Five Nuggets from Impact Foundry’s WHAT IF Conference

WHAT IF Conference - October 5, 2016 - McClellan Conference Center
Last week, I spoke at the What If Conference by Impact Foundry.  I was excited to present my ideas to my colleagues in the nonprofit world on how to thrive after burning out.

Professional development is so important to the wellbeing of employees.  I’m excited that this inaugural conference will become an annual event in Northern California.  They are off to a fabulous start!  Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Number of people who attended the conference: 350
  • Number of different organizations represented: 200
  • Next year’s goal: a two-day conference with 1,000 participants!

Kim Tucker, executive director of Impact Foundry, shared, “We’re thrilled that our regional nonprofit community confirmed that we need continuing education, access to national experts, and an opportunity to convene with our peers.”

Way to go!

I always enjoy learning more, so I’m sharing with you five valuable nuggets from the conference:

  1. One in four jobs in Sacramento are in the nonprofit sector. Wow!  This nugget was shared by Dr. Jenni Murphy, the associate dean of Sacramento State, College of Continuing Education.
  1. Fundraising is sacred work. Thank you, Lynne Twist, for this important reminder.  Lynne worked with Mother Teresa, has raised hundreds of millions of dollars, and wrote The Soul of Money.

Her words were refreshing.  Rather than being a necessary evil that keeps nonprofits afloat, fundraising can align with our highest aspirations.  As a profession, we reallocate the world’s resources – away from waste and war – and we put it towards life, health, and wellbeing.  Towards love.

We are awesome!

  1. The number one thing we can do to dramatically improve not just our work, but our lives. . . is to align ourselves with our core values, every day.   This is one nugget that I shared in my session, “How to Thrive after Burnout.”

How to Thrive after Burnout, Danielle Collins, Primavera, What If Conference

As a coach, I help my clients to identify their core values, and then to live congruently with them.  It’s the most satisfying work I’ve done, and it plays an important role in how we can overcome burnout.

Understanding your core values is a first step to your success, and you can learn more here.

  1. Are you considering submitting a federal grant proposal? In her presentation, “Cut to the Chase,” Miriam Houghton talked about how challenging it can be to read a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).

She suggested that before you read the document line by line, that you take an inventory of the FOA, and add your own Table of Contents. This will help you determine more efficiently if you’re eligible, and if you can produce the results they want.

  1. I love words, so I was excited to hear Wendy Wood discuss the difference between “compassion” and “empathy.” In her presentation, “Do No Harm:  Mindful Engagement for a World in Crisis,” she shared that compassion requires that we understand our own suffering.

Unlike empathy or sympathy, compassion demands that we commit to self-reflection.  We must deeply know ourselves to understand the suffering of others.

Great nuggets!

I asked Kim Tucker what excited her most about this year’s conference.  She said, “We have so many good people doing good work.  Let’s grow their capacity, increase their impact, and ensure that Northern California is an inclusive place where everyone thrives.”

Excellent.  I want everyone to thrive as well.

Culture of Wellbeing, Danielle Collins, Primavera, Coaching, Consulting

By budgeting for professional development each year, we take important steps towards creating a culture of wellbeing, where employees are cherished.  Conferences like What If create opportunities for participants to refine their skills, share ideas with colleagues, and remember that fundraising serves our highest good.

We can do it!

Danielle Collins, Primavera, Nonprofits, Coaching, Consulting

P.S. Identifying your core values and then living congruently with them can be challenging, but it’s important to your success.  As a coach, I offer a complimentary strategy session so you can learn more.  Click here for your free session!

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