This meeting has elevated the way we operate because it has accelerated the education of our new trustees. The learning curve is not so steep.

AUGUST 12-14, 2019

Registration now open

The premier program for fraternal foundation professionals

Formerly known as THE Foundations Seminar, this flagship program of the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence is the largest of its kind dedicated to education and professional development for fraternal foundation staff and volunteers. Seminar is held in conjunction with the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Annual Meeting of Members to increase cross-collaboration among NIC member fraternities and FFE foundations, and better align industry-wide partnership and education.

Seminar provides attendees with a forum to collaborate on advancing our organizations’ mission while also offering an opportunity to learn new strategies and tools for our work, collaborate on shared business problems and network with over 350 industry professionals. In addition, Seminar provides a chance to recognize outstanding achievements of FFE member organizations and individuals with the Awards of Distinction program.


Seminar is intended for fraternal foundation staff in all functional areas and foundation volunteer leadership. By combining Seminar with the NIC Annual Meeting of Members, we create a well-rounded slate of programming for both foundation and fraternity leaders. Recommended attendees for NIC Annual Meeting programming include fraternity execs, board members and key volunteers, and director-level staff in various operational areas.


The program is formatted in blocks of educational sessions with keynote speakers throughout. Attendees can choose from the variety of topics covered in breakout sessions; Seminar also seeks to provide tracked content for specific areas of expertise (like the Nonprofit Finance track at Seminar 2018) when possible. Level of expertise covered in programs ranges from those new to the profession or to their specific development area, to tenured professionals in the field.


Seminar programs are selected specifically to cover all FFE Curriculum Plan areas for professional development, including communications, engagement, fundraising, management and stewardship. You’ll also gain insight on industry trends and new ideas for advancing your organization, and grow the network of resources available to you through the FFE including Alliance Partners, peer relationships, and more.

Announcing FFE Seminar 2019 Keynote Speakers

Penelope Burk

UNDER THE RADAR… how to unleash young donors’ philanthropy

A common but dangerous assumption in fundraising is that donors are what they give – that those making modest donations are capable of that level of giving while those giving above the norm are candidates for the major donor category. It’s dangerous for fundraisers to think that way because it leaves money on the table. 40% of donors in the Burk Donor Survey said they held their philanthropy back last year; and the ones most likely to say they were giving less than they could were under the age of 35.

In this new and thought-provoking address, Penelope Burk unfolds a compelling case for stewarding young donors’ philanthropy now. Drawing from current research with over 20,000 donors, Penelope explains why young donors’ strong commitment to philanthropy is not translating into more loyal and more generous giving and what fundraisers can do to turn that situation around.

Brady Josephson

Using Data to Optimize Your Fundraising

Why do people give? It's a foundational question for any fundraiser or organization but the answer, or answers, are multi-faceted and can be quite complex. This is where data from real interactions with real donors can help narrow the gap between what we think, what people say, and what donors actually do. Brady will provide a simple framework to think about data and how it can be collected, interpreted, and used by any organization to better understand their donors and improve their fundraising results. Full of real experiments and examples you'll walk away with new ideas to try and, hopefully, a better concept of how to use data to benefit your work.

Brady is a charity nerd, entrepreneur, digital marketer, professor, and writer. He’s the Vice President of Innovation and Optimization at NextAfter —a fundraising research lab and consultancy on a mission to unleash the most generous generation in the history of the world — where he performs original research, develops resources, and provides training to help organizations reach more people, acquire more donors, and raise more money to fund their world-changing work.