2020 Virtual Nonprofit Leadership Conference Speakers
8:30 a.m. - 8:40 a.m.
Conference Opening and Welcome
8:45 a.m. - 9:25 a.m.
Breakout Session 1: 9:30 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.
Breakout Session 2: 10:20 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Breakout Session 3: 11:10 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
*There will be a 10 minute break between each session.
Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, City of Springfield, MO
Keynote Address: Finding Better Connections By Stepping Apart
Many are focusing on what the next normal looks like in the United States following the coronavirus pandemic. Across our nation, communities are struggling not just to survive the outbreak, but to optimistically look ahead at possible positive changes that could permanently change the world as we know it. Nonprofit organizations are the heart and soul of any community and serve life-saving functions providing key human services. Unfortunately, nonprofit service providers and their boards of directors are faced with shrinking donations, staff cutbacks, the fog of uncertainty and the added trauma of the negative impact of social isolation on the people they serve.
Keynote speaker Cora Scott continues to be at the center of crisis and response communications as her hometown Springfield Missouri bravely presses forward to not just survive, but to thrive, despite difficult and shifting landscapes. Cora shares insights and practical tips on how collaboration between nonprofits, government, faith and private sector partners can help communities respond to and recover from, not only the pandemic, but also to America’s long overdue awakening on systemic racism.
Springfield, Missouri has always defined itself by its successful and uniquely deep collaborations and 2020 has certainly put that assertion to the test.
This presentation is aimed to help nonprofits effectively communicate during crises, while adapting policies and operations, keeping donors close despite social distancing, and ultimately courageously serving the community during difficult times.
As Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement for the City of Springfield, Missouri, Cora Scott is responsible for communications for Missouri’s third largest city, acting as chief spokesperson and overseeing communication strategy and media relations for the local government, its various service lines and its outreach initiatives and events.
Since joining the City of Springfield in 2012, Cora has been instrumental in transforming the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement to adapt to emerging opportunities, changing technology and best practices. In addition to serving as a trusted counselor to appointed and elected leadership on strategic communications and issues management, she also leads proactive communications an operational strategy for high-profile community events and initiatives, such as the 50th Anniversary “I Have a Dream Speech” March and Rally; the Impacting Poverty Commission and its Call to Action Report; the City’s Zone Blitz Initiative; the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival; Give 5, a “Civic Matchmaking Program”; Prosper Springfield, an initiative to increase decrease poverty and increase educational attainment; and most recently is co-leading a multi-departmental joint communications center during the 2020 pandemic.
A priority focus under Cora’s leadership has been bringing definition to Springfield’s narrative and broadening appreciation for Springfield’s stature as a great place to live, work and play. She and her team in the Department of Public Information & Civic Engagement have modernized the City’s brand and deepened collaborative efforts to tell the City’s story, especially through an enhanced web presence, social media, multimedia and the written word. The department has been recognized with many accolades, including more than a dozen gold and silver regional ADDY awards and a national SAVVY Award in 2016, for communications and engagement with legislators by the 3CMA City / County Marketing & Communications Association.
Cora has also created a Citizen Resource Center – a physical place for citizens to visit or ask questions and file complaints, with an accompanying smart phone app and digital presence.
Prior to joining the City of Springfield, Cora served similar roles at Mercy, one of the nation’s top integrated health system. At Mercy, she performed a variety of communication and fundraising functions, including being responsible for media and public communication for Mercy’s north central region. As such, she served as one of the primary spokespersons following the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011. Cora had served St. John’s Health System in similar public relations roles since 1993, focusing for two years on health plan communication and employer relations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Drury University.
Track 1: Leadership and Innovation
Julie Davis, Chief Executive Officer - YWCA Tulsa
Diversity is Strength: Building Diverse and Inclusive Teams
Breakout Session #1
Diverse teams strengthen organizations by bringing a variety of different perspectives, increased creativity, faster problem solving, and better decision making. In this session, we will explore how to build diverse teams -- from your staff team to your Board of Directors. Attendees will take away clear next steps to build stronger teams by diversifying their work force and Board of Directors.
Julie Davis has served as the Chief Executive Officer for YWCA Tulsa since 2017, joining the team after having worked in the non-profit field for nearly 10 years in development and as the Associate Director for Up with Trees. Julie was member of Leadership Tulsa Class 54, as well as the Tulsa Area United Way NexTulsa Class 4. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Before entering the non-profit world, Julie received her bachelor’s degree from Drury University, and her master’s degree from the University of Tulsa. Her husband, Paul Davis, is the Executive Director of CityYear, and together they work to serve Tulsa and make a positive impact in the community. Julie is also a mother of two young girls under 6 and is passionate about making the world a place where young girls will be empowered to live out their dreams. When she is not running after Mia and Olivia, or working on strategic plans for the YWCA, you can find Julie reading a book or heading to spend time with her family in Missouri.
Rob Blevins, Executive Director - Discovery Center of Springfield
Team Incredibles -- Saving a Mission, Saving a City
Breakout Session #2
The Discovery Center of Springfield was one of only two science centers in North America that remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic. In just 5 days, #TeamIncredibles transitioned a science center into a licensed, emergency childcare facility that provided safety and education for school aged children of healthcare workers and first responders, from over 11 different school districts. The Center enrolled over 1,000 children, provided over 100,000 hours of free childcare, and served over 45,000 free meals and snacks.
- Understand the tools and resources required in establishing an open culture comprised of open-book financial management, project management, and goals.
- Be inspired to do whatever it takes to make bold leadership decisions.
Rob Blevins is the executive director of the Discovery Center of Springfield, a nonprofit, community funded science center located in Downtown Springfield, Missouri. The Discovery Center, Springfield, was one of only two science centers in North America to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.Rob has always had a passion for science and embraced his inner geek. As a senior in high school, he got the chance to work for NASA predicting dust storms on Mars. He is currently certified by NASA as a moon rock and astromaterial handler and is part of the NASA Social program. In July 2019, he was invited out to Kennedy Space Center to take part in the Orion Ascent Abort Test. Then in October 2019, NASA invited him to take part in the International Astronautical Congress in Washington DC and to visit NASA’s control center where the International Space Station is managed.
Rob is an award winning public speaker, a graduate of Missouri State University (2008), the 2019 Southwest Missouri Nonprofit Excellence Award winner for Emerging Leader of the Year, a SBJ 2019 Men of the Year Award winner, a Biz 417 10 for the Next 10 honoree, a Springfield Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, a City of Springfield Gift of Time Nominee, a Leadership Springfield Class 36 graduate, and an active member of Springfield Sertoma where he chairs the charity event he created, Springfield Prom, and Downtown Rotary where he serves as the Greeter Chair.
Charlotte Lewellen Williams, DrPH, MPH, Professor and Director, Center on Community Philanthropy - Clinton School of Public Service
Advancing Racial Equity -- The Role of Nonprofit Leaders in Promoting Social Change
Breakout Session #3
Session attendees will receive information on practices and procedures that should be considered when creating strategies to advance racial equity within the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. The conversation will center around lessons learned and will introduce participants to innovations like community philanthropy as a powerful influence toward social change.
Dr. Charlotte Lewellen Williams is Professor of Public Health and Director of the Center on Community Philanthropy (The Center) at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. The Center is dedicated to expanding the knowledge, tools, and practice of community-spawned and community-driven philanthropy. Williams is responsible for directing the Center in its core work areas of Leadership, Research and Convening. She develops and manages key Center projects that focus on building community based solutions and programs dedicated to eliminating disparities and promoting social justice. She has developed and teaches a course entitled Philanthropy Leadership and the Nonprofit Sector for graduate students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
Williams has co-authored a book entitled “Passing the Torch; Planning for the Next Generation of Leaders in Public Service. As a community and civic leader, Williams serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Racial Equity in Philanthropy Fund which is managed through Borealis Philanthropy.
A business administration graduate from Howard University in Washington, D.C., Williams earned her Doctoral Degree in Public Health and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health. Throughout her academic career, she has extensively studied and published papers in several peer reviewed journals including Academic Medicine, the Journal of Nonprofit Management and Leadership and Foundation Review.
Track 2: Board Leadership and Accountability
Stacey A. Gordon, MBA, Diversity, Inclusion, and Career Strategist - ReWork Work
A.C.T. Like a Leader
Breakout Session #1
How do you define a leader? What separates a successful leader from a mediocre one? In this session, we will review what successful, inclusive leaders look like and what it takes to develop an inclusive leadership style. Using research and best practices, you will broaden your understanding of leadership from simple practices that are often overlooked – accountability, consistency and transparency. These key leadership skills are linked to the management of inclusive, innovative teams. Creating a diverse team usually involves hiring or at least selecting individuals to join the team. How do you make those decisions and how can you lessen the impact of unconscious bias on those decisions? The goal of the session is to help you continue to develop, not just skills and knowledge, but actions, in your quest to become an inclusive leader.
Stacey A. Gordon is the Founder and Chief Diversity Strategist at Rework Work. She works to reduce bias in recruiting and remove barriers to hiring. Leading at the intersection of recruiting, career development, diversity and workplace culture, Stacey has delivered keynote speeches globally and developed educational content that has engaged professionals both in-person and in a virtual environment. She focuses on reworking how companies work. That includes how they recruit, hire and engage women and professionals of color.
Stacey is the creator of the number one resume course at LinkedIn learning which is well on its way to accumulating 1 million views. Her unconscious bias course has been translated into several languages and has been featured by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Virgin America (now Alaska Airlines). As a consultant and career strategist, Stacey has written career and diversity related articles and provided content for SHRM, Fast Company, Skillsoft, Forbes, NPR Radio, BBC Radio, Essence Magazine, and Monster.com, to name a few. She earned her MBA from Pepperdine University Business School and her SHRM-SCP certification as well as the inclusive Workplace Culture Credential.
Board Pain Points: Panel Discussion, Direction, and Insights
Facilitated by -- Carrie Richardson, Executive Director, Leadership Springfield
Winter Kinne is the Vice President of Development overseeing the Community Foundation’s development and donor engagement activities which includes charitable estate planning, relationships with professional advisors, and teaching individuals, families and the community what a community foundation can do. She joined the CFO in June 2005 upon graduation from Drury University where she earned degrees in English and Writing. In August 2010, Kinne completed her Masters in Business Administration also from Drury University.
Originally from Mt. Vernon, Mo, Winter is currently a board member for the Doula Foundation and Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. She is also a member of the Greene County Estate Planning Council.
Mike Brothers is Executive Relations for Drury University. He came to Springfield in 1997 to attend Missouri State University, where he studied journalism. He spent seven years as a features reporter for the Springfield News-Leader, primarily covering local music and the growing downtown scene. He then spent four years with the City of Springfield’s Department of Public Information and two years as the spokesman for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department before joining Drury in 2013. He is married with two daughters and has been a member of several nonprofit boards including current service with the Rountree Neighborhood Association and Leadership Springfield.
Melissa Adler has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit public relations and fundraising. She is the Development Director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, where she enjoys engaging with two boards. Melissa leads the Library Foundation and serves donors who provide a margin of excellence for library services.
Laurie Edmondson is a lifelong learner. She has been an educator for thirty one years. For the last eighteen years she has been a professor at Drury University. She has served on several boards in Springfield, MO including The Mayor’s Commission for Children, Isabel’s House, Springfield Greene County Library Foundation, and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
Bonnie Keller served as the Volunteer Executive Director for nearly three years and a member of the team that opened Springfield’s first Ronald McDonald House in 1988. She joined the staff of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks in 1989 and two years later was named President & CEO. Since that time, she has led the organization’s growth including a Grants Program in 1996, the Tooth Truck in 2002, the Healthy Smiles Academy in 2011, and a second Ronald McDonald House in 2012. She is a past president and member of Southeast Rotary, founding member of the All-Star Smiles Sertoma Club, member of the Price Cutter Charity Championship Executive Board and past member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Recent awards and achievements include being named one of the 50 Missourians You Should Know in 2015, SBJ’s Top Local Executive in 2016, and OHAF’s Child Health Advocate of the Year in 2019.
Bonnie and her husband, Clayton have three grown daughters who all graduated together in both 2017 and 2020.
Amber Coté, Director of Education and Service Enterprise - Colorado Nonprofit Association
Eyes on the Horizon -- What Happens When Board Attention Drifts from the Strategic Level
Breakout Session #3
High impact nonprofit boards have a thoughtful long-term strategy developed jointly by the board and staff. The strategies at the best nonprofit organizations set a clear and inspiring vision.
Once an organization’s strategic directions and high-priority goals are clearly defined, its resources can be allocated more efficiently. And just as important, its leaders’ vision of the future is clarified, staff shares a more solid purpose and direction, and stakeholders and constituents become more engaged. With a clear picture of its desired future, the organization is in a strong position to bring about that future.
Amber Coté has a 20+ year career focused on empowering vulnerable populations in her local community. Ms. Coté’s background includes advocating for abused and neglected children and victims of domestic violence, leading efforts to provide creative self-expression and job training opportunities for young adults, directing a regional early education initiative at Pikes Peak United Way, and serving as the Volunteer Services and Community Outreach Director for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.
In her current position as Director of Education and Service Enterprise for Colorado Nonprofit Association, she develops high quality programs on key topics, such as governance, finance, development, and planning. Her forte is designing tried-and-true traditional professional development opportunities and challenging the status quo by exploring up-and-coming promising practices.
Ms. Coté’s diverse experience in the field of nonprofit administration, education and judicial advocacy, and business informs her approach to civic engagement, collaboration-building and organizational leadership. She particularly enjoys developing alliances that leverage shared values to achieve a common vision. As a native Coloradoan, life-long activist and strong proponent of consensus-building through creative partnerships, she sees her current position as an opportunity to make a powerful and unique contribution to improve the overall quality of life in Colorado.
Track 3: Fundraising
Sherry Quam Taylor, CEO of Quam Taylor LLC
Creating a post-COVID-19 Funding Model That's Less Dependent on Goverment, Program, or Event Revenue
Breakout Session #1
2020 proved to be overwhelming, to say the least. This is especially true for those of you who are leading your nonprofit's fundraising initiatives. Has this time made you face the fact that your funding model was too dependent on government funds, large foundations, program revenue, or event donors? With all the programmatic and operational stress you've faced these last few months, how do you even think about what a stronger funding model looks like in the years ahead? Whether a major gift from an individual is $1,000 or $50,000 to you, what are the things you should stop doing that will help you prepare for a better future of funding?
Funding through diverse revenue sources is the name of the game, but if you are not prioritizing mid- and major-level individuals, you are leaving money on the table. So, what should be your future priorities?
- How overhead and budget are your best secret-weapons.
- The strategies leaders SHOULD be doing right now to build a strong funding future.
- Where leaders might be leaving money on the table when it comes to individual fundraising.
- Apply case studies of what organizations were doing right in 2019 that kept their funding super-strong through the challenges of 2020.
Sherry Quam Taylor teaches nonprofit leaders how to pivot from a heavy dependence on program, government, and event gifts and into securing large, investment-level donations from individuals so they can finally fund their missions. The leaders she works with are experts in their field, but when it comes to individual donor fundraising, they’ve simply never been trained on how to do it, so it feels uncomfortable and frustrating. She helps them learn the exact steps to launch a mid- and major level gift program that feels comfortable, involves less dread, and fully funds their mission for the long-haul. She does this through her private coaching and her 90-day LET’S GROW fundraising accelerator where her clients are able to move into steady 4-, 5-, and 6-figure gifts.
Sherry has been fortunate to work with a wide range of nonprofits including after-school programs, medical missions, library foundations, refugee resettlement organizations, faith-based organizations, residential care shelters, and about every other type in between. She enjoys presenting her fundraising methodology at many regional conferences and executive director round-tables.
Sherry is headquartered in the Chicagoland area but serves clients all over the country and world. She is inspired by the countless missions her clients have exposed her to, but she is most passionate about educating girls in developing countries around the world.
Nathan Hill, Marketing Director - NextAfter
The Mystical Secret for Turning Free Content into Valuable Donors
Breakout Session #2
Most fundraisers still look to direct mail and other “traditional” channels for acquiring new donors. But the combination of rising direct mail costs and the inability to use traditional events in the midst of a global pandemic means we need to find a new path forward.
But how on earth do you acquire valuable donors online?
More importantly, how do you make sure you’re not spinning your wheels and wasting your budget while figuring out what actually works to acquire online donors?
The good news is that there is a repeatable online donor acquisition model that we’ve been testing, proving, and optimizing for the past 5 years – and in this session, you’ll learn exactly how to apply this methodology to your fundraising program.
In this fast-paced and down-to-earth session, you’ll discover the 4-step model to acquire online donors and learn practical ideas and tactics to make it work for your organization.
- Attendees will know how to acquire new donors online by reviewing a proven, 4-step acquisition methodology.
- Attendees will be equipped to grow their email file by learning what makes for an effective free content offer.
- Attendees will know how to create a high-converting page for their free content offers by reviewing a/b tests and case-studies.
- Attendees will know how to convert new subscribers into new donors immediately by learning how to implement an “instant donation page”.
Nathan Hill is the marketing director for NextAfter – a fundraising consultancy, research lab, and institute on a mission to unleash generosity.
Having worked at both large and small nonprofits, he understands the day to challenges of running nonprofit programs while also trying to manage fundraising, marketing, websites, emails, advertising, and more.
Nathan has trained hundreds of nonprofit marketers and fundraisers in proven online fundraising strategies including PBS, Save the Children, The Humane Society, and more. He’s also been a recent speaker at Social Media Week ATX, NRB Convention 2020, the Digital Fundraising Conference 2020, and the 2020 AMA Nonprofit and Cause Marketing conference.
Erica Waasdrop, President - A Direct Solution
7 Reasons Why You Can't Afford to Wait to Look for Sustainable Monthly Gifts
Breakout Session #3
If you’re hesitant or unsure about Monthly Giving Sustainers, this session will answer the questions you may have about the value of adding a sustainer program to your revenue stream, especially now in times of uncertainty. Erica provides examples of how nonprofits of all sizes have created successful sustainer programs with minimal effort and expense; and the impact sustainers have on your donor retention rates and funds you can count on no matter what!
Several handouts will help enable participants’ understanding of how to begin or enhance a monthly giving program. Participants receive tools that will help them create a Monthly Giving Program including: a sustainer annualizer™ to calculate their mighty value, a monthly donor planner, and a complete road map with all the steps to get started and keep on going.
- You’ll learn how little time it takes to organize a sustainer program.
- You’ll find how easy it is to set up a program for your organization.
- You’ll learn where sustainers fit in your overall communication strategy from emails to appeals.
- You’ll hear the latest statistics on the power of monthly gifts.
- You’ll receive a complete roadmap and other resources to help you bring in new monthly donors.
Erica Waasdorp is President of A Direct Solution, Massachusetts. She works with non-profit clients nationally and internationally, assisting with their appeals and monthly giving from start to finish.
Erica Waasdorp published one of the very few books on monthly giving, called Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant. She created the Monthly Donor Road Map and several e-books to include the Top 7 Questions about Monthly Giving and the Monthly Donor Retention Play-Book. She also co-authored the DonorPerfect Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kits.
Erica regularly blogs and presents in person and via webinars on appeals, direct mail and monthly giving.