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Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference 2024

Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites 2525 Ashland St
Ashland
  • Member Price: $225.00
  • Non-member Price: $325.00

About this event

The Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference brings together as many as 350 nonprofit leaders for educational and networking sessions on current, relevant and inspiring topics facing nonprofits today.

Day 1: Agenda

Check-in at the registration table, enjoy a continental breakfast, and network with new and familiar colleagues.

Empowering Nonprofits: Investing in People, Teams, and Community to Combat Burnout and Disconnection
Keynote Speaker: Kishshana Palmer

In this insightful keynote, Kishshana Palmer, CEO of ManageMint, Inc. delves into the critical issue of burnout and disconnection within nonprofit organizations, exploring effective strategies for fostering a resilient and connected workforce. We will examine the unique pressures faced by those in the nonprofit sector, where passion-driven work often leads to emotional exhaustion and a sense of isolation. Recognizing these challenges, we will shift focus to holistic solutions centered around investing in people, teams, and the wider community.

Kishshana will share her take on the importance of nurturing individual well-being, emphasizing the role of continuous professional development, mental health resources, and creating a culture of recognition and support. She will share trends and her thinking on the pivotal role of community engagement in reinforcing a sense of purpose and belonging. Through a blend of research-backed insights and real-world examples, Kishshana provides actionable strategies for nonprofits to invest in their most valuable assets – their people, their teams, and their community – as a sustainable approach to preventing burnout and disconnection, ultimately leading to a more effective and fulfilling mission.

Refill your coffee and make your way to the first breakout session.

Session 1A: Funder Roundtables
Foundation representatives will include:

  • Oregon Community Foundation
  • Gordon Elwood Foundation
  • The Ford Family Foundation
  • The Carpenter Foundation
  • Anna May Family Foundation
  • Oregon Cultural Trust
  • Robert and Frances Chaney Family Foundation

The most successful grant proposals are those that are a great match for the funder’s unique process and priorities. In this session, attendees will have the opportunity to visit with representatives from several prominent regional and statewide foundations. Each funder will host a table where participants can ask questions about the foundation’s background, funding priorities, and grantmaking process. Attendees self-select which tables to join, and will be asked to rotate throughout the session. Come with questions and leave with connections!

Attendees are also encouraged to participate in the free Nail Your Networking webinar on April 2. If this is your first time speaking with funders or you’re not sure how to prepare, this webinar will guide you through how to make the most of your time, including creating a networking strategy and practicing your elevator pitch with confidence.

Session 1B: Guided by our Values: Value-Driven Leadership and Intentional Workplace Culture
Presented by: Chris Wallace Caldwell

As nonprofit leaders, we often talk about being value-driven. And we often (but not always) have a set of organizational values. But how do we use and lean into our values to help us make decisions, work through dilemmas, and create the workplace culture we truly want? What would it look like if we set out to create a workplace culture that helps us all feel a sense of belonging and bring our best work? This is becoming even more critical as our workspaces respond to changes brought on by the pandemic, reckonings with systemic racism and social inequities, and shifts in how we approach work-life balance.

This workshop is for leaders who want to operationalize what it means to be “value-driven.” We will explore how culture, unconscious or conscious, can impact our ability to meet our mission. Whether or not you already have a set of well-used values, or are starting from scratch, we will explore how we can put our values into practical action — deliberately creating language, norms, policies, and procedures that can help us navigate inevitable change, conflict, and create a sense of belonging. 

Session 1C: Cost Allocation Plans: What Are They And Why Do They Matter?
Presented by: Vega Tom

For nonprofits primarily funded with grants and cost reimbursement contracts, a good cost allocation plan can make or break the bottom line. In this session, we will talk about the nuts and bolts of what costs can be considered direct or indirect; the best way to develop an administrative or indirect rate; and the necessary processes that need to be in place to follow these allocation guidelines. A cost allocation plan is not just an explanation of how costs are assigned, but also a strategy to recoup as many costs as possible in the context of mixed grant funding. With different requirements, exclusions, and definitions of what goes into an administrative, these types of allocations require nuance. Cost allocations are the crossroads where strategy connects down to the tactical of “where do we charge postage?” We will talk about all of this and more in this session, so don’t miss out!

Session 1D: Impactful Community Partnerships
Session details will be available soon!

Make your way to Breakout Session 2!

Session 2A: Funder Roundtables
Foundation representatives will include:

  • Oregon Community Foundation
  • Gordon Elwood Foundation
  • The Ford Family Foundation
  • The Carpenter Foundation
  • Anna May Family Foundation
  • Oregon Cultural Trust
  • Robert and Frances Chaney Family Foundation

The most successful grant proposals are those that are a great match for the funder’s unique process and priorities. In this session, attendees will have the opportunity to visit with representatives from several prominent regional and statewide foundations. Each funder will host a table where participants can ask questions about the foundation’s background, funding priorities, and grantmaking process. Attendees self-select which tables to join, and will be asked to rotate throughout the session. Come with questions and leave with connections!

Attendees are also encouraged to participate in the free Nail Your Networking webinar on April 2. If this is your first time speaking with funders or you’re not sure how to prepare, this webinar will guide you through how to make the most of your time, including creating a networking strategy and practicing your elevator pitch with confidence.

Session 2B: Introduction to Theory of Change
Presented by: Charlotte Young

Although change has always been part of organizational life, the post-pandemic world offers the opportunity to take stock of our efforts. Tools such as a “theory of change” can help organizations re-think their approach so they maximize effectiveness. 

A theory of change is a map or visual that lays out the casual connections, relationships and pathways believed necessary for an initiative, intervention and/or organization to achieve its intended outcomes. An extremely simple theory of change, for instance, could be, “if people know more about X, they will change their behavior in the desired fashion.”

In this session, we’ll define theory of change, look at diverse examples and consider how you might use one to advance your organization’s efforts.

Session 2C: Nonprofit Finance Fundamentals: Cash Forecasting
Presented by: Bill Mancuso

Effective cash management is essential for any organization’s financial health and sustainability, but it’s especially important for nonprofit organizations that often experience fluctuations in cash flow due to reliance on contributions, grants, and income from program operations. Cash forecasting helps nonprofit organizations anticipate and manage these fluctuations, utilize available resources, and make informed decisions. The goal for this session is to equip participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to create accurate and insightful cash forecasts.

This workshop is recommended for individuals who are new to managing or providing financial services for nonprofit organizations or would like a refresher on cash forecasting.

In this session, our focus will be to:

  • Identify cash management best practices.
  • Illustrate short-term, mid-range, and long-term cash forecasting tools.
  • Summarize the importance of cash forecasting.
  • Apply the concepts presented to a case study exercise.

Session 2D: Belonging: A Foundation for Advancing DEIB
Presented by: Erica Briggs

Organizational values are a key component to creating a thriving nonprofit – and an organization that declares its values but fails to live up to them sends conflicting messages that can stir up conflict and distrust. When looking to better align your organization’s practices with your existing or desired values on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), the end (“B” for “belonging”) is a great place to start. Of course, a sense of belonging cannot be created by policies and procedures alone. Belonging comes when people feel psychological safety and comfort being who they are within our organization. This session will discuss how nonprofit staff and board leaders can (and must!) be cultural changemakers within an organization as it moves to align its work more closely with DEIB values.

Transforming Communities through Systems-change Grantmaking: Insights from Oregon’s Foundation CEOs
Facilitated by: Jim White, Executive Director, Nonprofit Association of Oregon
Panelists: Kara Carlisle, President & CEO, The Ford Family Foundation; Lisa Mensah, President & CEO, Oregon Community Foundation & Tyler Hobbs, President, Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation

During this lunchtime plenary session, we will be hearing from the visionary leaders behind some of Oregon’s major foundations for a captivating discussion on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, including emerging trends, effective grantmaking strategies, collaboration between foundations and nonprofits, and the evolving role of philanthropy in addressing social and economic challenges. The conversation will offer a unique opportunity for attendees to gain invaluable insights from foundations that are at the forefront of driving positive change through grantmaking that prioritizes systems change. Participants will have the opportunity to pose questions and engage in thought-provoking dialogue.

Session 3A: Fundraising Strategies for 2024
Presented by: Grady Goodall

Session details will be announced soon!

Session 3B: Policy Lab: State Grant & Contract Reform – What Nonprofits Need to Know 
Presented by: Phillip Kennedy-Wong

Have you ever had challenges with how the state manages its grants and contracts with your nonprofit? For the first time ever, the State of Oregon is undertaking a comprehensive reform to its grants and contract processes with nonprofits. Thanks to NAO’s Oregon Nonprofit Modernization Act, there is now a state task force charged with making recommendations in 2024. Do you want to help improve grants and contracts for nonprofits? Find out how in this interactive session.

Session 3C: Navigating Change: Legal, HR, and Leadership Perspectives on the Evolving Nonprofit Workplace
Panelists will be announced soon!

In this panel discussion, we convene a cross-disciplinary team of experts from the legal, HR, and nonprofit leadership fields to explore how nonprofit workplaces are navigating change. As the workforce evolves with a growing demand for flexibility, purpose, and work-life balance, alongside rapid technological change, our panel will delve into how nonprofits can strategically respond to these shifts. Panelists will discuss the legal implications of new work models, the role of HR in aligning organizational culture with employee expectations, and how leadership can drive innovation while maintaining mission focus. This session promises to offer actionable insights and strategies for nonprofit organizations aiming to adapt to the changing landscape, attract and retain talent, and leverage technology for greater impact. 

Join your fellow conference attendees for reception in the Stardust Lounge. This is your opportunity to relax and kick back with hors d’oeuvres, a cold beverage, and good conversation.

Day 2: Agenda

Enjoy a continental breakfast, and grab some coffee in preparation for Day 2!

Join us in the ballroom for breakfast and networking with new and familiar colleagues. This activity will be facilitated by NAO staff and members of your ONLC Advisory Committee.

Session 4A: Strategies for Engaging Small and Mid-Level Donors
Presented by: Laurel McCombs

In recent years, the nonprofit sector has faced a challenging fundraising landscape, evidenced by a multi-year decline in giving. This trend underscores the critical need for organizations to pivot and innovate in their engagement strategies, especially with small and mid-level donors. These groups represent a vital lifeline and a significant portion of revenue for many nonprofits, making their sustained support essential for achieving mission-driven goals.

In this workshop, we explore practical, scalable strategies to engage and retain these donors effectively. Participants will gain insights into the latest fundraising trends and the evolving donor expectations that accompany them. Through interactive discussions and hands-on activities, we will uncover innovative approaches to cultivate deeper relationships with these crucial donor segments, ensuring your organization can thrive even in the face of fundraising challenges. Participants will:

  • Understand the current fundraising climate and its impact on donor behavior.
  • Learn how to identify and engage small and mid-level donors with personalized, impactful strategies.
  • Explore systems and methods to deliver these strategies at scale.
  • Develop actionable plans to enhance engagement efforts at your organization.

Session 4B: Developing Future Board & Staff Leaders
Presented by: Kari Anderson

Nonprofit boards play a vital role in advancing the mission, vision, and values of their organizations. Nonprofit staff play an equally critical role in serving as co-strategists and implementing and executing the group’s mission. Yet many nonprofits struggle to find the next generation of leaders: board leaders who can provide strategic direction, governance, and advocacy, and staff leaders who have the creativity, skills, and focus to “do the work.”   

Leadership development strategies should be high on the list of priorities for any organization. Nonprofits need to ensure that key skills and invaluable organizational insights are shared and passed down to prospective leaders to avoid gaps in knowledge in the future. Unfortunately, this critical work is often last on the to-do list.   

How do you identify and develop future board and staff leaders who can sustain and grow your nonprofit’s impact? Kari Anderson, Principal with Incite! Consulting, will guide you through the most important work we need to embrace to keep our sector healthy. You’ll leave this workshop with tips to help you create a leadership development plan that works for your organization.

Session 4C: Best Practices in Nonprofit Budget Development
Presented by: Todd Kimball

This intensive workshop is designed to provide nonprofit leaders, financial managers, and board members with comprehensive insights into the strategic and practical aspects of developing and managing a nonprofit budget. 

Participants will learn how to create a realistic and effective budget that aligns with their organization’s mission and strategic goals. This includes establishing a successful budget process, discussing various budget methodologies – including grant based, program based and revenue based budgets, forecasting income and expenses, and involving key stakeholders in the budgeting process.  The session is sure to provide attendees not only with valuable insights and a toolkit of best practices but also networking opportunities with professionals dedicated to financial excellence in the nonprofit sector.

Session 4D: Navigating LGBTQIA+ Inclusion in a Shifting Landscape
Presented by: Carey Jean Sojka, PhD

This session is designed for nonprofit leaders seeking to enhance gender and sexuality inclusivity in their organizations. It covers a broad range of topics including understanding diverse identities, navigating changing societal norms, addressing biases, and adopting inclusive practices. The workshop also touches on managing community expectations and building alliances, equipping participants with general strategies to foster a more welcoming and understanding environment in their respective organizations.

Supplemental Event Info

A limited number of scholarships are available to members and non-members. There is a limit of one scholarship per organization. Please complete the scholarship application form, here, by April 1, 2024. 

  • Member Price with Scholarship: $100
  • Non-Member Price with Scholarship: $225

For more than three decades, the Oregon Nonprofit Leaders Conference has brought together leaders from nonprofits, philanthropy, and the private and public sectors to explore the challenges and opportunities facing charitable nonprofits today. In 2021, the Advisory Committee of the ONLC signed an agreement to combine the programming of the conference under the auspices of NAO. The combined capacity of the ONLC with NAO has given even greater power to the event’s goals and support to Southern Oregon’s nonprofit leaders.

Thank you to our 2023-2024 Advisory Committee members:

  • Amy Drake (co-chair)
  • Brad Russell (co-chair)
  • Lucy Brossard
  • Angela Durant
  • Risa Littman
  • Laura Pinney
  • Rhianna Simes

NAO has secured a room block and discounted rate at the Ashland Hills Hotel. Please refer to your event confirmation email for instructions on accessing this discount. With the stay at the hotel, guests can enjoy the fitness and business center, hotel parking, wi-fi, and the onsite restaurant Luna Cafe + Mercantile. For information on additional lodging options, food, and activities, check out Travel Ashland and Travel Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley Food Trail.

Free parking is available at the hotel for conference attendees.

Sponsors

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting this year's ONLC!

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About the presenters

CEO at ManageMint, Inc.

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President and CEO at The Ford Family Foundation*

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President and CEO at Oregon Community Foundation

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President at Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation Trust

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Founder & Principal Consultant at Catalysis LLC

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Director of Practice at Envision Synergy

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Nonprofit Education Specialist at Nonprofit Association of Oregon

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Director of Development at Oregon State University

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Public Policy Director at Nonprofit Association of Oregon

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Sr. Philanthropy Advisor at The Osborne Group

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Principal at Incite! Consulting

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Associate Professor at Southern Oregon University

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Manager at Your Part-Time Controller

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Partner

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Principal at Vega Tom Consulting LLC

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