The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at John F. Kennedy University was pleased to host the annual 2017 Philanthropy Summit, which brought together regional nonprofits and cause leaders to strengthen a culture of philanthropy within their organizations. The event drew representatives of some 220 organizations from the Bay Area and across the country to learn about fundraising strategies and other effective donor outreach approaches.
The Summit’s theme of Unleashing a Culture of Philanthropy in Your Nonprofit attracted media coverage from the East Bay Times as attendees of the Oct. 31 event benefitted from presentations from CCS Fundraising, the Foundation Center, and MarketSmart that touched on acquiring the skills and capabilities needed to establish more effective and sustainable nonprofit organizations. The event was supported by a generous donation from the Andeavor Foundation.
“Nonprofits play a vital role in supporting our communities, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at John F. Kennedy University is dedicated to helping our region’s nonprofits and cause organizations be even more effective in their fundraising efforts and community impact,” said John F. Kennedy University President Debra Bean. “The annual summit is a wonderful opportunity to emphasize the importance of building and sustaining a culture of giving, and we are very grateful for this opportunity to support the mission of regional nonprofits while also representing the vision of philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford.”
This is the second year the event, which was held at the Pleasant Hill Community Center, was co-hosted by the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at John F. Kennedy University. The Institute is named after T. Denny Sanford, one of the world’s most generous philanthropists – who has donated more than one billion dollars to causes ranging from education to nonprofits.
The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at JFK University is part of a national network of Institutes based on Mr. Sanford’s vision and approach toward helping nonprofits improve fundraising and donor relations through seminars and educational programs. The network was launched in coordination with the founding Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University, which was launched in 2014 and has developed more than 30 educational content modules that focus on cause selling and related topics of donor relations, planned giving and social media/marketing for nonprofits. Affiliated Institutes, such as the one at John F. Kennedy University – which is also part of the National University System – are able to use the modules and develop workshops and seminars in coordination with nonprofit leaders, members of academia and renowned philanthropists to incorporate regional nonprofit perspectives and insight.
At the Summit, Keynote Speaker Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, an attorney who advised nonprofits and small businesses before she was elected to represent California’s 16th Assembly District in 2014, discussed legislation impacting the nonprofit sector and shared her thoughts on the importance of advocating at both the state and local level on issues important to philanthropy. Special guest and fundraising consultant Kay Sprinkel Grace and Foundation Center West director Michele Dilworth homed in on the importance of inspiring donors to connect with a nonprofit’s mission.
“The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at John F. Kennedy University is honored to provide the tools, training, and skills that nonprofits in our region need to thrive so they can continue to have a beneficial impact in our communities and neighborhoods,” said Solomon Belette, director of the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at JFK University.
Attendees said the annual Philanthropy Summit and the Sanford Institute for Philanthropy at JFK University offers invaluable insight to their ongoing philanthropic efforts, helping them to more effectively fundraise. “It’s very hard for nonprofits because we don’t have a lot of money to send our people out for training and we all wear multiple hats, and so it’s nice to be able to send staff to the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy (at John F. Kennedy University) so that they can learn more about how to effectively fundraise,” said Peggy Dillon, Marketing and Outreach Manager at Choice in Aging.