Workshop Themes


  • Networked Leadership The challenges we face today are so complex and of such magnitude that we are compelled to work differently. By working collectively in networks, nonprofit organizations can leverage their respective competencies and significantly scale the impact of their work. This conference track will include a series of three linked workshops that outline the principles of network leadership and present ways to transform your own thinking and the way your organization functions. The workshops will be presented by four leading thinkers in the field of Network Leadership, providing participants with research, examples of networks, tips for implementation both internally and externally, and supporting resources.  Presented in partnership with The Housing and Development Consortium of Seattle-King County and Converge.
  • Leading in Turbulent Times  How can nonprofit leaders prepare for policy changes in an ever-shifting landscape? How can you create a sustainable compensation plan that’s also in line with your organizational (and personal) values? What can we do, as a sector, to eliminate the gender pay gap? Will pay-for-performance and impact investing alter your plans in terms of funding and evaluation? Participants will get perspectives on these questions from leading academics, and nonprofit/foundation executives who are working on, and through, these issues every day. Expect these sessions to be thought-provoking and interactive.
  • Championing Equity Gain new skills to lead inclusively. Recognize and interrupt patterns of exclusion and promote equity in your nonprofit organization and your community.
  • Transformation  Take away insights to enhance your own wellness, democratize your organization and lead in a time of rapid change or crisis.
  • New Tools Walk away with tools and strategies you can use immediately—learn how to use video effectively as a communications tool, how to manage public relations in a crisis, and how to create a financial dashboard for your nonprofit.
  • Advocacy Now! Empower yourself and your board to lift your voices regarding the things that matter most to you and your constituents.  Come away clear on the rules governing nonprofit advocacy, how to engage your board and how to tell your story to attract funding.



Workshop Descriptions


HDC_horiz_rgbConverge For Impact - logo

The New Network Leader: How to Grow Your Impact
Jane Wei-Skillern #1: 9:15 - 10:30 am

Presenter: Jane Wei-Skillern, University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

Professor Jane Wei-Skillern will present the findings of over 15 years of researching non-profit organizations that achieved scale through collaboration and use of impact networks. Actual case examples will be shared along with key counterintuitive principles that have universally characterized successful nonprofit networks. Resources for further learning and exploration will be shared.

Presentation slides

The Network Leader Mindset: Making the Case With Your Staff, Board, and Funders
Session #2: 2:00 - 3:15 pm

Marty KooistraMarty Kooistra, Housing and Development Consortium of Seattle-King County

Leading with a network mindset can be challenging as the principles a leader relies on can seem contrary to what some believe is effective leadership. Characteristics of network leaders will be shared. Navigating the resistance a leader might face from Board or staff and bringing everyone along in a network mindset will be explored with participants. 

Presentation slides

The Network Leader Roadmap: How to Make Complex Collaborations Work
Session #3: 3:30-4:45 pm

David + DavidPresenters: David Ehrlichman + David Sawyer, Converge,

Building an effective impact network, or any form of complex collaboration, requires the ability to convene the right people, build trust early to find common ground, and set the stage for long-term success. Learn the tactics of trust and other critical practices that make network leaders successful when designing, building, and managing complex collaborations both within and across organizations.

How to Make Complex Collaborations Work

What to Expect and What to Do

Minimum Wage: The Impact on Local Nonprofits 

Presenters: Professor Scott Allard and Hilary WethingUW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

The Evans School of Public Policy & Governance’s Minimum Wage Study is looking at the impact of Seattle’s minimum wage, including how it is impacting nonprofits. The country is watching as Seattle, and Washington, trail blaze into unchartered territory. Researchers involved in the study will share what they’ve learned so far and address questions like: How might the increase impact nonprofits going forward? 

Getting to Pay Equity

melissa merritt

Presenters: Kristen SpanglerWomen's Funding Alliance, Marilyn Watkins, Economic Opportunity Institute, and Melissa Merritt, Waldron

As a sector, we are committed to equity in all forms. However, when it comes to pay, we are not living our values. A disproportionately high number of women, especially women of color, work in the nonprofit sector, so we feel (and live) the impact of the gender gap even more acutely than other sectors. What can we do—as employers, leaders, and equity advocates—to eliminate the gender pay gap?

Pay-for-Performance & Social Impact Investing: An evaluation quandary

Presenter: Professor Mary Kay Gugerty, UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance and Teri Kook, Family Impact Network

Increasingly, nonprofits are being paid for performance. This fits into a larger, longer-standing trend of funders asking grantees to prove their impact with data. As demands on nonprofits to prove their impact increase, how can you get ahead of the curve? In this interactive discussion with leading academics, grantmakers, and nonprofit executives, participants will grapple with what these trends in impact evaluation and pay-for-performance mean for their organization. 

Presentation slides


HR and Equity: strategies to live your valuesfleur larsenkeonna jackson

Presenters: Keonna  Jackson & Fleur Larsen, HR and Equity Consulting Firm and Experience HR, and

Human Resource work has the potential to be a powerful arena for an organization to live its’ values. The core of HR is taking care of the humans who work hard to meet the mission and serve their clients. When this is in alignment with equity, transformation is possible. Everyone benefits when diversity and inclusion are at the center of HR. This workshop will review 6 key areas within HR to increase equity, live your organization’s values and better serve your community.

Presentation slides

Whose Knowledge Counts for Programs and Policies? Resistance as Diagnostic in Counterspace Settingsbrett coleman

Presenter: Brett Coleman, Western Washington University

This workshop provides tools for organizing around justice and liberation in social service contexts. Based in a grounded, data-driven extension of the Counterspace framework (Case & Hunter, 2012), it frames resistance as diagnostic of power. Organizational settings can reinforce oppression and marginalization through “patterns of exclusion” that reflect the power dynamics present in the broader society (Kivel, 2004). This is especially so given the influence of expert-driven service models and “best practices.” A counterspace can facilitate resistance to such oppression among marginalized people through “challenging processes” such as narrative identity work, relational transactions and acts of resistance. Such resistance can be diagnostic of power when we identify the ways in which specific challenging processes respond to specific patterns of exclusion, and in which domains. Identifying how challenging processes counter patterns of exclusion can be useful for identifying how organizational policies and practices reify oppression and marginalization in specific settings, and how such reification can be disrupted or transformed. Dr. Coleman will briefly describe the research that underlies his extended counterspace framework and will engage the audience in an exercise to apply it to their own organizational contexts. Participants will learn to identify challenging processes, patterns of exclusion, and the domains in which they interact, and will practice applying the implications of the former to action.

Leveraging Polarities to Promote Equity and Create Social Changeterrill thompson

Presenter: Terrill Thompson, CTThompson Consulting,

Polarity Thinking has been used to support black students in a traditionally white school at the fall of apartheid in South Africa, and is being used to support black communities and police reform in the United States today. When we can see societal problems as a part of one or more key polarities, it increases the attainability, speed, and sustainability of our efforts to build the world we envision. Through story telling and interactive exercises, participants will literally get to stand in and experience each of the four quadrants of a polarity map, experience the "getting unstuck” process, and work in teams to create action steps to leverage the upsides of both sizes of the polarity. (Polarities are ongoing, interdependent values (often opposites) that need each other over time in order to achieve a greater purpose.)

Presentation slides

Polarity Map


Burned Out to Burning BrightlyKatie Howard

Presenter: Katie Howard, KH Consulting,

We work in the nonprofit sector because we want to make our world a better place. But sometimes we put our mission before our personal well-being with dire results: over-work, insomnia, health problems, depression, total burnout. This workshop explores practical steps we can take as individuals and organizations to nourish our most precious resource: our people! Participants will examine their personal and organizational habits around four pillars of wellness that can sustain us as we work toward our mission. Everyone will leave the workshop with simple, effective changes we can make right now – without spending a penny.

Presentation slides


Transforming nonprofits into democratic institutionsSrijan Chakraborty

Presenter: Srijan Chakraborty, Hunger Intervention Program (HIP),

How do we create an organization where every employee feels truly important, has ownership of their work, and is invested in the success of the organization? While good leadership can make a lot of that possible, it’s more important to make structural shifts such that we aren’t always relying on that one perfect leader. Nonprofits value equity and empowerment of employees and clients. Yet, we do surprisingly little within our agencies to put those values in action. Transforming our workplace into a participatory democratic space, where employees have a voice in the decisions that affect them, has clear benefits for both employees and the organization. This is borne out by social studies research. This workshop will challenge people to rethink the structure of our workplaces. In this interactive workshop we’ll confront our misgivings about re-imagining our workplaces as thriving participatory democratic places, expand our understanding of democratic organizational structure, and learn some tools to start shifting the balance of power within our organizations.

Presentation slides

Transformers: Stories of Leadership for Community Impact Kate Roosevelt

Presenters: Kate Roosevelt, Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company, with Eric Stevens, Kitsap Humane Society & Estela Ortega, El Centro de la Raza (invited)

Throughout their careers, nonprofit leaders are called upon to seize opportunities and calm crises that can profoundly affect their organizations and the people they serve – for better or for worse. One’s ability to successfully build community partnerships, stabilize finances and staff, and anticipate and respond to a rapidly changing external environment can make all the difference in whether an organization grows and thrives or withers on the vine. This moderated panel discussion will feature seasoned executive directors who have seen it all…and done it all! From pulling an animal welfare group back from the brink of extinction to creating a model for community-oriented affordable housing, our panelists will share their experiences of leading organizations through profound periods of change and transformation – all in aid of serving their communities in deeper and more impactful ways.


10 Tips to Use Video to Fuel Your Fundraising and Marketing

Presenter: Chris Donaldson, Melinda Hohlbein Loeffler, Hand CranFilms,

melinda hohlbein loefflerchris donaldson

Want to know how to use your available resources to create and execute a powerful video strategy? Video is now mainstream, from social media to websites to fundraising banquets. You know video needs to be part of your marketing mix, but how do you tap into this tool to help drive engagement and reinforce your mission? We'll cover the best tips for harnessing video across all budget and resource levels, including how to find your story. Video with compelling content is a powerful way to tell the unique, heart-driven message of your organization to help move the needle on your fundraising, outreach, awareness and donor goals!

Presentation slides

We Didn't Start the Fire: Crisis Communications Tips from Woodland Park Zoo

Presenters: Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham, Kerston Swartz, Woodland Park Zoo,

We’ve all done a lot of training for crises. But sometimes a crisis actually happens. Then what?  Woodland Park Zoo experts in crisis and media, digital and elected official outreach will lead a fun and creative exercise around crisis communications for nonprofits.

Communicating Impact with Strategic & Financial Dashboardsamy stork

Presenter: Amy Stork, Solid Ground Consulting,

Dashboards use simple graphics to help board members, funders and others instantly grasp key information about your organization’s strategic impact and financial status. This workshop will briefly explore the overall concept of “dashboarding,” showcase effective examples of dashboards from the non-profit community, and explore best practices for developing a dashboard for your organization. The session is focused on developing a dashboard for your board of directors, but the principles can be applied to dashboards for other audiences.

Presentation slides


From “You” to “We”: Fostering Ownership Among Your DonorsSusan Howlett

Presenter: Susan HowlettSusan Howlett

If your organization’s fundraising strategy is characterized by asking people for money, you’re not positioning yourself for long-term sustainability.  This highly interactive conversation will explore a more forward-thinking posture for your organization – one that prioritizes creating a sense of ownership among stakeholders who share your values. Find out how to shift your organization’s culture away from old-school fundraising to a model that’s more authentic, and more effective for the long haul.

If you have no VOICE, you have no POWERnancy long

Presenters: Leaders from 501 Commons, Alliance for Justice, and Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) 

Want to be more engaged in advocacy and public policy—beyond joining a coalition or attending a lobby day? This session will provide a primer to legal issues, such as the difference between advocacy and lobbying, 990 reporting, and the benefits of filing a 501(h) election. 

Whether you organize your constituents or walk the halls of power yourself to change laws and budgets, you want results, right? Learn how legislative and rulemaking processes really work, including making friends in high places and nesting your issues into existing policy debates. Exercises will provide tips on messaging and unpacking your policy goals.

Presentation slides

Stand for Your Mission: How Board Members Can Create Changevernetta walker

Presenter: Vernetta Walker, Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource

Stand for Your Mission is about unleashing the full potential of the nonprofit sector to create positive change through advocacy. The most effective charitable organizations have recognized that successful advocacy does not require stepping into the quagmire of partisan politics. It simply means using our voices as committed and informed champions for our missions. This session will provide you a powerful tool for facilitating ongoing board dialogue on your organization’s legal right to advocate and an opportunity for peer-to-peer sharing on how to bring about a sustainable shift in the understanding and expectations around board engagement in advocacy.

Presentation slides

Please note: Descriptions and Titles noted above are subject to change. 

Jane Wei-Skillern

Outlook Outlook
iCal iCal
Google Google
Yahoo! Yahoo!