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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, October 7, 2013, 6:50 am

Top professionals on range of nonprofit issues to present Oct. 30

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    SANTA ROSA — The latest trends in nonprofit finance, board governance, accounting, cyber-liability, fraud-prevention and giving strategies will be addressed at the annual Nonprofit Boot Camp & Leadership Awards conference on Oct. 30 along with expert advice on how community organizations should consider partnerships with businesses, local government, community-based organizations and other nonprofits to be successful.

    The event includes an awards luncheon where 13 nonprofit leaders will be honored for their accomplishments.

    The boot camp and luncheon will be Oct. 30, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park. Cost is $55 per person including lunch; $500 for a table of eight. Register for the event at NorthBayBusinessJournal.com or call 707 521-5270. Or email Linda Perkins at linda.perkins@busjrnl.com.

    The boot camp is supported by founding underwriter Pisenti & Brinker, LLP, and additional sponsors and presenters Summit State Bank, Vantreo Insurance Brokerage and Private Ocean wealth management.

    “Every nonprofit executive, development director, other staff and board members stand to benefit from attending this event,” said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger. “It is rare if not unprecedented to have this many and this caliber of accounting, finance, security and wealth experts in the same room at the same time.”

    In addition to these top local professionals in those fields, the conference will include panel presentations and luncheon keynote by highly sought-after nonprofit advisers Kay Sprinkel Grace, founder of Transforming Philanthropy, LLC, and Elliot Levin, president and founder of the Partnership Resources Group in San Rafael.

    Both will encourage attendees to look at partnerships in a new light.

    “Americans have idolized stand-alone heroes for decades,” said Ms. Grace, who will be a panelist and deliver a keynote address.”This Lone Ranger approach has carried over into the nonprofit sector, along with unfounded fears about working with local businesses and government to achieve mutual goals.”

    She said nonprofits should invite local business, education and government representatives to sit at the same table, identify unmet needs and decide how they can mutually support each other.

    “Partnerships among these entities have occurred in the past when critical issues had to be faced. These parties often share a common vision and a sense of cause consciousness that could bring them together to do what each does best for the greater good,” she said.

    Ms. Grace cited a Forbes 400 global philanthropy report that included a poll on what made the organizations succeed in solving major issues. The consensus of their responses was success was directly related to partnerships they formed.

    “We’ve all learned to silo ourselves. We need to focus less on preserving our organizations and more on becoming part of the social enterprise movement through collaborations and partnerships.

    “We no longer have a homogeneous society, and disparities are growing. Financial support for education is crumbling, resulting in a breakdown in the fabric of our communities.  We are coming to grips with the fact that it will ‘take a village’ to restore most of our communities to their full potential.  We need big ideas to ignite the imagination of big social investors to lift us from the chronic issues we now confront in so many arenas and communities.”

    These gaps can be bridged.

    “We have the resources within our communities to meet the widespread needs in education, arts, culture, social services and all other areas comprising our social infrastructure.  We can do it.  We can create a world where people can thrive. But it’s going to require new approaches and bold partnering to achieve desired outcomes.”

    Mr. Levin plans to talk about what he calls exciting trends in large-scale fund development, ways to break down barriers between the public and private sectors as well as how to determine who is responsible for doing what.

    “There is a trifecta for success when it comes to fundraising,” he said. “It involves having a compelling vision, a crisp strategy and outstanding leadership.”

    Fundraising is not just an exchange of money, it’s about supporting values, and the art and science of establishing, building, and maintaining effective, ongoing donor relationships, Mr. Levin said.

    “The greatest untapped source of funding is individual donors who give over three-fourths of all contributions in the U.S.,” he said.  “Foundations and corporate grants account for only about 13 percent, and bequests add another 5 percent.”

    For nonprofits to thrive, they should focus on where the donors are as well as understand how to create and nurture new and existing contributors, according to Mr. Levin.

     “What distinguishes organizations is not the worthiness of their mission or their exemplary work. It involves clearly understanding the mission and creating a strategy to promote that mission by building an organization with sound leadership, dedicated volunteers and cross-sector community organization involvement.”

    “Public sector sources should never be underestimated. However, one should not want to make a mission vulnerable to a funding stream that could evaporate — or may decrease — over time. Aggressive diversification of funding sources in essential for survival, and nonprofits should double their efforts to do this.”

    Mr. Levin said he plans to focus on how nonprofits can break out of their comfort zones, avoid parochial “turf” issues and take calculated risks, while also giving Boot Camp attendees an opportunity to look at best practices and what is working when it comes to effective fundraising.

    The conference will conclude with lunch and the presentation of the Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Awards to 13 outstanding recipients. They are:

    The winners are: Katie Barr, executive leader of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today;  Ralph Benson, executive director of Sonoma Land Trust; Robin Bowen, executive director of California Parenting Institute;  Diana Curtin, executive director of Chop’s Teen Club;  Linda Davis, chief executive officer of Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership;  Diane Evans, executive director of Sonoma County Museum;  Susan Gillmore, executive director of North Bay Children’s Center;  Kiska Icard, executive director of Sonoma Humane Society;  Mike Kallhoff, president and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country; Kate McClintock, executive director of Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation;  Tim Miller, chief executive officer of American Red Cross Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties Chapter; Rick Phillips, executive director of Community Matters,, and  Mary Kay Sweeney, executive director of Homeward Bound of Marin.

    In addition to the nonprofit executives, the Journal selected Carol Ann Libarle, board member of Petaluma Educational Foundation, as Board Member of the Year.

    “The accomplishments of those organizations, whether it is expanding access to local history and art, supporting our youth or building a highly successful college foundation are an inspiration and that deserve recognition,” said Mr. Bollinger.

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