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208 South LaSalle, Suite 1540
 
Chicago, IL 60604
 
312-578-0090 Fax 312-578-0103
 
 
 
208 South LaSalle. Suite 1535
 
Chicago, IL 60604
 
312-578-0175 Fax 312-578-0158
 
 
  Phone 888-578-0090
  Fax 877-572-0106
 

Workshops

Delivered by experienced instructors, Donors Forum workshops offer tools, tips and resources on topics important to nonprofits. You can register online, or via fax or post -- just click the appropriate link next to each workshop.

go directly to online registration
search by date
get a registration form to fill out and register by fax
download the current workshop catalog

Nonprofit Workshops
Great Governance Series
Leadership Series
Peak Performance Series

"In Times Like These. . ." Workshops and Events on the Economy

One-on-One Clinic Time
Orientation to the Collection

Nonprofit Workshops
You'll find workshops on fundraising, best practice how-tos, strategic planning and evaluation.

ABCs of Capital Campaigns
9:30 am - 4 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Is your organization considering a capital campaign and wondering where to begin? This workshop will introduce the key elements for a successful capital campaign, including goals for each phase of the campaign, an effective gift policy and a detailed campaign timeline. Learn how your organization can plan a feasibility study and use the results to reach its fundraising potential. Topics:

  • Assess your organization's campaign readiness
  • Create a case statement
  • Develop an achievable plan
Thursday, June 25, 2009 (DF)

Consider also attending: Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors; Putting Evaluation to Work for You

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ABCs of Individual Giving
9:30 am - 4 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Did you know that 84 percent of all charitable donations come from individuals? This workshop outlines the successful strategies, skills and techniques needed to turn prospects into donors. Learn how to plan and implement an annual giving campaign – and when and how to solicit through direct mail and special events. This workshop will also help you tell your organization’s story in a compelling and inspiring way. Topics:

  • Prepare a case for support
  • Cultivate, motivate and retain donors
  • Methods of solicitation
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 (DF)
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors

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ABCs of Proposal Writing
9 am - 4:30 pm | $160 per person; $120 for Members, Associate Members and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Do your grant proposals need to be more effective? Ever wonder what makes a winning proposal? This introductory workshop will focus on how to position your organization for successful grantsmanship and prepare winning proposals to secure private foundation and corporate funding (government grants not included). Topics:

  • Essential elements of winning proposals
  • Proposal planning and conceptualization
  • Small group exercises and peer review
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 (DF) Tuesday, May 19, 2009 (DF)
Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (DF) Tuesday, June 23, 2009 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Individual Giving; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors

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Building Strategic Relationships with Corporations and Foundations
9 am - 4:30 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Would you like to build a comprehensive corporate and foundation relations program? Whether you're a novice or a veteran fundraiser, this workshop can help! Find out what it takes to build closer partnerships with your funders and achieve your fundraising goals. Each workshop features a panel of foundation and corporate leaders who will share their experiences and answer questions. This class builds on the concepts of the ABCs of Proposal Writing workshop. Topics:

  • Current trends in corporate and foundation grantmaking
  • Keys to successful relationships
  • Techniques in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship
Thursday, April 16, 2020 (DF)
Thursday, June 4, 2020 (DF)

This workshop is generously supported by TCF Bank.

Consider also attending: Putting Evaluation to Work for You; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors

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Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors
9:30 am - 4 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Wondering how to move donors up the giving pyramid? This workshop will teach the seven steps to securing a major gift. Learn how to cultivate prospective major donors, make the ask and motivate donors to give the maximum. These techniques will be practiced with solicitation training. Topics:

  • Difference between annual and major gifts
  • Strategies for successful face-to-face solicitations
  • How to motivate and recognize major donors
Thursday, March 5, 2009 (DF)
Thursday, May 7, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Building Strategic Relationships with Corporations and Foundations; ABCs of Individual Giving

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Diversify Funding Sources - NEW!
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
This new half-day workshop will focus on strategies for developing and maintaining the optimal funding mix for an organization. With a focus on individual donors, this class will also offer instruction in prospect research, cultivation, motivation, and retention.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; ABCs of Individual Giving; Well-Run Development Program

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Fundraising as Leadership - NEW!
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
In this interactive session, participants examine the parallels between fundraising and leadership as values-based, relationship-building processes that affect positive social change. Participants will:

  • Understand how to tap into the dynamic relationship between influential leadership, effective fundraising, and social change
  • Learn how to employ direct and indirect leadership to create a culture of fundraising at their organizations
  • Empower board, staff, volunteers, and donors to be fundraising leaders
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 (PC)

Consider also attending:ABCs of Proposal Writing; ABCs of Individual Giving; Well-Run Development Program

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Grantseeking Primer
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Corporate and foundation grants represent $1.49 billion in Illinois alone. You know your organization should be getting more of this resource, but where to begin? The Grantseeking Primer workshop offers an introduction to the terminology and resources you’ll need to find prospects, prepare and submit applications, and organize your grantseeking activities for maximum results. Topics:

  • Identifying and prioritizing prospective funders
  • The key elements of a grant proposal
  • What funders expect from nonprofits – before, during and after a grant
Friday, March 27, 2009 (NSPC)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; Building Strategic Relationships with Corporations and Foundations

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Putting Evaluation to Work for You
9 am - 3 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners |
REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Are funders asking you to evaluate your programs? Not sure where to start? This workshop will provide you with key terms, concepts and insight into how private funders think about and use evaluation. You can also use information gathered through evaluation to improve programs and better communicate about your good work. Topics:

  • How to design or improve your evaluation process
  • How to collect data on measurable indicators
  • Key elements of process evaluation and outcome evaluation
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; Building Strategic Relationships with Corporations and Foundations

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Raising Money for Smaller Organizations and Congregations
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Are you tired of operating on a shoestring budget? Could you help more people if your organization had more dependable income? Chicago author Joan Flanagan will share how even the smallest and newest organization can create a base of annual givers and major donors. Practice ways to motivate your volunteers to actually enjoy fundraising. Take home a foolproof system to make $28,000 in two weeks. Find out how to get started with your first team of ten volunteers. Any charity or congregation can discover how to raise unrestricted funds in ways that are consonant with the values of your organization.

Tuesday, April 14; 2009 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Individual Giving

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Results and Efficiency: Evaluating your Fundraising Program
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Learn how to assess your organization’s overall fundraising programs using a variety of metrics. Learn how to communicate the effectiveness of your fundraising activities to internal and external audiences. Gain practical skills in using fundraising results to establish goals and future strategies.
Topics include:

  • Why assess?
  • What to assess?
  • Specific assessment metrics
  • Industry standards
  • Building support for your evaluation program

Friday, April 10, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Well-Run Development Program; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors; ABC's of Captial Campaigns

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Strategic Restructuring: Benefits of Nonprofit Mergers and Partnerships | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
9 am - Noon (8:30 am coffee and networking) | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners
Is this a time for a new beginning for your organization? Difficult economic times call for alternative approaches to growing and stabilizing operations. One strategy that leaders are increasingly turning to is strategic restructuring, or nonprofit mergers and partnerships. This three-hour workshop will cover what you need to know about strategic restructuring for nonprofit organizations, including an overview of types of nonprofit partnerships, the pros and cons of each strategic restructuring model, the first steps in implementing a strategy, and the best resources for learning more about strategic restructuring.

The workshop instructor will be Jean Butzen, a Chicago-based consultant specializing in nonprofit strategic restructuring. Ms. Butzen is the former President of Lakefront Supportive Housing in Chicago, which in 2005 underwent a merger with Mercy Housing, Inc.

Who should attend? Executive Directors, Board Members, and Financial Officers of nonprofits that want to explore this strategy as a way to strengthen their organization.

Tuesday, March 24 (DF)

The Well-Run Development Program
9:30 am - 4 pm | $300 per person; $220 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Successful fundraisers know that a well-run development program has a diversified and balanced funding mix. Whether you're a new or experienced development professional, this two-day workshop presents the big picture perspective as well as the drilled-down approach to running a successful development program. Topics

  • Explore diversity in philanthropic revenue
  • Learn a total management approach to fundraising
  • Evaluating the fundraising program
  • Begin mapping your organization's development plan
Wednesday and Thursday, April 22-23 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors; Putting Evaluation to Work for You;
Results and Efficiency: Evaluating your Fundraising Program

This workshop is generously supported by Exelon.

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Great Governance Series
The Great Governance Series is designed to help nonprofit organizations strengthen the effectiveness of their boards of directors and develop board members into leaders. Each workshop will incorporate elements of the Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices, developed as part of Donors Forum's Preserving the Public Trust Initiative to help nonprofits become stronger and more effective. Each session will include a brief research-based presentation and facilitated group discussions with a strong focus on peer learning.

Registration is limited to CEOs, executive directors and board members of nonprofit organizations. Register as a team for the entire
Great Governance Series! Special two-person team fee: $195; $155 for Members, Associate Members and Forum Partners.

Leadership, Ethics and Independence: How to Recruit, Keep and Promote Great Board Members
Does your organization struggle with recruiting and keeping great board members? Learn the key strategies for recruiting the right board members for your organization. This session will also address board ethics as well as training and assessment tools for developing current board members into leaders. Topics:

  • Board recruitment techniques
  • Recommended code of ethics practices, including conflict of interest and confidentiality policies
  • Independence of board officers in their governance responsibilities
Please check back for upcoming dates.  

Consider also attending: Nonprofit Mission Impact; Best Practice How Tos

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Nonprofit Mission Impact: Performance Measurement
How can you determine if your organization is effective?
This workshop will give you the tools to review your mission, develop a long-range plan and monitor impact.
Learn how to analyze financial performance and measure program impacts for an overall understanding of effectiveness. Topics:

  • Role of board and staff in implementation of a strategic plan
  • Performance measurement and outcomes
  • Key financial performance indicators

Please check back for upcoming dates.

Consider also attending: Putting Evaluation to Work for You; Strategic Planning

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Leadership Series
Nonprofit CEOs/Executive Directors are expected to lead efficiently and effectively. The nonprofit leader is a visionary who is prepared to achieve the mission and goals of the organization, and knows how to build organizational capacity. Their leadership challenges the board to govern well, and motivates and invests in the professional development of staff. The Leadership Series will provide CEOs/Executive Directors, and those interested in becoming an executive director, tools and tips to prepare and manage for excellence.

Calling All CEOs/Executive Directors: How to Lead a Strong Fundraising Organization
9:30 am - 4 pm | $160 per person; $120 Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
Nonprofit CEOs/Executive Directors play a pivotal role in the success of their organization's fundraising efforts. They must serve as ambassador to prospects and donors, supervisor to development staff, and motivator to board members and volunteers.This day-long workshop gives experienced and emerging CEOs/Executive Directors new perspectives, creative ideas and practical tools for balancing the many roles they must play in promoting and supporting successful fundraising. This workshop is open exclusively to nonprofit chief executives.

 
Thursday, May 21, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: ABCs of Proposal Writing; Building Strategic Relationships with Major Donors; Putting Evaluation to Work for You;
Strategic Planning;
Incoming New Board Chairs

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The Next Step: Preparing Yourself for Nonprofit Leadership
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
If your sights are set on becoming a nonprofit CEO, how will you get there? What skills do you need to strengthen? What does the job entail in today’s nonprofit marketplace and, what could it like in the future? Is this something you really want to do? Join other nonprofit professionals on the leadership track for a hardnosed look at the CEO job…and how to prepare for it.
Topics include:

  • Current search committee trends
  • What boards want
  • What organizations need from the Executive Director
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Best Practice How Tos; Great Governance Series; Strategic Planning

This workshop is co-sponsored by The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network .

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Succession Planning: A Must-Have Blueprint for Smooth Executive Transitions
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
By 2010, two-thirds of the nation’s current nonprofit directors plan to retire or leave their positions. As the baby-boomers depart their leadership roles, there are concrete steps board memberscan take to ensure organizational continuity before, during and after the transition. In this half-day workshop, board members and chief executive officers will discuss the importance of this topic and the impact on your organization.
Topics include:

  • When is the right time to start succession planning?
  • Who initiates the conversation?
  • What are the different types of succession plans (strategic, defined departure, emergency)
  • What are the key steps in conducting the search?
  • What is the role of the board: how can outside assistance help the process?
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Incoming New Board Chairs; Great Governance Series; The Next Step; Best Practice How Tos

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Peak Performance Series
Learn how your organization's management can reach new heights! Geared toward nonprofit leaders, the Peak Performance Series workshops are led by nonprofit management and governance experts with years of experience in the field. This series will give your organization the essential information - including board leadership and strategic planning skills - it needs to achieve peak performance.

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Best Practice How-Tos
Make the best use of your leaders' time and energy. These how to discussions provide the implementation tools and step-by-step guides to make best practice a reality. Each session takes into account the special roles and responsibilities of the board and staff, but focuses intensively on only one area. You'll also have time to get your questions answered and hear from peers facing similar issues.

Attend these sessions to learn how to become more effective in managing and governing your organization, and learn practical, easy tips to implementing the Illinois Nonprofit Principles and Best Practices. At the conclusion of these sessions, participants will have an opportunity to sign-up for fee-based "clinic" time to address topics/issues specific to their organization.

Best Practice: How to Improve Board/CEO Relationships
The job descriptions are clear and the goals have been defined; the meetings are scheduled and tasks underway; but somehow, communications just aren't what they need to be. Learn how to head off frustrations before they occur, and get the most from your organization's leaders. From meeting agendas to committee structures to day-to-day communication strategies, join us to learn how your peers manage relationships, and get the templates and tools to do it effeciently.

Please check back for upcoming dates.

Consider also attending: Strategic Planning; Incoming Board Chairs; Great Governance Series

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Best Practice: How To Revisit Your Mission and Know When to Do It
Learn how to identify key transition points and other signals that it's time to revisit your mission. This workshop will cover how to use a mission review to move your organization to the next level of development. Participants will also pick up tips and strategies for internal review and for getting the most from consultant support.

Please check back for upcoming dates.

Incoming New Board Chairs: What to Expect and How to Prepare
8 - 10 am | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners;
Sign up for two or more sessions and pay $70 per person: $48 Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners (per session)
|
REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
You've cleared your calendar, taken a deep breath and said "yes" to serving as board chair. Now what?
Transitioning from old to new leadership offers challenges and opportuniti
es for everyone at an organization, especially the incoming chair.
If you are a new or incoming board chair, or an executive director building a relationship with a new chair, you won't want to miss this workshop.
Experienced board chairs for Chicago-area nonprofits will share lessons learned and tips for success. Topics:

  • Expectations, implicit and explicit, of the board chair
  • Boundaries a board chair should observe or set
  • Working with board leaders and staff
Friday, May 1, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Moving Beyond Compliance to Great Governance; Leadership, Ethics and Independence; Nonprofit Mission Impact; Calling All CEOs/Executive Directors: How to Lead a Strong Fundraising Organization; Best Practice How Tos

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Strategic Planning: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Your Organization's Road Map
9 am - noon | $90 per person; $64 Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners;
Sign up for two or more sessions and pay $70 per person: $48 Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners (per session)
|
REGISTER BY FAX
| REGISTER ONLINE
Undertaking and implementing a strategic plan will make your organization more effective at programming, operations and fundraising. You don�t need a big budget if board and staff are willing to divide up the tasks and follow a few proven steps. This workshop provides a road map to creating the plan that will guide your organization for thenext several years. With tips on essential components of strategic planning, evaluating progress, and involving stakeholders, this session also offers guidance from nonprofit leaders who understand the challenges and benefits of strategic planning. Topics:

  • Creating the team and assessing your organization
  • Making the best use of planning time
  • Knowing when and how to obtain outside help
Friday, June 5, 2020 (DF)

Consider also attending: Putting Evaluation to Work for You; Nonprofit Mission Impact; Best Practice How Tos

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"In Times Like These" Workshops and Events on the Economy

Panel Discussion with Leading Funders and Nonprofit Experts: Straight Talk About Partnerships, Mergers, and Other Kinds of Strategic Restructuring
9:30 am - 11:30 am (9 am coffee and networking) | $40 per person; $32 for Members, Associate Members, Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
During times like these, many nonprofits would benefit from what is called "strategic restructuring" -- partnerships, collaborations, and mergers. Through strategic restructuring, nonprofits are often better positioned to focus on their mission, to solve complex problems, and to build on community strengths to meet community needs. This presentation will explore various forms of strategic restructuring including sharing back-office operations, partnering in programming, and merging organizations. Panelists will offer insight into questions like these: How does an organization know if a merger is the right solution? What alternative partnerships should be considered? What do funders think about strategic restructuring and how they can help in the process?

Moderator: Valerie S. Lies, Donors Forum

Panelists:

Bruce Boyd, Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors
Jean Butzen,
Mission Plus Strategy
Richard Jones, Metropolitan Family Services
Trinita Logue, IFF
Terry Mazany, Chicago Community Trust

For background on the panelists and moderator, download this PDF.

Friday, February 27 (RU)

This event is generously sponsored by Bank of America.

Best Practices and Resources for Nonprofit Leaders
8:30 am - Noon (8 am registration, coffee, and networking) | free, although pre-registration is required | REGISTER VIA EMAIL
Donors Forum, in partnership with NPO Assist, a network of management support and technical assistance organizations in Illinois, will convene nonprofit leaders to discuss effective management and governance practices to apply during this distressed economy. Experienced nonprofit leaders from NPO Assist organizations will present top tips for nonprofits on:

  • Fundraising
  • Communications
  • Governance
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resources (staff and volunteer)
  • Advocacy

Presentations will provide an overview of each topic, offer practical tips and resources, and allow questions from participants. Presenting organizations include Arts & Business Council, Community Media Workshop, Donors Forum, and Executive Service Corps. Who should attend? Executive directors, board members, and management/leadership team members from nonprofits. Due to space constraints, attendance is limited to two people per organization, with a maximum capacity of 200. Email Marissa Filippo with questions.

Friday, March 6 (RU)

This program is generously sponsored by the McCormick Foundation.

One-on-One Clinic Time
Two-Hour Time Blocks | $275 per person; $200 for Members, Associate Members and Forum Partners | REGISTER BY FAX | REGISTER ONLINE
For many nonprofits, it can be a challenge to find just the right kind of support and expertise needed for a specific question, problem, or project. Workshops provide great insight into the big picture, but you are struggling with a very specific issue. And, entering into a full contract with a consultant provide help over a longer period of time, and you don't feel you need that right now.

Where do you turn for affordable, short-term, and project-specific advice, or to talk in confidence about an organizational challenge?

Donors Forum now offers Clinic Time, a two-hour time block with a professional who can help you. Sample topics might be:

  • We are announcing a new program. Is it something that might be covered in the media? Who should I contat, and how do I make sure our new program gets media attention?
  • We are doing strategic planning, and I need a SWOT analysis. How do I identify our specific strengths and weaknesses?
  • I am a development director, and want to try a new approach to individual giving. Will my ideas work? Also, I'd like to brainstorm other tactics I can try, given our specific donor base.

Clinic days are normally the third Wednesday of every month.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020(DF)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020(DF)
Wednesday, April 15, 2020(DF) Wednesday, June 17, 2020(DF)

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Instructor Biographies
Donors Forum instructors bring years of experience and expertise to our many workshops and programs. Click on each instructor's name to learn more!

Claudette G. Baker

Laura McAlpine

Ellen Benjamin

Jo Moore

Marilyn Benuska

Zahida Noorani

Juan Calixto Alyson Parham
Margaret DeVine Marianne Philbin

Joan Flanagan

Jamie Phillippe

Debra A. Hass

Susannah Quern Pratt

Jackie Kaplan

Alene Valkanas

Marilyn Foster Kirk  

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