By Mark Zeske | DFW Newsflash | July 2018
Laura Fredricks headlined the 2018 DFW Philanthropy in Action Conference, recently held in the Irving Convention Center.
Fredricks, an attorney turned philanthropic guru, is known for making and advising on high-profile “asks” for donations. “The Ask” is the name of her literary series, speaking tour, personal consulting firm and latest book.
But Fredricks said the key to the annual, one-day conference was not the big ask, but small bits of gold.
“People take away little things,” Fredricks said. “I talked for about an hour, and people will find little nuggets and apply it to their work. That’s how it all works. They will go back and apply it, raise money, raise esteem and awareness, and put it all together. They will do philanthropy. That’s how it all works.”
Fredricks kicked off the event, held by the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth Metro chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as a keynote speaker. She also presented during an education session, plus had a booth for her consulting firm in the vendor hall.
Vickie Matthews, the lead capital campaign consultant at Brad Cecil and Associates, was busy during the conference. Her company was a presenting sponsor. In addition, she was a speaker at an education session, presenting with workers from the North Texas Food Bank about a capital campaign the non-profit recently completed.
“There are so many wonderful organizations in DFW, and this is a great way for them to come and learn about the best practices of the industry,” Matthews said. “Professional development is something not many people take the time to focus on, so having a really concentrated day on education and peer-to-peer interaction is so helpful.”
Karl Crudup is the regional sales director of ClubCorp, which has 15 facilities, mostly golf courses, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Crudup was attracting conference attendees with free lunches at his clubs, a meal they had to earn by sinking a putt. Crudup said his company and most of the non-profits sending their employees to the conference were a good match.
“We found a large percentage of our clients are non-profit, and they are typically looking for fundraising opportunities,” Crudup said. “Partnering with them and hosting golf outings, golf tournaments, and hosting galas at our facilities, is just a natural. There are silent auctions, hole sponsors, a bunch of different ways for them to raise funds.”
Highground Advisor, represented by Lacy Cagle, specializes in the nonprofit sector. Cagle said her company based in Dallas, used to set up at just one or two conferences a year, but now attends about 15.
“It’s a good opportunity for us,” Cagle said. “The whole day is about non-profits, and that’s who we serve. Several of clients will be here, and it is good brand awareness for them to see us out here.”
Matthews has seen the little nuggets of the Philanthropy conference turn into important results time and time again.
“At this time of the year, many people are going back to their offices and trying to reach their fiscal goals for the year,” Matthews said. “This might be a place where they can pick up something to help send them over the edge. Besides, it is a really fun day. You get to run into people you haven’t seen in a while, former colleagues and old friends. It is really exciting to be around a bunch of other creative and generous people.”
Written by Mark Zeske