Penelope Burk

Penelope Burk is a renowned author, speaker, and fundraising futurist. Her keynote speeches and training sessions are legendary in the fundraising industry. She is known for her clarity and humor and for tailoring every address to the needs of the audience in front of her.

Penelope Burk has over forty 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.

Recently, 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 Burk 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 sixty seminars, training programs and dramatic plays, all written specifically for not-for-profit organizations.




Penelope’s Tuesday Sessions:

Leadership Forum Breakfast: The Donor-Centered Board with Penelope Burk

Leadership Forum Breakfast
Tuesday, April 11th
7:00am – 8:30am

The leadership forum (Tuesday breakfast) is designed for board members and senior staff. It is an opportunity to learn together. Because nonprofit board members may not have time to attend the entire conference, this forum is offered as a separate event –you can attend just this one event or combine it with a full conference registration. In either case, with her engaging and energizing style, Penelope Burk will give nonprofit leaders an inspiring start to the day.

7:00am – 8:30am –  (optional, additional cost – can be added during registration)

The Donor-Centered Board

The Donor-Centered Board is a practical remedy for Boards of Directors that are under-engaged in fundraising or focusing their time and energy in less productive directions. Led by renowned author and trainer, Penelope Burk, this interactive forum demonstrates how any Board or individual member can have a profound impact on the bottom line by engaging in activities that are both appealing and rewarding. The Donor-Centered Board builds confidence among the team while demonstrating how the Board, CEO and Development staff – despite their varied responsibilities – are all essential to fundraising success.

Presented by Penelope Burk

Please note:

Registration fee: $20 per person
There are no early bird or group discounts available.
Conference attendance is not required to attend this event.
A separate registration/fee is required for this event.
The fee includes the cost of breakfast.

Donor-Centered Fundraising

Today’s fundraising practices and beliefs were developed in a time when donors were less demanding, competition was less severe, and fundraisers could rely on an unlimited supply of people who were willing to give. Now, wealth is shifting to a new kind of donor who is more questioning and harder to reach, the number of organizations raising money has exploded, and donors are trending towards supporting fewer causes. Find out how decision-making staff and volunteers can capitalize on these new market trends.

In Penelope Burk’s forward thinking and interactive seminar, you’ll learn about her breakthrough strategy, and how you can use it to augment your existing development programs and retain donors longer.

Presented by Penelope Burk.