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MIE National Fundraising Conference 2020 & Voices for Civil Justice Media Training

 Registration is closed for this event


 MIE National Fundraising Conference 2020
& Voices for Civil Justice Media Training

 July 15, 16 and 17, 2020
Noon to 5:30 pm each day, Eastern Time


A virtual conference with the organic feel of the legal aid fundraising conference experience.

Impressive speakers, dynamic sessions.

Fundraising and media training together in one.

View all sessions, live during the conference, and recorded in your own time.

This conference will deliver the learning, inspiration and community you gain from each legal aid fundraising conference.


This conference is for you if you are:

  • legal aid executive director,
  • development director and development staff, 
  • manager or supervisor who is an aspiring fundraiser,
  • communications director and communications staff.
  • And a special opportunity to bring your board members!


This MIE National Fundraising Conference offers you:

  • Voices for Civil Justice Media Training – 7 sessions as part of this conference
  • Outstanding sessions with experts in the field
  • Interactive breakout sessions that will build your skills and inspire you to raise more money
  • Small group peer conversations on topics of your choosing
  • Mentoring Matchups
  • Social time and impromptu conversations
  • The opportunity to see all sessions, live and recorded


Session topics:

  • Identity-Based Fundraising: What Six Years of Research Revealed, by Tom Ahern
  • Writing a Powerful Case for Support, by Tom Ahern
  • Major Gift Basics for the Small Shop, by Robert C. Osborne, Jr.
  • Creating Powerful Major Gift Strategies that Result in “Yes”, by Robert C. Osborne, Jr.
  • Mobilize Your Board to Raise More Money, by Andy Robinson
  • Effective Strategies for Private Bar Fundraising
  • Legal Community Campaign Issues during the Pandemic – A Session for Programs with Existing Campaigns
  • Legal Aid Messaging in the Time of Moral and Viral Pandemics
  • Starting a Planned Giving Program
  • The Secret Life of Partnerships: Increased Opportunities to Raise Funds and Help Clients during the Covid-19 Crisis
  • A Failure to Communicate? Foundations and Support for Civil Legal Aid:  Lessons from Research
  • Pivoting to Virtual Fundraising Events
  • Build Flexibility into Your Development Plan
  • Storytelling and Social Media
  • And more!

Learn from the experts: 

Communications guru Tom Ahern, who wowed everyone when he spoke at our conference in 2012, is back!  In Identity-based Fundraising: What Six Years of Research Revealed, Tom will share the latest info from psychology and marketing to help us prepare more effective donor-centered communications.

Tom will also lead a session on writing a powerful case for support that will help us break through to all justice-loving people who would be willing to give to us if we answered better the question, “Why should I give you my hard-earned money?”



“Content was GREAT! Going to use much of what was discussed in my organization.  Loved his focus on emotions and words and their power in fundraising.”  Comment about Tom’s presentation from a 2012 evaluation


Research Findings and Messaging Guidance from the Race Class Narrative Project by Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners

Since 2013, preeminent pollster Celinda Lake and her team at Lake Research Partners have conducted the opinion research that informs Voices’ messaging guidance about civil legal aid and civil justice reform. LRP’s most recent round of research for Voices in 2017 found that when we inform likely voters about how the civil justice system affects their everyday lives, they strongly support reform of that system so that it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the represented. Overwhelmingly, they believe that equal justice under law is a right, not a privilege. Recently, LRP’s research for Race Class Narrative Action has produced empirical data that economic and racial justice policy objectives are best advanced by directly addressing the connections between racial divisions and economic hardship.  In this one-hour plenary, Celinda Lake will present the research findings and share the messaging guidance her team developed for political activists seeking to build multi-racial progressive coalitions. We believe our audience of civil legal aid advocates and civil justice reformers will find the results eye-opening and highly relevant to the current moment.


Celinda Lake is one of the nation’s top strategists, serving as tactician and senior advisor to some of the nation’s leading issue-based campaigns. American Politics calls her a "super-strategist or, better yet, the Godmother," and Working Woman says she is "arguably the most influential woman in her field. Since 2013, Lake Research Partners (LRP) has conducted opinion research for Voices for Civil Justice about public attitudes toward civil legal aid and civil justice reform. 

Andy Robinson will present Mobilizing Your Board to Raise More Money – If your board isn't raising all the money it could -- indeed, if your board isn't raising any money at all -- you're not alone. Join us as we try out the toolbox you can use to better engage your board.

Andy Robinson ( provides training and consulting for nonprofits in fundraising, board development, marketing, earned income, planning, leadership development, facilitation, and train-the-trainer programs. He specializes in the needs of organizations working for human rights, social justice, artistic expression, environmental conservation, and community development. Many of us have come to know him through his excellent book, Train Your Board (And Everyone Else) to Raise Money.


We also welcome Robert C. Osborne, Principal, The Osborne Group, will be leading two sessions:

Major Gift Basics for the Small Shop

A small development office and a limited budget is no reason not to have a sophisticated major gift operation. This is especially true now in this time of both health and financial crisis.  Major gifts are more important then ever to maintaining revenue. But how do you cultivate and close major gifts in a highly competitive market?  In this session, learn how to run a powerful major gift program with limited resources. You’ll learn the basic principles of major gifts, how to ask important strategic questions of your donors, and how to create strong relationships that result in major gifts. This session is designed for major gift beginners or people who are considering creating a major gift program.


Creating Powerful Major Gift Strategies that Result in “Yes”

The world has changed and the market for giving has become much more competitive.  To compete, you’ll need to employ well thought-out strategy.  The best major gift strategies are based on engaging donors with our vision and building trust in our organization. In this session we will focus on how to apply these principles so that you are able to craft major gift strategies that are consistently successful. This session is for experienced major gift officers who are looking take their program to the next level.

Robert C. Osborne, Principal, The Osborne Group, specializes in organizational management, including strategic planning and scaling fundraising programs. With 25 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, he has served as the Director of Development for St. Aloysius School, Interfaith Neighbors and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Robert has conducted well-received workshops and keynote addresses for organizations all over the world, serves on the Advisory Board of the Czech Fundraising Center in Prague, Czech Republic and as an International Ambassador to the accelerator and incubator Impact Hub Belgrade in Serbia. Robert serves an advisor to a number of US based start-ups. Read more about Robert here.


Of course, we are planning a full range of conference sessions that will help us all to most effectively move forward out of the current situation to strong and effective fundraising post-crisis, including:

  • Creating Statewide Communications Networks to Generate Media and Advance Shared Objectives
  • Media Fundamentals
  • Learning from Peers and Reporters - How to Develop Positive Working Relationships with Journalists 
  • Writing Effective Persuasion Pieces


Please contact Patricia Pap, ppap(at), with any questions about accessibility or to request accommodations.

To receive access to the online sessions each participant must register for the conference individually. If multiple staff are attending from your program, choose the discounted per person rate.
Registration Deadline: July 8, 2020, to participate in Mentoring Matchup.

Early Bird Rates Available through June 19
MIE Subscribers one registrant: $450
MIE Subscribers multiple registrants, each: $400

Non-subscribers one registrant: $550
Non-subscribers multiple registrants, each: $500

Rates After June 19
MIE Subscribers one registrant: $475
MIE Subscribers multiple registrants, each: $425

Non-subscribers one registrant: $575
Non-subscribers multiple registrants, each: $525

Special Rates for Your Board Members
MIE Subscribers: $200
Non-subscribers: $300

Thank you to Just-Tech, LLC for their expert assistance coordinating this event.

Technical planning and support by Just-Tech, LLC. Just-Tech serves as a trusted partner to the legal aid community with a broad range consulting, engineering, technical support, and training services in a wide variety of areas, including case management, document management, call center technology, security, business continuity, and remote access.
O: 929-277-0602
14 Pennsylvania Plaza, 9th Floor 
New York, NY 10122

July 15th, 2020 12:00 PM to July 17th, 2020 5:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
Regular Rates
MIE Subscribers one registrant $475.00
MIE Subscribers multiple registrants, eac $425.00
Non-subscribers one registrant $575.00
Non-subscribers multiple registrants, each $525.00
Special Board Rate MIE Subscribers $200.00
Special Board Rate Non-subscribers $300.00