317-872-1112 foundation@nicindy.org



August 27-29, 2018

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

35 hours of educational programming

August 27-29, 2018

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

Save $100, by July 1


Download a PDF of the Program Book here. Please note, attendees will receive one spiral-bound Program Book at registration.


Last year’s joint The Foundations Seminar and NIC Annual Meeting of Members saw record attendance and greatly helped to forward conversation and professional development. For 2018, we have used feedback from attendees to build upon our success and continue offering excellent value for your experience.

Since the 1990s, The Foundations Seminar has provided fraternal foundation professionals and volunteers with a forum to collaborate on advancing their organizations’ missions. It’s also an opportunity to learn, collaborate on shared business problems and network with 300 industry professionals. In addition, Seminar provides our chance to recognize outstanding achievements of NICF member organizations and individuals with the NICF Awards of Distinction program.


Use the toggles below to compare and learn more about registration types, including the Dual Program Experience as well as registration types for attending Seminar only. There are also registration options below for an attendee or group wishing to only attend the NICF Awards of Distinction Dinner on Tuesday, Aug. 28.



AUG. 27-29 | NICF The Foundations Seminar & NIC Annual Meeting of Members

This registration type allows Seminar attendees who are also an NIC member organization to attend BOTH conferences, which begin Monday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 a.m. and conclude Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Noon. This includes any and all NICF and NIC meetings, programming and meals, as well as the NICF Awards of Distinction Reception and Dinner on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 28.


This registration type allows you to attend The Foundations Seminar, which begins Monday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. and concludes Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Noon. Registration includes all NICF meetings, 35 hours of educational programming including 3 keynote speakers and 2 general sessions, and 5 meals (reception on Monday; breakfast, and lunch on Tuesday; breakfast on Wednesday). It also includes a ticket to the Awards of Distinction Reception and Dinner on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
This registration type allows you to attend The Foundations Seminar on Tuesday, Aug. 28 only. Registration includes all Tuesday NICF meetings, educational sessions and two meals (breakfast and lunch). It also includes a ticket to the Awards of Distinction Reception and Dinner on Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.

Payment: Fees can be paid online by credit card upon submission of the registration form. Alternatively, organizations can request an invoice by email.

Refund Policy: Registrations are transferable at any time prior to the event. Cancellations made 30 days or more in advance of the event will result in a refund of all but a $50 processing fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days but more than 10 business days in advance of the event will result in a 50 percent refund. Cancellations made less than 10 business days in advance of the event are non-refundable.

Non-NICF member organizations: The registration rates for non-NICF members (inactive or have never been a member) attending The Foundations Seminar includes an additional $200 per registration. Organizations can still pay FY18 dues to qualify for NICF member registration rates; contact NICF Director of Programs and Services Ashley VanDewark with any questions related to NICF membership.



We know successful fraternal foundations help sustain successful fraternal organizations. For NIC member organizations, we are once again providing a Dual Program Experience for The Foundations Seminar and the NIC’s Annual Meeting of Members.

The Dual Program Experience enables bolstered conversations among staff and volunteers, attracts new attendees to Seminar programming and also provides dual executives with the opportunity to attend both programs efficiently. 

The Dual Program Experience not only benefits foundation and fraternity executives, but also additional staff members and high-level volunteers. Dual attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in both NICF and NIC meetings and programs
  • Engage in high-quality educational workshops
  • Take part in the Fraternity Growth Accelerator summit, targeted to emerging and culturally-based fraternal organizations
  • Learn about the state of fraternal foundations and the interfraternal industry from featured NICF- and NIC-sponsored speakers
  • Network with fellow fraternal foundation professionals as well as colleagues and professionals from fraternity staffs, and NICF and NIC Alliance Partners

Attendees can choose to attend one or both meetings when they register.


Seminar programming is designed to engage fraternal foundation:

  • Executives
  • Staff members in the development, major gifts, annual fund, stewardship, communication, finance/operations and program areas
  • Board chairs 
  • Volunteers engaged in the fundraising process, especially campaign chairs 

Adding NIC programming through the Dual Program Experience creates a well-rounded slate of programming. The entire experience provides more than 50 breakout sessions and 5 general sessions that not only provide professional development in specific functional areas, but also expand knowledge across the organization.

Recommended attendees for NIC programming include:

  • Executive Director/CEO
  • 1-2 board members/key volunteers
  • Director-level staff in chapter services/operations: There is a cohort track designed for this group.



We have a special bundled rate, a flat fee of $3,500 for up to 10 attendees, that will save your organization up to 15 percent on registration costs. This package includes all programs, events and meals, including a ticket to the NICF Awards Dinner and Reception for each registrant.



Founder, Charity Defense Council & Chief Humanity Officer, Advertising for Humanity
Session: Uncharitable

Dan’s opening session keynote will be a live digital session based on his book “Uncharitable” and how the way we think about charity is dead wrong. It immerses listeners in and expands on the issues discussed in Dan’s well-known TED Talk about two rule books: one for charity and one for everything else.


Dan is Founder and President of the Charity Defense Council, a national leadership movement dedicated to transforming the way the donating public thinks about charity and change. He is also the Chief Humanity Officer for Advertising for Humanity, a bold agency of ideas committed to strengthening the fundraising power of some of America’s most innovative humanitarian organizations. He has been committed to human transformation since he began studying it as a freshman at Harvard. “I think my classmates thought I had a screw loose,” he says. “There weren’t many popular frames of reference for human consciousness back in 1979. Words like ‘possibility’ and ‘transformation’ weren’t in vogue. But I knew from the moment I first encountered them that transformation technologies held the key to creating the kind of world we all want to live in.”

Dan invented the multi-day charitable event industry, including the Breast Cancer 3-Day walks and the multi-day AIDS Rides, which raised in excess of half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of one of the first Harvard Business School case studies on social enterprise. His model and methods are now employed by dozens of charities and have raised more than $1.5 billion for important causes from pediatric leukemia to AIDS to suicide prevention and others.

Dan’s iconic 2013 TED Talk has been viewed more than 4 million times, making it one of the 100 most-viewed TED Talks of all time. It generated tremendous conversation, and is also one of the twenty most-commented TED Talks of all time. Dan is also the author of “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential,” the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press.


Partner, Krieg DeVault LLP
Session: Is your leadership awake? Governing well in today’s complex environment.

In 2017, Deborah conducted an in-depth review of the policies and practices of USA Gymnastics, resulting in a comprehensive set of recommendations for significant change. This report, now widely referenced as the “Daniels Report,” has served as a blueprint for change in Olympic sport governance. Deborah’s vast experience with not-for-profit governance failures will provide a backdrop for her discussion of the obligations of non-profit boards and the perils of failing to live up to those obligations.


Deborah is a Partner with Krieg DeVault LLP, a law firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in four states. She has lengthy experience in criminal and civil investigations, and her current practice includes corporate compliance and internal investigations.

She worked for many years in the criminal justice system, including roles as the Presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and the Presidentially-appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. In the latter role, she managed the research, advisory and grant-making office of the Department, supervising the Office on Violence Against Women and the Office for Victims of Crime, among several other agencies.

During her local law enforcement career prior to her service at the Department of Justice, she tried all manner of felony cases. She headed the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse section of the Indianapolis/Marion County Prosecutor’s Office as well as its Domestic Violence prosecutions and Victim Assistance office. She has helped to found multiple not-for-profit organizations serving victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, and currently serves on a number of not-for-profit boards, both in Indianapolis and nationally.


Principal, Melissa S. Brown & Associates, LLC & Adjunct Faculty, Lilly School of Philanthropy
Session: Giving USA 2018

In her keynote session, Melissa will share groundbreaking research from 2017 on key fundraising metrics, insight into important changes in donor preferences and habits, and leading intelligence you need to plan and fundraise in the year ahead.


Melissa helps charities turn knowledge into action. Her experience ranges from literature reviews to survey design and analysis. Melissa is also a highly-rated speaker and facilitates courses for the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. In 2016, she was ranked as one of the top 25 speakers on philanthropy in the U.S. She is also an approved provider for CFRE International and her presentations can qualify for CEUs for that certification.

Among her projects, Melissa manages the Nonprofit Research Collaborative, a twice-annual survey to assess what works in fundraising. She is a consultant with Indiana Youth Institute for program evaluation and an ongoing consultant to more than a dozen clients, including some in Canada.

Melissa volunteers on the AFP Research Council and for the Association of Philanthropic Counsel. Before founding Melissa S. Brown & Associates in 2011, she worked at the Lilly School of Philanthropy editing “Giving USA” from 2001-10 and researching charitable giving by individuals, corporations and foundations. Prior to moving to a research focus, Melissa raised funds for Folger Shakespeare Library, the Arthritis Foundation, the Homeless Initiative Program and Indiana University. Before her career in nonprofit fundraising and research, Melissa worked as a financial analyst for a municipal bond firm in Philadelphia and in multiple roles in a law firm in Portland, Oregon. Melissa studied at Reed College and the University of Pennsylvania. She and her family live near Indianapolis. Melissa enjoys gardening, bird watching and travel.


Managing Director, Carter Global & Adjunct Faculty, Lilly School of Philanthropy
Session: More than money… thinking beyond the annual appeal

From transactional giving to transformational giving, Deborah’s keynote session will provide insights on relationship building and giving in the digital age. Deborah has experience as an attendee at THE Foundations Seminar while serving as a trustee for the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation.


Deborah Eschenbacher is a veteran fundraising professional located in Vero Beach, Florida and is a Managing Director at Carter Global, an international consulting firm dedicated to advancing philanthropy worldwide. She is dedicated to strengthening nonprofit organizations by focusing on strategic planning and capacity-building initiatives with a hands-on approach that results in greater productivity and sustainability. Among the first students to graduate with a master’s in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University, she is now adjunct faculty at the Lilly School of Philanthropy. In addition to her consulting practice, she teaches courses throughout the U.S. and internationally and is a chapter author in the recent 4th Edition of “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising.”

Deborah’s nonprofit background includes service as a regional major gifts officer at The Ohio State University and director of corporate and foundation development at Ohio University. She also served as executive director of two state affiliates of national nonprofit organizations, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Indiana Chapter and the Indianapolis Keep America Beautiful Affiliate, and as director of development for the north/central Texas chapters of the American Diabetes Association and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Deborah is a former trustee of the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation and a recipient of the prestigious “Sagamore of the Wabash” honor from the Governor of Indiana. Deborah volunteers her time and resources to several local, national and international philanthropic causes.


This is the full schedule for the NICF The Foundations Seminar and the NIC Annual Meeting. If you register for the Dual Program Experience, you can attend any program on the schedule. Jointly-held programs and events are orange, Seminar-specific events are red and NIC-specific events are blue.


2 – 7 p.m.
Fraternity Growth Accelerator (FGA) Pre-Conference
Building Your Philanthropy Blueprint Workshop (invite only)

Facilitated by NICF Alliance Partner Aly Sterling Philanthropy and sponsored by the NICF

It can be tough to identify and understand the best fundraising strategies for your organization in today’s philanthropic landscape. In this interactive fundraising planning workshop, you will learn how to design a customized blueprint—an annual planning tool and framework for you to take back to your team and launch into action. You will also learn the best planning process that identifies your true fundraising potential. Ultimately, you will leave with a design of the right approach for optimizing your annual fund and beyond.

The workshop is free of charge to eligible FGA organizations with new and/or developing foundations. It is invitation only with a separate registration process; interested organizations must contact NICF Executive Director Ashley VanDewark for further information.


7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NIC Governing Council Meeting (invite only)

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
NICF Board Meeting (invite only)

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
FGA Symposium Education Block I
501(c)(3) Permissible Costs

10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
FGA Symposium Education Block II and Working Lunch

  • Hot Topics and Trends in Fraternal Law
  • Creating Effective Risk Management Policies and Practices

1 – 2 p.m.
FGA Symposium Education Block III
Expansion Best Practices

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
FGA Symposium Education Block IV
Effective Strategies on Member Retention

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
FGA Symposium Education Block V
Generational Trend of the Entering College Student

4:45 – 5:45 p.m.
FGA Member Meeting

6 p.m.
NICF Board of Directors and NIC Governing Council Dinner (invite only)


7:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

8 – 11:30 a.m.
NIC General Session

10:45 a.m. – Noon
Legal Update with NPC Friends | Saul Ewing Arnsten and Lehr, LLP (invite only)

11:30 a.m. – Noon
Networking Break

Noon – 1 p.m.
NIC Lunch

1 – 4 p.m.
NIC Meeting of Members

1 – 4 p.m.
Fraternity Operations and Services Track

1 – 2:30 p.m.
NICF Opening Session

  • Uncharitable – Revised and Updated | Dan Pallotta
  • NICF Member Meeting

2:30 – 3 p.m.
Networking Break

3 – 4 p.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions I

  • The Intersection of Communication, Fundraising and Stewardshio: Success for the Foundation
  • Sisterhood Never Stops: Chi Omega Foundation’s Notes from an Historic Campaign
  • Inter-Organizational Collaboration to Maximize Potential
  • Practical Tips for Development Officers
  • Creating a Pathway to Giving for Collegians
  • Impact of Tax Reform on Charitable Giving


4 – 4:15 p.m.
Networking Break

4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
NIC/NICF General Session

  • Is Your Leadership Awake? Governing Well in Today’s Complex Environment.  | Deborah J. Daniels
  • The State of Fraternity and Sorority: Updates from the NIC and NPC
  • 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    Welcome Reception
    Dinner on your own


7 – 10:45 a.m.

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
NIC & NICF Breakfast

8:30 – 10 a.m.
NIC Breakout Sessions I

  • Positive Storytelling through #myFraternity
  • TBD

8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
NICF General Session
Foundation Trends

  • 2018 Giving USA Report | Melissa Brown
  • Industry by the Numbers | Pennington & Co.

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Networking Break

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
NIC Breakout Sessions II

  • Trends in Addressing High-Risk Behaviors in Fraternities: An Evidence-Driven Approach to Prevention | EverFi
  • Trends in Changing Chapter Culture: Intervening Before It’s Too Late | Plaid
  • Trends in Fraternity Growth | PhiredUp
  • Trends in Member Motivations: Understanding the Brotherhood Assessment Results | Dyad Strategies

10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions II

  • Nonprofit Finance 101
    • Do You Know How to Read Financial Statements?
    • Form 990: What the Watchdogs are Watching
    • Your Nonprofit is Only as Strong as its Bookkeeper
    • Cash Flow Projections and Budgeting
    • Internal Controls
    • How to Proceed when Fraud is Suspected
    • Audit Coming? How to Prepare
  • Effective Use of Screening Tools for Greek Organizations
  • Managing the Gap: Meeting Gen Xers and Millennials Where They’re At
  • Grant and Scholarship Applications That Work
  • How to Raise $1 Million Unrestricted – An Update
  • Shrinking the Great Divide

11:45 a.m. – Noon
Networking Break

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
NIC/NICF Lunch and Keynote
From Transactional to Transformational Giving | Deborah Eschenbacher

**NIC programming ends Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Dual Program Experience attendees are able to attend the remaining sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

1:30 – 2 p.m.
Networking Break

2 – 3 p.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions III

  • Making Sense of FASB’s New Nonprofit Reporting Standards
    • Applying FASB ASU 2016-14: Presentation of Financial Statements of Not-for-Profit Entities
    • New Standards/Proposed Standards that May Affect Nonprofits in the Future
  • Measuring Success in a Major Gifts Program
  • Effectively Engaging Your Board in Fundraising
  • How to Build a Successful Planned Giving Program
  • Agency Model Approach to Communications
  • Government Relations: Our Role in Preserving the Fraternity/Sorority Experience

3 – 3:15 p.m.
Networking Break

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions IV

  • Engaging Your Board in Financial Oversight
    • What is financial oversight?
    • What financial information does a Board need to be successful?
    • What is the role of the Audit Committee?
    • Educating new Board members
  • Pi Beta Phi’s Comprehensive Campaign: A Catalyst for Change
  • What’s Next?
  • NICF Members Speak: 2018 Giving Trends
  • How to Leverage Donor Engagement to Increase Giving and Retention
  • The Tax Guy Who Became the Psychology Guy

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
NICF Awards of Distinction Reception | The Indiana Roof Ballroom

6:30 – 9 p.m.
NICF Awards of Distinction Dinner | The Indiana Roof Ballroom


7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
NICF Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions V

  • Engaging Young Leadership Donors
  • Is Your Foundation Actually Advancing Your Mission?
  • Giving Your History a Future
  • It’s Not Your Imagination: Six-Figure Fundraising in One Day
  • How to Care for Your Restricted Funds for the Long Term

9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Networking Break

9:45 – 10:30 a.m.
NICF Breakout Sessions VI

  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best Communication Effort
  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best Major Gifts Development Effort
  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best New Development Idea
  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best Use of a Foundation Grant
  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best Stewardship Effort
  • Awards of Distinction Panel: Best Planned Giving Effort

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – Noon
NICF Closing Session
Design Thinking Workshop


**Please note: In preparation for The Foundations Seminar and NIC Annual Meeting of Members, we are experiencing record-high participation in our hotel block. The block at the Hyatt Regency as well as the overflow block at the Westin are currently sold out with the exception of cancellations. We recommend seeking out another downtown Indianapolis hotel for booking as soon as possible. Then contact NICF Executive Director Ashley VanDewark to be placed on the waitlist for notification if a room becomes available at the Hyatt or Westin. If you have made a reservation at the Hyatt or Westin that you no longer need, please release associated rooms as soon as possible to accommodate other registrants.


Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
1 South Capitol Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 632-1234


Standard, king or double rooms are available for $156/night. Reservations must be made using this link by Aug. 1, 2018, to lock in that rate. **If you do have a reservation at the Hyatt Regency, please note that cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.


241 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204 (approx. 2 blocks from the Hyatt)
(317) 262-8100 | Visit website
Traditional king rooms with a twin pull-out sofa sleeper are available for $156/night; you must make your reservation using this link by Aug. 12 to secure this rate.


The Go Green Express Shuttle provides nonstop service from the Indianapolis Airport to downtown. Stop at the Convention Center, next door to the Hyatt. Reservations can be made at goexpresstravel.com or by calling (800) 589-6004.


Through their dedication to the mission and vision of fraternal foundations and the fraternal experience, Alliance Partners are key contributors to our work. They have made an important commitment to the NICF and our organizations by deciding to join the Alliance Partner program. Partners at the Distinguished level have made a commitment to both the NICF and the NIC. All NICF Alliance Partners are invited to attend The Foundations Seminar, and many will also be presenters during educational sessions. They are passionate about the success of our industry and have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Networking breaks indicated on the schedule are a great time to visit the Alliance Partner Hall and either connect with your current partners or get to know new partners. **If you are an existing Alliance Partner with questions about registration or exhibiting, or you wish to become an Alliance Partner, please contact Chief Operating Officer Mike McRee.


Recognizing the accomplishments and hard work of organizations and individuals excelling in key areas is an important responsibility of the NICF in our goal to elevate the fraternal foundations industry. NICF Awards of Distinction are presented annually to honorees at the Awards of Distinction Dinner, held in conjunction with The Foundations Seminar.

The 2018 Awards of Distinction Dinner is Tuesday, Aug. 28, at The Indiana Roof Ballroom. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and awards presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.


Please note: The below options are for purchasing tickets to the Awards of Distinction Dinner ONLY. Some Seminar/Dual Program registration options already include tickets to the dinner. If you registered for any of the educational programming, please review your registration choice to ensure you do not already have dinner tickets.   


This cost is in addition to registration fees and allows an individual or group not attending The Foundations Seminar or Dual Program to purchase a reserved table of 8 and includes two bottles of wine. If you are attending Seminar, tables can be used to invite additional staff, volunteers and/or area alumni to observe the presentation of NICF Awards of Distinction. Tickets for the dinner include the reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. and a meal during the awards presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. This event will highlight accomplishments by member organizations and provide opportunities to support the NICF.


This cost is in addition to registration fees and allows an individual who is not attending either The Foundations Seminar or Dual Program to purchase a ticket. Tickets for the dinner include the reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. and a meal during the awards presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. This event will highlight accomplishments by member organizations and provide opportunities to support the NICF.

Payment: Fees can be paid online by credit card upon submission of the ticket form. Alternatively, organizations can request an invoice by email.

Refund Policy:  Ticket purchases are transferable at any time prior to the event. Cancellations made 30 days or more in advance of the event will result in a refund of all but a $50 processing fee. Cancellations made less than 30 days but more than 10 business days in advance of the event will result in a 50 percent refund. Cancellations made less than 10 business days in advance of the event are non-refundable.


NICF and NIC staff are available leading up to and during the event to answer any questions. Please see the details below to find the best contact person for a specific question. If you need additional assistance not mentioned here, please fill out the Contact Form.

Contact NICF Executive Director Ashley VanDewark with questions about:

  • General registration confirmation or changes
  • Hyatt Regency Indianapolis hotel block and reservations
  • NICF Board Meeting
  • The Foundations Seminar
  • NICF Awards of Distinction Dinner
  • NIC Annual Meeting

Contact Chief Operating Officer Mike McRee with questions about:

  • Alliance Partners and their services
  • Your current or potential Alliance Partnership, AP renewal or AP event registration or involvement

Contact Chief Financial Officer Michael Wilson with questions about:

  • Status of a dues payment
  • Invoicing and registration payments

Contact Chief Executive Officer Jud Horras with questions about the NIC Governing Council Meeting.

Contact Director of Emerging and Culturally-Based Fraternal Initiatives Veronica Moore with questions about the Fraternity Growth Accelerator (FGA) and the FGA Symposium.


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