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2017 Forum Annual Conference

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2017 Forum Annual Conference - July 17-19 in San Francisco, CA

The Forum’s 2017 Annual Conference will be the nation’s largest gathering of the CEOs and staff of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) in the field.

#ForumCon17 will bring together the leadership and staff of all organizations serving the nation’s philanthropic sector, including regional philanthropy-serving organizations (i.e. regional philanthropy associations) as well as national philanthropy-serving organizations, primarily issue-based, identity-based and practice-based national affinity groups. It’s the only conference where we can delve into our unique role as CEOs and staff of regional and national PSOs, connect with others in similar roles, and explore how we can work together to increase philanthropy’s impact.

The conference will focus on two major themes: advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, and the role for PSOs in this work, and advancing collaboration and partnership among PSOs and the broader philanthropic sector. Conference sessions will also provide plenty of opportunities for deep skill-building in the areas of highest importance to PSOs, and plenty of time for meaningful peer-to-peer networking and interaction.

Questions about the event?

Please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428) with any questions about the conference or if you need help registering.

Please use #ForumCon17 for any social media posts around the conference.

Emerging Leader Scholarships

The Forum is offering up to eight scholarships to allow emerging leaders within the Forum Network to attend our 2017 Annual Conference. The scholarship will cover the recipient’s registration fee and up to two nights at the host hotel, Hotel Nikko. Applications must be submitted no later than May 15, 2017 to Courtney Moore at [email protected].

Apply for a scholarship


Program Highlights

  • Keynote presentations by Dr. David R. Williams, Professor at Harvard University and Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer of The California Endowment.
  • A CEO Summit for the chief executives of regional and national PSOs to come together with your peers for in-depth learning, sharing and reflection.

  • Sessions for each of the Forum's Peer Communities to take a deep dive into your work and to connect with those who share your job responsibilities.

  • An Emerging Practitioners Conversation for attendees with 10 years or less in philanthropy in partnership with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP).

  • An opening reception at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), one of the nation’s most innovative contemporary art centers.

  • A selection of highly practical and interactive sessions covering issues relevant to our unique roles at PSOs including communications, creating a positive workplace culture, impact investing, future of membership associations, collaboration within and among our organizations, internal REDI work and more.

  • A conversation with Peter Nicks, the director, producer and cinematographer of “The Force,” for which Nicks won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival documentary prize for Best Director.

  • A plenary session with a group of foundation leaders on strengthening philanthropy's voice around issues of race, poverty, equity and injustice.

  • A spoken word performance from YouthSpeaks and a performance by poet Chinaka Hodge.

  • Launch of our new organization name and brand!


Speaker Highlights


Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard UniversityOpening Keynote: Dr. David R. Williams

Monday, July 17

Our opening keynote speaker will explain why race and ethnicity matter so profoundly when addressing issues of equity. Internationally recognized Harvard professor David R. Williams will demonstrate how race and racism impact health outcomes, and explain why moving a health equity agenda forward is critical to the personal and national interests of all Americans. He will offer guidance for what philanthropy can do to reduce racism and improve health equity for all Americans.


Keynote: Dr. Robert K. Ross

Tuesday, July 18

Join Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment, for a conversation about the intersectionality of health, poverty and racism. Dr. Ross will share his thoughts on the current state of the philanthropic sector, his work at TCE and his philanthropic journey.


Peter Nicks

Tuesday, July 18

Join us for a special conversation with Peter Nicks, the director, producer and cinematographer of “The Force,” for which Nicks won the 2017 Sundance Film Festival documentary prize for Best Director. The documentary goes inside the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to rebuild trust in the community and shed its corrupt image while being challenged by fresh accusations of brutality and harassment and by an increasingly organized and urgent Black Lives Matter movement right outside its doorstep.


Chinaka Hodge

Wednesday, July 19

Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. She will join us to sow our conference conversations around racial equity, diversity and inclusion together through her spoken word artistry. Her poetry and performance blend a spirit of passion and commitment against the background of racial inequity and cultural moments that serve to confuse and challenge us. She will cause us to pause and think and then ready us for what lies ahead.


Agenda at a Glance. For detailed agenda click here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2:30 - 6:00 pm
Registration Opens

3:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Pre-Conference Outing: Museum of the African Diaspora
  • CEO Hub

6:00 - 9:00 pm
Pre-Conference Reception & Dinner for CEOs

6:30 pm
Casual Dinner for Conference Attendees


Monday, July 17, 2017

6:30 - 7:00 am
Morning Exercise Groups

7:30 am
Registration Opens

8:00 am - 12:00 pm
CEO Summit: Part I

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Emerging Practitioners Conversation (Pre-registration is required)

Presented in Partnership with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP)

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
New Staff Orientation

12:15 - 1:30 pm
Opening Lunch & Keynote: “Race, Equity & Philanthropy”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University

1:30 - 2:30 pm
Dessert and Discussion

3:00 - 5:00 pm
CEO Summit: Part II "Peer Community Sessions and Open Space"

5:30 - 7:00 pm
Opening Reception: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

7:00 - 9:00 pm
Dine Arounds

9:00 - 10:00 pm
CHANGE Philanthropy Networking


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

6:30 - 7:30 am
Morning Exercise Groups

7:30 am
Registration Opens

8:30 - 9:45 am
Breakfast Plenary: “Philanthropy and the Intersectionality of Issues”
Keynote Presenter: Dr. Robert K. Ross, President and Chief Executive Officer, The California Endowment

10:00 - 11:30 am

Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: Communications - Feeding the Beast
  • Session 2: Impact Investing 10
  • Session 3: The Future of Membership Associations (PART I)
  • Session 4: Culture of Workplace Positivity

12:00 - 1:30 pm
Forum Annual Meeting: The Power of the Network / BRAND Celebration

1:45 - 3:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions

  • Session 1: The Future of Membership Associations (PART II)
  • Session 2: Collaboration: It’s Not Just That You Collaborate, It’s the Way You Collaborate
  • Session 3: Inside Out: Doing REDI Work Internally

3:30 - 4:45 pm
Collaborative Hubs

5:00 - 5:30 pm
Spoken Word Performance with YouthSpeaks

5:45 - 7:00 pm
Clips, Conversation & Cocktails: Peter Nicks, Director of “The Force” (Pre-registration is required)

6:00 pm
  • Outings and Activities
  • Dine Arounds
  • Fluxx Dine Around and Networking (TBC)


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6:30 - 7:30 am
Morning Exercise Groups

7:30 am
Registration Opens

8:30 - 9:45 am
Breakfast Plenary Session: “Strengthening Philanthropy’s Voice: Foundation Leaders Roundtable”

10:00 - 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions:

  • Session 1: 5 Questions A Healthy Organization Can Answer
  • Session 2: Supporting Our Member's Collaboration
  • Session 3: Philanthropy's Impact on Under-Resourced Communities

11:45 am - 12:30 pm

Mini-Concurrent Sessions:

  • Session 1: Emerging Practitioner Conversation with CEOs
  • Session 2: Balancing the Personal with the Professional as PSO
  • Session 3: Moment to Reflect on Lessons Learned
  • Session 4: Illumidata

12:45 - 2:00 pm
Closing Lunch and Plenary
Performance by Chinaka Hodge, Poet/Educator/Playwright/Screenwriter

2:00 pm
Conference Adjourns


Post-Conference Sessions

Wed, July 19, 2:30 - 8:00pm
CHANGE Philanthropy Meeting

Wed, July 19, 2:30 - 6:00pm
Thur, July 20, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Wed, July 19, 2:30 - 5:30pm
Thur, July 21, 8:00am - 3:00pm


Check out the full agenda

Monday, July 17, 2017 to Wednesday, July 19, 2017
San Francisco, CA
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Registration Fees

Early-Bird Pricing Ends June 2 (member / non-member)

  • Full-Conference: $450 / $650
  • Full-Conference Discount for more than 3 attendees from an organization: $400 ($50 discount). This discount is only available to Forum members and will be applied after the registration(s) are complete. 
  • Full-Conference with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $550 / $750
  • Tuesday Only: $275 / $475
  • Wednesday Only: $175 / $375
  • Wednesday Lunch: $75

Regular Pricing (member / non-member)

  • Full-Conference: $500 / $700
  • Full-Conference Discount for more than 3 attendees from an organization: $450 ($50 discount). This discount is only available to Forum members and will be applied after the registration(s) are complete. 
  • Full-Conference with CEO Pre-Conference Session: $600 / $800
  • Tuesday Only: $325 / $525
  • Wednesday Only: $225 / $425
  • Wednesday Lunch: $75

Who is Eligible to Attend?

  • Regional philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • National identity-based philanthropy affinity groups, membership associations and organizations.
  • Regional and national issue-based philanthropy affinity groups, membership associations and organizations.
  • National practice-based affinity groups, philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • Regional and national philanthropy membership associations and organizations focused on a single type of funder.
  • National sector-wide philanthropy membership associations and organizations.
  • Academic centers of philanthropy
  • Sponsors
  • Board members & other leaders of philanthropy-serving organizations
  • Consultants with the endorsement of a Forum membership organization

What's Included in My Registration Fee?

  • CEO Summit Pre-Conference Session- includes dinner on 7/16. Breakfast and morning sessions on 7/17
  • Full Conference- includes afternoon sessions, lunch, and reception on 7/17; all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/18; and all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/19
  • Tuesday Only- includes opening reception on 7/17 and all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/18
  • Wednesday Only- includes all sessions, breakfast, and lunch on 7/19
  • Wednesday Lunch Only- lunch session on 7/19

Registration FAQs

Step #1: Login

To register you will need an account on our website. If you already have an account, login with your email address and password. Aren't sure if you have an account? Enter your email address here to reset your password. If your email address isn't found, create an account. Please note that new accounts are not automatically approved and need to be activated by a Forum staff member. You may need to wait up to 24 hours for your account to be activated and you will receive an email once you have been approved.

Step #2: Register

Select the appropriate option in the list available at the top of the page and click the "Register Now" button. You will not see the options or "Register Now" button unless you are logged in. Go to your cart and make any adjustments to the quantities if you are registering more than one person. Click the "Checkout" button.

Step #3: Checkout

On the checkout page, indicate who each registration is for and fill out any additional information requested. If you are looking to register someone else from your organization (staff or volunteer leader) but don't see them listed, please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428).

Registering Others at Your Organization?

Follow the steps above to create a login for yourself if you haven't already. Once logged in, select the appropriate option from the list and make any adjustments to the quantities in your cart if you are registering more than one person from your organization. On the checkout page, you'll be able to assign each registration option to another contact associated with your organization in our system. If you don't see them listed, please contact Courtney Moore for further assistance by including the names, titles, and email addresses of those you'd like to register.

Plenary Session Speakers

Fred Blackwell, The San Francisco Foundation


Fred Blackwell is a visionary leader working to ensure shared prosperity, innovation, and equity in the Bay Area. As CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, he leads one of the largest community foundations in the country, working hand-in-hand with donors, nonprofits, community leaders, business, and government partners in philanthropy to identify, influence, and leverage best practices and long-term solutions to make a greater impact in our community. Blackwell, an Oakland native, is a nationally recognized community leader with a longstanding career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as interim city administrator for the City of Oakland where he previously served as the assistant city administrator. He was the executive director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco; served as the director of the Making Connections Initiative for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the Lower San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland; was a multicultural fellow in Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation; and subsequently managed a multi-year comprehensive community initiative for TSFF in West Oakland. He holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Morehouse College.

Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO)


Kathleen P. Enright is the founding president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. GEO is a diverse community of more than 500 grantmakers working to reshape the way philanthropy operates. Kathleen speaks and writes regularly on issues of nonprofit and grantmaker effectiveness at national and regional gatherings of executives and trustees. Publications include Investing in Leadership: Inspiration and Ideas from Philanthropy’s Latest Frontier and Funding Effectiveness: Lessons in Building Nonprofit Capacity. She is also a contributing blogger for The Huffington Post. Previously, Kathleen served as the group director, marketing and communications for BoardSource and was a project manager for the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation, where she directed a Ford Foundation funded project to encourage collaboration between nonprofits and local governments. In 2007, Kathleen received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the George Washington University Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, a public administration honour society. She serves on the advisory board of The Center for Effective Philanthropy. She previously served on Independent Sector’s Building Value Together Committee and the selection committee of the Washington Post Nonprofit Excellence Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in public administration from The George Washington University.


Chinaka Hodge, Poet/Educator/Playwright/Screenwriter


Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator, playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. In 2010, Chinaka received USC’s prestigious Annenberg Fellowship to continue her studies at its School of Cinematic Arts. She received her MFA in Writing for Film and TV in 2012. In the fall of that year, she received the SF Foundation’s Phelan Literary Award for emerging Bay Area talent. Chinaka was also a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In January 2013, Hodge was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, 700th&Int’l.  In June of 2013, Chinaka began as a first year fellow at Cave Canem’s prestigious summer retreat. For over a decade, Chinaka has worked in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts nonprofit. During her tenure there, Chinaka served as program director, associate artistic director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population as a teaching artist and poet mentor. She has acted in comparable capacities in New York and Los Angeles at Urban Word NYC and Get Lit: Words Ignite. When not educating or writing for the page, Chinaka rocks mics as a founding member of a collaborative hip hop ensemble, The Getback. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Spanand in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry.


Daniel Lee, Levi Strauss Foundation


Daniel Jae-Won Lee is the executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation, which supports pioneering social change in the areas of HIV/AIDS, worker rights and well-being and social justice in communities touched by Levi Strauss & Co.’s business. During his tenure, the Foundation’s signature initiatives have included Pioneers in Justice (supporting next-generation civil rights and movement leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Worker Well-being (partnering with suppliers to improve the well-being of makers in the apparel industry). His board service includes the Council on Foundations, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Funders Concerned about AIDS and Astraea Foundation, and he has served on the advisory councils of the Global Fund for Women and Horizons Foundation. Previously, he was senior program officer for Asia Pacific at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. He received his AB in religion from Princeton University and Master of Divinity from Harvard University.


Peter Nicks, Documentary Filmmaker

Peter Nicks is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has produced projects for network, cable and public television exploring topics such as immigration, journalism and technology. He has also directed media strategy for two social networking start-ups and developed transmedia storytelling projects that make use of emerging social media platforms. He worked as a staff producer for ABC News in New York and as a producer for the innovative PBS documentary series Life 360. Peter received the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Directing Award for a U.S. documentary for his film The Force, a cinema verité look at the long-troubled Oakland Police Department that goes deep inside their struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson and an explosive scandal. His previous films include The Waiting Room (2012) and Fruitvale Station (2013). Peter earned his master’s degree in documentary filmmaking from the University of California, Berkeley.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Robert K. Ross, The California Endowment

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993. Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health executive, and as a clinician. His service includes: medical director for LINK School‐Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Master in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the regional and national level. He serves as a Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans; a Board member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; Co‐Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition; Board member, USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy; and has served as a Board member of Grantmakers in Health, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. He has received numerous awards and honors including the 2011 Public Health Champion award from the UCLA School of Public Health, 2011 Latino Health Alliance Champion Award, 2011 California Association of Human Relations Organization Civil Rights Award, 2009 Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Access to Justice Award, and the Council on Foundations’ 2008 Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year Award. He has also been named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders in health policy, and he was recently named by The NonProfit Times as one of the 50 Most Influential Non‐Profit Leaders in America.


Vincent Stehle, Media Impact Funders


Vince Stehle is a longtime and widely respected advocate for philanthropic efforts. Before joining Media Impact Funders as executive director, he was program director for nonprofit sector support at the Surdna Foundation, a family foundation based in New York City. He also served as a consultant with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of its efforts in media innovation and journalism. Prior to joining Surdna, Stehle worked for 10 years as a reporter for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he covered a broad range of issues about the nonprofit sector. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of The Center for Effective Philanthropy.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. David R. Williams, Harvard University

David R. Williams. Ph.D., is the Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Professor of African and African American Studies and of Sociology at Harvard University. His first six years as a faculty member were at Yale University, where he held appointments in both Sociology and Public Health. The next 14 years were at the University of Michigan, where he was the Harold Cruse Collegiate Professor of Sociology, a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Social Research and a Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. Dr. Williams holds an MPH degree from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Williams is internationally recognized as a leading social scientist focused on social influences on health. His research has enhanced our understanding of the complex ways in which race, racism, socioeconomic status, stress, health behaviors and religious involvement can affect physical and mental health. The Everyday Discrimination scale that he developed is currently one of the most widely used measures to assess perceived discrimination in health studies. He is the author of more than 325 scholarly papers in scientific journals and edited collections and his research has appeared in leading journals in sociology, psychology, medicine, public health and epidemiology. He has served on the editorial board of 12 scientific journals and as a reviewer for over 60 journals. According to ISI Essential Science Indicators, he was one of the Top 10 Most Cited Researchers in the Social Sciences during the decade 1995 to 2005. The Journal of Black Issues in Higher Education ranked him as the Most Cited Black Scholar in the Social Sciences in 2008. In 2001, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences and in 2007 to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he received one of the inaugural Decade of Behavior Research Awards. n 2011, he was the first non-white scholar to receive the Leo G. Reeder Award from the American Sociological Association and in 2013, he received the Stephen Smith Award for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health from the New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Williams has been involved in the development of health policy at the national level. He has served on the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and on eight committees for the Institute of Medicine including the Committee that prepared the Unequal Treatment report. He has held elected and appointed positions in professional organizations, such as the American Sociological Association, the American Public Health Association, and Academy Health. He also served as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Dr Williams has also played a visible, national leadership role in raising awareness of the problem of health disparities and identifying interventions to address them. He served as the staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America. This national, independent and nonpartisan health commission was focused on identifying evidence-based, non-medical strategies that can improve the health of all Americans and reduce racial and socioeconomic gaps in health.

Concurrent Session Speakers

Rosalie Sheehy Cates, The Giving Practice

Rosalie Sheehy Cates is a community investment consultant. She helps mission investors find and make deals that create affordable housing, community facilities, local food systems and small businesses. She has also managed a number of national initiatives, working to build new investment tools, platforms and funds. Her work emphasizes practical strategies grounded in local relationships. Rosalie was with the Montana Community Development Corporation from 1989-2010, including 14 years as CEO. Prior to that, Rosalie lived in rural Wisconsin (1980-1989), where she was an organizer for family farms and sustainable agriculture. She also helped with her family’s small cattle operation. She lives with her family in Missoula, Montana.


Jara Dean-Coffey, Luminare Group


For more than 20 years, Jara Dean-Coffey has strengthened the efforts of leaders in philanthropic, public and social sector organizations by supporting the implementation of practices that integrate a rigorous outcomes framework in all aspects of strategy and operations. Her approach reflects a commitment to equity and an understanding of the systematic and structural barriers her clients seek to address. Jara’s understanding of the nuances of politics and human dynamics influence decision-making and enable her to create safe environments where clients can acknowledge and explore their reality while moving forward, better aligned within their organization and more aware of where they fit within the larger ecosystem. Jara holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a BA in Communications and Political Science from Temple University, and a certificate in Organizational Development and Evaluation from Fielding Graduate University. She serves on the Advisory Body of the Center for Evaluation Innovation in Washington, DC.


Jeff De Cagna, Foresight First 


Jeff De Cagna, FRSA FASAE, is executive advisor for Foresight First LLC, located in Reston, Virginia, and a respected contrarian thinker on the future of associating and associations. He is an author, speaker and advisor for associations and nonprofit organizations across North America and around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) and a Fellow of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. Jeff served on the ASAE Board of Directors from 2007-2010, serves as immediate past chair of ASAE’s Key Consultants Committee, and as a member of the ASAE 2020 Centennial Task Force. He also served on the RedRover Board of Directors from 2011-2013, including terms as both board chair and vice chair during that time. Jeff recently was elected to serve on the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Virginia Board of Directors. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities, Jeff has pursued executive education at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Oxford University and Harvard Business School. He holds the BoardSource Leadership Certificate for Nonprofit Board Chairs, and has completed Foresight Practitioner training at the Institute for the Future.


Dr. David Goodman, Fluxx


David Goodman, Ph.D., is passionate about building the capacity of foundations and nonprofits to better understand and use data, metrics and evaluation to achieve greater impact. It is David’s goal to help organizations achieve and sustain impact, and to share their knowledge so that the sector can turn one successful story into a thousand similar stories. In his role at Fluxx as Director of Impact, David uses his substantive and methodological expertise and understanding of institutional structures to enhance the Fluxx products. David also raises awareness of and provides guidance on important and timely issues and challenges within the philanthropic sector. He brings to Fluxx extensive experience leading teams in the design, implementation, analysis, and oversight of research and evaluations for the public, private and nonprofit sectors. David earned a Ph.D. in political science from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and graduated with a B.A. and an M.A. in political science from California State University, Northridge. 


Carly Hare, CHANGE Philanthropy


Carly Hare (Pawnee/Yankton) strives to live a commitment to advancing equity and community engagement through her professional and personal life. She recently stepped into the role of coalition director for CHANGE Philanthropy, after four years on the steering committee. She also served as Native Americans in Philanthropy’s executive director from 2010 to 2015 after five years of membership, and she has served on the NAP Board of Directors. Carly has served on planning committees and presented at over 30 conferences at the intersection of equity and philanthropy. She held the position of director of development for the Native American Rights Fund from 2009 to 2010. She served as director of programs for The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County for five years and is a proud daughter, sister, auntie, ally, friend, and advocate. Carly’s Pawnee name is <i kita u hoo <i  ]a  hiks, which translates into “kind leader of men.”


Lauren Marra, Community Wealth Partners

Lauren Marra joined the Community Wealth Partners team as a director in July 2016. In her role, she engages in strategic partnerships with leadership teams, provides client engagement oversight, and helps drive the overall growth and development of the firm and its people. Prior to joining Community Wealth Partners, Lauren was a senior director at Arabella Advisors, where she co-led the firm’s 25+ person consulting team. Her team helped institutional, corporate, and family foundations achieve greater impact through strategy development, implementation, evaluation, collaboration and learning. Prior to joining Arabella, Lauren led federal advocacy campaigns, designed policy solutions, and developed cross-sector partnerships on issues related to education, workforce development, and trade. She held policy positions at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Economic Policy Institute, and in the Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the United States Department of Labor. Lauren’s deep belief that smart philanthropic investment, results-driven nonprofit leadership, and community collaboration can drive lasting impact stems from her first job at Chrysalis, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit social enterprise that helps homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment. Lauren holds a B.S. in economics from Boston College and a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University, where she was a Nielson Philanthropy Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership. She was a 2014-2015 participant in the Future Executive Directors Fellowship put on by the Nonprofit Roundtable of DC and previously served on the boards of YNPNdc and Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy.


Debbie McKeon, Council of Michigan Foundations 

Debbie McKeon is senior vice president, member services for the Council of Michigan Foundations, where she leads the team that provides CMF members with its core suite of services and special initiatives. As a member of the leadership team, she also plays a vital role in the development, coordination and implementation of both the Board of Trustees’ strategic vision for CMF and the annual Plan of Work. Prior to joining the CMF staff in December 2012, Debbie was with a CMF member foundation, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, for six years. Her primary role was to lead the design and development of the capacity building arm of the foundation, NorthSky Nonprofit Network, as a sustainable model integrated into what became the foundation’s new strategic framework. Prior positions ranged from co-founding board member, managing director & CEO of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, an organization working in 20 countries of the Americas, to executive director of the Elgin Symphony (IL), to assistant manager of the New York Philharmonic to president of McKeon & Associates Inc, where much work focused on developing public-private partnerships and new arts-related initiatives on six continents. Debbie holds a Bachelor of Music and Interdisciplinary Business Administration minor from Central Michigan University and certification from the Small Business Consultant Academy at Grand Valley State University and has completed advanced coursework with the Indiana University School of Philanthropy and Harvard University, Executive Education.


Susan Misra, Management Assistance Group (MAG)

Susan Misra has over 15 years of experience in strengthening nonprofits and their board-staff leadership. She has worked with over 150 nonprofit organizations on strategy, leadership development and financial sustainability, and particularly specializes in aligning an organization’s internal operations with its social justice values through inclusive, participatory and analytically rigorous processes. For this work, she has conducted numerous organizational assessments and helped organizations develop capacity-building plans, strategic plans, and business plans. She has coached board-staff leadership teams on implementing their plans, restructuring their organizations, and managing organizational change and conflict. Prior to joining MAG, Susan was associate director of program/grants management and capacity building at TCC Group. At TCC, she designed, managed and evaluated capacity-building programs for foundations. Before joining TCC Group, Susan served as co-director for policy research at AWARE in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her leadership prompted an emergency loan fund for farmers and restructured the Women's Division to focus on entrepreneurship and health programs. Susan also worked as the Coordinator for the Youth Public Education Campaign, a joint initiative of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and Rock the Vote. She led a coalition of arts, advocacy, and educational organizations, directed a council of youth representatives, and managed a media campaign to stop discrimination throughout LA high schools. Susan received a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, Susan also was awarded the Kennedy School Social Service Award as well as the post-graduate Sheldon Fellowship to study bridging social capital and community conflict resolution. She holds a B.S. in psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. 


Chris Murchison, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan

Chris Marcell Murchison is a passionate advocate for positive workplace cultures. In his broad career spanning the higher education, for-profit and not-for-profit fields he has focused his energy on developing creative means to building community at work and practices that support an employee experience of deep respect, connection, joy, and generative learning. As the vice president for staff development and culture at HopeLab, Chris guided HopeLab’s efforts to create an organizational culture that values learning and innovation. Since joining HopeLab in 2005, he led a strategic staff expansion to support a portfolio of work focused on the support of resilience in everyday life. He also led the development of principles and practices that embedded HopeLab’s values into the everyday operations of the organization. In 2014, Chris was named the first Visiting Leader at the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, where he advises, connects and convenes faculty and students to explore practical applications of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Chris originally connected to the Center through his research on resilience in organizations and has since become a friend and fellow traveler.


Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group

For over 16 years, top global philanthropies have requested Kris Putnam-Walkerly’s help to transform their giving and catapult their impact, including designing strategies that achieve results, streamline operations, assess impact, and allocate funds. Her clients include the Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard, Winthrop Rockefeller, Annie E. Casey, Charles and Helen Schwab, and Walton Family foundations, among dozens of others. She’s helped over 50 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over $300 million in grants and gifts. A thought leader in transformative philanthropy, Kris was recently named one of America’s Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers. She is the author of the book Confident Giving, which was recently named one of the 10 Best Corporate Social Responsibility Books. She is a frequent contributor in the publications of leading philanthropy associations, and provides expert commentary about philanthropy in The Wall Street JournalWashington Post,, and other media. She co-edited The Foundation Review’s themed journal on philanthropy consulting. Prior to forming Putnam Consulting Group, Kris was a grantmaker at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and an evaluator at the highly esteemed Stanford University School of Medicine. She holds a master’s degree in social work from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.


Jared Raynor, TCC Group


Jared Raynor joined TCC Group as a consultant with a focus on evaluation, organizational development (including capacity building and collaboration) and international programs. His work at TCC has included evaluations of capacity building initiatives, multi-site cluster evaluations, evaluation system design, strategic planning, organizational structuring and design, and strategic organizational assessment. Jared's recent work at TCC includes conducting organizational assessments and structuring recommendations for the Instituto Federal para el Acceso a la Información (IFAI), the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and cancer organizations throughout Latin America through an initiative of the American Cancer Society. He helped to create the Health Leadership Partnership, a collaborative health leadership organization in Philadelphia and has worked on various aspects of evaluating policy and advocacy work, including work with the California Endowment to evaluate their general operating support grants to advocacy organizations. Prior to joining TCC, Jared worked in a number of international organizations and U.S.-based development organizations. He worked for the International Rescue Committee in Azerbaijan, working with local communities and organizations affected by conflict, and for the United Nations in the NGO Section of the Department of Public Information, assisting with the development and implementation of several major conferences for NGOs. He has extensive work experience in Latin America, including two years with a faith-based organization in Guatemala as well as in Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. Jared is a graduate of the Milano Graduate School at New School University, where he received an MS in organizational change management and also holds bachelor's degrees in finance and Spanish from the University of Utah.

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Hotel Nikko Lobby

Hotel Nikko

222 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Located just steps from Union Square in the heart of San Francisco, the Hotel Nikko is an urban retreat with easy access to plenty of dining, nightlife and shopping options. Hop on the cable cars a block away and explore the city sights and nearby museums. Stroll along Fisherman's Wharf and marvel at the famous sea lions that lounge on Pier 39, or hop on the bus and plan a picnic in Golden Gate Park. Located in the midst of Union Square, our hotel gives you instant access to San Francisco's most iconic destinations.

Visit Hotel Nikko website for details

Book Your Room

A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees at the discounted rate of $245/night. Reservations can be made online or by calling 1-800-248-3308 and referencing our group name, “2017 Forum Annual Conference”. This rate will be available until June 23, 2017 but may sell out earlier.

Benefits for Our Guests

Attendees who book a room at the discounted rate in our block will also receive:

  • complimentary wi-fi in your sleeping room
  • complimentary access to the hotel's 10,000 sq ft health club accessible 24/7 ($25 value)

The Forum’s 2017 Annual Conference will be this year's largest gathering of the CEOs and staffs of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) in the field. The conference is the ONE opportunity where we can delve into our unique role as CEOs and staff of PSOs, connect with colleagues in similar roles from across the country, and explore how we can work together to increase philanthropy’s impact.
The conference will focus on two major themes: advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, and the role for PSOs in this work, and advancing collaboration and partnership among PSOs and the broader philanthropic sector. Conference sessions will also provide plenty of opportunities for deep skill-building in the areas of highest importance to PSOs, and plenty of time for meaningful peer-to-peer networking and interaction.

Please contact Courtney Moore (202-888-7428), the Forum's Member Services & Operations Manager, with any questions about the conference or how to register. 

Connect With the Conference

Stay connected with the conference through social media using #ForumCon17 and following @givingforum on Twitter. Stay tuned for more information about our conference app.

Emerging Leader Scholarships

The Forum is offering up to eight scholarships to allow emerging leaders within the Forum Network to attend our 2017 Annual Conference. The scholarship will cover the recipient’s registration fee and up to two nights at the host hotel, Hotel Nikko. Applications must be submitted no later than May 15, 2017 to Courtney Moore at [email protected].

Apply for a scholarship


Non-Solicitation Policy

The Forum is committed to providing a space for professional networking and education, therefore we ask that all registrants respect the learning environment of the conference and refrain from soliciting funds or business during this event.

Planning Committee

This year's conference wouldn't be possible without the leadership and contributions of our planning committee:

  • Ellen LaPointe, Northern California Grantmakers (Chair)
  • Maggie Cutts, Mission Investors Exchange
  • Lyn Hunter, Philanthropy Northwest
  • Edward Jones, ABFE
  • Emily Katz, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Maureen Lawless, The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
  • Yi‐Ching Lin, Philanthropy New York
  • Kyle Malone, Grantmakers for Education
  • Cora Mirikitani, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
  • Rhiannon Orizaga, GRANTMAKERS of Oregon and Southwest Washington
  • Nikki Powell, Grants Managers Network
  • Phuong Quach, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Justin Schaberg, San Diego Grantmakers
  • Dave Sheldon, Southern California Grantmakers
  • Vince Stehle, Media Impact Funders
  • Michael Underhill, Associated Grant Makers
  • Craig Weinrich, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers
  • Kristina Wertz, Funders for LGBTQ Issues


The Hotel Nikko is close to both the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland International Airport. 

Public Transportation

The Nikko is accessible via public transportation from both the San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. 

From the San Francisco International Airport, take the yellow line towards Pittsburg/Bay Point (10 stops/30 min). The SFO BART Station is located on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal (Boarding Area G side) and is easily accessed from any terminal by riding SFO's AirTrain to the Garage G/BART Station stop. Get off at the Powell St. Station. Cost: $8.95

From the Oakland International Airport, take the BART from the airport to the Coliseum station (non-stop/8 min). The Oakland Airport BART station is located across from the Terminal 1 baggage claim area and is a short walk from Terminal 2. From the Coliseum Station, take the green or blue line towards Daly City (6 stops/23 min). Get off at the Powell St. Station. Cost: $10.20 

Transportation Network Companies & Shared Shuttles

Uber/Lyft/Wingz service is available at both the San Francisco and Oakland International airports. Fares will vary. Shared ride vans are also available from both airports.


Please utilize 180 Ellis Street, 94102 to be directed to the entrance of the driveway. Valet parking is $15 per hour, and overnight is $50 per night plus tax with in and out privilege. For other parking options, the 1,100-car Mason O'Farrell garage is directly diagonal across the street.

About Our Host City: San Francisco

San Francisco- Cable CarsSan Francisco is best known for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities, and world-class cuisine. Measuring 49 square miles, this walkable city includes landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz and the largest Chinatown in the United States. A stroll of the city's streets can lead from Union Square to North Beach to Fisherman's Wharf, with intriguing neighborhoods to explore.  


San Francisco is one of the easiest cities in the world to navigate. Because the city is so compact, there are plenty of transportation options abound, including its world-famous cable cars, public transportation and ride-sharing. Find out more


Each of San Francisco's major neighborhoods has its own district culture and charm - from shopping around Union Square to dim sum in Chinatown. Check out an introduction to the city's most prominent locales.


San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any other major city in the U.S. Local chefs combine the best of local ingredients with authentic international flavors. Every day, fishing boats supply the freshest seafood in the world. Local farms provide produce and meat stock that is unparalleled.