JANUARY 14-15, 2021

A virtual retreat opportunity for Foundation Executives

The foremost opportunity for fraternal foundation leaders and partners is getting hotter in 2021. Summit: Fireside is a unique opportunity to virtually enhance your personal network and connect with peer executives with whom you can share advice throughout the year. This is not just another webinar. This think-tank style online retreat will help you focus on and dive into the strategy behind your work and find greater understanding of how to elevate your operations.

Questions? Contact Ashley VanDewark, FFE Executive Director, at ashley.vandewark@foundationfe.org.

About the Summit: Fireside virtual experience

Summit is beneficial for the top one to two professionals of a fraternal foundation as well as the FFE Board of Directors and invited Alliance Partners.
Summit curriculum is focused on executive-level fundraising and leadership. The think-tank atmosphere and intimate conversations at Summit allows executives to focus on the strategy behind their important work. Program speakers typically include university presidents or advancement leaders, nonprofit consulting firms, and other industry experts.
The online Summit: Fireside format allows for major savings to our members. For questions, contact FFE Executive Director Ashley VanDewark at ashley.vandewark@foundationfe.org. If your organization is not an active FFE Member, you will be charged a $100 non-member fee per registrant. To renew or activate your foundation’s FFE Membership, contact Michael Wilson at michael.wilson@nicfraternity.org.
  • Protect your calendar, blocking it off from other appointments just as you would if you traveled to be at Summit in person.
  • Close all other programs running on your device for the duration of the program. Be as engaged virtually as you would be in person. Imagine sitting in the room alongside your peers. Try not to check out to do other work/take meetings if you can help it.
  • Summit provides significant value in creating white space for executives – helping to get you out of the day-to-day to think more strategically for your organization and to refill your own professional development bucket to help avoid burnout.
  • Summit’s success depends on attendees showing up authentically, intentionally and ready to engage in meaningful discussion.
  • Get in the right headspace and stay there. Imagine how you’d use your travel time, mealtime and wind down time at the end of each day and try to replicate as much of that as possible – reflect, plan, recharge.
  • Plan ahead for what you need to reach this level of Summit energy and maintain it. Do you need to move to a different space? What distractions do you need to address ? Do you need caffeine?
  • Not only do you typically get a solid dose of Vitamin D from the sunshine, Summit usually includes wonderful food provided by The Cape – the convenience of having meals ready helps you take a deep breath and focus on building relationships and content of the program. During the Fireside version, consider ordering in from your favorite restaurant for lunch and/or dinner! This is another important manner of refueling.
  • If possible, change your scenery. Work from an alternate location for the conference.
  • Can you take Friday afternoon off? Treat this as you would your travel time back from the in-person Summit and start your weekend early. Use this time to reflect and plan or just recharge your batteries.
Summit: Fireside will offer quality networking among FFE executives and partners. Thank you to the Alliance Partners who support Summit and all FFE programs!
  • How can I participate? Silver Level FFE partners and higher are invited to attend Summit: Fireside.
  • Does my membership include registration fees for this program? Diamond, Titanium, Distinguished Diamond and Distinguished Titanium level partners receive complimentary registrations.
We encourage you to review the FFE Alliance Partner Benefits Guide for full details on your what you get for your partnership.

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Why attend Summit?

Hallee Winnie

Foundation Executive Director, Pi Beta Phi

FFE Board of Directors

Phil Fernandez

Chief Foundation Officer, Beta Theta Pi

(Testimonial recorded pre-COVID-19)

Staci Skoog

Fraternal Industry Advisor, Billhighway | greekbill

Distinguished Diamond Alliance Partner


All times listed are Eastern
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Be in the room where it happens — join the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence as we kick off this once-in-a-lifetime Summit experience. In this session, you will meet your peers also taking part in this retreat and share openly and thoughtfully. What inspires you? Where are you thriving? Where are you struggling? How can you succeed in achieving your mission and goals in 2021? This is the beginning of journey up the mountain.

Josh Newton
Great minds will gather in this think-tank. Facilitated by Josh Newton, Senior Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement at Emory University, this two-session workshop is part data, part crowdsourcing, part leadership, part application and 100% necessary.

12:00 pm1:00 pmLUNCH BREAK
Breathe. Walk. Laugh. Nourish yourself. Do not look at email or Facebook!

Josh Newton
In the second part of this workshop, participants will prioritize being strategic and open, contributing strongly to the Summit conversation. Josh Newton will lead large-group discussion that provides framework for small groups to take leadership goals to new heights.

3:00 pm4:00 pmTED TALKS

Presented by Summit Participants
Just like the nonprofit series devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful presentations, FFE hosts a TED Talk-style series at Summit featuring topics of interest or emerging trends highlighting the work of our industry. See full session details here.

4:00 pm5:00 pmCASUAL RECEPTION
Hopefully you made a new friend today or connected with an old one. This social reception is when the full retreat participant group comes back together to relax, celebrate and bond.

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John Christopher
Tax and legal update addressing trends in the fraternal fundraising industry. John Christopher, FFE board director and co-founder of Fraternal Law Partners, will be available to answer your specific individual questions.


Led by Summit Participants
The numbers don’t lie – but what do they mean for our future? What is the 2020 Alumni and Donor Engagement Survey telling us? How are you prepared to use this information? Analyze and react to this latest industry data and discuss how you are implementing change based on the data.
This is a guided discussion for all Summit attendees regardless of participation in the 2020 Survey.


Lindsay Boccardo
As we reach the pinnacle of the Summit program, Lindsay Boccardo, Career Strategist and Corporate Trainer, will help you shape your next narrative and charge up for 2021. This interactive workshop will help you find energy, move forward through the pandemic and fire up yourself and your team for organizational success.

1:00 pmREFLECTION (Optional)
Use the rest of the day Friday to narrow your focus and draw a mental map to your goals. We encourage you to stay away from your video camera but stay in the zone. Summit is your time to disconnect from the day-to-day and focus on the big picture. Use the rest of afternoon to consider what you need to move forward.

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Josh Newton

Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement

View Newton's biography.

Lindsay Boccardo

Professional Coach

Keynote Speaker and Educator

About Boccardo.

Just like the nonprofit series devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful presentations, FFE hosts a TED Talk-style series at Summit featuring topics of interest or emerging trends highlighting the work of our industry. We are excited to share the 2021 TED Talk series lineup!

  • How SigEp Doubled their Day of Giving with Joe Budde, Jr. and Joe Joe McMenemon
  • Board Dynamics: Tools & Tips for Engagement with Allison Rickels, CFRE
  • Using Your Past to Secure Your Future with Kristen Gwinn-Becker, Ph.D.
  • Starting a DEI Journey with Karen White
Check out some clips from the 2020 TED Talks below.

We continue to gather insights from leaders of our member organizations and key Alliance Partners as we work to create updated plans for Summit. We look forward to returning to The Cape in Cabo San Lucas for the 2022 and 2023 Summit programs.

Future Dates: Monday, January 17–Thursday, January 20, 2022