Center for Nonprofit Advancement's National Nonprofit Leadership Conference

April 21, 2016

John Lehr, President at OAI, will be presenting on Establishing a Culture of Philanthropy at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's National Nonprofit Leadership Conference in McLean, VA.  

34th Annual NAYDO Conference on YMCA Philanthropy

April 8, 2016

Craig Shelley, Vice President at OAI, presented on Engaging Your Board in Leading a Philanthropic Culture at the 34th Annual NAYDO Conference on YMCA Philanthropy in Detroit, MI.   

New York Nonprofit Media's Nonprofit FundCon

March 16, 2016

Steve Orr, Managing Partner at OAI, moderated a panel on A Fundraising Mindset: The Importance of Focused, Goal-Driven Thinking at the New York Nonprofit Media's Nonprofit FundCon event in New York, NY.

Making the Most of Your Board Webinar Series
March 11, 18, 25, 2015

Seventy-five percent of executive directors recently polled called their board member engagement "insufficient." Recruiting the right board members, keeping them focused on fundraising goals, and ensuring they stay engaged are crucial to the success and growth of any nonprofit.  OAI's team of fundraising experts led a three-part series that demonstrated how nonprofit leaders can ensure they are building and capitalizing on the power of their boards. Using our experience leading and working alongside some of America's most-admired nonprofits, we provide attendees with the tools and resources to develop your board into one that will provide you with strategic support and will lead you to financial security.  Session One focused on board recruitment, Session Two focused on Best Practices for Onboarding and Engaging Board Members, and Session Three focused on Involving Your Board in Fundraising.  To view a recording of these webinars, click here.

CASE District II Annual Conference:  Monumental Shifts
February 1-3, 2015
Washington, DC

OAI's Senior Consultant, Kathleen Loehr, and Vice President, Strategy, Sarah Sullivan led a session on Women’s Philanthropy Will Increase Your Results during the CASE District II Annual Conference.  The session discussed  the process of assessing women’s relationship with your school and the steps to design and implement a strategy for deepening their relationship which is essential to grow their philanthropy.   OAI's Senior Consultant led a session on Preparing for an Endowment Campaign, addressing how to prepare for an endowment campaign.  Using the Holton-Arms School’s $40M comprehensive endowment campaign as a case study, Dick's session provided a solid understanding of the necessary preconditions to launch an endowment campaign, the cultivation steps for different constituencies, as well as the intended impacts on annual and planned giving support.

How to Create a Mid-Level Donor Program
December 3, 2014
Foundation Center, Washington, DC

During an interactive session at the Foundation Center in Washington, DC, OAI's Senior Consultant, Emma Kieran, led an interactive discussion on how to build the components of a successful mid-level donor program.

The New Realities of Major Gift Fundraising
November 4, 2014
Foundation Center, New York, NY

During an interactive session at the Foundation Center in New York, OAI's Vice President, Fundraising and Development, Kelly Dunphy, led a discussion on how to build the components of a successful major gift program, including a donor-centric approach, a fundraising plan, a case for support that demonstrates impact, committed staff and volunteers, and a winning “ask”.   Attendees left with strategies for how to create or refine a major giving strategy so that they could increase giving from those donors who can have the greatest impact on their mission.

 Capital Campaigns: From Readiness to Implementation
August 21, 2014
Foundation Center, New York, NY

During an interactive session at the Foundation Center in New York, OAI's Senior Consultant, Emma Kieran, discussed the most important components of campaigns, including how to determine your organization's readiness for capital fundraising, how to plan a capital campaign with confidence, and how to integrate a campaign into your development program.  Attendees left with the essential tools for assessing their organization's readiness for a campaign, as well as tips and best practices for planning and implementation.

Increasing Women's Engagement and Philanthropy
July 8, 2014
Foundation Center, New York, NY

During an interactive session at the Foundation Center in New York, OAI's Senior Director of Strategy, Sarah Sullivan, explained how to start the process of assessing women’s relationships with their organizations and the steps needed to design and implement a strategy for deepening relationships with organizations. Sarah provided a toolkit of best practices for developing a strategy that would successfully engage women and set them on a path to be a major donor in the future.

Engaging Young Leaders to Create a Pipeline of Donors for the Future
May 20, 2014
Foundation Center, New York, NY

During an interactive session at the Foundation Center in New York, OAI's Vice President, Fundraising and Development, Kelly Dunphy described how to create a donor strategy for young leaders in ways that will have a long term impact, including connecting them to your mission, providing opportunities that match their social interests, and providing hands-on ways to get involved in your nonprofit’s cause. 

Overcoming Your Less Than Perfect Board
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Webinar Hosted by GuideStar Webinar

OAI Managing Partner, Steve Orr, and OAI Vice President, Fundraising and Development, Kelly Dunphy, addressed the issue of improving nonprofit boards to keep them engaged and focused on fundraising.  They provided anecdotes to guide listeners on how to improve the board structures that create the largest issues including a founder's board; a board reluctant to change; anda board recruited without performance expectations or a job description. To view a recording of this webinar, click here.

Filling the Gap When You Have a Vacant Leadership Position
December 11, 2013
Webinar Hosted by GuideStar
OAI Managing Partner, Steve Orr, and OAI Vice President, Fundraising and Development, Emma Kieran, addressed the issue of turnover and leadership gaps at the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Development Officer positions at nonprofits.  They offered justifications and pros and cons or each of the three practical solutions: hiring staff, using staff interim, and using consultants -- for both short- and long-term solutions.  To view a recording of this webinar, click here.

Developing a Gala Strategy for Fundraising Success
November 22, 2013
Foundation Center, New York, NY

During an interactive session at a packed room at the Foundation Center in New York, OAI's Director, Juliana Sloper reviewed the essential ingredients for a successful gala, including board involvement; connections to business leaders and other wealthy individuals; a great story that will resonate with prospective donors; and experienced gala managers who can provide direction, fundraising expertise, cost containment, and production capability. She also worked through with her audience the process of developing a strategy for a successful gala. 

Women’s Philanthropy Programs: Working Toward "WP 3.0" 

November 4-5, 2013
Program co-hosted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education

OAI's Managing Director, Kathleen Loehr, co-chaired a conference focused on why an intentional approach to engaging and empowering women in philanthropy is critical today. The conference was composed ofa  mix of presentations and lively, interactive sessions that highlighted effective strategies and practical processes to use in developing standalone programs or integrating tactics into existing fundraising plans; discussed techniques for working effectively with female donors; and demonstrated the impact of such efforts through practical application.

Fundraising & the Female Donor
September 12, 2013
Webinar Hosted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy

Hundreds joined a webinar with OAI Managing Director, Kathleen Loehr, and Beth Mann, Associate Vice President at the Jewish Federations of North America as they discussed the changing demographic -- shifting power to the women who are now in control of most households and most charitable giving. Today, women still are not asked to give to charities as often as men, and most charities rely on fundraising tactics preferred by men, even when soliciting female donors. The Chronicle of Philanthropy organized this webinar as an informative session on learning how to tap into this often overlooked group of supporters.  To view the presentation, please click here.

Building the Best Board for Your Needs
July 25, 2013
Foundation Center, New York, NY

Nonprofits face unprecedented pressures in our fast-changing world, including intense competition for funding, a higher demand for services every year, and an uncertain economy that can make planning difficult. Given these and other factors, effective board leadership is essential to help drive a nonprofit forward.

OAI's Managing Director Dick Walker explored techniques for building a powerful and engaged board of directors. During this interactive session, participants learned how to revitalize the engagement of current board members, and how to identify, recruit, and orient new members in order to build the best team for your nonprofit.  

Points of Light's Conference on Volunteering and Service
June 19-22, 2013
Washington, DC

The Conference on Volunteering and Service is the leading gathering of its kind, bringing together more than 5,000 service leaders to learn and cultivate new ideas for service, discuss the challenges we all face and work together to create solutions through the power of people.  OAI Managing Director Kathleen Loehr spoke as part of a panel on How Private Philanthropy and Volunteer Service Make a Difference in Disasters. 

Recruiting Corporate Professionals for Your Nonprofit Board
April 10, 2013
The Foundation Center
New York, NY

In the face of financial challenges, many nonprofits hope to add corporate professionals to their boards of directors, with the aim of increasing their access to diverse funding streams.  Executive directors and board members were invited to join a session to review the best practices for attracting philanthropic-minded corporate professionals to their boards. The expert panelists discussed how you can connect with corporate candidates who are committed to realizing your organization’s mission through fundraising, professional support, and the recruitment of other professionals for board service. To view the presentation, please click here.

Getting Board Members Involved in Fundraising: A Case Study
December 5, 2012
The Foundation Center
New York, NY

Persuading board members to take an active role in fundraising efforts can be a major goal for many nonprofits. During this seminar, Steve Orr and Wray Thorn of Youth, I.N.C. (Improving Nonprofits for Children) told the story of how they, as an executive director and a board co-president, worked together to greatly enhance the fundraising capabilities and results of their organization’s board of directors.  This session was moderated by OAI's Department Head, Strategy John Bauser.

Click here for a summary video from the seminar.

Strong Boards for Challenging Times

October 10, 2012
Deloitte Global Office
New York, NY

Hosted by Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI). 

In partnership with the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York and GuideStar.

Sponsored by Deloitte, Wilmington Trust and Windels Marx LLP.

Click here for a summary video from the seminar.

Click here for a summary article from the seminar.


“We were very proud to partner with you on such an important event for [the] nonprofit community.  We got consistently good feedback on the event from our Board members who attended as well as many of our member nonprofits.”

--Michael Clark, President, Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York











Keynote Presentation 

Richard R. Buery, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Children's Aid Society

Richard discussed his experiences engaging the Boards of the nonprofit organizations he leads and provided recommendations to CEOs and Board members for motivating their leaders to help move their organization's mission forward.  












Panel Discussion 


Sol Adler
Executive Director, 92nd Street Y

Robert L. Friedman
Board President, New Alternatives for Children

Bob Ottenhoff
President Emiritus, GuideStar


Stephen K. Orr
Managing Partner and Co-Founder, 
Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)


Breakout Sessions

Creating a Fundraising Board:

Kelly Dunphy
Department Head, Development, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI) 

Emma Kieran
Department Head, Development, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)


The New Normal: Building Operating Reserves, Rethinking Endowment Draws,
Supporting Your Strategic Plan:

Don Michael Randel
President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


Waddell W. Stillman
President, Historic Hudson Valley; Treasurer, St. James Church

Kathryn D. Karlic
Group Vice President, Institutional Investment Management, Wilmington Trust



Corporate Governance Issues Impacting Corporate Mission:

Michael Moriarty
Member of the Executive Committee, Chairman of the Corporate Department, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf




Leadership on the Line: 
Sourcing and Motivating a Dynamic Board

September 25, 2012
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Hosted by Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI), Leadership Greater Washington and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Sponsored by M&T Bank and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Click here for a summary video from the seminar.

Click here for a summary article from the seminar.













Keynote Presentation 

Donald E. Graham
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, The Washington Post Company

Don discussed how he engages the Board of District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP) and offered recommendations for motivating leaders of nonprofits to help move their organizations forward.  















Panel Discussion 


Carolyn Berkowitz
President, Capital One Foundation

Edward J. Grenier III
President and CEO, 
Junior Achievement of Greater Washington

Debbi Jarvis
Vice President, Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Pepco Holdings Inc.


Stephen K. Orr
Managing Partner and Co-Founder, 
Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)














Breakout Sessions

Board Fundraising Management:  Glen O'Gilvie, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Nonprofit Advancement

Board Recruitment Strategies: Kathleen E. Loehr, Managing Director, Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI)

Reporting Governance: Frank SmithTax Partner, RAFFA, P.C.




New Approaches to Strategic Planning

November 9, 2011
Bank of America / Merrill Lynch
Washington, DC

It is clear that during a time of economic uncertainty, the need for strategic planning and implementation strategies is greater than ever before.  On Wednesday, November 9, 2011, OAI co-hosted an event with Leadership Greater Washington, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  Entitled New Approaches to Strategic Planning, over 60 nonprofit staff and board members gathered to hear nonprofit CEOs, executive directors, and consultants reveal cutting edge approaches to strategic planning.

The event featured a keynote presentation by John Bauser, Department Head of Strategy at OAI who discussed the fall and rise of strategic planning. Following the keynote, breakout sessions were led by experts in their respective fields:

  • Turning Your Vision Into Reality: A Guide to Implementing Your Strategic Plan, led by Dick Walker, Managing Director, OAI
  • Strategic Plan Essentials: Six Components Every Strategic Plan Should Include, led by Sarah Sullivan, Director, OAI
  • Avoiding Strategic Planning Pitfalls: How to Plan for Your Next Strategic Plan, led by John Bauser, Department Head of Strategy, OAI

The event concluded with a panel discussion on nonprofit strategic planning experiences facilitated by Tim Kime, President and CEO of Leadership Greater Washington. Panelists included:

  • George Jones, Executive Director, Bread for the City
  • Linda Mathes, CEO, American Red Cross in the National Capital Area
  • Steve Orr, Founder and Executive Director, Youth, I.N.C.
  • Tamara Smith, CEO, YWCA National Capital Area

On behalf of OAI and Leadership Greater Washington, we would like to thank Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their generous sponsorship and all those who joined us for a successful and enlightening event.

To learn more about OAI’s upcoming forums and events, contact us today.  


 OAI and the Philanthropic Community

July 13, 2011
The World Bank
Washington, DC

More than 60 Washington-area non-profit leaders learned about the pitfalls and pluses of current philanthropy at a seminar hosted in early July by Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI).

The session was titled  “The R3 Conference: Recovery + Response=Revenue.” The main message was:

There is opportunity in down times, but only if non-profits manage wisely and only if they assign a larger role to strategic planning.

OAI Managing Director John Wm. Thomas conducted a breakout session on capital campaigns. Thomas stressed that campaigns can succeed despite the continuing after-effects of the recession. But he urged board chairs and development leaders to plan better before a campaign begins and to expect campaigns to run longer in order to meet their goals.

OAI Managing Director Dick Walker led another session on board development. Walker suggested veering away from conventional board candidates. He said many boards are doing more than asking members to attend a certain number of meetings a year. They are assigning specific responsibilities to members so the members remain involved.

John Bauser, OAI’s department head of strategy and development, ran a third session on strategic planning. Bauser called it “the indispensable piece” of any successful fund-raising campaign. He said that non-profit organizations have begun to do more strategic planning—and have begun to do it better—than many for-profit companies.

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty—now a Senior Consultant at OAI—headlined a panel discussion that offered specific advice on how and where to seek funds. Fenty said that, despite government budget cutbacks, non-profits can and should still seek partnerships with local mayors and councils.

Panelist Roger West, Managing Director at Price Waterhouse Coopers, said that long-term relationships—and not premature donation requests--are the key to winning his company’s support. West said that inviting a company such as PWC to donate employees’ time, rather than corporate money, is the best way to forge long-term cooperation.

Rose Ann Cleveland, Executive Director of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, said Cafritz would continue to offer more than minimum levels of basic operating support to local non-profits--even though other foundations are doing the opposite. She noted that many foundations stepped up giving to basic human services during the worst of the recession, both in the Washington area and elsewhere.

The R3 Conference was developed in partnership with Leadership Greater Washington and Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and was sponsored by M & T Bank.  OAI officials and sponsors said a similar program is being planned for July, 2012.   



 Additional past events and speaking engagements have included: 

  • Second Annual CEO Healthcare Forum:  On November 1, 2010 OAI hosted an evening exclusively designed for hospital CEOs to discuss critical managerial issues facing every hospital, including healthcare reform issues, the economic environment and philanthropic challenges, in an intimate and confidential setting.  Presented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the forum  featured keynote speakers Robert Musslewhite, CEO of The Advisory Board Company, Dr. Robert Kocher of McKinsey and Company and moderator Edwin K. Zechman, Jr., CEO of Children's National Medical Center. 
  • The Nonprofit Conference on Fundraising Development:  On September 23, 2010, OAI's Managing Director, Dick Walker, and Department Head of Strategy and Development, John Bauser, led the Executive Directors Forum which focused on the Executive Director's important role in providing the resources necessary to fund the organization's missions. 
  • A breakfast at The World Bank featuring keynote speaker Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institution.  Co-hosted by OAI, Leadership Greater Washington and The Center for Nonprofit Advancement and sponsored by BB&T Bank, the event addressed the challenges nonprofits face in this uncertain economic environment. 
  • A dinner forum sponsored by Goldman, Sachs & Co. at Café Milano in Georgetown.  The evening focused on effective strategies and tactics in attracting and securing major donors in the hospital space, and featured guest speaker Evan Jones of jVen Capital, LLC and moderator Edwin Zechman of Children’s National Medical Center.
  • A presentation with Leadership Greater Washington focused on how to manage a nonprofit organization in a difficult time at Leadership Greater Washington.
  • A luncheon meeting discussing what works and what to avoid for special events and fundraising at the Association Foundation Group.
  • A breakfast presentation co-sponsored by Merrill Lynch and Evergreen Investments on the impact of hosting an anniversary event at the Four Seasons Hotel.
  • A presentation with Mylestone Plans outlining the reporting requirements for nonprofit retirement savings plans, or 403(b) at the Four Seasons Hotel.
  • A breakfast presentation with Argy, Wilts & Robinson, P.C. on new reporting requirements resulting from the newest version of the IRS 990 form.
  • A presentation with Leadership Greater Washington on Board Development and Board Management at Leadership Greater Washington.
  • A presentation with WashingtonFirst Bank and John Thomas, CEO of John Wm. Thomas Consulting, LLC, on Capital Campaigns at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.
  • A presentation with Trammell Crow Company and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman focused on understanding and responding to stepped up IRS enforcement efforts under Sarbanes-Oxley at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.


On January 18, 2017, OAI's Managing Partner Steve Orr moderated a panel discussion at the NY Nonprofit Media Board Convention, entitled: Strategic Planning as Collaboration between Staff and Board. The panel of speakers included:


VP of Business Development. DoSomething

Principal & CEO, Public Works Partners

Co-Founder and CEO. The THRIVE Network

Chief Operating Officer, Turkish Philanthropy Funds


The relationship between a nonprofit's board and its staff is so important that it can make or break an organization. A good working partnership can be a leading factor in success. The panel addressed the dynamic, ongoing learning process and the important of following a focused strategic plan based on ongoing board and staff alliance and on continuing to listen, design, and learn. The event was attended by more than 100 representatives from local and national nonprofits.

Children’s Law Center

CLC retained OAI to provide a high-level development assessment and fundraising assistance. 

Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities

"We've worked with OAI for many years now, and the longevity of our partnership is no accident.  They consistently provide a level of effort and excellence that, year after year, yields outstanding events."  -Mark Donovan, Vice Chairman, Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities