2019 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Registration  |  Schedule  |  Breakouts  |  Speakers  |  Attendees  |  Sponsors  |  Scholarships  |  Download Center
Leadership Conference Main Graphic

Breakout Sessions

Round 1 Breakout Sessions: 8 - 9 a.m.

Keeping Top Talent - Today's Top Priority
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations and Individual Reflection
Knowing how difficult it is to find super-employees, we have no choice but do everything possible to retain our best employees. It’s our responsibility as leaders to truly understand why top talent leave and what we need to do to ensure they stay. In this session, we’ll review a mix of research and practical information on what employees are seeking from employers-of-choice. We’ll discuss and share short and long-term strategic and tactical approaches for how each of us as leaders can live and breathe a style that retains our top talent. Attendees will leave with a self-assessment of their do’s and don’ts and an action plan to continue the positive do’s and avoid the don’ts.
Elisabeth Hunt, member support and training director, Species360 and Arlene Vernon, president, HRx, Inc.

Nonprofit and Philanthropy DEI: Values, Impact, and Transformation: Group 1
Level: Advanced Track: Community Leadership 
Activities: Quizzes
Join us for a facilitated conversation with a formidable panel of thought leaders in Twin Cities nonprofits and philanthropy. We will take a deep dive into key questions surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The panelists will speak to what they see as key issues and share strategies and tactics they've been a part of or have experienced. We'll close the session highlighting actionable items for personal, professional, and institutional impact. This session is being repeated with a different group of panelists during Round II.
Cecelia Caspram, founder, Mission Growth Partners and AFP-MN IDEA committee member; Aileen Kasper, director of development and communications, Genesys Works Twin Cities; Rowzat Shipchandler, philanthropy professional and former deputy commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Rights; and Alfonso Wenker, co-founder and principal, Team Dynamics

Personal and Organizational Transformation: On Leading from Within
Level: Advanced Track: Individual Leadership
Activities: Quizzes, Neighbor Conversations, and Leadership Discernment
What differentiates us as leaders is less about our philosophy, personality, or management style than it is about the way we make sense of the world and react when our power or safety is challenged. To build adaptive organizations able to effect change in the world, leaders embark on a journey of transformation toward greater and greater capacity. By exploring and expanding the way we see the world, we strengthen our ability to make sense of complexity inside of ourselves and in our environment. We gain wisdom to lead in a timely way. This session will introduce a powerful framework for how adults mature through predictable developmental stages. With each new stage, we develop new ways to navigate our personal journeys of transformation and support the transformation of others. Join this interactive session to explore how to develop your personal and organizational capacity for effective action.
Tyler Zabriskie, principal, Zabriskie Consulting

Skip the Coffee! Shift Your Nonprofit's Energy Naturally
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership
Activities: Small Group Activities and Individual Practice
Does it feel like everyone at your nonprofit could use a double shot of espresso? When we start to feel lethargic or disengaged at work, we often rely on external forces to get us through the day. And, we don't often stop to think about how our energy might be affecting those around us. What if you could shift your energy naturally, no caffeine necessary? At this session, you'll learn about the 7 levels of leadership energy that are impacting your nonprofit, and how changing the way you think can impact the way you feel and act in your organization. We'll take some real life situations nonprofits face and talk about how a higher level of energy and consciousness can lead to a whole new way to look at your work.
Stephanie Jacobs, director, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Erik Jacobson, donor engagement officer, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

Strengths-Based Volunteer Leadership
Level: Advanced Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations, Individual Reflection, and Small Group Activities
Volunteers have the capacity to advance the work of organizations, but if a volunteer is in a role that is not a good fit it can take time and energy away from staff and distract from the mission. Volunteers like staff thrive in environments where they are able to use their strengths. In this session we will look at models that have been developed to help place volunteers in roles that match their natural talents and abilities, and talk through how to recruit volunteers that will be the best fit for the needs of the organization. Participants will have the opportunity to think through how they can leverage volunteers to increase the capacity and reach of their organization. Attention will also be given to how to engage volunteers as leaders within the organization and how to support them in making decisions and shaping the work.
Jenn Hamrick, executive director and Leah Robshaw Robinson, volunteer engagement specialist, Friends for a Nonviolent World

Round 2 Breakout Sessions: 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Beyond the Spreadsheet: Board Reporting That Works
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Quizzes 
Are your board members asking the same questions over and over – never seeming to read the materials you send them? Are you worried they don’t really “get” what you are sharing with them? In this fun and engaging session Dawne and Jules will draw on their own experience working as board members and staff members to help you review the fundamentals of communicating with your board, avoid some common pitfalls, and come away with new tools for creating effective and engaging board reports, financial documents, board training, and other board communications. You will learn how to identify the information your board needs, and techniques for putting together reports that share information without boring or overwhelming your board. You will leave this session with hands-on tools and techniques you can use back at the office, and increased confidence in your ability to engage and motivate your board through effective reporting.
Dawne Brown White, executive director, COMPAS and Jules Wilkins, director of external relations, COMPAS and principal, Jules Writes

The First 90 Days - Guide for New Leaders
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Quizzes, Individual Reflection, and Small Group Activities
How can you maximize the first 90 days (or the first quarter) in a new role? Join us as we walk through successful leadership transitions for leaders at all levels. Presenters will share the perspectives of leadership, human resources and the newly appointed executive. This is also a great session for leadership and HR professionals seeking to optimize the onboarding and acclimation to your organization. So, whether you’re starting a new job, being promoted from within, or trying to make your onboarding process the best it can be, this session will help you and your new hires succeed in the first 90 days, and beyond!
Kris Kewitsch, executive director, Charities Review Council and Ritesh Patel, CEO, Open Cities Health Center

Navigating Systems Change
Level: General Track: Community Leadership
Activities: Group Discussion
No matter what organization you work for or what position you have within that organization, your actions and inactions have a direct effect on the system. When you know you are impacting the system, how you show up, your identities and your perspectives matter. Systems change agents need to take the time to ask themselves: "What am I doing or not doing that is maintaining the inequities that inhibit systems change? How is my identity and the way I make sense of the world an asset to systems change? How do I bring my whole self to this work?" This session will challenge your perception and awareness of your impact as a change agent.
Stephanie Jacobs, director, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, Jen Mein, innovation manager and Sook Jin Ong, director, Future Services Institute, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Nonprofit and Philanthropy DEI: Values, Impact, and Transformation: Group 2
Level: Advanced Track: Community Leadership 
Activities: Quizzes
Join us for a facilitated conversation with a formidable panel of thought leaders in Twin Cities nonprofits and philanthropy. We will take a deep dive into key questions surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The panelists will speak to what they see as key issues and share strategies and tactics they've been a part of or have experienced. We'll close the session highlighting actionable items for personal, professional, and institutional impact. This session is being repeated with a different group of panelists during Round I.
Kit Briem, vice president of advancement, The Family Partnership; Duchesne Drew, community network vice president, Bush Foundation; and Aileen Kasper, director of development and communications, Genesys Works Twin Cities

The Reluctant Fundraiser
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Group Discussion and Individual Reflection
No organization can succeed without funding, and the strongest leaders are those who embrace their role in fundraising. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t feel comfortable talking about money or don’t feel confident in their asking skills. This interactive workshop will help reluctant fundraisers examine the source of their discomfort and let go of their fears.
Laura McCarty Tufano, principal, Tufano Consulting

Turn Moments into Momentum
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations, Individual Reflection, and Small Group Activities
If you find yourself saying “I’ll get to that later” or “I wish I could…” then this session is for you! You will create momentum to help you step into your own personal power and influence. You’ll learn 3 ways to transform your personal power through personal efficacy, relationship efficacy, and cultivation of advocates – to turn moments into momentum. Attendees will set goals, gain actionable tools, and select an accountability partner for follow up.
C.J. Arnold, founder and change maker, One Earth United and Erika Hovland, managing director, IOLITE360

Round 3 Breakout Sessions: 2 - 3:15 p.m.

Culturally Responsive Leadership
Level: Intermediate Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations, Individual Reflection, and Small Group Activities
Organizations who wish to develop equitable policies and practices are developed, sustained, and led by culturally responsive leaders - individuals who pause to reflect how their actions, decisions, and leadership impact others. Participants will engage in reflection, dialogue, and listening to develop skills in critical self-reflection regarding race and culture and to deepen their cultural responsiveness as leaders.
Jean Lubke, executive director and Paula O'Loughlin, program manager, Classroom Partnerships and Professional Learning; and Regina Seabrook, program manager, Professional Development, Equity Alliance MN

Data-Driven Decision-Making and Strategic Action Planning
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations and Small Group Activities
Join this session to gain data literacy skills. Attendees will learn about best practices and real strategies Minnesota nonprofits have used to define what data they want to collect, improve their data management and quality, and use their data effectively. Through these strategies, nonprofits learn to make better decisions and more effectively tell their story to staff, volunteers, program participants, funders, and other stakeholders.
Emma Connell, research associate, Amanda Petersen, research associate, and Francie Streich, research scientist, Wilder Research

Overcoming Your Limiting Beliefs and Getting to Action
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations and Individual Reflection
In this highly interactive workshop, you will be given the tools and time needed to overcome some of the limiting beliefs that hold you back from achieving more and/or advancing equity. Whether it is personal or professional, the process you will go through will challenge you in new ways. You will become inspired to rethink what is possible. If you can CHANGE YOUR STORY, you can CHANGE YOUR SITUATION.
Donte Curtis, CEO, Catch Your Dream Consulting

Pay for Performance: Can Incentives Work?
Level: Advanced Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Quizzes and Pitch Tank
Employee performance reviews are like the weather...everyone talks about them but no one does anything about them! Media reports indicate that more and more employers are abandoning the traditional, textbook approaches to annual performance "reviews," "appraisals," and other forms of employee ratings because they not only don't work, but often create negative impacts on the organization. So, if not the traditional approach, what should one do instead? One of the reasons employers need measures of performance is that they want to link base pay and/or bonuses to individual performance. Linking pay to performance legally, equitably and cost-effectively, not to mention effectively, requires objective, measurable criteria. This presentation will examine what performance really is in the workplace, what employers are seeking to achieve, and how they can decide whether or not to link any form of compensation to measures of performance.
Robert Lemke, principal, HR and Compensation Consulting Practice, Gallagher

Welcome 2 The Jungle: Leadership Training
Level: General Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Neighbor Conversations, Individual Reflection, and Small Group Activities
There are 4 animals that run any workplace: a lion, a flamingo, a chameleon, and a turtle! And each of them does things differently! What if you knew how each one operates, communicates, and works? This assessment allows you to take some time to think through both the general strengths and weaknesses of your team. Is your team missing a vital personality type or do they just need help understanding each other? No matter what the scenario, the 4 Animals Training can provide decision makers and team leaders with tools to create the best teams and supercharge their performance.
Jesse Ross, director of special projects, The Minneapolis Foundation

Working Towards the Future: Flexible Work & the Gig Economy
Level: General Track: Organizational Leadership
Activities: Individual Reflection and Group Discussion
Working 9-5 – no longer the best way to make a living? Flexible working schedules are in demand from today’s employees, and more employees are taking advantage of short-term work in the “gig economy”. In this session John and Jules will cover some of the data and trends behind this shift in the modern workplace. You will learn how Springboard for the Arts implemented “high trust, high accountability” workplace policies that help drive employee engagement and recruitment and advance organizational goals around creating an equitable and inclusive workplace. We’ll cover ways to identify the best approach for your organization, and the details of how to structure your HR and personnel policies to account for changing employee needs. You will leave this session with a clearer view of what’s driving changes to the workplace, with tangible tools you can use to ensure your organization isn’t left behind.
John Bell, business manager, Springboard for the Arts and Jules Wilkins, director of external relations, COMPAS and principal, Jules Writes

Round 4 Breakout Sessions: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Leading with Human-Centered Design and Developmental Evaluation
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership
Activities: Group Discussion
Today, nonprofits are faced with an increasing pressure to innovate to better serve their clientele. Yet limitations around staff capacity, resource constraints, and current funding regimes do not support an institutional environment necessary for innovation to thrive. Moreover, current forms of accountability and evaluation do not align with what is known about how innovation unfolds – they often fail to provide information useful to support organizational learning and drive the innovation forward. Advances in methods like human-centered design and developmental evaluation hold promise to address this disconnect. This session will discuss what is known about methods such as human-centered design and developmental evaluation and illustrate its application using the case of a partnership between the Future Services Institute, an applied research and leadership training center at the University of Minnesota and Prepare + Prosper, a state-wide nonprofit focused on building financial wellbeing among low income families in Minnesota.
Anne Leland Clark, financial capability and learning director, Prepare + Prosper and Trupti Sarode, learning and evaluation manager, Future Services Institute

Leave Me Alone: Leadership Tips for Introverts
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Individual Reflection and Progress & Pitfalls Activity
Well, now you’ve done it! You’ve landed yourself in a new position and you’ve got to plan for more face time - even if it kills you (and you’re worried it might.) It’s going to be okay. Society may still be holding on to some misconceptions when it comes to quiet individuals. Introverts can make excellent team members and fantastic leaders. In this session, you’ll get research-backed data on how introversion can be an asset, helpful tips on how to handle anxiety and pre-meeting jitters, and recommendations for how to survive swimming upstream in a sea of extroverts. Team leaders will receive strategies on how to elicit feedback from quiet participants and tried-and-true methods on improving communication - with everyone. Join us for a fun and low-pressure workshop that will help introverts and extroverts alike. And don’t worry - you won’t have to introduce yourself to a room full of strangers (yet!).
Jamie Schumacher, executive director, West Bank Business Association

Mindful Leadership: Cultivating an Environment of Present Moment Awareness
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Individual Reflection, Small Group Activities, and Formal Meditation
Emotional intelligence has long been seen as one of the single biggest predictors of performance in the workplace and a strong driver of leadership and personal excellence. A more recent emerging trend in leadership is the use of mindfulness practices to increase effective leadership skills. This session will be presented in an experiential and highly participatory format to demonstrate how mindfulness practice has a direct influence on increasing one’s EQ. Marcie and Sonja will first lay out the contextual framework whereby participants can begin to understand the relationship between mindfulness practice and their ability to lead themselves and others more effectively within a stressful environment. We specifically address stress reactivity and the learned ability to respond, the effects of perception, appraisal, and attitude on patterns of intra- and interpersonal communication. Attendees will participate in formal meditation practices with group facilitated inquiry into individual experiences of the practice.
Sonja Kuhn, president, Journey Coaching and Training and Marcie Wagner, founder and director, Laughing Buddha Meditation Centre and owner, Wagner Fundraising

Nonprofit Leaders and the 2020 Census
Level: General Track: Community Leadership 
Activities: Individual Reflection and Group Discussion
Now is the time to get ready for the 2020 Census. In this high energy and interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to hear from Minnesota’s State Demographer and organizers of the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership about why Census 2020 is so important to nonprofits, challenges to the Census, and how Minnesota communities and nonprofits have a key role to play in getting a complete count. Learn about opportunities the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits is preparing for the nonprofit sector. After this session, participants will be able to identify a range of ways they can engage their own nonprofit and constituents in the census. All of us depend on a fair and accurate count so come and learn how to join the Census 2020 education and mobilization effort.
Susan Brower, Minnesota state demographer, Minnesota State Demographic Center; Michelle Chang, policy and equity coordinator, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits; and Bob Tracy, director of public policy and communication, Minnesota Council on Foundations

Start Less, Finish More. Organizational Multitasking is Expensive.
Level: Intermediate Track: Organizational Leadership 
Activities: Individual Reflection, Small Group Activities, and Games
The research is compelling—our brains work best when focused on one task at a time. Switching between tasks results in a host of negative consequences—including dramatic losses of productivity and lower quality work. But what happens when the multitasking is built into the culture of an organization? Organizational multitasking happens when the efforts of the organization are divided across multiple work streams. It shows up in the form of competing priorities, high numbers of projects in progress, and spreading people too thin. The cost of organizational multitasking can be devastating. You know this already? Great! This session is for you. The workshop is focused on how to shift the mindset and culture that leads to organizational multitasking. Participants will practice teaching the science of multitasking through games and simple illustrations that can be used immediately at your next board meeting, strategic planning retreat, or team meeting.
Brandi Olson, principal, The Olson Group

To Be or Not to Be an Executive Director
Level: General Track: Individual Leadership 
Activities: Group Discussion
What does it mean to be a leader? Does true leadership and power to make a difference come only with the title that we hold? What roles do our racial/ethnic and gender identities play in our aspiration to be effective leaders? Leadership presents itself in many different ways within all levels of organizational hierarchy. In this workshop, we will explore what it really means to be an executive director and why some leaders intentionally choose career paths that stop right below the very top. Through an interactive panel of leaders who identify as members of non-dominant cultures, we will explore their paths to leadership and how their identity affected and shaped their professional journeys. Attendees will learn about the benefits and challenges of being an executive director, and discover other opportunities to be effective leaders in various roles within an organization.
Vina Kay, vice president of movement & capacity building, Race Forward; Nonoko Sato, associate director, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits; Chanda Smith Baker, senior vice president, Community Impact, Minneapolis Foundation; and KaYing Yang, director of programs and partnerships, Coalition of Asian American Leaders

Diamond Sponsors:

Bush Foundation                       Humphrey School of Public Affairs