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A Conversation with Funders - In-Person Event

  • Tuesday, June 06, 2023
  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Virginia War Memorial
  • 0


  • For VAFRE members who are planning to attend in-person at the Virginia War Memorial.
  • For individuals who are not personally members of VAFRE but whose organization has one or more paid members, or who are guests of a VAFRE member, and who are planning to attend in-person at the Virginia War Memorial.
  • For those nonmembers who wish to attend in-person at the Virginia War Memorial
  • For VAFRE members who have purchased a 2022-2023 Season Pass
  • For the complimentary guest of a Season Pass holder. This registration type is only available once per year per Season Pass holder. E-mail for the registration code.
  • For VAFRE members who have purchased a 2022-2023 Virtual Season Pass and wish to attend this program in person.

Registration is closed

Our Program

As development officers, we know that the funding landscape has changed since the pandemic began, but what do funders think about it? In our June program, we will hear from representatives of local funders on their perspectives about how the pandemic has changed funding priorities, collaborative funding, power dynamics between funders and organizations, and much more. For this discussion, we welcome Scott Blackwell of the Community Foundation and Katie Fessler of Altria’s Corporate Citizenship team. The two will weigh in on a series of questions aimed at getting their take on today’s philanthropic climate, offering perspective from the private foundation and corporate community investment lenses. Join us for this dynamic conversation and be sure to come ready with your questions!

CFRE credit applied for.

Our Presenters

Since 2017, Scott Blackwell has been the Chief Community Impact Officer, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond. In addition to leading the Foundation’s Community Impact Team, he oversees the development and implementation of community impact and grantmaking strategies. He collaborates with regional leaders to facilitate community conversations and identify local needs and funding opportunities. His work fosters valuable partnerships between public and private groups who are interested in creating long-term, sustainable change in our community. Prior to The Community Foundation, Scott has also worked at companies such as Owens & Minor, Inc, Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., and Williams Mullen. In the Community, Scott serves on the boards of Thrive Birth to Five, SOAR 365, and Virginia Funder’s Network where he is also the Conference Chair. Scott is a proud graduate of University of Virginia, Cornell University - HR Executive Development Program, LEAD VA and Leadership Metro Richmond, where he served as Chair of the Board and received 2008 LMR Community Servant Leader Award.

As the Senior Director of Community Impact & Corporate Citizenship with Altria, Kathryn Fessler directs the Altria family of companies’ strategies and activities in corporate philanthropy, community relations and employee community action. In past roles at Altria, Katie has managed corporate giving portfolios in national and local youth development, education, arts and culture, and civic and employee community engagement, and has led Inclusion & Diversity strategy for the enterprise. Prior to joining Altria, Katie served as vice president and community affairs director for Wachovia Securities, director of the ArtsFund for the Arts Council of Richmond, director of development for the Richmond Symphony, and corporate philanthropy officer for Dominion Energy. A Phi Beta Kappa alumna of the University of Richmond, Katie is a member of the Corporate Citizenship Leadership Council of the Conference Board, the Greater Washington Partnership Leadership Council, the GO Virginia Region 4 Leadership Council and the Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation board of trustees. In her community, she serves on the board of directors of the School for the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) and enjoys writing poetry and performing as a choral musician. She is an alumna of LEAD Virginia, Leadership Metro Richmond, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ LGBTQ Executive Leadership Program and is certified in Corporate Citizenship Management by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship.

Important Statement on COVID Protocols

For the safety of all of our members and guests, VAFRE strongly encourages all individuals attending our programs in-person to be vaccinated. Virtual registration is available for those who are not vaccinated or who do not feel comfortable meeting in person.

In-person registration is currently limited to 80. Masks are optional, but are encouraged. Box lunches will be available for in-person registrants at the beginning of the program to eat on-site or take with you.

Our Schedule

  • 11:30 a.m. In-person Registration begins
  • 12 p.m. Annual Meeting and Program begins
  • 1:30 p.m. Adjourn

Registration Fees

  • In-person registration is $20 for members ($0 for those with a Season Pass or $12 for those with a Virtual Season Pass), $25 for nonmembers who work at a member organization, and $30 for guests. All in-person registrants should select their meal during the registration process.
  • Virtual registration is $8 for members ($0 for those with a Virtual Season Pass), $11 for nonmembers who work at a member organization and $15 for nonmembers. The virtual registration fees help support the technology costs associated with offering a hybrid event.

If you are not a VAFRE member and do nor work in the office of a VAFRE member, consider becoming a member of VAFRE in order to access reduced registration fees.

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