Do you love your work? Are you great at being a fundraiser? But do you have a sense that you could be a little bit more content with how it all fits together? In Japanese culture, there is a concept called ikigai, loosely translated to "your life's purpose." While there are a lot of discussions about finding your why and your passion, in reality, it's not just about that. Whether you'd like to work on your own sense of personal leadership, or help coach someone else, this session will provide insight on the elements of ikigai, the ways to evaluate where you stand on each of the spheres of life, and tools to improve how your passion, vocation, and mission intersect.

Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE


GoalBusters Consulting

Alice L. Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE, founding partner of GoalBusters, has more than twenty-five years of professional fundraising experience, not including her tenure as the “top cookie salesperson” in Girl Scouts. Alice started her fundraising career as a volunteer at Wisconsin Public Television in Madison, Wisconsin, blowing bubbles onto the set during pledge breaks for the Lawrence Welk Show, which launched a 30+ year affiliation with public broadcasting.

As part of her services in outsourced development for small nonprofits, Alice is Director of Development for KAWC Colorado River Public Media in Yuma, Arizona and Administrative Director for KGHR Navajo Public Radio in Tuba City, Arizona. Prior to launching her consulting practice full time, Alice served as Director of Development for Lowell Observatory, Foundation Director for Flagstaff Medical Center, and Director of Development for KNAU Arizona Public Radio. During her tenure at Lowell Observatory, the membership program more than doubled, and during her time at KNAU, she led the station to its first $1 million fundraising year. As Foundation Director for Flagstaff Medical Center, Alice directed FMC’s grant program, providing over $1.3 million in support to community health in the Flagstaff area.

Alice was the 90th professional worldwide to receive the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. In her volunteer leadership, Alice serves on the ACFRE Credentialing Board, CFRE International Board and the Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration Advisory Board. Previously, Alice served as the 2015-2017 Chair of the ACFRE Board, 2009-2010 Vice Chair, Member Services for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) International and continues to be an active volunteer, among other volunteer commitments. She is a three-time honoree as AFP-Northern Arizona Fundraising Professional of the Year.

Alice is recognized for her on-air presence on many public television and radio pledge drives, and on top-revenue generating national PBS fundraisers, including Masterpiece: Downton Abbey, Ken Burns: America's Storyteller, The Civil War, and Suze Orman's Financial Solutions for You. Alice is also a well-reviewed keynote and workshop presenter, with presentations in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Alice earned her Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Radio-TV-Film and Economics and her Masters of Business Administration with a double major in Accounting and Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She obtained her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 1999 and is certified through 2020. She received her ACFRE in 2010 and has also been an AFP Master Teacher since 2006