Getting Oriented

Zen and the Art of Fundraising: Key Pillars of Success

Alexandra Brovey

Friday, October 19, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Gift planners are often hired for their technical backgrounds. We are expected to have some familiarity with gift options; to explain tax law changes in understandable terms; and to add strategic value to our colleagues' gift discussions. However, the multitude of relationships I have been privileged to build with many generous donors is based on a far less technical but extremely critical set of skills. These are skills—which I call pillars—that fundraisers must possess to be successful. Further, they are also skills that embody successful people, whatever their chosen careers, as well as in their personal relationships. Join me to uncover these pillars, apply them to donor situations, and rediscover the Zen in fundraising.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify and discuss traits that comprise key pillars of fundraising success.
  2. Break into small groups and share examples of the application of these pillars in your role.
  3. Conclude by discovering (uncovering?) the Zen in fundraising.


CFRE: Approved for 1 point

CAP: Approved for 1 hour CE Credit

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Alexandra Brovey


Alexandra Pia Brovey is the Senior Director, Gift Planning at Northwell Health Foundation in New Hyde Park, New York. Alex has worked in gift planning for 20 years at four nonprofit organizations. Earlier in her career she focused on estate planning and administration as a member of the Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York bars. Alex is a past board member and Treasurer of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, where she serves as chair of its Leadership Institute. She is a President Emeritus of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York in New York City, and has been an instructor for the planned giving certificate program at Molloy College. She is a frequent lecturer across the United States on topics related to charitable giving, and has had articles published in several national publications.

Alex earned a B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University, Phi Beta Kappa, a  J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and an LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law. Alex assists Georgetown Law with interviews, is a career coach for Penn State, earned a black belt in Shotokan karate, and has published her first book, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 Pillars of Success.