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Northeast Wisconsin's National Philanthropy Day Celebration
Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

We're going virtual! As you can imagine, we have decided to shift our event from in-person to digital, but we will still celebrate together. As the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, we still want to take time out of our busy days to recognize the incredible contributions of philanthropy and the people who remain diligent in the philanthropic community.

Our 2020 National Philanthropy Day Awards Celebration will honor outstanding philanthropists who shape our communities and give with a generous heart. We will also hear from a panel of respected representatives across multiple sectors to gain insight into how their organizations continue to adapt to the changing landscape in 2020 and beyond.


8:30 a.m.   Networking

9:00 a.m.   Welcome

9:15 a.m.   2020 Awards Celebration

9:45 a.m.   Break

10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion: Pushing Through a Crisis and Beyond

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m. Panel Q&A

11:55 a.m. Closing Remarks

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Registration is now open! The deadline is Tuesday, November 17.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Pushing Through a Crisis and Beyond

Whether it was due to the novel coronavirus or addressing social injustices, this year has turned our world upside down and caused a dramatic shift in how we are operating in nearly every industry. Nonetheless, as fearless fundraisers, we have had to adapt and move forward into the “new normal.” But how? Have you had to shift your mission? What were the financial implications? What should fundraising look like now? Are in-person events a thing of the past? How do you work leaner and do more with less? What does hiring look like now? What happens to your volunteers? Hear from area representatives across multiple sectors to gain insight on how their organizations continue to adapt to the changing landscape in 2020, how they are preparing to move forward and how you can too.

Meet Our Panelists & Moderator


  • Jodie Larsen, Vice President, Community Engagement, Oshkosh Corporation

  • Cathy Mutschler, Vice President, Community Relations, Community First Credit Union     

  • Jeff Vande Leest, President & CEO, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin

  • Greg Vandenberg, Director of Giving and Community Engagement, U.S. Venture, Inc.

  • Maria Van Laanen, President, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center



  • Denise Thomas, President/Owner, The Effective Communication Coach


Each year at NPD we honor outstanding philanthropists who shape our communities and give with a generous heart.  This year's honorees will be announced soon in the following categories. Please visit our NPD Honorees' page to see our past recipients.

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2020 Recipient: Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout

Nominated by: Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, McPherson Eye Research Institute, PBS Wisconsin, and the Trout Museum of Art

Presented to an individual or family, either in honor or memory, who is recognized widely as a community philanthropist and has a long and proven record of making a significant impact in the community through financial support, volunteerism, or leadership for a variety of organizations.

Blurry Lights


2020 Recipient: Claudine and Jim Happel

Nominated by: Appleton West High School and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin

Presented to an individual or family who has demonstrated exceptional generosity through direct financial support, outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles on a local, national, or international level.

Colorful Bubbles


2020 Recipient: Joseph Scala

Nominated by: American Cancer Society

Presented to an individual or couple who has demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for major fundraising projects and is recognized for sharing their time and talents with area non-profit organizations.

Warm Lights


2020 Recipient: Thrivent Foundation

Nominated by: Fox Valley Technical College

Presented to a corporation or its corporate foundation that has demonstrated outstanding commitment through financial support, and through encouragement and motivation of others to take leadership roles toward philanthropy and community involvement.



2020 Recipient: Tracy Arndt

Nominated by: Encompass

Presented to an individual fundraising professional who practices his/her profession in an exemplary manner. The recipient must have at least five years of professional fundraising experience, evidence of quality of leadership and being a team player, a commitment to continuing professional development, and commitment to fundraising and philanthropy through volunteer service and financial support of non-profit organizations.


Thank you to our generous sponsors who help make National Philanthropy Day possible.

Presenting Sponsors
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Awards Sponsor
Panel Sponsors

Oshkosh Corporation

ThedaCare Family of Foundations

Chapter Program Sponsor

Appleton Group, LLC

Friends of AFP Northeast Wisconsin

O'Connor Connective


There are many opportunities to get involved and show your support of philanthropy in our community. Please contact Liz Wollenberg, our National Philanthropy Day Co-Chair with any questions.

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