Our Programs and Events

Whether you are new to the field and want to learn the basics, or are more seasoned and wish to deepen your knowledge and troubleshoot challenges with your peers, DER has something that is right for you. Every month, DER delivers innovative and affordable fundraising education and networking events that are specifically designed to meet the needs of today’s development professional.

We offer multiple ways for you to learn and connect with your community.

  • Monthly Luncheons    At these individual speaker or panel events you’ll hear from experts in the field and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends.  You’ll also have the opportunity to meet and mingle with your fundraising colleagues and other nonprofit professionals. Luncheons are typically held on second Fridays and lunch is served!

  • Roundtables   An expert-guided peer learning and discussion session that affords each individual the opportunity to participate in a small group (25-40 people) setting.

  • Workshops    Groups of various sizes engage in a structured, interactive learning experience where participants leave with a plan or “work product” for implementation.
  • Hank Rosso Forum   Every other fall, DER partners with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Golden Gate Chapter to present the Hank Rosso Forum in honor of DER’s founder and the author of Achieving Excellence in Fundraising.  At this half-day event, participants take a deep dive into the opportunities, challenges, and latest trends facing today’s fundraisers. An afternoon of panel discussions and speakers is followed by an intimate networking reception and delicious hors d’oeuvres.

The topics covered in our events typically include major gifts, corporate and foundation grants, donor prospecting, appeals and stewardship, measuring impact, working with boards, and more. Development professionals who participate in the CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executives) program can earn continuing education points at qualifying DER events. We provide all the information you’ll need to keep track of your progress.

We are always looking for speakers who have expertise on a topic or a success or learning experience to share. If you would like to suggest a program idea or volunteer to speak at a DER event, send an email to programs@dersf.org.

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October Virtual Workshop: Reality Grantmaking

DER, in partnership with Campbell & Company and Cheryl A. Clarke and Susan P Fox, Fundraising Consultants and creators of Reality Grantmaking™ are excited to announce our very own Reality Grantmaking!!! More riveting than Love Is Blind, more entertaining than The Bachelor! When you sign up for this DER session, you will have an opportunity to submit a mini-proposal to compete for a cash grant of $1,000 if you wish. At the session, you will observe a panel of real grant makers as they review proposals for real money.

Mini Grant Competition Request for Proposals Reality Grantmaking™ Guidelines

When you register for DER’s October 16, 2020 Reality Grantmaking™ session you may – but are not required to – apply for a mini-grant to be awarded during the session.  Proposals that meet the guidelines below will be reviewed and a representative group of finalists will be selected for evaluation and discussion by a panel of real-world funders. At the end of the session, a $1,000 grant provided by Campbell & Company will be awarded for the top-rated proposal as determined by the scores awarded by the grantmaker panelists.

We will accept submissions from organizations of any size but, as part of the selection criteria, the reviewers will look carefully at whether a small grant will have a significant impact on the proposed project.  In light of how Covid-19 has challenged the nonprofit community, we will welcome proposals for projects that will help organizations address short- and long-term needs vis a vis the pandemic.

Submission Guidelines
1. You must be registered for the DER October 16 session to apply.
2. You must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or have a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3).
3. Grant size: Requests must be for $1,000.
4. To apply, write a simple letter proposal that explains:

  • Your organization’s mission
  • The constituency you serve
  • Description of how you plan to use the grant
  • A simple budget for the grant (no need for an organizational budget)

5. The letter must not exceed two single-sided pages in length including the budget.  Please submit as a Word document or as a PDF file via the form submission located in the footer of the Registration page.
6. Do not submit any additional attachments; they will not be forwarded to the panel.
7. Your proposal must be submitted via the Reality Grantmaking Submission form by September 25th at 5 PM.  No faxed or e-mailed submissions will be reviewed.  If you are not registered for the October 16th event, your proposal will not be reviewed.
8. You will be notified if your proposal is selected as a finalist and you must be present for the Reality Grantmaking™ session.
9. Please note that if you are selected as a finalist, your proposal will be available to workshop participants prior to the session and funders will candidly discuss their likes and dislikes.  Thank you for submitting a request to make this an instructive session for all participants!

Remember the Deadline!  All Proposals must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM, September 25, 2020.

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Reality Grantmaking proposals will be reviewed by our select panelists.  Please register and join us for the proposal reviews, discussions on the process and our announcement of the 2020 Reality Grantmaking WINNER on October 16 from 12 noon to 1:30 PM.

Our panelists are Kenneth Blum of Kramer, Blum and Associates, Brenda Laribee of East Bay Community Foundation, Judi Powell of Pacific Foundation Services and Adrian Schurr of Google.org.  Our panel will be moderated by Cheryl A. Clarke and Susan P Fox, Fundraising Consultants and creators of Reality Grantmaking™.


• • • • •

Kenneth Blum, Founder, Kramer, Blum and Associates (Panelist)

Kenneth Blum has extensive experience launching and managing foundations and evaluating funding proposals for families, entrepreneurs and individuals. Currently Ken manages the grant process for dozens of foundations including the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation, Miranda Lux Foundation and Dean Witter Foundation.

Brenda Laribee, Senior Development Officer, East Bay Community Foundation (Panelist)

Brenda Laribee is a seasoned fund development professional whose gateway into the field was as a grants associate in the early 90s. Grants management remained a part of her work as both staff and consulting for several prominent nonprofits based in the Bay Area. Brenda also served as a proposal reviewer for many years for Macy*s Passport, AIDS Walk SF, and Academy of Friends. Currently, as Senior Development Officer at the East Bay Community Foundation, she partners with a variety of donors to help them realize their philanthropic goals and raises funds in support of advancing a just East Bay.

Judi Powell, Vice President of Program & Strategic Initiatives, Pacific Foundation Services (Panelist)

In her role as a member of PFS’s management team, Judi oversees all programmatic services PFS provides for foundation clients, provides leadership for PFS initiatives and partnerships, and serves as senior program staff for the Bothin Foundation and Pace Able Foundation.  Prior to joining PFS in 2016, Judi had years of experience in philanthropy as a consultant and in staff positions with organizations including Peninsula Community Foundation and Northern California Grantmakers.

Adrian Schurr, Regional Giving Lead, Google.org (Panelist)

Adrian Schurr is the Regional Giving Lead for Google.org, which supports local nonprofit organizations innovating to provide greater access to opportunity for low-income and underserved communities. Prior to joining Google.Org, Adrian served as a program manager for Google Fiber supporting community engagement. Adrian received a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. A Bay Area native, he currently lives in the East Bay.

Cheryl Clarke, Founder and Principal at The Clarke Group and co-creator of Reality Grantmaking™ (Moderator)

Cheryl A. Clarke is an author, trainer and fundraising consultant.  She is the author of Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising.  A natural-born storyteller, Cheryl integrates stories in her work assisting amazing nonprofit organizations to excel at raising funds.  The founder and principal of The Clarke Group, she specializes in capital and major donor campaigns, annual giving, grantwriting and development planning.  Cheryl helps nonprofit agencies by serving as interim development director during times of staff leadership transition.   Before starting her consulting practice, Cheryl held senior development positions at the University of California-San Francisco and the University of San Francisco School of Law.

Susan Fox, Fundraising Consultant and c0-creator of Reality Grantmaking™ (Moderator)

Susan Fox has worked as an independent consultant to non-profit organizations since 1980.  She specializes in major gifts, annual fund, capital and planned giving campaigns and provides services in grantwriting, appeal letter writing and general fundraising strategies as well as strategic planning, coaching, retreat facilitation and fundraising training.  Based in San Francisco, Susan has taught classes and led workshops on fundraising throughout the United States as well as in Mexico and Belize.  She has been an instructor at UC Berkeley Extension, the University of San Francisco, the University of Montana, the Foundation Center and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.  Together with colleague Cheryl A. Clarke, Susan co-authored Grant Proposal Makeover: Transform Your Request from No to Yes published by Jossey-Bass.