strategic communications for successful ROI

It’s all well and good to talk about strategic leadership, but what practical tools and tips can you use today? Participate in this power-packed session for leaders to learn about dashboards, forecasting tools and board-performance frameworks to advance the sophistication and impact of your nonprofit. This work is both art and science – we'll address both. The art of communication and buy-in, as well as the practical tools that support your success.

Presenter: Peter Drury, Chief Strategy Officer, Wellspring Family Services 

Investment and charitable basics

If you are new to fundraising and feeling intimidated by donors who may be sophisticated investors, join this conversation about the types of assets your donors have, including savings, investments, retirement accounts and real estate. Learn about charitable opportunities that maximize giving from these various assets and hear ideas about how to talk with donors about turning their assets into mission through creative charitable solutions.

Presenters: Chad Horning, Chief Investment Officer, Everence; Garett Hiester, Manager of Charitable Services, Everence; Missy Kauffman Schrock, Executive Directer, Center for Healing & Hope

For a more advanced investment conversation and economic outlook, join Chad Horning for breakfast on Sept. 30, 7 a.m.  

On a hope and a dream: launching a campaign to celebrate MCC’s centennial

As Mennonite Central Committee began planning for its centennial in 2020, leadership proposed a special comprehensive fundraising campaign to honor the milestone: $100 million for 100 years. MCC had never conducted a large-scale campaign in its history, and the proposal felt like a huge risk. Yet MCC moved ahead and launched its three-year campaign in 2018. In spite of the risks – and COVID-19 derailing the entire public year of the campaign – the campaign proved a success. This workshop will share what a century-old organization learned about itself, its donors and the ministry of fundraising through an ambitious anniversary campaign.

Presenter: Alan Claassen Thrush, Donor Relations Director, West Coast MCC

Fundraising in urban centers and communities of color

Donors and development professionals of color are deeply engaged in issues that matter and impact them. And increasingly, they are becoming more visible in development circles and in the arena of generosity. Yet lack of understanding of the complex interaction of race, community needs, and power creates barriers. Join this panel discussion about fundraising in urban centers and communities of color.

Moderator: Leonard Dow, Vice President of Community & Church Development, Everence

Panelists: Betty Handy, Director of Development, The City School; Gabriel Wang-Herrera, Director of Development, Timoteo Sports; Katie Gard, Operations Manager & Donor Relations, Oxford Circle Christian Community Development Association

Case study: revitalizing a planned giving program

As a result of a certificate training program with the Lake Institute, part of the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, it became apparent that Grace College & Seminary had significant weaknesses in their approach and promotion of planned gifts. Now, Grace is putting best practices into place, making measurable improvements in marketing and increased donor communication about legacy giving. This presentation will focus on best practices for revitalizing an organization's approach to planned gifts from a practitioner.

Presenter: Stephen D. Gerber, Executive Director of Development, Grace College & Seminary

Workshop Session 3

Relationship building for major gift fundraising  

You’ve heard it before; fundraising is all about relationship. In this session, we’ll look at key elements to building personal connection with supporters in a way that honors them and opens doors for deep organizational connection. Discover the art of asking meaningful open-ended questions, reading your donor’s personality, implementing cultivation and stewardship techniques, and of course – learning the art of the ask.

Presenter: Dave Warren, Vice President of National Markets, Everence 

Organizational strategy: Asking the right questions

In nonprofit organizations, the immediate needs of daily operations may often overshadow visioning for the future. This interactive workshop provides a basic framework for exploring the inclusion of strategic visioning into the daily work of the organization. Through a set of guiding questions related to critical dimensions for understanding one’s organization context, participants will have the opportunity to begin reflecting on their strategic opportunities and process their ideas with other participants.

Presenter: Andrew Miller, Instructor of Business and Economics/Director of the Collaborative MBA, Eastern Mennonite University

Generosity in context

The landscape of giving is shifting. Priorities for giving differ greatly from The Silent Generation down to Millennials. What motivates people to give differs between the generations and between men and women. Context really does matter and the more you know about these issues can make the difference between being a good fundraiser and a great one. Come learn more from three adjunct staff of the Lake Institute’s School on Philanthropy on Faith and Giving, who are also experienced at helping nonprofits and congregations understand key research about the context of their various constituencies.
Presenters: Beryl Jantzi, Director of Stewardship, Everence; Lana Miller, Stewardship Consultant, Everence; Colin Saxton, North American Ministries Director and Advancement Officer, Friends United Meeting

Sure, they could change their minds… Tracking revocable bequest intentions  

The “Create a Legacy” initiative seeks to identify revocable bequest intentions to Messiah University. Documenting these potential gifts, even when they are revocable, is important for several reasons:  1. Thank those who plan to create their own philanthropic legacy. 2. Utilize each future bequest in the way the donor intended and build a long-term relationship. 3. Enable the university to better plan for its financial future. We will review the value of tracking revocable gifts and share donor stories that highlight the successes and challenges of such an initiative.

Presenters: Jon C. Stuckey, Executive Director of Development, Messiah University; Tiffany D. Burrows, Major Gifts Officer, Brethren Housing Association

Going solo: lessons learned from our first comprehensive campaign

Two Bethany Christian Schools leaders had never fundraised in a campaign before. Then they decided to implement a new comprehensive campaign model and raise funds – without a consultant. Hear their story of surprises and challenges. Learn what they will do differently next time.

Presenters: Tim Lehman, Head of School; and Sarah Kraybill Lind, Advancement Director, Bethany Christian Schools

Workshop Session 4

Bridging the gap

If giving or raising money is the absolute last motivator for most board members to join your board, and board giving is the greatest indicator for fundraising success, what are you going to do?

Presenter: Jim Caskey, Vice President, Goshen Health Foundation

Stories from the trenches

When resources are tight and a global pandemic throws your organization some curveballs, creativity and resourcefulness emerge. Join this session for a lively discussion about the communication strategies, collaboration and fundraising methodology that bubbled up during COVID, but are here to stay for the long run. Learn practical tips for connecting donors to mission and engaging new demographical groups from seasoned professionals.

Moderator: Elyse Kauffman, Charitable Consultant, Everence

Panelists: Emily Seitz, Development Director, Clinic for Special Children; Rachel Moury, Director of Donor Relations, Penn State Health and the College of Medicine

Exploring endowments: a visionary tool for organizational growth

Endowment funds can be a significant way of providing money for your organization for many years to come – a legacy for the future. In this workshop, we will explore what an endowment is, why it is helpful, how it works, types of endowments and how to get started.

Presenters: Lyle Miller, Stewardship Consultant; Randy Nyce, Stewardship Consultant; and Lana Miller, Stewardship Consultant, Everence

Discover the sweet spot for a gift annuity

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of a charitable gift annuity – but maybe you wonder, are donors really interested in them? Yes! Join a practical session that helps you:
  • Discern when a CGA might be the best tool to advance your donor’s goals.
  • Understand its basic income and tax benefits as well as some advanced options.
  • Develop strategies to present planned gift options to donors during a visit.
  • Learn about marketing strategies to assist you in promoting gift annuities.
  • Front-line fundraising professionals will share practical tips from their success with advancing donor relations through charitable gift annuities.
Presenter: Nikki Shingle, Regional Director, Everence

Co-presenters: Amy Henriques, Director of Advancement, Landis Communities; and Anita Hanna, Director of Development, Samaritan Counseling Center 

Engaging donors in a divided culture

How do we keep donors engaged – and invite new ones – amid a changing environment that continues to impact loyalty to organizations? A moderated panel discussion will help unearth today's realities. Learn how varied organizations with similar shared faith values are experiencing donor engagement and how they have kept their donors at the table amid changing and polarizing times.

Presenters: Dawn Y. Graber, Senior Consultant and Executive Coach; and Phil Bergey, Senior Design Partner and Executive Coach, Design Group International

Health and safety

We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all attendees, and will follow CDC, state and local pandemic guidelines. Should the pandemic situation change, making it impossible to hold an in-person event, we will consider alternatives and give attendees as much notice as possible of any change in plans. 

Learn more about our COVID-19 safety measures


Contact Everence Conference Planner Lisa Doutlick:


800-348-7468 ext. 3202