Nikki’s Picks for GMN Conference

Standard disclaimer applies: I am not a grants management professional, I just work for them. But I’m thrilled by the sessions we’re offering at our 10th Annual Conference next month and know that some of them will be relevant to me as a person who works in philanthropy in general. Here are the sessions I would attend:

Block A: Worlds Collide: Philanthropy and Politics After Citizens United

This session intrigues me as a citizen of the U.S., a country where elections are more and more about how much money you have. But isn’t philanthropy also about that? What are the implications in philanthropy for unfettered cash in our electoral system? Should foundations be able (encouraged?) to play politics with their funds? What does it mean for regulation?

Block B: Career Coaching: When, Why, and for Whom?

As a person with a career, I’m interested in how I can further it. Do *I* need a career coach, and what would a career coach have to offer me? What opportunities are out there for me to strengthen my job position? This session seems like a natural for anyone who feels comfortable in their career choice and is ready to know how to advance the right way.

Block C: Using Data to Support Decision-Making and Inspire Action

I’ll admit it: I’m a little afraid of data. Maybe it’s too close to math, an uncomfortable subject for me. But I know that data is the key to so much of what’s happening in philanthropy and I need help wrapping my head around how to use data to its best outcomes. I think this session would give me a really good grounding in the kind of data I need to be focusing on, so I can get over my irrational fear and connect to the information that can really help make a difference.

Block D: How to Present with Impact and Persuade with Ease

Whether I’m presenting at our annual conference in front of 600 people or giving a webinar to 40, I’d still like to beef up my skills in this area. I have a certain comfort level–I know my topics, after all–but would like to increase my ability to connect with the audience and provide the kind of information people really want to take away with them. In fact, I think this session would help me communicate more clearly in one-on-one situations as well.

Block E:  Moving EO Forward: An Update

I can’t wait to meet Tamera Ripperda, Exempt Organization Director at the IRS, and hear what she has to say about the future of exempt organizations. It’s amazing the GMN is able to secure access to such an important resource and I have lots of questions to ask in this session.

Block F: Fearless Leadership Is … Making Every Day Count

No doubt, this is the conference session I’m most looking forward to. I’m committed to being a leader in my job, both at the local (office-wide) and global (philanthropy sector) level. But how do I get there from here? They say everyone has leadership potential, and I want to know how to tap into mine.

Block G: Implementing Simplify: Helping Nonprofits Advance Their Missions

Simplify is a wonderful idea but I want to know how to put it into practice. Much like GMN’s Project Streamline, the practices matter when you’re trying to ease the burden on nonprofits and I’m eager to see how Simplify helps do this.

There you have it, my conference session picks. Which sessions are you most looking foward to and why?

Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's communications and practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.