Join us for the sixth Board Day, Donor-Centered Leadership

Board Day is an annual conference that increases the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by enhancing board governance.

We are excited to welcome Penelope Burk as our guest speaker this year. Author of “Donor-Centered Fundraising” and “Donor-Centered Leadership,” Burk is renowned for her cutting-edge research with thousands of donors and the evidence-based fundraising philosophy she developed that enhances donor loyalty and inspires more generous giving.

Because we are bringing a fundraising thought-leader to the community, this year we will hold two events: our traditional Board Day – Donor-Centered Boards and a half-day event focused on enhancing donor loyalty – Donor-Centered Fundraising.     

Board Day 2017 is hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) – San Antonio Chapter, Masters Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio Alumni Association, and the San Antonio Area Foundation. 

Champion Sponsor


Advocate Sponsors



Donor-Centered Fundraising: How to hold on to your donors and raise more money

Wed., Sept. 27   |   1 - 4 p.m.   |   Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum

Open to development professionals, communications staff, executive directors, board members, and any staff or volunteers who interact with donors

Today's fundraising practices and beliefs were developed in a time when donors were less demanding, competition was less fierce, and fundraisers could rely on an abundant supply of people who were willing to give. But now wealth is shifting to a new kind of donor who questions more and is harder to reach. Additionally, the number of organizations raising money has exploded, and donors are trending towards supporting fewer causes. 

Join us for this interactive and forward-thinking seminar that answers the age-old question, "What do donors want?," and then articulates a practical strategy that satisfies donors' needs. Based on seven years of research and testing with hundreds of nonprofits and donors, Burk will share her statistically-supported fundraising philosophy and evidence-based communication and acknowledgement strategies that will enhance donor loyalty and inspire more generous giving. Copies of her book "Donor-Centered Fundraising" will be available for sale at the event.


Donor-Centered Boards: Becoming a powerhouse fundraising team

Thurs. Sept. 28   |   8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.   |   Mays Family Center at the Witte Museum

Exclusively for nonprofit board members, CEOs, and senior development officers

Backed by compelling research involving thousands of fundraisers, board members, CEOs and donors, Burk will demonstrate how board members can raise money and build relationships while engaging in activities they do best. As a result, donors agree their philanthropy is unleashed at a whole new level. Burk will reveal how nonprofits can bring staff attrition under control, demonstrate techniques to retain high-performing fundraisers, and talk about ways in which board members and staff can work together to effectively raise more money. Attendees will receive a free copy of her book "Donor-Centered Leadership". 


Become a sponsor

To become a sponsor, please download our sponsorship form (PDF).For program ad specifications, please download our ad sponsorship guidelines (PDF).

Sponsorship levels


  • Registration for 12 attendees (both days)
  • Six guests invited to private social with Penelope Burk
  • Introduction of Penelope Burk at podium
  • Recognition on all event signage, website, full page ad and logo placement in program
  • Table signage 
  • E-vite recognition


  • Registration for six attendees (Donor-Centered Boards)
  • Two guests invited to private social with Penelope Burk
  • Recognition on all event signage, website, full page ad and logo placement in program
  • Table signage


  • Registration for six attendees (Donor-Centered Boards)
  • Recognition on website, half page ad in program and logo
  • Table signage


  • Registration for six attendees (Donor-Centered Boards)
  • Quarter page ad in program and logo
  • Table signage

Meet our guest speaker

Penelope Burk

Penelope Burk

Author, trainer, presenter and president of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

Penelope Burk has over 40 years of experience in not-for-profit management, fundraising, and research. A native of Montreal, Canada, Penelope began her professional career in market research, public relations and fundraising, becoming known as a “turn-around specialist” who advocates innovative, solutions to improve revenue and institutional performance.

Penelope and her company, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc., are known for their leading-edge research with donors and their skill in helping clients adapt their fundraising operations to reflect donors’ changing needs and preferences.

Penelope’s innovative work, her advocacy for donors, and her passion for the philanthropic spirit led, in 2003, to the publication of her second book, “Donor-Centered Fundraising.” This best-selling text established her as the industry's foremost authority on fundraising research, training and strategic planning based on the principles of donor-centered fundraising. The book is the only statistically-based research ever published on the effect of meaningful communication on donor retention and gift value.

Last year, Penelope published “Donor-Centered Leadership”, which focuses on making more money by building and sustaining a high performance staff/volunteer team in fundraising. Informed by five years of research with 12,000 professional fundraisers, CEOs, board members and donors, “Donor-Centered Leadership” tackles one of the most frustrating and costly problems in fundraising (and in business) today -- the high turnover rate of staff. The book has been hailed as "timely, transformational and totally essential".

Penelope authors the industry-acclaimed Cygnus Donor Survey that investigates how donors are changing the ways in which they give and how fundraisers can raise more money in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Penelope Burk is a highly sought-after educator and public speaker whose training sessions and forums are widely acclaimed as unique, engaging and among the most effective in the third sector. She has written more than 60 seminars, training programs and dramatic plays, all written specifically for not-for-profit organizations.



8:30 - 3 p.m.

8:30 - 9 a.m.
Breakfast and Registration

9 - 9:10 a.m.
Welcome and Speaker Introduction

Dennis E. Noll, chief executive officer, San Antonio Area Foundation

9:10 - 10:15 a.m.
Donor - Centered Boards Part 1

Penelope Burk, author, trainer, presenter and president, Cygnus Applied Research, Inc.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.

10:30 - a.m. - 12 p.m.
Donor - Centered Boards Part 2

Penelope Burk

12 - 1 p.m.

1 - 2:50 p.m.
Donor - Centered Boards Part 3

Penelope Burk

2:50 - 3 p.m.
Wrap-Up and Adjourn

Rosemary Puente, board chair, Masters Leadership Program Alumni Association

Parking Details

For both events, please park in the Brackenridge Parking Garage located on Avenue B. Download map

303 Pearl Parkway, Suite 114
San Antonio, TX 78215

The San Antonio Area Foundation helps donors achieve their charitable goals for the greater benefit of the community.

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