Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reflections from the Independent Sector Annual Conference

This past week I had the pleasure of participating in the Independent Sector annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The Independent Sector is the leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I organized the social media team for the NGen portion of the conference. Blog posts from these sessions can be found on the Independent Sector blog.

On the last day of the conference during the NGen debriefing session, Rusty Stahl executive director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Trish Tchume, Director of Civic Engagement for the Building Movement project had us write down three items that we wanted to take away from the conference.

Here are the three takeaways that I wrote down:

1. Inspiration: I was truly inspired by the speakers throughout the conference and hearing their visions for the nonprofit/philanthropic sector. My inspiration is reflected in the three blog posts that I wrote for the Independent Sector during the conference.

2. Focus: Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service said something during his keynote speech that really stuck with me. He said, "We need to balance our passion with pragmatism." Many younger people in the nonprofit sector are very passionate about their work but are not realistic or focused in how they enact their passions. Patrick's statement made me realize the importance of focusing and narrowing one's passion so that it can be realistically achieved. Let me give you a personal example.

As many of you know I am super passionate about the ENTIRE nonprofit sector. This passion has opened many doors for me but it has also caused me to take on way too many projects beyond my time capacity. Patrick's inspirational speech helped me to think of ways that I can focus and refine my passion into specific areas within the nonprofit sector (that can be accomplished).

3. Action: From now on all the NEW work that I volunteer for, or take on will be related to refined passion/vision for the nonprofit sector and will focus on three distinct areas.
  1. Nonprofit Workforce: Everyone would view working in a nonprofit organization as a viable career option.
  2. Nonprofit Operations & Capacity Building: Executive directors, staff, board members, and volunteers within nonprofit organizations would freely access the amazing capacity-building/operational tools and resources available to them across the sector.
  3. Nonprofit Education: Nonprofit master's degrees would focus on student AND organizational learning outcomes.

No comments: