Announcing Classes in Pinellas & ALL 8 Leadership Conference Breakouts

Jen Dodd News, Stories

Team NLC isn’t content to rest on our laurels; what happened in 2018 was pretty awesome but it’s also….so 2018.

We’ve been working on some top-secret projects for a while, and today we can share news–about two of them.

First up: we’re thrilled to announce that we’re going to be putting on 10 classes IN PINELLAS COUNTY this year! We’ve served Pinellas nonprofits and leaders in many ways and locations throughout our 20+ year history, and 2019 is the year we get back on the road to produce classes not only in our Training Center on Westshore Blvd. but also just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from your Pinellas office.

We’re partnering with local funders who will invite Pinellas nonprofits to attend 4 series of classes in Nonprofit Marketing & Communications, Board Governance, Leadership, and Fund Development. We’ll be excited to host you in venues like Collaborative Labs and the Juvenile Welfare Board, with more locations to come.

We’re pleased to bring you some of our most popular and highly rated trainers, too; think Sara Leonard, Alyce Lee Stansbury, Dr. John Loblack, Ellen Nastir, Heather Grzelka, and Bryn Warner!

The series will kick off this summer, so they’re not yet open for registration here on our site, but they will be soon! Expect more details in days to come.

These classes are made possible with generous funding from:

With additional support from Community Foundation of Tampa Bay & Wells Fargo.

And our second piece of news (for this week, anyway): is that all 8 of our Leadership Conference breakout sessions are now locked in!

We’re so excited to be working with so many Tampa Bay experts to bring you a broad range of personal and professional development insights and inspirations!

You can even more detail on our dedicated Leadership Conference page–and we shared a few of the fabulous female leaders you can expect to learn from at Conference in our International Women’s Day post–but here are a few teasers to get you started!

PANEL: Thomas Mantz and Mandy Cloninger will share the decision-making and step-by-step processes behind the Trinity Cafe-Feeding Tampa Bay merger as a case study of COLLECTIVE IMPACT and COLLABORATION in the nonprofit sector. Moderated by Breakout Room Sponsor Brian Butler of Vistra Communications.

PANEL: We’ve gathered 3 top, local nonprofit executives who began their careers in the for-profit sector to explore their processes for finding
PURPOSE and making a successful TRANSITION. Join Jessica Muroff, CEO of Girls Scouts of West Central Florida and NLC Board Chair; Gordon Gillette, EO Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County; and Wendy Johnson, Executive Director of the American Cancer Society, Southeast Region, for a fascinating discussion moderated by Breakout Room Sponsor Brian Butler of Vistra Communications.

We’re thrilled to invite NLC/UT Certificate of Nonprofit Management Graduate and consultant Tammy Charles to participate in her first-ever Leadership Conference breakout session! Tammy will help you to explore the essential elements of the perfect PITCH, clear ways to tie your story to your goals, both personal and organizational, and how to harness the power of PERSUASION.

Back by popular demand is NLC trainer and consultant Ellen Nastir. In her breakout session, you’ll discover your intrinsic motivations and how knowing your why can bring all areas of your life into alignment and focus. With strategies and tools in hand, you’ll increase your SELF-AWARENESS and isolate your CORE VALUES, bringing clarity and focus to your path in life and at work.

Also a repeat facilitator, NLC Director of Strategic Solutions Dr. John Loblack will help you build SELF-LEADERSHIP skills around taking responsibility for our outcomes, setting direction for your life and career, and managing priorities. He’ll also show you how to harness the power of OPTIMISM to reframe obstacles as opportunities and make meaningful, empowered choices to get to where you want to go.

Florida Blue’s Director of Health Programs Gay Poe will lead you through the 4 types of energy you have at your disposal and teach you how to maximize each–and deal with energy dips or imbalances–to reach your full potential. Because ENERGY MANAGEMENT is crucial to not only your daily activities but also your long-term goals. Wherever you choose to focus your energy–on that crucial project at work, your new-found hobby, or going back to school–you’ll have new tools and habits that will improve your PERFORMANCE and outcomes.

Studies tell us that during an average workday a person can an average of 2 hours a day (10 hours per week!) to interruptions. NLC trainer and consultant Margarita Sarmiento rejoins us again this year to show you how identifying your most common interruptions and developing personalized TIME MANAGEMENT strategies, you can regain control of your day. Take further control of your schedule and crave out important time for yourself by learning easy ways to avoid OVERCOMMITMENT. Whether it’s your teammates, your boss, your kids, or your friends, learn how to decline obligations gracefully and clearly. 

Many successful leaders report that the worst times in their lives were the most impactful and share that only once they opened themselves to life’s lessons were they able to reframe their leadership style and definition of success to get to the top of their game.  Back by popular demand, Rick Bennett of Florida Blue will share mindfulness tools and techniques for BEING PRESENT in awkward or tense situations and being RESILIENT in navigating through them to personal and professional growth.

Hard to choose? You bet! Which is why we’ve also already locked these folks in for full, half-day classes so you can go even more in-depth on this critical leadership topics. Be sure to watch our Training Calendar for the full, half-day follow-on classes we host in our Training Center as we progress through 2019! (Or sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and have upcoming classes, events, and news delivered directly to your in box.)

Registration is still open for Leadership Conference, though individual seats are extremely limited. Don’t miss out; grab yours today. (Tables of 10 are also available.)

Thank you to our 2019 Leadership Conference Sponsors!

Your Nonprofit Guide to Retaining Staff


Ask any nonprofit leader what’s keeping them up at night, and chances are retaining staff is high on their list. Although 87 percent of employers say improving employee retention is a critical priority, more than three in four nonprofits (81%) lack a formal retention strategy. Creating a robust employee retention plan may seem daunting, but there are steps you can take today to ensure your most important asset — your people — feel valued and committed to your organization.

Your nonprofit guide for retaining staff

3 Tips for Retaining Staff

Author, speaker and NLC trainer Kathy McDonald has two decades of experience helping individuals and teams leverage their strengths for organizational success. Here are three of her recommendations for increasing employee satisfaction and retaining staff.

1. Get on board with onboarding
According to research by the Aberdeen group, 86 percent of employees decide to stay or leave a new organization within the first six months. New hires who go through a formal onboarding process are significantly more likely to stay with their organization for three or more years. But effective onboarding is more than just a welcome lunch on their first day. You need an intentional, informative and inspiring process that builds their knowledge and confidence. Here are some key questions to think through to make their first days first-rate:

  • How will you help new hires develop the industry knowledge they need to be successful?
  • What resources and role-playing opportunities will you provide to help new hires tell your story in a clear, concise and compelling way that connects with constituents and donors?
  • What short- and long-term expectations do you have for your new employees?
  • What are the peer relationships — both inside and outside your organization — that will be important? How can you help facilitate one-on-one conversations to build these connections and trust?
  • How will you reinforce organizational education and inspiration throughout the first year, so that learning doesn’t stop after the first few weeks on the job?

2. Equip new leaders to lead
Becoming a new manager is an exciting time in a person’s career advancement, but it can also bring anxiety and organizational risk. Gallup research shows that 70 percent of team member disengagement is driven by dissatisfaction with their manager. Nonprofit organizations must commit to helping new managers obtain the skills they need to supervise and motivate others. Our moving from doer to leader training is a great class to help new managers transition into their important roles. Helping new managers build skills in unfamiliar areas, including delegating, building team motivation and managing projects across a team are just a few of the important areas to prioritize.

3. Avoid surprises
Clear communication is critical to ensure staff understand expectations, feel part of a team and can have positive and productive conversations to achieve success. This includes providing honest, constructive feedback to avoid underperformance and solve problems that may arise. It also includes enforcing deadlines and holding team members to a standard of quality, so everyone is aware of the expectations they’re working toward. If leaders avoid conversations because of potential conflict that may arise rather than building the skills to effectively deal with different points of view, they do so at the risk of their organization’s excellence and employees’ long-term growth and satisfaction.

Register for Upcoming Classes to Better Hire, Manage and Retain Your Staff

If being a more intentional leader and better retaining staff are part of your goals this year {Pssst: They should be for every nonprofit!], join NLC and facilitator Kathy McDonald for our three-part talent development series this summer. These classes are perfect for those who are new to supervising staff as well as leaders who would like to deepen their skills in effectively managing others.

Moving from Doer to Leader: Skills for New Managers (June 14)
Learn about the number one mistake new managers make and how to avoid it. You’ll also discover how to create a vision for the kind of leader you want to be, improve your delegation skills, set clear expectations and manage team meetings and projects effectively.

Effective Onboarding and Team Recognition Strategies (July 25)
At the end of this session, you’ll leave equipped with a new hire onboarding plan, have a tool to uncover the hidden strengths of each team member, know the five main types of recognition to diversify the way you reward excellent work and uncover the top productivity tools to bring out the best in your team.

Hiring, Managing and Succession Planning for Nonprofit Leaders (August 14)
We’ll explore some of the challenging conversations and situations that come with the responsibility of managing others, including how to provide constructive feedback in positive ways, the five levels of listening, creating a safe place for employee conversations and how to use an employee departure to reinvigorate your team.

How to Apply for a Grant: Your Guide to Winning Proposals

Team NLC Fundraising

Grant writing that leads to grant winning requires more than a technically correct and polished proposal. In today’s increasingly competitive and ever-evolving nonprofit sector, organizations must connect emotionally with potential funders to open their hearts and wallets. Are you wondering how to apply for a grant that will stand out from other applicants?

How to Apply for a Grant

How to Apply for a Grant and Get It

NLC trainer Julé Colvin has more than 30 years of professional experience helping nonprofits raise millions of dollars through better grant writing strategies and skills. She is facilitating two Grant Writing Certificate courses at NLC in April and October. Here are a few of her top tips to master the art and science of grant writing.

  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR FUNDER: Study your potential funder and find out what makes them tick. This is more than scanning a LinkedIn profile — think of it as studying a potential date on a relationship site. Consider other work they’re funding and how it aligns with their vision. Be sure you’re speaking their language. The more you know about your potential funder’s motivations and expectations, the more intentional you can be with your proposal and approach.
  2. TELL A STORY: There’s no denying the fact that people love stories. We learn through stories. We connect through stories. Think about your proposal as a story you’re telling, not just a series of professionally polished answers and information.
  3. ELEVATE WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM: Remember that funders are social investors. They want to improve lives and communities, but they also care about their bottom line. Be sure your funder can see that you’re a powerful partner who will bring them a return on their investment while reducing risk. Be clear and concrete about how your organization will help them reach their philanthropic and business goals.
  4. CATCH THEIR EYE: Add visual interest to your proposal to make it memorable. Include adequate white space, break up text with bullets and include images that reinforce your story. Grant writing is marketing — and it says a lot about your organization and its ability to deliver. Presentation does matter.

Get Your Certificate in Grant Writing

If you’re new to grant writing and want to learn how to apply for a grant with excellence, join NLC and facilitator Julé Colvin to earn your Grant Writing Certificate. Through this interactive, four-class series, you’ll learn how to succeed in today’s competitive grant writing environment.

Specifically, you will …

  • Understand how to apply for a grant and create successful proposals
  • Learn how to write a grant narrative and articulate measurable and reliable outcomes
  • Get hands-on experience to develop budgets and identify funding resources
  • Be prepared for what to do after receiving a grant award
  • Receive individualized feedback from local grant professionals
  • Meet others in our nonprofit community who you can network and problem-solve with
  • Invest in your professional development to position yourself for long-term success as a nonprofit leader

Register now for our April 2019 Grant Writing Certificate

Register now for our October Grant Writing Certificate

Attendees must complete all four sessions and assignments and pass section tests to receive their certificate.

Celebrating Our Female Leaders

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News, Stories

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Team NLC is thrilled to introduce you to four outstanding women leaders who will be bringing you inspiration and practical action steps to increase your focus and lead with purpose during our breakout sessions at the 2019 Leadership Conference on May 22nd.

We have a deep and diverse talent pool for speakers and trainers, and we’re proud to bring you the very best of the best—the superheroes! 

Join us for 8 transformative breakout sessions facilitated by these lead-by-example women:

Mandy Cloninger, Executive Director of Trinity Cafe, will be part of a panel exploring COLLECTIVE IMPACT and COLLABORATION in the nonprofit sector. She’ll walk you through the important relationships and the business case that drove the Trinity Cafe-Feeding Tampa Bay merger, increasing the capacity and impact of each.

Jessica Muroff, CEO of Girls Scouts of West Central Florida and NLC Board Chair, will bring her unique perspective on PURPOSE and TRANSITION to a panel exploring how three high-performing nonprofit leaders made the leap for the for-profit sector.

Margarita Sarmiento, ever-popular NLC trainer and nonprofit consultant, is back by popular demand! Join her for a working session that will transform your TIME MANAGEMENT skills and teach you how to AVOID OVERCOMMITMENT.

Ellen Nastir, also a wildly popular and repeat breakout facilitator, is an NLC trainer and executive coach. She’ll help you increase your SELF-AWARENESS and isolate your CORE VALUES, bringing clarity and focus to your path in life and at work.

And we’re still planning additional breakout topics, so expect to see even more incredible women take the stage on our biggest day of the year!

For additional information about the day, please visit our Conference web page, which we’ll update regularly with details about the breakout sessions and the keynote.

Individual early-bird tickets are available only through March 15th. So reserve your seat now or reserve a table to make sure you don’t miss a minute of this life-changing event!


What to Read When Life is Just No Fun

Jennifer Dodd Stories

As part of our work to educate and empower nonprofits, we actively search out new and helpful resources to share with you. And today we want to introduce you to (or maybe remind you of) one of our favorite writers and thinkers: Jon Acuff.

Jon has written three booksQuitter, Start, and Do Over. He is a passionate advocate of doing work that you love, and he writes and speaks about remaking your life so that Monday becomes a great day, not a drag. Jon creates and shares thought-provoking material in a light-hearted manner; the subtitle(s) of Start tell you all you need to know: “Punch Fear in the Face. Escape Average. Do Work that Matters.”

Jon spoke at our 2013 AND 2015 Leadership Conferences and is, without a doubt, the most popular speaker in that conference’s history! Why?

What he writes and teaches about really hits home for nonprofit professionals. We get into the nonprofit sector because we’re passionate about creating positive change in our community, right? But sometimes we’re so not so great at creating positive change in our own lives. Jon can help you there; he offers new ways of thinking about things and actions you can take to recharge your passion.

So when life is just no fun, here are three of Jon’s blog posts that we think you’ll like:

Your Very Special Invitation…

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications Stories

Team NLC is already busily working behind the scenes on many aspects of our 9th annual Leadership Conference on May 22nd.

Thanks to Key Partner C3 Media we can now unveil our snazzy new 2019 Leadership Conference theme logo:

Don’t you love it??

And one of the most fun things we’ve done to date is chat with our Keynote Speaker, Simon T. Bailey, about the content for his keynote presentation.

He’s got such wonderful energy, positivity, and inspirational content to share! In fact, we asked him to put together a little video to give you a taste of the day, and he was absolutely game!

So we’re thrilled to share with you a very special invitation from our 2019 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker, Simon T. Bailey!

Learn even more about the day, which will be filled with 8 incredible working breakout sessions, a book signing with Simon, and all the networking you can handle, and register your team for a table of 10 or get your early-bird-priced individual tickets now!

A-Z Practices for a Better You

Ellen Nastir Stories

Are you being bombarded?  Everywhere I turn all the talk is (still) about setting goals and intentions for this new year. There are fabulous articles, videos and audios available at the click of a button or a turn of a page describing in detail how and why this is beneficial.I’m not repeating that here.

I’ve simply compiled a short list of simple practices you may choose to incorporate in your day-to-day life. They will offer huge results over time. Simply look them over, select one you’d like to improve upon or even begin…and get going!  They are short, direct and to the point.

Appreciate more.

Be kind – to yourself and others.

Compliment generously.

Dream….daydream…bring it into your life if only for 5 minutes a day.

Encourage and empathize with others when a soft shoulder is needed.  Be there.

Have more FUN!  Jot down a list of activities you used to enjoy as a child and mark your calendar to incorporate these in your weekly/monthly/yearly plans.

Practice GRATITUDE…write down 3 things each day that you are grateful for.

Help out more, even when it’s not “your job”.

Use “I” statements more to help communicate your thoughts.

Judge less.

Keep a tad more organized; it makes life much easier!

Laugh often – Listen more.

Move forward, even one baby step at a time.

Notice the little things around you, sights, smells, feelings. Get off auto-pilot.

Open your mind before having it automatically close to new and different ideas or experiences.

Practice one new habit each month that will improve your relationships, both at work & at     home.  See how it may enhance your overall life!

Quit one destructive habit.

Reflect on the good.

Share a smile.

Try again-especially when you are ready to throw in the towel!

Upbeat people are certainly more fun, inspiring and uplifting than their negative   counterparts.   Be sure to have those positive people in your life to lift you up and enjoy being around.

Celebrate one VICTORY each day, no matter how small!

Well-being means your whole being…taking care of yourself in many aspects so you can be  there for others both at work and at home. It’s not selfish to nourish & respect yourself.

Use an imaginary red “X” to cross out any negative self talk you find yourself thinking.

Refrain from starting sentences with the word “You” followed by never or always.

Zzzz – Sleep more – go to bed 15 minutes earlier and see what you notice after just a few days.

I hope a few of these clicked for you and you have one in mind to begin right away!  I’d love to hear which resonated with you, so feel free to comment on this post or send me an email.

NLC trainer Ellen Nastir is a certified professional coach with advanced training in Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching and Positive Psychology.  The goal is to shift the perspective. Just as a twist of the kaleidoscope completely changes your view, so do the tools that Innovative Team Solutions brings to your work environment.  Learn more at

Tuning Into Your Future

Simon T. Bailey, 2019 LC Keynote Speaker Stories

Republished with permission

We’re thrilled to bring you the first guest blog post from our 2019 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker, Simon T. Bailey.

The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Have you ever had an idea or dream but for some reason or another didn’t pursue it?  

You may have told yourself you had too many other obligations or that the timing wasn’t right. Maybe you experienced fear when you thought of making a change. Maybe you’ve known someone who took a big risk in their life, and it paid off but you thought, “They just got lucky,” or “That could never be me.”

Success is not accidental or a game of chance, like winning the lottery. The successful people I know did not get there overnight. They put in years of work not only externally but internally, working through their fears and doubts.

For over 20 years, Christy Crump was an administrative professional. She moved up quickly in her field, was promoted several times across the realm of state government, and she truly loved the secretarial profession. Despite her contentment, she began to experience a “gnawing feeling” in the pit of her stomach – a feeling that she had a calling to do more.

Tuning in when that small, quiet voice speaks to you is key to owning your future. 

Take the opportunity to be quiet and still in your space so that you can hear what God is trying to tell you. You’ve got to listen to identify your calling, your commitment, and your connection.

Once Christy began to listen and accept that she was meant to do more, her mind and heart opened to the opportunities all around her. She gave herself permission to reframe her thoughts and examine her surroundings and found a gap in the marketplace: a need for secretarial training. She realized that there were no more “old-timey secretarial schools,” where administrative professionals could go for training and continuing education pertinent to their profession.  

Christy began to discuss her feelings with her husband and family verbally. Her husband encouraged Christy to start a business that would provide training and professional development for administrative professionals. After all, who better than someone with 20 years’ experience to deliver the required skills enhancements? 

Still, Christy pushed back. She thought that it would be selfish of her to give up her comfortable and secure government job in exchange for the unknown. She worried that she could be putting her family at risk. Her self-doubts crept in: she had a college degree but didn’t consider herself financially savvy. She didn’t have marketing, networking, public speaking or sales experience.

Don’t let insecurity be a barrier to your brilliance. 

The future beckons and invites us to a moment where we reach a crossroads. Letting go of what’s comfortable and convenient is required to shift into brilliance. What you don’t know, you can and will learn as you go. Have confidence in yourself and take Facebook CFO Sheryl Sandberg’s advice: “Lean in!”

Despite Christy’s hesitation, opportunity continued to knock. She began a two-year training and development plan designed to develop employees for career advancement. Christy worked cover to cover through my book Release Your Brilliance, and when she finished, she realized that the workbook she had labored over contained nothing about her current occupation. Rather, she had literally written a blueprint of her dreams!

Christy didn’t realize it yet, but she had opened the door to opportunity by writing and speaking her truth. Out of the blue, a former colleague invited her for a lunch meeting and offered her a new job. Christy considered the offer, but that small voice nudged her to trust her colleague with her dream. Together, they made a plan for Christy to work part-time, giving her the opportunity to work steadily toward her goal of opening an administrative development training center.

 Just 16 months later, Christy made the leap to working her business full time.

If you have a dream or goal, make it work, even when it looks different than what you originally pictured. Find ways to work on your dreams slowly over time. Sometimes the next step or opportunity will come in the least expected form. 

The most important thing is to take action.

Because she listened, Christy the connection and was willing to take a leap of faith. She is now living her dream and doing what she loves most.

Looking back, Christy realizes that she had never before in her life taken an uncalculated risk – even as a child. She vowed that she would no longer let this hold her back. These days, she faces her fears head on and doesn’t overanalyze. Christy’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is to beat up the “fear monster” and leave it behind, rather than letting it control you. 

“Every day I sit on the edge of a cliff with my wings spread waiting for someone to give a little push. When they do, I fly.”

ALL THE NEWS about the 2019 Leadership Conference

Jen Dodd, Director of Education & Communications News

We have MAJOR news about the 2019 Leadership Conference to share! In fact there’s so much, you might think of this post as a series of sound bites! But there’s no #fakenews.

Team NLC has been busily planning and locking in details of the 9th annual Leadership Conference for months now! It’s been hard to sit on the juicy details until now, but the time has come!

First things first: Save the date! The 9th annual Leadership Conference will be held on May 22, 2019. Go ahead. Block it off on your calendar; we’ll wait….

Now, you also need to know that we’re changing venues for 2019! Yes; it’s true! We’ve moved Leadership Conference to the Hilton Tampa Downtown so that we can (drum roll please!) add 2 additional breakout sessions to the day! 8 breakouts!!

Yes; we did just make your breakout decisions even harder by guaranteeing you 4 knock-your-socks-off breakouts in each of the two timeslots. Watch this space for upcoming announcements regarding the local experts we’re tapping as panelists and facilitators for these 8 exciting new working sessions!

Have no worries about parking; the Fort Brooke Garage is actually attached to the hotel, so you can just meander across the enclosed bridgeway and straight into our event. (And, yes, we are indeed still picking up the tab for parking.)

We’ll share additional details about parking and a map of the venue as days progress, so you’ll arrive ta the 2019 Leadership Conference with everything you need to know to feel comfortable in the space and make the absolute most of this incredible day of personal and professional development.

As if all of the above wasn’t exciting enough: we have still more to share!

We’re thrilled to announce that our Planning Committee met just a week or so ago and (in record time) came up with what might be certain team members’ favorite Conference theme to date. We give you the 2019 Leadership Conference theme….

FOCUS: Leading with Purpose

This universal and yet transformational theme will resonate throughout all of the day’s breakout sessions as well as the keynote luncheon. Whether you’re employed by a nonprofit or a for-profit, whether you’re a board member or other type volunteer, whether you’re new to the working world, a seasoned pro, or mulling a career transition, whether you’re exactly where you want to be in you personal and professional life or you’re seeking meaningful change, the 2019 Leadership Conference’s theme will help you to grow individually, as teams, and as organizations into your most focused, most purposeful, most effective selves.

 Okay, so here comes the REALLY BIG REVEAL!

Because this is where you’ll learn the name, background, and topic of the 2019 Leadership Conference keynote speaker.

After collecting speaker suggestions for months and watching countless TED Talks, we took a short list (just 2) candidates to our speaker selection taskforce. They were both strong candidates with compelling messages and something unique to offer, so there was debate.

In the end, however, our speaker selection taskforce agreed that we should invite Personal Brilliance Guru and author Simon T. Bailey to be the 2019 Leadership Conference Keynote Speaker.

Simon also calls himself a Breakthrough Strategist and describes his life’s purpose as teaching people how to be fearless and create their futures.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including serving as sales director for Disney Institute, Simon challenges individuals to dig deep to find and release their inner brilliance and become Chief Breakthrough Officers – personally and professionally.

Simon has written 10 books and been named one of the top 25 people who will help you reach your business and life goals by SUCCESS magazine, joining a list that includes Brene Brown, Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey.

Exciting, right?

We sincerely hope you will be among the very first to register as early bird individual tickets and tables are now available at the event registration page. (You’ll also find the agenda of the day there as well as on the dedicated web page.) It’s sure to be #timewellspent!

If you’d like to sponsor or exhibit at Leadership Conference, you can learn about the opportunities and benefits by downloading this form.

We’ll be back soon with additional exciting details about Leadership Conference (Breakout topics! Breakout facilitators! Panels! Networking Opportunities!), so stay tuned.

In the meantime, we would like to say THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:

3 Ways to Ease Into Your Annual Nonprofit Audit

Lorraine Faithful, Operations Manager News, Stories

Is it “annual fiscal audit time” for your nonprofit? It is if your nonprofit’s fiscal year is the same as the calendar year.  If you closed your fiscal year at the end of December, then you are most likely getting prepared for your auditors to examine your financial statements.  This can be a busy and stressful time for you and your financial staff, but with a little forethought and planning ahead, this process can go smooth and easy with these simple tips:

  1. Begin one year in advance to prepare for the audit! It makes a lot of sense to prepare on a monthly basis the general ledger activities and transactions that auditors need to review. This includes your balance sheet items like receivables, payables, prepaid expenses, fixed assets, etc. Create your monthly spreadsheets for all accounts, then record transactions each month. These reports will be complete at the end of the year and ready to give to the auditors.
  2. Keep all your accounting files in one designated place on your server or hard drive. This helps to stay organized and easily find files requested when the auditor is on site and hadn’t previously requested them. Also, keep either a scanned copy or hard copy of all items you provide to the auditor, and never give away original documents.
  3. Get to know your auditors! An audit should be a two-way conversation about your business and financial situation. Don’t be shy about asking for advice or assistance on fiscal matters during the year or during the audit. Auditors are more than happy to help solve issues as they occur which of course will make their auditing job easier in the long run.

New resources about nonprofit fiscal audits can be found in the Financial Management Resources area of our website such as:

See more nonprofit financial management resources.