Conference Portal

December 7, 2022 | CT Convention Center

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Schedule at a Glance

December 6,2023 | CT Convention Center, Hartford, CT

8:00 AM
Registration, Breakfast and Exhibitor Hall Open


All Attendees are welcome to sign-in, enjoy breakfast and explore our exhibtor hall.

9:00 am
Opening Remarks  

Gian-Carl Casa, President and CEO, The Alliance


9:05 am
Morning Plenary:  DE&I Journey Experiences 

Facilitated by Andréa Hawkins, Founding Partner, Leading Culture Solutions 


Join us for a morning panel presentation of nonprofits at different stages of their DE&I journeys facilitated by LCS, who will discuss the business case for inclusion.

Nonprofits are full of dedicated people wearing multiple hats, striving to serve their communities. Often staff within organizations do not reflect the communities they serve. Frequently there are not enough available resources – human and financial. Many times, the thought of doing “one more thing” can seem overwhelming. During this interactive session, we will explore the benefits of creating equitable and inclusive spaces where everyone thrives, helping participants imagine DE&I not as just one more thing that you do (off the side of your desk), but the way you do everything.

Whether you have recently embarked upon a DE&I journey, are a seasoned pro, or just thinking about starting, this panel will give participants a glimpse into the process of culture transformation.

Recognizing that change is hard and acknowledging that sustaining new practices and behaviors takes persistence, we will check in with three organizations, to learn about their journey successes, challenges and lessons learned.

10:00 am
Networking and Exhibitor Hall Open


Take a few moments to catch up with colleagues, meet new friends and stroll through our exhibitor hall.

10:20 am
10 Tips for Nonprofit Employers to Reduce Risk in 2024

Audience: Managers, Directors and HR Staff

Megan Y. Carannante and Jonathan B. Orleans

Pullman & Comley



Nonprofits are constantly faced with new legislation and policy changes requiring focused attention on ways to reduce risk across the organization. Come hear lessons learned by employers in 2023 and learn steps you can take in the new year to avoid common missteps and mistakes related to:

• Managing FMLA requests and ADA accommodation
• Revising employment agreements and handbooks
• Pitfalls to avoid and consider when terminating employees,employee use of cannabis
• How to promote an equitable and inclusive workplace.

10:15 am
Engaging in Challenging DEI Conversations
Audience: Everyone

Andréa Hawkins and Shannon Burke

Leading Culture Solutions


Have you encountered a vendor with a strong view about a political issue, a client who has expressed homophobic views or a colleague who doesn’t agree with changing pronouns and the evolving nature of gender identity? Join us to learn strategies for leaning into the discomfort and fear that can often come from having discussions about topics not typically discussed in the workplace.

Many of us have been socialized to not talk about certain topics or trained that the customer is always right, but sometimes silence can cause more harm than engaging in conversation. In this session we will explore how, when and why to engage. We will discuss how to create safe spaces where people feel seen, heard and understood which, in turn, will improve organizational outcomes.
Presenters: Andréa Hawkins and Shannon Burke of Leading Culture Solutions.

10:20 AM
How to Tell Your Own Story: Tools for Effective Public Relations
Audience: Staff responsible for Business Development, Communications, Fundraising and Public Relations

Ann Baldwin

Baldwin Media Strategic Communications


The days of counting on local media outlets to tell the mission-driven stories of nonprofits are shrinking. The good news is that with social media and video you can create your own buzz. Join us to hear examples of real local media outreach campaigns that have garnered not only national media attention, but in some cases even increased donations. Learn step-by-step strategies that go into cultivating these types of stories and "tricks of the trade" that you immediately put into action to increase your organization’s visibility.

10:20 AM
Maintaining Composure in the Face of Hostility
Audience: Everyone, especially Direct Care Staff and their Managers

Alicia Davis and Stacie Watson

Transformative Leadership Strategies

In this workshop, you’ll learn to recognize and regulate your reactions when faced with emotionally charged (anger, rage, rudeness) situations and people. We will explore the role of the nervous system, identify specific triggers, and learn how to respond instead of reacting in these situations. We will also practice simple yet powerful de-escalation approaches to use in situations of conflict and aggression. Skills discussed will include centering, grounding, and calming techniques based in mindfulness and emotional intelligence principles.

10:20 AM
Be in “The Room Where It Happens”: Engaging Policymakers
Audience: Everyone

Alliance Staff and Special Guests


Join a panel of policymakers and Alliance staff for a workshop on how to advocate for your nonprofit. You’re an expert in your field! Learn why and how your unique knowledge of your nonprofit mission and values can be shared with your local elected officials from area cities counties and the Legislature. We’ll hear from elected officials how nonprofits can be involved in creating change through policy, focusing on the specialized knowledge of issue areas that nonprofit employees hold, and how to leverage relationships for effective advocacy. Learn how to kick-start your relationship building, testify at the Capitol, and more ways to share your vision for your community with policymakers.

11:55 AM
Lunch Break


12:40 PM
Steve Pemberton


1:25 PM
Networking and Exhibitor Hall Open 


1:45 PM
Building Staff Morale through Connection, Laughter, and Playful Engagement! 

Howard Moody, Author, The Heart of Play

Weaving together a mixture of experiential exercises with play and laughter, Howard Moody demonstrates how healthy self-care and playful engagement help to build and support employee morale.  Now more than ever, a balance of joy, connection and cooperation are essential for healthy relationships amongst your staff. Come experience connection to others and learn steps that you can take to strengthen morale in your workplace.  This workshop will get you up out of your seat and laughing after lunch!

1:45 PM
Recalibrating Your Leadership Compass

David O’Brien of WorkChoice Solutions

Audience: Leaders at all levels

In today’s rapidly changing times, leadership clarity and influence are critical factors in mobilizing and motivating nonprofit teams.. Despite the progress many organizations have made since the onset of the pandemic, most leaders would agree that today’s nonprofit organizations demand true leadership at its highest level. Post-pandemic, leaders have been forced to create a “new normal” that inspires hope among those they lead. For leaders to fully align their capacity with the evolving tides of leadership, they must first examine their own leadership formula and its impact on team morale, engagement, and success.

This interactive program is designed to provide leaders with a deeper understanding of  the five dimensions of Leadership Influence,  as well as the impact that the new workplace has on nonprofit teams. Participants can expect to leave the program with new tools that can be applied to expand their leadership influence and impact.  In addition, the program provides participants with a safe space for self-reflection which helps to build clarity around how our core values shape and guides our own unique leadership formula.  

1:45 PM
Fueling Impact: Radical Self-Care for BIPOC Nonprofit Changemakers

Nyaunu Stevens, The National Conference for Community and Justice

Audience: This session is exclusively for BIPOC nonprofit professionals at all levels. We look forward to working with white community members at other sessions throughout the year.

Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color: Have the past few years worn you out? Dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and the long-overdue racial reckoning exposed the inequities in our society and made the need for change present and urgent. This has placed a unique toll on BIPOC, as our organizations have begun to engage in equity work in a new way, placing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as more central to their missions. While this is a welcome change, it often places new workplace expectations and stresses on us as BIPOC, which can contribute to emotional and psychological burnout. As we continue to engage in the fight for racial justice, self-care plays a central role in making our equity work sustainable. Radical self-care is a key part of any equity work to reduce burnout during a long season of change. Join equity leader NCCJ for self-care tips and an interactive discussion on how we as BIPOC can create a space in our lives for daily healing and peace for ourselves and our communities.

1:45 PM
Workforce 2024 - Moving from the Great Reshuffle to the BIG STAY!

Allison Ebner, Employers Association of the North East 

Audience: Supervisors, Managers, Senior Leaders and HR Professionals

There is a palpable tide turning in the job market right now. The historic levels of job-hopping, quiet quitting and silent suffering are winding down. More employees are opting to stay put in their roles for longer durations, prompting employers to celebrate this new wave of retention. But that joy will be short lived unless you’ve got a plan to unlock the energy of your workforce.

Join us for this interactive program where we discuss the new rules of employee engagement (Hint: the focus is on professional development, recognition and aligning your brand experience with your employee experience.) Workforce transformations are daunting but the organizations that take this on will build a foundation that leads to high employee retention, enhanced productivity and a thriving culture!

1:45 PM
The Successful Fundraising Mindset -  Providing Opportunities Rather Than Asking for Money

Facilitator: Meg Bard, Shine Your Light CT 
Panelists: TBA

We often refer to fundraising as "the ask".  Rather than asking for support, what if we shift our mindset to think of fundraising as providing opportunities and meaningful experiences Rather than asking for money, nonprofits advocate for the meaningful work we do and provide our supporters with an opportunity to get more involved.? How would that change our approach to donor conversations?  Participants will walk away from this session with a renewed approach to fundraising, that is more approachable and collaborative than they may have previously thought.

3:00 PM

Sponsored by The Connection

Join us for snacks, drinks, and good company as we refelct on what we have learned and experienced throughout the day!  

4:00 PM
End of Day

Thank you for attending!