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Nonprofit Leadership Conference 2022

We are delighted to invite you to John Carroll University’s beautiful campus in University Heights, Ohio to attend the inaugural NE Ohio Nonprofit Leadership Conference on Friday, May 6th, 2022. We hope you will join us!

John Carroll University’s Nonprofit Administration Program, in concert with The Ginn Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, tried to offer this conference in May of 2020, but it was not to be. This is our year!  

We have gathered speakers from across our community to bring you cutting-edge ideas about data, leadership, fundraising, justice and equity. This conference promises to be an exciting opportunity to gather, share best practices, and improve our work to benefit our communities. Please put on your thinking cap, gather your colleagues and come for the learning and the networking 

We invite you to join us.

Thank you for your consideration.

Click here to register.

Speaker List: 

Please find our speaker biographies here


Session one:

Evaluation for Nonprofit Leaders: Showing Your Impact  

Dr. Tania Jarosewich and Colleen Kassouf Mackey, Censeo Group

Effective evaluation is key to understanding the impact of a nonprofit’s work. An important part of effective evaluation is sharing findings clearly and compellingly. Presenters will introduce elements of evaluation practice that can help nonprofit leaders understand and show the impact of their organization’s work: logic models and theories of change, reporting formats, and data visualizations. This skill-building workshop will offer participants examples of practical tools and include time for participants to work through examples they can use in their own settings.

How to Secure Corporate Support for Nonprofit DEI & Sustainability Initiatives

Lori Zoss-Kraska, Growth Owl

Companies are eager to learn about sponsorship, funding, and strategic partnership opportunities centered around sustainability, diversity, and inclusion efforts. There is no better time than now to create a corporate support strategy for DEI and Sustainability initiatives. This interactive session will help nonprofit executives discover how they can best engage corporate leaders looking to support nonprofit initiatives in the areas of DEI and Sustainability. Additionally, the session will cover specific characteristics corporations are looking for in prospective program support and how best to engage these leaders who both influence and make funding decisions in the areas of DEI and Sustainability. Most importantly, attendees will come away with steps on how best to create and communicate the connection between their nonprofit's mission and a corporation's philanthropic vision and values in the areas of DEI and Sustainability.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion/Belonging: A Work in Progress

Selen Zarrelli, John Carroll University Diversity Center 

How can nonprofit organizations proactively address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion/belonging (DE&I) that will lead to positive and transformative systematic change? Join Selen Zarrelli (she, her, hers) as she offers strategies for attendees to elevate the nonprofits’ DE&I initiatives and align their work.

Session Two: 

And Now What? — Preparing for Change at Your Organization

Beth Lucas, UCP of Greater Cleveland

Executive transition should be at the forefront of every successful nonprofit leader’s mind. Yet, boards of directors often find they are not prepared for the most significant and impactful decision for their agency – finding someone dynamic and visionary (and also skilled in overseeing operations) to lead them into the future. Succession planning helps manage planned and unplanned leadership transitions by identifying future leaders, creating development plans to support professional growth, and promoting long-term sustainability. A solid plan incorporates many stakeholders and considers the employees, the culture, and the organization's mission. This presentation will look at the attributes of an effective succession plan.

Don't Let Data Get You Down!

Amy Wong, Dot Org Solutions

We are living in a data-driven world. Yet many organizations don’t have accurate data or know how to use data to their advantage. In this session, participants will learn ways to clean their data (and keep it clean); understand key terms and concepts relating to digital media data; and discover how to use that information to raise more money, reach more constituents and build relationships.

Planning and Budgeting for Fundraising Success

Kerri Mollard, Mollard Consulting, LLC

Creating realistic budgets based on actual giving history and probabilities creates an environment for success – especially in a pandemic. In this session, participants will gain new skills in analyzing and forecasting fundraising goals (e.g., using probabilities), learn about the latest research findings regarding fundraising planning, and learn how to use their personal and positional power to add to their organization’s budget conversations.

Building a Culture of Interrogation: One Nonprofits Journey toward DEIA

Shannon Lee, Karen Hewitt, and Collin Ries, Leadership Columbus  

Join us to learn how one nonprofit organization went about creating a culture of interrogation, community accountability, equity, and belonging. This workshop will explore individual and collective interrogation of oppressive systems that we live in and systems that live inside of us. Participants will leave with ways to emotionally explore DEIA work as well as tangible tools to apply at the individual and organizational level.

Lunch and Learn 

Leadership Lessons from the Field: Panel Discussion

Natalie Leek, Providence House, Mary Paxton, JumpStart, and Rick Kemm, May Dugan Center

Lunch and Learn with three veteran nonprofit leaders as they discuss the lessons they’ve learned, the successes they’ve celebrated, and the challenges they’ve overcome during their many years of executive leadership. Moderated by Nonprofit Administration student, Obed Shelton.

Session Three:

Coloring Outside of the Lines

Veranda Rogers, Pregnant With Possibilities Resource Center

Business as we know it has changed. The ability to think outside of the box and create growth strategies will create elasticity. This engaging presentation encourages nonprofit leaders to connect with the community to best serve them organically.

Collaborative Leadership and Strategic Doing 

Rachel Ciomcia and Marianne Crosley, Cleveland Leadership Center.

Nonprofits and community organizations aim to address challenges facing their constituents. Many times, these challenges require more complicated, systemic solutions, which can only be achieved through collaboration with cross-sector stakeholders from across the community. Collaboration can be complicated and often requires a different leadership approach and action planning to make real progress. This workshop will explore the landscape of the community and the skills needed to be effective collaborative leaders through the concepts of Strategic Doing™.

Nonprofit Ethics: Policies to Practice    

Natalie Leek, Providence House

Nonprofits are mission-driven businesses that are held to rigorous ethical standards far beyond the direct services performed for the organization’s mission delivery. This presentation and discussion will delve into the many layers of ethical and regulatory standards that must be managed in nonprofits. Participants will also explore real-world examples of policies, practices, and actions taken to ensure ethical performance and transparency at Providence House.

The CEO/Chair Partnership

John Corlett and David Miller, Community Solutions

The relationship between the CEO and the Board Chair is a partnership. How that partnership plays out may change depending on your institution, yet the roles of each are complementary and distinct. Join two long-serving nonprofit leaders as they discuss how they work together to advance the mission of Community Solutions.

Fabulous Fundraising Flubs 2.0

John Gilchrist, Fundraiser Strategies

Every professional development officer enjoys a wide variety of successful solicitations. Yet what do these successes teach us other than continue doing the same set of tasks. When the professional development officer encounters a failed ask, true learning begins. By retracing actions and questioning what we could have done differently, we position ourselves for understanding the nuances of donor psychology and can proactively address those situations and secure the gift.

This session will present a handful of actual scenarios and conduct a real-world debrief to determine how attendees might react given the nature of the scenario. The scenario concludes with the actual resolution - with the lessons learned for the future.

Session 4:

Finding Your North Star through Strategic Planning

Greg Nielsen, Nielsen Training & Consulting, LLC

A nonprofit’s vision represents its North Star, that destination and desired future state toward which all activities, programs, and actions orient. A strategic plan serves as a roadmap to enable an organization to set priorities and measure progress. This interactive workshop takes the fear out of strategic planning. Combining interactive discussions with presentation, attendees will learn about the value of developing a culture of planning while understanding the components of an effective, inclusive planning process. We will also explore ways to manage the critical inflection point of translating vision into reality by seamlessly moving from planning to implementation.

Not Just a Pride Flag: Guiding Tips for Engaging LGBTQ+ Employees & Clients

Amanda Cole, Plexus LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce

June is Pride month, but supporting LGBTQ+ employees and clients is a year-round effort. This session will provide a 101 overview of LGBTQ+ identities and the discrimination and exclusion these identities experience. Participants will walk away with resources and action steps for creating a more inclusive work environment and an increased ability to serve LGBTQ+ communities.

We’ll discuss the LGBTQ+ legal landscape and lack of protections, an explanation of the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity (transgender and non-binary), and easy-to-implement policies and practices for a more culturally competent and inclusive organization.

Improvement Science: How to Stop Fighting Fires and Start Improving Processes

Danielle Tong, The Columbus Foundation

Every day, nonprofit leaders rise to the challenge of uncovering solutions to our society’s most complex difficulties. In the fast-paced and critically important work of the nonprofit sector, leaders sometimes find that they are caught in a loop of ‘putting out fires’ instead of making what feels like substantive gains toward the organization’s mission and vision. In this discussion, nonprofit leaders will learn about how inconsistency in processes produces ‘fires’ and how wasted time and effort hidden within a process can be the root cause of that inconsistency. Improvement in science may be the solution to this problem.

Student Panel: The Realities of Attending Graduate School While Working Full Time 

Zachary Thomas, Writers in Residence- Liv Passe, Alzheimer’s Association- Andy Trares, May Dugan Center- Debi Pence-Meyenberg, Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Join four current Nonprofit Administration graduate students who work full time in the sector.  Learn how they do it and how you can too! Moderated by Nonprofit Administration student and graduate assistant, Hannah Hill.