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Making the Ask, Successfully

  • Thursday, February 17, 2022
  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Webinar


Registration is closed

Program Description 

In 2020, Americans gave more than $320 billion to causes that matter to them.

From monthly giving and peer-to-peer campaigns to major gifts and legacy planning, philanthropy has grown more inclusive and strategic.

Nonprofits plan their fundraising strategies around these types of giving. How we prioritize them differs based on our audiences, budgets, brand personalities and strengths as fundraisers.

But for as much strategizing and researching you do, “the ask” can feel overwhelming.

WSPN is excited to welcome Mike Bruni of HPS Chicago (formerly HUB Philanthropy Solutions) and David Gee from Big Brothers, Big Sister of Metropolitan Chicago to lead a dynamic conversation tailored to YOUR personal experience, questions, concerns, roadblocks and insecurities around making the ask.

Mike and David have more than 40 years of combined experience in fundraising, both in-house and as consultants. They have built annual funds, developed strategic plans, executed capital campaigns, established major gift programs, counseled boards, and improved donor stewardship for agencies across the Chicago region.

Some topics of conversation could include:

·       Engaging board members in fundraising

·       Identifying prospective donors

·       Working with outside counsel

·       Building authentic relationships

·       Developing a fundraising strategy

·       Crafting the ask

Whether you are a seasoned professional leading a small shop or a board member learning about fundraising for the first time, this program will boost your confidence, provide deeper guidance, move you into a planning mindset and teach you a few new tactics to successfully make the ask!

Recommended for:

·       C-Suite Executives

·       Directors of Development

·       Individual Giving staff

·       Board members

·       Upper-level Program Management Staff

·       New fundraising professionals

·       Small shops

What to expect:

·       Dynamic conversation based on your questions, roadblocks and personal experiences

·       Concrete suggestions on how to be more targeted and personable in your approach

·       Strategies for including the right people in the cultivation and solicitation process


David Gee

Chief Development Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

David is passionate about connecting folks with opportunities to help make a difference in people’s lives and working in partnership with others to strengthen our community. Engaged professionally in the social impact sector for the past 16 years, David is an experienced development professional with particular expertise in capital campaigns, major gifts and donor stewardship. David moved back “in house” to join the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago as the agency’s Chief Development Officer in January 2021.

Previously, David spent seven+ years as a fundraising consultant with HPS Chicago (HPS) providing counsel to several successful capital campaigns; including initiatives with Canine Therapy Corps, Old St. Patrick’s Church, Phoenix Pact and Marillac St. Vincent Family Services. In addition to his capital campaigns clients, he also offered strategic counsel for major gift initiatives, donor stewardship and board development for a number of other non-profit organizations in the Chicagoland area.

Prior to joining HPS, David served for over seven years at The Chicago Bar Foundation (CBF). A key member of the CBF’s senior management team, David was responsible for increasing revenue streams to support the Foundation’s mission (including annual, major and planned giving), while fostering and strengthening donor relationships and helping to expand the legal community’s awareness of the CBF’s efforts. During his tenure, the CBF created their annual Investing in Justice Campaign and, as their first full-time Director of Development, David helped the CBF grow their individual donor base six-fold while significantly expanding their donor pledge programs.

Before starting his second career in philanthropy, David put his BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University to use, enjoying 18 successful years as a professional actor in Chicago.  A member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), David currently serves on Forefront’s Development, Membership and Communications Committee and on the Resource Development Committee for All Chicago. Other volunteer activities have included service as Chair of the Local School Council at Beaubien Elementary, Treasurer for the National Conference of Bar Foundations, Chair of the Public Foundation Fundraiser’s Network (Forefront/Donors Forum) and as a founder and past Chair of Ravenswood Community Services, a hunger relief agency serving Chicago’s north side neighborhoods. David lives with his wife on Chicago’s northwest side and is the proud father of their two boys.

Mike Bruni

Managing Director, HPS Chicago (formerly HUB Philanthropy Solutions)

Mike has spent his career providing Non-Profit organizations with full-service business consulting, partnering with his clients on everything from strategic planning to the design and execution of capital campaigns.

Mike’s “sweet spot” is fund development; he has partnered with over 150 clients on fundraising campaigns, annual fund development, improving productivity, current staff and volunteer board leadership. Mike has helped clients raise more than $1 Billion dollars. Mike has worked intimately with some of the finest organizations in the city, including Old St. Patrick’s Church, Misericordia, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Metro YMCA of Chicago, Avenues to Independence, Franciscan St. James Health and UCAN, to name a few.

Mike currently is the Managing Director for HPS Chicago.  Mike engineered a new business for HUB International as well as Laurus Strategies where he started and led the Non-Profit consulting functions, which focused on advancing the fundraising goals for HUB and Laurus Clients.  Prior to his work with both of these international insurance firms, Mike co-founded his own consulting firm, LatzBruni Partners, and worked with some of Chicago’s most recognizable non-profits.  Mike is proud of his roots and was thrilled to begin his fundraising career at his alma mater, Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights.  He has served as a trainer, speaker and facilitator for over 100 educational institutions and community organizations.

In addition to fundraising, Mike provides counsel to organizations on strategic initiatives, board development, executive coaching and recruiting, and public affairs. Mike received his first introduction into the Public Affairs arena early in his development career. While with the Illinois Department of Substance Abuse (DASA), Mike helped facilitate federal grants for the Illinois Department of Corrections, which enabled the first treatment program for the incarcerated in the State of Illinois.  This pilot program became a national model throughout the country.

Currently, Mike serves as a volunteer with numerous community organizations including: Chairman of the Board, Community Memorial Foundation; Director, Franciscan Health Foundation; Director, Western Golf Association; Director, Chicago District Golf Association Foundation; Finance Committee, St. Francis Xavier Parish and Chairman of the Board for the National Club Association located in Washington D.C.

This program qualifies for 1.5 CFREs


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