What kind of world do you want? Have you ever really stopped to
think about it?

Most of us tend to charge hard through life these days, rarely stopping to think or plan, or pausing to imagine and dream.

What could be possible if you could step away from your busy life, your daily responsibilities, to explore your hopes and dreams?

What is possible when you know, deeply, that you can actually create the kind of world you want around you – and you can do it simply through your personal contributions and leadership presence?

Changing the world usually (maybe always) starts with a dream in one person’s heart.

At The Engaged Contributor retreat, you’ll join with others who want to change the world in a two day discovery that is unlike any “training” or “professional development” you’ve experienced before.

The connections you make will open new vistas of possibility.

My first experience at the retreat, in December 2016, was powerful, and ultimately, it changed the trajectory of my life. While I didn’t realize it until much later, it also allowed me to navigate a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer later that same month, and the year of treatment and recovery that followed, with the strength, courage and resilience that was vital to a happy, disease-free outcome.

Whether you are seeking a big change in your life, or simply looking for a fresh perspective, one steeped in grounded hope and inspired action, this retreat can be your launch point.

The Engaged Contributor retreat is the result of decades of work by Jim Lord and Pam McAllister, founders of the Center for Leadership Philanthropy, and authors of the book What Kind of World Do You Want?

Jim and Pam are expanding their work through certified facilitators, like me, who are trained to guide you on the heroic journey this retreat offers. To learn more about Jim and Pam's work, and the retreat, visit The Center for Leadership Philanthropy

Your next step?

I facilitate retreats in Alaska and Washington state, or anywhere you might want to gather a group of like-minded, forward-thinking people to dream big dreams and consider what’s possible when we break through to a new level of success in advancing our cause. To explore the possibilities for your group, send me an email and we'll start the conversation

If you're ready to apply to attend a retreat, click here to start your application.

What does working "shoulder-to-shoulder" look like? Hear Jeff Cook — civic leader, board member, philanthropist — speak to the value of slowing down, listening, and maybe even being a bit vulnerable. (Like many who end up getting the most from our retreats, Jeff arrived with a touch of humility. He even wondered out loud whether he would fit in. After just a few moments in the room with us, his doubts had floated away.)

In the urgency of the day-to-day, it's easy to lose sight of the true potential of our work. Listen as Megan Riebe speaks to the strategic importance of big dreams — and the joy to be found in facilitating meaningful philanthropy. (At her first retreat with us, Megan was accompanied by her university's president. Less than two years later, she is now leading her own Philanthropic Quest retreats as one of our certified facilitators.)

Burnout is a constant hazard for those in the social sector (especially in development). Early in his 29 years with Mayo Clinic, Jim Hodge found himself on the brink. Exposure to fresh ideas gave him a new mindset and sparked an exceptional career. Listen as he speaks to the spirit behind his work — key to his success in facilitating breakthrough philanthropy. (Today, Jim collaborates with entrepreneurs who make dramatic investments in medical research and innovation at the University of Colorado.)

About Megan Riebe

After just three short years in the corporate sector, fresh out of college, I quickly learned I wasn’t motivated only by the bottom line, by profit margins or sales quotas. I wanted to help people, to improve lives and to make our world a better place.

I transitioned my career to the nonprofit sector and never looked back.

I spent a few years working to restore damaged salmon habitat and promote sustainable forestry and business development in the economically-distressed coastal communities of Washington State.

My path then led to working with people who were investing in higher education through philanthropy and I’ve dedicated my career to that pursuit for the past 20 years. My own experience with higher education changed my life, after a rocky time in my teen years, maybe even saved my life, and set me on a path for success. A path where I was fortunate enough to be able to choose work that was rewarding and satisfying, working with wonderful people who wanted to make a difference in their community and society.

I have the great pleasure of facilitating joyful giving opportunities for philanthropists and in doing so, helping them to achieve their dreams. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling. Of course, it’s not always been exactly that way in the field …

As professionals who work to facilitate philanthropy, we face great adversity. The internal deficit mindset found in most every nonprofit can create more competition than collaboration. Our profession is under-appreciated, and we are often under-paid compared to our private sector peers.

We get caught up in, sometimes even paralyzed by, the “science” of our work – data, metrics, ratings, tactics, and more information than can possibly be helpful to building actual trust-based relationships. We lose sight of the “art” – the powerful connection we can have with donors if we approach our work with less data and more curiosity, fewer tactics and more appreciation.

We are at risk of burn-out and disillusionment. I know all too well, I’ve been there, and when ignored, the stress can lead to negative outcomes. The stress I experienced a few years ago contributed to the rapid growth of a cancerous tumor in my left breast that would derail my life for nearly a year.

I will be forever grateful for having the good fortune of attending The Engaged Contributor retreat in December of 2016, just weeks before I learned about my breast cancer diagnosis.

While the retreat completely re-energized my work, it also allowed me to navigate the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer, and the year of treatment and recovery that followed, with the strength, courage and resilience that was vital to a happy, disease-free outcome.

I am thrilled to be able to share my experience with others, and to make the retreat available to an ever-widening audience.

I look forward to supporting you in your Philanthropic Quest, so that you can design the next chapter of your life to make your most meaningful contribution. 

— Megan

Megan K. Riebe


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