Axelson Center's Symposium Propels Nonprofits Forward with 'Next Practices'

Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers

Registration available for two-day conference featuring keynote speaker Peter Buffett

CHICAGO (March 27, 2014) — Registration is now open for the Axelson Center's 15th Annual Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers, a two-day event for nonprofit managers, leaders, and supporters from across the Midwest. This year's Symposium programming looks beyond best practices to explore "Next Practices" for nonprofit organizations, and features a powerful performance by musician and NoVo Foundation co-chair Peter Buffett, son of Warren Buffett.

The Symposium, which will be held June 2-3, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago, marks the 15th anniversary of this signature event hosted by North Park University's Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. It also marks 15 years of the Center providing valuable resources and outstanding learning opportunities to enhance the performance and effectiveness of individuals and organizations in the nonprofit sector.

Executive directors, fundraising and marketing professionals, volunteers and board members, and program managers and frontline staff will all benefit from attending the Symposium. In addition to timely program content that looks beyond best practices to next practices in nonprofit management, the event is an opportunity to connect with other nonprofit leaders from across the sector. Symposium attendees represent a diverse spectrum of nonprofit organizations, including, but not limited to health and medical organizations, educational institutions, social services, animal welfare groups, churches and other religious affiliations, associations, libraries and foundations.

The event kicks off on Monday, June 2, with a full day pre-conference institute focusing on human capital, leveraging people as an organization’s most valuable resource. An opening keynote, "Human Capital: The Third Bottom Line," presented by Kay Sprinkel Grace of Transforming Philanthropy, LLC, will set the stage for the day’s conversations. Next, Pepper Miller of The Hunter-Miller Group will examine the importance of strategic relationships and the value of effective targeting to diverse communities in nonprofit communications strategies. After a networking luncheon, a panel of speakers will tackle the important question, "Does Workplace Diversity Matter?" Tony Banout of Interfaith Youth Core, Jim Kales of Aspire of Illinois, and Claude Robinson of UCAN will participate in this conversation, facilitated by Catherine Marsh, professor of business and nonprofit management at North Park University. The closing pre-conference session, facilitated by John Davidoff of Davidoff Communications, connects the day's conversations in a discussion of "Mission-Driven Human Capital."

The Symposium day, Tuesday, June 3, features more than a dozen sessions in critical areas of next practices: cultivating resources, broadening your organization's reach, civic engagement, entrepreneurial solutions, innovation, and organizational health and sustainability. The opening keynote features Mae Hong, director at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Terry Mazany, president & CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, John W. Rogers. Jr., chairman & CEO of Ariel Investments, and Emra Tranter, former president of Friends of the Parks, discussing next practices in board governance and corporate engagement in nonprofit boards.

The day concludes with "Life is What You Make It: A Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett," a live and interactive multi-media performance recounting Buffett’s personal story, from discovery of the piano through his current philanthropic work with the NoVo Foundation.

Registration is available through Wednesday, May 28: $319 for the Symposium day, $229 for the Pre-Conference day, or $449 for both days. Groups of three or more registering together will save 15 percent on their registration fees. Review the entire event program and register at www.northpark.edu/symposium.

The Symposium day also features a luncheon program where the winners of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award will be announced and presented. These annual Axelson Center awards recognize outstanding nonprofit management practices and a young nonprofit organization with potential for growth and greater effectiveness, respectively. Learn more about the Alford-Axelson Award and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award at the Axelson Center website.

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