Multi-colored image that says: Lead Bravely. Act Boldly. Nonprofit Leadership Conference

2021 Leadership Conference: Lead Bravely. Act Boldly.

Lorraine Faithful

  • 2021 Leadership Conference
    October 13, 2021
    8:30 am - 1:00 pm EST

During the past year, nonprofit leaders have risen to the challenges of our time — adjusting, reimagining and leading courageously to strengthen our communities. Now, it’s time to celebrate and chart how we’ll continue moving forward together.

Please join the Nonprofit Leadership Center on October 13, 2021, for our 11th Annual Leadership Conference, presented by Bank of America. This highly anticipated event returns in its dynamic virtual platform with new features and surprises, allowing you to participate from anywhere in the world. The 2021 conference theme is Lead Bravely. Act Boldly. — exactly what we as nonprofit leaders must do to meet the growing needs of our communities and make the impact we exist to achieve.



Conference host Bill Fries, CEO of Hiregy, is back as your master of ceremonies to guide you through this must-attend virtual experience. All speakers, breakout sessions and activities focus on how nonprofit leaders can think differently, challenge the status quo, drive innovation, and lead for the future. You’ll walk away with ideas, tools, and strategies you and your team can immediately implement to address the most critical topics facing our sector and society.

Welcome and opening session
State of the Nonprofit Sector with Emily H. Benham, FAHP, CFRE, CEO, Nonprofit Leadership Center

Opening keynote
How the Best Teams Overcome Overthinking to Navigate Change, Increase Productivity & Win Consistently
Jon Acuff, best-selling author and speaker

Breakout sessions: Attend one live, then get exclusive access to all sessions after the conference

  • Applying a Corporate Approach to Advance Racial Equity | Kimelyn Harris, Bank of America, moderated by the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Meriel Martinez READ MORE
  • Bravely Prioritizing Self-Care in a Post-Pandemic World | Rick Bennett, Florida Blue READ MORE
  • Creating Innovative Partnerships that Drive Greater Social Impact | Tammy Charles, Inovo Strategic Consulting READ MORE
  • Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: Nurturing a Culture of Cognitive Diversity | Andrea Cortissoz, HR Soul READ MORE
  • Reframing Impact to Act Boldly | Steve Zimmerman, Spectrum Nonprofit Solutions READ MORE

Virtual networking and musical performance by singer-songwriter Alex Harris

Afternoon keynote
Building Welcoming, Winning, World-class Workplace Cultures
Dr. Shirley Davis, best-selling author and HR and diversity and inclusion global thought leader

Conference closing and call to action



Dr. Shirley Davis

Dr. Shirley Davis is a seasoned HR and diversity and inclusion global thought leader, senior executive, certified leadership coach, and former chief diversity and inclusion officer for several Fortune 100 companies. Dr. Davis is the author of the best-selling books, Reinvent Yourself: Strategies for Achieving Success in Every Area of Your Life” and The Seat: How to Get Invited to the Table When You’re Over-Performing and Undervalued. She has been a featured expert on NBC’s The Today Show, USA Today, National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, The Washington Post, and Inclusion Magazine.

As president and CEO of SDS Global Enterprises, Inc., a woman and minority-owned C-Corporation headquartered in Tampa Bay, she works with leaders to create more inclusive and high-performing workplaces where all talent can thrive.


Jon AcuffJon Acuff is the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including his most recent Wall Street Journal #1 bestseller, Finish: Give yourself the gift of done. Published in more than a dozen languages, his work is both critically acclaimed and adored by readers. After reading Do Over, marketing legend Seth Godin wrote in his endorsement, “This is the best career book ever written. I’m not even sure what book comes in second.” When he’s not writing, Acuff can be found speaking as one of INC’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers to companies like FedEx, Nissan, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Chick-fil-A, Nokia and Comedy Central. For more than 20 years, he’s also helped some of the biggest brands tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples and the Dave Ramsey Team. His fresh perspective on life has given him the opportunity to write for Reader’s Digest, Fast Company, The Harvard Business Review and Time Magazine and appear on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets.  


There has never been a more important or necessary time for nonprofits to lead bravely and act boldly. Join hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders and teams from across the country to move our sector and missions forward. Find ticket options and register at the bottom of this page.

$175 for individual tickets

$1,500 for nonprofit teams of 15

$2,500 for for-profit teams of 15


NLC’s Leadership Conference would not be possible without the generous support of passionate partners who believe in the importance and impact of our nonprofit community. If you’d like to reach and connect with hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders, we offer many strategic partnership opportunities. Please contact Tess Plotkin for more information.


Note: You do not need to purchase tickets below if you are a sponsor or have registered a team. We will follow up with you to collect your attendees’ information.


Note: If you are sponsoring or purchasing a team ticket bundle, please use the above form instead of purchasing individual tickets.

CFRE Continuing Education Points
Full participation in this program is applicable for 4.0 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

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United States