Foundations Panel Discussion (evening event from 5:30-7:30 pm)

About Our Session

Our esteemed Fairfield County panel of foundation board representatives explains to the AFP membership and guests what they look for when deciding which nonprofits they wish to partner with and fund.  Discussion will include:

  • Foundations’ current funding priorities and types of funding (general support, project, capital, etc.)
  • Foundations’ application process and what information is required, i.e., a Letter of Inquiry first, a formal application, an online application, etc.
  • Which important elements do foundations look for in a charity—innovative projects, new organizations, etc.
  • What the foundations prefer to see in grants regarding organizational and project outcomes/outputs.
  • Expectations regarding project budgets and other financial information.

Eileen Wiseman

Eileen Wiseman is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Tow Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s programs in higher education, journalism, medical innovation, and the arts. She is also involved in the foundation’s criminal justice work, especially when it intersects with organizations in her portfolio.  From 2009 – 2015, Eileen was the Director of Development at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, in a role that included community relations, non-theatre programming, board development, and strategic planning in addition to overseeing all aspects of fundraising. During her tenure, Long Wharf successfully completed a $4M capital campaign to renovate its mainstage space and lobby.  Before coming to Long Wharf, Eileen spent nine years as Artistic and Executive Director of the Westport Arts Center in Connecticut, producing music, visual arts, and conversation series and leading the organization through major changes including relocation, growth, and restructuring. She spent the earlier years of her career in New York City, working for organizations ranging from CBS Publications to the International Tennis Hall of Fame to The Big Apple Circus. She has served on review panels for the CT Commission on the Arts, Fairfield County Community Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Nancy von Euler

Nancy von Euler is Vice President of Programs at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.  Nancy joined the Foundation in 2008 to serve as the director of the Fund for Women and Girls. She served as Program Director, overseeing the grant making and community leadership for the Economic Opportunity and Health and Human Services priority areas before being named Vice President of Programs in February 2015.  Nancy also serves as the staff liaison to the Bridgeport Public Housing Resident Support Fund at the Community Foundation, a donor-advised fund set up to benefit residents of Bridgeport public housing. Nancy serves on a number external committees and councils, including the Executive Committee of Opening Doors Fairfield County, the Advisory Council for the Tow Youth Justice Institute, The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, and the steering committee of HomeCT.

Nancy brings more than 25 years of experience in program development, grant making, and grants management in the public and nonprofit sectors. Nancy graduated with honors from Vassar College, where she earned a B.A. in Urban Studies.  She also holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, where she was a Dean’s Scholar and the recipient of the Major Raymond A. Lepesqueur Award.

Heather Pontonio

Heather Pontonio is the Art Program Director at the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation (EHTF) where she has worked since April 2012.  Heather oversees the national Art program portfolio focused on professional practices for both artists and contemporary art curators.  EHTF’s signature grant programs include Marketplace Empowerment for Artists (MEA) and the prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award.   She has been instrumental in launching Artists Thrive, a field-wide tool to assesses and improve conditions for artists across the country, and in November 2017 will oversee a year-long online periodical that features stories from the Exhibition Award archive as a discussion platform for the progressive advancement of contemporary art.

Prior to the Tremaine Foundation she was the Associate Vice President of Grants at the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and began her career in New York City at the Little Orchestra Society, Irish Repertory Theatre and Cherry Lane Theatre.  Heather currently serves on the Grantmakers in the Arts’ Support for Individual Artists Committee and is Board President for the Bethel Education Foundation.  She was a 2015 P.L.A.C.E.S. fellow with The Funders’ Network. Heather has a master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in Arts Administration from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Moderated by Anne Tack, Tack Writers

Anne Tack founded Tack Writers in order to use her writing skills to make a difference in the world. She and her distinguished authors and journalists –grant writers– raise millions of dollars each year for partner nonprofits in Connecticut, and throughout the country and world.

Tack Writers client list includes; the United Nations Association and other NGOs; the Mount Sinai hospital system in Manhattan and other hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and the US; The National Medical Association; public libraries; 24 senior centers; 42 home health care agencies, hospices and adult day care centers; several large youth afterschool and summer camp programs; The Prostate Net cancer charity in Barcelona, Spain; and, other underserved groups – large and small.

Anne’s dedication to philanthropy and improving our world is reflected as well in her work at home, where she is an active volunteer in AFP-Fairfield County and other non-profits. She co-founded the Cinderella Project, which provides thousands of prom dresses each year for high school girls living in the poorest Congressional district in our country (in the south Bronx). Anne also works with other nonprofits that care for children and education, seniors and the disabled, public health and nutrition causes, art, women’s issues, the environment and sustainable agriculture.


The Fairfield County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will hold this educational program on Thursday, September 28 from 5:30pm-7:30pm at The Norwalk Inn & Conference Center, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT.  Registration/networking opens at 5:30pm, and the meeting begins promptly at 6:00.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

A BENEFIT for all AFP-Fairfield County Chapter Members!
We encourage you to invite a prospective member
to an AFP educational program at a special rate of $40.
*Reservations can be made online by the guest, but the Member must attend the event.
Walk-in guests will not qualify for special rate.
Guests may only receive a special guest rate one time.

  • We accept checks, and online credit card payments. If you wish to register online using your credit card, click here for the link 

  • Make check payable to “AFP-FC” and mail to:Marianne Hickey, 29 Black Alder Lane, Wilton, CT  06897

*Payment is appreciated in advance

*Anyone who has made a reservation and cannot attend must cancel by 12 pm on the Wednesday preceding the event. If no cancellation has been received, there will be no refund or carry over of the fee. If pre-payment has not been made and no cancellation has been received by 12 pm on Wednesday, that person will be billed for the amount due for the event.

CFRE Credits

You earn 1.5 CFRE credits toward certification for this event. For more information about CFRE certification, please visit:


We thank the following 2017 Sponsors

for making our Programs available:

January 12, 2017 Members Roundtable

MSP Cultivate is a New Canaan based strategic marketing agency specializing in enhancing nonprofit organizations’ mission-driven communication. Our mission is to use the latest in technology, creative services, and production methods to help you accomplish your most fundamental goal: engaging and connecting with your constituents, and helping raise money. We work with multi-hospital healthcare networks, colleges, and a variety of nonprofits. Our strategies increase donation returns on development dollars spent. The result of MSP’s partnerships has helped organizations improve donor retention, increase participation rates, and total dollars raised. Our team professionals bring the experience of veteran fundraising specialists, digital marketing experts, database gurus, and creative artists.

Nils Morgan
MSP Cultivate
65 Locust Avenue, New Canaan, CT

February 2, 2017 Luncheon

TANGO is a community of non-profit organizations that leverages its collective clout to create a platform on which socially responsible companies can deliver support that drives innovation, fiscal responsibility and mission advancement. By banding together, we have changed the way business is done.  Our collective purchasing power drives a better deal – beyond the “non-profit rate” our members benefit from the sharing of intellectual capital, best business practices, peer-to peer engagement and the untold benefits of being a part of a community that “gets it.”

Rollin Schuster, Founder & President
Laura Hurlbirt, Associate Director

March 2, 2017 Members Roundtable

Russo logo for site

Russo & Associates, LLC, Attorneys at Law has been serving clients in Fairfield County for over ten years.  Our main focus is in the area of Real Estate Property, Small Business and Probate matters.  We help our clients with both transactions and litigation matters in each of these areas.

Our lawyers have a breadth of experience to help you no matter what your challenge: whether it’s buying a home or settling a lawsuit with your neighbor over a common border fence.  Many small businesses rely on our expertise when they’re first starting out, restructuring or when they find themselves in a Court dispute.  Though the most sensitive and compassionate work we do is helping families probate the estate of a loved one or setup a conservatorship to help a family member in crisis.

Robert D. Russo, Attorney

Offices in Southport and Darien

April 27, 2017 Breakfast

BlumShapiro is the largest regional business advisory firm based in New England providing accounting, tax and business consulting services. We serve our clients from offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

We serve as your business advisors, helping you solve challenges and maximize opportunities. Drawing upon our breadth and depth of experience in our primary service areas — non-profit organizations and educational institutions, privately held businesses and government entities — we strategically tailor and consistently deliver tested solutions for unlocking the full potential of your organization. Our highly valued team members bring their diverse backgrounds and strengths to the table resulting in you receiving a true blend of national firm experience and local firm delivery. Our team shares a common passion: a personal commitment to each client’s success as well as to the communities in which we live and work.

The firm has long been an active citizen in our community and is a proud contributor to and sponsor of over 300 charitable, arts and civic organizations.  Partners and staff donate time serving as board members and in top leadership roles in over 200 organizations.

Patrick T. Dunleavey, CPA
Audit Manager, Non-Profit
2 Enterprise Drive, Shelton, CT  06484
Direct  203.944.8653      Fax  203.712.1453
Cell 203.218.1251    Toll-Free 800.529.9295

May 17, 2017 Members Roundtable

Vantage in Philanthropy, Inc. is a full service fundraising consulting firm dedicated to nonprofits in the fields of education and youth programs, services for people with disabilities, environmental conservation, and the arts and historic preservation.  Celebrating the ten year anniversary of our firm, Vantage in Philanthropy is headquartered in Newport, RI with offices in Fairfield, CT and Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Our specialties include capital and endowment campaigns,  annual appeals and major gift programs, foundation grantwriting, feasibility studies, as well as donor prospect research and media relations.

Visit or contact David Guertin, President, at 401-619-3990 or

Vantage in Philanthropy, Inc.
69 Warwick Avenue, Fairfield, CT 06825

June 1, 2017 Breakfast


Dylewsky, Goldberg & Brenner, LLC
 was founded approximately twenty five years ago by certified public accountants committed to providing the highest quality services to not-for-profit organizations, individual taxpayers, business owners and their businesses. We believe that attentive, personal service is the basis for a successful accountant-client relationship. We view this professional bond as an ongoing commitment to our clients’ financial, management, and tax matters – not merely an examination of data. Our dedicated staff of qualified professionals is committed to providing you with diverse services and benefits.

Our experience with not-for-profit organizations is extensive and up-to-date as it is a significant practice area for our firm.  We have two offices to serve our clients throughout the tri-state area in Stamford, CT and Westport, CT.

For more information, please contact Scott M. Brenner, CPA at 203-975-8830 or 

December 7, 2017 Annual Meeting and Luncheon

CompuMail has provided marketing communication services for over 25 years, specializing in dataprocessing; graphic design services; digital, offset, and thermographic printing; purl, gurl and QR code development; direct mail services and more – all in our facility in central Connecticut. Whether it is printing your business cards or developing and managing your fundraising campaign, we engage industry leading technologies in order to bring our clients the best products and results.

Call us today to address any of your marketing or fundraising needs!