2014 Mission Possible Seminars & Workshops



You can download this form and fax it to us!  Fax: 860-525-5088.

Or you can register over the phone. Give us a call at 860-525-5080.

Morning Seminars

 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.


Who Has the Time? And Other Questions on Nonprofit Advocacy

David L. Thompson, Vice President of Public Policy, National Council of Nonprofits
Read David's bio

Most nonprofits are already advocating on behalf of their missions and don’t give themselves credit: they collect and communicate community benefit and impact data, they explain the differences they are making when talking to funders, publishers and business groups. This session is dedicated to recognizing and embedding these “everyday advocacy” activities into the work of everyone who cares about advancing their mission.


Nonprofits and the Changing Media Landscape: Attracting the Attention Your Cause Deserves

Nonprofit executives and professionals have been clamoring for more media coverage of the nonprofit sector beyond the scandals, investigative reports and the feel-good ‘fluff.’ They want reporters, editors and newscasters to cover nonprofits with the same energy and effort afforded the business and government sectors of society. But, is there more to the story?

The changing landscape is not just about navigating the digital and social media. These changes are far more fundamental and far reaching. Successful media relations efforts demand a keen understanding of what “news” has become in an age of information abundance and media market fragmentation.

Our distinguished panel will share their experiences, philosophies and expectations. Our experts will discuss the work they do, how their specific news organizations function and the trends, opportunities and challenges they face in the news industry.


Moderator: Brad Drazen, NBC Connecticut Anchor (Read Brad's bio)

Panelists Include:
Helen Bennett Harvey, State and City Editor, New Haven Register (Read Helen's bio)
Christopher Keating, Capitol Bureau Chief, Hartford Courant (Read Christopher's bio)
Keith Phaneuf, State Budget Reporter, the CT Mirror (Read Keith's bio)
Christine Stuart, Founding Editor-in-Chief, CT News Junkie (Read Christine's bio)


The High-Performance Nonprofit
Sarah Lange, Principal & Founder at New Era

Read Sarah's bio

What would it take for your nonprofit to thrive and be the provider of choice in your area and industry? It requires a new way of thinking, of leading and managing your organization. Yet the pay-off is tremendous: high-performance nonprofits attract and retain more dollars, donors, productive board members and most importantly, are able to better serve their clients.


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Afternoon Workshops

2:315 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Your Mobile Impact: The Power to Further Your Mission
Darian Rodriguez Heyman

Read Darian's bio

There are now more cell phones than toothbrushes, and as of 2013, smartphones surpassed regular phone sales. But what are the implications for your nonprofit? Explore the ways your nonprofit can utilize mobile’s impact to further its Mission, Advocacy, Marketing and Operational Efficiencies. Join us for this important ‘primer’ and leave with a checklist of the most important tips and tools for your cause.

Learning Objectives: Effective, and practical primer on all aspects of mobile for good: its applications for nonprofits, how to effectively launch your mobile presence and tips and tools for implementation. Specific insights include:

Fundraising: Capitalize on New Channels
Advocacy: Mobilize the Masses
Marketing: Amplify Your Voice
Volunteer Recruitment & Management
Program & Operational Efficiencies

Time will be provided for a lively Q&A session.

Innovations in Nonprofit Funding: Google Grants, Crowdsourcing & Social Impact Bonds
Rob Leighton, iMission Partners

Read Rob's bio

With government budgets shrinking and the demands on social services and for environmental change growing, nonprofits have to find new ways to fund their good efforts. This seminar covers three important innovations (Google Grants, Crowdsourcing and Social Impact Bonds) that nonprofits are using to tap large sources of funds.

Learning to use Google Grants, your organization will discover the powerful online strategy that will bring more visitors to your online ecosystem and convert many to donors, advocates, volunteers or clients.

Crowdsourcing & Peer-to-Peer Fundraising are easy to implement with good online platforms like Indiegogo and Stay Classy. But success with these tactics starts with laying the right groundwork well before the right campaign is launched.

Social impact bonds (SIBs) have been created to tap the pool of funds created by wealthy investors and donors. Leading foundations are providing broad support to advance the development of SIBs. Federal legislation, sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, has been proposed. SIB activity in the CT State legislature and CT State agencies is happening.

In this seminar, participants learn the key elements to thinking strategically about these funding innovations.


10 Easy Steps to Rocking Your Online Communications
Ann-Marie Harrington, President and Founder, Embolden

Read Ann-Marie's bio

Does your nonprofit staff agree on whose attention you need to grab? Which messages should shine? What constitutes a win? If it doesn’t, it might want to start with an Online Communications Strategy (OCS). We’ll outline 10 steps for creating an OCS that can improve all of your digital communications. We’ll use examples from nonprofits around the country who have aligned their overarching organizational goals with their online communication strategy through great design, usability, storytelling and content strategy.

This session will get at the core of a successful OCS that can guide everything from Websites and e-newsletters to Facebook posts and tweets. An OCS provides a foundation for determining your measurable goals, which key audiences you have to reach (identifying what you want them to think, feel and do – depending on your goals) and establishes measures of success. You will leave the session with a solid understanding of what an OCS is and what it should include, as well as hands-on suggestions for creating an OCS back at the office.

How to Engage Your Board through More Productive Meetings
Mike Burns, BWB Solutions

Read Mike's bio

This session is designed to engage nonprofit executives and board members in the head-scratching conversation about how to make each board meeting an event.

Topics include:
• The nature of the board: transactional and relational
• Agendas: focus (fiduciary, strategic, generative)
• Consent agendas as a tool for informing (through reports) while setting the table for action and   exploration
• Where committees and task forces “fit”
• Event planning and coordination principles

The session will begin with an opportunity for reflection about executive’s experiences and end with sharing tips, do's and don’ts.


Trends in Connecticut Philanthropy and the Future of Grantmaking in Our State
Maggie Gunther Osborn, President, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy

Read Maggie's bio

This session discusses the trends in philanthropic strategies and investment for communities across Connecticut and nationally. The session also explores different types of philanthropy from corporate to individual philanthropy and suggests ways in which the entire social purpose sector could approach the challenging issues that face our communities in partnership with one another. Ms. Osborn will share her observations about the opportunities and challenges for philanthropy and what philanthropists are thinking about as they move forward to leverage their impact and support the common good.


Strategies for Reversing and Preventing Employee Burnout
Sarah Lange, Principal & Founder at New Era 

Read Sarah's bio

Every time an employee leaves your organization it costs 20% - 200% of their salary in lost productivity and replacement costs, depending on their job and experience. Employee burnout is one of the top concerns in the nonprofit sector, yet most employers feel there is not much to be done about it. Study after study has shown that happy employees help organizations thrive. Come to this workshop to learn of some simple, low-cost ways to reward and retain your employees.


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Afternoon Keynote - Ami Dar is a philanthropist, internet entrepreneur and Website developer best known as the man behind idealist.org, one of the largest nonprofit Websites in the world. Connecting millions of people with charitable organizations worldwide, idealist.org has contributed greatly to the success of the nonprofit industry by generating support for the causes of these organizations, thus helping them fight the greatest problems of the human race – poverty, disease and injustice. Idealist has become one of the most popular nonprofit resources on the Web, with information posted by 70,000 organizations around the world and a staff of 60 in New York, Portland and Buenos Aires.

For four consecutive years (2002 – 2005) the Nonprofit Times included Ami in its annual list of the 50 most influential people in the nonprofit sector, and in 2004 Ashoka invited him to join its global fellowship of social entrepreneurs. Time magazine named him a Philanthropy Innovator, and in 2006 the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business awarded Ami its annual Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship Award. One of the driving forces in Ami’s work is his belief that every person has a desire to bring about positive change in the world. This is why Ami began “idealist.org;” to give people options and guide them to where they can really volunteer their time, effort and resources.

Morning Keynote - Darian Rodriguez Heyman is an inspiring, dynamic visionary committed to supporting and connecting tomorrow’s nonprofit, business and environmental leaders. Heyman previously served as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation (2004–2008), where he worked to advance not just one cause or organization, but the effectiveness of the entire nonprofit sector. Today, Heyman continues his efforts to inspire leaders to action and connect executives with the resources they need to build a better world through frequent keynotes and public speaking appearances, as well as his global Social Media for Nonprofits conference series, which is the world’s only conference series devoted to social media for social good.

Heyman’s best-selling book, Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, includes contributions from Paul Hawken, Lynne Twist, Beth Kanter, Ami Dar and 46 other social sector experts and covers 35 comprehensive topics.  

Currently, Heyman is focused on his startup, BetterWorld Wireless, which gives away a free smartphone for every one of its US nonprofit customers and aims to benefit 1,000,000 mothers, teachers, and farmers in the next ten years.


Morning Seminar Presenters

David L. Thompson is Vice President of Public Policy for the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of nonprofit organizations. Active at the local, state and federal levels, through its member State Associations and nonprofit allies, the National Council amplifies the voices of America’s local community-based nonprofit organizations, helping them engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange solutions and achieve greater impact in their communities.
Prior to joining the National Council in February 2010, Thompson served as Director of Government Affairs at Independent Sector. He served in the public sector from 2001 to 2007 as a Senior Counsel and as Policy Director to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, notably as Counsel to the Pension Protection Act conference committee. Before working on Capitol Hill, Thompson directed federal policy for a consulting firm and practiced law for 17 years specializing in labor relations, employment law, government contracting and government relations at the federal and state levels.
David Thompson holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a law degree from the University of Georgia Law School.
Sarah Lange has been wired for social change and justice since she can remember. After digging up arrowheads in her back yard at age 4, Sarah insisted her parents return their home to the Native Americans from whom (she perceived) they had taken it! She’s been a champion of the underdog ever since!
In her role as Principal and Founder of New Era, she has helped more than 200 agencies achieve their goals and has raised $71 million. Sarah is well known and respected for her depth and breadth of expertise in fund development, board development, strategic planning and marketing and communications. She is a published author, has led hundreds of workshops and served on the faculties of Clark University, Boston University School of Social Work, Worcester State University and U-Mass Boston. Her Bachelor’s degree is from Colgate University; her Master’s degree, from Boston University School of Social Work.
Brad Drazen can be seen weekdays anchoring NBC Connecticut News at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. He is also an investigative reporter with the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters. Since arriving at the station in 2000, Brad’s assignments have run the gamut. He reported live from the scene as the shooting at Hartford Distributors unfolded, was on the ground with candidates at the New Hampshire presidential primary and was in the stands with the Husky faithful at the UConn dual national championship pep rallies.
Brad grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Before coming to NBC Connecticut, Brad worked as a reporter at the CBS affiliate in Traverse City, Michigan, and in marketing for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. He has also taught courses in marketing and communications at Central Connecticut State University and Eastern Connecticut State University.
Christine Stuart became editor of CT News Junkie in early 2006 after nearly four years as a reporter at the Journal Inquirer in Manchester. At the JI, Stuart covered a variety of beats including the city of East Hartford, the state's scandal-ridden trash authority and a regional water commission, as well as other towns, police news and politics. Prior to that, she covered education and transportation issues at the state Capitol for the Hartford Advocate. On a part-time basis, Stuart has worked as a summer youth reading and writing instructor for Our Piece of the Pie in Hartford. Stuart grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. You can reach her here. You can also follow her work on Facebook and Twitter.
Christopher Keating has been the Capitol Bureau Chief for The Hartford Courant for 16 of the past 18 years. He has closely covered the state budget and the legislature during the administrations of Governors Lowell Weicker, John Rowland, M. Jodi Rell and Dannel Malloy.
Before joining The Courant in 1990, he worked for Greenwich Time for six years, covering police, politics and polo. Keating was named three times by The Washington Post as one of the top political reporters in Connecticut. He also won the Master Reporter Award, which is a career achievement award that is given annually to only one reporter in all of New England.
Keating is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Fordham University.

Keith Phaneuf, with Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, won first prize in investigative reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2012 for a series of stories on the Board of Regents for Higher Education. The former State Capitol bureau chief for the Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Keith has spent most of 24 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut's transportation and social services networks. A former contributing writer to The New York Times, Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.


Helen Bennett Harvey is an award winning news writer, city editor and social media editor for the New Haven Register. She regularly presents journalism and social media webinars and is an adjunct instructor at Southern CT State University. She is a board member of the Register Fresh Air Fund and the New England First Amendment coalition. Ms. Harvey holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from UCONN in Economics and Political Science.


Afternoon Workshop Presenters

Maggie Gunther Osborn is President of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. Before joining the Council, Osborn served as Vice President of the Florida Philanthropic Network and Grant Director for the Conn Memorial Foundation. MGO Partners, Osborn’s consulting firm from 1998-2013, provided training and capacity building consulting to the philanthropic sector. 
Ms. Osborn holds a Master’s degree in Leadership & Philanthropy from Antioch University and a Bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame of Maryland University, where she was a Morrissey Scholar. She serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa School of Business, and the University of Connecticut School of Public Policy.
Mike Burns has over 20 years experience as a nonprofit manager. Since 1994, Mike has been associated with BWB Solutions, where he focuses on strategic and revenue generating planning, nonprofit governance, volunteer and paid leadership development and helping nonprofits assess their readiness for mergers and partnerships. His blog, Nonprofit Board Crisis, highlights nonprofit internal issues. Mike currently serves as Secretary of the board of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Mike graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Marquette University and completed a Master’s degree in nonprofit management with a focus on governance at Lesley College. He also holds a graduate certificate in nonprofit marketing management from the University of Hartford.
Ann-Marie Harrington worked in the nonprofit sector before starting Embolden. She built one of her first Websites for The Rhode Island Foundation and loved the process! With a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University and a Master of Social Work degree from Rhode Island College, Ann-Marie is uniquely positioned to understand her clients’ needs both from a business and a service perspective.
Rob Leighton works with social sector management teams to develop and implement strategic funding initiatives that advance mission and achieve objectives while extending and deepening relationships with all stakeholders. He works with mission driven for-profit and nonprofit organizations, working in the fields of health and nutrition, economic development, human resources, children's services and natural products. With over 30 year’s experience, Rob has managed, consulted and served on boards of start-ups as well as established social sector organizations in both turnaround and growth stages. He holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor’s degree with high distinction from the University of Michigan.

 Master of Ceremonies

Debbie Fay is founder and president of bespeak presentation solutions, llc, providing presentation development, one on one public speaking coaching, and corporate training to businesses worldwide. Bespeak’s clients include: BNY Mellon Bank, the Hay Group, US Fund for UNICEF, Moody’s Investment Services, Tauck World Travel, Sabra Dipping Products and many others. An award winning trainer and teacher with a life long involvement in theater, Debbie helps her clients present themselves with confidence, conviction, and clarity, delivering presentations that get heard and get results.

Debbie is a sought after speaker and contributing author to forbes.com and the Huffington Post. Debbie’s book, Nail it. Create and deliver presentations that connect, compel, and convince, is available on Amazon.com and will be available from other book retailers in the coming months.

For more information, go to: www.bespeakpresentations.com

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