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Fundraising & Finance – They Go Together Like Milk & Cookies

Resource Center - Foundation

At the first annual Development and Finance Symposium on June 11-12, 2013, in conjunction with the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Rice University, the Association of Fundraising Professionals is pleased to announce the keynote speaker will be Paul Shoemaker! Named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in the nonprofit sector by The NonProfit Times two years in a row, Shoemaker is sure to convince and ease you into the marriage of fundraising and finance.

Nonprofit organizations have the opportunity to create a strategic advantage by developing a strong relationship between their fundraising and finance functions. As Social Venture Partner’s executive connector, Shoemaker is just the right person to help you make the connection between the two—just reference his title! 

When Two Worlds Collide

Shoemaker’s experience comes from both the fundraising and finance fields. He currently sits on the boards of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation and Partners for Our Children. Having also served as the board treasurer of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (2001-2007), he is easily able to link both worlds of fundraising and finance, and show why and how important it is to do so.

When fundraising and finance staff work well together, nonprofit organizations can grow and flourish. Lack of communication between these two offices can lead to significant consequences for the organization. After years of on-the-ground experience as a nonprofit funder and private sector executive, Shoemaker was convinced that these two departments could hugely benefit one another. In fact, he feels that collaboration between these two departments can ultimately change the dynamic and influence the future direction of your nonprofit.

Shoemaker will bring his outspoken and brazen passion and drive for the blending of philanthropy development and capacity building. Whether you’re a fundraiser, chief finance officer, vice president, executive director, investment professional or board member, you will certainly benefit from Shoemaker’s theory that fundraising and finance should be inseparable.

Meet the Best of Both Worlds

Joining Shoemaker on the line-up for the symposium are several other confirmed senior advancement officers and chief finance officers representing both ends of the spectrum. Bridging the gap between accounting and fundraising will be Beth Shea, chief marketing and development officer, and Debbie Prosperie-Woodson, chief financial officer, both with Girls Scouts of San Jacinto Council.

As “cash is king for fundraisers”, and the donor’s commitment is what counts in the world of finance, you can imagine that these two factors can cause some natural tension between the two co-presenters. Instead, the CMO and CFO will walk you through their process for counting gifts and reporting numbers and how the two gel so nicely. Ensuring their teams work closely together is key in repelling that natural tension! Attending this session will provide insight to their successful working relationship and show how you can create one within your cross-departmental team.

If you’re on the fundraising end of the spectrum and you’re still trying to figure out how to appeal to the financial end, Catherine M. Connolly, MBA, CFRE, will walk you through the process of building a case for your investment and how to present that case to the financial constituencies within your organization. Understanding which metrics and measurements are important, and to whom, is going to be vital when crafting your case to further invest in your development efforts. Connolly will help YOU—the fundraiser, help THEM—the financer, understand. But first you have to build your case!

Once you have your investment case, it’s time to present it to your financial team. But what happens when your lingo doesn’t match up? Is your finance team going to understand your fundraising jargon? As a finance specialist, are you going to be able to compute what the fundraiser delivers you into tangible reports and dollars?

Enter Dr. John Zietlow, professor of finance at Malone University. He’ll help CFO’s and CDO’s bridge the gap of communication using financial tools, concepts and metrics that will translate into understandable terms for both parties. Stemming from Zietlow’s most recent research is the development of a nonprofit financial health index that will serve as a tool to assist in the conversation.

Join AFP, Rice University, Shoemaker and experts from the best of both worlds while they show how successful the marriage between fundraising and finance can really be!

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