GCN's 2013 Nonprofit Summit

The Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s (GCN) 2013 Nonprofit Summit took place May 20-21. The Summit included more workshops, lectures, and other events than could be attended by one or two people. I have tried to summarize a few take-away points from some of my favorite sessions. Check out some of our photos on Facebook from the event.
With so many amazing speakers and topics, I recommend that all nonprofits send more than one representative to this event every year, in order to take advantage of the opportunities for learning and growth.
I walked around the Exhibit Hall, visiting with the many exhibitors who were there, and several of them commented to me on how many YNPN members they had met. This was due in no small part to YNPN Atlanta’s collaboration with GCN on the 30 Under 30 Awards, and in the creation of the ’30 Under 30’ track at the conference, including bringing Trish Tchume, YNPN National’s Executive Director, to present at the Summit.
AwardWinners_panorama All 30 award winners at the Summit!
There was also fun to be had at the conference, especially at the Opportunity Knocks photobooth, run by wowphotobooth.com! Here's a collage of some YNPN'ers hamming it up:


A phenomenal session on Social Media Strategy with Alyssa Esker of Edelman included the tidbit that Facebook posts create engagement for 2 to 3 hours only (on Twitter, it’s an hour or less), and 70% of post engagement happens in someone’s News Feed, not on your organization’s Page. Ms. Esker also wisely told the audience to get on Google+, but to use it as an amplifier, not a community builder. Google+ helps with search results, which is critical. (FYI, YNPN Atlanta is on Google+!)
Slide_StateOfNonprofits_DracosLemmingAnother wonderful presentation I saw was from Ellen Dracos Lemming and it was about the Donor Landscape of 2050. Check out this slide about the growth of the sector in the past 25 years:
She also spoke about the five Tectonic Shifts in donors that will be occurring:
  1. Demographics: especially age, but also ethnicity
  2. Technology: note that older Americans are already increasingly going mobile
  3. Globalization: “geography is irrelevant”
  4. Saturation: more like over-saturation of stimuli and information
  5. Brand: creation of a feeling, a personality, around your organization
Ms. Lemming emphasized that there are only two of these shifts that organizations have any control over: Technology and Brand. She encouraged us to think about ways to use these to our advantage.
Last, but in no way least, was the 30 Under 30 Session headed up by Trish Tchume and our own YNPN Atlanta President, Lindsey Hardegree on ‘Your Role in Cultivating Next Generation Leadership.’ We’ve got their presentation slides posted on slideshare and embedded below.

There was a breakout discussion during the session on what kinds of professional development we each are getting, and what improvements could be made. One fabulous piece of advice that I took to heart: in addition to your annual review, request a Professional Development Plan (PDP)  that includes the skills you need/want to work on throughout the upcoming year.
The group also discussed leveraging the benefits to the organization when asking for funding for professional development opportunities (ex: “if I take this training class in InDesign, we will save money on hiring outside consultants to tweak our graphics”).
Overall, I met so many amazing people at the Summit, and sat in on more than a dozen workshops, presentations, and discussion groups. YNPN Atlanta will keep you informed when next year's Summit comes around, and we will hopefully have discounts and volunteer opportunities for our members once again!
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