Registration for the Virginia Fund Raising Institute is currently full.

To add your name to the wait list, please contact Lindsay Larkin at (804) 523-2906 or We will contact you as soon as we have availability. We look forward to experiencing a great VFRI with all the registrants in a few weeks!

2015 ConferenceEnergize. Educate. Empower.

July 29-30, 2015

Omni Hotel

Charlottesville, VA

The VFRI room block at the Omni is officially full! Other lodging options are listed below.

Marriott Courtyard by the University (close to the Omni): 434-977-1700

Hampton Inn and Suites by the University (close to the Omni): 434-923-8600

Hyatt Place: 434-995-5200


The 2015 VFRI will provide sessions that attract a multi-level audience and will energize, educate, and empower success in fundraising.

The 2015 VFRI will feature a broad range of workshop topics of value to development professionals, executive directors, board members, and other volunteers who wish to advance their professional skills. Drawing more than 200 attendees, VFRI is the premiere educational event for development and non-profit professionals in the Commonwealth.

The theme of the 2015 institute is Energize.  Educate.  Empower.  We are pleased to have Adrian Sargeant, Ph.D. as our opening speaker to kick off this theme.  Dr. Sargeant is the world’s foremost fundraising academic, holding a Chair in Fundraising at Plymouth University and was formerly the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.  He is opening the institute with a half-day workshop, Donor Retention: The 3 Big Drivers.  In addition, Dr. Sargeant will conduct a 90 minute plenary session with Jay Love, Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomerang, entitled Great Fundraising: Thinking Differently About Fundraising Problems.   Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, Founder of Classes 4 Classes and former teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, will close with a full session on Positive Change. 

The conference will offer four tracks, detailed below. Please see the Conference Program webpage for detailed information about workshops and round tables.

Emerging Track – 90 minute workshops

Emerging – for professionals with 3 or less years of experience and exposure to the various aspects of fundraising. This track offers an opportunity to gain knowledge in preparation for transition to new levels of expertise and responsibility.

  • Fundraising 101
  • Communications: Direct Mail and E-mail basics, Social Media Basics, Storytelling, Newsletters, Marketing
  • The Development Plan – Setting Fundraising Goals
  • Donor Cultivation and Stewardship
  • Strategic Events: How to turn special events into fundraising opportunities
  • Corporate and Foundation Giving: Basics of Corporate and Foundation giving, Grant Writing
  • Annual Fund, New Donor Acquisition
  • Planned Giving Basics (Bequests, Marketing a New Program)
  • Board Basics and Volunteer Management
  • Professional Development: CFRE basics
Advancing Track –90 minute workshops

Advancing – for professionals with 5-10 years of experience, who have a broad base of fundraising knowledge, supervisory and volunteer management responsibilities. This track will help to develop expertise in one or more areas of development program management.

  • Prospect research tools and effective database management
  • Communication Strategic Planning
  • Social Media Best Practices
  • Development Planning – where it fits in strategic planning
  • Planned Giving – Understanding the vehicle options, Stewardship
  • Ethics and Accountability – Responsibility of the development team
  • Major Gifts – Moves Management
  • Major Gifts – Negotiating the gift with the donor
  • Board Development –             Motivating and stewarding your board
  • Development Program Management for the One Person Shop
  • Community Partnerships
  • Collaborative Fundraising – Nonprofit Collaborations
  • Professional Development: Strategies for Career Advancement
Leading Track –90 minute sessions of facilitated discussion

Leading – for professionals with 10 + years of experience, who are the lead development officer in their organization, have a broad base of fundraising knowledge and expertise, and are responsible for development program management and volunteer and board engagement.

  • Impact of Transformational Gifts
  • Ethics and Accountability – Understanding your real relationships with donors
  • Building a positive relationship between fundraising and accounting
  • Board Management – dealing with problematic boards
  • Training your CEO to fundraise
  • Merging NPOs and how it affects fundraising
  • The Voice of Philanthropy in Organizational Strategic Planning
  • What makes a Great and Successful Campaign
  • Professional Development: Attaining your ACFRE
General Track – 90 minute workshops

General – addresses topics of interest to all professionals, regardless of experience.

  • Emotional Intelligence, Personality and Communication
  • Transition to a new career/job
  • Time and Resource Management
  • Campaigns – What’s in a campaign? Capital, Specialized, Managing the Moving Parts
  • Professional Development: Practicing Exceptional Leadership