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MIE 2013 National Fundraising Conference, "How to Talk So People Will Give"

When: July 18-19, 2013         

Join us in Chicago for MIE’s Fundraising Conference, the one opportunity each year for those of us raising funds for legal aid to come together to improve our understanding, sharpen our skills and gain the inspiration we need to become more successful in today’s competitive private fundraising environment. Plus, benefit from plenty of time for networking, and the opportunity to spend 30 Minutes with a Mentor.

Powerful Plenary Sessions:

Best Practices for Donor Development

Presented by Deborah Knupp
At a time when the economy keeps throwing curve balls to non-profits, diligence, discipline and creativity are essential to make the most of every donor opportunity. This session will increase your fundraising effectiveness, by introducing you to best practices for donor development designed to help cultivate donors for life. You will learn key tactics to increase fundraising effectiveness by leveraging your time and resources and improving accuracy and predictability in your donor pipeline.

Deborah Knupp is a partner with Akina Corporation (, a national consulting, training and coaching firm that helps professionals rethink relationship building to increase sales and organizational effectiveness. She is an expert on engaging and communicating with lawyers, and is currently working with the Chicago Bar Foundation to increase their already strong relationships with attorneys.

Making Your Donor the Hero: A Guide to Successful Fundraising Online and Off

Presented by Michael Hoffman
Don’t confuse tactics with strategy. The shiny objects of social media distract us from what’s really important — how we communicate with our donors. Once we understand the messaging frameworks, we can turn our efforts to the tactics we need to reach our target audience. This plenary will offer insights into donor behavior that can be the basis for telling stories that inspire action and will teach important digital tactics that can help you succeed at creating successful, long term relationships with those who can fund your work.

Michael Hoffman, See3 Communications (, specializes in creating online strategies and websites that are channels for effective, donor-centric fundraising. His session at the 2009 Fundraising Conference was so well-received that we’ve asked him to return to do this plenary.

Increasing the Visibility of Legal Aid: The Results of Recent Public Opinion Research and Plans for Implementation of the Recommendations

Presented by Celinda Lake, Mary McClymont and Sandra Ambrozy
Legal aid is making a huge different in people’s lives, but our work is almost invisible to those outside of our community. This was the conclusion of public opinion research commissioned by NLADA in 2000. This year, the Public Welfare and Kresge Foundations provided funding for Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group to do focus groups and surveys to update that research. At this session, Celinda Lake will present their research findings, and Mary McClymont and Sandy Ambrozy will discuss plans for next steps.

Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners (, is a prominent pollster and political strategist. Mary McClymont is the President of the Public Welfare Foundation (, and a long-timer supporter of legal aid and access to justice initiatives. Sandra Ambrozy is the Senior Program Officer for Human Services with The Kresge Foundation ( The Public Welfare and Kresge Foundations have made major investments in access to justice initiatives in the past two years.


Situation Based Coaching to Build Lasting Donor Relationships for Long-Term Success
This group coaching session will focus on typical donor and development situations, and demonstrate best practices for overcoming objections, generating referrals and “closing the deal.” Interactive Q&As will address specific challenges and opportunities.

Presenters: Deborah Knupp returns for this coaching session, and is joined by David Gee, Development Director, Chicago Bar Foundation.

Expanding Support from Foundations: Making the Case that Civil Legal Aid is Smart, Results-Oriented Philanthropy
National, regional, state and local foundations provide significant resources to many legal aid programs. We all know that the services we provide are an important part of the solution to a wide variety of barriers and issues faced by low income families. But, we need to know how to talk about the importance of our advocacy to foundations. In this session, the Public Welfare and Kresge Foundations will share the exciting work they are doing to educate other foundations about how civil legal aid advances their strategic goals and the importance of funding it. You will also learn how to frame the mission, services and impact of your work to attract funding.

Presenters: Mary McClymont and Sandra Ambrozy return for this workshop, and will be joined by legal aid staff who have successfully built relationships with local, state and national foundations.

Sessions on Getting and Effectively Using Non-LSC Federal Funds
The U.S. DOJ Access to Justice Initiative is making great strides in increasing the grant programs that will allow funding to legal aid programs. These sessions will focus on how to identify these sources, what DOJ needs from legal aid programs to continue developing sources, and what legal aid programs have done to be successful at getting and retaining these new grants.

Communications Strategies that Complement Fundraising
Develop and implement a communications strategy that will complement your fundraising goals. Panelists from a diverse group of legal aid agencies will share their communications strategies, tools, tips and samples.

Strategies to Engage Corporations in Our Work
Join the on-going discussion within the legal aid fundraising community about the role of corporations in the support of legal aid, whether as direct funders, event sponsors, pro bono partners, and/or advocates for other resource development.

A Workshop Specifically for Executive Directors
Executive Directors — this session will answer your questions on what to expect in resource development, how to work with your development director, and your most effective roles in resource development.


Building Your Campaign Calendar
Every successful fundraising campaign needs a clear strategy and an annual plan of action. This is your opportunity to set campaign goals and begin developing the strategies you need to include to achieve them.

Implementing Your Campaign Calendar
You’ve built your campaign calendar, now turn your plan into action. This session will provide the nuts and bolts of your fundraising plan.

The Bar and Beyond
Find out what you need to do to develop and maintain a successful bar campaign. Learn when and how to integrate the broader philanthropic community into your campaign.

Raise More Money with Volunteers
From making copies to facilitating major gifts — every thriving campaign includes volunteers. Learn how to effectively engage current and past board members, pro bono attorneys, and other active volunteers and donors in your fundraising campaign.


Where Are We, Where Do We Want to Go, and How Do We Get There: Fundraising Planning for Established Campaigns
This session, the first of a pair of planning sessions for those looking to really step up to the next level, will provide you with the tools to assess your current efforts and determine what your next steps should be.

Making the Plan a Reality
This second session will help you figure out, once you have a plan in place, what that means in terms in staffing and expenses. We also will look at the role that board members and other volunteers should play, and what you can do to get them more actively involved.

Major Gifts on a Dime — Developing an Individual Giving Program
Topics will include prospecting from your own donor population, cultivating and stewarding donors, how to get your executive director and volunteers involved effectively, determining when to ask for larger gifts and how much to request. Even small chunks of time spent on this can move the ball forward.

We will continue our very popular 30 Minutes with a Mentor program. You may sign up to discuss your most critical fundraising issue with another conference participant who has skills or experience that you need. Both mentors and mentees find this informal exchange of information to be very valuable.

Come early for the National Directors Conference on July 17.  Visit our Training Page for more information:


As long-time core funding sources for legal aid programs continue to decline, this conference was a much needed catalyst for refining and expanding creative and innovative resource strategies likely to produce results in today's challenging environment. Ed Marks, Executive Director, New Mexico Legal Aid

The MIE Fundraising Conference provides a strong and engaging curriculum for beginners through seasoned veterans, and fosters productive connections for professionals to ask each other questions and network. Sign me up for next year! Lisa Verges Dunlop, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

This was my first time attending an MIE Fundraising Conference, and I'm so glad I did! I came away inspired and informed, ready to implement new ideas to improve fundraising where I work. Shana Heller-Ogden, Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI), Chicago

The annual fundraising conference is an excellent investment. Programs should send not only their development staff and ED, but also advocates and others charged with effectuating fundraising efforts. Mike O'Connor, ED, Prairie State Legal Services

If you want to raise more dough, you have to go to this show. Dave Pantos, Nebraska

Additional Information: 
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General registration starts at 7:30 am on Thursday, July 18, with the opening plenary beginning at 9 am. The conference will conclude at 4 pm on Friday, July 19.

Is this your first Fundraising Conference? Register at 7:15 am and join us for the First-timers Orientation at 7:45 am.

30 Minutes with a Mentor: This popular feature is available at no extra cost at the conference, but you must register by June 25 to be paired with a mentor.

Registration fees:

NATIONAL FUNDRAISING CONFERENCE, July 18 and 19: MIE subscribers $415; non-subscribers $515

NATIONAL DIRECTORS CONFERENCE, July 17: MIE subscribers $200; non-subscribers $300

Stay for BOTH conferences for a discounted price: MIE subscribers $515; non-subscribers $715

Take $100 off for program board or fundraising committee members; $20 off for second and subsequent registrants.



Allerton Hotel Chicago, 701 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, 312-440-1500, $149/night plus tax, free internet. Reserve by June 25, 2013. Mention the MIE group.

Register now and pay by credit card, or send registration information and check to MIE, 99 Chauncy St., Suite 700, Boston, MA 02111-1703.


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Event Details

Jul 18 2013 - 7:30am to Jul 19 2013 - 4:00pm
Chicago, IL
Event Address: 
The Allerton Hotel Chicago
701 N. Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 6061
United States
Management Information Exchange
Patricia Pap, MIE Executive Director re: Fundraising Conference
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email: 
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