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2021 MIE National Fundraising Conference

 Registration is closed for this event


Rediscovering the Joy in Fundraising
2021 MIE National Fundraising Conference

July 21 - 23, 2021
Noon - 5:00PM EDT

MIE is pleased to announce our Opening Plenary speaker for Rediscovering the Joy in Fundraising: 2021 MIE National Fundraising Conference. 
Internationally recognized champion for the nonprofit sector, Joan Garry, will speak on Rediscovering the Joy in Fundraising.

 Our July 22 Plenary speaker Audra Wilson, President and CEO of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law will speak on the Center's current fundraising and racial justice initiatives. Former Executive Director of RVC and writer at NonProfitAF, Vu Le, will be our Closing Plenary speaker speaking on Community-Centric Fundraising and the Joy of Advancing Equity.

View the Conference Program Here.
Including Agenda, Descriptions of Sessions, and Presenter Biographies.

This conference is for you if you are a:

  • 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!

The 2021 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 include:

  • Developing an Individual Donor Campaign
  • Big Campaigns - Integrating Philanthropy and Communications
  • Reaching Every Corner of the Legal Community in Fundraising
  • The Future of Event Planning
  • Making the Most of Your Social Media and Digital Advertising Resources
  • Staffing for Development Growth
  • Pandemic Press: Media Relations During the Public Health Crisis
  • Right to Counsel and the Role of the Media in Building a Movement
  • and more!


Joan Garry is an internationally recognized champion for the nonprofit sector and a highly sought after executive coach for CEOs at some of the nation’s largest organizations. Joan’s firm offers high-end strategic advisory services with a unique combination of coaching and management consulting. She is called upon by large organizations to tackle substantial change management, crisis management and leadership transitions requiring a hands-on strategist, a messaging expert, and a compassionate truth teller.

Joan is the go-to resource for hundreds of thousands of nonprofit leaders worldwide. Through her blog, podcast and book, Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership, she has become the ‘Dear Abby’ of the nonprofit sector, advocating for the success of nonprofits, large and small.

As a columnist for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, contributor to Harvard Business Review and Forbes Magazine, among others, Joan is a preeminent media spokesperson and thought leader on the role of the nonprofit sector in our society and is a sought after voice on issues facing the sector today.

Joan is also the founder of the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, the online educational and community portal she leads for board and staff leaders of small nonprofits.

Joan Garry began her career in 1981 as part of the management team that launched MTV. She followed this successful eight-year tenure as an executive at Showtime Networks. Then, in 1997 while either having a midlife crisis or avoiding one, Joan left the corporate world and became the Executive Director of GLAAD, one of the largest gay rights organizations in the U.S.

Joan lives in Montclair, NJ with her wife of nearly 40 years.


Audra Wilson has been a champion for racial and economic justice for more than 20 years as a public interest lawyer and teacher, policy shaper, community mobilizer, and experienced executive manager. Throughout her career, Audra has focused on the voices and experiences of communities of color and communities most impacted by injustice. She began her legal career as a Welfare Advocacy Staff Attorney with the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, where she focused on welfare reform implementation and food security issues in Illinois. She was then tapped by then-state-Senator Barack Obama to serve as the Deputy Press and Policy Director on his U.S. Senate campaign. After the U.S. Senate race, she returned to her public interest roots, serving as Director of Diversity Education and Outreach and Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law for 7 years. At Northwestern, she co-founded the first formal consortium of law school diversity professionals in Chicago, seen as a national model. During this time, Wilson also served as a policy advisor to leading candidates for U.S. Senate, Illinois State Treasurer, and Lieutenant Governor.   

In 2013, Audra accepted a position as Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Congresswoman Robin Kelly in the Second Congressional District of Illinois, where she oversaw all district operations and served as a surrogate for the Congresswoman while she was serving in D.C. Among her other responsibilities, she served as lead Illinois coordinator of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls. As Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, Audra led critical change to expand the mission of a 100-year old civic engagement organization with nearly 4,000 members and over 40 chapters statewide. She advanced the League’s advocacy on issues of race equity and voting rights and built organizational capacity for fundraising and communications. In October 2019, she was appointed chair of the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues by Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle.  

Audra holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from Bucknell University, and a J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law.


Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the former Executive Director of RVC, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities.

Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.

Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at

Vu will present 
Community-Centric Fundraising and the Joy of Advancing Equity:

It has been a stressful couple of years. The pandemic, combined with society's reckoning with systemic racism, highlights how vital nonprofit and philanthropy are. At the same time, there's also a lot of philosophies and practices in our sector that are not serving us well. Among them: Our relationship with philanthropy, the focus on overhead and sustainability, our partnership with corporate partners, our engagement with advocacy, etc. In fundraising, we have many areas that need improvement. We need a new model of fundraising, one that's centered on equity and community, one that ends the Nonprofit Hunger Games and allows us to find joy and authenticity in our vital work of advancing a just and inclusive world.  

Mentoring Matchup
Do you have a fundraising issue or problem that would benefit from a little one-on-one time with a seasoned professional? One of the benefits of attending the Fundraising Conference is that you have the opportunity to participate in our mentoring matchup program! If you have attended the MIE Fundraising Conference in the past, you know that this is one of the most popular features of the conference, and both the mentors and mentees find it valuable. It is a great opportunity for you to have an in-depth conversation with a colleague!
If you would like a mentor, register for the conference by July 9, and we will be back in touch with you soon after.

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

Registration Rates
Registration Deadline: July 9, 2021

Early Bird Rates Available through June 23

MIE Subscribers one registrant: $450
MIE Subscribers 2 or more registrants from your program, each: $400

Non-subscribers one registrant: $550
Non-subscribers 2 or more registrants from your program, each: $500


Rates After June 23
MIE Subscribers one registrant: $475
MIE Subscribers 2 or more registrants from your program, each: $425

Non-subscribers one registrant: $575
Non-subscribers 2 or more registrants from your program, each: $525

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


Click on the button at the top right to Register Online Now.


July 21st, 2021 12:00 PM to July 23rd, 2021 5:00 PM
United States