Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Weeks Until the Conference

I can't believe it's already two weeks until the conference! October went by QUICKLY! But some great things are coming together for the conference and I hope you're just as excited as I am about it. Yesterday I talked about a great keynote speaker that we're having, Timothy Hogan of the Royal Order of Experience Design, who's talking about how businesses and non-profits can collaborate by having volunteers use their professional experience to help the non-profits.

Today, I would like to highlight a keynote speaker and a workshop that that touches on a topic that is currently quite relevant for many non-profits: the state of the current economy and how non-profits can stay funded and running through the current recession.

On Thursday morning, November 19th, the morning keynote will be by Jill Zimmerman of the Alford Group. Jill spoke at last May's Conference on grant-writing. This November, Jill will be doing a State of the Union on the economic climate and how it's affecting tutoring and mentoring programs. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know the struggles we've had here at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection to stay afloat, especially this Fall. We're not the only ones though. I've talked to several programs that have had to shut down and lay off key staff members in order to stay open. This is not okay, especially in light of the continued violence that plagues Chicago and other big cities. (read Dan Bassill's blog article about the tragic shooting death of a DePaul student over Halloween weekend to get a glimpse of what we're dealing with). Knowledge is power, and since everybody has been affected by the economy, it's definitely worth your while to listen to Jill's keynote.

Then, later that day, during the second afternoon workshop, Liz Livingston Howard of the Northwestern University Kellogg Center for Non-Profit Management will be speaking about 10 Tips for Staying Ahead in this Economy. This workshop was also held this past May, but the topic is just as relevant now, if not more so and we really appreciate the Kellogg Center for Non-Profit Management coming back and doing this workshop again.

Like I've said before, the Tutor/Mentor Conference usually has a little something for everyone, so if using volunteers' professional skills or fundraising in a tough economy doesn't persuade you to come to the conference, maybe one of the future blog posts will!

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