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MIE National Fundraising Conference 2019 & Voices for Civil Justice Media Training

 Registration is closed for this event


MIE National Fundraising Conference 2019
Voices for Civil Justice Media Training

Chicago, IL 

Voices for Civil Justice Media Training
Wednesday, July 24
and 25 (1/2 day)

MIE Fundraising Conference 2019
Thursday and Friday, July 25 and 26


July 24th, 2019 8:15 AM   through   July 26th, 2019 3:15 PM

**Voices for Civil Justice Media Training is Full.**
Please contact Erica Szuplat,, to be placed on a wait list.

Click Here to Register Now for the Fundraising Conference Only.

**Please Register and Reserve Your Room by July 2.**

Building Relationships.  Sparking Passion!

Join us for the 2019 MIE National Fundraising Conference and Voices for Civil Justice Media Training for legal aid executive directors, development directors and all other staff and board members interested in increasing financial resources.

We are pleased to announce two outstanding plenaries to improve our relationship building skills:

Discovering the Joy in Philanthropy – and Being Successful at It! Presented by Bill Bartolini, Senior Philanthropic Advisor at The Ohio State University

Many people fear asking for money – and the potential that they will be rejected.  In this entertaining and interactive session, Bill will banish the fear and explore how giving can be joyful for the donor – and you!  Bill, who wowed us in a major gifts break-out at the 2014 conference, will help us put the “FUN” back in “FUNdraising”, and will share his Five Essential Elements for Fundraising Success and discuss how we can employ them to raise more money for our organizations.

Bill Bartolini is a well-known mentor, coach, educator, and counselor to those who raise philanthropic support. An Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive and an AFP Master Fundraising Teacher, Bill combines outstanding training skills with the first-hand knowledge that comes from working day-to-day as a major gift fundraiser.  He is currently the Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Principal Giving, at Ohio State University. Read his full bio here.

His positive feelings for legal aid stem from stories he heard from his father, who was a volunteer and board member many years ago for the program in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Bill promises an entertaining and interactive plenary on Discovering the Joy in Philanthropy – and Being Successful at It!  For those interested in additional time with Bill in a smaller group setting, Bill has offered to do a break-out session on Friday afternoon on asking the right questions – how to learn what matters to donors so you can develop a stronger relationship that will lead to larger gifts.

Some of you may remember his outstanding break-out session at the 2014 conference in DC for which he received rave reviews.  Here are just a few of the comments from participants:

  • “Bill really knows what he is talking about and has great fun communicating it to others. He provided so much material that he easily could have talked for another 30 minutes, which would have been valuable.”
  • “A+. I want to bring Mr. Bartolini to my next board meeting!”
  • “Bill was fabulous and educational he knew his audience, was engaging and used specific legal aid references. I could have listened to him all day and hope he might come to other conferences.”

Building Relationships to Create Opportunity Presented by Tasneem Khokha of GrowthPlay

The success of our organizations—and our success as professionals—depends in large part on our ability to build productive relationships with our key stakeholders. Whether it is with media reporters, donors, or other partners, the quality of our relationships often drives the opportunities we are able to create for ourselves and our organizations. This session takes a deep dive into the mindset and skillset necessary to build the relationships that drive opportunity. 

Tasneem Khokha has spent almost 20 years working with lawyers and other professionals to help them develop the strong relationships with their clients that are necessary to build their businesses.  During her long-term relationship with the Chicago Bar Foundation and her personal volunteer activities, she has developed a deep understanding of how much the skills she teaches her clients are needed by the non-profit sector to develop the relationships with donors, reporters, legislators and other key partners to develop the support needed for our organizations to thrive.

A special Thursday afternoon workshop for those interested in not just learning how to create a strong development plan, but actually designing one in real-time!

Presented by Aly Sterling, founder of Aly Sterling Philanthropy.  This extended workshop will provide familiarity with key practices and procedures needed to support fundraising success; improve confidence in prospecting and making the ask – and most importantly, includes the creation of your own compressed Philanthropy Blueprint, an easy-to-implement 12-month system for communicating, cultivating and stewarding prospect and donor relationships.


Supporting Your Most Important VIPs – Your Board
Our Board members are smart, insightful, highly accomplished professionals who know how to get things done. That’s why we asked them to serve in the first place. Unfortunately, with everything else on our plates as Executive Directors and Development professionals, we sometimes take for granted that our leaders know precisely what we need them to do and/or how to actually do the things we ask them to. In this session we’ll discuss strategies for engaging and empowering our organization’s most important VIPs to personally help advance our mission and actively support your fundraising program.

This session will be led by David Gee, Associate Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions, where he provides strategic counsel on major gift initiatives, donor stewardship and board development for non-profit organizations in the Chicago area.  David knows us and our issues well; he served as Development Director at the Chicago Bar Foundation for seven years, where he helped the CBF grow its individual donor base six-fold. 

Building Your Development Dream Team, or at Least Ending the Insomnia.  Let’s face it - the vast majority of legal aid programs are trying to do too much fundraising with too little staff.  What do we need to do to come to grips with this problem and develop and implement a strategy that allows us to responsibly grow our development departments and thereby increase resources? 

Our panelists include Laura Kaufman, President, Partners in Effective Philanthropy, who has guided the Shriver Center in successfully growing and diversifying its revenues. She will interact with development leaders from legal aid programs that have or are hoping to increase staff:  Keenya Lambert, Vice President of Development at the Shriver Center, Ana Cruz, Director of Development, Greater Boston Legal Services, and Alyson Robbins, Manager, Outreach and Development, Michigan Advocacy Program.

Turning All Justice-Loving People into Donors.  We recognize that our biggest untapped market is individuals outside of the legal community who would identify with our mission and support our work, if only we did a better job of engaging them.  In this session, development staff from programs that have demonstrated success building strong broad-based individual donor campaigns will talk about the strategies they have developed to identify, cultivate and steward individual givers from outside the legal community.  Elizabeth Arledge from Voices will share information from their research about the messages that are most effective with those outside the legal community.

For more than a decade, Pisgah Legal Services has demonstrated success building strong broad-based individual donor campaigns.  Ally Wilson, Pisgah’s Development Director, will talk about the strategies they have developed to identify, cultivate and steward individual givers from outside the legal community. Helen Meyer, Development Director at Pine Tree Legal Assistance, will discuss Pine Tree’s more recent success in this area, and Elizabeth Arledge from Voices for Civil Justice will share their research about the messages that are most effective with those outside the legal community.

Developing and Sustaining Fundraising Volunteers
Volunteers who care deeply about our programs and are willing and able to both give and get are essential to successful private fundraising campaigns.  To be most effective, we want to reach beyond governing board members to include other community leaders as well as identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders.  This session will focus on how to identify these volunteers, educate and engage them, and maintain their energy and enthusiasm over time.

Panelists: Shannon Jones, Associate Director, External Affairs, LAF Chicago

Co-Chair of LAF’s Ambassadors Board TBA; Sang Yup Lee, Development Manager, Public Interest Law Initiative

Developing Positive Working Relationships with Journalists

Earned media is a powerful tool for building support for civil legal aid, and good relationships with journalists are critical to leveraging media effectively.  Led by Voices for Civil Justice, this session features respected journalists who will share strategies, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid when the goal is to build mutually beneficial relationships. 
Panelists: TBA


How to Most Effectively Engage Your Corporate/Business Community

Corporations/businesses can be good partners on legal aid projects, but only when goals effectively align.  Our panelists, from different types of programs that are having success gaining corporate/business support, will talk about how they develop their strategies, identify businesses that may be appropriate funding sources, make an effective pitch, and work with them to achieve mutually positive outcomes, and how such support can be powerful beyond the dollars raised.  

Panelists: Aileen Moffatt, Vice President for External Relations, NLADA; Ben Fehsenfeld, Development Coordinator, Pisgah Legal Services; Lisa Lessner, Director of Development, Delaware Combined Campaign; Bob Glaves, Executive Director, Chicago Bar Foundation, Moderator

Communicating Effectively with Donors

There are dozens of opportunities and methods of communicating with donors these days -- handwritten notes, emails, YouTube videos, newsletters, annual reports, etc. Which ones matter the most and how are they done really, really well? In this session we’ll be talking about effectively communicating with donors including donor recognition and acknowledgments, newsletters, annual reports, and more. The focus of this session will be on concrete, specific tips and examples to help you communicate more effectively (and efficiently!) with donors.


Panelists: Alyson Robbins, Manager, Outreach and Development, Michigan Advocacy Program;

Deedee Peterson, Executive Director, Legal Action Wisconsin

What Your Donor Management System Should be Doing for You

You know that it’s essential for your nonprofit to have a donor management system (DMS) to manage constituent relationships. You invested in a system and use it on a daily basis to enter gifts, run giving reports, and other simple tasks. What else should your DMS be doing for you? Are you using your system effectively? In this session, we’ll talk about how to get the most out of your system to improve efficiency and raise more money.


Panelists: Becky Panter Altman, Director of Development, A Better Chicago; Deanne Grimaldi, Director of Development, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York; Alyson Robbins, Manager, Outreach and Development, Michigan Advocacy Program, Moderator

Asking the Right Questions to Get the Right Answers

We’ve all been asked for money by people who are acquaintances – and we may give a modest, face-saving gift if we have a few extra dollars.  But big gifts come from people who are invested in your mission, who share your values, and who have confidence their contribution is going to make a difference.  Asking questions is key to developing this committed relationship.  In this session, we focus on Asking the Right Questions so you know what matters to them so you can develop a strong relationship – and receive larger philanthropic gifts.

Presenter: Bill Bartolini, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Principal Giving at Ohio State University


We will again offer 30 Minutes with a Mentor, our highly popular opportunity to sit down one-on-one with a more experience colleague to discuss a problem or issue of particular importance to you.

30 Minutes with a Mentor
Do you have a fundraising issue or problem that would benefit from a little one-on-one time with a seasoned professional?  30 Minutes with a Mentor is one of the most popular features of the fundraising conference.  Register by July 2 and you will have the opportunity to discuss a fundraising challenge you are facing with another conference participant with experience successfully dealing with that issue.

And, of course, we will offer a wide range of break-out sessions on topics of major importance to legal aid fundraisers, including:

  • Fundraising from Individuals beyond the Legal Community
  • Trends in Foundation Funding
  • Engaging the Corporate and Business Community
  • Engaging and Stewarding Major Donors
  • What Your Donor Management System Should be Doing for You
  • Social Media for Fundraisers
  • Effective Tools for Communicating with Donors
  • Planned Giving that Works for the Typical Legal Aid Development Shop
  • The Intersection of Pro Bono and Giving
  • Developing and Retaining Volunteer Fundraising Leadership
  • Making Our Data Meaningful
  • Staffing to Achieve Your Development Goals
  • Private Fundraising in Rural Communities

The Voices team is delighted to offer the 4th national Civil Justice Communications & Media Training, July 24 and 25 (1/2 day), in conjunction with MIE’s National Fundraising Conference in Chicago.  With our new All Rise for Civil Justice campaign as the framework, this year’s training will focus on storytelling and media advocacy to advance your organization's communications objectives. 

Nancy Kinnally, founder and CEO of Relatable Communications Group, will be a member of the Voices training team. Nancy is a career media and communications professional with deep experience marketing civil legal aid and pro bono. We first got to know her excellent work when she was in her role as communications director for The Florida Bar Foundation. Now a free agent,  Nancy’s clients include the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Florida Justice Technology Center, Southern Legal Counsel, and now Voices.  You can read more about her on the Relatable Communications Group website. And here are a couple of relevant posts from her blog:  When the perfect time is now and The modern-day power of the op-ed.


To kick off the training, Voices Executive Director Martha Bergmark and Nancy Kinnally will give participants a deep dive into All Rise for Civil Justice, which tells the story of a civil justice system in crisis, the people who are hurt by it every day, the decisions that brought it to the brink, the people trying to make it better and the solutions they are implementing. The All Rise website is a rich resource of messaging and tools for civil justice reform, including modeling and resources for telling stories in a digital environment. 

You’ll go home with:

  • The know-how to choose and structure stories for a digital environment, including how to package your stories for optimal social media value
  • Methods for choosing the right channel(s) – from media pitches, to video and animation, to story maps and infographics, to photo essays and more – so your stories will reach and engage your target audiences
  • A fresh set of storytelling best-practices and how-to guides and templates from the All Rise for Civil Justice toolkit
  • Approaches and methods to cultivate story ideas and create a culture of story-sharing within your organization

Thursday Evening Reception
Relax after a day of learning with your colleagues at a reception on Thursday evening hosted by Aly Sterling Philanthropy and the Chicago office of DLA Piper. More details to follow.


**Voices for Civil Justice Media Training is Full**

Please contact Erica Szuplat,, to be placed on a wait list.

National Fundraising Conference Only
MIE subscribers: $515
Non-subscribers: $610

All Three Days
MIE subscribers: $715
Non-subscribers: $860

Voices for Civil Justice Media Training Only
MIE subscribers: $390

Non-subscribers: $465

Click Here to Register Now for the Fundraising Conference only.
Please Register and Reserve Your Room by July 2.

Kimpton Hotel Allegro
171 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

To be placed on the hotel room waitlist, please contact Stephanie at 312-325-7191
For some nearby hotels see below.
  • Guests can begin calling 1-800-KIMPTON (1-800-546-7866) to reserve (you should ask for the group rate under the “MIE 2019 Fundraising Conference” block or ResID: NM9)
  • Or book online via Booking Link starting immediately.
  • Please note that online reservations are just for the exact dates and type of rooms listed on the contract. If any of your guests would like to book another room type or rooms on ‘pre & post’ dates they would have to call directly to book. If there are any challenges please have them email our Rooms Coordinator, Ryan, directly at ryan.foster(at)
  • Regarding pre and post nights: please remember this is an availability based request not a guaranteed clause in our contract
  • Keep in mind, this is not an automated system, therefore it is likely that if your room block fills, you will find out before we do. It will be your responsibility to call and communicate any challenges or further needs.
  • Your reservations are due by July 2nd.

Nearby Hotels:
Kimpton Gray Hotel –
122 W Monroe St, Chicago 

Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Downtown Loop – 11 S LaSalle St., Chicago

Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop– 32 W Randolph St, Chicago

Hyatt Centric the Loop – 100 West Monroe Street, Chicago


July 24th, 2019 8:30 AM to July 26th, 2019 3:15 PM
171 W. Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
United States
Event Fee(s)
Fundraising Conference Only MIE Subscribers $515.00
Fundraising Conference Only Non-subscribers $610.00
Voices Training Only MIE Subscribers $390.00
Voices Training Only Non-subscribers $465.00
All 3 Days MIE Subscribers $715.00
All 3 Days Non-subscribers $860.00