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.

Creating Your Dream Career in the Nonprofit World

March 13, 2020 Luncheon, 12:00-1:30 PM

Have you wondered what it is like working with a search consultant or recruiter?  Do you know what the difference is between a contingent recruiter or a retained search consultant?  Which type of firm works for the candidate and which type works for the nonprofit?  Victoria Silverman, Managing Founder of Cook Silverman Search, will clear up the mysteries and provide you tips on creating your dream career.


Victoria is the Managing Founder of Cook Silverman Search. Previously, she was the founder and principal of VLS Strategies, a nonprofit consulting firm.  Victoria has worked in the philanthropic sector for more than thirty years. Throughout her career, Victoria has worked in senior fundraising, advancement and management positions in higher education, the arts, biotect and environment sectors at Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of California and the American Film Institute, among others. She has worked with heads of state, CEOs of major corporations, scientists, Hollywood celebrities and industry leaders.

In 2002, Victoria launched her private practice, VLS Strategies, in order to accommodate the requests of friends and business relationships.  VLS Strategies’ consultancy practice focused on advising development and nonprofit management, start-up companies and small businesses. Victoria is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and attended the St. Louis School of Law.  She has been a “heavy hitter” speaker for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and has served on fundraising advisory committees for several nonprofit organizations.  She is also the extremely proud mother of two amazing young women.

Registration for this event is required – click here.  Registration is $20 for DER members and $40 for non-DER members. (NOTE: To receive the discounted members’ rate, you must sign in to your account before registering.)

Venue: Lighthouse for the Blind 1155 Market Street, 10th floor, San Francisco, California