Axelson Symposium Goes Green


CHICAGO, IL (April 19, 2008) – The ninth annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Management has grown larger and greener over past years.

The symposium will take place May 13-14 on the campus of North Park University. The theme for this year's event is "The Power of Connections." The program is open to professionals and volunteers who work in the nonprofit sector.

"We have a lot more speakers than we had in the past," says Christa Beall, the center's assistant director. More than 40 will address participants in various workshops.

Many of the speakers will be executive directors who have proven expertise in their fields. Previously, a larger percentage of speakers were consultants or faculty members.

The symposium will offer free "speed consulting," Beall says. Based on the idea of speed dating, Participants will have 10 minutes with consultants of different expertise. After 10 minutes, participants will move to another consultant. The speed consulting will be held after the closing reception.

The school also is operating the symposium in a more eco-friendly fashion. "We have greened our event" Beall says. "We are trying to set an example."

Setting that example includes using tote bags made from recycled materials and which are biodegradable. Re-usable plastic bottles made from recycled plastic have replaced single-use bottles. Promotional materials also are more eco-friendly, using recycled paper and vegetable ink.

"We just want to be as environmentally conscious as possible," Beall says. "It's amazing how easy it is."

Attendees wanting to learn more about making their organizations more eco-friendly can participate in the workshop "How green is your nonprofit?" Other workshops include "The Role of Marketing in the Faith Community" and "Attracting and Retaining Quality Staff."

The Symposium begins with a pre-conference institute that will address strategic leadership for management and boards. The institute will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on May 13. Three sessions will focus on strategic planning, as well as program and leadership development.

The opening plenary speaker on May 14 will be Andrea Nierenberg, president of the Nierenberg Group and author of Nonstop Networking: How to Improve your Life, Luck and Career. The closing plenary session will feature a panel discussion that will include reporters from Chicago newspapers focusing on how nonprofits can build effective relationships with the local media.

Continuing education points are available for initial and re-certification requirements for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) status. For more information and to register, visit the symposium web site, email Tracey Starkovich, or call (773) 244-5799.