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Registration closes Aug. 15
Seminar: $499 | One-Day: $399 | Dual NICF Seminar & NIC Annual Meeting: $499

THE Foundations Seminar

August 27-29, 2018

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis


The premier educational event for fraternal foundations

Since the 1990s, THE Foundations Seminar has provided fraternal foundation professionals and volunteers with a forum to collaborate on issues unique to advancing their organization’s missions. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn, collaborate, explore solutions to shared business problems and network with 300 industry professionals. It is also our chance to recognize outstanding achievements and work by our NICF member foundations through the NICF Awards of Distinction program. 

THE Foundations Seminar 2018 will again be full of meaningful keynote speakers, impactful educational sessions and networking/relationship building among fraternal foundation peers at all levels – from first-year professionals or volunteers, to the most seasoned executive staff and board members. More information will be available here as we get closer to Aug. 27-29, 2018, in Indianapolis.  



THE Foundations Seminar and NIC Annual Meeting of Members Program Book

This program book for both THE Foundations Seminar and NIC Annual Meeting includes detailed schedule, program descriptions, presenter bios, and recognition information. This also includes the 2017 NIC Annual Report.

NICF Awards of Distinction

Awards of Distinction are presented to organizations and individuals annually at THE Foundations Seminar. Submit 2017 nominations by April 30.

Keynote Speakers


Dr. Adrian Sargeant

Director of the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy

Dr. Sargeant is one of the world’s leading authorities on how to achieve growth in philanthropy. His program will help us explore retention for the nonprofit sector and review current patterns of performance. We will outline the three big drivers of donor loyalty – satisfaction, commitment and trust – and explain how each can be measured and enhanced. He will also examine best practices and the particularly creative practices of innovative nonprofits who have achieved extraordinary retention performance.


Marc Pitman

Founder, Concord Leadership Group

Marc A. Pitman is an international leadership coach and fundraising trainer. He helps nonprofit staff and board members get excited about asking for money. He is the founder of The Concord Leadership Group and of FundraisingCoach.com and the author of Ask Without Fear!® Through his program of the same name,  Marc will share his fundraising expertise, providing proven techniques to improve your fundraising skills and a simple method that will take the fear out of the “ask.”


Dr. Mari Ann Callais

Educator, Speaker, Consultant

Dr. Mari Ann Callais’ unique blend of music, humor and storytelling is the perfect combination for our closing general session. In addition to being an on-demand keynote speaker on campuses and for organizations across the country, Mari Ann is a fundraiser and knows the challenges we all face. She wants nothing more than for you to leave Seminar renewed and ready to advance your organization in the year ahead.

2 Meetings, 1 Trip

To provide maximum value for attendees, the NICF and NIC now hold THE Foundations Seminar in conjunction with the NIC’s Annual Meeting of Members. NIC member fraternities, foundation and fraternity staff and volunteers, as well as NICF and NIC Alliance Partners, are now able to attend both conferences in one trip to Indianapolis. Our goal is to bolster conversations among staff and volunteers, as well as bring new attendees to Seminar programming. 

Who should attend?

THE Foundations Seminar programming is designed to engage fraternal foundation:

  • Executives
  • Staff members in the development, major gifts, annual fund, stewardship, communication, alumni and program areas
  • Key volunteers

For NIC member fraternities, the NIC Annual Meeting educational programs will engage attendees around key areas of NIC 2.0 priorities and progress. The following staff and volunteers in these roles would benefit most:

  • Executive Director/CEO and/or equivalent volunteer(s)
  • Key fraternity volunteer(s)
  • Director-level staff member(s) in chapter services and communications

Seminar Schedule

Monday, August 28

7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Registration

1 - 2:15 p.m. Opening Keynote, "Inspiring Donor Loyalty"

In this session with Dr. Adrian Sargeant, we’ll explore why retention is such a huge issue for the nonprofit sector in the United States and review current patterns of performance. We will outline the three big drivers of donor loyalty – satisfaction, commitment and trust – and explain how each can be measured and enhanced. The session will conclude by examining sector best practices and the particularly creative practices of a few really innovative nonprofits who have achieved extraordinary retention performance. 

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Alliance Partner Break

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Education Block I
  • Annual Fund/Stewardship Peer Group Session: Best Practices and Emerging Issues
  • Communications/Alumni/Programs Peer Group Session: Emerging Issues and Trends
  • Development/Major Gifts Peer Group Session: Closing Gifts in a Metrics-Based Environment
  • Executives Peer Group Session: Board Development
  • Volunteers Peer Group Session: Networking and Emerging Issues

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Alliance Partner Break

3:45 - 4:45 p.m. Education Block II
  • Do-It-Yourself Annual Fund Assessment
  • I Just Called to Say I Love You: Practical and Inspiring Opportunities for Meaningful Board Engagement
  • Influence Without Authority: Moving Donors and Colleagues into Positive Action
  • “Best Communications Effort” Winners Panel
  • The Social Psychology of Giving

4:45 – 5:45 p.m.                                   General Session, “Inspiring First Impressions”

5:45 – 6:45 p.m.                                   Welcome Reception
Dinner on your own

Tuesday, August 29

7 – 8:30 a.m. Registration

8 – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast, NICF Member Meeting & Industry by the Numbers 

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Alliance Partner Break

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Education Block III
  • Chapter and Directed Giving: What We’ve Learned and Are Learning
  • For Now, Forever: A Campaign for “Greatest Need”
  • Government Relations: What We All Need to Know and Do for the Future of Fraternities and Sororities
  • “Best New Development Idea” Winners Panel
  • Road Warriors: Engaging Leadership Consultants as Foundation Advocates

10:45 – 11 a.m. Alliance Partner Break

11 a.m. - Noon Education Block IV
  • Creating a Culture of Philanthropy Through Your Capital Campaign
  • Donor-Centered Beyond Development: Engagement Closer to the Mission
  • Investments 101: How to Respond to Investment-Related Questions and the ABCs of Planned Giving
  • How to Rock Your One-Man Band

Noon – 12:15 p.m. Alliance Partner Break

12:15 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch Keynote, "Ask Without Fear!"

Does the need to ask for money make you shudder? You’re not alone. Some say asking for money is as scary for people as death and public speaking! But it doesn’t have to be. In this keynote, Marc Pitman will inspire you to see fundraising as more than “taking.” He shares a simple mothod that take much of the fear out of the process and provides actual phrases to use during solicitations. You’ll leave inspired to ask for money – and might even learn to enjoy the ask!

1:30 – 2 p.m. Alliance Partner Break

2 - 3 p.m. Education Block V
  • Ask: Overcoming Objections
  • Communicating an Inspiring Message in the Midst of a Crisis
  • “Best Stewardship Effort” Winners Panel
  • Staffing for Philanthropic Success
  • Phonathon: Does it have a Role in Your Organization?

3 – 3:15 p.m. Alliance Partner Break

3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Education Block VI
  • A Win-Win-Win: Investing Foundation Resources in Chapter Housing Loans
  • Are You Prepared for Upcoming Changes in Financial Reporting?
  • Lessons Learned from Building a Recurring Gift Program
  • Turning Data into Dollars
  • 21st Century Digital Brotherhood and Sisterhood

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.                                   Awards Reception & Silent Auction
The Indiana Roof Ballroom

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

Wednesday, August 30

8 – 9:30 a.m.
Breakfast and NICF Award Winners Panel 

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Alliance Partner Break

9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Education Block VII
  • Encouraging Repeat Performances: The Importance of Stewardship and Reporting
  • Aligning for Success: The Journey to One Tri Delta
  • Planned Gifts: Who’s Getting Them and How Are They Doing It?
  • Starting from Scratch: Reconstruction of a Values-Based Scholarship Application
  • Benchmarking Foundation Investment Performance

10:45 – 11 a.m. Alliance Partner Break

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Closing Keynote, "The Power of Relationships"

Dr. Mari Ann Callais wants to help you leave Seminar renewed and ready to advance your organization in the year ahead. She believes that the real power inside an organization is not buried within our departmental mission and vision statements, our daily tasks or even all that we’ll learn throughout Seminar – the real power is in the relationship between the members and the organization as a whole. We’ll send you home with a message of empowerment to do what you do best: develop impactful, meaningful relationships.   

Travel Information


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

Hotel Reservations

The NICF and NIC room block at the Hyatt Regency is now closed. If you are in need of a hotel room, please contact Ashley Lamphier at ashley.lamphier@nicindy.org.

If you do have a reservation at the Hyatt Regency, please note that cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. 

Airport Shuttle

The Go Green Express Shuttle provides nonstop service from the airport to downtown. Stop at the Convention Center, next door to the Hyatt.
(800) 589-6004

Silent Auction and Awards Dinner

Stay tuned for more details on our silent auction and the 2017 Awards of Distinction Reception and Dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are options for parking at the hotel?

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Indianapolis offers a variety of parking options, including self-parking, valet parking, and overnight parking.

Can I register more than one person at a time?

The registration form is individualized, so please submit one for each person attending. If you need to register 10 people or more, contact Kristin Fouts.

What payment methods are accepted at registration?

We accept all major credit cards and check payments. Please send checks to the NIC Foundation at 865 West Carmel Drive, Suite 116, Carmel, Indiana, 46032.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

We strongly encourage you to send someone else in your place if you are unable to attend the Seminar. However, we do allow cancellations if necessary.

What is the 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 refund of 50 percent. Cancellations made less than 10 business days in advance of the event are non-refundable.


Contact Ashley VanDewark, Director of NICF Programs and Services at ashley.vandewark@nicindy.org or (317) 872-1112 ext. 440.

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