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.

How to Convert COVID Emergency Relief Fundraising into Long-Term Support

Friday, March 19, 2021:  Networking 11:45 to 12 noon; Program 12 noon to 1:30 PM

Camp Tawonga, like many nonprofit organizations, had to completely pivot from their traditional fundraising and earned revenue streams when COVID hit as they closed camp and faced uncertainties. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Simon-Harris will share successful steps that Camp Tawonga took to quadruple their fundraising and guide us through a conversation about what are the next phases of fundraising coming out of COVID.

Executive Directors, Board Members, and development staff are encouraged to attend and participate in this interactive presentation. Please join the virtual room at 11:45 AM on Friday, March 19th.  “Doors” open early for networking and a social icebreaker with the DER board.  Our presentation will begin at 12 noon sharp!

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Jamie Simon-Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Camp Towanga

Jamie is a nationally recognized leader and educator in her field, and has led Camp Tawonga to become a leader in the field on gender inclusion as well as justice and equity work. An expert in women’s empowerment, career coaching, emergency preparedness and women’s health education, Jamie is an inspiring facilitator and teaches nationally on many topics. In 2020, Jamie was selected as an Emerge California Fellow for rising female leaders. She also serves on the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s NextGen Leadership Council and participated in the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Executive Leadership Institute.

Prior to Tawonga, Jamie worked as the prevention education director at United Against Sexual Assault in Sonoma County. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies from Sonoma State University. She loves working with youth and is passionate about politics and the San Jose Sharks. Jamie lives in Oakland with her husband and fellow Tawongan, Dan, and their sons, Ezra and Eli.

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Registration for this event is required.  The cost of the event is $20 for DER members and $40 for non-members.   Registration deadline is March 18th at 5 PM!

DER Development Salon: Fundraisers of Color – Conversations about Shared Experiences

Thursday, March 25, 2021, 12 noon to 1:00 PM

Update: Please join us for this free event by emailing your name and request to administrator@dersf.org. We apologize for the confusion with our registration system.

Join DER members and friends on Thursday, March 25th for a lunchtime conversation for and by Fundraisers of Color.  Please join our hosts, DER Board Members, Kaylé Barnes and Melissa Perez for this opportunity to connect with your peers from across the sector to laugh, vent, and hopefully leave feeling heard and seen.


This is a closed salon — invitations are intended for fundraisers who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color).

Throughout history ‘Salons’ have played a vital role in the exchange of ideas by bringing people together for intellectual discourse. These hosted gatherings featured explorative conversations of cultural significance contributing to culture, art, literature and politics. DER invites you to join other fundraising professionals in a modern day version of the Salon, designed to celebrate important fundraising accomplishments and discuss emerging development challenges and opportunities. Every other month a DER board member will partner with a DER member to bring a Salon to life featuring a specific topic during a brown bag lunch. Participants will gather via Zoom and will be encouraged to contribute to the conversation by highlighting achievements, seeking advice, sharing solutions and debating current issues.

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Kaylé Barnes, Development Director, SF Housing Action Coalition and DER Board Member, Marketing Committee

Kaylé joined the SF Housing Action Coalition as their first Development Director in March 2020 after spending three years at the YMCA of San Francisco in their Development department. Prior to that she worked at Reading Partners and an education reform advocacy nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Kaylé holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications and Minors in French and International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma.

Melissa Perez, Senior Consultant, Glavin Jacobson, Inc. and DER Board Member, Governance Committee Chair

Melissa is a Senior Consultant with Glavin Jacobson. She has worked with small local nonprofits and large institutions such as United Way and San Francisco Opera. Throughout her career she has woven together volunteerism and philanthropy to create meaningful experiences for fellow employees, board members and donors.


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Registration for this event is required.  However, this event is FREE to DER Members and non-Members alike!  Registration deadline is March 24th at 5 PM!

Deepening Your Board’s Involvement in Fundraising

Friday, April 16, 2021, 12 noon to 1:00 PM

This workshop will explore a 3-step process for building board engagement in fundraising. You’ll have the opportunity to reflect on what is and isn’t working in engaging your board with fundraising.  We’ll share some tools that could deepen your board’s engagement.  Then you’ll have some time in small group breakouts to consider possible next steps that will take your board fundraising to a higher level. This presentation is appropriate for Executive Directors, Development Officers who work with boards and Board Chairs.

We will use Zoom plus Google Slides for this interactive, hands-on presentation.  Be sure to join us at 11:45 AM on Zoom for a chance to meet the DER Board, other attendees and to network!

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Dr. Renee Rubin Ross, Founder, The Ross Collective

Dr. Renee Rubin Ross (she/her) is a recognized leader on board and organizational development and strategy and the founder of The Ross Collective, a consulting firm that designs and leads inclusive, participatory strategic planning and governance processes.

Committed to racial equity in the nonprofit sector, Dr. Ross supports organizations and individuals in practices that celebrate and amplify diverse voices and perspectives.

In addition to her consulting work, Dr. Ross is the Director of the Cal State University East Bay Nonprofit Management Certificate program and teaches Board Development and Grant Writing for the program.

Dr. Ross lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. She is a Board member of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.  Her Doctorate in Education and Jewish Studies from New York University explored parent participation in schools.

Renee’s hobbies include running, hiking, playing guitar and baking sourdough bread.

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Registration for this event is required.  The cost of the event is $20 for DER members and $40 for non-members.  Registration deadline is Thursday, April 15th at 5 PM!