Collaboration Lab

Drafting the Future: Applying Findings from the 2019 Summit on Philanthropy and Dementia

Robert Hofmann, Lani A. McCollar, David Kremer

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.


Nonprofit organizations are at risk of litigation and loss of reputation if they don’t have written policies and procedures for working with adults who are suffering cognitive impairment due the onset of dementia and its common form - Alzheimer's Disease. A panel of charitable gift planning professionals who led a summit on philanthropy and dementia will present findings from this summit. Together, we will explore issues that arise as dementia is increasing among a growing population of active elderly philanthropist who are retaining their wealth for philanthropic purposes. Attendees will form teams to review summit findings and draft policy statements that answer the question: How does our institution balance the risks and rewards of seeking philanthropic support from a population that is at risk of cognitive impairment?

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will learn from research that shows elderly Americans are retaining more wealth while engaging in active philanthropy well into their eighties and longer.  As dementia increasingly impacts this population, the dangers of unintended consequences that may result in litigation also increase.
  2. Attendees will understand the clear need for industry-wide policies, procedures and best practices to protect vulnerable adults as well as professional fundraisers and the institutions they represent
  3. Attendees will apply the findings a 2019 Summit on Philanthropy and Dementia for their institutions. Copies of the Summit draft policy, along with an example of an existing institutional policy, will provide a framework for the exercise.


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Robert Hofmann

Senior Development Officer, University of Minnesota Duluth School of Fine Arts

Robert Hofmann is a native of the Twin Cities. For the past twelve years, Mr. Hofmann has worked at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) as Senior Development Officer with the UMD School of Fine Arts. At UMD, he has helped to raise more than $20 M for student scholarships and programs. He is one of only 5,000 worldwide Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE), an internationally recognized credential within the fundraising profession. Mr. Hofmann serves on the board of directors of the Depot Foundation in Duluth, MN, a six million dollar grant making charitable organization, where he is immediate past chair. Before coming to UMD, Mr. Hofmann was involved in tall ships maritime education from 1997 through 2006 as executive director of the Providence Maritime Heritage Foundation that operated the tall ship Continental Sloop Providence. Hofmann was pivotal in spearheading the Foundations development and delivery of exceptional shipboard education programs that were recognized as a model partnership with Providence, RI, Public Schools by Cambridge, MA based Abt Associates in 2002. While executive director he successfully negotiated with the Walt Disney Co. to have his vessel and crew appear in two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hofmann worked in Boston, Minneapolis and elsewhere as a professional actor appearing on stage and screen. He remains a proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. He appeared as a guest Equity artist in Duluth Playhouse production of Good People in January of 2014.

David Kremer 

Director, SantaFe Senior Living Foundation, Inc.

David A. Kremer has 26 years of experience helping seniors achieve their philanthropic dreams. He’s raised more than $30-million in small or one-person shops.  He has been a local and national speaker on various fundraising topics.  David earned a journalism degree from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Marian University in Wisconsin.

Lani A. McCollar

Associate, Bentz Whaley Flessner

Lani McCollar’s consulting work focuses on capital campaigns, development program audits, board engagement, and overall fundraising strategies. Lani brings over 20 years of experience working and volunteering for multiple nonprofits in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. She served as director of institutional advancement for Groves Academy, where she oversaw unprecedented growth and a successful capital campaign. She also has served Metropolitan State University Foundation as director of development focusing on alumni and donor engagement, building their co-located university and community library, and has privately consulted with St. Mary’s Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, People Incorporated, Family Pathways, and CLUES. Lani received her B.B.A. Marketing and Information Systems with honors from the University of Iowa, and a condensed MBA in Nonprofit Management from the University of St. Thomas. She is an active volunteer with many nonprofit organizations.